Earlier today Radu of Radu Presents: The Movie-Photo Blog sent me a challenge., which requires I come up with a list of the ten films I consider my “top dramas.” If you’ve happened on by this blog before you know I absolutely abhor lists. While I am in awe of anyone who can convincingly come up with a “best” list in any category related to film, I am not one to be put in that position – for many reasons. One, I have a difficult time deciphering what genre films actually fit in since there is so much cross-over. How does one determine what a straight drama is these days, as a for instance, when you can have crime-drama, romantic-drama, and so forth. Secondly, for every single film that occurs to me there may possibly be ten others I can easily replace it with that I love as much for different reasons. Also, I am very fickle. While I have films I absolutely adore no matter what, my “top films” can change daily, depending on my mood, when I last saw it and a host of other reasons. So I hate lists. But, since Radu was thoughtful enough to include me in this challenge I felt I should oblige as best I can.
Once I decided to do the list I had to think about how (in hell) to find the films that are my top ten dramas. I considered reading a host of lists on other sites, narrowing down my favorites and going from there. I figured this would be the best way to not forget a film I might be particularly drawn to but may simply overlook. Then I thought of going through my ever-growing film collection but that would take me time I don’t have. And so on. I think you get the picture I take very few things lightly. In the end I decided to take the easy route. I threw caution to the wind and simply made a list of the first ten dramas that came to mind knowing they’d all be films I love. Problem solved.
Following are the only ten drama films I listed in the order they came to mind. Call it my drama film word association test, which leads me to think it’s telling that these are THE ten. But, I’ll think about that another day. If I gave any of this more thought – the list or the whys of it I I could well be at it for weeks changing and replacing them. I almost did just that as I reviewed the list because others came to mind immediately. So, it stands as originally conceived. Without further delay…my top ten dramas…today…
Frank Capra’s, It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) – trailer
Billy Wilder’s, Sunset Blvd. (1950) – trailer
Robert Mulligan’s, To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – trailer
Elia Kazan’s, A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) – trailer
George Steven’s, Penny Serenade (1941)
Michael Curtiz’, Casablanca (1942) – trailer
Francis Ford Coppola’s, The Godfather (1972) – trailer and The Godfather, Part II (1974) – trailer (yes, rather a cheat to list them both but I can’t choose one without the other and they “came to me” at the same time)
Clint Eastwood’s, Mystic River (2003) – trailer
Milos Forman’s, One Flew Over the Cookoo’s Nest (1975) – trailer
Sidney Lumet’s, 12 Angry Men (1957) – trailer
There you have them and I don’t want to talk about it.
Well, OK if we must. I know at least a couple of these choices may lead to some discussion even if the majority are no-brainers in the world of “top films” for most people. I noted these were the first ones that came to mind, which is true. But I love all of these films. Even though they may not have been on a list I compiled tomorrow another list by me would not have been better in quality – this is as good as it gets.
I believe I’m supposed to pass this challenge along to others but I’m not. I never quite know who to choose and those I do may be overwhelmed with other tasks and responsibilities. Instead, I’ll ask for feedback here if you happen to drop in. I’d love to see which films you’d choose as top dramas. If you prefer to publish a post on your own blog in response let me know. I love the idea.
The fickle cinephile.
Great list, Aurora. You’ve covered a number of mine, too. Well done.
Thanks. I’m glad you think so – I figured several people might strongly disagree on a couple.
Wow! Thank you very much for doing this! I love your selections! Every one of them is part of the cinematic history! I also apreciate the twist you put into my challenge: describing each movie by the means of a single word. Very good idea, indeed! Thanks again and keep up the good work! You have a great blog!
Thanks, Radu. It was fun to think about although I did so very quickly to avoid “film guilt”. Thanks for including me.
Anytime! You’re welcome!
I couldn’t agree more with 12 Angry Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, Casablanca and Sunset Boulevard. I have yet to check Mystic River!
Let me know when and if you get a chance to watch Mystic River. Astoundingly powerful.
Some of my top 10 are: All the King’s Men, The Sweet Smell of Success, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Of Mice and Men (the 1939 version with Burgess Meredith) and The Oxbow Incident.
Interesting! So different than mine. I love that.
LOL! i swear we’re related somehow…
I love your list Aurora. I agree, these are great ones…..for today 🙂 Mine would change every single day (or more) too. My mood decides such things. Casablanca and 12 Angry Men would probably always make the list though.
Lol. Maybe we’re cousins. 🙂 Yeah, that’s why I am amazed when anyone can list a definitive ten films as “best” in any category or genre. I’m way too mushy for that and too many greats to consider. I would have to say that Casablanca and 12 Angry Men would probably be on my lists forever as well.
I agree. I hate lists too. It’ all about eschewing subtlety in favor of certitude. But if I had to make a list (like at gunpoint or something), then Twelve Angry Men would be on it somewhere.
Lol. Well put all around!
It is a nice post…….
Thanks for list of drama movies.
IT’s a great list! I don’t think it matters what anyone else thinks about your list because it looks great from here. The only film that I was surprised to see on this list was Mystic River, but not because I don’t agree. (I have long felt I was the only person that thinks this movie is perfect.) Anyway, I love the list and I am impressed that you were able to compile such wonderful films on such short notice!
I must say, although it doesn’t matter what others think, I am thrilled someone else feels about Mystic River as I do. I was shocked when I saw that film to be moved as I was. Very deeply. Wonderfully powerful performances, a film that’s not easily forgotten.
As I explained, if I didn’t just compile this list quickly I would have been thinking about it forever. In the end I’m happy with it. They are all films that left lasting impressions.