Tuesday, March 03, 2009

15 movies that changed my life


I was tagged with this meme by Richard Harland Smith.

Think of 15 movies that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the movies that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the movies that shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!

RHS Note: This list reflects movies that got to me before the age of 15 and changed my DNA.

I will also follow this extra note, as it seems appropriate.

Neil's note: Star Wars or Raiders of the Lost Ark, not because they didn't "change my life", but because I don't feel that the way they changed my life is compellingly different than the way they changed the lives of most people my age.


1. Planet of the Apes (1968). This is one of a small number of movies that I don't remember seeing the first time, so much as I don't remember ever not having seen it. This one is as much a part of my DNA, as RHS wrote, as anything movie out there.


2. Smokey and the Bandit (1977). I was six. It was a drive-in. It was Smokey. And the Bandit. Not to mention the Snowman. And that song. And stunts. And more stunts.

3. Count Dracula (1970). I'm not sure what year this was, but I was around 8 or 9. I saw this on TV. This was the beginning of my love for Dracula movies, few of which satisfy me wholly, but the eternal quest is glorious. For years, I believed I had seen Horror of Dracula that night, even after any number of viewings of that movie that never felt "right", but then I saw this one and it all clicked.

4. Night of the Living Dead (1968). I'd guess this ran on PBS, but I could be wrong. Whoever aired it, it scared me worse than anything before or since.


5. The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976). I saw this one on broadcast TV, even through the editing and commercials, this one kicks hard.

6. Superman II (1980). I suppose for most this would be Superman: The Movie, which I certainly recall with glee and excitement, but this one I went to over and over and over. For what it's worth, Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut actually feels slightly more like my memory of the movie.


7./8. Popeye (1980) / The Elephant Man (1980). I have mentioned the importance of 1980 before.

9. Time After Time (1979). I think most of my ideas about romantic love come from this movie, including my apparently foolish notion that all women should be Mary Steenburgen.


10. Conan the Barbarian (1981). In the theater. Awesome!

11. Gun Fury (1953). My first theatrical 3-D movie.

12. The Tomb of Ligeia (1964). My first Corman-Poe movie. Possibly my first Corman movie. Not to mention a seminal part of my love for gothic horror.


13. Flash Gordon: Space Soldiers (1936). I couldn't say if this was run on Matinee at the Bijou or some similar programming. All I know is that, while I've enjoyed other serials, I've consistently had to deal with the disappointment that they aren't this good.

14. The Gates of Hell (1980). It looks like The Evil Dead must have been the one I saw first, but the Fulci movie stands out more specifically as absolutely and amazingly horrifying. It would be many years before I got around to discovering more about the director or movement that this grew out of.

15. A Clockwork Orange (1971). The first movie I can recall deciding to call my "favorite movie", and I've never officially changed it, although that's partly because having an "official favorite movie" seems terrifically unimportant at this point. I will say I'm mightily tempted to change it to Once Upon a Time in the West at this moment...


3 comments:

Rev. Fred Phantom said...

We share a lot of these in common. Clockwork Orange was my favorite movie from the moment I saw it and still is. The day a movie comes along and takes it's place...I'll probably faint.

A lot of the other films on your list left an impression on me as well.

KentAllard said...

It's going to kill me to try to come up with a list based on this but I'll try. Hmmmmmm....so many Uwe Boll films...

Neil Sarver said...

Rev, Yeah, Clockwork is ultimately a hard one to beat, and, yes, I think if I was just at a new movie that just beat it cold, I'd faint.

Kent, I'm sorry for encouraging you to decide which Uwe Boll movies most profoundly affected you. I know it's tough.

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