Part of the title of this book – …’the Ultimate Movie
Countdown conjures up visions of all those fashionable TV shows based on
lists of 100 best films, advertisements, songs, cars, yo-yos whatever - all
cheaply put together with scissors and paste but all conveniently taking up
hours and hours of prime TV time. But maybe I am growing cynical in my old age.
Anyway, the point being that such a list of 1,000 films is
obviously a personal choice and clearly controversial. It’s one of those books,
too, when despite yourself you simply have to turn to the end to find which
films have been chosen as the Top Ten. At this point I am going to be a dirty
rotten spoil sport and name them. Why, because it is interesting to note that
so many have been distinguished by award-nominated or winning scores.
Walker’s Top Ten turn out to be:
1) Tokyo Story (music: Kojun Saito)
2) La Regle du Jeu (music: Joseph
3 Lawrence of Arabia (music by:
4) The Godfather Trilogy (music:
5) The Seven Samurai (music: Fumio
6) Citizen Kane (music by: Bernard
7) Raging Bull (music: library
8) Vertigo (music by Bernard
9)Some Like It Hot (music:
10) Eight and a Half (music: Nino
Interestingly, the book also has
alternative favourite top ten listings by such luminaries as: Quentin
Tarantino, Tim Burton, Sam Mendes, Milos Forman, Norman Jewison and Alan
Morrison (contributing editor, Empire Magazine). Their choices will make
you cheer or groan according to your disposition.
Of course the order and inclusion
of the thousand films will be controversial and everybody will smile at some
and grimace at others. Exclusions will also cause some dismay. Instead of that Chainsaw
entry why not include, for instance, those two enchanting films of Marcel
Pagnol: La Gloire de Mon Père and Le Château de Ma Mère – both of
which, for me, would figure highly in my top 20, never mind 1,000. And if I
might air one or two more personal preferences I would place The Leopard
in my Top Ten (530 in Halliwell) and The Adventures of Robin Hood in a
much higher position than 509th. Both films, of course, had
outstanding scores. It is good, however, that those superb clowns Laurel and
Hardy, figure so highly in the list.
The entries are counted down,
forward, from 1,000th position (The Texas Chain Saw Massacre- yuck) to Tokyo
Story (but I wonder how many film fans will have had the opportunity of
seeing it? - since the DVD is only Region 1.)
The entries include information on
cast and crew; the awards the films have won; key critical comments on the
film’s release; DVD soundtrack and availability; and other information such as
original film titles, gossip from behind the scenes and quotes from the
director’s and stars.
A fascinating, but often
frustrating, even infuriating listing.