Your Three Favorite Movies Of All Time, And Why?

Your three favorite movies of all time, and why? It might be a cliche “conversation starter” when you’re coming up in your world and meeting new people all the time. It’s also an artful glimpse into our inner selves, and what moves us. And when have we had more time at home to watch exceptional movies, since we aren’t hitting the discos during the pandemic? 😊

I adored Saturday Night Fever movie in 1977. It hasn’t held up well, except for those dreamy BeeGees’ songs.

I bet I’ve seen thousands of movies since about 1962, and I am no doubt forgetting some of the very best. I’m going to have to choose the ones that float to the top of my brain, when I let it expand. Movies that changed me, or changed the world. The ones that, when I see a clip of them as I scan channels, I have to sit and watch. I have to. Here’s my current top three:

Schindler’s List. 1993. One of the few movies after which I had to stay in my seat. Brilliantly directed and acted, it was a technically perfect movie, but the true punch comes from the emotional force. It is terrifying, uplifting, intense and personal. There’s an undertone of hopefulness about human nature amid the most devastating events in known history.

Ben Kingsley, Liam Neeson, and Caroline Goodall.

2001: A Space Odyssey. 1968. A stunning space opera, a deep dive into human consciousness, visually stirring and, for me, an unforgettable finale. A sympathetic hero and convoluted “villain”, in a sublime presentation.

Failsafe. 1964. A fictional account of a very-real “accidental” nuclear tragedy, filmed during the Cold War. It’s stark and grim, and still a must-see, IMHO. It gives me goosebumps and every time I watch it, I contemplate how fragile is our existence.

Henry Fonda and Walter Matthau. Intense.

It’s impossible to stop at three, so here are a few honorable mention favorite movies. I wouldn’t want to live in a world where there had never been the Princess Bride (so quotable!), Rear Window, and Casablanca. Or:

Clerks. 1994. An unexpected treasure, this low-low budget film follows the (mis) adventures of quirky yet surprisingly realistic young people. Another rich source of movie quotes (look up the “happy scrappy puppy” scene). Weird and bare-bones and laugh-out loud funny, it’s an authentic snapshot of “stalled” twenty-somethings.

Witness. 1985. When worlds collide, and love is not enough. The star-crossed love story between Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis is poignant, and when they dance in the garage to “What A Wonderful World,” I melt away.

Singin’ In The Rain. 1952. If this movie doesn’t make you smile, you are missing the smile muscles. I can’t resist sparkling Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly at his swoony-est, and my favorite funny-sad character, Lina Lamont. “I caaaahhhn’t staaaaand him.”

So, what are your favorite movies – of all time! – and why do you love them? Stay fabulous and safe, wash and wash and wash, xo

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  1. I was scrolling through your site (missing the Monday Link Ups) and found this post. I LOVE all of those movies! We even saw the Full Monty in London. My son was 12 and absolutely loved it! I would add “It’s Complicated” cause you gotta love Meryl! Or Sophie’s Choice–right up there with Schindler’s List. Beautfiful movies.

    Take care!
    xx Darlene

  2. Have not been to actual movie theater in years. I miss the smaller theaters, now there are only multiplexes and I do not enjoy going there alone. there have been a number of films I have enjoyed in the past, many foreign language. especially liked Life is Beautiful, an Italian film and the Lives of Others, from Germany. favorite American film is Moonstruck.

    • Life is Beautiful was memorable, a special story. Also with you on “Moonstruck.” xo

  3. Since cinematic art is subjective, I don’t argue the merits of movies but would urge you to re-consider your evaluation of “Saturday Night Fever.” When you say “it hasn’t held up well,” have you seen it recently? The movie has greater dramatic depth, and certainly more social versimilitude, than most films of its era. Travolta’s Oscar nomination was deserved. Re-watch it and let us know if you still believe it doesn’t hold up well.

    • Will do, Ally, as I value your opinions. Perhaps I am distracted by the hair and fashion. I do remember Tony’s longing for the Manhattan life, and that apparently grabbed me 40 years ago. Stay well, xo

  4. Oh my. I’ve tried to answer this question over the years & can’t do it. I love movies & have seen 100s — how can one choose only 3 favorites?? Apocalypse Now (changed how I watch movies entirely), Casablanca (Bogey: need I say more?) & To Kill a Mockingbird (Gregory Peck blew me away 30 years ago, still does). The first Indiana Jones movie. The first Star Wars movie. Top Gun. Gladiator. Master & Commander (one of the least known best movies ever made). The Abyss (my favorite love story). Near Dark (my favorite vampire story). Platoon. Twister (my second fave love story). As Good As It Gets (which lives up to its title). The Full Monty. Snatch. Robin Hood (Costner & Rickman). And speaking of Costner: Dances With Wolves. I could go on for pages, each one in my Top Three in some way. I might be more successful listing my Top Thirty πŸ™‚

    • Good morning, Janet and thanks for coming by. We could easily go to the cinema together – you’ve listed so many of my favorites, too! Loved, loved Master and Commander (and Paul Bettany). I had Apocalypse Now on my short list, not sure how it dropped out. After seeing the first Star Wars movie (I had just graduated college) I shuffled out of the theater in a happy daze. Have a great weekend, xo.

      • Ahh. If you loved Master & Commander, you will love this: [sorry, can’t seem to embed this link]: Boccherini. I put it on repeat sometimes & let it play for hours. And yes, I remember the “Star Wars daze”, when you staggered out of the theatre after the first time you saw the first movie, realizing life would never be the same & having to remind yourself you weren’t piloting the Millenium Falcon while driving home but omg you wanted to so badly . . . and Han, damn it. Where was Han Solo?

        • That’s a beautiful string quintet! I could listen for hours too. Han was at my house, sorry not sorry. : >

  5. Hi Patti – Happy upcoming 4th! My 3 make no sense at all, and that is the fun of it.
    1. Die Hard. When this comes on TV, I always watch it. Can’t remember how many times I have seen it. Yipeekiyiyay
    2. Kinky Boots. Based on a true story, a 2005 British film.
    3. The Jurassic Park movies, pick one.
    Not a fan of the heavyweight issues, I like to laugh and be entertained.

  6. “The Full Monty” has heart, lovely performances, great insights about gender and social class…..and the terrific Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Lesley Sharpe, and William Snape…..just to name a few! Also love “Galaxy Quest,” again for its heart, plus silliness and super performances. Patti–I am with you on movies that keep me in my seat afterwards and those that have me clapping!

    • Oh Beverly you picked one of my favorites too – The Full Monty was a delight. I haven’t seen Galaxy Quest, but now I have to. xo

  7. I also loved Clerks at the time. More recently, 3 Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri I found very good. Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in real hard hitting roles. Years ago Frances McDormand also impressed me in Fargo. Another new movie (2019) I enjoyed immensely (sad and funny all at once) was Phil, with Greg Kinnear. Oh, and a movie called Snow Cake (2006) with Sigourney Weaver and Alan Rickman, also funny and sad all at once (I seem to enjoy those :))

    • Oh yes, three Billboards was engrossing, and what a fine actor Frances McDormand is. Loved her in Burn After Reading. I haven’t heard of the movie Phil, but I put it on my list. And Alan Rickman in nearly anything! Stay well, xo.

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