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My Favorite Movies

In no certain order, because chosing my favorite would be like chosing my favorite child, or my favorite shoes.

The Sound of Music (1965; Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer)
Rogers & Hammerstein were musical geniuses.
My favorite part - The part that overwhelms me and tightens my chest and makes tears spring into my eyes - is when the children are singing "The Sound of Music" for the Baroness and the Captain hears these melodic sounds coming from his home that are totally foreign to him, and he realizes it is the voices of his seven motherless children and he enters the room, stunned, and is completely powerless to do anything but join them in song. *sigh*
Hint - If you don't want to hear me sing, do not watch this movie with me, because I, like the Captain, am powerless to stop myself from singing along. Especially "I Must Have Done Something Good."
Hint #2 - No, I will not go to the movies with you or play Scrabble with you or drive you to your friend's house on Christmas night. The only thing I will do, that I have ever done, on Christmas night is watch The Sound of Music on TV.
Interesting fact - The actual Maria von Trapp is an extra during the "I Have Confidence" number.

The Big Chill (1983; Ensemble Cast including Kevin Kline and Glenn Close)
Second-most quotable movie ever.
Favorite part - Michael: "Don't you have any other music...like something from this decade?" Harold: "There is no other music in this household." *puts on "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and everyone dances around the kitchen while cleaning up after dinner*
Hint - If you do not want to hear me recite the script from this movie, do not watch it with me.
Interesting fact - This is the only movie, ever, that I was so taken with that I stayed in the theater and sat through it a second time.

Steel Magnolias (1989; Ensemble Cast including Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and Dolly Parton)
#1 Most quotable movie ever.
Favorite part - The scene by the casket after Shelby's funeral when M'Lynn has her most dramatic moment: "I want to know whyyy! WHYYYYYYY! I can run all the way to Texas and back but my daughter can't! She never coullllld!" And then she gets mad and clenches up her fists and just wants to HIT something! And Clairee pushes Ouisa in front of her and says, "Hit this, M'Lynn!" Half a Chickipin Parish'd give their eye teeth to take a whack at Ouisa.
Hint - If you ever need me to hold your hair back while you're throwing up in a drunken stupor, expect me to say, "I don't know how you're doin' on the inside, honey, but your hair's just holdin' up beautifully."
Interesting fact - That scene where they celebrate Jack Jr.'s first birthday, and he's being bounced around on his mom's lap with his cake in front of him while everyone sings "I'm a Yankee Doodle Dandy"? That scene was totally added on later after Julia Roberts had departed the set because you never see Shelby's face in the entire scene. That's not on any web site anywhere, I just figured it out myself after watching the movie 65 times.

Grease (1978; John Travolta and Olivia Newton John)
This was my first favorite movie ever. It was the summer I was 11 years old and I owned the record AND the 8-track tape.
Favorite part - The slumber party. And each one of the musical numbers except for Rizzo's "There are Worse Things I could Do" because it was boring and there was no dancing and I didn't really get it as a kid anyway.
Hint - Don't try to tell me this movie has sexual references becauase you will just ruin the innocence of my childhood.
Interesting fact - Didi Conn (Frenchy) later went on to do that wonderful children's program "Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends" and Dinah Manoff (Marty) played Kristy McNichol's older sister on "Empty Nest."

The Outsiders (1983; Ensemble cast including Matt Dillon and Ralph Macchio)
This movie had every single hot teenage idol when I was in high school including Tom Cruise, Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillion and Ralph Macchio.
Favorite part - When Dally goes nuts with grief at the end and robs that convenience store and runs out in the dark street and the cops are coming for him and he's all distraught over the death of Johnny and you hear the other boys yelling "Don't shoot! HE'S JUST A KID!!" but the cops kill him anyway. So dramatic.
Hint - Always refer to girls with peroxide blonde Sun-In hair as "Pony Boy."
Interesting fact - Over a half hour of the film was cut before release, due to movie execs fearing it'd be too long and they'd upset fans of S.E. Hinton's book. (OK, that came off a web site. And it's not even all that interesting, really.)

Hope Floats (1998; Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr.)
I just love the look and feel of this movie. I'm especially in love with the way Birdie dresses (after she moves back to Texas).
Favorite part - When Birdie and Bernice show up at her mom's after her unfortunate television appearance and Ramona says "Have you taken up drinking?" "No, I have not." "Cause you look just awful." "Well, Mama, I feel awful." "Well you look it!" "Well, I feel it." "Well, you look it!"
Hint - Harry Connick Jr. is my pretend boyfriend, even though he's quite a bit heavier in this film than I've ever seen him before.
Interesting fact - This movie was directed by Forest Whitaker. (I know that because I'm a CREDIT WATCHER.)

Urban Cowboy (1980; John Travolta and Debra Winger)
Every favorite movie list needs that one cheesy movie that you just can't resist watching when you come across it flipping channels.
Favorite part - When Sissy goes to the trailer but Bud's gone so she cleans it up for him and leaves him a note on the back of a used greeting card, then that bitch Pam throws the note away and takes credit for cleaning up. And the Boz Scaggs song.
Hint - When I was a freshman in high school, I'd have given anything to have a boyfriend with a pickup truck with airbrushed license plates of our names in the back window.
Interesting fact - John Travolta actually did his own mechanical bull-riding stunts. And his own dancing, too.

The American President (1995; Michael Douglas and Annette Benning)
There's a lot of really great people in this film and great dialogue and a fairly original plotline and when it was over, I just didn't want it to be over yet.
Favorite part - When the President keeps trying to buy Sydney flowers and then finally he just cuts some from his Rose Garden.
Hint - Compliment her shoes. Women like that.
Interesting fact - Boy, a lot of these actors went on to star in their own politically-set TV shows, didn't they?

West Side Story (1961; Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer)
Easily one of the best musicals ever made.
Favorite part - Duh. "I Feel Pretty!" Also, I like the way Anita sings "He kilt your brudder!"
Hint - Yeah, Tony dies in the end. Bring your tissues.
Interesting fact - Neither of the lead actors did their own singing in this movie. Natalie Wood was voiced over by the same women who did Audrey Hepburn's singing in "My Fair Lady" and Deborah Kerr's singing in "The King and I" and she always went uncredited, except for here: her name is Marni Nixon and you can hear an interview with her on NPR here.

Wings of the Dove (1997; Helena Bonham Carter and Linus Roache)
This is the most beautiful movie ever. The music, the scenery, the costumes, the cinematography, the art direction. So beautiful. And romantic. And passionate. And sad.
Favorite part - The street festival in Venice.
Hint - I own this on VHS but not DVD, so if anyone out there wants to send me a gift...
Interesting fact - I have no interesting facts about this movie. But with all that beauty and romance and passion and sadness, who needs trivia?

The Breakfast Club (1985; Ensemble cast including Judd Nelson and Molly Ringwald)
As I child of the 80s I had to have one John Hughes film on my list, and this was surely his best.
Favorite part - When they all get stoned and dance in the library.
Hint - I watched that part over and over on video trying to learn how to dance like Claire.
Interesting fact - That joke that Bender tells while he's crawling through the ceiling? It has no punchline.

Evita (1996; Madonna and Antonio Banderas)
It's not actually this movie that I'm in love with so much as the story and the music and since I can't watch a Broadway play over and over again I'm glad they made it into a movie even though Madonna's in it. Andrew Lloyd Webber is a musical genius.
Favorite part - When the crowd stands outside her balcony with huge banners and signs and candles and sings "Ay-veeeeee-ta. Ay-veeeeee-ta." I so want someone to do that for me.
Hint - You can totally tell that Madonna is pregnant in this movie.
Interesting fact - Madonna changed costumes 85 times in this movie. She wore 39 hats, 45 pairs of shoes, and 56 pairs of earrings.

Sling Blade (1996; Billy Bob Thorton)
I love the purity of the friendship between Karl and Frank, and there are so many wonderful performances in this movie, including John Ritter's.
Favorite part - "I don't reckon I got no reason to kill no-bod-dee. Mmm."
Hint - While the way Karl talks is a vital part of the movie's character, it's not so charming when you do it.
Interesting fact - I rented the movie and liked it so much I watched it again the next night.

This Property Condemned (1966; Natalie Wood and Robert Redford)
I love a young, beautiful Natalie Wood playing the southern charmer of a seedy Mississippi boarding house during the Depression.
Favorite part - Skinny dippin' at the smimmin' hole. And where Alva talks about the Peabody Ducks.
Hint - "Wish Me a Rainbow" makes a beautiful and simple lullaby for your baby.
Interesting fact - This movie was shot near where I grew up on the Missisissippi coast. And the scene where Alva rides the train to New Orleans? That's the Bay St. Louis and the train is actually traveling east (away from N.O.).

Glad to find someone besides my Mom who loves the movie Grease.

One of the extras in This Property Condemned was a friend of my older sister's, and we got to ride from Gulfport over to Bay St. Louis to the set in a Mustang covertible (first time I had ever ridden in one!) It seems strange today, but the "big stars" in the movie to my elementary friends and me, were Mary Badham (To Kill a Mockingbird) and ESPECIALLY Jon Provost (TV show Lassie). Fortunately these two were in the first scene of this very steamy movie, because I didn't get to see the rest of it until I was in my twenties! The yellow house that was Natalie's mother's boarding house is still there, though in bad shape. There are plans to turn it into the Bay St. Louis Little Theater, which would be so appropriate.

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