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I'm not making this up. Real list.

In no particular order:

La Femme Nikita
Chicken Run
Blade Runner
Buckaroo Banzai
Thelma and Louise


Movies that caused a paradigm shift in the way I looked at the world, in order...

My Life as a Dog (1985)
Blue Velvet (1986)
Wings of Desire (I first saw in the early 90s)
Hannah and Her Sisters (watched often in the late 90s)
Amelie (2002)

There are movies I enjoyed more, like Tootsie and This is Spinal Tap, but they didn't *change* me.


In no particular order, but all had a profound effect on me:

Judgment at Nuremburg
All About Eve
The Best of Youth (thanks, Billy!)
Music From The Inside Out (which will be aired on PBS this month and I urge anyone who is passionate about their art to see it)

Just an observation: Perhaps "girl talking about her love for The Godfather" is unusual to hear because some people hardly listen to "girls" anyway...

Enjoy your new bookcase!


In order of their appearance in my life:
The Wizard of Oz
West Side Story
Say Anything
Lovely and Amazing
Me and You and Everyone We Know

Note: this could be a pre-complete coffee-intake list, but it's relatively accurate, and hands down WSS conquers all others for all time movie I'd take to a deserted island.


I can't say that I can look back and see movies that "changed my life" but ones that I take with me include:
My Man Godfrey
Run Lola Run
Say Anything
On the Waterfront


5 movies that changed my life:

1. Planet of the Apes (1968)
2. Halloween (1978)
3. Road Warrior (1983)
4. Aliens (1986)
5. 13 Going on 30 (2004)

Explanation: As a kid Planet of the Apes used to run in syndication and I them over, and over again. Halloween scared the shit out of me. Road Warrior and Aliens spured my imgaination for games I uesed to make up. And 13 Going on 30 was the most prominent of 3 Rom/Com's this century that helped fuel my currently love for the genre.


Interesting that the movies that have a profound effect on us are not necessarily the ones we consider our favourites. I've never done a Top 5 without Jaws before!

The Big Chill
Dead Poets Society
Edward Scissorhands
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

What does it mean, what does it mean?!


Poseidon Adventure
Planet of the Apes
Harold and Maude
To Have and Have Not
American Werewolf in London


1. "Jaws." -- For me to fully explain my love for this movie, you're gonna need a bigger blog.
2. "Good Will Hunting." -- Guys my age write an Oscar-winning script. Now it's my turn.
3. "When Harry Met Sally." -- Cute. Smart. Hilarious. "I'll have what she's having" resulted in the longest sustained laugh I have been a part of in a movie theater.
4. "It's a Wonderful Life." -- "A toast, to my big brother George -- the richest man in town." I cry every time.
5. "American Movie." -- Mark Borchardt tries to make a movie despite his many creditors, because, what are they gonna do, take his "Night of the Living Dead" book?

Amy F.

Here are mine:

Sixteen Candles
Ruby in Paradise
You Can Count on Me
Friends With Money

But now that I've seen other people's comments, I'd add Say Anything to my list (if I could have a sixth). Also, maybe The Exorcist because it scared the crap out of me for years. And possibly Good Will Hunting, only because I hated it so much.


Oooh, now that I think about it, if I could have a sixth, or a runner-up, I'd have to say "To Kill A Mockingbird".


Dammit, Billy, you sucked me in. Sucked, I say!
1) Performance
2) Double Indemnity
3) Easy Rider
4) All About Eve
5) Casablanca
And "North Dallas Forty" for my free pick.


Not sure on changing but impact wise, and in no particular order.

1. Star Wars - just for the whole spectacle.

2. Omega Man- First ever action film that sucked me in with story and action(for it's time!).

3. Forest Gump - loved the way the story intertwined major events over a long time period.

4. Lethal Weapon - For me, the start of the first ever big modern action movies, just made me go wow, for the pace, cracks and action.

5. The Big Chill - one of my first grown up movies where suddenly, no action and lots of dialogue was made truly interesting.

There are more obviously, but these come to mind straight away.



I can't think of five, just one. On The Waterfront. And it changed my life.


Maggie, I'm seeing a through-line of people on the run...

Shecan, clearly a romantic with a fantastical streak...

Binnie, first time I've seen Nuremburg and Babe back to back....

Betsy, you start in fantasy, get realer and then end up in real/fantasy... you might enjoy this WSS-related post:

Jen, I love that Godfrey and Lola can coexist in your echelon...

EC, they seem to get increasingly adult (with a warm & fuzzy update)...

Jennica, I'm getting an individual v. society subtext going on...

Alisa, To Have was certainly a major influence on me...

Welcome, Butch: interesting mix of uber-dude and sensitive guy, here...

Hi Amy, definitely a sophisticated femme vibe...

WELCOME AUDREY (or should I say, hath Hell frozen over?!) Kudos for the Performance pick, a major film of my youth (I wrote a letter to the NY Times dissing John Simon for having panned it, and they printed it!) I think you threw in North Dallas just to throw off the gender meter...

Dave, you are so clearly a capital-G Guy...

Babs, you'll have to tell me what happened (i.e. after seeing it)...

A thanks to all who've participated so far and a shout-out to those who haven't: WE NEED MORE MEN...


For me, the 5 are, in no particular order:
1. Night and Fog
2. The Paper
3. The Ref
4. The Wizard of Oz
5. M.A.S.H.


Dave, you are so clearly a capital-G Guy...

I am cultured, I hold my pinky just so, as I drink my beer. :)



Wasn't Alex Rocco also an ant in A BUG'S LIFE and the ITCHY AND SCRATCHY Development executive in THE SIMPSONS??

Movies that changed my life? There has been only one.


I saw it first when I was 12. My parents started to worry when I would spend hours rewinding and replaying the bit where Harry Dean Stanton got "got" in the cargo bay, as I was trying to figure out where the beast came from exactly. The Director's Cut made so much more sense.

E.C. Henry

Dave, glad you brought up Forest Gump. One of my favorite movies of all time. Didn't "change" me. But oh what a story!

Billy, sorry the movies that "changed me" weren't more adult, I grew up in the area of the "BIG" Action movies.


Well, i'm not sure if they 'changed my life' but here's the closest i can get to a top 5 (while i really should be working!):
The Big Sleep
The Princess Bride
Some Like It Hot

So stereotypically-speaking that's maybe half girly/half not?

:) Anna


Oh, and i should say - i'm not technically an 'American at the Movies'. I'd be an ex-pat Kiwi at the movies in Scotland. (not quite as catchy i know) But can i still play?!


Oh man, now that I've read this - Poseidon Adventure ought to be on my list as well, I was 12 and it resulted in a month of sleepless nights for me. And I feel ashamed about leaving out Dead Poets Society as well.



I'm with you there, dude.


Welcome, Bethany: seeing a socio-political subtext here...

Dave, duly noted...

Lucy, he's been all that and more: click on the Alex link in the post and you'll get his amazingly extensive filmography.
Alien, BTW, is emerging as a frontrunner here...

EC, don't be sorry, be happy!

Anna, glad to muck up your work day; your list indicates a very active fantasy life. And as for playing the game, no visas necessary...

Betsy, Dead Poets is also cropping up a lot; subject for further research...

Binnie: Take that, Maureen Dowd!


Some would say Alien is a forerunner with the gurls 'cos it's a feminist movie but I don't agree that just cos the sole survivor is female it's feminist...In any case, as second lieutenant Ripley should've gone into the air vent and got eaten, not Dallas - Dallas gave no explanation for going in ahead of her, even tho he's captain, leading me to believe it's cos he was MALE...

...God I'm an actual geek, aren't I???

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