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David Poland

By David Poland

The Worthiest?

1) “Baby Face” (1933)
2) “The Buffalo Creek Flood: An Act of Man” (1975)
3) “The Cameraman” (1928)
4) Commandment Keeper Church, Beaufort, S.C., May 1940 (1940)
5) “Cool Hand Luke” (1967)
6) “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982)
7) “The French Connection” (1971)
8) “Giant” (1956)
9) “H2O” (1929)
10) “Hands Up” (1926)
11) “Hoop Dreams” (1994)
12) “House of Usher” (1960)
13) “Imitation of Life” (1934)
14) Jeffries-Johnson world championship fight (1910)
15) “Making of an American” (1920)
16) “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
17) “Mom and Dad” (1944)
18) “The Music Man” (1962)
19) “Power of the Press” (1928)
20) “A Raisin in the Sun” (1961)
21) “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)
22) San Francisco earthquake and fire, April 18, 1906 (1906)
23) “The Sting” (1973)
24) “A Time for Burning” (1966)
25) “Toy Story” (1995)

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47 Responses to “The Worthiest?”

  1. Sanchez says:

    Aloha, Mr Hand!

  2. lindenen says:

    I wonder if someone will ever submit South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut. How old does the film have to be before it can be submitted?

  3. Blackcloud says:

    Ten years.

  4. Me says:

    It took Cool Hand Luke this long. That’s a shame.

  5. Jeremy Smith says:

    TOY STORY is one of my favorite movies ever, but how much preserving does a computer-generated creation require?
    Very happy to see BABY FACE, HOOP DREAMS and GIANT on there.

  6. lazarus says:

    Fast Times? Really? Is that a joke? Not to be a snob, but even if you’re putting comedies that aren’t technically “great” films in there, what about Caddyshack? Better Off Dead? Fletch? I don’t see how Fast Times is some kind of national treasure. Is is just so people in 50 years will see that Sean Penn wasn’t always a self-righteous stick-in-the-mud? At least Rocky Horror has more of a cultural significance.

  7. bicycle bob says:

    fast times is great but ur right on. its not in caddyshacks league. caddyshack should be there. there is not one unfunny line in the whole movie. chase, murray, dangerfield, knight all in their comedy primes.

  8. Terence D says:

    I fear Sean Penn’s self righteous, blow harding will outweigh all the great work he’s done. Just look at three performances. Fast Times, Carlito’s Way and Dead Man Walking. Three completely different, great performances. But all anyone is going to remember is the jerk who travels to Iraq to support a dictator and a jerk who writes the South Park guys a letter because he can’t take a joke in Team America.

  9. jeffmcm says:

    I don’t think that’s true. What do you remember about Brando: On the Waterfront or kissing Larry King?

  10. Terence D says:

    Brando’s weirdness later in life did take away from the great performances he gave too. You even bringing up his kissing Larry King means its out there in the publics thoughts. He became more than the actor. He became a part of his celebrity. Didn’t help that his personal life invaded his space with his children and murders and trials and utter weirdness. Does it take away from his acting? In some ways, yes it does which is unfortunate. No matter how much you think he was great as Vito Corleone, a part of you will think of how weird he is.

  11. Josh says:

    I’ll always think of Brando as a fat waste of talent and Penn as the guy who has rage issues and tries to beat up photogs.

  12. Bruce says:

    “The Sting”? It’s not even in the top ten of Newman or Redford flicks.

  13. BluStealer says:

    I’m glad “Toy Story” made this list. It’s revolutionary in so many ways. Besides being a really good film.

  14. jeffmcm says:

    The Sting is certainly the worst of the, uh, two movies that Newman and Redford made together.

  15. Bruce says:

    Top Ten of Newman flicks. Top Ten of Redford flicks. Not just the one’s they were in. Work with me here, captain. Listen and read. Use that noggin that God gave you.

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Don’t get snippy, especially since The Sting is the highest-rated movie for both actors on IMDB. So somebody likes it.

  17. Bruce says:

    How about you learn some politeness before you go running your mouth off? Is that so hard to do? To be nice? I don’t want to challenge you though since it seems to be hard for you. So, take your time.
    And find me a film fan that likes “The Sting” over “Butch Cassidy”, “Cool Hand Luke”, “The Natural”, or “the Hustler”.

  18. jeffmcm says:

    I would say “How about you learn some politeness” is a lot less polite than anything I’ve said.
    Have a nice day.

  19. Bruce says:

    There you go. You’re learning. I’m proud of ya. It’s not as hard as you thought, right?

  20. Josh says:

    Cool Hand Luke is Newman’s best. Besides his salad dressings.

  21. jeffmcm says:

    Yes, you are a paragon of class, Bruce.

  22. Bruce says:

    Thanks, Jeff. I wish I could say the same thing to you. Hopefully, in the near future as you continue to learn and grow as a person. I have faith in you.

  23. jeffmcm says:

    Okay. (walking away).

  24. Terence D says:

    I was a big fan of The Sting from way back in the day. But it hasn’t aged as well as I thought it would when I showed it to my kids. My girls didn’t like it but it’s not there kind of movie anyway. I’m amazed that no one has gotten Redford and Newman together again. What a sin.

  25. Joe Leydon says:

    Remember the nasty squabble between the “Aviator” and “Million Dollar Baby” camps that continued interminably on this blog last Oscar season? Well, trust me: The hostility level was far, FAR higher between the “Exorcist” and “Sting” camps the year that “The Sting” copped the Oscar. And, hey, that was back before the Internet.

  26. Rufus Masters says:

    I’m in “The Exorcist” camp. How about Raging Bull and “Ordinary People”?

  27. Josh says:

    Before the internet? You mean people actually lived and talked movies before then???

  28. Joe Leydon says:

    People tend to forget that Martin Scorsese obviously thought Robert Redford was a pretty damn good director on “Ordinary People.” After all, he agreed to play a small but key role in Redford’s “Quiz Show.” That puts Redford in the same category as Akira Kurosawa and Bertrand Tavernier: Filmmakers who coaxed Scorsese over to the other side of the cameras.

  29. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    i LOVED ‘The Sting’ when I watched it last year. Brilliant movie, that one.
    Clearly the best teen movie of the ’80s (or, ever for that matter) is The Breakfast Club, not Fast Times…

  30. James Leer says:

    To be fair, Scorsese will film (as an actor) just about anything you offer him. Witness “With Friends Like These…” (or don’t, you’d be better off). He’s like Woody Allen in that respect.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    At least Scorsese is a better actor (MUCH better) than Tarantino, who has bigger movie-star fantasies which have fortunately faded away over the years.

  32. Terence D says:

    What’s Marty been good in? His five minutes in Taxi Driver? QT is at least interesting on screen when given a shot.

  33. Bruce says:

    The Breakfast Club never really got me going. 6 pretentious kids. Not kids really but types. I preferred Fast Times, Better Off Dead, Sixteen Candles. The 80’s had some fantastic comedies especially the teen genre.

  34. Kambei says:

    It’s great to see “The Cameraman” there! Just saw that this year for the first time–the start of the end for Buster…spent a good 3 hours on “Fast Times” in film class discussing the film from a “feminist” view-point. It has some interesting subtext…

  35. Josh says:

    Feminist POV on Fast Times? Do tell.
    Just having some pizza. Learnin’ bout Cuba.

  36. jeffmcm says:

    Terence, if by ‘interesting’ you mean mannered and annoying, then you may be correct. Sort of like how Ed Wood’s movies are interesting. Tarantino’s acting is the worst thing about many of the movies he’s been in.

  37. LesterFreed says:

    When’s he ever acted? Mannered and annoying? From Dusk til Dawn? His 3 lines in Reservoir Dogs? One of the most hilarious parts of any movie ever in Pulp Fiction? You may hate QT but lay off his acting.

  38. bicycle bob says:

    ripping on tarantinos acting is pretty tedious stuff. will u argue about anything jeff? the sky is blue. ur up.

  39. jeffmcm says:

    Then don’t read my posts.

  40. bicycle bob says:

    no really its such a great thing to argue about. tarantinos acting. another wonderful post by u. lucky for us theres no stopping u.

  41. Bruce says:

    Don’t get him started, bike bob. There will be no end to it.

  42. Chucky in Jersey says:

    Here’s one who’s pleased to see “The Music Man” on this list. Shirley Jones’ version of “Till There Was You” is one of the few songs that can make this grown man cry.
    FWIW the publicity around “The Partridge Family” emphasized her Oscar but not her movie musicals.

  43. joefitz84 says:

    Shirley Jones won an Oscar??? I am out of the loop. She’s great. I’ve only seen her on The Family. Which I LOVE.

  44. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    1. The Breakfast Club
    2. Sixteen Candles
    3. Some Kind of Wonderful
    4. Pretty In Pink
    5. Ferris Beuler’s Day Off
    6. Fast Times At Ridgemont High
    that’s how I see those 80s teen comedies. But, yeah, the ’80s have quite a few great classic comedies of all shapes.

  45. bicycle bob says:

    good list except for some kind of wonderful. very hacky and very generic. a paint by numbers movie. i’d replace it with weird science. u cant beat anthony michael hall.

  46. BluStealer says:

    I still LOVE Sixteen Candles. My favorite movie of all time. LOL. I want to marry Jake Ryan.

  47. KamikazeCamelV2.0 says:

    Don’t we all!

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

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I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon