Favorite Films: The Alphabet Meme

The Film Doctor recently challenged me to compile a list of my favorite films. The catch is that I must have one film per letter of the alphabet. The whole alphabet? That’s at least 15 films, maybe more! The worst part was trying to pick just one film for some of the letters. I failed a few times and resigned myself to listing runners up when I absolutely had to. “C” was a particularly difficult letter for me.

This meme is originally from Blog Cabins and I’m supposed to challenge others, but since I’m already in the blogosphere doghouse for my recent demand that you tell me your 3 favorite movies (what the hell was I thinking?), I will keep this voluntary.

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All About Eve (runners up: A Star is Born 1937, A Star is Born 1954, The Asphalt Jungle)

The Best Years of Our Lives (runner up: Blade Runner)

The Conversation (runners up: The Cranes are Flying, Charley Varrick, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Carnival of Souls)

Dr Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

8 1/2 (runner up: Electra Glide in Blue)

Femme Fatale

The General

The Haunting

The Innocents

Jewel Robbery (runner up: “Ji Ji”, aka “Miracles”, aka “Black Dragon”)

The Killing

The Little Foxes

Millers Crossing (runner up: Metropolis)

Night of the Hunter

Out of the Past

Point Blank (runner up: Pulp Fiction)

Quatermass and the Pit

Rope (runner up: Rashomon)

Skyscraper Souls (runners up: Sunset Blvd, Shichinin no samurai, Silence of the Lambs)

The Third Man (runners up: Touch of Evil, Tacones lejanos aka High Heels)


The Unknown

Victor/Victoria

The Wrong Box

X: The Man with X-Ray Eyes

Young Frankenstein

Ziegfield Girl

So what’s your list? If you do this meme, let me know so I can add a link to your entry here. Here’s a few who took my completely voluntary and not at all demanded at virtual gunpoint challenge:

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear: Now I know my ABC’s

Matt at The Art and Culture of Movies

Princess Fire and Music

Thad at ThadBlog (and yes, I’m pretending it’s a real list)

Beerman at 3B Theater: Micro-Brewed Reviews

Sam Wilson and Jack Pendarvis answer the meme in the comments section.

19 Comments

  1. Ibetolis says:

    Great list. Especially ‘Night of the Hunter’, which I nearly went with myself and kudos for ‘Quatermass and the Pit’, Q has tripped a lot of people up.

    Quality, classic list.

  2. Stacia says:

    There was no contest with Q. I adore Quatermass and the Pit so much. I went to your list — loved it!
    And I see there were actual rules to the meme. Heh. I just kind of winged it.

  3. FilmDr says:

    Nice choices, Stacia. I was kicking myself for not including Pulp Fiction in my list, and Femme Fatale is an excellent pick. Could you say something more about The Wrong Box and Quatermass and the Pit? I know nothing about those films. Thanks for taking the challenge!

  4. Quatermass and the Pit is such an underrated film. Same concept, really, as 2001…only not nearly as long and boring.

    My picks are here.

  5. Louie says:

    What, no “Just Imagine”??

  6. King of Jazz says:

    I’m disappointed that Stacia only said “hell” this time. I can’t wait for her to spew.

    Next to “The Innocents” I’d put “Inherit the Wind.”

  7. Stacia says:

    Quatermass and the Pit was released in the U.S. as Five Million Years to Earth. I saw it on the Encore movie channel years ago under that name. I honestly don’t know if the movie came before the U.K. TV series or not, but the plot is basically that a bomb is found in the subway at Hobbs Lane, but it turns out to be not a bomb but a spaceship. Investigations occur. Science fiction happens. It’s very neat.

    The Wrong Box! Hot cookies, you are in for a treat with this one. In fact, my first Internet Fangirlish Action ™ was to email Larry Gelbart (we both posted to the same Usenet group) and squee about how terrific The Wrong Box is. It’s a comedy starring Dudley Moore, Michael Caine, Sir Ralph Richardson, and a marvelous Peter Cook. The plot involves a group of old guys getting together to create a tontine, where they all put money into a fund and the last person in the group living gets it all. Richardson was one of the nutters who joined in the tontine, everyone else is a relative trying to get to the tontine, and hijinks ensue.

    As is the way with many great movies, neither of these are easily available. The Wrong Box shows up on TCM every so often, sometimes because I request it (at least that’s what I tell myself), and you can get an old out of print VHS tape of it. Quatermass is out of print on DVD in the US and is selling for 90 bajillion dollars a copy, or if you have a region free player you can get it for 2 pounds 10 on Amazon UK.

  8. Stacia says:

    J was a hard one for me and I dumped Just Imagine along with a few others. I also took Inherit the Wind out of the running on the letter I, mainly because I knew nothing would beat The Innocents for me.

    Thanks for the link, Ivan! And for reminding me to check Matt Barry’s. I screwed up my RSS feed and have been missing blogs, his is apparently one of them. I swear, I’d break the Internet if given the keys to it.

  9. Vanwall says:

    I would’ve gone for The Cranes Are Flying, Pandora’s Box, and X: The Unknown, but no quibbles with the rest – excellent list!

  10. The Apartment
    Broadway Danny Rose
    Curse of the Cat People
    Dead Man
    Eight and a Half
    Fargo
    The Godfather
    Highball
    In a Lonely Place
    Jason and the Argonauts
    The King of Comedy
    Lair of the White Worm
    Miami Blues
    Nashville
    Once Upon a Time in the West
    The Patsy
    Q: The Winged Serpent
    The Road to Utopia
    Stolen Kisses
    Topsy-Turvy
    Under the Yum Yum Tree
    Vertigo
    Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?
    X – sorry! Don’t be mad! I don’t know any.
    Young Man With a Horn
    Zelig

  11. FilmDr says:

    Thanks for the info, Stacia. I’ll look out for both films.

  12. The Beerman says:

    Cool idea, and a little harder than it looks — elimination wise. I think I came up with 26 films that began with the letter B alone.

    You can check out my list right here:
    http://microbrewreviews.blogspot.com/

  13. An excellent challenge! I’m going to stick with English-language titles for starters.

    Apocalypse Now
    Barry Lyndon
    Conan the Barbarian
    Destry Rides Again
    El Cid
    Full Metal Jacket
    Goodfellas
    High Sierra
    I Walked With A Zombie
    Julius Caesar (1953)
    King Kong (1933)
    Lawrence of Arabia
    Meet John Doe
    Night of the Living Dead
    O Brother Where Art Thou
    Peeping Tom
    Queen Christina
    Ride the High Country
    Spartacus
    Taxi Driver
    Unforgiven
    Vera Cruz
    Winchester 73
    X-Men (I’m not proud)
    You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man
    Zodiac

    Your list is pretty good, too.

  14. Stacia says:

    Thanks everyone! I finally have your lists posted.

  15. Very nice to find another admirer of De Palma’s astonishing Femme Fatale…one of my favorite films of the decade. Also, your blog just looks incredible and I have added it to the links at Moon in the Gutter.

  16. Stacia says:

    Hi Jeremy, and thanks! Yes, I caught “Femme Fatale” on cable one night and wasn’t expecting much, nor did I know who the director was until it was over, but I was positively captivated by it. I’ve seen it several times, and it’s one of those films that warrants multiple viewings once you find out the “twist ending”.

    Thanks for adding me! I’ve been reading Moon in the Gutter for a few weeks now, and I really enjoy it.

  17. Great list! I am way late to this party, but just did one myself:
    http://rupertpupkinspeaks.blogspot.com/2011/03/cinematic-alphabet.html

    Good call on your Q choice!

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