4/10/2006

Yeah. Right.

The Writers Guild of America West picks the 101 greatest movie scripts of all time. Acknowledging in advance that these lists are mostly bullshit, there were only 9 films on the list I hadn't seen, and most of those were deliberate avoidance rather than oversight.

The ones I haven't seen:
24. ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
36. MIDNIGHT COWBOY
53. ALL THE PRESIDENT'S MEN
54. MANHATTAN
57. CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS
77. ADAPTATION
87. 8 1/2
88. FIELD OF DREAMS
93. DO THE RIGHT THING

I'd probably sit through Eternal Sunshine and Field of Dreams if I ran out of other things to watch, maybe even Adaptation and Midnight Cowboy. On the other hand, I've seen parts of All the President's Men and 8 1/2, and those are a no go. I can't stand Spike Lee or Woody Allen (Lee for his hate-whitey politics and Allen for his actual movies), so Do the Right Thing, Crimes and Misdemeanors, and Manhattan are highly unlikely.

The ones that should be ranked higher, working backwards:
101. NOTORIOUS - probably about 20 points off.
98. THE GRAPES OF WRATH - Probably 20 points off.
97. THE SEARCHERS - Probably 30-40 points off. It's not just a good looking film.
94. PATTON - How does this not crack the top 20?
85. LA GRANDE ILLUSION - For this to be languishing in the bottom fifth of the list while utter formula crap like Rocky prances above it tells me even our pretentious film snobs are of a lower caste than previous generations. "Yo, Paulie, y'sistah's at my place."
84. THE PRINCESS BRIDE - again, how does this rank below Shakespeare in Love?
75. HIGH NOON - About 60 points too low.
71. THE LION IN WINTER - 50 points off. Minimum.
65. SINGIN' IN THE RAIN - Top 20. Maybe top 10.
63. JAWS - Move it up a good 50 points.
47. THE MALTESE FALCON - Top 20, at least.
46. THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE - Top 30.
37. THE PHILADELPHIA STORY - Beaten out by fucking TOOTSIE? Kiss my ass and move it up to the top 15, you tasteless Philistines.
31. HIS GIRL FRIDAY - Top 20.

What shouldn't even be on the damn list:
3. CHINATOWN - Fucking awful.
6. ANNIE HALL - Fucking boring.
11. BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID - A cowboy movie for people who don't understand Westerns. Whoever ranked this piece of unwatchable crap this far above High Noon and The Searchers should be slapped. Or just restricted to watching Woody Allen movies.
17. TOOTSIE - Come on, how the hell does this script rate a top 20? It's a gimmick movie sold largely on watching Dustin Hoffman pull off a good drag act. The actual script is eh.
28. SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE - What the fuckin' fuck?
38. AMERICAN BEAUTY - Seldom has such thin material been so overrated.
51. BROADCAST NEWS - Always overrated, and I still can't figure out why.
58. ORDINARY PEOPLE - Ordinary script.
66. JERRY MAGUIRE - Anyone who voted for this should be kneecapped. Possibly the biggest offense on the list. "You had me at 'hello'." Fuck the Guild for having the nerve to put this on this list.
67. E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL - God I hate this manipulative piece of shit.
68. STAR WARS - Enjoyable film. Crap script.
72. THELMA & LOUISE - It's a pretty stupid story, actually.
78. ROCKY - Argh. ARGH.
81. BEING THERE - No. Just--no.
89. FORREST GUMP - No. Gimmicky schmaltz.
90. SIDEWAYS - One of the best scripts of ALL FUCKING TIME? I wouldn't even bother to watch this one a second time.
91. THE VERDICT - It was Ok. It was not a timeless classic.

What's missing: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Beats the unholy shit out of Fargo, frankly. And I liked Fargo.