My Twentysomething Life

I Do, Make, Read, Watch, Eat…

84 Movies in 19 Months

on May 20, 2013

It all started around October of 2011.  I decided that I wanted to watch all 82, now 84, Oscar Best Picture winners.  Well, after a little over a year and a half, I have done it.  I am really proud of my accomplishment.  The only thing is that now I do not know what to watch now.

In this post I have compiled my absolute favorites from the list, the movies that most surprised me, and the movies that I really struggled to watch.

The following seven movies are the ones that I was thinking were going to really be a struggle to watch.  Either I had heard something bad about them, or the description on the back really did not sound that interesting.  But in the end, I found myself really enjoying them.  Some of them even almost made the cut for the favorites list.  The following are in order from the least surprising to the most surprising.

1-Chicago (2002)
My mother is a big musical fan and she does not really like Chicago, and I was not allowed to watch it when I was little, so I think I had a bad idea of it going into it, but I really ended up enjoying the story and the music.
2-Unforgiven (1992)
I knew nothing about this movie when I popped it into the DVD player.  All I knew was that it was a Clint Eastwood western.  I figured it would be a lot of gun fighting.  What I found was that it was actually a very deep story that I did not expect.
3-On the Waterfront (1954)
This movie was one of the first older ones that I watched, and I just thought it sounded boring.  This is an old Marlon Brando film and it actually ended up being a really good movie.  I enjoyed the story and it actually got pretty exciting in the end.
4-Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
This is a really great story about a man who pretends to be a Jew in order to write an article about how they are treated and I found this movie to be very powerful when I foolishly thought it would be boring.
5-The Greatest Show on Earth (1952)
When a movie is over two hours long, it can be hard to start in the first place.  When I finally put this DVD in, I was expecting to really hate it, I did not think a story about the circus could be all that exciting, but I was wrong.  The story involved several characters and even had a twist at the end.  I really enjoyed this movie, the full 2-ish hours of it.
6-Tom Jones (1963)
This movie was really funny.  There have not been very many funny best picture winners.  They hardly ever get nominated, let alone win, so I was surprised to find this movie as funny as it was.  It was the story of a ladies man and what happened when he actually fell in love.
7-The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
This movie was awesome and the most surprising for me.  I sat down to watch this movie one night while I worked on the budget.  After only a few minutes into the movie I had to put my work away because I was so intrigued.  I highly recommend this movie.

Moral of the story—do not judge a movie based on the description on the back—when in doubt, give it a try.  It may surprise you, like it did me.

Now, this next list is of the movies I really struggled to watch.  There are only 6 of them, which is pretty good from a pot of 84.  I got lucky that I enjoyed 93% of the movies and only suffered through 7%.  These movies either just plain bored me, put me to sleep, or I just thought the story was not very good.  So here are the 6 movies that I did not like, in order from “okay” to “meh” to “I will never watch again.”

1-How Green Was My Valley (1941)
2-The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
3-Gigi (1958)
4-Dances With Wolves (1990)
5-A Man for All Seasons (1966)
6-The Deer Hunter (1978)

And finally, the list of my top twelve (I just could not stop at 10) movies that were my favorites from the 84 I watched.  These are the ones that I would watch again, several times, and that I would not hesitate to recommend to you.  The following are in order of favorite to most favorite.

1-Grand Hotel (1931/32)
2-Out of Africa (1985)
3-It Happened One Night (1934)
4-Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
5- Wings (1927/28)
6- No Country for Old Men (2007)
7- The Godfather (1972)
8- The Apartment (1960)
9- Argo (2012)
10-Shakespeare in Love (1998)
11-The Bridge over the River Kwai (1957)
12-In the Heat of the night (1967)

So there you have it.  I am so glad that I watched these movies.  On average I watched 4 best picture movies a month, on top of all the other movies that I watched.  And I will make sure I keep seeing the best picture movies in the years to come.  Now I just need to find a new list…

Any suggestions?

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