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25 May 2007

I've only seen two perfect movies in my lifetime... [More:]Shrek 3 is one, and the Incredibles is the other.

If you haven't seen Shrek 3, you have to. Mindless Shill though this may be, it is a perfect movie.

What are some movies you think are perfect? Or ones that you feel everyone should see?

Duck Soup
The General
posted by bmarkey 25 May | 20:02
It doesn't get any better than Wargames.
posted by cmonkey 25 May | 20:12
Bringing Up Baby
Strictly Ballroom
Duck Soup
The Piano
Cool Hand Luke
Cat On A Hot Tin Roof

I have others but I can see how they are only perfect for me. Maybe The Piano is in that category, but I advocate.
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 20:19
I saw Shrek 3. It was entertaining, but I thought it was much weaker than the first.

My Perfect Movies:

1. Groundhog Day
2. A Christmas Story
3. Remains of the Day
4. Howards End
5. Annie Hall
posted by LoriFLA 25 May | 20:21
Oooh, A Christmas Story and Annie Hall are good. OH! Stand By Me. That's universally awesome.

I have three movies that COULD HAVE BEEN PERFRECT but were ruined by flashbacks/flashforwards/codas:

Saving Private Ryan
A League Of Their Own

Just tell the story dammit.
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 20:26
FUCK! Jaws is perfect.

Ok, I'll stop now.
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 20:28
The Godfather
posted by jonmc 25 May | 20:30
No movie is perfect, or should be seen by everyone. But Falling Down comes pretty close. As does Repo Man. And Cool Hand Luke is just classic.

Most of the rest of the movies I like are not really for most people, let alone everybody. I like them because they speak to me.
posted by Eideteker 25 May | 20:32
My perfect movies (perfect for me, not you):

Blood Simple
Some Like It Hot
The Little Mermaid
Full Metal Jacket
The Killing Fields

Saving Private Ryan is a good movie. The scene where Stanley Mellish (Adam Goldberg) is slowly killed by the German with the knife while Corporal Upham (Jeremy Davies) is frozen with fear on the staircase is so disturbing. The sounds, the silence. Terrible. I know every nuance of that scene and can't watch it whenever the movie comes on tv because it seems too real.
posted by iconomy 25 May | 20:35
When he passes, I will weep and mourn and gnash my teeth.
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 20:37
I saw the Godfather, because it's one of those "Everyone must see" and wow, did it suck. All three of them were just so boring. So were the Sopranos, and pretty much anything else mafia-related. The mafia guys in Ghost Dog were pretty funny, though.

Seriously, I think there's a mafia gene; where those with it think anything to do with gangsters is just amazing, revolutionary, etc. I haven't got it, so I don't get it.

Oh, but I loved Taxi Driver. So I know Scorcese's not a total hack.

(I ♥ my Kubrick box set, and most of the Coen Brothers stuff, while I'm at it. But like I said, not for everyone.)
posted by Eideteker 25 May | 20:38
To Have and Have Not. (1944, B&W)

Book by Ernest Hemingway, screenplay by Jules Furthman, directed by Howard Hawks.

Betty Bacall's first movie. She was 19. Bogart was 44. She wipes the floor with him, and he's happy to stand around with a stupid grin on his face, in love, watching her. She does the famous "Got a match?" scene that ends with "You do know how to whistle don't you, Steve?" bit. Hoagy Carmichael does a tune ("How Little We Know" by Carmichael and Johnny Mercer) as a plot bit for Bacall, and Bacall sings with him, in her own voice, which isn't bad. Walter Brennan (later Grandpa McCoy on the 50's TV series "The Real McCoys") does the "dead bee" bit, in quasi-comic relief.

The movie Casablanca would have been, if Bacall would have been old enough to make it. Coming up May 31, at 1:30 p.m. on Turner Classic Movies, if you've never seen it.
posted by paulsc 25 May | 20:45
Eideteker: What about the Coen Bro's gagnster flick, Miller's Crossing? Brilliant film that.
posted by mullacc 25 May | 20:46
South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
posted by WolfDaddy 25 May | 20:50
Miller's Crossing is a great movie. I can't believe I haven't seen Blood Simple! This thread is good for suggestions.

No movie is perfect, or should be seen by everyone.

I agree.

More of my personal "perfect" movies:

1. Amelie
2. Muriel's Wedding
3. Shag
4. Moonstruck
5. A Merry War

My favorites seem to follow a theme. Light, feel-good movies and English period films.
posted by LoriFLA 25 May | 20:58
For me, it depends on where I am in my life...and it can change.

I remember seeing Pulp Fiction at the theater when it came out, and thinking it was so great. I saw it not a year later on video and thought it was terrible and haven't really liked anything he's done since. Film School Nerd movies.
Muriel's Wedding, mentioned above, I saw when it came out and I was struggling at a really awful job (see "Swimming with Sharks" boss had the same mug--"What a Guy") and the whole idea of chucking everything and telling everyone to fuck off really sold that movie for me, as well as the ABBA soundtrack, which at the time was really novel and pre-dated all of the Mamma Mia shit. I'm back to where I was in the early-80s with ABBA--tired, tired, tired.

When The Player came out I thought that was the perfect movie.
And when I saw Citizen Kane I thought that was the perfect movie, although maybe it's because you're supposed to think it's the perfect movie. I do love it, but I remember being a film student trying to preach to my mother about it and she wouldn't hear me. She couldn't get past all the people telling her how great it was decades ago and thought it was boring.

When I was in film school and saw Sunrise for the first time, I thought it was the perfect film. I still kind of think it is.

Then there are times at, say, 2am when Diamonds are Forever comes on and it's just at the part with the awesome car chase through Las Vegas with Bond in the red Mustang and that is the perfect film right then. I remember my dad letting me stay up late to watch that whenever it was on TV.
posted by chococat 25 May | 21:29
Perfect? That's a tall order, and may only partialy overlap with favorites . . .

Citizen Kane.
La Jetée. (Chris Marker)
Rules of the Game. (Jean Renoir)
The Werckmeister Harmonies. (Bela Tarr)
Blue Velvet.
The Chelsae Girls.

Jacques Tati's Playtime earns honorable mention. It comes very, very close to perfect, but I wouldn't consider it absolutely devoid of flaw. Same goes for Chris Marker's Sans Soliel, and anything/everything by Tartovsky.
posted by treepour 25 May | 21:33
American Psycho the movie is possibly even better than the book. It's really very well done all around.
posted by Eideteker 25 May | 22:15
I claim no education when it comes to film, but in my mind, I'll take these:

Lebowski. End all be all.
City of God. The *only* movie guaranteed to make me cry.
Spaceballs. 'Nuff said.
(if it counts) Eddie Izzard's Dressed to Kill. and for that matter, the Bill Hicks DVD too (frankly, much more so... his death made me hate the Pancreas *so much*)
posted by ufez 25 May | 22:26
they're not all perfect (though some of them are), but here's a list of essential viewing to me, in no particular order:

Rashomon, Seven Samurai, and Throne of Blood
The Third Man
Citizen Kane
Grand Illusion
Nights of Cabiria
All About My Mother
Annie Hall
Apocalypse Now
The Decalogue
City Lights
Godfather I & II
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
A Hard Day's Night
Singin' in the Rain
Andrei Rublev
Dr. Strangelove
Sunset Blvd.
Wild Strawberries
most recently: The Lives of Others

posted by scody 25 May | 23:04
Perfect is pretty tough, but...
Wings of Desire
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Talledega Nights
City of God
North by Northwest
Raising Arizona
Barton Fink
Aguirre, Wrath of God
Juliet of the Spirits
Seven Samurai
A Clockwork Orange
Dazed and Confused
The Last Temptation of Christ
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

I'm sorry, I really tried to narrow it down...
on preview, scody, you got some good taste there.
posted by Hellbient 25 May | 23:19
Which Lolita, hellbient? Kubrick's was more accurate to the tone of the book, but the remake was more accurate to the story.

The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Gods and Monsters
Away from Her
The Graduate
Children of Paradise
A Place in the Sun
My Beautiful Laundrette.....
posted by brujita 26 May | 00:02
Ones that people have already mentioned:

Annie Hall
Groundhog Day
Stand By Me

Ones that people haven't:

Dead Poets Society
Donnie Darko (Director's Edition)
The Shawshank Redemption
posted by sbutler 26 May | 00:06
Dr. Strangelove - WeeeHaaa!
A Clockwork Orange - Singing In The Rain.
Blood Simple - He was alive when I buried him.
The Killer - Mickey Mouse!
Shivers - Have you met my Daughter?
Sabrina (1954) - columnists should be beaten to a pulp.
Sunset Blvd - I am big. It's the pictures that got small.
Wings of Desire - To smoke, and have coffee - and if you do it together, it's fantastic.
The Gods Must Be Crazy - So how did the land rover get up the tree?
Shock Waves - argggg!
Blood & Donuts - Boya crawled into a bag.
The Princess Bride - My name is Inigo Montoya! You killed my father! Prepare to die!
Citizen Kane - Rosebud.
Aguirre, Wrath of God - I am the wrath of God. Who else is with me?
Night of the Living Dead - argggg!
Eating Raoul - Why don't you go to bed, honey? I'll bag the Nazi and straighten up.
House on Haunted Hill (1959) - Don't stay up thinking of ways to get rid of me, it makes wrinkles.
The Professional - No women, no kids, that's the rules.
The Secret of NIMH - Courage of the heart is very rare.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - Hey, Blondie!
Enter the Dragon - HoWAAAA!
Taxi Driver - You talkin' to me?
The Wicker Man (1973) - We confer upon you a rare gift, these days - a martyr's death.
Chinatown - I cut myself shaving.
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory - Wangdoodles and Hornswogglers and Snozzwangers and rotten Vermicious Knids.
The Beast - You can't be a good soldier in a rotten war, sir.

And many more.

I can't include any of the Shrek movies. Sorry.
posted by arse_hat 26 May | 00:12
I almost included The Secret of NIMH on my list. Absolutely my favorite movie of all time.
posted by sbutler 26 May | 00:16
arse_hat's list reminds me of my favorite line from "Apocalypse Now": "They were gonna make me a general for this. And I wasn't even in their fucking army anymore."

I can't believe I forgot my two fave comdies:
Raising Arizona (reminder courtesy of hellbient)
Withnail & I ("We've gone on holiday by mistake!!")
posted by scody 26 May | 00:41
Which Lolita?
Oh, Kubrick of course. Amazing.
posted by Hellbient 26 May | 01:20
My one and only perfect movie is The Graduate. Has anybody mentioned that yet? Maybe in one of the long lists.

honorable mentions go to

The Princess Bride
Double Indemnity
Touch of Evil
posted by gaspode 26 May | 01:27
Some Like It Hot
Godfather II
posted by rob511 26 May | 01:48
I've looked through what the bunnies have posted here and don't think mine are echoes.

A Lion in Winter
Won the best picture, I think, the year I was born, and omg... the cast: Hepburn, Hopkins, etc. It's a fine film full of family and royal intrigue.

The Last Emperor
I just rewatched this tonight, and it is an outstanding and beautiful movie.
posted by lilywing13 26 May | 02:00
Spinal Tap
The Jungle Book
posted by dodgygeezer 26 May | 02:30
Ok, the top perfect for ME but may not be universal ones include:

Donnie Darko
Waiting for Guffman
Meet Me In St. Louis
The Professional

posted by rainbaby 26 May | 04:03
Perfect is definitely subjective. Here's my list. Bolded ones are ultra perfect, to me.

Run Lola Run
Apollo 13
Star Wars
The Queen
Office Space
Little Miss Sunshine
The Italian Job
North by Northwest
Catch Me If You Can
The Full Monty
Guarding Tess
Dead Poets Society
Local Hero
The Gods Must Be Crazy 1
posted by chewatadistance 26 May | 07:02
In no order:

The Maltese Falcon - the perfect book adaption, almost word for word
2001 - Still fracking amazing, I could watch it every day
North by Northwest - Self parody but perfectly done
The Third Man - Made zithers cool
Jaws - The pacing is perfect and you don't actually see the shark until the end
Dawn of the Dead (1979) - Shows what you can do with no money (I was in that same Penny's last night).
Day the Earth Stood Still - Tight and scary
An American in Paris - Gene Kelly was a god
The Terminator - Low budget perfection, with much less Arnold than you remember
King Kong (1933) - Still more impressive than later versions.
posted by octothorpe 26 May | 08:11
I love chewie's list and arse_hat's list - many of the movies on both of those are films that I absolutely cherish.

On the other hand, films I am eternally puzzled by everyone's obsession with (terribly grammar...ugh):

The Princess Bride
The Breakfast Club
Ferris Beuhler's Day Off
The Big Lebowski (I mean, why? Really, why? Someone 'splain it.)
posted by iconomy 26 May | 10:03
Perfection is evil. But, all movies I just need to watch every so often:

Bull Durham
True Romance
Big Lebowski
Heaven Can Wait
Tender Mercies
Harold & Maude
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
The Good Earth (because I got to stay up late and watch it with my mom when I was a kid)
Apocalypse Now
Taxi Driver
Seven Samurai
Rocky I & II
Dirty Harry
Die Hard
Total Recall
City Heat
Easy Rider
Star Trek IV
Yentl (I know, I can't help it)

(I'm sure I'm forgetting something...)
posted by Pips 26 May | 11:26
American Psycho the movie is possibly even better than the book. It's really very well done all around.
posted by Eideteker

This sticks out to me since I've never heard anyone say it before. I thought the book was fantastic and the movie a travesty, and without having read the book first would have been worse. It loses everything that made the book special.
posted by justgary 26 May | 12:04
I both love and hate questions like this- love 'em because I'm a film fanatic, hate 'em because I know I'll forget something.

Once Upon A Time In The West
Dawn of the Dead (the original, of course)
Night of the Hunter
Monsters, Inc.
Jackie Brown
Harold & Maude
Mulholland Dr.
Drowning By Numbers
The Honeymoon Killers
Donnie Darko (the original release, not the director's cut)

In making this list, I think it's interesting how many of my favorite directors never made what I would call a "perfect" movie: Alejandro Jodorwosky, Dario Argento, John Woo, Larry Cohen, Sam Peckinpah... all flawed, but wonderful anyway.
posted by BoringPostcards 26 May | 12:17
See, I knew it would happen- as soon as I hit "post" I thought of another one: The Naked Kiss
posted by BoringPostcards 26 May | 12:18
National Lampoon's Vacation
posted by box 26 May | 12:30
Once Upon a Time in the West is wonderful! One of my very favorites.
posted by small_ruminant 26 May | 12:32
Actually I like a lot of the 1960s films, although they definitely don't qualify as perfect. I watch Lawrence of Arabia semi-regularly, and Beckett, and A Man for All Seasons.

Hmm. I'm seeing a Peter O'Toole theme that I hadn't noticed before.
posted by small_ruminant 26 May | 12:40
I like Notorious, too.
posted by small_ruminant 26 May | 12:41
On the other hand, films I am eternally puzzled by everyone's obsession with: ... The Big Lebowski (I mean, why? Really, why? Someone 'splain it.)

"Yeah, well, y'know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."


Funnily, Lebowski was already in my contrary, troublemaking head; I'd just seen the question about films to watch with parents, and my imp of the perverse* offered up Lebowski as an excellent counter-example.

If it doesn't appeal to you, there's probably no rationale that will make sense. For me, it's the characters. They're identifiable archetypes or stereotypes, but also powerfully idiosyncratic, and they get thrust into increasingly absurd situations, and just take things in stride.

I love noir, and I'm tickled by TBL's updated and oddly spun take on a classic noir scenario.

And to me it's insistently funny, with a slightly overblown look that I value no end.

*crazy sparkle!
posted by Elsa 26 May | 12:50
Oh, right: perfect films.For me, a few are:

The Maltese Falcon. Exciting, twisty-turny, and funny as all get out, with (as mentioned above) a script very true to the dialogue in the book, though necessarily shortened and edited. The scene in which Joel Cairo first meets Sam in his office cracks me up every single time.

You will be shocked, shocked, to hear that I also love Casablanca.

I would have to add Shaun of the Dead. When I first saw it, it charmed and startled me; the build-up of the action is seamlessly developed, and the characters all behave very consistently. It's riddled with allusions to other zombie films, but they dovetail perfectly into the narrative. Every time I watch it, I'm struck anew by the perfectly crafted nature of the movie. I never expected that.
posted by Elsa 26 May | 13:00
I did not watch my buddies die face down in the muck to hear someone make fun a great movie....

never mind
posted by jonmc 26 May | 13:17
What else? I'm about to rewatch Alien, which I remember as flawless. Not sure now.

Diabolique. The Third Man. Miller's Crossing. Maybe Barton Fink.

And an often overlooked little gem: The Fallen Idol. Like The Third Man, it's a Graham Green story directed by Carol Reed. It's a domestic suspense story starring Ralph Richardson, and it's tense and witty and touching and excrutiating. Lovely. Pitch perfect.

I can think of plenty of films that I'd rate as nearly perfect: 9 out of 10. A perfect film is harder.
posted by Elsa 26 May | 14:04
True Stories
The Big Lebowski
The Manchurian Candidate

A part of me really wants to say Bubba Hotep was a perfect movie, too. But I know, deep down, it wasn't. Though it's damned close.
posted by the great big mulp 26 May | 14:40
Oh, hell yes: M! I actually have M sitting next to my DVD player right now!
posted by Elsa 26 May | 14:45
Don't know if these are repeats, but for certain varying definitions of "perfect":

Aliens (director's cut)
Fanny and Alexander (the five-hour "television version." I'll list the TV version of Scenes from a Marriage as well: perfect for making you want to put a bullet in your mouth)
The Wizard of Oz
Siegfried (directed by Fritz Lang)
The Thing (directed by John Carpenter. Actually, both that and Big Trouble in Little China are perfect John Carpenter movies)
Dick Tracy
Crimes and Misdemeanors

In my mind there's a four-hour version of The Thin Red Line that's perfect, and every time I watch the movie on DVD I get annoyed that I'm not watching the movie it should have been. Kind of like when I watch Barry Lyndon and try to imagine that every scene with Ryan O'Neal has some other actor instead.
posted by Prospero 26 May | 15:45
Yes, Crimes and Misdemeanors! Perfect movie.
posted by LoriFLA 26 May | 17:39
Ah, Prospero, someone finally mentioned The Wizard of Oz. It is perfect. I was waiting, I can't tell you why I didn't mention it myself.

posted by rainbaby 26 May | 17:46
I just updated my queue. I'm looking forward to watching Blood Simple and a few others I haven't seen.
posted by LoriFLA 26 May | 18:01
I have not seen a lot of the previously mentioned movies. And there is no perfect movie, instead I will list some that I have yet to get tired of:

Empire Strikes Back
Die Hard
Once Upon a Time in the West
Big Trouble in Little China
Army of Darkness
Alien - best "thriller" ever made, period. Starting to look dated but in some ways that enhances the experience.
Star Trek II
Beverly Hills Cop 1/2
BoringPostcards, you're probably aware of this, but Jodorwosky's El Topo and Holy Mountain have recently been restored and are making the art-house circuit. Saw Holy Mountain at the Castro in SF -- an incredible experience.
posted by treepour 26 May | 19:07
My top three to hit this list are:

On the Waterfront
One flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
Lawrence of Arabia

(And a special mention for Marty, because it doesn't get the limelight it deserves.)
posted by hadjiboy 27 May | 06:59
Doh... Razor's Edge (the Bill Murray one... love it)

And did anyone mention Gone with the Wind? Great one, to be sure. I saw it on the big screen for 50 cents from the balcony of the Michigan Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI, with a bag full of Mickie D's and a real organ playing before curtain... fabulous. (My adopted mom saw it when it first came out in the theatre in 1939, all four hours of it.)
posted by Pips 27 May | 09:47
Star Trek II

Yknow, Weretable et al, I think you're right about this being a nigh perfect movie. I should, in fact, watch it right now, 'cause I watched Star Trek: the Motion Picture the other day, and I need to wash the blecch from my brain.
posted by the great big mulp 27 May | 14:49
Radio Mecha - Music Box || 1967: Summer of Love. 2007: Summer of Meh