Here’s the fourth set of movies in my ongoing Patrick’s 100 Movies. I decided to list 100 films that I enjoy and they’re all in no particular order.
The first eight movies in this set of ten get me every time. Somewhere during the film, I will tear up at something that happens. This is why I watch a lot of movies alone! The last two are comedies that make me laugh out loud, which is a good thing because if I had tried to do 10 tear-jerkers, I might have shorted out the keyboard.
The last Patrick’s 100 Movies list can be found here.
31. ‘‘Night, Mother’ (1986)
This is an intensely disturbing movie. Based on the play of the same name, it features Sissy Spacek and Anne Bancroft in a story about a young, troubled woman and her blissfully clueless simpleton mother. Spacek’s Jesse has decided she’s ready to end her life. She reveals her plan to her mother who tries to convince her to change her mind.
The movie is all set on one evening in the home they share. It’s an emotional pressure cooker. I think part of what gets me about this story is the realization that we can be very close to those around us and not see what’s really going on.
32. ‘Steel Magnolias’ (1989)
Yeah, yeah…I’m a sap. This movie, also based on a play, is like a slice of life. It picks up in the middle of one situation and ends in the middle of another. But along the way, you fall in love with some colorful women who prove that they live up to the title. Shirley MacLaine and Olympia Dukakis’s characters of Ouiser and Clairee provide just enough comedic moments to keep it fun, although I’m not sure which one of them is “too twisted for color TV.”
33. ‘JFK’ (1991)
Filmmaker Oliver Stone created a conspiracy theorist’s dream with this film. The recreation of the Kennedy assassination from Nov. 22, 1963, was shot in such a way to convince you that Stone had found secret footage the world didn’t know about.
Though some of the details, particularly the “magic bullet theory,” have since been disproven because of the position of the seats and the occupants of the president’s vehicle, it’s still an entertaining movie because it focuses on the total obsession of one man to find justice in the killing.
34. ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ (1947)
I don’t care how many remakes they do of this story. The original one with little Natalie Wood is the best. Edmund Gwenn could have been the real Santa. Not sure what about it gets to me but sometimes it does.
35. ‘Jurassic Park’ (1993)
This was a film based on a play and made for HBO. It starred Stockard Channing and Harvey Fierstein (who wrote the play) as the lovers of the same man who died of AIDS. In a confrontation that is at times cruel, they come to understand each other and appreciate each other’s loss in ways they never imagined they could. If you have ever lost someone close to you, regardless of circumstances, there’s something you can relate to. It’s a powerful study in grief and anger.
36. ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994)
As a general rule, I’ve never been a fan of prison movies. But this one makes my Patrick’s 100 Movies list with no hesitation. It’s a story about a wrongly-accused man who is handed injustice after injustice. Yet he never gives up and ends up getting revenge on the man who most wronged him.
37. ‘The Green Mile’ (1999)
Before this film came out, I’d have said that The Shawshank Redemption was the best prison movie ever. Both were based on stories by Stephen King, so maybe it makes sense that they’re both in the same league. Michael Clarke Duncan is incredible as John Coffey, a special man who appears to be some kind of angel. Note that his initials are also those of Jesus Christ. The pain Coffey feels in sensing the evil in the world around him is enough to make one think about how Christ Himself might actually feel looking around our world.
38. ‘Simon Birch’ (1998)
I honestly have no idea how I first found out about this picture. I had never heard of it. And it has Jim Carrey in it. Any movie with Carrey is automatically going to go in my “unlikely to see this ever” list because I find his humor too over the top for my taste.
But in this case, Carrey doesn’t go for the silliness and in fact, has a relatively small part at the end. It’s a story about one boy’s search for his father and another boy’s search for his true purpose in the world. I can certainly relate to the latter. If you can make it all the way through this film and not be even slightly moved, I don’t think we’d get along.
39. ‘It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World’ (1963)
A race movie with a smorgasbord of stars. A robber (Jimmy Durante) crashes his car and uses his last breaths to tell a collection of bystanders (including Sid Caesar, Jonathan Winters, Milton Berle and Mickey Rooney) about a buried treasure. Each bystander, accompanied by their respective wives, families, or friends, then decides to go after the money. That’s when the fun really begins. The inside story says that Milton Berle tried his best to steal every scene, and tried to find creative ways to stay in the shots longer than anyone else; even so, Ethyl Merman and Dick Swann steal the scenes repeatedly. It’s good clean fun…if you’re into that sort of thing.
40. ‘Manhattan Murder Mystery’ (1993)
I must admit that I’m not a huge Woody Allen fan. This movie, probably one of his least-known, in fact, is the film that could change my mind. Allen and Diane Keaton are a married couple who lives next door to an elderly man they suspect may have murdered his wife, and so she becomes an over-enthusiastic sleuth, much to Allen’s chagrin.
When he sees the first signs that Keaton might be right, he goes pale. She tells him that he’s white as a sheet and he responds, “I know. All the blood rushed to my brother.”
Alan Alda and Anjelica Huston are the friends who help craft a plan to solve the little mystery once and for all. If you like Allen-style quick wit, you will like this one.
That’s the latest edition of Patrick’s 100 Movies. How many of these have you seen?