The Film that Moved You Most and Why Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

The Film that Moved You Most and Why

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Girl holding handkerchief, crying in cinema.

There have been thousands upon thousands of films made and millions of people have laughed, cried, despaired and rejoiced watching them at home or in cinemas, spell-bound, throughout the world. Watching a film can be an extremely moving experience - perhaps even a life-changing one - and film makers are aware of this, each trying to conjure up magic, turning themselves into dream-weavers, in order to enthrall and enchant their audience, us.

But what does it for one person can leave another nonplussed. Today's list is absolutely not definitive, merely an attempt to present a small h2g2 cross-section of films that individual Researchers, for individual reasons, were moved enough to nominate as their favourite. So, popcorn and hankies at the ready. Lights, camera... action!.

'Will you take your hand off my knee. I'm trying to watch a film here...'

The Thin Red Line

I recently saw 'The Thin Red Line', a war movie dealing with a certain (unnamed) battle in the 1942 Guadalcanal campaign. It changed my views on war, or more specifically, on the men that fight them. It may or may not be an accurate portrait, but I don't care. There is a single scene somewhere in the middle of the movie and that single short scene really turned my world upside down. Or maybe it reinforced something I knew all along but that had lain dormant.
Neatly tucked in between scenes of bloody death and destruction the film showed a small white butterfly making its way across the battlefield. The sounds of battle where turned down, and right in the middle of fast-paced explosions, men running for their lives and other very noisy war movie clichés, the movie almost came to a standstill. It showed the butterfly in all its peacefulness on a backdrop of grass and other plants amidst dead or dying people. It's a short, shocking scene. The rest of the movie wasn't bad either; very different from other war movies. Peace.

Dancer in the Dark

'Dancer In The Dark', by Dogme movement director Lars von Trier, is a wonderful film. It is truly moving, mostly because of the way that we see Selma (Björk), as a Czech girl in America who is betrayed by her friends, and watching her fall, both through her blindness and eventual death, is heartbreaking. What makes the film even more poetic is the love that Selma has for Hollywood musicals, and the fantasy world of dancing and singing that she lives in. With the film itself being a beautiful musical, this is an irony upon ironies.

The African Queen

Gotta be one of the greatest stories ever filmed. Two opposites are thrown together on a river boat in Africa, fall in love (though somewhat stormily) and blow up a German gunboat as a finale after being shot at, bugged by bugs and surviving extreme adversaries. Also starring Humphrey Bogart as his inimitable self - arguably his greatest film apart from Casablanca
And what a performance from Kate Hepburn as the stuck up, feisty old spinster who wins his heart. I'll never forget the scene when the German captain marries them, orders the nooses to be put around their necks and then - KABOOM!

The Fisher King

Terry Gilliams' 'The Fisher King' blew me away. I did not watch a movie identifying with one of the main characters - as a movie most of the time is supposed to work. Not this time. This time I was sucked into it, absorbed, Jack (Jeff Bridges in his best performance ever) was me and I was Jack. His pain, his grief, his self-pity and his bad and good ideas were mine. I felt not for him, but like him. What luck that Gilliams wrote a happy ending here (he could have smashed me - look at 'Brazil'), and released me into the world again - positively changed, with a new, clear sight and an experience I (luckily) will never ever make in reality, thanks to the movie. This movie really saved me, like Jack was saved. And this is more than any other movie has done for me, ever.


'Candy', circa 1968 or so, had a great impact on me. Not only was it sexy in an obvious way, it held deep insights into the commercialisation of society and the centrist theme of sex as the motivator in the lion's share of humankind. Where else can you find a movie with Walter Matthau, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Richard Burton, John Astin, Charles Aznavour, John Huston and Ringo Starr playing behind the likes of Ewa Aulin? And Buck Henry was a genius who should have a whole section of the Guide to his own! And the enlightenment that Marlon Brando can do more than consume vegetables remains profound.


I've seen 'Hair' about a hundred times, and I know it backwards, but I always cry in the end. It's true, I swear!
The way Berger goes in while singing that slow and desperate version of 'Manchester, England, England' and you know he's never coming back... Just thinking about it makes me sniff.

Courage under Fire

I found the movie extremely moving. This is the only movie that has ever made me cry. In fact, it's just about the only thing I have ever cried over while I was sober.
Part of the reason is that it's one of the few movies to ever deal with my war. It touched something in my memory about my time in the desert and the men I served with. My experiences in the Gulf War were not traumatic or anything. I consider Desert Shield and Desert Storm one of the best parts of my ten years in the army. The movie still stirs something me. I loved the movie. When the shot pulls away from Meg Ryan at the end it completely tears me up. I've only been able to watch it twice. I saw it in the theatre with my wife, and I bawled for about five minutes. My wife started worrying about me. Later we bought the movie on videotape. I thought I might be able to make it through the movie. I wound up in the back room crying. So 'Courage under Fire' is the movie that moved me the most.

It's a Wonderful Life

If you're looking for a film that is moving, then you can't go wrong with 'It's a Wonderful Life'. Despite its reputation for mawkishness and over-the-top Christmas cheer, it's actually quite a dark film. The overall message is 'Dreams don't always come true - get over it', and the dream/fantasy sequence is a nightmare of capitalist dystopia.
Oh and the lines: 'Is he in danger?', 'Worse... he's become discouraged' always make me laugh.
The sheer joy of human existence and the amazing innocence of belief that people are capable of true, altruistic, kindness always makes me cry and - for a while at least - makes me believe it could actually come true.
And Jimmy Stewart is ace.

The Graduate

'The Graduate' (1967) - OK, maybe on everybody's list, but this was the year I left home for college, so I was probably more easily sucked in. Not that I mind at all. Great cast in Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katherine Ross (woof!), but the real star is director Mike Nichols - lots of clever director stuff going on here.

Betty Blue

Call me pretentious (and please do ) but I love this seminal French film by Jean-Jacques Beineix (known in its native tongue as '37° 2 le matin'). I've only ever seen the extended version (only, hah! what a tragedy), but it is a wonderful piece of film-making.
Probably best known for its steamy opening (some of the most realistic and erotic sex you're ever going to see in the cinema), it charts the relationship between a frustrated writer and his neurotic girlfriend. She begins to obsess about his career and gradually her fiery temperament slips into something more dangerous.
Beatrice Dalle (in her first film, which made her the 'dream girlfriend' of many men in the '80s) and Jean-Hughes Anglade both turn in incredible performances that wrap you right up in the characters and their lives from the very beginning.

Strictly Ballroom

'Strictly Ballroom' is a sparkling Australian comedy about ballroom dancing. It's an incredibly well-observed and well-acted 'ugly duckling' story that leaves you with your heart in your mouth at the end.

Muriel's Wedding

This is another Australian comedy (and another 'ugly duckling' story to boot) that leaves you cheered and better able to face the world. Muriel (Toni Collette) has low self-esteem and no friends. She lives her life through the music of ABBA and dreams of a white wedding. She runs away from her dreadful family to the big city and moves in with a like-minded girl (played by Rachel Griffith). As her life improves she relies less and less on music and dreams of marriage until she meets a South African swimmer looking for a marriage to enable him to swim in the Olympics. Muriel abandons her (by now) crippled house mate in order to pursue her dream, but realises it's not all it's cracked up to be.
Altogether now - 'Now my life's as good as Dancing Queen!'


There are many films that make me cry; I'm a fairly sensitive guy when exposed to certain ideals, but 'Spartacus' does this again and again where I seem to become conditioned to other films so that on the second or third viewing I no longer cry.
I think it's probably due to one man's love for another man to the point where one is willing to give one's life to save another.
It tears me up.


I know it's a cliché, but I can't watch 'Casablanca' without shedding a couple of tears. When I finally got to see it in a cinema, a friend had to lend me a handkerchief. Michael Curtiz's direction is just spot-on, the score is excellent and the whole film just evokes a sense of the time.

Breaking the Waves

This tiny, arthouse movie (by Lars Von Trier, the director of 'Dancer in the Dark') was the first movie my current boyfriend and I saw together. He invited me over and said he'd rented a movie. Now, my guy is a big, hulking, hair down to his bum singer in a Heavy Metal band. I figured we were gonna see 'Judge Dredd' or something equally enlightening.
'Breaking the Waves' is a truly tragic tale about a young woman in a small town who, against her family's wishes, marries a man who works on an oil rig. She only gets to see him for a few days every three months, which is bad enough, but whenever he isn't around, her family berates her for marrying someone who isn't there to take care of her. While on the rig, he gets in an accident that nearly kills him and leaves him paralyzed from the waist down. He is brought home and taken care of by the girl and her family, but slowly becomes rather deranged from being cooped up in bed all the time. (To this day, whenever my boyfriend goes on the road with his band for days or weeks at a time, we refer to it as his 'being on the rig'.) If you haven't seen this movie, I advise that you don't read any further. The ending is heart wrenching and left me in tears...
The husband tells his wife he wants her to find men to have sex with and then tell him about it. At first she's appalled, but reluctantly agrees and sets out to seduce whomever she can find. Months go by and finally she goes too far by boarding a fishing boat where she is brutally raped and killed. This is tragic enough, but the real kicker is in one of the last shots of the movie, we see her husband walking with the aid of crutches following her funeral.
Talk about life not being fair.

A River Runs through It

The film which moved me most was 'A River Runs Through It'. Beautifully shot, splendidly acted and, well... just a marvellous film. I cried for 20 minutes afterwards. In touch with my girlie side or what?

Leon - the Professional (Director's Cut)

The acting of Natalie Portman is just superb, going from laughing to crying and all the emotions in between. The scene in the restaurant where she bursts out laughing after drinking the champagne. The scene were she threatens to shoot herself. Jean Reno as the unmoved and slightly dim cleaner. The dialogue 'Is life always this hard or just when you are a kid?' - 'It's always like this' or 'The plant is just like me - see? No roots'. The background music by E Serra. The Sting song at the end of the movie..... aaaahhhh!
I absolutely agree. And so few people I know have actually seen it! That's tragic isn't it? The world must be introduced to this mastery of film making!
Fabulous film, but then it's Luc Besson - what do you expect? Do you know, he made that film in English so Hollywood wouldn't remake it (like they did with 'Nikita', which became 'The Assassin') and screw it up? Major respect is due to the man.

Final Approach

'Final Approach' was a superb movie I first saw in '94, that went straight to video - on account I suspect of its lack of cast or dynamic. It was almost totally set in the office of a psychiatrist (played by Hector Elizondo - 'Chicago Hope'), interspersed with scenes of the central character's past, as well as great shots of his test flights. It moved me because it gave me a fresh perspective on life, and a hope to carry on - without that and many other factors, I might have quit long ago. And not least of all it tipped its hat off to a certain book...

Carne Tremula

I thought of a dozen movies, but this one sticks out if it's about a 'moving' film. It is written and directed by Pedro Almodovar, also known to have introduced Antonio Banderas into the movie-world. Other films by Almodovar include 'Mujeres al Borde de un Attaque de Nervios' ('Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown'), 'Kika', 'Attame' (literally, 'Tie Me Up'), and also the sublime 'Todo Sobre Me Madre' ('All about my Mother'). But 'Carne Tremula' (you could probably translate it as 'trembling flesh' or something like that) touched me the most. The colours, the music, the emotions, the way Almodovar says it... I can't really explain it. It's all true!

Some Like it Hot

My favourite film is the musical/comedy/farce 'Some Like it Hot'. For me it has the perfect comical balance and everything about is, in my opinion, perfect.
My favourite experience seeing it was in a period cinema in Brighton; I have never seen an audience laugh so much! Once you see it you will forever hold it up as the benchmark against which you'll compare all other comedies.
Yes, this is a classic. Tony Curtis doing the Cary Grant impression is timeless. Monroe is exquisite. Jack Lemmon is at his stressed-out best.


...but only if seen in a cinema with a huge screen and excellent sound.
I loved the scenery - the sea, the ship - and I also love the theme tune, sung by Celine Dion. And what moved me most was the ship sinking, with all those people drowning, maybe because the memory of 'Estonia'1 was still on my mind...

2001 - A Space Odyssey

Just about everything in this movie is brilliant. The effects are divine. All in all, there is not a single film out there that could approximately reach the ingenious class of this movie. I must have seen this movie about a hundred times so far, and it's still great every time, and sometimes I even get to details.
The film is slow, intellectual, highly visual, and technically perfect. But at the end, with the Zarathustra's crescendo, the Star Child, the 'übermensch', looks at you from the screen. No moment like that in the history of cinema...

The Bridges of Madison County

'The Bridges of Madison County' is based on the book 'Love In Black and White', by Robert James Waller. The book (now printed under the same title as the film) is so popular, that it has been unavailable at my local library for many months, and has a several name waiting list!
I love it because it is 'real'... no artificial happy ending. It is a four-day-long love story between Robert Kincaid (a 'National Geographic' photographer) and Francesca Johnson (a housewife and mother of two teenagers). While her family is away for a few short days, Robert arrives to photograph the local covered bridges, and their feelings rapidly develop, until the decision has to be made as to whether they leave together or remain apart. The sight of Robert Kincaid (played by Clint Eastwood) standing soaked in the rain as they see each other for the very last time ever, followed by Francesca (played by Meryl Streep) gripping her hand on the car door handle, as she reconsiders leaving her husband and family, is one incredibly moving scene.
This film has two excellent and engaging lead characters, played brilliantly by Eastwood and Streep, plus an exceptional musical score, and fantastic Iowa scenery, all adding up to a true cinematographic masterpiece. My highest recommendations!

The Shawshank Redemption

If pushed I've got to say that Shawshank Redemption is my favourite. It clearly states the power of a man who uses his inner strength to endure horrendous abuse, and to eventually come out on top. It's sentimental and anchors heavily on human relationships but I don't think it's typical American schmaltz.

The Last Picture Show

Shot in black and white, 'The Last Picture Show' is a great big slice of Americana, its pace is as slow as the small town it features. Strong characters brilliantly portrayed by young, little known (at the time) actors. These included Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cybill Shepherd, Randy Quaid and others. Superbly cast, it was directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Mean, moody and atmospheric, at times funny and touching. It's so real you can almost touch it. I must have seen it a hundred times, almost every time I notice something new about it. Give your eyes a treat; watch it as soon as you can.

A League of their Own

Not the best movie ever, although it is excellent. Just thought I'd say because its the only film that has ever made me cry at the end - and being a bloke - that's a big admission.
It's a film about the women's baseball league set up in the USA during WWII and it stars Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, supported by Madonna. It's a compelling story of two sisters and their time in this team and when at the end they visit a museum commemorating what happened as old women it just...well, you know... I've watched it several times and it always does it to me.

Silent Running

When I watched this as a kid, the thought of that poor little robot in that garden all by himself for the rest of time (or when his batteries ran out) made me bawl for days.


'Drei Nüsse für Aschenbrödel' (which roughly translates to, 'Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella') is an old fairy tale movie and it's the favourite film of my childhood!
Basically, it's the story of Cinderella. But this Cinderella is not the kind of girl to stay at home and wait for her prince! She rides a horse, climbs trees and beats the prince at hunting with a crossbow! I still love the movie - it's intelligent, beautiful and has a great heroine.


'Labyrinth' stars Jennifer Connely and singer David Bowie. For those who don't know, it's about a girl who spends most of her time immersed in fantasy fiction, playing out roles from books. She is generally unhappy with life - especially with her step-mum - so one day she has to look after her baby brother and wishes the goblins would take him away... which they do. To get him back she has to solve the labyrinth.
I love it. I've felt the same way as the girl, liking fantasy more than real life. It has some quite touching moments - often funny - and some nice songs, too. And I know how I'd love to live in a fantasy world.


The film that moved me the most has to be 'Phenomenon', with John Travolta as the lead. For those of you who have not seen the film, John Travolta is this guy who, on his 40th birthday, gains these really weird powers - mostly psychic. Everyone (apart from his best mate) treats him like he's a real freak when they find out; so too the woman he loves and his doctor. During the film the FBI take him in for questioning because he manages to decode some of this Morse code that they were using to relay secret messages. They recognise that he has this power but release him after a day or two. John almost descends into madness because he can't cope with what his ability is doing to him - he becomes very 'smart'. Everyone thinks he got his powers from aliens and near the end of the film, we discover that he got his abilities because of a tumour in his brain which is actually, slowly killing him. In the end he dies with his love holding him and leaving some of his 'discoveries' to make the world a better place. The way he was so misunderstood and the way he died is why the movie moves me.


'Gattaca' scared and moved me - it could very well be the future. People who are genetically engineered would rule, no natural born children would stand a chance and it genuinely scared me. But it also gave me some hope, that maybe we won't use genetics to such an extreme and maybe with the kind of technology shown in the film, it may just be that we will have a good future.
Maybe we too can work beyond our boundaries and push ourselves to aspire, becoming in our own eyes, successful and happy. This movie more than anything gave me hope for the future. I long for the day I can step out my front door and see a spaceport, buy a ticket and visit the moon on a bank holiday.

The Last Unicorn

I saw this film when I was young(er), so I can't remember much of it. It's an animated film about the last unicorn, obviously, and a young magician who isn't any good at magic. At least that's how I remember it. I remember being extremely touched by this film, although I can't recall the plot or ending or anything really. I do remember the music, though. The music is excellent, and the feelings I felt when I watched the film come surging back when I remember the title song. Great stuff.

Dead Poets Society

This movie had a strong message of individualism that I just loved. The final scene still moves me.
Carpe Diem ('seize the day!')... what an excellent motto.
I will never forget seeing this film at the cinema... there was a standing ovation at the end! I have never seen a film where the entire audience was so much moved as one.
I cried so hard at the end of this film that I had to go back and watch it again the next day... and also the following day as I was so taken with the powerful message it contained. At the time I was about 16 or 17, when I was fighting for my individualism in the face of my private girls school trying desperately to 'mould' us into awful replicas of each other. I could also so easily see how some of my peers were so harangued and driven by their parents to follow a certain path almost went down the same path of self-destruction that Neil Perry did.
I still get goose bumps when I watch this amazing film (of course, I have it on video!).

To Kill a Mockingbird

It was the best adaptation of a book I have seen yet (apart from 'Of Mice and Men' that starred John Malkovich) and it captured the spirit and period of the book so perfectly. I still cry at the injustice the film and book portrayed and for the innocence of Scout and Jem struggling to come to terms with why the world operated the way it did (and sometimes still does...)

City of Angels

This film moved me loads. About ten miles away from my TV screen, I just had to get away it was so bad.


This quirky movie has always held a special place in my heart. I think it is a combination of quirky humour, a grand performance by Peter O'Toole, and the general story line. The movie is simple in many ways but never fails to evoke deep emotions at numerous points within the story. The sound track even fits this bill, nothing that has you stunned, but at moments, some of the simple themes carry your emotions as a light breeze supporting a dandelion seed.

Schindler's List

I think that film is so sad. I mean, he did everything he could, and to him it still wasn't enough. Poor man. The sad thing was that it was enough, an awful lot of people owed their lives to Schindler, but he realised that he perhaps could have done more, but then some is better than none Liam Neeson was incredible in that film.

Saving Private Ryan

I saw this film on my birthday, in the summer of '98. I was with a good friend of mine, in a very large theatre, which was full. The average age in the theatre was about 70 years old, and I could see many veterans there with their wives and families. My friend and I were still crying when we left the theatre, and we didn't speak for about a half an hour afterwards. This film is a very powerful one indeed.

The Invisible Man

Perhaps not the most obviously moving film ever made, this spectacular effort by James Whale nonetheless inspires a gallimaufry of emotions - delight at the wonderful special effects, glee at the destruction of those who thought they were oh-so-clever, grief at the passing away of the eponymous anti-hero, amusement at the frightfully jumpy villagers as their bicycles run away and money flies out of the bank - as touching as it may have been to watch the plastic features of Leonardo DiCaprio sinking unconvincingly away, or Mr Orange bite the dust, I find this supernatural horror classic the most stirring piece of cinema I've yet to see.

The Italian Job

'The Italian Job' is the only film that has ever moved me to tears. You know the bit, when they flung those glorious Mini Coopers off the coach and down the cliff. I remember nearly getting slung out of the local picture house, for standing up and yelling, 'NO!' as they pushed the first one out the doors. (I was only about ten when the film first went on general release.)

Empire of the Sun

What can I say?! This movie moved me... the naive young boy, seeing the war through the innocent eyes of youth, not understanding the horror he is living through, finding a way to see the best out of the worst situations. And if you don't get a shiver down your spine the first time you see the three Japanese aviators return his salute, you're just not human...

Rocco and His Brothers

'Rocco and His Brothers' is a black and white Italian movie made in 1969 by director Luchino Visconti. It tells the story of a four brothers moving to Milan to try and make a living. It has references I don't understand, I have no familiarity with Italy to grasp the ramifications of them being from the south, I have never known anyone to behave like Rocco does, the movie was made more than 30 years ago, and I had to read subtitles; it's obvious you're watching a movie.
That said, I have never watched a movie where I truly felt like I was watching people live their lives. These people were, are, real to me. I think about Rocco like you would an friend you're no longer in contact with, or who may no even still be alive.
The film is beautifully shot, the characters true to themselves and meticulously drawn. Even though I have never known anyone like Rocco, I believe he could exist. This movie is hands down the best movie I have ever seen. Although it's not a two-hanky film, it is indeed bittersweet. I hope I'm not the only person to have seen this movie, much less loved it.

Forrest Gump

I used to have to visit the cinema with a group of children from a psychiatric ward I worked at some time in the early 1990s. Mostly they were hardly interested in the film that was showing; it just was some fun time they could have away from the ward.
But watching 'Forrest Gump' was a very different experience for them, and for me having to work with these children. Of all the films we saw, this was the only film that had some kind of impact on the way the children felt about the person played by Hanks, and about themselves. I think they really could relate to it, and well, their emotions were really moved.
So 'Forrest Gump' will stay in my memory, although I haven't seen it since. And the feeling the children had won't be erased from my mind.

The Lion King

This was not a movie I almost cried at, it's a movie I did cry at. And I'm grown up, too. And no, that isn't pathetic. It's my favourite movie, and it's had a strong influence on me.
I think it's a precious thing to be able to be moved, and I was certainly moved to tears by this one. That isn't pathetic, that's precious. The strongest guys are the ones who are not afraid to cry (yes, I'm a guy).

Universal Soldier

The metaphors, the imagery, the ass kicking. Jean-claude's magnificent physique. Over and over and over. More ass-kicking. A few big explosions. Some more of Jean-claude's physique. Some Belgium dude pretending to be French. It's all so good!


A brilliant but flawed version of a Carl Sagan book, some moments in 'Contact' make me fill up... the young Ellie Arroway trying to talk to her dead father by radio; the moment on the beach when the aliens appear to Ellie as her father; Jodie Foster's tears of joy and disbelief; and the final frame, which just says 'For Carl'.

Star Trek VI: the Undiscovered Country

Ok... scoff. However, watching this film - filled with capers, antics, alien conspiracies and enough humorous nods to knock your cap off - just channelled me back to the heyday of Trek when it was fresh, exciting and a joy to watch from start to finish. When the crew, having finally saved the day, returned to the Enterprise and Uhuru passed on the information that the ship was to return to Earth to be decommissioned I could feel a lump rising in my throat. Then Spock retorted, uncharacteristically, that the person sending the order should go to hell and Kirk was asked for a heading - returning with the directions to Never-Neverland. As the ship vanished into the sunset and Kirk recited the 'Final Frontier' speech for the 'final' time I was sobbing my little heart - which is always difficult in a cramped cinema.
Very moving stuff. Like watching your favourite family pet being put down after long years of faithful service.


The pig that went from being a possible holiday dinner to being a part of the family. The real impact for me was the prejudicial nature of humans. By using animals (eg' dogs vs. sheep), the movie didn't have such a heavy hand. After Babe competes in the herding contest, and the crowd starts cheering, the people in the theatre clapped along. You don't see that everyday.
'That'll do pig. That'll do.'

The Sixth Sense / American Beauty

I think these two films made me realise that I was getting old before my time, I'm 27 and was starting to think like a 50 year old! I appreciate things for what they are now - not what they could be. I have changed my life quite a lot - not just because of these films, more the impact they had alongside other changes in my life and I wised up and left my going-nowhere-for-eight-years boyfriend, I've taken up things I've wanted to do for a long time and I'm actually enjoying myself now, rather than always worrying about what's going to happen next week, next year, when I retire, will I get married, will I have kids, etc. If whatever's going to happen, it'll just happen and not because I've pushed myself or other people into things.
Ooh, that got a bit heavier than I'd intended!


The first thing that always springs to mind when someone asks my favourite film is 'Brazil' by Terry Gilliam.
For those of you who haven't seen it, it's a fantasy set in a deliberately ambiguous era, in a highly constrained and bureaucratic society, and follows one man's struggle not to conform. As with all Gilliam's movies, it is breathtaking - visually, aurally and conceptually. It features Jonathan Pryce (who played Zarniwoop in 'Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' radio series 2) as the hero Sam Lowry, Robert de Niro as an SAS-style subversive maintenance man (classic!), and Michael Palin as a cheerful unassuming everyday average torturer (yes!).
I won't say any more, except that this film left me absolutely reeling from its power and emotion. It projects a drab, paranoid vision of society, but is filled with electrifying images that will never leave me (Sam's mum having plastic surgery, the maintenance men coming to the rescue, the 'storm of paper' scene). Thank you Terry!

The Star Wars Films

I watched 'Star Wars' (Episode Four) just about every waking day of my pre-school existence. And I saw the whole of the initial trilogy many, many times over the course of my yet-brief twenty-three year existence.
It was only when I saw Episode One though, that I realised how much my endless confidence and knowledge that anything is possible (if you are able to visualise it as possible) came almost wholly from 'Star Wars'. It was hammered in at such an early age it ensured that I can handle/accomplish everything and anything I come across.
'Do or do not. There is no try.' - Yoda.

Phantom Menace

No, not because it was particularly good, nor because I felt sorry when Darth Maul died. No, the moment it moved me is when I was sitting in the theatre, 23 years after the first Star Wars, and the lights went down and there was that funky Lucasfilms logo, half western, half not. I had been waiting so long for this movie, and here I was, one of the first people in the nation to see it. I felt moved, sad, old, young, silly and sentimental all at the same time. There have been a lot of movies that have made me cry, like 'Forrest Gump', 'Steel Magnolias', 'Jerry Maguire'... but all of those were intentionally tugging at my heart strings. 'Phantom Menace' was something beyond that, a way for me to return to my childhood, my innocence.
I know, silly, isn't it?

Some More Best Movies of All Time...

And if that lot wasn't enough, here are some more films for you to add to you 'must see' list. Happy viewing!

  • Somewhere In Time
  • Orlando
  • The Spanish Prisoner
  • The Professional
  • Blade Runner
  • Being John Malkovich
  • Sophie's Choice
  • Mississippi Burning
  • Alien
  • Run Lola Run
  • Bringing up Baby
  • Shakespeare in Love
  • High Fidelity
  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Withnail and I
  • The Matrix
  • Billy Elliot
  • Fever Pitch
  • The Talented Mr Ripley
  • Gladiator
  • Good Will Hunting
  • The Ladykillers
  • Kind Hearts and Coronets
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai
  • Lawrence of Arabia
  • Casablanca
  • The Maltese Falcon
  • The Great Escape
  • The Big Sleep
  • The City of Lost Children
  • The Princess Bride
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  • Casablanca
  • Robin Hood (the Errol Flynn version)
  • The Iron Giant
  • Big
  • Silence of the Lambs
  • Rear Window
  • Top Hat
  • A Fish Called Wanda
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • Kiss me Kate
  • Duck Soup
1The Estonia was the ship that sank in icy water off Talin, Estonia, killing many, many people.

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Infinite Improbability Drive

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