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September 29, 2005

Netflix 5 Star Movies A to C

One of the cool things about Netflix is a feature that lets you rate movies on a scale of one to five stars. Their computer makes recommendations for future rentals a member might like, based on the member’s ratings. i don’t find the recommendations very helpful, but i do like rating things.

Five stars means “I loved it.” i reserve five stars for movies i love that are generally considered classics, or which deserve to be classics; also for movies that i don’t mind seeing again and again or from which i have memorized much of the dialogue.

A fine example of my thinking on five star movies is my list of such movies from A to C in alphabetical order. i just copied and pasted the list from my Netflix page, so you will notice that there are some TV shows in there, which are not technically movies, but otherwise fit my criteria.

12 Angry Men (1957)
24: Season 1 (2001)
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)
Airplane! (1980)
All About Eve (1950)
Annie Hall (1977)
The Apartment (1960)
Apollo 13 (1995)
Arthur (1981)
Austin Powers 1 (1997)
Austin Powers 2 (1999)
Back to the Future (1985)
Band of Brothers (2001)
Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Black Hawk Down (2001)
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)
Bullitt (1968)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Caddyshack (1980)
Captain Blood (1935)
Casablanca (1942)
Charley Varrick (1973)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Cold Mountain (2003)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)

The Netflix rating thing is an ongoing project, so don’t be surprised if there are some omissions from my list. It might mean that the movie didn’t come up as i was going through the recommendations (which i often did when i was bored at work) and clicking on the star ratings.

Update: There's an interesting discussion going on in the comments about whether my 5 star list contains more guy movies or chick movies. First of all, let me admit that my tastes have always included guy things, from sports movies to war movies to historical movies and sci-fi. But i think it's a mistake to say that movies which are obviously marketed towards the male audience do not appeal to women just as much.

If i had to guess, i would say i know more chicks than guys who watch 24 religiously. And comedies like Airplane, and the Ace Ventura and Austin Powers movies can't be categorized. i think both sexes enjoy them equally.

Additionally, i would look askance at any guy who could not appreciate The Apartment or Breakfast At Tiffany's. And All About Eve is just so darn good that every male should be forced to watch it for his own cultural enrichment.

Posted by annika, Sep. 29, 2005 | TrackBack (0)
Rubric: Let's Go To Hollywood


A clockwork orange was a great movie with a really important message. Hard to think of hollyweird turning out anything like that today.
Of course your list includes a few movies that are rated much higher by chicks than by dudes. But I guess thats understandable.

Posted by: Kyle N on Sep. 29, 2005

Not that it matters, but I kinda disagree with Kyle on Annie's list. I don't see any gender influence in the picks. Aside from (maybe) Breakfast at Tiffany's, where are the decidedly female movies? Annie Hall is a classic comedy equally accessible to anybody, (who can handle Woody Allen). Cold Mountain was a fucking depressing movie (though a great read), so I'm not sure it fits the mold either. Does it get any more male than "Cool Hand Luke?" Great fucking movie!

Posted by: Blu on Sep. 29, 2005

Breakfast at Tiffany's proved that Capote was a genius. Believe it or not, he was friends with WFB. There's a new movie out about his research for In Cold Blood, "Capote". It's release date is tomorrow.


I predict a Capote revival.

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 29, 2005

Blu u r obviously an unreconstructed cretin.

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 29, 2005


Posted by: Blu on Sep. 29, 2005

I just think if we are talking five star movies, not four star mind you. Most men would not have Breakfast at tiffanies, All about Eve, Author, Annie Hall, or even Butch Cassidy (which dies not wear well and is not really such a good picture although it was all the rage in the early '70's.
A lot of her other pics though were fairly masculine leaning.
BTW while I am inflicting anger upon people let me slay another sacred cow. Cool Hand Luke also does not wear well, and after seeing it again last year I downrated it in my own movie list.
It was manipulative, tenditious, it steriotyped
people from the south (one of my pet peeves) and had a typical hollywood slam against religion.

Posted by: Kyle N on Sep. 29, 2005

"...it steriotyped people from the south", as what Kyle, illiterate mouth breathers? Breakfast at Tiffanys a chickflick? Clearly you've never seen it, or your opinions are...

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 29, 2005

Er... what? No Back To The Future?

Posted by: Tuning Spork on Sep. 29, 2005

May I recommend 12 O'Clock High. It is a great management training film. The company I work for makes it's managers watch it every other year.

It is also a great war film. So it belongs on your list.

Posted by: Jake on Sep. 29, 2005

The Marine Corps has used 12 O'Clock High for the past fifty years to teach combat leadership to 2nd Lt's at The Basic School. Talk about testosterone, there isn't a single woman in the cast. It's a great study in human nature, relationships, and stress. Ya gotta love Dean Jagger. Before DOPMA, there used to be a guy like him on every staff.

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 29, 2005

Yes I saw Breakfast at Tiffanys, I stand by my comments, very few men would rate it a full five stars. Of course there are always the "sensitive" types out there.

Posted by: Kyle N on Sep. 30, 2005

Interesting list. I'd question your Ace Ventura inclusion, but we're all entitled to a not-so-secret shame. I also second your thoughts on guys and The Apt., Breaky, and Eve.

There is one huge omission in this list however that I'm sure you'll agree must be rectified. "The Blues Brothers" should be here. Quoatable, singable, danceable and amusing it is a wonderful movie that introduced a generation to the Blues when blues needed saving.

Posted by: Pursuit on Sep. 30, 2005

Ahem. There are many "C" movies you left out, annika. Allow me to remedy that:
Complex of Fear
Citizen Cohn
Cape Fear
The Children
Criminal Law
Checkered Flag or Crash

In addition, you forgot these "A" movies:
Adam at 6 A.M.
The Abduction of Kari Swenson

*Now* your list is complete!

Posted by: Victor on Sep. 30, 2005

Spork, BTTF is one of those movies that i didn't rate because the Netflix random recommender never suggested it. i will now search it out just so i can give it five stars.

i own 12 O'Clock High on DVD. i gave it three stars.

And Pursuit, my view on The Blues Brothers Movie was made public over a year ago.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 30, 2005

Victor, the only one of those that i have seen is Cape Fear. The original was much better than the DeNiro remake.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 30, 2005

Kyle - FU.

More importantly, how can The Big Lebowski not be in the B's? Beverly Hills Cop?

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 30, 2005

That may be true, annie, but the DeNiro update also stars Joe Don Baker! That simple fact automatically makes it Better Than Citizen Kane.

Posted by: Victor on Sep. 30, 2005

i thought that was Fred Thompson.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 30, 2005

Joe Don Baker! I don't give one of my rat's asses about this so-called "Fred Thompson" guy!

Moving on--I clicked on the NEXT BLOG feature of BlogSnot and found this guy who doesn't like Breakfast at Tiffany's. He also writes some pretty funny stuff, so he's OK in my book. His opinion just different from mine and from annika's.

Posted by: Victor on Sep. 30, 2005


What is wrong with us? Nothing more than an appreciation for the greats! Aretha, Ray, Cab, John Lee Hooker....Songs from Shake Your Tail Feathers to Peter Gunn to Minnie the Moocher.....and quotes that have entered the cultural lexicon. Oh, today we weep for your incomplete education.

I guess that is why Sam and Dave titled their song Soul Man, not Soul Woman. Oh, did I mention it was performed in the movie too?

Posted by: Pursuit on Sep. 30, 2005

if by "Cab" you mean Cabernet, i'm with you.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 30, 2005

Well, that's not exactly what I meant, but then I must say that works too!

Posted by: Pursuit on Sep. 30, 2005

Speaking of Cab Calloway (I'm not a Philistine!), I watched his (and his orchestra's) earliest filmed appearance during lunch today. It opened up a Betty Boop cartoon, and it was absa-fucking AWESOME! I'll blog about it over the weekend, if I find some time. Till then, you'll just have to feel shame that you haven't seen it.

Also featured in a Betty Boop cartoon: some dude named Louis Armstrong. It was waaay cool.

Posted by: Victor on Sep. 30, 2005

i loved your list. one movie you might not have seen but it's on my top ten list: The Scarlet Pimpernel -- the original, with leslie howard, made in the 1930's. outstanding!

Posted by: patrickhenry on Sep. 30, 2005

i saw Cab Calloway perform at the hollywood bowl when i was little. i don't remember much except it was fireworks night so it must have been july 4th.

Posted by: annika on Sep. 30, 2005

Amazing coincidence, this July 4th I drank a Cabernet.

Posted by: Pursuit on Sep. 30, 2005

funny, on July 4th I got drunk and fell off a cabinate.

Posted by: Kyle N on Sep. 30, 2005

I think I was there... both places.

Posted by: Casca on Sep. 30, 2005

you are the reason the star system on Net Flix is not helpful.

Posted by: kyle on Oct. 3, 2005


I was struck by a weird coincidence in your list between Breakfast at Tiffany's and Charlie Varrick. Walter Matthau, a former neighbor of mine, was married to Carol, who was supposedly the inspiration for Holly Golightly (and she was married to Saroyan before that). Meaningless trivia, to be sure . . .

Breakfast at Tiffany's and All About Eve(favorites of mine) and Annie Hall are chic flicks in the sense that the male roles therein are 'feminized', but that doesn't mean that men can't (and don't) enjoy the movies.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) on Oct. 3, 2005

George Peppard femininzed? I think the point is that they both became who they really were.

Posted by: Casca on Oct. 3, 2005

Patrickhenry: If you enjoyed the old 'Scarlet Pimpernel', you'd probably also enjoy 'Pimpernel Smith', which sets the story in the buildup to WWII and also stars Leslie Howard.

But we digress.

Posted by: SteveGW on Oct. 5, 2005