The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
The Perpetual Three-Dot Column
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by Jesse Walker

Monday, December 30, 2002
'92, then '82, then '72 -- you may have sensed a pattern by now. Next up: my favorite movies of 1962.

1. The Exterminating Angel
Directed by Luis Bunuel
Written by Bunuel and Luis Alcoriza, from a play by Jose Bergamin

This was the first Bunuel film I ever saw. A dozen or so later, it's still my favorite.

2. The Music Man
Directed by Morton DaCosta
Written by Marion Hargrove, from a play by Meredith Willson and Franklin Lacey

A real movie musical, completely liberated from its stage origins, with a sophisticated score and an enjoyable anti-bluenose streak.

3. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Directed by Robert Aldrich
Written by Lukas Heller, from a novel by Henry Farrell

"You mean, all this time we could've been friends?"

4. Knife in the Water
Directed by Roman Polanski
Written by Polanski, Jakub Goldberg, and Jerzy Skolimowski

Polanski's first feature. Very tense.

5. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence
Directed by John Ford
Written by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck, from a story by Dorothy M. Johnson

Unravels one legend, helps invent another.

6. The Manchurian Candidate
Directed by John Frankenheimer
Written by George Axelrod, from a novel by Richard Condon

My memory's a little hazy and I might be getting the chronology confused, but I'm pretty sure I went to a revival screening of this hyper-paranoid thriller on my first date, back in high school. Make of that what you will.

7. An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge
Directed by Robert Enrico
Written by Enrico, from a story by Ambrose Bierce

One of two templates for Siesta, Jacob's Ladder, Lulu on the Bridge, Abre Los Ojos, The Sixth Sense, Vanilla Sky, and Donnie Darko.

8. Carnival of Souls
Directed by Herk Harvey
Written by John Clifford

The other template.

9. Lawrence of Arabia
Directed by David Lean
Written by Robert Bolt and Michael Wilson

After Woman of the Dunes, this is probably the best movie ever made about sand.

10. Lolita
Directed by Stanley Kubrick
Written by Kubrick, from a novel by Vladimir Nabokov

Officially, the screenplay is by Nabokov, but the shooting script bore little resemblance to the novelist's self-adaptation. It is, at any rate, a fine black comedy, with especially amusing performances by Peter Sellers, James Mason, and Shelley Winters.

posted by Jesse 11:21 AM
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