100 Greatest Movies All-Time Pt. 6: 5 - 1

This is it. The end of the list. My Top Five films of All-Time. Tomorrow I'm going to be doing a full write-up where I list all 100 movies and include a run-down of things like, most appearances by an actor or director with most appearances on the list. But that'll be tomorrow's thing. Hit the jump for the top 5.

5.) Goodfellas

"For us to live any other way was nuts. Uh, to us, those goody-good people who worked shitty jobs for bum paychecks and took the subway to work every day, and worried about their bills, were dead. I mean they were suckers. They had no balls. If we wanted something we just took it. If anyone complained twice they got hit so bad, believe me, they never complained again."

The true story of Henry Hill brought to life by Martin Scorsese with acting by Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci in the best performance of his entire career by far. I don't think I can say enough about this film, since it really is one of the best crime movies in history, and not only that but it is incredibly true to life as the real Henry Hill contributed quite a bit to the research for the film. But even with all of that, it's the performances throughout the film that really make this movie the number five film of All-Time, with not only Pesci, but Liotta and DeNiro turning in career defining work in this movie. Also, Karen is one of few strong women showcased in a mafia film who is a compelling character in her own right, which is another major coup from this film. One oddity that I felt was worth pointing out, recently the 15th anniversary special edition was released and it included a commentary track by Henry Hill, despite the fact that he was in witness protection still from turning his friends in to the FBI. THEY GOT THE GUY OUT OF WITNESS PROTECTION TO RECORD A DVD COMMENTARY TRACK!! That's rediculous.

4.) The Shawshank Redemption

"Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies."

The greatest bromance in cinema history between Tim Robbins' Andy Dufresne and Morgan Freeman's Red in this movie based on a Stephen King short story and directed by Frank Darabont. Robbins is terrific as Andy, who refuses to let being imprisoned for half of his life despite being innocent ruin him and instead fights back and makes a full life for himself anyway. And I think that if it weren't for the bad luck of Morgan Freeman going up against Tom Hanks' Forrest Gump he should have won the best actor Oscar easily. The ending of the movie is probably one of the best, most satisfying endings to a drama. And really, this film is great because it is so up-lifting and filled with so many memorable lines.

3.) It's a Wonderful Life

"Remember George, no man is a failure who has friends."

I will defend this choice for the rest of my life, and the funny thing is that it mostly depends on how I'm feeling on the day because I will pick this as my favorite movie of all-time depending on how close to Christmas we are. Really, and I think that it's true with anybody, that which movies are in the Top 3 is set in stone, but where they fall (either 1,2, or 3) is incredibly fluid and depends on the person's mood at the time. With that said, It's a Wonderful Life is an amazing and touching film and when it comes on every year, without fail, I will watch it every time all the way through and love every minute of it. I am not what you would call an overly sensitive guy, I would enjoy a bad shoot-em-up action movie way more than any romantic comedy ever made, but even though I've seen it probably fifty or sixty times I still tear up at the end of this movie. George Bailey sacrifices his whole life for others, and when he needs them most the people that he sacrificed for save him. Jimmy Stewart is my favorite actor of all-time, followed by Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Morgan Freeman, and Gregory Peck.

But really, I love this movie because I love Christmas. Not the overly commercial aspects of it or the people fighting and arguing over meaningless materialistic things that represent the ugly aspect of Christmas. No, I love Christmas that is only about sharing time with each other, being thankful for what you have with those around you, and taking time to just stop and enjoy life with those around us. That's why I love Christmas, and that's why I love this movie.

2.) Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

"Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1."

"Never tell me the odds."

The saga of Star Wars is arguably about the hero's journey, the path of Luke Skywalker becoming a hero and savior of the universe in the struggle against the Empire. This movie, however, is amazing because of cinema's greatest scoundrel, Han Solo. Han takes center stage in this movie with his rescue of Luke Skywalker on Hoth, the daring escape through the asteroid field, seducing Leia, and withstanding torture at the hands of Darth Vader. Han and Leia's relationship is actually pretty touching and believeable for these two people in this situation to fall for each other in this way. And really, aside from my love of Han Solo, the reason why this is one of the best movies in my eyes is because of the way it ends.

When I was a young kid I saw Empire Strikes Back, and I think before I did I had never seen a movie where the bad guy won. Every film I had seen up to that point had always ended, no matter how bad things looked during the film, with everyone safe and sound and the bad guys defeated. Then I saw Empire, where Han Solo was frozen and shipped back to Jabba the Hut, Luke was beaten by Darth Vader and narrowly escaped, and the Rebellion was on the run, basically the good guys were screwed. Needless to say, it greatly impacted me and I still love this movie because of that, since from that point on I saw that stories could end badly for the heroes and in fact most of the time I am drawn to stories where the bad guys win. And it's all thanks to Empire.

1.) The Godfather
"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

The best film ever made. Hands down, just terrific all the way through and I really don't know what else to say about it. Honestly, if you don't like this movie or do not agree with it being ranked number one I really don't think anything I say will convince you otherwise. So, I'm going to include a bunch of quotes from this amazing film instead of trying to come up with some hilarious or interesting anecdote about this film.
"Mike! You do not come to Las Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!"
"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever. "

"In Sicily, women are more dangerous than shotguns"

"Well, when Johnny was first starting out, he was signed to a personal services contract with this big-band leader. And as his career got better and better, he wanted to get out of it. But the band leader wouldn't let him. Now, Johnny is my father's godson. So my father went to see this bandleader and offered him $10,000 to let Johnny go, but the bandleader said no. So the next day, my father went back, only this time with Luca Brasi. Within an hour, he had a signed release for a certified check of $1000. "
"How did he do that?"
"My father made him an offer he couldn't refuse."
"What was that?"
"Luca Brasi held a gun to his head, and my father assured him that either his brains or his signature would be on the contract"

"What the hell is this?"
"It's a Sicilian message. It means Luca Brasi sleeps with the fishes."

(Referring to Michael possibly having his sister's husband killed)
"Is it true?"

"Don't ask me about my business, Kay."
"No... "
"[slams the desk] ENOUGH! All right. This one time I'll let you ask me about my affairs."
"Is it true? Is it?"
(It was totally true)

Well that's the end of the list. Like I said, tomorrow will probably be the run-down of every movie from the list.

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