My brain is still on vacation from the politics of the past two years, that has actually continued to swirl around our first chocolate covered first family.
So while the Obama’s are touring the world, that fool in North Korea is firing missiles that he says sing songs about him into the air, and everyone else is going crazy killing people while the rest of us pretend there is no gun problem in America...
I choose to think about movies....
I got started on this subject because I’m working on an article about the dumbing down of America, kids, and grown ups via education, television and the mass media....
Which brought to memory movies that I needed to see again, one of which was NETWORK, the Paddy Chayevsky story about an anchor man, played by the late Peter Finch who goes crazy on air. The network allows it to happen strictly for ratings. ..The movie is on point for my article and also a prediction of what we are currently experiencing......if you haven’t seen it...you should dial it up and watch and learn....
There is also this movie channel network called THIS....Don’t know who owns it.... It’s playing movies that I had forgotten existed, like...they played back to back.....IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT, followed by THEY CALL ME MR TIBBS, followed by THE ORGANIZATION, followed by PRESSURE POINT....all Sydney Poitier movies, where he was not playing the acquiescent Negro.
THIS tends to play black movies and cowboy movies like....Jane Fonda, James Caan and Jason Robards in COMES A HORSEMAN....This channel even plays the old Bat Masterson series with Gene Barry..On Saturday, it plays THE OUTER LIMITS.....watching that program as a kid was one thing...watching it from the future is amazing....
All this got me thinking about the number of best ever movie lists and how many of them contain movies by and about black people....
I found two lists of best 100 that listed THE COLOR PURPLE....I found one list that included Spike Lee’s DO THE RIGHT THING....after that nothing.....other than lists made up completely of black movies....no comparisons or competitions between "regular" movies and our
Regular movie lists always start with GONE WITH THE WIND or CITIZEN KANE...
So without further ado....I’m giving you my top 20 list of black movies...
1. In the Heat of the Night
2. The Defiant Ones (the original)
3. A Soldier’s Story
4. Shaft-(both of them)
5. Come Back Charleston Blue
6. Sweet Back
7. New Jack City
8. Lady Sings the Blues
9. Set it Off
10. Harlem Nights
11. Inside Man
13. Trading Places
14. Car Wash
15. The Mack
16. Man on Fire
19. Blazing Saddles
20.Cotton Comes to Harlem
This list differs from my favorite all time list which is has more action...in no certain order
3. Star Wars
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark
5. The Magnificent Seven
6. Seven Samurai
7. To Kill A Mockingbird
8. Moby Dick (gregory peck version)
9. The Three Musketeers
11. When Night is Falling
14. The Usual Suspects
15. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
16.The Tin Drum
17. Batman Begins
19. La Femme Nikita
Honorable mentions: The Count of Monte Cristo, Rage in Harlem, Glory, The Debaters, The Killing of Sister George, Midnight Cowboy and Victor/Victoria, The Sting, Deserts Hearts
My criteria....I will watch these films anytime they are on, can quote lines, and have memorized segments such as when the emperor demands that the gladiator say his name in the arena and gladiator turns and says..........."my name is......etc"