By MICHAEL ANDERSON
I am a “non-traditional” student, meaning I’m a lot older than most of you. Here’s a list of films that most people my age have seen, but I suspect many of you have not. These are gems from a time when screens were not cluttered with terrible sequels or remakes, when creativity existed in Hollywood and Adam Sandler made good movies.
10. “Goodfellas” (1990)
I hope most of you have seen this one, but just in case.. Sorry “Godfather” but THIS is the best Mafia movie. Based on the life of Lucchese family associate Henry Hill, it is a masterpiece, Martin Scorsese’s finest work. It inexplicably lost the Best Picture and Best Director Oscars to Kevin Costner’s “Dances With Wolves”, a vastly inferior film.
9. “Dazed and Confused” (1993)
Richard Linklater’s period piece about teenagers in Austin, Texas on the last day of school in 1976 is a wonderful movie, full of rich character development and flat-out awesome music. It is a snapshot of life in the mid-‘70s, and features a host of fine performances by the young cast, including Matthew McConaughey in his debut.
8. “The Bad News Bears” (1976)
Forget about the 2005 remake, it’s a weak imitation of the original. This movie was actually playing on the day depicted in “Dazed and Confused”. Growing up in the ‘70s was much different than it is now. We were “free-range children” and this charming film about a Little League Baseball team is a perfect illustration of that. Refreshingly politically incorrect, and full of questionable behavior by both adults and children, it is perhaps my favorite baseball movie.
7. “The Blues Brothers” (1980)
The first “Saturday Night Live” characters to be brought to the big screen, Jake and Elwood Blues (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) try to save the orphanage they were raised in with help from some musical legends including Ray Charles, James Brown and Aretha Franklin. It features great music and some incredible car chases.
6. “Miracle” (2004)
In the 1980 Olympics, a group of American college kids beat the best hockey players in the Soviet Union, a team that had won four Olympic gold medals in a row. Kurt Russell is transcendent as Coach Herb Brooks, and he delivers the best locker room speech I’ve ever seen.
5. “Full Metal Jacket” (1987)
A powerful film about how Marines are made. It is told in two acts. The first one takes place at the Parris Island Recruit Depot in South Carolina, where “Private Joker” undergoes basic training. The second part is in Vietnam during the 1968 Tet Offensive, where “Joker” takes part in the savage battle for the city of Hue.
4. “The Princess Bride” (1987)
A delightful faerie tale/love story, this hilarious movie is superbly written, full of wit and heart. The adventures of Princess Buttercup and her true love Westley are not to be missed.
3. “The Full Monty” (1997)
This quirky film about unemployed steel workers in England really impressed me with its originality. Follow this eclectic group of friends as they navigate family responsibilities and try to make ends meet…by performing as strippers.
2. “Reservoir Dogs” (1992)
Quentin Tarantino’s first big film is still his best. The twisted tale of a robbery gone off the rails, “Reservoir Dogs” is full of great dialogue, quality acting and bloodshed. It also has a healthy dose of artfully done torture mixed in. Harvey Keitel and Steve Buscemi steal the show as “Mr. White” and “Mr. Pink.”
1. “Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” (1964)
Peter Sellers is amazing as he plays three characters in Stanley Kubrick’s nightmarishly hysterical satire of Cold War brinksmanship gone wrong. George C. Scott also delivers as the overeager Air Force General “Buck” Turgidson. As funny as this movie is today, it scared the crap out of people when it was released. It really highlighted just how absurdly close the superpowers were to wiping each other out during that time. As unsettling a thought as that is today, it was much more so back the