Packergeek readers: name your top movies


During this stretch of downtime in our NFL year, I wanted to keep the discussion lively by diverting our attention to non-football things. (Actually, with free agency about to begin, I think other NFL team blogs are busy speculating about what their GMs might do – in the land of cheese and bratwurst, we don’t have to debate about which free agents to go after because we know TT isn’t giving much thought to it).

Inspired by comments from the previous post (and following Ace’s suggestion in particular), I’ve decided I’m going to try to name my top 20 movies. Now, I don’t know much about movies and movie history (like readers Schaef, Brother Dan), so be prepared for a fairly unsophisticated list. But I won’t apologize for the list because these are the ones I just happen to like the best. I should note, as will be obvious from my list, that I’d rather watch a comedy than any other kind of movie (watched Stir Crazy last night, a movie with some quality moments – Gene Wilder is tremendous in this movie). I know many “purests” (especially those who decide on Oscar winners) often dismiss comedies, but I think it takes as much talent or more than drama acting to pull off making your character truly hilarious. (One quick disclaimer, I reserve the right to change this list at any time because it’s so hard to think of all the movies I really like when I don’t have much time to think about it.) Anyway, here it goes:

  1. Airplane
  2. A Shot in the Dark
  3. Caddyshack
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird
  5. Being There
  6. The Mission
  7. The Jerk
  8. Bottle Rocket
  9. Waking Ned Devine
  10. A Christmas Story
  11. The Deer Hunter
  12. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  13. Napoleon Dynamite
  14. The Godfather
  15. Once
  16. Dumb and Dumber
  17. Office Space
  18. Sling Blade
  19. Blazing Saddles
  20. Hoosiers

(By the way, for those of you who read the previous post about the Shawshank Redemption, please note that, THE movie website, conducted a survey to come up with readers’ top 250 movies…Shawshank = #1. Also note, that I do fall prey to the trendiness of picking the Godfather, though I would say that part of the reason I like that movie so much is that my wife and I watch it on Italian dinner night – we drink nice Italian wine and eat the ____ out of some high, high quality pasta).

30 Responses to “Packergeek readers: name your top movies”

  1. Phil Says:

    Great topic, especially the previous post as well. I too had noticed in the past several years how “Shawshank” was usually people’s go-to movie when naming some of their favorites.

    No particular order after the #1 spot, which is pretty much my all-time fav. A few of my favorites:
    1. Heat
    2. The Insider
    3. the original Star Wars trilogy
    4. the LOTR movies
    5. Silence of the Lambs
    6. the Oceans’ movies.
    7. The Score
    8. the Man with No Name trilogy
    9. V for Vendetta
    10. the French “Taxi” movies

  2. Aaron Says:

    Any man decrying Shawsank and then having the temerity to include Dumb and Dumber on his ‘Top 20 Movies’ list, should just stop right now…

  3. Cindy V Says:

    Well, I’ll need to add a few chick flicks to this discussion. These are my top movies.

    1. Fried Green Tomatoes
    2. 84 Charing Cross Road
    3. The Spitfire Grill
    4. Desert Hearts
    5. Dirty Dancing (No one puts Baby in the corner!)

    I have more but I don’t want to put a tear in the time/space continuem that is PackerGeeks.

  4. DaveK Says:

    A top 20 movie list that does not contain ‘Red Dawn’? Wolverines!!!!

  5. DaveK Says:

    Just in case you forgot the awesomeness:

  6. RayMidge Says:

    Five Easy Pieces
    McCabe and Mrs. Miller
    The Long Goodbye
    Local Hero
    The Wild Bunch
    Raising Arizona
    Miller’s Crossing

  7. bucky Says:

    Except for the first on this list, which I consider by far the greatest film ever made, these are not in any particular order:

    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
    A Clockwork Orange
    Citizen Kane
    Moulin Rouge!
    The Godfather
    The Shawshank Redemption
    North By Northwest
    The Manchurian Candidate
    The Searchers
    The Third Man
    L.A. Story
    The Dark Knight
    Fight Club
    Lawrence of Arabia
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Touch of Evil
    Apocalypse Now
    Raiders of the Lost Ark
    Blade Runner
    The Empire Strikes Back
    The Color Purple

    I should note that in pulling this together, my wife made the point that it’s a little homogenous. I don’t agree, but there you are.

    Red Dawn? Please. I haven’t been 14 years old for a very long time.

  8. Ron La Canne Says:

    Off Topic Alert!!

    Apparently, Brett Favre is spilling his guts to Peter King. WTMJ News quotes Favre as telling King, “TT was the reason I played last year.”

  9. bob schnell Says:

    My Top 25 Movies-Any Order

    1. Jaws-The only movie to make me jump out of my seat.
    2. The Deer Hunter-I lost family members and friends in Viet Nam, so this film really hits home for me in so many ways.
    3. Rat Race-One of the most unexpectedly funny movies. It made me laugh so hard until it hurt and beyond.
    4. The Last Samurai-The pageantry and historic scope really drew me in.
    5. Goldfinger-Multiple great villians-Goldfinger/Odd Job/Pussy Galore-Plus,
    I still would give anything to have that Bond car with the machine guns, oil slick device and of course the infamous ejector seat!
    6. A Christmas Carol (The version starring George C. Scott)-It made me feel like I was back in England in the 1800’s and say what you will about Scott’s volatile personality, he was one superior actor. He nailed the role of Scrooge just as much as he was so convincing as Patton.
    7. Animal House-Sophomoric humor at its best.
    8. Bridge on the River Kwai-Superbly portrayed in all aspects.
    9. The Natural- The only film I have gladly watched over ten times.
    10. The Impossible Years-A film from the early 1960’s that the clever and wonderful actor, David Niven, starred in. This film captured the essence of an urbane, light-hearted, family comedy.
    11. Annie Hall-Classic Woody Allen.
    12. Face-Off – Travolta and Cage, a great script, made this movie exiciting.
    13. Star Wars-The first realistic looking science fiction movie of great scope.
    14. As Good As It Gets-Jack Nicholson is a national treasure. A great performance by all in this film.
    15. The Wizard of Oz- This film should be on every person’s list. This is a true classic, more so than any other film, including Gone With The Wind.
    16. True Grit-How can you not have at least one John Wayne film. The Duke was the last bigger than life itself movie star, and I don’t even particularly like westerns. Did you realize that in True Grit, the Duke was over 60’s year’s old and still did mostly all of his stunts. At the end of this film, he takes off his hat to wave to goodbye to the character played by Kim Darby while at the same time having his horse run at full speed and jump over the fence, that he actually performed this stunt. And add to all that the fact that just before he started filming True Grit he had one lung removed due to lung cancer. The guy was absolutely tough and really lived up to his persona, in real life and film.
    17. The Verdict-One of the best dramas of all-time. Paul Newman turns in a great performance even by his own usually very high standards. James was also terrific.
    18. On Golden Pond- Not only was this a great film, but it also made me feel this was really life imitating art with the Fondas’ complicated relationship that they most certainly had.
    19. Jurassic Park-Interesting concept of cloning merging with prehistoric creatures.
    20. Seabiscuit-If you read the book first and then watch the movie, even if it is for the second time, there is no question this is one of the most compelling stories of the 20th Century.
    21. The Producers (The version that starred Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder)-Zero had more comedic expression in just his eyes than most top notch actors have taken altogether. This was Wilder’s first film and he played his part perfectly. But, Zero was one of the true kings of comedy and made this movie outrageously funny. Also, I recommend watching Zero in A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum, he was superb in this film as well.
    22. The Exorcist-A truly frightening film. When ever I hear its theme song of Tubular Bells, I think my bed raises a couple of inches and starts talking in Latin!
    23. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest-Great book/Great Film. The convergence of all the characters’ longing to be healthy and free with the fear of knowing they may never be quite right. Great film.
    24. Love Story- This is s a good film that had a bunch of one hit wonders, including the writer, come together early in their careers to make this film and then never do anything else that was even close to being mediocre.
    25. Patton-George Scott in another great performance.

    Well, Andy and Steve this is my list. Please let me know what you think of any of the selections or my reasoning. Please also know that I am a big Packer fan and love reading Packergeeks. This is the first time I ever responded. Just as a suggestion, I also made up a list of what I think are some of the worst films of all-time, as well, maybe we could post our own personal Razzies. A few of mine are actually former Oscar Best Picture award winners. Take Care and Go Pack-Let’s have a great April Draft!

    Bob Schnell

  10. Joe Says:

    I agree with almost everything on Bucky’s list but Red Dawn is on my list as is the Outsiders.

  11. awhayes Says:

    Tremendous feedback – I love it. I must admit there was a dual purpose in writing this post – not only was it fun to consider my top 20, but by soliciting feedback, we’re getting some great suggestions for movies I haven’t seen. Bob, thanks for your comment and your thoughts – always know that you’re comments are welcome here. (And by the way, One Flew almost made my list and The Producers is a movie I haven’t seen, but sounds like I must rent…I’m a huge Gene Wilder fan. And, my sister also said she’d put As Good As It Gets in there too – I liked it too…Nicholson was really good in that movie.)

    I’m already wondering about my own list and some movies you’ve all mentioned that may actually replace some of my existing top 20:
    *The Natural – great movie
    *Raising Arizona
    *Raiders of the Lost Ark
    *Silence of the Lambs (was a sick movie, but acting was unreal)
    *Empire Strikes Back
    *Dr. Stranglove (like just about any Peter Sellers movie)
    *The Outsiders – great movie
    *The Color Purple
    *Miller’s Crossing
    *Shawshank Redemption – despite my misgivings with its “cool” factor, fact is, I must admit I too fall prey to Morgan Freeman’s narration – the guy’s voice just adds immediate legitimacy to anything (even that Penguin movie he narrated).

    How about Mississippi Burning? Really liked that movie…

  12. 56Coop Says:

    No particular order

    Tombstone (Val Kilmer does a great Doc Holliday)
    One Flew OVer the Cuckoo’s Nest
    Band of Brothers (not really a movie but I have it on DVD & watch it a lot)
    Lord of The Rings Trilogy
    Pulp Fiction
    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Godfather (I & II)
    Apocalypse Now
    Silence of the Lambs
    North by Northwest (and most of the Hitchcock classics)
    2001 Space Odyssey
    Face Off (Nicholas Cage & Travolta both do great jobs)
    Oh Brother Where Art Thou
    Ben Hur
    Blue Velvet (David Lynch Classic–Not for the kiddies)
    Easy Rider
    Young Frankenstein

    And, in honor of my wife who got me hooked on thuis Winnie The Pooh & The Blustery Day (Why I’m a little black rain cloud — of course)

    Honorable mentions to the Peter Sellers Pink Panther’s

  13. Ron La Canne Says:

    Re. Movie Topic

    I hate Hollywood. Haven’t cared about movies since the original “Curly” died.

  14. 56Coop Says:

    Ron–One day I’d like to sit down and have a beer with you.. You are hilarious.

    And Favre finally comes clean on his vindictiveness.

  15. Schaefer Says:

    nothing really new to add, but thought I’d put mine up there. Mainly based the list on my favorite movies I stop to watch when I see they are playing on TV, even though I’ve seen most of them way too many times…

    Greetings From The Shore
    Old School
    Dumb and Dumber
    Godfather (1 & 2)
    Star Wars (original trilogy)
    LOTR trilogy
    Shawshank Redemption (I want to be cool)
    Pulp Fiction
    Good Will Hunting
    Tombstone (I agree with 56Coop – Crazy Val Kilmer should’ve been nominated)
    Die Hard
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    The Big Lebowski
    Dazed and Confused
    Seabiscuit (really underrated movie)
    Four Weddings and a Funeral

    Go Pack!

  16. Ron La Canne Says:


    Salute’ How about a quart of Fox Head 400?

  17. Aaron Rogders Says:

    How did Napoleon Dynamite get ahead of Office Space?? I am also surprised to not see Rudy, Friday Night Lights, Jerry Maguire, or any other good football movie..

  18. 56Coop Says:

    ONe of these days Ron, one of these days

    How about Brian’s Song Aaron–if you want a real tear jerker

  19. DaveK Says:

    Bob – I agree about including a John Wayne film. True Grit was great along with the sequel Rooster Cogburn. My favorite John Wayne movie though is El Dorado. I get sucked into watching it every time it gets runs on TV to my wife’s chagrin.

    Bucky – I was half joking about Red Dawn. I saw it again a few months back on TV and was surprised how badly done it was. Bad acting, melodramatic scenes, etc… But still, that movie was awesome when I was 10 years old and I still get a kick out of watching it.

  20. bucky Says:

    A couple of additional comments:

    John Wayne- rather than True Grit, watch The Searchers. His best movie. He plays a flat out racist, unlikeable character, but he also has a certain sense of honor that comes through. Also with Jeffrey Hunter, the price of Whitefish Bay, WI and the original captain Christopher Pike.

    One of the wife’s criticisms was that I should have more comedy. It was very hard to look past Animal House, Some Like it Hot, Annie Hall, Blazing Saddles, The Producers (a big fan of Mel Brooks, I’m sure that’s obvious), Office Space, and Raising Arizona. Any or all of these movies would be worthwhile substitutes for many of the movies on my list. I’m also a huge fan of Ruthless People (in my opinion, the Zucker brothers’ best) and Big Trouble (I absolutely love Dennis Farina in this movie).

    Sports movies: The Natural, Hoosiers, Field of Dreams, Eight Men Out, and Seabiscuit. Never got into Raging Bull (or Rocky, for that matter). As for football movies- I’m not sure there’s been a great one since Horse Feathers, although the original The Longest Yard was pretty good.

    You know, Andy’s original thought about Shawshank being the movie that it’s cool to like- I get the same feeling about The Big Lebowski. I like it, it’s a good movie, but it’s not as good as Fargo, Blood Simple, or even The Hudsucker Proxy. Yet tons of people consider it one of the best. Go figure.

  21. Trav Says:

    I was attempted during a meeting today to put together a list, but couldn’t do one from 1-20. With movies, like music and books, I find it hard to do a true Top 5 or Top 20 without breaking it into categories. My categories though aren’t the normal categories, such as Top 5 Sports Movies, Top 5 Action, Top 5 Comedy, etc.

    I tend to take a bit more unconventional approach and take other factors into account with my lists. For example:

    Top 5 from the mid-90’s when I was living with 3 college friends and we had a “black box” – see: Usual Suspects, Tommy Boy, Braveheart, Pulp Fiction, anything on Spice with an up-and-coming starlet by the name of Jenna Jameson),

    Top 5 High School/College Pre-Game Preparation Movies – Hoosiers, Vision Quest, Rocky II (the last 30 minutes only), Rocky 3, Rocky 4

    Top 5 After Bar movies in college – see: Blues Brothers, Predator, Top Gun, Cocktail, All The Right Moves. (Side note: 3 Cruise films made this list as one of my roommate has a tape with all 3 on. We were poor at the time I think these 5 might have been the only movies we owned collectively.)

    Top 5 movies I would never admit to liking outloud – this list is hidden to protect the guilty

    Top 5 movies I always end up getting sucked into on cable, regardless of the number of times I have seen them – see: Roadhouse (you don’t mess with the Swayz…), Heat, The Contender, Office Space, and as of late: Friday Night Lights (the movie, not the series).

    In retrospect, I am glad the meeting was only an hour as I put together 17 unique Top 5 lists during the meeting today. Thanks for the diversion, Andy. It made the afternoon go faster.

  22. sfhayes Says:

    1. Bottle Rocket
    2. Airplane
    3. To Kill a Mockingbird
    4. The Stoning of Soraya M
    5. The Godfather
    6. The Jerk
    7. Caddyshack
    8. Napoleon Dynamite
    9. Metropolitan
    10. I Confess
    11. Platoon
    12. Miller’s Crossing
    13. Rear Window
    14. The Pink Panther
    15. Dial M for Murder
    16. Memento
    17. American Movie
    18. Little Miss Sunshine
    19. Vernon, Florida
    20. Top Secret
    21. Schindler’s List
    22. Office Space
    23. Braveheart

    There’s my Top 23. A few comments on the entries that might need some explanation.

    Bottle Rocket is phenomenal. It doesn’t feel epic enough to be my favorite movie, but there it is. “She said you’re a failure? What has she ever accomplished with her life? Nothing. Nothing.” That is brilliant. Or: “How’s an asshole like Bob get such a great kitchen.”

    The Stoning of Soraya M is extraordinary. It’s a film about Islamic law and women’s rights in modern Iran – based on a true story in a book of the same name. It’s not out yet – I saw it at a small, private screening last fall. I thought it was one of the most powerful and moving films – maybe the most powerful and moving film – I’ve ever seen.

    I liked Napoleon Dynamite before it was cool to like Napoleon Dynamite. I’ve probably seen it thirty times and it doesn’t get old.

    Metropolitan – Whit Stillman’s best – a classic, and subtle, social commentary.

    Yes, I’m a Hitchcock freak. The three Hitchcock films on this list could have easily been three or four longer (Vertigo, North by Northwest, Rope).

    How could a bunch of commentators with ties to Wisconsin omit “American Movie.” For shame.

    Vernon, Florida, is a fascinating documentary by Errol Morris (director who did, most famously, “The Fog of War.”) Entertaining, sad and disturbing all at once. Find it, watch it.

    And I completely agree with Andy on The Shawshank Redemption. Very overrated. (So was The Usual Suspects back in the day.)

  23. sfhayes Says:

    I like this from Trav: “Top 5 movies I would never admit to liking out loud.” Fortunately for PackerGeeks readers, I got ahold of the person sitting next to Trav in the meeting and he passed it along.

    5. Thelma and Louise
    4. Enchanted
    3. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
    2. Maid in Manhattan
    1. Cool as Ice

  24. Aristomenes Says:

    There are some great movies listed here. A couple others to be considered:

    Princess Bride
    Death at a Funeral
    What’s Up Doc?
    The In-Laws (original)
    Meet the Parents
    Groundhog Day

  25. awhayes Says:

    Aristomenes – Princess Bride is one my wife lobbied to add…very funny moments in that one. Meet the Parents was also hilarious and I’m surprised there hasn’t been more mention of Ground Hog Day. Just saw Death at a Funeral and that has some quality moments too.

    Trav – Tommy Boy is a movie I had actually considered for my top 20. I think Farley and Spade are so good in that movie and unlike some comedies, it manages to keep a plot afloat the whole while.

    Bucky – I’ve never heard of the movie Ruthless People and I thought I’d seen all of the Zucker brother films. I will bump that up top on the Netflix list. (And I’ve only seen a few scenes from the Big Lebowski and while I do need to watch the whole thing for sure, it seemed like it was mostly about swearing…)

  26. Trav Says:

    Well played, sir.

    You seems to underestimate the talent of Rob Van Winkle as an actor. I, on the other hand, embrace his genius and continue to await his comeback: Cool As Ice 2: Older and Colder.

  27. Trav Says:

    I just noticed the spelling in my original post. I must have been drunk or typing with my fists. I need to talk with my 9 year old daughter about proof-reading. Good lord.

  28. 56Coop Says:

    I thuoght of one I used to watch in collegge in various states of “entrancement”, I think it was one of Woodie Allens first attempys. It’s called what’s up Tigerlily–Japanese movie that Woodie subtitled in English about stealing a top secret Potatoe Salad recipe. Sincel I no longer partake of the “Phelps’ Favorite Herb” it may not be as funny as I remember.

  29. Ace Says:

    Then focus on sports movies.
    top several
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Wait Until Dark (makes Jaws seem like a nursery story-Alan Arkin is a great villain.
    Psycho (original only)
    Mississippi Burning
    The Mission
    Sleuth-2 terrific acting jobs-M Caine and L. Olivier
    A Shot in the Dark/Pink Panther

    recent sleeper–Rabbit Proof Fence–Australian award winner

  30. Gary Rockhopper Says:

    You need to write more you do a good job

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