Keith & the Movies – Desert Island Films

Keith from Keith & the Movies has kindly submitted his Desert Island Films. Read on for his choices and reasons, and be sure to check out his site.


Desert Island Films is about choosing 8 films you would take if you were going to be stranded on a desert island and explaining your choices. They don’t necessarily have to be your favourites, just 8 films, no more or no less! You are also permitted to take one book and one novelty item which must be inanimate and of no use in escaping the island or allowing communication from outside.


Keith & the Movies – Desert Island Films

#1 – “Casablanca”

Yes, this movie is considered a classic and for good reason. It’s brilliant throughout. I have a really hard time pinpointing one film as my single favorite of all time, but it seems like every time I tackle the question “Casablanca” makes its way to the top of the conversation. The film features a beautiful romance, a fabulous atmosphere, a brilliant performance from Bogart, an incredible supporting cast, and Ingrid Bergman as beautiful as you will ever see her on-screen. This is a picture that I can revisit any time and still be as enthralled as I was the first time I watched it. Of course it would have to be with me on my isolated desert island!

no-country-for-old-men#2 – “No Country for Old Men”

I love the Coen Brothers and none of their movies combine their sometimes brutal storytelling with their special brand of humor better than “No Country for Old Men”. This is one of those movies that I have to stop and watch anytime I see it on television. It’s also loaded with memorable scenes (as anyone who follows my Phenomenal 5 lists knows all too well). Great performances from Tommy Lee Jones, Josh Brolin, and of course Javier Barden in a role that won him the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Gritty, violent, and sometimes laugh-out-loud hilarious, “No Country for Old Men” is an absolute MUST!

#3 – “The Night of the Living Dead”

While I have a hard time saying what my one favorite movie of all time is, I have no problem called George Romero’s original “The Night of the Living Dead” my favorite horror movie of all time. This genuinely creepy black and white classic is the film that put zombies on the map. The entire concept of a group of strangers trapped inside a two-story farm house during a deadly zombie outbreak is chilling in itself. Add Romero’s clever eye for detail and you have a horror picture that stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. I know it scene by scene but still get spooked watching it.

#4 – “The Empire Strikes Back”

Yes, I’m a Star Wars geek but I have no problems admitting it. It’s really hard to single out one of the Star Wars films to carry to my deserted island because they all contribute to the greater universe. But “The Empire Strikes Back” is not only my favorite film of the series, it’s one of the great sequels in cinema history. I still remember when I saw it in the theater as a young boy. It’s a movie that has a lot of meaning to me but it’s also fantastic storytelling and it’s the film that made the Star Wars franchise really feel bigger and broader. It’s a classic.

#5 – “Aliens”

Speaking of absolutely amazing sequels, James Cameron’s sequel to Ridley Scott’s ground-breaking sci-fi classic “Alien” is one of the best you’ll find. It’s loaded with intense sci-fi action and creepy sci-fi horror and it’s all brought together by some special effects that were truly ahead of their time. Sigourney Weaver is great as she develops one of the strongest female character’s in film history. Again, this another movie that I can watch anytime and anywhere. And for me, this is clearly Cameron’s best film. There’s no way I could be stranded on a deserted island without this movie.

#6 – “The Dark Knight”

Full disclosure: I’m a comic book guy so naturally a superhero flick had to make this exclusive list and there are none better than Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight”. This is the quintessential comic book film and I’ll even say it was a defining moment for the genre. The thick, layered story mixes well with Nolan’s impeccable visual style. And then there is the unforgettable Oscar-winning performance by the late Heath Ledger. Every time he’s on the screen you can’t take your eyes off of him. And Nolan uses him and every character just enough. It’s brilliant filmmaking and it’s a movie that I deeply love.

#7 – “Once Upon a Time in the West”

It’s not that I just feel the need to include a western in this small and exclusive list. “Once Upon a Time in the West” absolutely belongs on any list of great movies. This Sergio Leone salute to the spaghetti westerns is near perfection from the tense opening train station scene to the anticipated showdown at the end. And then you have an amazing turn with Henry Fonda playing one of the most evil villains in history. Great performances by Charles Bronson, Jason Robards, and the beautiful Claudia Cardinale. And then there is Ennio Morricone’s glorious score and Tonino Delli Colli’s gorgeous cinematography. This is a great film and it has to be considered in any discussion about great westerns.

#8 – “The Last of the Mohicans” (1992)

I’m a huge fan of Daniel Day-Lewis and I’m convinced that he is incapable of giving a bad performance. While my favorite performance of his is in “There Will Be Blood”, I have such an affection for Michael Mann’s “The Last of the Mohicans”. It’s a romantic and action filled period picture that moves through its gorgeous locations at a near perfect pace. I remember leaving the theater after first seeing it and instantly wanting to see it again. It features stunning cinematography and a score by Trevor jones and Randy Edelman that still moves me unlike any other. Its been called too sappy by some and too bloody by others. Personally, I love everything about it.

Book – The Bible.

While I read some fiction and more nonfiction, I can’t see myself coming back to a particular title enough to warrant making it my one choice. So I pick the Bible. As a Christian I have a natural soft spot for it and as much as I’ve read it, I can assure you I haven’t got it all down yet! 🙂

Luxery Item –

While I really, really wanted to bring my life-sized cardboard Humphrey Bogart cutout, I figured I would run into some complications. What if he gets wet? Would the wind off the ocean blow him away? Wouldn’t he just stand there always looking cooler than me? Therefore I choose a soccer ball. There are plenty of things one person can do to entertain themselves with a soccer ball. Plus, if there’s anything we’ve learned from “Cast Away” it’s that balls can sometimes make the greatest of friends.


Thanks again to Keith for taking the time to join the prestigious Head In A Vice ”castaway” list. If you would like to submit your choices and add your name to this list, please drop me an email to –


Leave a comment


  1. Thanks again for doing this Keith! Great choices, and welcome to the Head In A Vice castaways!! 🙂


  2. keith7198

     /  September 16, 2012

    Thanks Tyson! It was a load of fun.


  3. Carly

     /  September 16, 2012

    Great list! Love star wars and wld find it difficult to pick one of them. Dark knight is an amazing film just watched it recently and forgot how creepy and brilliant Heath is. Aliens is one of my all time favs no matter how many times I’ve seen it I cant switch it off when it’s on tv. I remember being aloud to stay up late as a teenager to see the end encouraged by my mum. Lol.


  4. atothewr

     /  September 16, 2012

    Great list and great choice for book to take.


  5. Reblogged this on Keith & the Movies and commented:
    Big thanks to Tyson for this great little project.This was loads of fun.


  6. Some very cool picks here, Keith!



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