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Desert Island Films: Bride of the Book God

Desert Island Films

Christine from Bride of the Book God has kindly submitted her Desert Island Films. Read on for her choices and reasons, and be sure to check out her site.

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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.

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I thought this wasn’t going to be difficult, I know what my favourite films are, right? Except it was really hard, not assisted by both husband and best friend making “helpful” suggestions as I did my thinking out loud. For a while I couldn’t reduce the list to fewer than 11 but I got out that red pen and took a deep breath and ended up with the following, in no particular order.

The Towering Inferno [1974] 

the towering inferno

I remember going to see this in the cinema with a school friend when I was 14 or thereabouts. I love a good disaster movie and this one is still the best for me. It has the glamour, not one but two cool heroes, a set of bad guys ranging from merely venal to downright nasty, and some of the nice people die which just has to happen, sorry happy ending lovers. The special effects hold up pretty well because they are old-school physical rather than dodgy CGI. And then, of course there is Fred Astaire. And the cat.

All the President’s Men [1976]

All the President's Men [1976]

I was fascinated by politics at this age and had read the book before I saw the film. I’m still not sure that I totally understand the constitutional ins and outs of what was behind Watergate but I loved the technical detail and the documentary style and Hoffman and Redford are brilliant, though the star turn for me is Jason Robards. Still exciting even though you know the outcome.

Rear Window [1954] 

Rear Window [1954]

My favourite Hitchcock movie without a doubt. Grace Kelly is luminous, the supporting cast is fantastic (especially Thelma Ritter) and James Stewart is excellent as the frustrated action man trapped in a wheelchair and managing his boredom by spying on his neighbours. I can never resist looking in people’s windows as I go past on bus or train so I totally relate to his predicament, I think I would do the same thing too. And once again genuine suspense (well at least the first time you see it – after that it’s just the joy of watching the plot unfold)

The Big Chill [1983] 

The Big Chill [1983]

I think this may actually be my favourite film of all time and I have absolutely no idea why. I loved it from the first time I saw it on a rented video in early 1985 when my first husband and I were living in a studio flat in Aylesbury. It may be the fun of watching wealthy people struggle with their problems (the thing that kept me watching Dallas for all those years) but I’m not sure that’s the whole story because I desperately wanted them to all have happy endings. Can quote whole chunks of dialogue, the soundtrack is great and what a cast! Have seen it over 20 times and would be bereft if I thought i’d never see it again

The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]

The Nightmare Before Christmas [1993]

Love, love, love this. My love affair with Danny Elfman’s music started here (which is why I now have a full set of Oingo Boingo CDs), Jack is a wonderful character, there is so much to delight visually and a happy ending so hurrah. The soundtrack is on my iPod for most of October and I try to watch it every Hallowe’en. It’s possible that this may be overtaken in time by Frankenweenie, but it’s fairly secure at the moment.

Son of Frankenstein [1939]

Son_of_Frankenstein_movie_poster

Without this film there would have been no Young Frankenstein. Basil Rathbone is one of my heroes and his tortured performance in this plus the stunning black and white visuals make it a pleasure to watch. Not the first of the classic horrors that I saw but the one I go back to the most often.

Murder by Decree [1979] 

murderbydecree

Although I actually think that Rathbone would have been the greatest Holmes ever if he had had better scripts, I have a huge affection for this film. Christopher Plummer (another one of my heroes) gives Holmes a sympathetic human air that you don’t always find in other adaptations, and his relationship with James Mason as Watson is affectionate and convincing. Real moral outrage over the Jack the Ripper murders, though frankly the plot is pretty discredited these days. But a wonderful British cast makes this very affecting.

Cloverfield [2008]

Cloverfield [2008]

Just can’t resist this, was hooked by all the pre-publicity and I’m drawn to watching it every time I come across it on TV. I know there are pot holes the size of the Grand Canyon in this, and I’m not entirely convinced by the whole handheld thing (would he really have kept filming) though that may be my age! But the monster is cool and I cared about the people and it made me jump and the monster is cool (did I mention that?)

My book – Well, I have a book blog so books are my thing and I might literally die if I couldn’t have a range of things to read, but assuming I will get rescued at some point (it happened to Oliver Queen in Arrow after all), I discarded Lord of the Rings and Virginia Woolf’s diaries and will plump for A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell

My luxury – David Tennant. Or chocolate. Or David Tennant coated in chocolate. But most likely my iPod. Every castaway should be able to sing at the top of their voice so I would need the accompaniment.

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Thanks again to Christine 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 – tysoncarter@hotmail.co.uk

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23 Comments

  1. Thanks again for doing this Christine!! Love your reasoning and logic for your choices, and glad it was tricky to choose!! It is hard picking just 8 🙂

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  2. Great list! Rear Window is an absolute classic. It definitely crops up on these types of lists quite a lot. Hitchcock’s best?

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  3. Cool choices, Christine, especially with Rear Window, my favorite Hitchcock of all time! And yes, I saw The Towering Inferno in theaters when it was first released, too…along with Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure, three disaster films which I believe helped spark an interest in going to movies for something other than Disney. And Cloverfield…I love showing it to people who’ve never seen it, in hopes they like it as much as I do. Sadly, they usually don’t.

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  4. The Big Chill is a great choice!

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  5. Love this list, All the President’s Men, Rear Window, Cloverfield, awesome!

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  6. Any list with Murder by Decree is aces in my book. Great list.

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  7. I am all about having David Tennant as your luxury item – dammit, why didn’t I think of that???

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  8. What an eclectic list! I love that you’ve got all the bases covered in terms of your favourites!

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  9. garryarmstrong

     /  May 14, 2013

    I love this movie list!! “The Towering Inferno” is one of my favorite popcorn movies. Any cast that includes Steve McQueen, Paul Newman AND William Holden is AWESOME!! All 3 were FAVORITES!! We have a friend — a special effects guy — who comes from a family of special effects artists. He worked on “The Towering Inferno”. Tells a story about working on that big final scene where they use explosives to set off the gushing water to put out the fire. Our friend got all wet and says McQueen, impressed with his work, told him to go to his trailer and pick out dry clothing. Always jealous of my friend about that story.

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  10. Great list up until Cloverfield… 😉

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  11. These are some great picks! WOW! Love how you snuck Cloverfield in there as well, wasn’t expecting that!

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  12. Great mix here of classics and contemporary ones, Christine!

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  13. Great choices – if memory serves, that first movie had a scene that use to freak me out. I think it was that movie. When the guy and girl are trapped with all the fire around them. He tries to run through it with the wet towel on him, but doesn’t make it. Freaked me out.

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    • That’s the one! They are misbehaving in the office so it’s a classic version of the horror staple that bad things happen to naughty people!

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  14. Interesting choices and some movies I will be checking out!

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  15. Great list! Reblogging!

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  16. A nice selection of films here!

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  17. Fun list, especially as it is so wildly different than what I would take, other than perhaps Nightmare Before Christmas. I would definitely have to have the LOTR extended editions and the original Star Wars trilogy. Would need one or two of the Jane Austen film adaptations. Possibly a musical like Moulin Rouge. Not sure what else.

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  1. My Desert Island Films | Bride of the Screen God

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