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Desert Island Films #73: It Rains… You Get Wet

Desert Island Films

le0pard13 from It Rains… You Get Wet has kindly submitted his Desert Island Films. It took a lot of persuading on my part to convince le0pard13 (or Michael to his friends) 😉 to join this project. Not only has he never complained about the piece I’m writing for him in exchange taking its sweet time, he even explained to me how to make a post with html! Plus, I know for a fact he re-tweets my work (and most of yours I’m guessing) more than anyone else, so I have a lot to be grateful to Michael for. Please enjoy his excellent choices, and more importantly be sure to check out his site. You won’t regret it, he does excellent work over there!

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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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Desert Island Films: le0pard13 from It Rains… You Get Wet

1) ALIENS

aliens

Why this, you ask? Specifically, why this sequel to Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi shocker, one that rocked us out of the 70s? If I’m to be stranded on some desert island, for any length of time, I’ll take James Cameron’s view. This is how I expressed it a couple years back in a comment to my friend and author John Kenneth Muir’s cult review:

“Though the body count (a term that came from the Vietnam War experience… I’m old enough to remember it well growing up) is greater in ALIENS, ultimately it is a more hopeful film. Ripley reconstructs a family she’s lost (more so with the Director’s Cut of the film) even through the devastation of another failed corporate acquisition. I LOVE THIS angle of the Cameron’s expressive, emotional roller-coaster ride.”

Of course, if I’m home, I’ll put on ALIEN, too ;-).

2) Midnight Run

Midnight Run

Martin Brest (via a script by George Gallo) concocted what may be my favorite mismatched buddy movie, action flick, and road picture. A funny as all hell, street-smart, and oddly sentimental work that continues to stand-up well beyond its 80s pedigree. Plus, it proved to be Robert De Niro’s mould-breaking role, especially when matched by the incomparable Charles Grodin. Quoting my colleague J.D.:

“…Brest delivered the goods in a big way, serving up an R-rated film that mixed exciting car chases and shoot-outs with hilarious recurring gags and assortment of colorful characters.”

3) Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein

Like a certain mad scientist, Mel Brooks (along with Gene Wilder who starred and co-wrote it with the director) brought back to life the legendary Mary Shelly work and the best of the 30s Universal Studios Frankenstein monster classics with a grand horror-spoof for the ages. In glorious black and white, it remains my favorite Brooks comedy. Add the great Madeline Kahn and Cloris Leachman, almost unrecognizable as the grotesque Frau Blücher, in the mix and few beat it for laughs, nostalgia, and quotable dialogue. Another of the best from the groundbreaking 1970s films.

Goodnight, Frau Blücher.

[horses whinny]

4) Charade

Charade

As I’ve already said,

“Not only did Charade cast two of my favorite actors as leads, the classy Audrey Hepburn (who a number of my readers now know I remain quite smitten with) and the great Cary Grant, it was that rare film where story, cast, dialog and director came together perfectly.”

Stanley Donen matched Hitchcock in producing the type of comedy thriller that Sir Alfred became quite famous for. A few of us think Charade is more fun than any of the same genre that became synonymous with the British great. Donen’s the only one that plays on equal footing as a romantic comedy. The film centers on the romance building between the two main leads — the murder, mystery, and thrills the story generated being almost incidental.

5) The Godfather

the godfather

Like the novel, this film work was more of an experience than simple movie viewing by those who caught it. Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s The Godfather remains a rich, textured depiction of crime family life. One where the family remained the central, operative word throughout. Even though the film was shockingly violent for its time, the tale never lost the audience because it embodied a special collection. The ethnic gangsters existing in a country made of immigrants, and in a way not seen before in movies. We developed a stake with these criminals byway of ancestry and their enterprises. Their roots, loyalties, and dark efforts all to better a group held together by blood or marriage.

6) It’s a Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

Beyond those who love and/or have written about this classic in the decades since the film’s début, as cited in many tributes and documentaries (online or otherwise), it is the director’s and actor James Stewart’s favorite, as well. Frank Capra’s singular film bestowed a heavenly sense by sending its lead character through the town of perdition. It remains the only holiday film that makes full use of its film noir imagery to achieve that perception. That is to say, you’re not going to have a silver lining without that dark cloud to show it off. I suppose, this particular work by the filmmaker really put the final mark on what it was to be Capraesque.

“I’m glad I know you, George Bailey.”

7) The Professionals

the professionals

There are a small few ahead of this 1966 oater, in my book. Nevertheless, there’s none more rousing than this supremely under valued story of honor and adventure by Richard Brooks. It certainly featured some of the writer/director’s best dialogue, most delivered with relish its special cast. A western that had it all: action, thrills, and a great sense of humor. An unexpected sense of morality, too:

“La revolución is like a great love affair. In the beginning, she is a goddess. A holy cause. But… every love affair has a terrible enemy: time. We see her as she is. La revolución is not a goddess but a whore. She was never pure, never saintly, never perfect. And we run away, find another lover, another cause. Quick, sordid affairs. Lust, but no love. Passion, but no compassion. Without love, without a cause, we are… nothing! We stay because we believe. We leave because we are disillusioned. We come back because we are lost. We die because we are committed.”

8) WALL•E

WALL•E

Director Andrew Stanton may have said it best of his film,

“… irrational love defeats life’s programming”

This remains my favorite work by Pixar. That it does this through a genre I fell for as a kid, science-fiction, makes it that much more special. This enabled a story that began “In a dismal, silent post-apocalyptic world…“, as my friend Ruth described, rendezvousing at the edge of space on a starliner, only to end right back where it started for two mechanical beings reaching beyond their programming. The culmination of which draws the audience to a touching affirmation. Not the notion that love is good, but its real meaning. One illustrated so beautifully: how one learns to love.

Book: Stephen King’s THE STAND

The Stand

At 1153 pages in hardcover, this remains the longest book the famed writer ever put to print (still nicks his It behemoth at the tape by a few sheets). A book with the highest body count, too. Yet it’s a work with a definite sense of hope. This novel is the best-loved Stephen King on my library shelf (even if it’s not the author’s favorite).

Luxury Item: A picture of my family. The one thing that’d get me through an entire desert island ordeal 😉

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Thanks again to le0pard13 for taking the time to join the prestigious 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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64 Comments

  1. Thanks again for doing this Michael. Much appreciated, and always grateful. 🙂

    Godfather & Midnight Run are the two stand out choices for me. Dubious about this upcoming Midnight Run sequel though 😉

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  2. Interesting list. I still need to make one of these, but I get stuck after Transformers (1986) every time.
    Unrelated, I’m not getting post updates from you anymore. I don’t know if that’s an issue on my end or yours, but…it’s…MAKING…ME…ANGRRRRRRRRY.

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    • Yup, would love a list from you. No rush, but it does need a few more besides Transformers 🙂

      As for the notifications, thats weird. I take it you have the notify by email button clicked on the left of my sidebar? Maybe enter your email address in there again, just scroll down a bit and you should see it. That should then send an email each time…….I hope you get it fixed, as I miss you. Also, now Im worried no one is getting it! 🙂

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      • Everything says its in order… fucking WordPress. It must be me; I’ve just noticed The IPC and Cinema Parrot Disco are also not coming in. Who knows what else I’m missing…

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        • Weird. I mean, if you’ve seen my posts in the last few weeks, I’ve barely been able to get online with wordpress. Nightmare. Hoping things are getting back to normal. Just had my wife check and she got her email, but yeah if youre not getting them from other sites, thats weird.

          I don’t get them for you either……..I swear I’ve used the email option if Ive seen it. 😦

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        • I’m shaking my fist menacingly at the computer.

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        • I’ve hit your email button again for your site, see if it works. Hope the fist clenching solves your issue too. We’ve seen your angry face and body in the food challenge, so WordPress better be worried!

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        • That was my victory face!

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        • theipc

           /  August 23, 2013

          You need to get this worked out, my man. WORKED OUT!!

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        • Did you get this post notification Eric? In the nicest way I’m hoping the problem is not on my end 🙂

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        • theipc

           /  August 23, 2013

          I did actually – in the reader and email : )

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        • Cool, thanks buddy. I got yours too, and look forward to reading it after I’ve had a little sleep. Issues all on MojoFoogos end 🙂

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        • theipc

           /  August 23, 2013

          Mojo needs to get this fixed : )

          Talk to you later – I’m heading out to see You’re Next here in an hour or so : )

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        • Jealous, looking forward to your thoughts on You’re Next 🙂

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  3. Great choices, especially Aliens!

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  4. Great lust Michael. It’s fantastic to see Aliens and Midnight Run here. I was surprised that you chose them but it was a pleasant surprise. Two great, great movies.

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    • Kinda of surprised myself, really. I thought it easy at first, then I found it wasn’t ;-). Love those two films. Thanks, Mark.

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  5. Some superb choices here Michael. Always got time for anyone who chooses The Godfather 🙂

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  6. Thanks so much for asking me to contribute to this series, Tyson. It really is a great one, as all of those who have done one have proven. Took me awhile, too, as selecting something like this isn’t easy. So many of them to pick from.

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    • My pleasure, and an honor to have had so many people take the time to join the project.

      Definitely tricky, I still regret leaving out a bunch of films for my own list 😦

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  7. theipc

     /  August 23, 2013

    Great list!! Frau Blücher!! Nice grouping!!

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  8. Reblogged this on It Rains… You Get Wet and commented:
    My good friend from across the pond has been kindly putting out the welcome mat for a long time to get me to contribute to his wonderful site, Head in a Vice. Today, I did just that, adding to his fine film series. 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. Thank you so much for the invitation, my friend.

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  9. garryarmstrong

     /  August 23, 2013

    Wow!! I’m so surprised to see so many of my faves on this list including “Young Frankenstein”. Hey, Walk this way!! Mel Brooks has been getting lots of richly deserved awards lately and I love his “in your face” thank you’s. “The Godfather” obviously is one of the great ones. Along with “Godfather 2”, the apex for so many of the people involved. Remember, Danny Thomas wanted to play Vito Corleone. Thank goodness, Marlon Brando got the job even though he had many skeptics among the “suits”. “Charade” is another classic with the Grant-Hepburn classic “boy-girl” leads although Cary is a tad long in the teeth, it doesn’t matter — they’re great in this wonderful twisting plot and great Mancini music with Stanley Donen at the helm. Terrific supporting cast including James Coburn, Walter Matthau, George Kennedy and Ned Glass.James Coburn told me that Cary Grant was terrific to work with. Even did rehearsals to help others out. “It’s A Wonderful Life” should be on everyone’s list. To imagine — it wasn’t a box office hit when released. “The Professionals” — one of my favorite westerns. Richard Brooks directing a terrific ensemble cast of Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance, Ralph Bellamy, the lucious Claudia Cardinale and Maria Gomez. A TERRIFIC script with wonderful dialogue. I love the final scene with Ralph Bellamy and Lee Marvin. Bellamy: “You son of a bitch!!!”. Marvin: ” Yes Sir. With me — an accident at birth. You–well, you’re a self made man!”. Great stuff, Michael. As a movie maven, you’ll do!!

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    • Thank you very kindly, Garry :-). Love your points about the films and agree with everyone of them. All of these films have been seen multiple time (my family can attest) and I just never tire of them.

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  10. Great list!

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  11. Oooh, Aliens, why didn’t I think of Aliens for my list? Or a Stephen King book (mine would have been ‘Salem’s Lot)? Very cool list indeed but ashamed to say I’ve *whispers* never seen Midnight Run (heads for cover)

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    • There’s still time for you to see Midnight Run ;-). Of course, it still mystifies that it hasn’t been brought over to Blu-ray, or been given a special treatment with extras. Great to meet another fan of Aliens. Many thanks.

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  12. Really cool list, MIchael. I would almost certainly include The Godfather in my list as well. 🙂

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  13. Great choices, Michael. There are some great films up there, and the few I haven’t seen I have heard a lot of good things about.

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  14. Abbi

     /  August 23, 2013

    Love It’s A Wonderful Life so much!

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  15. jackdeth72

     /  August 23, 2013

    Excellent choices for a Desert Isle, Michael!

    Very glad that you included ‘The Professionals’ in your list. A great early “Guy Flick’ equal to ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and ‘The Dirty Dozen’!

    Can’t and won’t argue ‘The Godfather’ or ‘The Stand’. While ‘Charade’ quietly, romantically and humorously rocks on all levels.

    “You sir, are a steely eyed missile man!”

    I’m also liking this new layout.

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  16. Garry said it all!

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  17. Awesome list, Michael, may I stay over on your island? 😉 LOVE that you have several classic movies on here, esp It’s A Wonderful Life which would never gets old! Glad you’re able to convince Michael to join, Tyson, well done! 😀

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  18. Superb choices, Michael! Loved how you described The Godfather. Guess we all have to pick that one, huh?

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  19. Great list. Good variety! Aliens was also on mine & WALL-E ALMOST made it (I gave it a mention at the end – really love that film). 🙂

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  20. Great choices, but haven’t read The Stand yet, I’ll be tryng to track that down.

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    • Thank you very much, Ben. The Stand is also available on audiobook, and reader Grover Gardner does an excellent job with it.

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      • Thanks for the recommendation, that sounds a great version, I’ll check out the audiobook version along with the regular ok. Do you know if the mini series was any good-never caught it yet..

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        • Yes, I did see the miniseries. While I won’t it was great, certainly not as great as the novel, it was pretty good. It’s worth checking out in my opinion, Ben.

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        • I think I will give the mini series a try then, a see the DVD is on amazon, so yeah I’ll give it a go.

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  21. Great list! Nice to see Aliens, Midnight Run, and Young Frankenstein on there. I’ve never seen The Professionals. Will have to put it on my watchlist. 🙂

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