The best books and movies.

June 20th, 2009

Gimmicky though they are, I’m a sucker for “all-time best” lists like these:

Of the novels — and they actually just mean novels written in English since 1923 — I’m sure I’ve read these 19 in their entirety:

American Pastoral, Animal Farm, Appointment in Samarra, The Bridge of San Luis Rey, The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, The Great Gatsby, The Heart of the Matter, Lord of the Flies, The Lord of the Rings, Mrs. Dalloway, Native Son, 1984, A Passage to India, Slaughterhouse-Five, Snow Crash, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, To Kill a Mockingbird, To the Lighthouse

Of the movies, I’m sure I’ve seen these 40:

The Awful Truth, Blade Runner, Bonnie and Clyde, Brazil, Bride of Frankenstein, Camille, Casablanca, Charade, Chinatown, Citizen Kane, Double Indemnity, Dr. Strangelove, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, Farewell My Concubine, Finding Nemo, The Fly [though it doesn’t belong this list], The Godfather, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Goodfellas, A Hard Day’s Night [??], His Girl Friday [one of my all-time faves], It’s A Wonderful Life, King Kong, The Lady Eve, Lawrence of Arabia, The Lord of the Rings, Meet Me in St. Louis, Notorious, On the Waterfront, Once Upon a Time in the West, Pinocchio, Psycho, Pulp Fiction, Schindler’s List, Singin’ in the Rain, Some Like It Hot, Star Wars, A Streetcar Named Desire, Taxi Driver, Unforgiven

How about you?

3 Responses to “The best books and movies.”

  1. Glenda Spain Says:

    I’ll get back with you after I’m through counting! :)

  2. Mark Says:

    I’ve finished up 17 books and 14 of the movies. I found it interesting that, on the whole, I think I enjoyed the movies more. I mean simply that had a better experience on average whilst in the midst of the work, and would be more likely to recommend one of the movies than that books.

    I am *much* more likely to describe myself as a bookworm than a movie buff. So, I wonder why it is that I rank the movies better overall.

    Is it how TIME evaluates Greatness after the fact that makes for lists with different character? The simple difference between the literary vs. cinematic experience? Or maybe I’m just better at choosing movies for myself? Or maybe my reading experience makes me more demanding/discerning? No answers yet, but worth pondering.

  3. Tim Walker Says:

    Thanks for your thoughts, Mark. Off the cuff, I wonder if you’d have the same experience, books versus movies, once you got to, say, 50 of each. There are plenty of crowd-pleasers on each list, but I think that the book list may have more titles that are universally hailed by literary and popular audiences than the movie list does.

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