The Egyptian Theatre is showing the top 10 movies of all time as chosen by the American Film Institute. The movies, which are co-sponsored by Northern Illinois University and KishHealth System, will be shown every Tuesday in descending order.
The No. 10 movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” wasn’t shown, but the No. 9 movie, “Vertigo,” was shown last Tuesday. Upcoming films, which will be shown in descending order on Tuesdays, are: “Schindler’s List,” “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Gone With the Wind,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Raging Bull,” “Casablanca,” “The Godfather” and “Citizen Kane.”
While all of these are great movies, I’ve made up my own list of films. They may or may not be critically acclaimed, but I like them just the same.
Since the Super Bowl has just ended, it’s only appropriate to mention the football classic “Horse Feathers,” the 1932 ode to college football that only the Marx Brothers could pull off. I also like “Leatherheads,” George Clooney’s satirical look at the early days of pro football, loosely based on Red Grange joining the Chicago Bears in 1925.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, I have to include “Bye, Bye Love,” the 1995 comedy about divorced fathers dealing with their children. I don’t care how many times I’ve seen it, I can’t help laughing when Randy Quaid takes Janeane Garafolo to dinner.
Possibly the funniest movie I’ve ever seen is “Raising Arizona.” Nicolas Cage running through aisles of a grocery store searching for Huggies while someone is shooting at him is priceless.
I also like “The Ref,” the 1994 comedy with Kevin Spacey and his family being held hostage in their home over Christmas. Denis Leary delivers the classic line to the bitter widow Glynis Johns: “Lady, your husband isn’t dead – he’s hiding.”
No list would be complete without a Bill Murray film. I have two, actually. What “Stripes” does for the U.S. Army, “What About Bob?” does to the field of psychiatry.
There’s also “Forrest Gump,” set to the background of my own life.
On a more serious note, there’s “Scarecrow,” the little-seen 1973 movie with Al Pacino and Gene Hackman as two vagabonds on a trek across the country.
One film I can’t leave out is “Dead Poets Society,” the tragic 1988 film where first-year teacher Robin Williams tries to inspire a group of private school teenage boys to express themselves. I also loved Williams in “Good Will Hunting” and “The Fisher King.”
Since it’s basketball season, I have to include “Hoosiers,” also with Gene Hackman, this time as a disgraced coach. Beautifully filmed, it perfectly captures high school basketball in a small Midwestern town during the 1950s.
Finally, there’s “Local Hero,” a quirky little film in which Burt Lancaster sends Peter Riegert to purchase a small village on the coast in Scotland to build a refinery. Without looking, Riegert finds himself.
There are easily two dozen more I could add. I really don’t know how anyone could limit any list to just 10. As soon as I thought of one film, it made me think of another one just as good.
I hope you get a chance to check out the films at the Egyptian Theatre the next few weeks. They’re all great films in a great setting at a good price: $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.