Summertime seems to be movie list-making time in just about every publication. I imagine it's because once you slap Chris Pine or Christian Bale onto a summer magazine cover, you're stuck waiting for the fall buzz to kick up ... or anxious film writers out there are hoping to remind audiences that they can ease the pain of mindless blockbusters with meat-and-potato classics. Either way, we get a lot of lists.
Esquire has a particularly interesting one up, though. They've compiled a collection of 75 movies they feel every man should see in his lifetime, and go so far as to suggest they've all shaped American manhood in some fashion. Some of the choices are obvious classics: In the Heat of the Night, 12 Angry Men, Chinatown, The Godfather, North by Northwest, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, The French Connection. Some are a little more on the forgotten side, like Fitzcarraldoand Run Silent, Run Deep.
But some of the choices are a little questionable. Iron Man? Three Kings? Runaway Train? Lone Star? Enjoyable sure, but are they must watch classics? Did Lone Star really shape modern manhood? I'm pretty sure Iron Man didn't considering it came out oh, exactly one year ago. Surely Easy Rider or Death Wish should have two of those spots. Doesn't John McClane deserve a rank above Johnny Dangerously? No Goodfellas? Why only one John Wayne (The Searchers) and no Jimmy Stewart or Gregory Peck?
Check out the list and ponder whether you think watching all 75 of these makes (or has made) a true man, as Esquire's version has me a little worried. Then come back and tell us what films you think are more essential than these.
*And no, clearly no one thinks there's an essential list for women. We may have to put that one together here on Cinematical.