DOM: An Introduction to my List

I will try to re-evaluate 100 films from 100 directors that I would like to take with me on a desert island, it may not be to everyone’s taste, but isn’t that the point? There are some films from the Derek Malcolm list that would make my list( Charles Laughton’s Night Of The Hunter, Michael Reeves’ Witchfinder General and Marcel Varnel’s Oh Mr Porter spring immediately to mind) that the director never made any other worthy masterpieces (or indeed in the case of Laughton, any other films!).

A lot of films on this list I managed to see when TV programming was so much more wonderful than it is today, when Moving Pictures was on BBC-2 , we had Arena documentaries about Hitchcock, Billy Wilder and Jean Renoir, when the film programme was presented by Barry Norman those days are gone and they are not coming back (unfortunately). Will the film buffs of the future have to rely on DVDs of forgotten classics to be given away free in a newspaper? Satellite channels broadcast the same films again and again. It is difficult these days to see any film from the 1930’s (bar The Wizard Of Oz or Gone With The Wind), never mind the silent era, no wonder in a recent Radio Times survey of the film defining female performances there was nothing by Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich or Louise Brooks never mind Renee Falconetti’s in The Passion Of Joan Of Arc which may be among the ten best performances ever filmed. A wishy washy list that was topped by Audrey Hepburn in “Breakfast At Tiffanys”(has nobody who reads the Radio Times never seen her in “A Nun’s Story”, “Wait Until Dark” or “Roman Holiday”? I guess not).

I remember when Paul Newman died and was asked what I thought was his best performance was, I said “Hud”, over 10 people round that table fell over themselves to disagree with me because they loved “Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid”, “Cool Hand Luke” and “The Sting”, I said have you ever seen “Hud”?, nobody had. So this really justifies the point that because it is black and white, it will rarely if ever get shown today. I found “Hud” on DVD at Morrisons for £2, but had seen it only once on TV many years ago, so I hope my list puts some of those wrongs right. Cinema didn’t start with “Star Wars”!!!!

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