What’s not on this best-movies list

We often feel happy to be out of sync with popular culture, if for no other reason than the likes of Paris Hilton dominate same. For example, we lost interest in anything Star Wars a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away. And while we’ll grant that the franchise is capable of providing some modicum of diversion, we find it astonishing that any Star Wars film could make it onto any list of all-time best movies. But if someone held a light saber to our heads and forced us to pick a Star Wars film for the top 100 of all time, we’d have to go with Return of the Jedi, not the one they picked. (But since all the Jedi are currently lined up for the latest bloated, special-effects bore, we feel safe.) Still, we tend to prefer films whose titles aren’t mentioned in the same sentence as the word “franchise.” What’s also curious is why they selected White Heat but not any of the classic James Cagney vehicles like The Roaring Twenties, Yankee Doodle Dandy or The Public Enemy. And why no single James Bond film? (OK, so that’s one “franchise” we’ll cop to.) Here are some films we would have included on any 100-best list: Network, Three Days of the Condor, Stage Door, Failsafe, The Best Years of Our Lives, The Wizard of Oz, Key Largo, I Am a Prisoner From a Chain Gang, The Kid, Rushmore, Shakespeare in Love, Europa! Europa!, Like Water for Chocolate, The Seven Beauties and many others not listed. How about you, dear reader?

—Posted by Kathleen Sampey