The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 680-661


680. The End of Summer (1961) Dir. Yasujiro Ozu, 103 mins.

Manbei Kohayagawa (Ganjiro Nakamura) is the head of a small sake brewery company that is in difficulties. As the family patriarch he also has to deal with daughter problems, one, a widow, needs help in finding a new mate and the other needs help making the right choice in a future spouse. Whilst some have dismissed The End of Summer as boring, others admire the beautiful cinematography and witty script.

679. The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S. McNamara (2003) Dir. Errol Morris, 107 mins.

The documentary is about the life and times of former U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara illustrating his observations of the nature of modern warfare.

678. Spies (1928) Dir. Fritz Lang, 178 mins.

Rudolf Klein-Rogge plays a master criminal aiming for world domination.

677. The Very Same Munchhausen (1979) Dir. Mark Zakharov,

Zakharov’s tongue-in-cheek satire of the Soviet Stagnation-Era society follows the story of the baron’s life after the adventures portrayed in the Baron Munchausen stories, particularly his struggle to prove himself sane. Münchhausen is portrayed as a multi-dimensional, colourful, non-conformist man living in a grey, plain, dull and conformist society that ultimately tries to destroy his personality.

676. Turtles Can Fly (2004) Dir. Bahman Ghobadi, 97 mins.

Set in a Kurdish refugee camp town on the Turkish border of Iraq, the film focuses on a group of children who are trying to survive in extreme circumstances.

675. Chimes at Midnight (1965) Dir. Orson Welles, 115 mins.

The film’s plot centres on William Shakespeare’s recurring character Sir John Falstaff and the father-son relationship he has with Prince Hal, who must choose between loyalty to his father, King Henry IV, or Falstaff.

674. Hedgehog in the Fog (1975) Dir. Yuriy Norshteyn, 11 mins.

Norshteyn’s classic animation short follows a little hedgehog (voiced by Maria Vinogradova), who, while on the way to visit his friend the bear cub, gets lost in thick fog, where horses, dogs and even falling leaves take on a terrifying new aspect. A visually dazzling and poetic interpretation of a Russian folk tale.

673. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) Dir. George Roy Hill, 110 mins.

The film tells the story of bank robbers Butch Cassidy (played by Paul Newman) and his partner Harry Longabaugh, the “Sundance Kid” (played by Robert Redford), which is based loosely on historical fact.

672. The Truman Show (1998) Dir. Peter Weir, 103 mins.

The film stars Jim Carrey as Truman Burbank, adopted and raised by a corporation inside a simulated television show revolving around his life, until he discovers it and decides to escape. Weir’s media satire feels even more pertinent twenty years on than when it was released.

671. The Missing Picture (2013) Dir. Rithy Panh, 92 mins.

Approximately half the film uses clay figurines to dramatise what happened in Cambodia when Pol Pot came to power, while the other half is made up of news and documentary footage.

670. The Hidden Fortress (1958) Dir. Akira Kurosawa, 139 mins.

The jidaigeki adventure film follows two bedraggled peasants, who, having been wrongly taken for soldiers, escape an invading army and find a gold bar while hiding out in the woods. With a mood that changes back an forth between brutality and humour, some have dismissed The Hidden Fortress as nothing more than well shot entertainment or at least not on a par with Kurosawa’s most acclaimed work. However, it does feature some of the filmmaker’s most visually stunning and arresting sequences (particularly notable is the striking use of composition in depth), fast paced action, witty characters and an intriguing narrative that was later recycled by George Lucas for Star Wars.

669. Children of Men (2006) Dir. Alfonso Cuaron, 109 mins.

The film shows a future in which global infertility has left humanity with less than a century to survive.

668. Halloween (1978) Dir. John Carpenter, 91 mins.

In the film, on Halloween night in 1963, Michael Myers murders his sister in the fictional Midwestern United States town of Haddonfield, Illinois. He escapes on October 30, 1978, from Smith’s Grove Sanitarium, and returns home to kill again. The next day, Halloween, Michael stalks teenager Laurie Strode and her friends, while Michael’s psychiatrist, Samuel Loomis, pursues his patient, knowing his intentions.

667. Fires on the Plain (1959) Dir. Kon Ichikawa, 104 mins.

Fires on the Plain follows a tubercular Japanese private and his attempt to stay alive during the latter part of World War II.

666. Let’s Get Lost (1988) Dir. Bruce Weber, 120 mins.

The film is about the turbulent life and career of jazz trumpeter Chet Baker.

665. Hearts and Minds (1974) Dir. Peter Davis, 112 mins.

Winner of the 1974 Academy Award for best documentary, the controversial Hearts and Minds traces the growing involvement of the U.S. in the war in Vietnam.

664. Mouchette (1967) Dir. Robert Bresson, 81 mins.

A coming-of-age story, Mouchette is set in a rural French village and follows the daughter of a bullying alcoholic father and ailing mother. Buy

663. Poetry (2010) Dir. Lee Chang-dong, 139 mins.

It tells the story of a suburban woman in her 60s who begins to develop an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her irresponsible grandson.

662. High Noon (1952) Dir. Fred Zinnemann, 85 mins.

Zinnemann’s unbearably tense western tells in real time the story of a town marshal, Will Kane, who is forced to face a gang of killers by himself. Watch

661. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955) Dir. Ingmar Bergman, 108 mins.

Although Ingmar Bergman had been directing films since the mid 1940s, it was not until Smiles of a Summer Night that he achieved substantial international recognition. Somewhat indebted to Mozart’s ‘ The Marriage of Figaro’, the film follows four people who indulge in a sexual rivalry during a wild weekend at a resort. A sophisticated comedy, the elegant ironies temper the film’s sense of the transience of love, happiness and enlightenment. The film inspired Woody Allen’s A Midsummer Night’s Sex Comedy.


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