The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 780-761


780. The Last Picture Show (1971) Dir. Peter Bogdanovich, 118 mins.

Set in a small town in north Texas from November 1951 to October 1952, the film is about the coming of age of Sonny Crawford (Timothy Bottoms) and his friend Duane Jackson (Jeff Bridges).

779. The Last Emperor (1987) Dir. Bernardo Bertolucci, 160 mins.

The Last Emperor is a visually stunning epic biographical film about the life of Puyi, the last Emperor of China, whose autobiography was the basis for the screenplay written by Mark Peploe and Bertolucci. Watch

778. Finding Nemo (2003) Dir. Andrew Stanton, 100 mins.

It tells the story of the overly protective clownfish called Marlin, voiced by Albert Brooks, who along with a regal tang called Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres, searches for his son Nemo.

777. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) Dir. Jacques Demy, 128 mins.

Romance begins busting out all over in Rochefort. A fair is being organised, giving the town an air of excitement and effervescence. Twin sisters Delphine, a dance teacher, and Solange, a pianist and a composer, dream of making it big in the world of music. The sisters, like many in Rochefort, including a dashing American pianist, are looking for love, without realising that their ideal partners are right before their eyes.

776. Horse Money (2014) Dir. Pedro Costa, 103 mins.

A mesmerising odyssey into the real, imagined and nightmarish memories of the an elderly Cape Verdean immigrant living in Lisbon.

775. A Fistful of Dollars (1964) Dir. Sergio Leone, 99 mins.

Clint Eastwood plays a cynical gunfighter who comes to a small border town and offers his services to two rival gangs. Neither gang is aware of his double play, and each thinks it is using him. A recycled plot from Kuroswa’s Yojimbo.

774. The Thin Man (1934) Dir. W.S. Van Dyke, 91 mins.

The film follows a San Francisco based married couple, Nick (William Powell), a hard-drinking, retired private detective and Nora (Myrna Loy) a wealthy heiress. With Nick having left a successful career and Nora accustomed to the high life, the couple spend their time at leisure. While holidaying in New York, Nick is pressed back into service by Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O’Sullivan), a young woman whose father, Clyde (Edward Ellis), was an old client of Nick’s and has mysteriously vanished.

773. Maborosi (1995) Dir. Hirokazu Kore-eda, 109 mins.

When her husband commits suicide for no apparent reason, a woman becomes deeply troubled by guilt. After spending years in solitude and then remarrying, she begins to find happiness again, but when she returns to her hometown, a flood of old memories haunts her.

772. Scarface (1932) Dir. Howard Hawks, Richard Rosson, 93 mins.

Written by former news reporter Ben Hecht to be like the story of the Borgias set in Chicago (at the request of Hawks), this ground-breaking and complex gangster film is essentially a family drama. At its core is the barely repressed incestuous desire of Tony Camonte (Paul Muni) for Cesca (Ann Dvorak). While controversial due to the graphic depiction of violence and Muni’s disturbing characterisation of the gangster as grotesque and abnormal, the film boldly outlines the motivations behind Camonte’s actions with a clarity that’s missing from similar gangster stories.

771. Manuel on the Island of Wonders (1984) Dir. Raúl Ruiz, 130 mins.

This three part French TV serial for children is the favourite of many devotees of Raúl Ruiz. It ties the enchantment and mystery of Lewis Carroll, Carlo Collodi and the Brothers Grimm to the filmmaker’s experiments with narrative strategies and what he calls the pentaludic model of storytelling.

770. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Dir. James Foley, 100 mins.

It depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a trainer to “motivate” them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired.

769. They Live by Night (1948) Dir. Nicholas Ray, 95 mins.

Based on Edward Anderson’s Depression era novel Thieves Like Us, the film follows 23 year old Bowie, who is one of three prisoners to escape from a state prison farm in Mississippi. Having spent the last seven years in prison, he must now decide on whether to prove his innocence or retire to a home in the mountains and live in peace together with his new love, Keechie.

768. The Lady Vanishes (1938) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 97 mins.

Written by Sidney Gilliat and Frank Launder based on the 1936 novel The Wheel Spins by Ethel Lina White, the film is about a beautiful English tourist travelling by train in continental Europe who discovers that her elderly travelling companion seems to have disappeared from the train. After her fellow passengers deny ever having seen the elderly lady, the young woman is helped by a young musicologist, the two proceeding to search the train for clues to the old lady’s disappearance.

767. The Set-Up (1949) Dir. Robert Wise, 72 mins.

The last film Wise made for RKO follows an aging boxer (Robert Ryan) who defies the gangsters who’ve ordered him to throw his last fight.

766. Juliet of the Spirits (1965) Dir. Federico Fellini, 137 mins.

The film is about the visions, memories, and mysticism of a middle-aged woman that help her find the strength to leave her philandering husband.

765. An Average Little Man (1977) Dir. Mario Monicelli, 118 mins.

Based on the novel of the same name written by Vincenzo Cerami, the film follows an ordinary bureaucrat who decides to avenge the death of his beloved son.

764. Profound Desires of the Gods (1968) Dir. Shōhei Imamura, 172 mins.

The culmination of the director’s examinations of the fringes of Japanese society throughout the 1960s, the film follows Kariya (Kazuo Kitamura), an engineer from Tokyo, as he deals with the natives of a remote island. The inbred and highly eccentric Futori family is shunned by most of the other islanders, but Kariya must work with the strange clan in order to construct a well that will supply water to the sugar mill. As Kariya goes about his job, he encounters various Futoris, including the mystically inclined Uma (Yasuko Matsui) and her disgraced brother, Nekichi (Rentarô Mikuni).

763. My Friend Ivan Lapshin (1985) Dir. Aleksei German, 100 mins.

Set in 1935 in the fictional provincial town of Unchansk, the film is presented as the recollections of a man who at the time was a nine-year-old boy living with his father in a communal flat shared with criminal police investigator Ivan Lapshin and a number of other characters.

762. Mamma Roma (1962) Dir. Pier Paolo Pasolini, 106 mins.

Written and directed by Pasolini and set in postwar Rome, the film follows Mamma who is ready to give up her life as a prostitute and bring her son Ettore to live with her in the city. She moves to a respectable neighborhood, hoping that Ettore will go to school, get a good job, and marry. But Ettore is lazy, taking for granted the gains his mother provides.

761. Behemoth (2015) Dir. Zhao Liang, 91 mins.

Loosely based on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, Liang’s documentary is about the environmental, sociological, and public health effects of coal-mining in China and Inner Mongolia.


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