So there's this meme going about, where you have to tell everyone how old you are by listing a movie for every year you've been alive. A lot of people have picked up on it, so I thought,
As an intergalactic hero of some longevity, however, my list will perforce be a bit longer than other peoples'. Sorry about that...
Anyhow, on to the list - I'll have multiple entries per year because there's so much to work with and I have many personal favourites, but I'll try and keep the comments brief. Oh, and I've taken the liberty of adding a movie here and there that doesn't show up on Wikipedia's lists. I trust you'll forgive my impertinence.
And on we go - the 1960s...
1963 (yes, all right, I know...)
Charade: Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Paris, with murder and intrigue thrown in. Never gets old.
From Russia With Love: Connery getting into the role of Bond, although, like a new pair of shoes, it takes time to get comfortable.
The Fall of the Roman Empire: Stephen Boyd, Christopher Plummer and Sophia Loren, with Alec Guinness as Marcus Aurelius, in an underappreciated (for its time) depiction of the beginning of the end of empire.
A Shot In The Dark: Peter Sellers in his second (and best) outing as the inimitable Clouseau.
A Fistful of Dollars: The debut of 'The Man With No Name' in which Sergio Leone and Clint Eastwood turned the Western on its head. All over an insult to a mule.
The Flight of The Phoenix: James Stewart et al in a tale of plane-crash survivors in the desert. The part where they realise Hardy Kruger's character is a designer of 'toy' airplanes is excellent...
The Great Race: Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood and Peter Falk in Blake Edwards's tribute to the great slapstick comedies of early cinema. Dedicated 'To Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy', it remains one of my favourites today.
For A Few Dollars More: The Man with No Name again, this time as a bounty hunter who teams up with Lee Van Cleef's Col. Mortimer to track down the ruthless, musical-watch wielding bandit El Indio (Gian Maria Volonté). The final showdown between Mortimer and Indio is iconic.
The Ipcress File: On TV only last Saturday night, Len Deighton's spy is worlds removed from Ian Fleming's creation, but nonetheless fascinating for all that.
The Spy Who Came In From The Cold: Richard Burton in John le Carré's tale of a washed-up spy who takes one final assignment before retiring. Filmed on location in Ireland, parts of Dublin were used to stand in for Berlin. One location, seen at the end of the picture, remains largely unchanged today.
Thunderball: Connery's best outing as 007. I think you get the point.
Von Ryan's Express: We used to see this in school when they had movies after classes in the gym on a Wednesday. Excellent stuff, and every time I watch it I think Ryan might actually make it to the train...
Batman: Holy Blockbuster! Would've been better if Julie Newmar had been available for Catwoman, though Lee Meriwether was every bit as - feline...
The Blue Max: Another movie shot here - my dad says the planes would fly over our house on their way to and from shooting, but I was too young to remember. Dublin once again fills in for Berlin, with Trinity College as the German High Command.
Our Man Flint: Derek Flint making James Bond look like an amateur.
Texas Across The River: I saw this comedy Western once on TV when I was a kid, and one thing stuck with me - Peter Graves's performance as inept US Cavalry Capt. Rodney Stimpson, who'd give the command "Ah-roor Haar!" and charge off, leaving his men scratching their heads and wondering what he meant.
Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree: 'I'm just a little black rain-cloud...' Should be required viewing by everyone. Just because.
The Dirty Dozen: As with the later M*A*S*H, there's more to Robert Aldrich's film than just a war story. Private Donald Sutherland pretending to be a general and reviewing Col. Robert Ryan's troops was a nice comic moment though, as was Ryan's reaction.
El Dorado: I've always preferred this to Rio Bravo, although it's a lesser movie in many ways. Robert Mitchum wasn't as good at playing the washed-up sheriff as Dean Martin, Arthur Hunnicutt wasn't as 'plumb ornery' as Walter Brennan, but somehow it worked for me.
Hour of the Gun: John Sturges' follow-up/remake of the Wyatt Earp/Doc Holliday story, starring James Garner and Jason Robards. Far superior to his earlier Gunfight at the OK Corral, and more historically accurate.
In Like Flint: Our man again, saving the world single-handed during his coffee break.
In the Heat of the Night: Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger - there should have been two Oscars.
The Jungle Book: The first movie I was ever brought to see as a child. Baloo was my hero, and King Louie introduced me to Jazz.
2001: A Space Odyssey: A remarkable film. I usually wake up before the first dialogue is spoken, the early, prehistoric sequence boring me insensible, but the rest of the movie is a masterpiece. I don't get what the big deal is about Stanley Kubrick - this and Full Metal Jacket are the only movies of his I can watch...
Barbarella: The 41st Century isn't going to look like that, by the way. Just, y'know, FYI...
Bullitt: Should be on everyone's list. Cool cast, cool cars, San Francisco and Lalo Schifrin's cool sounds - let's just go with 'Cool' and leave it at that.
Danger: Diabolik - BBC2 used to show European movies in a late-night slot at weekends when I was but a teenaged sidekick, and this was one of them. I found the DVD while in Berlin and watched the movie for only the second time in maybe thirty years... Bizarre, but great fun.
Once Upon A Time In The West: Evil Henry Fonda? Only Sergio Leone could make that work, and this is his masterpiece.
Planet of the Apes: A brilliant ending – I never saw it coming. Granted, I was about 10 the first time I saw it, but hey…
The Producers: Ah, Zero Mostel… “Did you bring the checkie? Can’t produce plays without checkies…”
The Shoes of the Fisherman: A Pope from behind the Iron Curtain – good idea, but who’d believe it? I bet John Paul II took lessons from Anthony Quinn’s portrayal, though…
The Thomas Crown Affair: More coolness – Steve McQueen (the Samuel L. Jackson of his day), Faye Dunaway, chess, Michel Legrand's score, Windmills of Your Mind…
Where Eagles Dare: One of the best Alastair MacLean adaptations since Guns of Navarone, and the first movie I was let go to see unaccompanied by a grownup. In the city. By bus.
The Italian Job: “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” Late Sixties football metaphor :), England looking good, only to lose in extra time. Not to worry though; they got their own back in Escape to Victory...
OHMSS: “This never happened to the other fellow.” One of my favourite Bond movies. Lazenby wasn't bad as 007, being, as Terry Pratchett might say, 'hero-shaped'. I wonder what Diamonds Are Forever might have been like with him instead of 'the other fellow'...
True Grit: “Fill your hand, you son of a bitch!” John Wayne in one of his finest roles, supported by a fine cast, including Strother Martin as the beleaguered horse dealer...
That's it for the Sixties - tune in next time and see what I liked in the decade that was the 1970s...