The other night I was aimlessly flipping through the channels on my television and came across that the 1991 masterpiece “Silence of the Lambs” on IFC. Quickly, I turned it on for a few reasons, one of them is that it’s a favorite film of mine, but more importantly IFC does not edit for content.
There are only about a dozen films that I will turn on no matter what part they are on because they are perfect in every sense. As I began watching it, it dawned on me that this film was celebrating it’s 25th anniversary this year, and it got me to thinking about other films that have stood the test of time.
There are a few piece of criteria I believe are needed to have for longevity- one is a great story and all the films being described have that. Another key component needed is being able to quote certain lines from a film. Finally, it must have seeped into pop culture and left an indelible mark on society.
Star Wars (1977)- Even though the anniversary of this film is next year it is still considered one of the greatest films ever made for a number of reasons. First the story is magnificent, you have everything drama, romance and the ultimate villain in Darth Vader. Secondly, the special effects were groundbreaking for its time, and ILM (Industrial Light and Magic) was created thereby giving life to a whole new generation of films to be made. Also, the music which was conducted by John Williams is legendary, and has stood the test of time. Finally, it was the first film to ever be merchandised to the public in which George Lucas made millions from, and use the profits from the first film to finance “Empire Strikes Back” a few years later.
Hellraiser (1987)- Another film that was be celebrating an anniversary next year, this one in a different genre. Created by Clive Barker this horror movie revolves around an unfaithful wife who encounters the zombie of her dead lover. Meanwhile demons named the Cenobites pursue him after he escaped their sadomasochistic underworld. The 1980s was the decade that several horror films made their debut including “Friday the 13th”, “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream”. Over the years several sequels have been made and a new film entitled “Hellraiser: Judgment will be hitting theaters next year to celebrate it’s 30th anniversary.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)- As mentioned earlier one of my favorite films of all time for several reasons. First, the plot details the story of a young FBI agent named Claire Starling (Jodie Foster) who must find a madman named Buffalo Bill with the help of another one of the most diabolic characters ever put on film Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). She must prove to not only herself but her male counterparts that she can do the job. This film has a plethora of not only quoteable lines, but is still recognized as one of the first psychological thrillers of the modern era. The greatness of this movie is shown by winning the “Big 5” in 1991 (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay) the last film to do that was “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in 1975.
Training Day (2001)- It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since this film has been released. This film was tremendous because of the actor of Denzel Washington, and the performance earned him his second Academy Award for the portrayal of Det. Alonzo Harris, a dirty cop who does whatever it takes to survive. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Ethan Hawke as well, his acting was outstanding playing rookie Jake Hoyt trying to earn his spot on the team. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, it would be the first of three films he and Washington would work on. The other two were “The Equalizer” in 2014, and this year’s remake of the classic “The Magnificent Seven”.
Casino Royale (2006)- The name is Bond… James Bond. Believe it or not it was ten years ago that the remake of the 1967 classic was made. Daniel Craig starred as the new 007. This would be the first of four movies for him as the secret agent. Eva Green costarred with him as his love interest Vesper Lynd, and Mads Mikkelsen would play the antagonist Le Chiffee. Their final showdown would come to a climax in an exciting hand of Texas hold em poker. This franchise has been around for 50 years, and will continue for a long time because of the recent successful films.
These films are classics in their own right and should never be forgotten. If you have any other films I may have missed drop me a line in the comment box below.