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Greatest Movie You Have Ever Seen

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Morality is how well the characters and theme adhere to Objectivist philosophy, both in word, deed, and metaphysical occurance (does the universe plot against you or not?)

I though I do consider this when watching a movie, what is most important to me is an interesting story. I would rather watch a gripping film that totaly conformed to non-Objectivist ideas (such as Fight Club), than watch a boring film that followed Obejectivist philosophy (although if it did it wouldn't be boring but you should see my point nevertheless). The first reason for watching a film (for me) is to view an exciting story. Philosophy always comes second.

Ayn Rand herself commented that the three most important things in fiction are "Plot, plot and plot." (Art of Fiction).

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The plot is part of the theme.  How else do you learn what the theme is except through the plot?

Just because the plot reveals the theme does not mean it is part of it. The plot is the events of the fabula we are shown and how they are revealed to us.

The theme is the message (for want of a better word) that the plot is trying to express.

If anything, it is the theme that is part of the plot, not vice versa.

For instance, the theme of 'Blade Runner' is: How is a life valued?

The plot is: a retired blade runner has to eliminate 4 new nexus 6 androids. As he is eliminating them he discovers that he too is an android and falls in love with another android who he eventually runs off with.

Some films, although thick with plot are almost theme-less. For instance Ocean's 11. Theme and plot, although reliant on one another, can be totaly separated. What i was trying to say is that I value a good story more than a theme that corresponds to Objectivist ideals.

However, i do realise how i may have misunderstood your original comement as you were rating a film in terms of 'morality' and then 'style' not 'plot' vs. 'theme'. Apologies for misrepresenting you.

Edited by Pagan

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It's very hard to pick a most favorite movie.  Lots of those here have listed many of my favorites, so I'll try not to be too repetitious.  Here are just a few...

Flight Of The Phoenix -- This is a great movie about a plane crash in the desert and the attempt by the survivors to get out alive.  This movie demonstrates the value of the men of the mind.  Acting is great.

(deleted)

I was wondering when someone was going to mention this film. I saw it last Friday and, although most of the characters were dullards, the character, Elliot, was a clearly-different kind of man. He was on-purpose, always analyzing the situation and thinking about how the plane could be rebuilt. He designed a new plane from the parts they had left of the old one, while everyone else was thinking about conserving water and waiting for a rescue that would probably never come.

Oddly enough, the actor, Giovanni (I forgot his last name) is the exact opposite of the character he played (he was asked in an interview appearing in the DVD extras what he would do if he were stranded in the desert. His reply was that he would blow his brains out. I was disappointed in the real person at that point.)

But the overall film was well done, and for the most part, Elliot was a consistent, if a bit eccentric, character. There were some less than desirable traits injected into his persona near the end of the film, almost like a Steven King character, but those were temporary aberrations.

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I was wondering when someone was going to mention this film. I saw it last Friday and, although most of the characters were dullards, the character, Elliot, was a clearly-different kind of man. He was on-purpose, always analyzing the situation and thinking about how the plane could be rebuilt. He designed a new plane from the parts they had left of the old one, while everyone else was thinking about conserving water and waiting for a rescue that would probably never come.

Oddly enough, the actor, Giovanni (I forgot his last name) is the exact opposite of the character he played (he was asked in an interview appearing in the DVD extras what he would do if he were stranded in the desert. His reply was that he would blow his brains out. I was disappointed in the real person at that point.)

But the overall film was well done, and for the most part, Elliot was a consistent, if a bit eccentric, character. There were some less than desirable traits injected into his persona near the end of the film, almost like a Steven King character, but those were temporary aberrations.

Yeah, I saw it not too long ago, too. I liked Elliot, except for the end, as you mentioned. However, I didn't really enjoy the movie in general. The characters were never fully developed, so I didn't really care about any of them. Plus, it was way too predictable. I mean, I could judge exactly how it was going to end from like halfway through the movie.

*Spoilers*

Seriously, the plane igniting on the last cartriage, the nomads showing up, the plane dropping off the cliff and then rising just before the mountain. Geez! I want a movie just once, to end with the plane crashing. Of course it couldn't be the designer/hero's fault, but it would be a little more exciting.

Zak

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1. Braveheart (Mel Gibson Rules! This movie also contains my favorite movie lines such as " FREEEEEEDOM!")

2. Lorenzo's Oil (Great movie about parents who spit in the face of every expert in the field of medicine in order to save their child.)

3. Princess Bride

4. Die Hard

5. Unbreakable

6. Boondock Saintss

7. Terminator 2

8. Smoky and the Bandit

9. X-MEN

1o. Equilibrium

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I'd like to add Officer and a Gentleman to the list.  Great movie about doing what you want and not what everyone else wants.

Great quote from T.J.

Everyone has mentiioned Braveheart but overlooked Rob Roy. The latter is more focused on the individual struggle to preserve integrity in the face of overwhelming odds.

I saw the my favorite movie one time in 1975 at the Toho La Brea Theater in LA. They were showing sub-titled Japanese movies. It was called "Samauri Saga". It was a movie version of "Cyrano De Bergerac".

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Yeah, I saw it not too long ago, too. I liked Elliot, except for the end, as you mentioned. However, I didn't really enjoy the movie in general. The characters were never fully developed, so I didn't really care about any of them. Plus, it was way too predictable. I mean, I could judge exactly how it was going to end from like halfway through the movie.

*Spoilers*

Seriously, the plane igniting on the last cartriage, the nomads showing up, the plane dropping off the cliff and then rising just before the mountain. Geez! I want a movie just once, to end with the plane crashing. Of course it couldn't be the designer/hero's fault, but it would be a little more exciting.

Zak

I'm glad you mentioned this. I felt the same way about this movie (Flight of the Phoenix) while I watched it. Afterwards, I was pretty dissappointed with the predictable plot.

One of favorites that has only been listed in one post and has not been given any discussion is Men of Honor. Great story of individual resilience and utter determination to reach a goal. Overall, it is a productive movie.

Contact is one of my favorites, too.

Others that haven't been mentioned:

The Bourne movies. I was very impressed with both Identity and Supremacy. Original plots and a good theme of cleverly fighting for one's right to live.

Finding Neverland. Portrays a great sense of life and positive attitude with the ending depicting the inability to escape reality.

Office Space. A realistic comedy, almost like Seinfeld. Very funny.

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Are all of you talking about the same Flight of the Phoenix? There is an old (70s I think) version that I like a lot. I have heard the new remake is pretty bad though.

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I couldn't say what the "greatest" move I've ever seen is, but I've got some definite faves that have appeal to Objectivist themes:

The Spanish Prisoner - an excellent David Mamet story about a man whose "process" could net his company billions, and those who attempt to steal the product of his mind from him.

Spartan - another Mamet gem; Val Kilmer as an intransigent soldier charged with the task of finding the kidnapped daughter of the President.

Heat - for the 3 people left who haven't seen this movie and keep the DVD on 24-hour repeat play, I got 3 words for you - Deniro, Pacino, Mann. This is another wonderful portrayal of characters of uncluttered character, clearly good and evil. A nice departure from films sympathizing with the criminal and crippling the hero with a "dark past".

Galaxy Quest - brilliant sci-fi parody about a group of Star Trek-like actors thrown into the impossible scenario of playing their roles for real. Funny, but a good moral of conquering the most incredible challenges. Good one for the kids, too.

The Bourne Identity & Supremacy, and Spy Game are good, smart hero-spy films.

Code 46 - few O'ist themes, outside of controlling your own destiny despite what the gov't proscibes; nice modern look, cityscapes

A Murder of Crows - brilliant, just brilliant; too much to write here, but go to WalMart and buy it ... it's buried in the $5 bin, but well worth the dig

Equilibrium - if you can get beyond the embarrassingly immature and obviously derivative premise (Christian Bale is a storm trooper in a State that forces the population to take emotion-dampening drugs - sound familiar, Mr. Bradbury?), it's a good rainy-afternoon, Matrix-like antitotalitarian flick.

That's all I can think of now ... tired from URL copy-pasting from IMDB ... must ... watch Episode ... 3 .. trailer ... again ...

SynthLord

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There are plenty I like that have already been mentioned, some several times. So I'm going to add a couple fresh ones. (I think they're fresh, anyway.)

In the comedy genre, I like Spinal Tap. Unique dialogue goes a long way for me. In one of the deleted scenes, they're at the zoo looking at gorillas, and Nigel says that gorillas are bread-eaters, and therefore that "It's amazing, as a race, they've developed no baking skills." And then someone else, Derek I think, says, just as serious as can be, "It's not a race, it's a culture." Brilliant.

I like Outbreak a great deal. I like Dustin Hoffman and Cuba Gooding's performances particularly. The focus is mainly on them using their minds to solve a problem. I like watching them acting in somewhat dual roles, as scientists and investigators. I like the ending as well.

Does anyone have any thoughts on Chasing Amy? I remember being a big fan of that film. But I haven't seen it in over a year, and I have matured very much philosophically since then. Regarding this film only, I'm looking for comments like "It's great because the main character succeeds in overcoming his misconceptions", or "It's bad because the main character has no purpose". I'm not really interested in "I liked plot twist X" or "It has too many swear words". Thanks for your comments.

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Which is the greatest movie you have ever seen, which you have liked the most?

Mine is Lawrence of Arabia closely followed by Guns of Navarone.

I would like to know yours.

Pride of the Yankees ( a story about Lou Gehrig and really a true love story)and Birth of a Legend (the story of Pistol Pete). It is difficult to narrow down. There are so many. Billy Elliot was wonderful as well (pursuing ones dream).

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Pride of the Yankees

Any movie saying anything positive about the Yankees is a colossal failure. :D

(See my profile if you need an explanation. Here's a hint: It's the Red Sox part.)

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My most favorite movie of all time is Seven Samarai, directed by Akira Kurosawa.

Other Movies that I've thoroughly enjoyed from time to time is:

Dr. Stranglelove

Life Is Beautiful

Lost In Translation

Sideways

The Royal Tenenbaums

Donnie Darko

24 Hour Party People

American Splendor

Grapes of Wrath

Cool Hand Luke

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Citizen Kane seems to be getting the short end of the stick in this thread. It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember the structure and storytelling to be absolutely mesmerizing. I realize that Kane fell apart as the story progressed, but he rose to a height that few will ever see.

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Citizen Kane seems to be getting the short end of the stick in this thread.  It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember the structure and storytelling to be absolutely mesmerizing.  I realize that Kane fell apart as the story progressed, but he rose to a height that few will ever see.

The film has no equals. Sixty years from its controversial release, it still dazzles and intrigues. And, contrary to popular misconception, it is not a tale of capitalism’s corruption. Rather, it is the tragedy of a brilliant man who sought elusive happiness by trying to make the public love him. In short, it is the story of what Rand would call a “social metaphysician.”

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The film has no equals.  Sixty years from its controversial release, it still dazzles and intrigues. And, contrary to popular misconception, it is not a tale of capitalism’s corruption.  Rather, it is the tragedy of a brilliant man who sought elusive happiness by trying to make the public love him.  In short, it is the story of what Rand would call a “social metaphysician.”

You really nailed the movie's underlying theme in that one mysteriously bolded sentance, and I'm glad that someone else actually appreciates the movie. Whenever I've asked someone if they've seen it they always say no, and then the ones that I can actually get to watch the movie (It's not in color!! ...your point being) always find a way to not get sucked in by story and say something like "Best movie my ass" as soon as the credits start up. What is it that makes this movie so difficult for most people to appreciate? I mean everyone that watches Casablanca seems to love it, and Citizen Kane is another whole level of sheer amazingness up from that movie.

On a side note: Can you imagine what directing, producing, and staring in the best movie ever made at the very beginning of his career did to Welles? Being unable to match his first work, and having everyone know it, must have truly tortured him.

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On a side note: Can you imagine what directing, producing, and staring in the best movie ever made at the very beginning of his career did to Welles?  Being unable to match his first work, and having everyone know it, must have truly tortured him.

Yes. Very few directors learn how to make great, uncompromising films within the studio system. Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick are among the rare examples. Welles wasn’t good at the kind of politicking it required. So, after his second big studio effort, The Magnificent Ambersons, was taken away from him and butchered, Welles had to rely on fitful independent financing to make movies. That is why none of his post-Kane efforts have quite the same luster and craft. For example, Othello was shot by snatches between 1948 and 1951, with Welles sometimes abandoning his cast and crew on location to do a quick acting job to cover the mounting bills.

Another point to consider is that Welles was not always the easiest person to work with. He was known to fly into rages and throw objects at even his closest associates. Interestingly, Welles was consciousness of his volatile temperament and even worked it into his films. That marvelous scene in Kane in which he trashes Susan’s room after she leaves him is based on Welles himself more than anything in Hearst.

But imagine what might have been. Here are a few of the films Welles had planned to direct:

Heart of Darkness (planned for 1939), War and Peace (planned for 1943), Crime and Punishment (planned for 1945), Cyrano de Bergerac (planned for 1947), Moby Dick, Around the World in 80 Days (planned for 1948), and The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Edited by Eric Mathis

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Any movie saying anything positive about the Yankees is a colossal failure.  :( 

(See my profile if you need an explanation.  Here's a hint: It's the Red Sox part.)

Funny guy! Actually it is quite an old movie-cary grant. Has nothing to do with baseball - deceiving title. It is a very touching of course "true story". babe ruth plays himself in a bit part of this movie. I am a sucker for a good old fashioned black and white and so if you want to impress a girl and show her your soft side this is a great movie to cuddle up to.

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Citizen Kane seems to be getting the short end of the stick in this thread.  It's been a while since I've seen it, but I remember the structure and storytelling to be absolutely mesmerizing.  I realize that Kane fell apart as the story progressed, but he rose to a height that few will ever see.
The main character pursued his goals through the entire movie whether accepted or not. At the end of the movie, there was no explanation for his life.

I thought it was a bad movie since pursuing your own goals amounted to nothing.

To Kill a Mocking Bird is my favorite.

There were two scenes that were exceptional. The scene were Atticus, representing justice, left the court room and every one stood.

The other was at the end when Bo, who represented the innocent, is thanked by Atticus, the guy that represents justice. As if to say that justice couldn't exists without the innocent.

Great movie.

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