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The Guardian’s Film Season Top 25 Genre Movies

A bit of a long-winded title, perhaps, but I don’t care.

As those of you who already know know, The Guardian is currently in the midst of its ‘Film Season’, and this week they are publishing Top 25s in each of seven different genres. So far, they have covered Romance, Crime and Comedy. I have problems with their lists. I am only going to focus on the no.1 on each list otherwise I would be here all day, and I’m not going to cover Romance because The Guardian is correct; Brief Encounter is the greatest Romance film ever created. Although how Brokeback Mountain missed the list is beyond me. NB: Excuse the capitalisation of genres in this post – I feel that it makes it easier to focus on each one.

So, I shall start with Crime. Chinatown. I don’t think this is the greatest ever Crime movie. Also, the likes of Hidden and Rashomon, while featuring or being built around crime of some sort, don’t appear to me to be simply ‘Crime’ movies. The notable omission from the list is Coppola’s The Godfather. It’s possible that this will fit into the upcoming ‘Drama and Art’ genre list, but I would posit that The Godfather is much more of a Crime movie than Haneke’s effort, or Kurosawa’s.

The omission of Mean Streets stirs up much more of a personal grievance, as it is one of my favourite Scorsese movies. I understand why it is not included, but it would have crashed into my top 10 with very little struggle. My no.1? I don’t know, but not Chinatown. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good movie, but it feels cold. I like to be involved in films, so a movie like Goodfellas or The Sting would fit much better into my no.1 position.

As for Comedy, I believe the declaration that Annie Hall as the greatest of its genre to be nothing less than a grave miscarriage of justice. Well, sort of. It’s good. What I couldn’t believe was Borat being nominated as the second best Comedy movie in existence. Better than Duck Soup? The Ladykillers? The Man in the White Suit? Dodgeball? Fargo? Clerks? I could go on. Comedy movies rely on replay value, and while Borat may have initial shock value, it does not stand up to repeat viewings.

For me, the greatest Comedy movie of all time is Sam Raimi’s The Evil Dead. For those of you who may argue that it isn’t a Comedy, think about this: Raimi went out with the intention to make people laugh as much as they were scared, and it makes me, and everyone I’ve watched it with, laugh. It is a funny film, and a great Comedy movie.

So there you go.

  1. Matt Waring
    19/10/2010 at 20:17

    Evil Dead 2 is better…

    I can’t say that I have seen Chinatown or Annie Hall so I can’t possibly comment on either of them, but I’d probably say that Goodfellas would be my number 1 crime film. It’s fucking brilliant. I don’t really watch many obvious ‘Romance’ films. I mean I’ve seen films with romance in them, hell, most films have at least some element of romance. But I couldn’t say what the best one would be.

    I don’t really know why I’m commenting on all of your posts tonight. Not really got anything else to do I guess. You write an interesting article though Mr Bailey. Kudos to you.

    • 19/10/2010 at 21:10

      Firstly, you are correct – I do write an interesting article. Next on the agenda, Evil Dead 2 is absolutely NOT better than The Evil Dead. The Evil Dead is a hilarious romp. Evil Dead 2 is pretty good.

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