Tuesday, May 28, 2013

My Ten Favorite Dramas

I kind of put all movies that don't fit in another category into "drama."  Not enough action to be action/adventure?  Not funny enough to be comedy?  Not enough cowboyness to be a western?  Into drama it goes!

Like before, I've linked titles to previous posts I've done on those movies and included my own one-sentence synopsis of each movie.

1.  Ben-Hur (1959)

When Judah Ben-Hur (Charlton Heston) is unjustly imprisoned by his former best friend (Stephen Boyd), he vows revenge, but eventually learns revenge is less sweet than he'd expected.  Possibly the greatest spectacle epic ever filmed.

2.  The Man without a Face (1993)

A lonely boy (Nick Stahl) finds an unlikely mentor and friend one summer in the sixties.  My favorite Mel Gibson movie, and one of the first movies I bought when I went to college.

3.  Chocolat (2000)

A mysterious woman (Juliette Binoche) opens a chocolate shop in a sedate French village and teaches its inhabitants to reexamine their attitudes and customs.  The yummiest Johnny Depp movie ever -- do not watch this without a good supply of chocolate on hand!

4.  Apollo 13 (1995)

The true story of three astronauts (Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Bacon) who must survive a space ship malfunction on the way to the moon.  I saw this in the theater when I was 15 with my parents.  It's amazing.

5.  Jane Eyre (1983)

A young governess (Zelah Clarke) teaches her employer (Timothy Dalton) about love and honor.  My favorite adaptation of my favorite novel.

6.  Giant (1956)

A spoiled East Coast beauty (Elizabeth Taylor) marries a stubborn Texas rancher (Rock Hudson), and they spend twenty-five years trying to figure each other out.  One of the first movies I can remember seeing, and my favorite James Dean movie.

7.  Witness (1985)

Detective John Book (Harrison Ford) goes undercover to protect a little Amish boy who is the only witness to a murder.  Taut and sweet at the same time.

8.  The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Three veterans (Dana Andrews, Frederic March, Harold Russell) find returning to civilian life much harder than they'd expected.  An amazingly frank look at post-war America.

9.  The Sheik (1921)

A willful English socialite (Agnes Ayres) catches the eye of a handsome desert sheik (Rudolph Valentino), then captures his heart with her refusal of his attentions.  Trust me, it makes a lot more sense on-screen.

10. The Sting (1973)

Two con men (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) try to con a ruthless businessman (Robert Shaw) who had their good friend murdered.  Try really hard to see this spoiler-free, it's a lot more fun that way!

Well, there we have it, my second list in this series.  Have you seen any of these?  Did you like or dislike them?  What are your favorite dramas?  Do you have a better way of classifying them than mine?


  1. Lists like this are always so fun to read. Thanks for posting.

    #2, #3, #5, #6, and #9 I've never seen. but I am so with you on "Ben-Hur" and "The Best Years of Our Lives." I love them both a lot! Actually, "Best Years" is about my #6 movie of all-time.

    I saw "The Sting" at the theatre about 5 times back when it came out. I had a huge crush on Robert Redford in those days.

    Rock Hudson is scheduled to be "star of the month" on my blog in January, so I'm making it a point to watch "Giant" by then.

    The majority of my favorite movies of drama. Top 5 for me are (in this order): "A Place in the Sun," "Now, Voyager," "Casablanca," "Sunset Boulevard," and "Madame X."

    Some of those might be considered romance or even tearjerker, but they are all dramas.

    1. I don't consider "romance" to be a separate genre, because there are serious ones (I put them in Drama) and comedic ones (I put them in Comedy). So #s 5, 6, and 9 here could go in a Romance category.

      I would love to have seen "The Sting" in the theater! Wow, those guys in those tuxes on the big screen? Rrrrow!

      I can't wait to find out what you think of "Giant" -- I only know one person who's seen it, and she didn't care for it (that would be Deb Koren), so I'd like to see what someone else thinks!

      I've never seen "Madame X," but I've seen your others and really liked 2, 3, and 4.

  2. Jane Eyre, Ben Hur, and The Sting -- I've seen those from this list. :) The JE was interesting, but BH is probably my favorite! Actually, TS was good and interesting too though. Fun list!

    1. Isn't Ben-Hur just splendid? I'd watch it more often if it wasn't so long... but if it wasn't so long, it wouldn't be so splendid. Hee.

  3. LOVE Chocolat! It always has me craving chocolate by the end. :D And Apollo 13 is a great choice too. I haven't seen any of the others. Well, I take that back. I watched Ben Hur in school, but haven't seen it since. I don't remember much of it anymore. Guess I'd better try it again soon, since you like it so well! :)

    Btw, how's The Happiness Project? I've had it sitting on my shelf for a while and haven't started it yet.

    1. I absolutely cannot watch Chocolat without eating chocolate, especially when it gets to the part where they're making all the food for Armande's party. All that melted chocolate getting poured... yowza.

      The Happiness Project is very readable, and she has some good ideas. If you read the comments on this post on the WXROZ blog, you can see what I've thought of it chapter-by-chapter so far.

    2. I forgot that you had mentioned that book club a while back. Thanks! I'll have to see if I can't start it soon myself and join you guys. :)

    3. Yeah, join! :)

  4. I've seen Chocolat, Jane Eyre, Giant, and The Sting. I didn't like

    ~Chocolat when I saw it, I thought it was boring.

    ~I do like that version of Jane Eyre, but you already know it's not my favorite (watched the 2006 miniseries yet?!?!).

    ~The Sting I really enjoyed, but it's one of those movies that you can only watch once in a great while, after you've kind of forgotten what's going to happen, so you can be surprised a little bit.

    ~I've seen Giant - many, many times! I was a huge James Dean fan in high school and early college, so I've seen almost everything he's been in, with the exception of a couple movies where he plays small roles. I have a huge collection of James Dean stuff I need to get rid of actually, including a life size cardboard cut out! I loved aspects of the movie, basically just James Dean's scenes. I don't really like Liz Taylor or Rock Hudson, so I found them annoying to watch, I wasn't very interested in their characters or story. Since it's such a long movie, with most of it not being about Jett, I would usually just fast forward through most of it. Can't say it's a favorite of mine, because I didn't enjoy the entire story line! But James is fantastic in it... as of course he was in everything!

    1. I haven't seen the 2006 JE yet -- I'm kind of hoping to watch it next week with my mom via YouTube. We shall see.

      I idolized Jett Rink when I was a little kid. My parents loved this movie and would rent it occasionally, and I would go around whistling his theme song for days and days, pretending I was walking around my little mud wallow and measuring it out. And that little z-shaped wave he does? I still do that sometimes. But all the characters have been part of my life for so long, they feel almost like relatives, so watching the movie is almost like visiting an aunt and uncle, hee. BTW, the soundtrack is wonderful! I got it a couple years ago, and listen to it a lot.

    2. :) I do love the main theme song for the movie, but I'm not sure I noted any of the other songs! I don't remember the wave!! That's so funny, though.

  5. Of those I have seen Ben-Hur and The Sting, both of which are some of my favorites, particularly Ben-Hur. Even though Ben-Hur is ridiculously long, it really holds up well today. It is my favorite Charleston Heston movie too, along with Planet of the Apes, but Ben-Hur edges it out.


    1. Can you believe I've never seen Planet of the Apes? I've seen so many other Heston films -- even Soylent Green! -- but not that one. Yet. One of these days.

  6. It's been a while since I watched Ben Hur... LOVE Apollo 13!!! Haven't seen the others :/

    1. Phyl, I do heartily recommend the others, so if you're ever like, "Hmm, what should I watch today," give one a whirl :-)


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