11. Drugstore Cowboy (US 1988)

Great cast, good script and perceptible sense of melancholia pervades this often beautiful film. Mind you, all druggy gangs are skanky and purulent; this one has Kelly Preston, Matt Dillon and Heather Graham.

12. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (US 1987)

Sentimental and commercial and great. Too many favourite bits to mention here, but the coach journey sing song tells me so much about the human condition (uptight middle class Steve Martin tries to get the coach singing with 3 Coins in a Fountain. There is an embarrassed silence. Man of the people John Candy strikes up with Meet the Flintstones to universal popular acclaim. Reminds me of me and our Ginger on a Barnes Travel trip to Southampton).

12. Manhattan (US 1979)

Take it for what is: a clever, witty brilliantly photographed love story and you’ll probably enjoy it. Examine it to closely and you’ll be thinking: “as if that specky, dirty little get would cop off with her.”

Maybe Annie Hall is better, come to think of it.

14. Deliverance (-)

John Boorman made two good films and then degenerated into middle class poncedom. This is great, of course, and its greatness has been chronicled many times elsewhere. Try reading the original novel by James Dickey. A different experience altogether : poetic, lyrical (that word again), philosophical and foul. Great!

15. The Devil Rides Out (GB 1967)

Is it just me who’s sexually obsessed with Austrian actress Nikki Arrighi? Thought so.

16. Assault on Precinct 13 (US 1976)

 I first saw this on a double bill with Halloween (Tuebrook ABC 1981;. God, where did my life go?) and it put me off star vehicle films forever. I like the idea of non-descript casts and ideas valued more than egos. Most John Carpenter film are disappointing.. His only other film that works as successfully as AOP13 is The Thing, but there are good bits to be had in Escape From New York, In The Mouth of Madness, Prince of Darkness and They Live.


17 . The Last Detail (-)

Not a big fan of Jack Nicholson etc…..

Perhaps the only film where Carol Kane is splashed with ejaculate (apart from some films that exist solely in my imagination).

18. Le Jour Se Leve (-)

Middle aged Frenchman holes up (neither euphemism nor dysphemism) in seedy (see previous brackets) apartment block. His woman has betrayed him and he’s down to his last cigarette.

Marcel Carné’s existential treatise on the human condition is no barrel of laughs, but then again, is life itself when you’re over sensitive and too clever for your own good? (See my diary.)

19. Some Like It Hot (-)

A toss up between this and The Apartment, but the latter makes me depressed when I’m in the wrong mood. ie all of the fucking time. SLIH hardly ages at all and although it loses its impetus just over half way, it’s still just dandy, and Marilyn’s still worth a poke. Although she’s dead. Jack Lemmon gets on my nerves, though.

20. The Wages of Fear (-)

More existential shenanigans. Featuring Yves Montand and the very wonderful Vera Clouzot. Another example of how French films could deal with adult themes in an adult manner whilst British films were wedged in an eternal mire of middle class smugness or basic, dubious right wing morality.