102 Movies You Must See Before...

So I finally got a library card.

My primary motivation was that I knew there were a lot of “classic” movies I wanted to see and the library is typically a great resource for obtaining older movies for free.

So, with my new library card in hand, I walked down to my local branch and started perusing the availble titles. After about five minutes, I realized I had no idea what I was looking for. The only things I could remember wanting to see were Dr. Strangelove and a couple of Hitchcock pictures. None of which were available on the shelf. So I went home, empty handed.

So, I set out looking for a list. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of “Top (n) Movies” lists out there, but after a bit of analysis, I settled on Jim Emerson's “101 102 Movies You Must See Before…”:

This isn't my idea of “The Best Movies Ever Made” (that would be a different list, though there's some overlap here), or limited to my personal favorites or my estimation of the most important or influential films. These are the movies I just kind of figure everybody ought to have seen in order to have any sort of informed discussion about movies.

After going through the list crossing out anything I had seen recently enough to remember distinctly, I began adding them to my “hold” list at the library, which is kind of like a Netflix queue. When I get to the top of the hold list for a particular item, they ship the DVD to my local branch and send me an email that it's ready to pick up. I've already gotten a couple films this way and it really is a pretty slick system. Not as convenient as streaming something from Netflix or iTunes or Amazon, but it is free.

Anyway, I'm going to try to post some short thoughts on each film as I watch them and keep the sidebar updated with the next movie on my list in case you want to follow along. You just have to promise to not hog all the popcorn.