On Sunday night, the prestigious Academy Awards aka Oscars were held in Hollywood. I didn’t watch them. Not really interested, truth be told. In fact, I was a little peeved because Once Upon a Time wasn’t on. But all this talk of Best Picture got me thinking about my top five favorite movies. Well, there was one tie, so actually there are six listed.
Now, I must caveat this by saying, I’m not much of a movie watcher. I seldom go to the movies, simply because I can’t afford to. There are tons of classic and current movies I’ve never seen. Don’t really want to because, just like a book, it has to hook me. If it doesn’t, I won’t watch it. I don’t care how many Oscars it won.
1- The Star Wars Saga. I’m a huge fan, but a relative new one. I first watched the original trilogy back in 1996 when my hubby bought the box set of VHS tapes. It was instant LOVE! My favorite movie of the six (yes, I even loved the Prequel) is Episode 4, which really was the first SW movie. There is something so intriguing about a simple farm boy from a backward, sand-covered outer planet being the one to combat the evilest thing around and saving an entire galaxy. I loved Luke, Leia, Han, Obiwan, Anakin, and Padme and their stories so much that I started reading all the books written in the SW universe. Then I started writing my own stories (fan fiction) with these characters and inventing my own in 2005. I got back into writing again by writing Star Wars fan fiction.
2- Gone With the Wind. This is one classic I’ll watch over and over. I love the chemistry between Vivian Lee and Clark Gable and the fantastic way they brought life to Scarlet and Rhett. Enough said!
3- Pearl Harbor. As a former history teacher the screwing of the actual history bugs the heck out of me, but I loved the bittersweet love triangle between Rafe, Evelyn and Danny. In fact, it inspired two of my stories…A SW fan fiction I wrote using book characters and my first contemporary Western, The Long Road Home (in its original version). The story is about Rafe and Danny who are Army pilots stationed at Pearl Harbor before the bombing. They’ve been best friends since childhood. Evelyn is a nurse there. She and Rafe fall in love, but he is called away when an opportunity is given to fly with the British Air Force. After his plane goes down and he believed dead in Europe, Danny and Evelyn share their grief with each other. Over time, they fall in love. Then right before the bombing, Rafe shows up again and wants to pick up where he left off with Evelyn…but she’s engaged to Danny. Well, I’m just a sucker for this kind of drama!
4- Firelight. This film is one I just recently watched, although it was made in 1997. It’s set in 1837 England and is about an anonymous English landowner who contacts a young Swiss woman for an unbelievable request—he wants her to bare his child because his wife can’t. Then several years later, Elizabeth shows up at the landowner’s manor as the governess of his (their) daughter. His wife is in a catatonic state, but Charles is still very much married to her. But the love and lust he feels for Elizabeth that started when they met in secret to conceive their daughter and what she feels for him can’t be denied. It’s a classic story of forbidden love with a bittersweet ending.
5- Far and Away. This movie about finding the American dream is set in 1890’s. It’s about the ambition of two very different Irish immigrants—Shannon Christy (rich, spoiled and aristocratic) and Joseph Donnelly (poor, hot-headed and a peasant on her father’s land) and how they form a bond to not only get to America, but find their dream come true on the plains of Oklahoma in the great Land Run. What I love about this movie is the great tenacity of these two very different people. Shannon leaves her life of luxury in Ireland with nothing. She’s forced to live in squalor and work for a living in a meat packing plant and then a Can-Can girl in Boston, while Joseph (pretending to be her brother) finds fame and fortune as an Irish boxer for the local Irish mob boss. But they never lose focus on what they really want—land of their own. And they fall in love along the way.
6- Dances With Wolves (honorable mention): This movie is basically tied with Far and Away. This is the only one of these movies that I actually saw in the theater (I only saw Star Wars: Episode 6 on the big screen). It was a date night while in college with my hubby, and I dragged him to it. He hated the movie…Still does. He complains every time I drag out my old VHS tape to watch it.
Well, there you have it. What are some of your favorite movies? And have any of them inspired your writing?