Helping to #PayClassicsForward

My blog “neighbor” Aurora at Once Upon a Screen has hit upon the most wonderful holiday idea for us movie-loving bloggers. She has suggested that we take a cue from “The 12 Days of Christmas” and share 12 elements of movies that we like, listing them on our own blogs and using the hashtag #PayClassicsForward.

So my list follows. I must preface the list by saying that I know not all of these movies are classics; in fact, some of my choices will probably leave you scratching your heads. But they are all people or moments in movies that have affected me a great deal, so I think they are worth sharing. Many of the movies listed therein have been reviewed by me on this blog and can be found in my blog index; others can be easily found on YouTube or elsewhere on the Internet. I encourage you to seek them out wherever you can find them.


One writing-directing debut:

Kevin Smith’s Clerks (1994)

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Two rock music movies:

The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

The Talking Heads in Stop Making Sense (1984)


Three movies about movies:

Richard Rush’s The Stunt Man (1980)

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Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988)

Martin Scorsese’s Hugo (2011)


Four paranoia-inducing movies:

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Strange Invaders (1983)


The “It’s a Good Life” segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983)


Brazil (1985)


Five slices of cheesecake:

Jane Russell

Jayne Mansfield

Adrienne Barbeau

Valerie Perrine

Christina Hendricks


Six soundtracks:

Max Steiner’s King Kong (1933)

Bernard Herrmann’s Taxi Driver (1976)

Pino Donaggio’s Dressed to Kill (1980)

Miklos Rosza’s Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)


John Williams’ E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Alan Menken’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)


Seven cartoons:

Max Fleischer’s The Spinach Overture (1935)


Tex Avery’s Porky’s Duck Hunt (1937)

Bob Clampett’s Coal Black an de Sebben Dwarfs (1943)

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Bill Hanna & Joe Barbera’s The Cat Concerto (1947)

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Walt Disney’s Fantasia (1940)

Chuck Jones’ Bully for Bugs (1953)

George Dunning’s Yellow Submarine (1968)


Eight show-stopping musical numbers:

Carmen Miranda’s “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat” from The Gang’s All Here (1943)

Jane Russell’s “Lookin’ for Trouble” in The French Line (1955)

Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr’s “Shall We Dance?” in The King and I (1956)

Tony Randall’s one-man-band Cinemascope intro to Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)

Mel Brooks’ “The Inquisition” in History of the World Part I (1981)

Charles Durning’s “Dance a Little Sidestep” in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982)

“Every Sperm Is Sacred” in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life (1983)

Jennifer Hudson’s “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” in Dreamgirls (2006)


Nine scenes to die for:

Barton Keyes’ (Edward G. Robinson) soliloquy about suicide statistics in Double Indemnity (1944)

Constable Kockenlocker (William Demarest) laying down the law to his possible future son-in-law Norval (Eddie Bracken) in The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

Sir Alfred’s (Rex Harrison) literal dressing-down of his brother-in-law August (Rudy Vallee) in Unfaithfully Yours (1948)

Tom Ewell at the start of The Girl Can’t Help It (1955), “converting” the movie to a wide-screen format

Jerry Lewis and a piece of cake in Don’t Give Up the Ship (1959)

Woody Allen as a sperm in Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid to Ask) (1972)

Blake’s (Alec Baldwin) “Always be closing” speech in Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Roy Waller (Nicolas Cage) explaining to his psychiatrist why he’s too screwed up to commit suicide in Matchstick Men (2003)

Mama Lucas (Ruby Dee) quietly giving hell to her gangster son Frank (Denzel Washington) in American Gangster (2007)


Ten heroes:

Douglas Fairbanks as Zorro in The Mark of Zorro (1920)

Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind (1939)

Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine in Casablanca (1942)

Victor Mature as Lt. Candella in Cry of the City (1948)

Henry Fonda as Juror # 8 in 12 Angry Men (1957)

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa in Rocky (1976)

Denzel Washington as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (1993)

Tom Hanks as Jim Lovell in Apollo 13 (1995)

Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin in The Patriot (2000)

Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker in Spider-Man 2 (2004)


Eleven heroines:

Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Katharine Hepburn as Rosie Sayer in The African Queen (1951)

Lillian Gish as Rachel Cooper in The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Sigourney Weaver as Ripley in Alien (1979)

Diane Keaton as Louise Bryant in Reds (1981)

Norma Aleandro as Alicia in The Official Story (1985)

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Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor in The Terminator (1985)

Susan Sarandon as Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking (1995)

Victoire Thivisol as Ponette in Ponette (1996)

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Jodie Foster as Ellie Arroway in Contact (1997)

Julia Stiles as Sara in Save the Last Dance (2001)

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Twelve comedies:

Buster Keaton in Sherlock Jr. (1924)

The Marx Brothers in Duck Soup (1933)

Charlie Chaplin in Modern Times (1936)

Laurel & Hardy in Way Out West (1937)

Preston Sturges’ The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein (1974)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Richard Pryor Live in Concert (1979)

Abrahams-Zucker-Abrahams’ Airplane! (1980)

Albert Brooks’ Lost in America (1985)

Joel and Ethan Coen’s Raising Arizona (1987)

Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice (1988)

9 responses to “Helping to #PayClassicsForward

  1. FANTASTIC!!! I’m thrilled you decided to do this and was hoping more people would, but it’s a blast isn’t it? LOVE your choices and new categories. I’ve decided this is a yearly must and already have my categories in mind for next year. 🙂 MERRY CHRISTMAS!!


    Liked by 1 person

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