#PayClassicsForward, Year 4

I adore playing along every December with Aurora at the blog Once Upon a Screen. Every year, she “gifts” readers with 12 movie-related categories (a la “The 12 Days of Christmas”) and invites other readers and bloggers to do the same. Click here for Aurora’s 2018 list. As for mine, see below!


One movie, one performer

Richard Pryor Live in Concert


Two Everymen in historical events

Leonard Zelig (Woody Allen) in Zelig

Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) in Forrest Gump


Three dressings-down

Cop Victor Mature daring gangster Richard Conte to shoot him in Cry of the City

Rex Harrison ripping Rudy Vallee’s coat apart in Unfaithfully Yours

Ruby Dee giving a motherly lecture to her gangster son (Denzel Washington) in American Gangster


Four TV-to-movie adaptations

The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew


The Addams Family

Wayne’s World

The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle


Five cross-country movies

Gun Crazy


North by Northwest

The Cannonball Run

Lost in America

Rain Man


Six baby plot twists

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek


Raising Arizona

Three Men and a Baby





Seven comic chases

Buster Keaton, some brides, and some rocks in Seven Chances


Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy aboard a runaway airplane in The Flying Deuces

The Marx Brothers tearing apart the train in which they’re riding in Go West

W.C. Fields’ car ride with a bandit in The Bank Dick

Ringo Starr getting sprung from jail in A Hard Day’s Night

Mel Brooks’ Western movie spilling out into the streets in Blazing Saddles

Nicolas Cage evading practically everyone after a robbery in Raising Arizona


Eight film critics

Gene Siskel

Roger Ebert

Pauline Kael

James Agee

Andrew Sarris

Stanley Kauffmann

David Denby

Carrie Rickey


Nine sexy moments

Jean Harlow unknowingly parading half-naked through a hotel lobby in Laurel & Hardy’s Double Whoopee

Joel McCrea helping Claudette Colbert unzip her dress in The Palm Beach Story

Lauren Bacall shaking her hips at the end of To Have and Have Not

The camera panning up Jane Russell’s legs in Son of Paleface


The “Shall We Dance?” number in The King and I

Sophia Loren climbing out of the water in Boy on a Dolphin

Sharon Stone kissing a train window in Stardust Memories

The upside-down kiss in Spider-Man

Adrienne Barbeau bouncing bralessly in Swamp Thing (Sorry!)


Ten lovely movies

Love Happy


Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Love and Death

Endless Love

Sea of Love

I Love You to Death

Shakespeare in Love

Down with Love

Must Love Dogs

Love Actually


Eleven nastier-than-nasty villains

The Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton) in The Wizard of Oz

Vera (Ann Savage) in Detour


Tommy Udo (Richard Widmark) in Kiss of Death

Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) in The Godfather Part II

Noah Cross (John Huston) in Chinatown

Darth Vader (body by David Prowse, voice by James Earl Jones) in Star Wars

Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) in Die Hard

Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) in GoodFellas

Amon Goth (Ralph Fiennes) in Schindler’s List

Judge Claude Frollo in Disney’s The Hunchback of Notre Dame

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) in No Country for Old Men


Twelve movies by the numbers

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

The Man with Two Brains


Three Ages

4 Little Girls

Five Easy Pieces

The Sixth Sense

The Seven Year Itch

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years

9 to 5


11 Harrowhouse

12 Angry Men

#PayClassicsForward, Year 3

For the third year in a row, Aurora at the delightful blog Once Upon a Screen is offering her #PayClassicsForward challenge. Taking off from “The 12 Days of Christmas,” the challenge is to offer a dozen movie “gifts,” mostly from movies that are not as heralded as others. (Click here if you’d like to read Aurora’s explanation of this premise, as well as her list for same.)

Challenge accepted!


One great new silent movie


London Symphony  (I can’t plug this beautiful movie enough. Click here to learn more about it and purchase it.)


Two movies about movies

The Stunt Man (1975)

Cinema Paradiso (1988)


Three immortal movie comedy teams

Laurel & Hardy

The Marx Brothers

Monty Python


Four men whom, if I were a woman, I’d love

Humphrey Bogart

Charles Durning

Paul Newman

Gene Wilder


Five onesies


One A.M. (1916)

One Week (1920)

One, Two, Three (1961)

101 Dalmatians (1961)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)


Six movies that mainline me with happiness

Way Out West (1937)

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Stop Making Sense (1984)

Much Ado About Nothing (1993)


Seven documentaries

Hearts and Minds (1975)

Gap-Toothed Women (1987)

4 Little Girls (1997)

Z: A Magnificent Obsession (2004)

The Aristocrats (2005)

Inside Deep Throat (2005)

Lost Soul: The Doomed Journey of Richard Stanley’s Island of Dr. Moreau (2014)


Eight musical numbers in non-musicals

“The Country’s Going to War” in Duck Soup (1933)

“Trail of the Lonesome Pine” in Way Out West (1937)

“Knights of the Round Table” in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

“Seems Like Old Times” in Annie Hall (1977)

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

“Straight and Nappy” in School Daze (1988)

“Banana Boat Song” in Beetlejuice (1988)

“When You’re Alone” in Hook (1991)


Nine movies so bad, they’re great

Earth vs. the Spider (1958)

Plan Nine from Outer Space (1959)

Mame (1974)

Empire of the Ants (1977)

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978)

King Kong (1976)

Jaws 2 (1978)

Showgirls (1995)

Big-Ass Spider! (2013)


Ten movie lines

“I don’t use a pen. I write with a goose quill dipped in venom.” – Clifton Webb, Laura (1941)

“That’s one of the tragedies of this life — that the men who are most in need of a beating-up are always enormous.” – Rudy Vallee, The Palm Beach Story (1942)

“Don’t you know that a man being rich is like a girl being pretty? You wouldn’t marry a girl just because she’s pretty, but my goodness, doesn’t it help?” – Marilyn Monroe, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

“Hitler…there was a painter! He could do an entire apartment in one afternoon, two coats!” – Kenneth Mars, The Producers (1968)

“It’s all in the mind.” – George Harrison, Yellow Submarine (1968)

“Can’t you see, this is the last act of a desperate man!” – “We don’t care if it’s the first act of Henry the Fifth.” – Cleavon Little and John Hillerman, Blazing Saddles (1974)

“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!” – Michael Palin, Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

“If you need me, just call. You know how to dial, don’t you? You just put your finger in the hole and make tiny little circles.” – Rachel Ward, Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid (1982)

(Berating his wife about using the term “nest egg”) “And don’t use any part of it, either! Don’t use ‘nest’, don’t use ‘egg.’ If we’re in the woods, you can point, ‘A bird lives in a “round stick”! And you have ‘things’ over-easy with toast!” – Albert Brooks, Lost in America (1985)

“There’s always a bigger fish.” – Liam Neeson, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)


Eleven performances by an inanimate object

Dorothy’s ruby red shoes, The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Rosebud, Citizen Kane (1941)

The falcon, The Maltese Falcon (1941)


Paul McCartney’s guitar, I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978)

The Ark of the Covenant, Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

The television set, Poltergeist (1982)

Pee-Wee’s bicycle, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)

The suitcase, Pulp Fiction (1994)

The red violin, The Red Violin (1998)

Wilson, Cast Away (2000)

The sorting hat, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)


Twelve worthy sequels

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Psycho II (1983)

Aliens (1986)

The Color of Money (1986)

Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Batman Returns (1992)

Addams Family Values (1993)

Toy Story 2 (1999)

Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Rocky Balboa (2006)


The 2nd Annual #PayClassicsForward

For the second year in a row, my blogging “neighbor” Aurora at Once Upon a Screen is doing her #PayClassicsForward challenge. Taking her cue from “The 12 Days of Christmas,” she is asking other bloggers to make movie lists in quantities of 1, 2, 3, and so on up to 12, to promote movies that you like and/or that are sometimes overlooked by moviegoers.

I did this myself last year and had a great time with it, so I am doing it again, and I encourage you to do so as well. If you’re looking for ideas, click here to read Aurora’s list for this year, or click here to read my list from last year. And of course, my list for this year follows.


One life-affirming documentary:

Les Blank’s Gap Toothed Women (1987)


Two creative uses of bananas:

Busby Berkeley’s The Gang’s All Here (1943)


Woody Allen’s Bananas (1971)


Three performances by “God”:

Graham Chapman (voice only) in Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)


George Burns in Oh, God! (1977)

Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty (2003)


Four creative posthumous uses of actors:

Use of the director’s wife’s chiropractor as a stand-in for Bela Lugosi in Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)


John Lennon’s narration in John Lennon: Imagine (1988)

Laurence Olivier in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)


Graham Chapman’s narration in A Liar’s Autobiography (2012)


Five actresses in movies whose sole justification is to show off women’s bods (not that I’m complaining):

Jane Russell in The French Line (1955)


Jayne Mansfield in Promises, Promises! (1963)


Adrienne Barbeau in Swamp Thing (1981)


Sybil Danning in They’re Playing with Fire (1984)

Blanchard Ryan in Open Water (2004)


Six movies where one word says it all:

“Rosebud.” Citizen Kane (1941)

“Stella!” A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

“Mother!” Psycho (1960)

“Plastics.” The Graduate (1967)

“Khan!” Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)


“Eve!” Wall-E (2008)


Seven memorable nights:

It Happened One Night (1934)

A Night at the Opera (1935)


The Night of the Hunter (1955)

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

Night Shift (1982)

Midnight Run (1988)


The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)


Eight smart movies about smart kids:

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

The Black Stallion (1979)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Little Man Tate (1991)


My Life as a Dog (1987)

James and the Giant Peach (1996)

Ponette (1997)

The Iron Giant (1999)


Nine couples you don’t want to have over for dinner:

Walter Neff and Phyllis Dietrichson (Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck) in Double Indemnity (1944)


Frank Chambers and Cora Smith (John Garfield and Lana Turner) in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Joe Gillis and Norma Desmond (William Holden and Gloria Swanson) in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

George and Martha (Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor) in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)


Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow (Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty in Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

Charley Partanna and Irene Walker (Jack Nicholson and Kathleen Turner) in Prizzi’s Honor (1985)

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen (Gary Oldman and Chloe Webb) in Sid and Nancy (1987)

Oliver and Barbara Rose (Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) in The War of the Roses (1989)

Sam Rothstein and Ginger McKenna (Robert DeNiro and Sharon Stone) in Casino (1995)


Ten movies that make your job look not so bad:

Modern Times (1936)

On the Waterfront (1954)

Nine to Five (1980)

Trading Places (1983)

Broadcast News (1987)

Wall Street (1988)

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)


Hoffa (1992)

Clerks (1994)

American Beauty (1999)


Eleven memorable movie mothers (for better or worse):

The Wicked Stepmother (voiced by Eleanor Audley) in Cinderella (1950)

Mrs. Iselin (Angela Lansbury) in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)


Rebecca Morgan (Cicely Tyson) in Sounder (1972)

Babs Johnson (Divine) in Pink Flamingos (1972)t

Beth Jarrett (Mary Tyler Moore) in Ordinary People (1980)

Joan Crawford (Faye Dunaway) in Mommie Dearest (1981)

Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in Aliens (1986)

Momma Lift (Anne Ramsey) in Throw Momma from the Train (1987)

Mother (Mae Questel) of Sheldon Mills (Woody Allen) in the “Oedipus Wrecks” segment of New York Stories (1989)


Beatrice Henderson (Debbie Reynolds) in Mother (1996)


Tess Coleman (Jamie Lee Curtis) in Freaky Friday (2003)


Twelve movies by the numbers:

Million Dollar Legs (1932)


Stalag 17 (1953)

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

12 Angry Men (1957)

The 400 Blows (1959)

101 Dalmatians (1961)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

“10” (1979)

48 HRS. (1982)

4 Little Girls (1997)

Apollo 13 (1995)

The Sixth Sense (1999)