I come not to bury AFI, but to praise them

Yes, those AFI movie lists are fun to argue with because they are typically highbrow and without a shred of coolness. I mean, come on, I can understand not using some of the more risque quotes, even if they’re from blockbuster movies like Die Hard (“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.”) or Lethal Weapon (“I’m too old for this shit!”), and I can even forgive them for skipping something like Napoleon Dynamite (“I caught you a delicious bass.”), but how in the hell do you have 100 quotes and not get one from Groucho Marx???

I can’t even list all of the quotes we use on a daily basis around here that come from films not in the list, like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, Ghostbusters and The Princess Bride. (Someday, maybe, I’ll try to do so.)

And what?? No Khaaaaaaaaaaaan!???

Anyhow, that’s not why I started this post. Other bloggers worldwide have raked the AFI list over the coals before me, so they’re already looking a bit charred. What I started to say was that the lists always give us a chance to look at a bunch of movies that we hadn’t thought of in a while or that we “really ought to see someday.”

In fact, Whiny started a list of movies he hadn’t seen but wanted to, and it was quite impressive in its classicity (classicness? classicishityness? anyhow, it was full of classics. classicfulness?). I forget sometimes that he’s only a wee lad who hasn’t had time to sit on his ass and watch 100,000 movies. So, his list includes things like Cool Hand Luke, The Maltese Falcon and Citizen Kane.

Last night, we plunked ourselves down to watch Casablanca. I hadn’t seen the whole thing in years, and it was great. I had forgotten how witty and funny a film it is. On top of that, I love Peter Lorre almost more than any other actor ever. When Whiny asked, “Who’s Peter Lorre?” all I had to do was the beginnings of his nervous maniac laugh, and he knew right away. (In case you don’t, go to The Lorre Collection for more sound clips than you can shake a dead body at.) His appearance in Casablanca is all too brief.

So, while we may not agree with the esteemed panel of experts at AFI, at least we got a good night of movie watching out of it. And that is always a good thing. Here’s looking at you, kid.

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4 Responses to I come not to bury AFI, but to praise them

  1. Brian says:

    “Casablanca” is my most favorite film of all. You’ll pardon me while I go sing the Marseillaise in front of a bar full of Krauts now.

  2. Brian says:

    …um, do you know any bars full of Krauts, by any chance?

  3. AnnMarie says:

    I got to see Casablanca on the big screen once during a film festival type deal and it was great! I hated it when I was 12 and my parents made me watch it, but by 22 I could see the greatness.

  4. Lesley says:

    I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on Monty Python and the Holy Grail, what with it not being an American film and them being the American Film Institute.

    However, the lack of Mel Brooks movies? No Ghostbusters? Cretins!

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