Dave’s Top 100 Desert Island Films

These may not be the 100 “best” films I’ve ever seen … though most of them are.  However, if I’m going to be alone somewhere with only 100 films, these are the ones that will either put a smile on my face or give me lots to think about.  It’s a combination of the highest cinematic art and the most delicious cinematic junk food.  Of course, I reserve the option to revisit / revise this list in another year.

Almost Famous
American Psycho
At Close Range
Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession
Being John Malkovich
Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
Big Lebowski, The
Blue Velvet
Boogie Nights
Breaking the Waves
Bully (2001) dir. Larry Clark
Capturing the Friedmans
Clockwork Orange, A
Coal Miner’s Daughter
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Dazed and Confused
Deer Hunter, The
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
Ed Wood
Escape from New York
Face in the Crowd, A
Falcon and the Snowman, The
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Female Trouble
Fight Club
Fourth Man, The
Ghost World
Godfather, The
Great Santini, The
Hard Boiled
High Fidelity
Hollywood Knights, The
Hot Tub Time Machine
Husbands and Wives
Inglourious Basterds
Inside Out
King of Comedy
L.A. Confidential
Love Actually
Mad Max
Mad Max Fury Road
Malcolm X
Miller’s Crossing
Mulholland Dr.
Nobody’s Fool (1994) dir. Robert Benton
North Dallas Forty
Out of Sight
Out of the Blue (1980) dir. Dennis Hopper
Over the Edge
Pink Floyd The Wall
Pulp Fiction
Putney Swope
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Repo Man
Reservoir Dogs
Royal Tenenbaums, The
Searchers, The
Serious Man, A
Seven Beauties
Short Cuts
Slap Shot
Straw Dogs
Stuntman, The
Summer of Sam
Talk Radio
Taxi Driver
This is 40
This is Spinal Tap
True Romance
Usual Suspects, The
Velvet Goldmine
Wanderers, The
Wolf of Wall Street
Wonderland (2003) dir. James Cox
Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession

3 thoughts on “Dave’s Top 100 Desert Island Films

  1. Never one to shy away from the obvious I’ll begin with the faux outrage any list sets itself up for. What ! No “Amarcord”, no “Cutter’s Way”. You could strike “Love Actually” for “Kes” or “Dead Men’s Shoes”.
    I caught Paul Schrader’s “Dying of the Light” recently. Taken out of his hands by the producers, disowned by everyone involved, I still enjoyed the movie & there’s probably a really good version somewhere that we will never see. If I ever meet Irene Jacob (Three Colours:Red”…another one !) I really should ask her about it but I’d more likely lose the power of speech !
    Great list.

  2. You got me! That’s why I’ll soon be publishing a list of 100 films that I’m sneaking onto the desert island in a couple of jump drives no one knows about.

    In retrospect, as much as I like Schrader’s “Hardcore,” I wish I would’ve substituted “Autofocus” which epitomizes Schrader’s obsessions, but with the cynical, and darkly satirical perspective of a survivor who has “been there, done that.” It’s a film that seems better each time I see it: darkly depressing, but also hysterically funny. I’ll need to check out “Dying of the Light,” but I want to see “The Canyons” first, because I’m a huge fan of Schrader and Bret Easton Ellis. By the way, I highly recommend Ellis’s podcast. It’s a love it or hate it affair and the haters have dogpiled on it in a way that’s almost comical. But I’m a huge fan.

  3. “The Canyons” has taken such a critical battering that I have had second thoughts about recommending it to even devotees of Schrader. Maybe I’m wrong about it. It’s such a wilfully strange movie but I remember, as, from your list, so do you, when this was not regarded as a bad thing. More proof that the evil Lohan twin got rid of nice Lindsay sometime after the wrap of “The Parent Trap” (There were two of them in that).
    I would put you on to “Maps to the Stars” (again). A director on top of his game, chilling & throwing you the way only Cronenberg can. I’ll check out the Ellis podcast.
    On the list…did you miss the 2 from the end of “Hot Tub Time Machine” ? Probably not !

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