The 10 Most Popular Movies of All Time – A Cheat Sheet (Part 1)
Are you a movie dunce? Do you not know your Corleone from your Kurosawa? Would you recognise a lightsaber if it hit you in the face? Well, don’t panic. To help you catch up on your movie knowledge here’s the first instalment in your 2-part crash course in the top 10 movies of all time, as voted by the readers of the Internet Movie Database. Careful, though… here be spoilers.
10. Star Wars IV: A New Hope
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away . . .
Luke Skywalker, farmhand and son of Darth Vader, is torn from his home when his aunt and uncle are murdered by Imperial Storm Troopers searching for the stolen plans to the Death Star, a space station with weaponry capable of destroying planets. Luke escapes with his two droids, Jedi Knight Obi Wan Kenobi, smuggler Han Solo and first mate Chewbacca.
After escaping Tatooine, the ragtag crew stumble upon the Death Star shortly after it has destroyed the planet Alderaan. Caught by its tractor beam, their ship is dragged in. While attempting to escape the Death Star the team rescue Princess Leia, held prisoner in the ships bowels. During the rescue Obi Wan sacrifices himself to allow the others to escape.
In a grand finale, Luke destroys the Death Star by firing a missile into a weak spot in the structure of the ship and Darth Vader, is cannoned off into the depths of space.
Quote: I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.
Trivia: Al Pacino, Burt Reynolds and James Caan reportedly turned down the role of Han Solo.
9. Pulp Fiction
A movie whose various plotlines are far too intertwined to summarise in a paragraph or two, Pulp Fiction simply tells the story of a day in the life of a group of unusual people -- two hitmen, the wife of a gangster, and a boxer who killed in the ring among others.
Edited to tie each story together, the movie often plays out of sequence -- to the point where the final scene and the opening scene take place at the same time. Full of pop culture references and quotable lines, Pulp Fiction stays true to form as a Tarantino movie.
Quote: Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead.
Trivia: Vincent Vega (John Travolta) is the brother of Vic Vega, also known as Mr Blonde, in Reservoir Dogs.
8. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Set during the US Civil War, the movie follows the three protagonists Blondie (The Good), Snake Eyes (The Bad) and Tuco (The Ugly) in their search for a hoard of gold stolen by bank robber Bill Carson. All three want 50% of the gold -- resulting in a good old-fashioned standoff. Snake Eyes is shot dead, and the honorable Blondie allows Tuco his share of the booty.
Quote: You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.
Trivia: Clint Eastwood wore the same poncho for all three ‘Man With No Name’ movies -- without washing it once.
7. Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List tells the true story of Oscar Schindler, a Nazi industrialist who becomes so moved by the plight of the Jewish people during World War II that he devotes himself to saving as many as he can. Even after rescuing over 1,100 Jews from the gas chamber, Schindler bemoans the fact that he could have saved more had he sacrificed everything he had.
Quote: I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don't know. If I'd just... I could have got more.
Trivia: Steven Spielberg refused to take any pay for the film, claiming that it would feel like he was taking ‘blood money’.
6. The Seven Samurai
Regarded as Akira Kurosawa’s greatest film, the Seven Samurai tells the story of a terrorised village in war-torn 16th Century Japan. Constantly attacked by gangs of bandits, the residents enlist the services of seven ronin, or samurai without masters, to protect them.
Despite initial tensions between the villagers and the samurai, they together successfully defend the village against the bandits. However, their success comes at the cost of the lives of four samurai.
Quote: What's the use of worrying about your beard when your head's about to be taken?
Trivia: The three samurai whose characters survived the film were the first three to die in real life.
So, you’re up to date on five of the top ten most popular movies of all time – but that’s not good enough! To complete your movie knowledge, why not read up on the top five movies in the final instalment of your crash course?
About the Author: James Shenton is a freelance writer and cinema buff whose work can often be found gracing the pages of industry journals and entertainment portals.
You can find more of his work at the Internet’s best movie downloads site, http://www.EliteMovieDownloads.com.