Thursday, June 19, 2008

Top Ten Mystery

AFI's list of the top ten American films in the mystery genre went like this:

1. Vertigo
2. Chinatown
3. Rear Window
4. Laura
5. The Third Man
6. The Maltese Falcon
7. North By Northwest
8. Blue Velvet
9. Dial M For Murder
10. The Usual Suspects

The top three were just as I would have predicted. The rest of the list had some surprises for me. I personally would have put The Third Man at number 4, and where is John Frankenheimer's The Manchurian Candidate? Maybe they consider it a political thriller but it is certainly as much of a mystery as any on this list. Hitchcock is well represented here as he should be, but I find it interesting Dial M For Murder made the list (being very underrated as Hitchcock films go and not much of a "mystery") while films like The Man Who Knew Too Much, Rebecca, and Notorious did not. I would not have put Blue Velvet on the list but then I'm not much of a David Lynch fan and I am not sure it's really a "mystery". The Usual Suspects is a good movie but once again I would have put another Hitchock film ahead of it or The Manchurian Candidate (NOT the blasphemous remake with Denzel Washington either!) or Orson Welles' The Lady From Shanghai. Anyway, it is still a good list but isn't it ironic that in the mystery category no Agatha Christie or Sherlock Holmes movies ever get mentioned? I guess they are better for reading.

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