When I first conceived this idea, I had no idea how hard it would be to pick the 12 movies I most regret not having watched. When you really start to think about it, there are so many acclaimed and essential films that we just haven’t taken the time to watch. Maybe because the subject matter never interested us. Maybe because we got so tired of being told we “had to watch” a certain movie that we just grew numb to the idea. Why watch Deliverance when you can watch The Spy Who Loved Me again? The latter just sounds like more fun. I mean the opening sequence when Bond jumps off the mountain on skis before releasing the Union Jack and giving way to “Nobody Does It Better.” That’s gold. Now, Deliverance on the other hand, I know a lot about… I’ve read about it, heard about it and I’m pretty goddamn sure it doesn’t have Roger Moore dropping a fish out of a Lotus submarine I’ll tell you that much.
I made my choices of shame based on a couple of criteria. First I considered the critical mass and general omnipresence of a film. How often does the movie come up in popular culture or casual conversation? Second, I focused on my own favorites. For example, I’m a massive fan of Burt Reynolds, but I haven’t seen The Longest Yard. I’ve seen every Stanley Kubrick movie except for Barry Lyndon. How is something like that even possible? I considered movies during which I’d fallen asleep, movies that were introduced to me during film class, but only in 10-15 minute clips. Basically if I were involved in a conversation about such and such film and I would have had to yadda yadda my way through, the movie warranted the Cinema Shame treatment.
Without further adieu, my 12… no, 13 selections of shame. And no, despite this being the perfect opportunity, I’m still not watching Titanic. I have morals.
January: Ben Hur (1959)
February: BURT! Deliverance (1972) and The Longest Yard (1974)
March: Rashomon (1950)
April: Ride the High Country (1962)
May: Godzilla (1954)
June: The Dirty Dozen (1967)
July: City Lights (1931)
August: Barry Lyndon (1975)
September: Deer Hunter (1978)
October: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
November: Cabaret (1972)
…and last and perhaps the most shameful of all…
December: It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
There you have it. I’ve laid my soul bare. Now all that’s left is the shame, the penance… and eventually the salvation.