Phony business

At the movies

Several entertainment and media conglomerates recently selected the top 100 films of the first century of the U.S. motion picture industry. You could hardly miss the news--the list was announced in a three-hour CBS special and in a special edition of Newsweek, and videos of the 100 films were made available at Blockbusters. The selection was quite arbitrary; the whole event was a sales gimmick at worst, and at best a way to garner public debate over the premier art form developed in this century. Columnists jumped at the chance to deplore the oversights. I have my own complaints: the omission of Buster Keaton’s The General, the Marx Brothers’ A Day at the Races, and The Blues Brothers. Also missing the cut was Cool Hand Luke, one of the few Hollywood products that was really serious about depicting a Christ figure.


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