Top 50 - 31 through 35

31. Bride Of Frankenstein (Whale, 1935)

I won't go into detail because I already did recently, but I do want to say that this is, in my opinion, the best of the Universal monster films, and not just that but also a true auteur film: James Whale's imprint is everywhere here, and I wish more films made for profit were made with this amount of care and fun.

32. Annie Hall (Allen, 1977)

I long hesitated between this film and Manhattan. It was the opening monologue that finally made me chose this one, I think. Or maybe Diane Keaton's amazing outfits. That, and seeing Allen as much younger than him as Mariel Hemingsway's Tracy is just a little bit creepy. This is a funny, smart film, which is truer about relationships than most romantic comedies dare to be.

33. Out of Sight (Soderbergh, 1998)

Soderbergh has made much more ambitious and intelligent movies than this, but this remains my favorite. It's just perfect for what it wants to achieve. George Clooney is deliciously charming, Jennifer Lopez actually, y' know, acts (too bad she hasn't done it since), and together they just sizzle. It's one of those movies where I can't bring myself to buy them since I've already seen in ten times, but everytime it's on TV, I watch it anyway. For the scene in the trunk alone, this deserves to make my top 50, and due to the rest of it (including the great Don Cheadle as Snoopy, and Michael Keaton reprising his Ray Nicolette role from Jackie Brown) makes sure it's at # 33.

34. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981)

I know, I know, I promised (and am working on) a blogpost on "the trouble with Spielberg", but Indy, well, Indy is Indy. I can't think of any better pure action films: one set piece after another, a charismatic hero with great lines, a feisty girl (I like the other Indy films too, but the lack of Karen Allen makes itself felt), the only thing really missing, as Damian pointed out, is a great villain. Like Out of Sight, I watch this every time it's on TV, and I'm never bored for a second.

35. The Sting (Hill, 1973)

Completing the trio of "pure fun" films, this second pairing of Newman and Redford is probably the best heist film ever made. The jaunty Scott Joplin soundtrack makes sure this stays light despite the revenge story, the plot is intricate but not too far-fetched, and Newman and Redford once again make a fine pair. I think Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid is a more interesting film, more inventive, but it is also, ultimately, a big uneven mess, and while I love it, I do believe this perfect and perfectly crafted film is by far the better one. If you ask me on any given day which one I want to watch, The Sting will win four out of five times, and that's why it makes this list, and Butch and Sundance did not.

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