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A regular reader and commenter, Ampersand offers his top ten list below.
"Disclaimer: Ask me again tomorrow and you might get 10 different films, but I think over time these are the ones that I'd pick most often. Presented in alphabetical order:
1. Alien (with honours to its spiritual predecessor, Dark Star)
2. Blade Runner (pretty much any of the various versions; they all have their strengths)
3. Forbidden Planet (without which we might not have Star Trek or Star Wars or ...)
4. James Whale's Frankenstein / Bride of Frankenstein (I justify including this as one movie if only because the combined runtime of the two movies is less than that of most individual movies today)
5. The Iron Giant ("I am not a gun.")
7. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (of all the ST movies, this is both the closest in spirit to and a thoughtful critique of The Original Series)
8. Star Wars (Episode IV: A New Hope if you must -- I personally think the sequels and prequels led to increasingly diminishing returns, but nothing beats the original for evoking the sheer excitement of space opera)
9. John Carpenter's The Thing (which I do consider sci-fi, although it's also a damn fine horror movie)
10. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Looking over my selections, I'd like to say that there's an overall connecting theme involving an implicit or explicit discussion of the nature of storytelling ... but that might just me being pretentious.
Anyway, thanks for your great blog, and thanks for giving us a chance to play along!"
My pleasure, Ampersand.
And you played very well, indeed! I am a fan of The Iron Giant, and I actually have Slaughterhouse Five at home here (from Netflix) so I can review it for my upcoming book, Science Fiction Films of the 1970s, I have never seen it before, so seeing it on your list is great serendipity.
I am also happy to see Alien atop the list!