What do your favorite movies say about you?

I had an intriguing comment from Mr. Duke Miller on my last post.  He wrote that when he had to interview people he asked them for a joke and then the names of their three favorite movies.  His jokes would start with a man drinking in a bar and his top movies were: Old Yeller, Psycho, and Blue Velvet which he interpreted to mean he liked mezcal, soft cloth, hot showers and dogs.  I’m sure he probably does.  But who doesn’t?  So I thought if I were interviewing Duke what would my take away be? 

After struggling to ferret out the commonality between the three,  I decided his choice in movies meant he valued loyalty above all else. Here’s why.  Old Yeller is a dog who puts his life on the line to save his family,  Norman Bates is so devoted to his mother that he dresses up like her, and Jeffrey Beaumont simply must try to save a damsel in the most extreme distress.  All three protagonists are loyal.  Duke’ll probably inform me that I’m totally full of beans and so I decided what’s fair is fair and provided my three choices for his analysis. My picks were North by Northwest, Tender Mercies and Mr. Smith goes to Washington. Really doesn’t say much about me, does it?  In the first, a case of mistaken identity almost gets a man killed.  The second is a slow paced story of redemption and the third is about the filibuster to end all filibusters!  I have a thing, evidently, for hopeless causes. 

Just for fun. What do your three favorite movies say about you? 

By the way.  Duke didn’t offer me the job. And I’m not really a shrink although I do play one in a book (Flipka) so any analyses provided by me is not worth the time you might take to read it.   It’s just for fun on a hot Sunday when trying to avoid cleaning that dirty kitchen  floor.


51 thoughts on “What do your favorite movies say about you?

    1. Let me know when you do – it will be interesting. All three have protagonists who think they need mask their real feelings in some way or another. However Casablanca is my husband’s favorite movie and he doesn’t mask his feelings so I’m probably missing something. ; )

  1. I found this very interesting, for what they are worth my favourite movies are, Evita, Bladerunner and Dogma…. Really I have no idea what that says about me? 💜💜

      1. I have myself stumped and I was honest! A modern day Romeo and Juliet, An Argentine wife to a junta president and a futuristic replicant hunter who just maybe a replicant himself??

  2. Hmm. My three favorite movies are Mel Brooks’ “Young Frankenstein,” Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall,” and the 1956 SciFi classic, “Forbidden Planet.” What that says about me I have no clue.

    1. Let’s see. You’ve got a mad scientist trying to perfect his creation, a neurotic guy trying to figure out his wacky girlfriend (although maybe he’s the wacky one) and a remake of the Tempest on a planet far away. I’d say you like lobsters and think the world is nuts. And you like to laugh.

  3. Bull Durham and Father Goose [Cary Grant’s last movie] and The Thin Man. The common thread is… humor… or men who find their match with strong women… or I fancy brunette men? I dunno. Great question.

    1. Father Goose is an absolute blast! Wonderful banter, hilarious writing. Like, when civilian Cary Grant is nonchalantly stealing supplies from a dock and British Naval Lieutenant, Stebbings, calls him out on it “Do you know who I am?” says Grant, incredulously. No idea at all.” replies Stebbings, “Well, I’ll let it go this time, but don’t let it happen again.” retorts Grant, as if he were someone important. Or this gem of give-and-take between Grants, Walter, and his old friend Trevor Howard’s Commander, Frank Houghton, (who has just had his vessel steer into Walter’s boat in order to strand Walter onto an island, involuntarily): “FRANK, HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MIND? LOOK AT MY BOAT!” yells, Grant. “Terribly sorry, Walter.” replies, Howard, calmly. “IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO WORK ONE OF THOSE THINGS, WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO?” continues Grant. “I’m sorry, Walter.” says Howard. “OH STOP SAYING THAT! LOOK AT MY BOAT! WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?” rants Grant. “Become a coast watcher, I expect.” responds Howard, which is what he’s wanted Walter to do all along. “FRANK, I’LL SUE! I’LL SUE YOU! I’LL SUE THE ENTIRE WAR!” to which Howard responds “Quite right, Walter. I’ll be your witness!” Great stuff. For me, Cary Grant was great in almost anything, which is why I love most of his movies—Charade, North by Northwest, and The Bishops Wife, to name just a few. His characters seldom took themselves too seriously. I also enjoy watching a dedicated Steve McQueen (Towering Inferno, Bullit, The Great Escape) doing his thing, or practically anything my quarter brother, Tom Hanks (hee hee) is in. All of which, I suppose, suggests that maybe I am an admirer of charming actors doing the right thing in (sometimes) the most trying situations. Or, at least, I hope that’s what Freud would say about me. 😀

      1. You might be the first person who I know that knows of Father Goose, let alone can quote from it. To my way of thinking it’s a screwball comedy with enough social commentary to make it priceless and funny. Happy to know that I’m not the only one who likes this movie.

      2. Nice to hear from you – I was worried. I think most people have actors who they’d watch in anything! I heard Cary Grant say in an interview that the character he played in Father Goose was the character he felt closest too.

  4. Picking 3 fave movies is hard. One of my all-timers, though, is Rear Window. I also liked Hud a lot. Ditto for The Miracle Worker. Ditto for Odd Man Out. Ditto for Birdman. Ditto for this year’s American Animals. Ditto for LaLaLand. Etc.

    Anyway, have a great week, JT.


    1. Thanks Neil. It’s amazing to me that almost everyone choose a Hitchcock movie as one of their favorites. He seems to have been able to capture the angst of modern man. I haven’t seen American Animals – I’ll have to check it out.

  5. I had a lot of fun thinking of my favorite movies. I realize I don’t have a favorite but I do have some that easily come to mind. Growing up on a farm, movies weren’t something I had much exposure to. “North to Alaska” was my first. I have wonderful memories of “ET”. Movie I watched with John dating: “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”.

    1. I spent my summers on a Naval Weapons Testing base (China Lake) where it was too hot to go outside during the day and movies were 25 cents a pop. But the movies were generally pretty old – Roy Rogers, The Lone Ranger, Shirley Temple etc. so I spent most of my time in the library. ET is such a magical picture and you are a magical person so I can see the attraction. Lightness of Being – oh my. What a date movie!

  6. I’m also quite fond of the Professional but I’d never seen The Village so I googled. Hum, maybe you believe that strange things lurk in small villages, other than fairies that is.

  7. Whereas two favourites roll out easily, the third is up for grabs. I’ll need to give it some thought. But first, number 1 and 2.

    1. St. Elmo’s Fire by Joel Schumacher: A story of seven young adults who struggle with things like how to get published, how to stay married but fool around too, how to get unvirginised by the same fooling around friend (he is played by Rob Lowe), how to work for a Republican if you’re a Democrat and cheat on your girl just as easily, how to be secretly in love with one of your best friends, how to get a married woman, and in the case of Demi Moore, how to get a grip in general on just about everything. Some of these things I experienced, in other cases I knew people who did. The next day I went to see it again with another friend. And then another. And then another.

    2. Les Uns et les Autres (Bolero), by Claude Lelouch. Three generations of four families from four nations in three hours. Be my guest. And Bolero by Ravel is playing throughout.

    After a short contemplation as to #3 for which I considered Big Blue, Angel Heart, Dead Man and Wings of Desire, I decided on Naked by Mike Leigh. Whereas numbers 1 and 2 hit various spots while I was growing up, this one is for afterwards. “I used to be a werewolf but I’m alright noooowwwwwwww!”

    I’m afraid I’d need Gabriel Byrne to analyse this. (Have just seen first two parts of In Treatment.)

    1. Wow, that’s quite a list. I’ve never seen Les Uns et Les Autres and I read that when it hit the states, it had been heavily edited. Darn. You make a good point about movies hitting different spots as we grow older. At seventeen I probably wouldn’t have chosen Tender Mercies – it’s definitely a movie you understand the more you’ve been knocked around and failed. You seem to like movies with multiple protagonists so I’m guessing you like a good party but it’s a wild guess!

      Duke would’ve hired you – he likes to say that in a humanitarian crisis, a person with a good sense of humor is worth their weight in beer.

      1. Hihi, or I’m a split personality. 😉 I prefer my people one by one, not all together. But I love the crowds at concerts. As for being hired for the good sense of humor by Duke – bring it on! (That said, I’m not sure I could take the circumstances in which he seems to thrive. So many dead dogs.)

    1. Oh no, this was supposed to be fun. I think Duke probably just asked the question to loosen folks up. Most people like a variety of different films and there really is no rhyme or reason! .

      1. Hi Jan,

        In these times of harmful depression, contemplating favorite movies seems therapeutic, perfectly childlike and enjoyable. How did we get here? What did we do wrong? Nobody picked the “Wild Bunch” and I am surprised. There is sometimes a moment when society changes and we can never go back. I fear we have arrived at one. Critical mass is upon us due to population, climate change, environmental pollution, religion, and the human inability to conduct politics in a reasonable fashion: killing is the preferred alternative to ethics. Oh well, I just watched “The Distinguished Citizen”. True and funny. Thanks. Duke

  8. Hey Duke,

    The Wild Bunch is one of those movies that isn’t shown on the movie channels that often and I think most people tend to pick movies they’ve seen more than once.
    You should see some of the ads being run in the US by pro-Trump candidates. We’re doomed. Yes, bring on the movies – the more absurd, the better.

  9. Interesting food for thought, Jan. You’ve started a great conversation with this topic.
    I don’t really have favorite movies… That says that in my adult live I’ve never had time to sit with anything as long as a movie. And watching them in theaters brings me migraines… (not a positive association to encourage me to like movies). I do however, like Netflix. That way I can stop when My short amount of time is up and the system remembers where I left off.
    The past couple of years I can only deal with watching things that have a “feel good factor” for me — regardless of how exciting or well made they are. Hugs!

    1. I can certainly relate to that sentiment. I would have guessed you to be a fan of wacky musicals set in the Roaring twenties such as Auntie Mame or Hello Dolly.

  10. Let’s see. Only three? How intimate. There are films I love because they are like candy (Harry Potter). Films I didn’t enjoy but stuck with me for life: Winter’s Bone. I loved how Princess Bride managed to make wicked fun of fantasy, and still feel like fantasy. I loved The Whales of August in it’s day, but would it hold up over time? Was that only because I was by myself in a theater with a huge popcorn I didn’t have to share? Recent, unforgettable and interesting: “Phantom Thread” and “Tangerines.”
    Cheers —

    1. You’re right – we like different movies for different reasons. Some entertain and some makes us see things in another light. I love movies with old women in them – probably because I’m old now. Arsenic and Old Lace, Harold and Maude. I have not seen either of your recent and interesting movies. Now I really must! Thanks!

  11. Very interesting post posing a hard question! I definetely agree when you say that our favorite movies do say alot about our character. With that being said, I will tell you what my top three favorite movies are. The first one is “Scent of a Woman” with Al Pacino. It is one of his best performances of all time, considering that his character is facing a life with blindness and bitterness, a story that shows how he navigates all those frustrations and finds that his life is worth living. My second favorite movie is Forrest Gump. I like how he is a character that thrives and succeeds in the most unimaginable ways, in spite of the fact that there are people underestimating him. My third favorite movie is Julie and Julia. I love knowing about other people’s success stories, especially if they have to do with food. Julia Child is a woman that revolutionized the culinary industry and found passion and success in a field dominated by men.
    Now that I have mentiones my three favorite films, what do you think these picks say about me as a person? I honestly have no idea 😂
    Thank you for sharing this post. It surely was great fun responding to it and engaging in this discussion 🌟 Looking forward to seeing more of your work! 😄👌🏼🙏🏼

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