This week’s AFI/IMDb showdown (#98) was Yankee Doodle Dandy vs. The Maltese Falcon. Although it wasn’t quite as bad as comparing Unforgiven and Toy Story last week, it was still pretty difficult. Again, two entirely different genres (musical and film noir) but at least these were made in the same time period (early 1940s) and were both black and white.
I should say right from the beginning my choice for winner this week is The Maltese Falcon. It’s the first of the gorgeously cynical film noir genre of the 40s & 50s. John Huston (writer/director) was a genius. Plus honestly, I would be hard pressed to vote against anything with Humphrey Bogart in it. I’ve been on a huge Bogey kick the last year or so. I love The African Queen, Key Largo, The Big Sleep and, of course, Casablanca.
[As an aside, I got on said Bogart kick because last year I happened to hear the 1981 classic song “KeyLargo” by Bertie Higgins – which I remembered, frighteningly enough, from my childhood. Includes such lines: “We had it all… Just like Bogey and Bacall… Starring in our own late, late show… Sailing away to Key Largo…”
In case you need to experience some of that sheer goodness:
Dude is smoking, has awesome facial hair, AND rocks a gold necklace & white sports jacket/shirt open to the waist. You’re welcome.]
So, after three films, the score stands 2-1, in AFI’s favor.
AFI’s Top 100
IMDB’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Next week’s showdown: Blade Runner vs. Gladiator. Interesting.