Top 100: Chariots of Fire and Le Samuraï

72. Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire has been on the list before and I think this movie gets a bit of a bad rap as Oscar bait, and sort of fickle somehow. It’s really not. It’s an impeccable period piece with like tremendous attention to detail in the art direction. But what’s more, that detail just seems so perfectly captured here. The look of this movie has no frills and yet is iconic. I actually feel that a lot of the look of films like this are what’s missing in many of todays best Oscar bait.

But Chariots of Fire isn’t just sort of technically masterful (and yes, I really do believe that it is that). Here’s a movie which actually rewards a fair amount of cultural studies scrutiny. It’d be easy to mistake Chariots of Fire as the worlds most boring movie about the worlds most boring sport, but that would be to ignore the fact that it really is about British class structure and a rehabilitation of humanity after the first World War. I don’t see a lot of movies that doe all that so well and still have those sort of baiting style points which really don’t have to count for nothing.


71. Le Samuraï

So I’m a real sucker for style, and for cool in films. Likely when a movie has major style points, I give it some very high esteem even if that’s the most of what is going on. This is somewhat the case in Le Samurai which is one of those totally cool movies of the late 1960s. It just has a look and and a texture to every element that has that practiced aloofness of all the coolest things in life. Nevertheless, it also has a lot of interesting things to say about justice in it’s very deliberately plotted way.