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Cinematic green card

From Howdy:
"I work with a Dutch guy who has a real green card, but I have occasionally taunted him about satisfying the requirements for a cinematic green card (i.e. the essential movie credentials that make one American). Robin and I already made him watch the Wizard of Oz. I'm soliciting suggestions for movies that should be watched to earn this cultural badge of honor."

Here were my suggestions, though I know I'm missing dozens upon dozens of movies here. Anything marked with an (x) is something I think just about everybody my age has seen, but probably sucks 25+ years after the fact.

Photo from Rebba's photostream.
  • The Princess Bride
  • Better Off Dead
  • The Jerk
  • E.T. (x)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • War Games
  • The Godfather
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • It's a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Miracle on 34th St.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Casablanca
  • Top Gun (x)
  • Bringing Up Baby

What movies would you require in order to earn a cinematic green card? The definition of "essential" is fairly debatable. But generally speaking, it would be "a list of movies you would expect someone roughly your age to have seen and understand references to," according to Howdy.


Comments

Monday, October 30, 2006
Dana
Pulp Fiction
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
This is Spinal Tap
Blue Velvet
Monday, October 30, 2006
don't forget Ghostbusters!
Monday, October 30, 2006
Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
Dirty Dancing
Ghost (x)
Titanic (x)
When Harry Met Sally
The Terminator
The Karate Kid (x)
and the list goes on...
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
uh... noone has named star wars?

star wars. (that's "episode 4" to any yunguns)

rocky, or maybe rocky 4 (with Ivan Drago).

Gremlins.

Goonies.



Tuesday, October 31, 2006
particleman
going beyond our age class here:

Clerks
Manhattan or Annie Hall
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Dr. Strangelove
Citizen Kane
Matrix
Usual Suspects
Batman
Braveheart
Something by Stanley Kubric
Rushmore/Royal Tenenbaums
The Graduate

I might have based this list on http://www.imdb.com/chart/top
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Dana
Something by Stanley Kubric - I would say Full Metal Jacket. A Clockwork Orange has too much of a Euro feel to it.
Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Meghan
Rocky Horror Picture Show, but it must be seen live, and while wearing lengerie with a big "V" painted on the forehead.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Lisa
A Few Good Men

After this, I think we need a Audiophile's Green Card list. I'm looking for some good music, and I need to know what it is I don't have.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Erin
Wayne's World
Top Gun
Superman
Sleepless in Seattle
Good Morning Vietnam
The Breakfast Club
The Terminator
West Side Story
Blade Runner
Groundhog Day
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
ET still holds up, for the record.

Top Gun is only good for two things, however:

1. Fish-in-barrel class homoeroticism jokes, and
2. Insight into the earlier years of the Bruckheimer Steamroller Process.
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Lisa
Say Anything - who can forget John Cusack holding the boombox blaring "In Your Eyes"
Wednesday, November 1, 2006
Thank you everyone for the insightful cinematic green card suggestions. List's like this are a slippery slope. I can find a reason to agree with most suggestions. It's difficult to keep it tight--it basically requires brazen arbitrary line drawing.

In any event, I think it would be fun to lobby the INS to increase an applicant's chances in the green card lottery based on their number of correctly answered fill in the blank questions regarding American movies.

Iocaine comes from _____
I was born a _____
When chased in a church block doors with _____
There is no fighting in the _____
Fetchez la _____
How can I leave this _____ ? (lyric)

Did anyone check out the rest of Rebba's photostream? The sabor caramelo caught my attention, and I soon found myself perusing image after image. Decoding Spanish Flickr captions is about the most I can ask of my modest foreign tongue capabilities.

Verdes, todos los envidian...
mar y pluma
santa claus mientras no trabaja
¬°Cuidado, gusanitos!
Thursday, November 2, 2006
rubber ducky
Caddy Shack
Airplane - everyone I know can fill in the blank: "Looks like I picked a good day to give up ______!"
Thursday, November 2, 2006
rebecca
"And stop calling me ______."
Thursday, November 2, 2006
It would be hilarious if I'd try to contribute to this list, wouldn't it?
Thursday, November 2, 2006
rebecca
Ruben, it would be funny! Actually, it would be interesting to see what you view as essential American cinema. What movies do you in the Netherlands use to stereotype us?
Thursday, November 9, 2006
michele
These are all very important & credible movies... however, in order to really understand American culture, one must repeatedly watch and psychoanalyze TEAM AMERICA.

Only after repeated perusal of this American cinematic gem(preferably while inebriated) can a foriegn guest truly fathom the depth of the American mind.

P.S. Kudos to the suggestion about adding Rocky Horror, as I just finished performing in a six week run of the LIVE Broadway version of the play, which should by all means be seen shortly after any viewing of the movie.

Even though the whole thing is British in origin, it does sum up many values and social practices held dear to most Americans nicely (aka wearing lingerie).
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Pulp Fiction, baby!

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