A-Z Film Challenge: Day One

Try as I might, I cannot get the bold type off of this post, so I apologise for that.

A

Can you imagine how many films start with the letter A, or contain it in the title? Neither could I, so I looked it up. It’s a lot…

As with every day of this challenge, I will not attempt to list all films with this letter, or even try to pick more than a few to consider. I will just mention some that have stuck in my mind, and pick a current favourite containing A. Please add your own choices in the comments below.

No look at the letter A would be complete without considering the ‘Alien’ franchise. Some might argue that the sequel, ‘Aliens’, was a rare example of a second film in a series being better than the first. (Think ‘The Godfather’, for a similar comparison.) For me, the original Ridley Scott film still stands out. It was something oh-so very different at the time, and the atmosphere on the Nostromo has rarely been bettered, as far as I am concerned. Another one I considered for A was the gritty cop thriller ‘Across 110th Street'(1972). Not only setting the trend for so many similar cop films that would follow, this also has a memorable soundtrack. The British film about pilots in WW1, ‘Aces High’ (1976) is a particular favourite of mine, with a superb performance from Malcolm McDowell. But it is something of a niche interest, I admit.

My fondness for world cinema is also well-known on this blog, so I might well have considered a foreign language film to highlight this letter. One that was on my mind was Pedro Amodovar’s outstanding 1999 work, ‘All About My Mother’. I soon realised that this challenge was almost impossible, and that I was not going to be able to choose just one. But I had to, so here it is.

After a lot of research on films for the first of these posts, I decided to abandon that, and go with the one that kept popping into the forefront of my mind. Made in 1951, Billy Wilder’s ‘Ace In The Hole’ gave us not only one of the best performances from Kirk Douglas, but also delivered a scathing indictment of trash journalism that is still relevant today. The exploitation of a man trapped in a cave, and the media circus that ensues, has stayed with me since I was a teenager, when I first watched this film. For those of you who may never have heard of it, I urge you to seek it out.

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53 thoughts on “A-Z Film Challenge: Day One

    1. And one more to add … “About a Boy” and I know many will disagree with me just because of Hugh Grant, but it is based on a book by Nick Hornby, and Toni colette does a good job of portraying manic, so … Come on!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. And another ,,, “The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz”! The first movie I ever went to see by myself, while I was at university, because I really wanted to immerse myself in it. I had studied the novel in high school and then university. Distinctly Canadian in every respect, except for the main actor being American. I had the honour of meeting Mordecai Richler years later when I was working in a bookstore in Calgary and he came to town to promote a new novel. He signed my, by that time, elastic-bound Penguin paperback copy of Duddy, and all the rest of my copies of his books. I still have all those books (although Duddy has has several elastic replacements over the years) in my library on Bequia.

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    1. Thanks for that, Violet. I have heard of it of course but never actually seen that one. I must look out for it.
      (My Mum’s name was Violet…)
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  1. My top 10 A’s:
    Annie Hall
    Apocalypse Now
    American Beauty
    The African Queen
    Aguirre The Wrath of God
    Across The Universe
    L’Atalante
    Almost Famous
    Amelie
    and, well let’s say Amacord

    Cheers

    Liked by 2 people

      1. ozflicks mentioned one I was coming back to add – “Across the Universe” – and another I’d forgotten, but loved – “Aguirre, Wrath of God” (which is right up there with “Fitzcaraldo” of course … but I don’t see (and I haven’t looked through the rest of the “A” comments yet) “Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” which I tried to horn into the “P” list earlier on.

        I’m beginning my compiling process of The List now, so I’m adding my rather late comments here as I read for the first time the beginning of the alphabet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Apocalypse Now (1979) for my older movie and Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) for my newer movie for A. Where is D? What great idea!
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks for the suggestions, William. I loved Affleck’s performance in ‘Jesse James’, and ‘Apocalypse Now’ is a powerful choice indeed. A great film. D is coming tomorrow. I have just posted C this morning.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. At least you gave me a laugh this morning…Thanks for adding to the list. For some reason that escapes me, I might never have thought of that one… 🙂
      (Looking forward to your next 25 suggestions now 🙂 )
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I have the entire “Alien” franchise on DVD, and am particularly fond of the second film, “Aliens.” James Cameron went on to film “The Abyss” (and is now stuck in “Avatar” hell). To my mind, “The Abyss” is the definitive underwater film. As for “Ace in the Hole,” this “great human interest story that tore at the heart of the world” is completely unknown to me (maybe I’m heartless?). I’m a fan of Kirk Douglas, so I’m surprised I hadn’t heard of it. By the way, I have “All about Eve” on DVD. Every once in a while, on a particularly bumpy night, I’ll fasten my seat belt and enjoy the ride with Davis and Monroe.

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    1. Thanks, David. I have to agree that ‘The Abyss’ is the definitive underwater alien encounter film, even if it is alone in that genre! Thanks as always for your thoughts and suggestions. I am surprised that you didn’t know about ‘Ace in The Hole’, but it is a very old film.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great choice Pete…although I must tell you I own the blu-ray release of “Across 100th Street”, so if you had decided to dip into some early 70’s classic “gritty New York” action, I would have been right there with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am not a good critic of films.l I tend to just watch and enjoy. For another A, “Assult on Precinct 13” immediately came to my mind as I somehow got the idea it was set in Detroit and I don’t recall Detroit having a 13th Precinct. Detroit got my attention as I worked with the Detroit Police a few times after having one of their deputy chiefs in class.
    Warmest regards, Theo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The original John Carpenter version of ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ is a great film, Theo. marvellous soundtrack, and a fascinating idea. Even the later remake was quite good. It was in the running…
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  6. It’s an interesting way to look at films. I like your choices.
    A. You said to add one’s favorites, so here a few of mine:
    Across the Universe
    All About Eve
    The Aviator
    Atonement
    A Streetcar Named Desire

    Liked by 3 people

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