Sunday, September 11, 2011

Movies by the Numbers

Look who’s got a bad case of Dark Prince envy…..And where’d you get that accent, Sesame Street?  [mocking accent]  Vun, two, three ––– three victims!  Mwah, ha, ha, ha!” – Xander Harris to Dracula, Buffy the Vampire Slayer TV Show

Did you ever notice how many movies have some kind of number in the title?  You can pretty much find a movie with every number from 1 all the way up to 50 in the name.  I’ve decided to do a large series of posts reviewing movies from 1 to 50, plus any other numbers that I find worthy.

To do this I could use your help.  I’m pretty much set for numbers 1 to 13 on movies I’ve both seen and would recommend, but I have no idea what to write about for 14.  Other numbers up to 50 I could use some suggestions for are 18, 20, 22-27, 29, 31-33, 38, 41, and 43-47.  In addition, I’ve seen Less Than Zero, but didn’t feel it was a three star movie.  I have not seen either Zerophilia or The Zero Effect.  Would anyone recommend either of those?

A few guidelines:

  1. No numbers from sequels (and yes, there are sequel numbers that go that high for anime and Inspector Morse movies.)
  2. Variations on numbers are okay (i.e. Fourteenth, Forty-Seventh, etc.)
  3. Numbers that are part of a larger number would not count (i.e. 1492 would not count for 14.) 
  4. Numbers included with letters would count (i.e. District B13 would count for 13.)
  5. Please suggest movies you think are actually worth watching.  I’ve already found movies with numbers from 1 to 50; the problem is I either haven’t seen them (i.e. Code 46), or wouldn’t really recommend them (i.e. Love and a .45).
  6. Even though I didn’t ask for recommendations for many of the numbers, if you have a movie that you think would be great for any of them, please let me know about it.  It may be one I have never seen and I always appreciate good recommendations.
I’m going to be leaving for a hiking vacation after I post this, so I will check back in a week or so.  Hopefully now that I’ve got some serious movie fans as Followers I can get some interesting suggestions on movies to see and write about.

As I post for each number I will update the table below with a link to the movie.  I have already populated it with links for numbered movies that I have previously posted.  This list is not set in stone.  I may add more numbers to it, and I may not end up doing some of them, if no good candidate can be found.  One other note – the movies I pick will not necessarily be the “greatest” movie for that number.  I may pick some lesser known movies that I feel deserve to be seen.

8 ½
Only here to forestall suggestions – I didn’t care for 8 ½ that much.
9 ½

















On to the reviews…

Dec 12, 2011 Update - I am suspending this at number 50.  I may pick this category up at a later date.  You can read more about it here.


  1. Zero Effect...definitely recommend that one.

    Some other films for your feature:

    10 Things I hate about you
    Gone in 60 seconds - was not a fan but it fits.
    Fast Five
    Three Kings
    Aronofsky's Pi.
    13 Assassins
    Magnificent Seven
    Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

  2. @CS - thanks for the comment. I guess you're the only one I didn't scare off with my Guidelines. :-) Either that or maybe I should have groveled more for help.

    The Zero Effect is available via Netflix instant viewing, so I may sit down and watch that before doing any posting. It will also give a few more days to see if any other movies are suggested.

    To your other suggestions:

    10 Things I hate about you: you read my mind

    Gone in 60 seconds - was not a fan but it fits.: I felt it was good enough to recommend, if only for some mindless entertainment. (You'll see I have a "60" on my list and it's not for Attack of the 60 Foot Centerfolds. And yes, I have seen it.)

    Fast Five: I haven't seen it yet, although I've seen the four previous movies. I've got four "Five" movies right now to pick among.

    Three Kings: It's one of seven "three" movies I've got to pick from.

    Aronofsky's Pi.: You saw the "3.14159" in my list, I take it.

    13 Assassins: I have not seen it, but I have six "thirteen" movies to pick from already.

    Magnificent Seven - that's one of my five "seven" choices, but I'm going to probably be skipping the remake and going to the original.

    Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels: that's one of my five "two" choices.

  3. @MovieNut14 - Thanks for the suggestions.

    12 Angry Men - you read my mind

    25th Hour - I'm on the fence with this movie, but I can't think of any movie I liked better that qualifies.

    28 Days Later - your read my mind

    I'm writing the 3.14159 post right now. It should be up soon.

  4. A few more...

    K-19 the Widowmaker
    30 Minutes or Less
    21 (Jim Sturgess/Kevin Spacey flick)
    Naked Gun 33 1/3 (actually there are probably better films than this to pick)
    Love and a .45
    Chapter 27
    88 Minutes (I thought the film was awful personally speaking)

  5. @CS - thanks again for the suggestions.

    50/50 - haven't seen it yet. I'll be sure to check it out.

    K-19 the Widowmaker - coming right up

    30 Minutes or Less - I hope to see this soon.

    21 - Thanks, but I've got another movie already written up for the number 21 awaiting a post. I have seen 21.

    Catch-22 - it's sitting on my coffee table right now waiting to be watched.

    Naked Gun 33 1/3 - I considered this, but agree that it's not the greatest.

    Love and a .45 - I saw that and didn't care for it that much, I'm afraid.

    Chapter 27 - I hadn't heard of this. Considering the only "27" movie I've seen is 27 Dresses, I will try to check this out.

    88 Minutes - I haven't seen it. I remember it didn't get very good reviews.

    I've been able to find absolutely nothing for the number 26. (26 Years Diary and Trois places pour le 26 are not available via Netflix or Amazon.) Any suggestions?

  6. The Number 23--Didn't see it, just remembered the name.

    24-Hour Party People--Haven't seen it, just remembered the name.

    30 Seconds Over Tokyo--1940s war propaganda, but pretty good.

    Miracle on 34th Street--Go with the original.

    The 36th Chamber of Shaolin--Also called Shaolin Master Killer. Kung Fu awesomeness (really)!

    The 39 Steps--Hitchcock!

    Forty Guns/North Dallas Forty--I include these as alternates for The 40-Year-Old Virgin (how did that one get skipped for this long?).

    42nd Street--A musical, but not terrible. You're probably better served with Summer of '42.

    48 Hours--Not mentioned yet? Wow!

    Passenger 57--Bad Wesley Snipes action, along with Murder at 1600.

    *61--The story of Roger Maris's home run record year. Worth seeing.

    Buffalo '66--Sort of unpleasant, really.

    Winchester '73--An important early 50s Western.

    United 93--If you want to relive 9/11...

    RKO 281--About the making of Citizen Kane. Worth seeing.

    The 400 Blows--One of the most important films in the French New Wave movement.

    Fahrenheit 451--Truffaut's take on Bradbury. Weird, but good.

    THX 1138--George Lucas's first film.

    Lots of others I'd include, but you already have something there--Se7en, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, The Ninth Gate, The Seventh Seal, Five Easy Pieces, 8 Mile, The Dirty Dozen, Thirteen, Three Days of the Condor, The Two Towers, 11:14...

  7. @SJHoneywell - thanks for all the great suggestions. I'll check out your blog when I get a chance.

    The Number 23, 24 Hour Party People, Miracle on 34th Street, 48 Hours, RKO 281, and 11:14 are all coming.

    30 Seconds Over Tokyo, The 36th Chamber of Shaolin, Forty Guns, North Dallas Forty - I have something else likely planned for these numbers, but I will check out these movies. Thanks for the recommendations.

    The 39 Steps - I will probably do this one, but there is one other movie I want to see first before deciding.

    42nd Street was what I was planning to see, but thank you for reminding me about Summer of '42. I read the book and saw the movie a long time ago. I'd need to see it again before I could review it.

    Passenger 57 - I may do this one. I have the "57" in the list because of this movie.

    *61 - I hadn't seen it since I consider the whole question of whether there should have been an asterisk on the record or not to be silly. I may have to check it out now.

    Buffalo 66 - I hadn't planned on watching. Thanks for the heads up.

    Winchester '73 - I've heard of this, but not seen it. Thanks for the recommendation.

    United 93 - I hated Greengrass' shakycam cinematography in the movie, especially because the story was too important for him to resort to his usual "Look at me! I'm an artiste!" camera work.

    The 400 Blows - I've seen it, but by the time I did it couldn't possibly live up to the hype about it and I was left with a bit of a "that's it?" feeling. Had I heard nothing about it beforehand I'm sure it would have made a bigger impact on me.

    Fahrenheit 451 - I've seen it, but was bothered by its departures from the book, which I liked a lot.

    THX 1138 - I've seen it, but hadn't considered it for this. Thanks for reminding me.

    Others - You've got a bunch of great suggestions here, many of which I had considered. Would you be willing to participate in my "Movie Countdown" post for movies numbered from ten to one? You can find the details here:

  8. Off the top of my head:

    Zero de Conduite or Zero Hour! (1957)
    Saturday the 14th
    28 Days Later
    42nd St.
    50/50 (does this count?)
    55 Days at Peking
    Buffalo 66
    & muchh further on...400 Blows

  9. @Kevin Knox - Thanks for the suggestions. I haven't seen a few of those, so I will look into them more.

  10. I've seen and like most of these (well, I wouldn't really say I "like" Two Thousand maniacs...):

    30 Days Of Night
    Oslo, August 31st
    Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
    Miracle On 34th Street
    The 36th Chamber Of Shaolin
    Faubourg 36
    Female Convict Scorpion: Jailhouse 41
    Vanya On 42nd Street
    Code 46
    47 Ronin
    49th Parallel
    49 Up
    51 Birch Street
    Planet 51
    Calle 54
    House On 92nd Street
    101 Reyjavik
    OSS 117: Cairo, Nest Of Spies
    Cargo 200
    Cell 211
    Population 436
    Box 507
    Iron Maiden: Flight 666
    Female Prisoner #701: Scorpion
    Call Northside 777
    1000 Eyes Of Dr. Mabuse
    Two Thousand Maniacs
    Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie
    The 5000 Fingers Of Dr. T
    20000 Leagues Under The Sea
    How To Steal A Million
    20 Million Miles To Earth

  11. @Bob Turnbull - Wow! Thanks for all the suggestions. I've seen some of those, but the majority I have not. I've never even heard of a few of those.

    I noticed you recommended The 36th Chamber of Shaolin. SJHoneywell did, too. Even though I already have another movie planned for that number I'm definitely going to have to check this movie out.

    I'm most interested in your mention of Oslo, August 31st because 31 is one of the four numbers from 26 to 50 that I have no candidates for. I found that movie during my research, but I knew there was no way it would be available to me in time to write a recommendation. I don't know if you will see this comment, but I would be interested in discussing a guest column with you. My email is

  12. @SJHoneywell and Bob Turnbull:

    I watched The 36th Chamber of Shaolin today. I liked it quite a bit. It's definitely one of the better 70's martial arts films. I liked how they emphasized the smaller things that go into kung fu; that it's not just weapons training. Thanks for the recommendation.