Finally – after way too much time, I do apologise – massive week. Here is the Top 10. It has been such an interesting ride discovering my top 50 and then researching them. The trivia has just blown my mind. Well worth it. Big Thanks to the people who have read, commented and debated the films. Hope to do much more with what will no doubt be a controversial top 10. Some of you have scoffed at my films in the first 40 out of the 50. These may make you think I am an idiot. But like I said – it’s not so much the technical that made my decisions – its how they affected me at the time. And this is my Top 10 afterall, I am not you – if you hate my number one as most of you do, suck it.

For all the other parts in the top 50:


Number 10:

Jurassic Park (1993)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, Jurassic Park
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


One of Spielberg’s finest. Made from the Micheal Crichton book of the same name this is about what can go wrong if we recreate real dinosaurs from DNA. This revolutionised digital animation and created one of the most hyped films of all time and it was all worth it. I was working at a cinema in Sydney that had 7 screens in 1993 when this came out and we were releasing it in 4 cinemas. I was in charge of recreating our theatre to resemble the setting of Jurassic. I painted this massive 12 ft mural. Was fantastic if I do say so myself. We also got local nurseries to fill our foyer with plants, the army supplied large camo nets to cover all the glass and my 4WD was dressed up like the 4WD’s in the movie. I got to literally drive up to the front door every day. Then I got to preview the film and check the print when my stomach started to ache. Film was mad – but went home at midnight and my appendix burst. Managed to drive self to hospital, emergency surgery and I am still here. YAY that. LOL

Trivia: 1) Harrison Ford and William Hurt turned down the lead role and thankgod – I thought Sam Neill was brilliant. 2) And a BIG thing for people in the cinema and film industry and those with great sound systems – this was the first film to use digital DTS sound. Cost us a fortune to upgrade but OMG – it sounded amazing. Velociraptors RULE!!!! 3) The roar of the T-Rex is actually the sound from the aircraft simulator at NASA Langley Research Center. 4) Steven Spielberg wanted the velociraptors to be about 10 feet tall, which was taller than they were known to be. During filming, paleontologists uncovered 10-foot-tall specimens of raptors called Utahraptors.



Number 9:

The Dark Crystal (1982)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, The Dark Crystal
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


Timeless masterpiece that captured my imagination as a young child and has held it ever since. Every time I watch it it takes me back to my youth. The story set 1000 years ago on another planet who have been through a time of chaos ever since the dark crystal was damaged. Now Jen, one of the last of the Gelflings is on a mission to fix the dark crystal. But the Skeksis are hunting him. Pure fantasy genius and all the characters are puppets. It’s a Jim Henson fairy tale. And in pre production as we speak is the sequel. Only 26yrs in the making and to make it as authentic as possible they have been tracking down all the original cast to play the characters. I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trivia: 1) The Special Edition DVD features several “workprint” takes showing early passes at dialogue. This early voice-over work differs from the final dialogue in several ways: the Skeksis speak in a foreign language, Frank Oz provided the voice of Aughra (sounding very similar to his voice work for Yoda in the Star Wars movies), and the Mystics were referred to by (presumably) their original name, the ur-Ru. The novelization was apparently based on this earlier version, referring to the “Trial By Stone” contest by its original name – “Hakskeekah” – and calling the Mystics the ur-Ru. In the final film, one reference to ur-Ru was not redubbed: when the Mystics enter the Skeksis Great Hall, SkekOk, the Scrollkeeper sees them and shouts “Ur-Ru!”



Number 8:

Donnie Darko (2001)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time - Donnie Darko
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a large bunny rabbit that manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after narrowly escaping a bizarre accident. This is the synopsis that I found online but this film is SO much more and if you really can work out the film then you are way smarter than everyone else. I think this film was designed to mess with our minds. It is SO WELL DONE. The cast is HUGE – a young and VERY hot Jake Gyllenhaal with an even younger Maggie playing his onscreen sister. Drew Barrymore, Patrick Swayze, Mary McDonnell and the superb James Duval as Frank the evil twisted rabbit.

Trivia: 1) Jason Schwartzman was replaced by Jake Gyllenhaal, due to Schwartzman’s scheduling conflicts. 2) The movie takes place in 1988. Frank tells Donnie the world will end in 28 days, 06 hours, 42 minutes, and 12 seconds. If you add these numbers, the sum is 88. When Samantha asks when she can have kids, Donnie says: “Not until 8th grade.” Donnie mentions to his therapist that his dog Callie died when he was eight. (He is later seen holding a stuffed toy dog in her office.) According to the television reporter, the fire at Jim Cunningham’s house was extinguished “sometime after 8:00 last night.” The climax of Donnie Darko occurs one week before the 1988 US presidential election. George Bush was elected on November 8, 1988 [11/08/88]. 3) When casting for the role of Donnie’s sister, it came to Richard Kelly’s attention that Maggie Gyllenhaal (who had few film credits at the time) would be available for the shoot. The agent who proposed her casting reminded Kelly of her scene in Cecil B. DeMented (2000), where she drank urine. Though Kelly was slightly hesitant towards the idea, he did like the way she drank urine–and knew he wouldn’t have to work hard at creating a sibling rivalry between her and her brother, star Jake Gyllenhaal.



Number 7:

Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time - Silence of the Lambs
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


Truly amazing. I remember working at the cinema just after i had started when this film came out and it was MASSIVE. The music, the acting, the cast, the direction, the cinematography all aligned to create the masterpiece itself. It is rare for a movie or a TV show to hit aces on every level and when it does it’s magic. This film, while not a happy topic or something you want to love, is just pure brilliance. I read today it is known as the “Godfather of Thrillers” and that is exactly what it is. Everyone knows Hannibal Lecter, the character that made Anthony Hopkins and also Clarice Starling that further shone the star of Jodie Foster.

Trivia: 1) Gene Hackman bought the rights to “The Silence of the Lambs” and was planning to direct the film as well as taking on the role of Jack Crawford , but he withdrew after watching a clip of himself in Mississippi Burning (1988) at the The 61st Annual Academy Awards (1989) (TV), which made him uneasy about taking more violent roles. When Jonathan Demme took over as director, he offered the role of Clarice first to Michelle Pfeiffer and also to ‘Meg Ryan’ . 2) John Hurt, Christopher Lloyd, Patrick Stewart, Louis Gossett Jr., ‘Robert Duvall, Jack Nicholson, and Robert De Niro were all considered for the role of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Jeremy Irons turned down the offer. 3) The inspiration for the Silence of the Lambs was the real life relationship between University of Washington criminology professor and profiler Robert Keppel and real life serial killer Ted Bundy. Bundy helped Keppel in his investigation of the Green River Serial Killings in Washington. While Bundy was executed 24 January 1989, the Green River Killings went unsolved until 2001 when Gary Ridgway was arrested. On 5 November 2003, Ridgway pleaded guilty to 48 counts of aggravated first degree murder in a King County, Washington (Seattle) courtroom.



Number 6:

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, Terminator 2: Judgement Day
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


OK – I know most of you preferred the first one. Maybe I was too young – I absolutely loved the first one but I was 19 when this came out and had recently started working in the cinemas. The opening night of this film I was already a qualified projectionist and when the curtains didn’t open to the full cinema I put my hands in the distribution board to make sure everything was on then I touched something I shouldn’t have and got blasted half way across the room with burnt fingers and hair standing on end. I was also briefly knocked out. My boss was on the phone to someone in the room screaming ” but did he get the curtains open” – so I ended up running to the front of the cinema and opening them by burnt hand. Unequaled special effects for that time and a much scarier Terminator and awesome when you find out Arnie’s the good guy. And whoah Sarah Connor – for a gay man Linda Hamilton turned me on. LOL. Also an amazing performance from newcomer, Edward Furlong. Why did he have to find drugs and a massive ego! I loved him in this film.

Trivia: 1) John Connor wears a t-shirt promoting 80’s rap group Public Enemy. Public Enemy’s DJ was named Terminator X. 2) Linda Hamilton’s twin sister, Leslie Hamilton Gearren was used as a double in scenes involving two “Sarah Connors” (i.e., when the T1000 was imitating her), and in a scene not in the theatrical release (but on the DVD) as a mirror image of Linda. 3) This is the only ‘Terminator’ film to win (or be nominated for) an Oscar. It won 4 (and was nominated for 2 others). 4) Most of Edward Furlong’s voice had to be re-dubbed by Furlong again in post-production because it changed during shooting. His young voice is left intact only in the scene where he and Terminator are talking about why people cry, because James Cameron wanted it to sound dramatic and thought it was better if left intact.



Number 5:

E.T. (1982)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, E.T.
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


The first film I actually remember balling my eyes out in. I was 10 and was at the cinema with about 10 friends and my mum. My friends bagged me out for weeks for crying so much. Heartless bastards. If this film does not grab your heart and squeeze then you are a heartless person. LOL. This film is also responsible for marketing genius as it started my addiction to M&M’s and am sure it was a the start of a love relationship for many people. Total must see film that will make you laugh, cry and enjoy life. Thankyou Sir Spielberg.

Trivia: 1) At the auditions, Henry Thomas (Elliot) thought about the day his dog died to express sadness. Director Steven Spielberg cried, and hired him on the spot. 2) Steven Spielberg shot the film in chronological order to invoke a real response from the actors (mainly the children) when E.T. departed at the end. All emotional responses from that last scene are real. 3) # Steven Spielberg is reported to have spent $100,000 digitally removing guns from the 2002 20th Anniversary re-release of the movie. He regretted using the scene and said he would remove it if he ever re-issued the film. 4) Was the highest-grossing movie of all time until Star Wars (1977) was re-released in 1997.



Number 4:

Star Wars (1977)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, Star Wars IV: A New Hope
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


There had to be one! I actually prefer the action and story from Empire Strikes Back but this is the one that introduced us to the biggest film franchise of all time and the grandfather of every sci fi film. Can anyone explain how it became so loved, a cult like following world wide and timeless. Darth Vader is the ultimate bad guy.

Trivia: 1) When 20th Century Fox attempted to distribute the film in the U.S., fewer than 40 theatres agreed to show it. As a solution, Fox threatened that any cinema that refused to show Star Wars would not be given the rights to screen the potential blockbuster The Other Side of Midnight (1977) (which ended up grossing less than 10% of what Star Wars did). 2) Prior to the release of this movie, the greatest profit 20th Century Fox had every made in one year was $37,000,000. In 1977, because of the film, their year-end profit was $79,000,000. 3) Kurt Russell, Nick Nolte, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino and Perry King were all candidates for the role of Han Solo, as George Lucas wanted to stay away from any actors he had previously used in his films. Harrison Ford (who had played Bob Falfa in Lucas’s American Graffiti (1973)) read the part of Han Solo for screen tests of other characters but wasn’t originally considered for the part. During these tests George Lucas realized Harrison Ford was perfect for the role.

The trivia for this film could go on forever!!! May the Force Be With You!!!

Do or Do Not – there is NO Try!!!



Number 3:

Aliens (1986)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time - Aliens
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


Far far far superior to the original – this is not just a sci fi film – it’s also a massive military film that goes horribly wrong for all concerned. Ripley is my ultimate action hero. “Get Away from Her You Bitch” – still gives me chills EVERY time I watch this film. I seriously think I have seen this film about 100 times. And the aliens are like biological terminators, total evil mofo’s that just don’t stop.

Trivia: 1) Sigourney Weaver had initially been very hesitant to reprise her role as Ripley, and had rejected numerous offers from Fox Studios to do any sequels, fearing that her character would be poorly written, and a sub-par sequel could hurt the legacy of the original film. However, she was so impressed by the high quality of James Cameron’s script – specifically, the strong focus on Ripley, the mother-daughter bond between her character and Newt, and the incredible precision with which Cameron wrote her character, that she finally agreed to do the film. 2) The difficulties surrounding Sigourney Weaver’s contract negotiations were such that James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd – recently married – announced that if the deal was not done by the time they got back from their honeymoon, they were out. When they returned, no progress had been made – so James Cameron, determined to make the film and wary of the deadline scenario he had created, devised a scheme: he telephoned Arnold Schwarzenegger’s agent for an informal chat and informed him that, thanks to his newfound standing in Hollywood following The Terminator (1984), he had decided to make this film entirely his own by writing Ripley out; as James Cameron anticipated, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s agent immediately relayed the information to his colleague representing Sigourney Weaver at ICM, who in turn contacted 20th Century-Fox Head of Production Lawrence Gordon; both men, determined that under no circumstances whatsoever would Ripley be written out, wasted no time in sealing Sigourney Weaver’s deal. 3) When filming the scene with Newt in the duct, Carrie Henn kept deliberately blowing her scene so she could slide down the vent, which she later called a slide three stories tall. James Cameron finally dissuaded her by saying that if she completed the shot, she could play on it as much as she wanted. She did, and he kept his promise. 4) Lance Henriksen caught a dose of food poisoning from the milk and yogurt combination that he had to spew up when his chest was pierced by the alien queen’s tail. Having this lactose combination sitting around under hot studio lights created a bacterial breeding ground. Curiously, the crew of the first Alien (1979) film opted not to use milk for Ash’s “death” scene (where he also spews the milky substance out of his mouth) as they thought a fluid made of milk would go sour under the hot lights (see also trivia for Alien (1979)).



Number 2:

Romeo and Juliet (1996)


Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time - Romeo and Juliet
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time


Leonardo Magic #1. The greatest adaptation of Shakespeare that made it mainstream for the “simple folk” (myself included). My house was a mini shrine to this film. I had an 8ft framed poster of the film at my bed head, I collected all the postcards released for the film and made a collage. I screened the Australian Premiere for this film at Hoyts George St and did two screenings with Baz prior to the big night. He was so amazing to work with. Just turned up in shirt, shorts and thongs and NO STRESS associated with the screening. (You should here me write about screenings with Gillian Armstrong where she made me watch Oscar and Lucinda 4 times because she hated the quality of the brand new print). Baz also said it was the best presentation of his film he had seen in the world. OK – he got me hooked. LOL. Throw in Leo, Claire Danes and one of the best sound soundtracks ever produced. Sprinkle with visual delight and OMG that fishtank scene and you have a WINNER!!

Trivia: 1) Kate Winslet auditioned for the role of Juliet and was seriously considered but ultimately passed over. A year later, she and Leonardo DiCaprio were both cast in Titanic (1997). 2) A billboard at Verona Beach bears the sign “L’amour” (it’s in red and white, and looks a bit like the Coca Cola logo). The same sign can be seen outside Christian’s window in Moulin Rouge! (2001), another Baz Luhrmann film. The sign had also appeared (this time in the form of a Coca Cola logo) in Luhrmann’s film Strictly Ballroom (1992), and in his stage production of “La Boheme”. 3) A number of important moments (and a lot of trivial ones) involve water. When we first see Juliet, she is holding her head under water; when Romeo and Juliet first see each other, it’s through a fish tank; the balcony scene is moved from a balcony to a swimming pool; Mercutio is killed at the beach; when Tybalt is shot, he falls into a pond; when the banished Romeo comes to Juliet’s room he is drenched from the pouring rain, and when he leaves the next morning he falls into the pool again 4) Natalie Portman was considered for the role of Juliet and got as far as flying to director Baz Luhrmann’s hometown, Sydney, to film scenes with Leonardo DiCaprio (who plays Romeo), when 20th Century Fox couldn’t quite visualize the director’s off-the-wall concept. Luhrmann says, “Although she’s a fantastic young actor, she’s a tiny little girl and Leonardo’s six feet tall. He’s 21, but can look 18. She made him look all of 21, and it just became obscene.” Portman’s version is this: “They said it looked like Leonardo was molesting me when we kissed. It was really disappointing, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be in the movie and have it look wrong. If I was in the film, I would have wanted it to be perfect.” 5) Leonardo DiCaprio’s version of Romeo’s speech at Juliet’s bier was so good it moved Claire Danes to tears, nearly ruining the scene. The moment the director yelled “cut!,” Danes smacked DiCaprio on the arm and said, “Don’t make me cry. I’m supposed to be comatose, here!”

















































Number 1:

Titanic (1997)

Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time, Titanic
Salty Popcorn Top 10 Films of All Time

The penultimate cinematic experience for me. Totally the most amazing visual and entertaining thing I have ever seen. Action, romance, comedy, drama, laughs, tears, James Cameron, Kate Winslett and my master himself….Leo.

Sorry if you feel sick at my choice but to me this encompasses what classics are made of. History, grand scale imagery, brilliant acting, a score to rival all, a romance that betters Gone With the Wind, a cast that is perfectly selected and the fact that not one thing was overlooked to achieve a story and film that to me epitomises all that is film. The cost of this film was humongous and it made it all back in no time. It is still the highest grossing film of all time for a reason! Thank you James Cameron for being such a visionary. I cannot wait for Avatar!!!

Trivia: 1) The studios wanted Matthew McConaughey, but James Cameron insisted on Leonardo DiCaprio (thankgod). 2) Most of the decor on the ship – from the carpet to the chandeliers – was reconstructed by, or under the supervision of, the original companies which furnished the Titanic. 3) The scene in which Rose meets Jack to thank him for saving her life was improvised by the two actors at James Cameron’s request, and the spitting scene was almost all ad-lib. Cameron also credits Kate Winslet with writing the heart-wrenching “This is where we first met” line during the final sinking, as well as suggesting Rose spit in Cal’s face rather than (as scripted) jab him with a hairpin. 4) On the final night of shooting in Nova Scotia, one or more pranksters mixed PCP (angel dust) into the clam chowder served to the cast and crew. 80 people were taken ill, many hospitalized with hallucinations. Bill Paxton felt listless for two weeks after the incident. 5) Kate Winslet developed pneumonia while filming the water scenes. 6) Is the highest grossing film in box office history with a worldwide gross of $1.2 billion.



Hope you liked and thanks for reading!!


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