This week, our journey through the 100 greatest movies ever made takes in two genres that never go out of fashion – war movies and cult movies.
Although one is easily defined, the other is decidedly less so. Cult movies are often generally defined as films that gained an appeal after release and are viewed with a certain sense of irony. Some can be horrors, some can be thrillers, some can be unintentional comedies. It’s like what they say about pornography – you don’t know what it is, but you know it when you see it.
With that in mind, we’ve tried to cleave to outright cult films, as we’ll be covering thrillers and crime in the final instalment of our feature series.
39. THE DEER HUNTER (1978)
Although it’s been somewhat reduced to that roulette scene, Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter is by far the most emotionally taxing film ever made about the Vietnam War. Robert DeNiro, Christopher Walken and John Cazale are three steelworkers who are drafted into military service at the onset of Vietnam War. What makes the film so unique is that their lives are shown before, during and after the war – something very few war movies take the time to investigate. There’s a full arc that really demonstrates what it can do to a small town and the effects it has, both physically and mentally. Unsurprisingly, it won five Oscars and garnered Walken his first Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
38. DOWNFALL (2004)
Throughout Hollywood history, Nazis have always been described as moustache-twirling villains with effeminate accents and perfect hair. Where Eagles Dare, Inglorious Basterds – they’ve all done it. It’s continued into well-dressed German terrorists in the ’80s with Die Hard, obviously, and has never really been challenged. Until Downfall. For a film to take on such a controversial subject – namely Hitler’s…