Sunday, 26 June 2011

CRAIG'S 100 CHEERS - THE TOP 20

Having posted most of yesterday's terrific Cheers list, I am now pleased to present my Top 20 Uplifting films. Disappointingly Youtube messed me about so I couldn't post certain great scenes into the Top 20 which I must admit is very solid but never mind. I hope you all agree with my choices....

#20. MY LEFT FOOT - 1989

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Christy writing 'Mother' on the floor in front of his family.
 
#19. WALK THE LINE – 2005

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Johnny proposing to June in the penultimate scene


#18. CHARIOTS OF FIRE - 1981


UPLIFTING MOMENT: Abrahams and Liddell winning their final races.

#17. THE LION KING - 1994

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Simba claiming his rightful place on Pride Rock.

#16. SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE - 2008

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Jamal winning the game.

#15. HIGH NOON - 1952

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Will tossing the badge to the ground in the climax.
#14. SEABISCUIT - 2003

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Seabiscuit winning the final race.

#13. SCHINDLER'S LIST - 1993

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Oskar's speech to the Jewish survivors.

#12. STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE - 1977 

UPLIFTING MOMENT: Luke blowing up the Death Star.
#11. ROCKY - 1976

UPLIFTING MOMENT: The end of the fight/"ADRIAN!"


#10. THE KING'S SPEECH - 2010


Last year provided one of the most touching Oscar-winning films ever with Colin Firth's King George VI suffering from a stutter, but seeking help from speech therapist Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush) to try and conquer the impediment. It all proves crucial when George is placed as king and eventually leads a war cry to his people to give them hope with World War II coming up as shown in the video above. A British classic.


#9. THE WIZARD OF OZ - 1939


Dorothy Gale dreams of 'somewhere over the rainbow' and gets her wish before wanting to go back home. By doing that she overcomes the Wicked Witch of the West and saves Oz whilst developing lifelong friendships with the 3 people who helped her on the way. Her return to Kansas is a triumphant moment in the climax hence why the film remains loved by generations of families and will for all time.


#8. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE - 1946


Like Wizard of Oz, this also has gained a huge respect from many generations of families as frustrated businessman George Bailey (James Stewart) begins realising his ill-judgement to moan about his life, knowing that another life could have ruined many others. The final ten minutes alone are just wonderful as he races home in triumph and just when money problems threaten to get him into trouble, the rest of the town rally behind him to show their support to him. Classic cinema at its very best.


#7. THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION - 1994


A film initially unpopular at first but eventually gained strong word of mouth, Shawskank gave its audiences a lot to cheer about with wrongly accused prisoner Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) eventually escaping from the prison which had robbed him of 20 years, digging through a small hole and emerging in the rain with his arm's in the air, an iconic moment in cinema. That and the beautiful climax of Andy and Red (Morgan Freeman) reuniting sums up why this film is well received now


#6. HOOSIERS - 1986


 An underrated gem which made people fall in love with basketball on the big screen. Hoosiers followed on from Rocky's example of providing an underdog story which leaves you cheering for the little Indiana team who make their way to the top thanks to the fiery support of coach Norman Dale (Gene Hackman). The music itself is just as heart-wrenching as the team prove their dedication to go the distance, the final game is just heart-pounding and well-shot.


#5. TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD - 1962


A defiant film that all but made its point about racial bigotry in the 1930's was helped not only by the hard work of director Robert Mulligan but through a masterful performance from Gregory Peck who gives one of the great characters in film as he stands up for wrongly accused black man Tom Robinson. The courtroom scenes are well acted and make us rally behind Peck's Atticus Finch as he ignores ridicule to try and clear this man's name while gaining the strong support of his two children.


#4. E.T: THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL - 1982


A beautiful and stunning film which showed us why Steven Spielberg is the master of cinema. The bizarre story of a young boy who befriends a gangly alien became one of the most treasured films of all time, giving heart to its story and making us believe in their close friendship. From Elliot saving the frogs to the bike ride, it has many treasured moments. But E.T's resurrection scene alone makes even grown men cry and then cheer in sheer delight. A film that is loved by all for eternity.


#3. BEN-HUR - 1957


A multi-Oscar winning classic which sadly they don't make them how they used to. William Wyler's biblical epic does what it says with an adventurous story, sympathetic (and hated) characters and one of the best damn action scenes in film. But the emotionally charged scenes stand out whether it be Judah winning the chariot race or the final scene, though the scene above led to me shedding a tear when I saw it, a beautiful moment for a character in such a dire situation helped by the savior of all.


#2. LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING - 2003


Like Ben-Hur, this epic masterpiece ends one of the great trilogies and there are too just many moments to list that make a triumph. But to stand out, most scenes with Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and Sam (Sean Astin) guarantee a moment that leaves you roaring with satisfaction as the fate of Middle Earth comes to a thrilling climax. Speeches, friendship and love are always helpful for films like this and this particular film was no exception. But surprisingly it doesn't win this list....


#1. CINDERELLA MAN - 2005


Some of you will be thinking why this film wins the list and not Rocky as it's a boxing film which inspired the underdog story? Well, although I enjoyed Rocky's determination with having its title character try to go the distance, Ron Howard's bruising (and true life) biopic of down-and-out boxer Jimmy Braddock (Russell Crowe) left viewers including me, depressed at how Braddock and his family got to their poor predicament as the Great Depression struck. Then by the end we were all cheering as Braddock makes the great comeback in sport and defeats heavyweight champion of the world Max Baer after going through many turbulent times to produce the ultimate fairytale story. In between all that, there are many emotional moments that gain credit for its placing on this list from Jimmy giving up his piece of spam to his hungry daughter to picking up his teeth brace in the ring and so on. A film that doesn't gain as much credit as it deserves, it is a momentous film that is a joy to watch again and again. And it does what I said it should do, to inspire and cheer me up!

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