Gaps in My Cultural Knowledge Volume One– Iconic Movies I’ve Never Seen

Lately I’ve been working on shoring up some of the gaps in my cultural knowledge.  For various reasons I’ve never seen the following movies:

  1. Grease
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Broadcast News
  4. The Wild Bunch
  5. Gone With the Wind

Am I a missing anything by not seeing these movies?  Also, what cultural gaps to you have (if any)?

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39 Comments

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39 responses to “Gaps in My Cultural Knowledge Volume One– Iconic Movies I’ve Never Seen

  1. I recently just saw 3 and 5 because they were part of my gap as well. Trust me, they are not worth it! The big pivotal plot point in Broadcast News is that news anchors aren’t credible people. Appparently this was shocking at the time…? My husband and I were lost.

    I have never seen Top Gun and many have threatened ending friendships with me because of that.

  2. Well, you can skip Gone With The Wind. Southern writer builds myth about Shattered South, blames war on northern rabblerousers inciting previously happy slaves work in the house and fields, Atlanta burns down, The End.

    Oh, I have a ton of gaps in my movie knowledge that I feel bad about. For starters:

    M
    The Seven Samurai
    The Wild Bunch
    Bonnie and Clyde
    On The Waterfront
    Bridge Over River Kwai
    The Thief of Baghdad
    The Longest Yard
    Easy Rider
    Touch of Evil

    And that’s just off the top of my head.

  3. vintagecaveman

    I haven’t seen The Wizard of Oz..

  4. JT

    I also have never seen Gone With the Wind, which is sacrilige, me being Southern and all.

    Grease sucks, my ex-wife used to watch it once every week or so, which may be one of the reasons I hate it so much.

  5. I just did this, but the only gap I felt worthy of fixing was Citizen Kane.

  6. Rocky Horror Picture Show
    Top Gun
    Titanic
    Ghost
    Gone With The Wind
    Grease
    Saving Private Ryan
    Pretty Woman
    Forrest Gump

  7. Broadcast News is the fucking shit.

  8. I haven’t seen Titantic and I really haven’t any plans to do so in the near or distant future.

    I’d say the Wild Bunch was the best of them all.

  9. Jax

    I cannot stress how much Grease should be part of your cultural lexicon, if for no other reason but to feel guilty about it.

    That and seeing Jeff Conaway in his heyday. And Stockard Channing as a slut. And Sha-na-na.

    Damn, I think I have blog-post level thoughts on this subject, rather than just comment-level.

  10. Paul L.

    From the top:

    1. Didn’t miss nothin.
    2. Didn’t miss nothin.
    3. Didn’t miss nothin.
    4. Missed a lotta blood.
    5. Missed Clark Gable in a vest.

  11. Paul L.

    Oh, and I don’t know anything that happened from 1982 to 1985.

  12. barefoot jim needs to see those movies.

    Grease is worth watching.

    Filling my gaps has been easy. I just signed up for Netflix and filled my queue to 73 movies. Now, I know that before I die, I will see all of these life-changing, mind-bending, sometimes-altogether-anticlimactic masterpieces.

    All for just $14.95 a month! ;)

  13. Oh my. I’ve seen 4 out of your 5. I could probably write a book on the ones I haven’t seen. It’s embarrassing. I felt so guilty being at the Bowl for “movie night” and realizing how many classics I have not seen. ‘Grease’ was a huge part of my childhood, as was GWTW actually. I honestly didn’t see Return of the Jedi until I was an adult and that was because my marriage depended on it. I’ve grown quite fond of it, but it is the weakest of the original trilogy.

    Some classics I’m embarrassed that I haven’t seen:

    Casablanca
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Apocalypse Now
    The Godfather (any of them)
    Fight Club

    I could go on, but it would be too long and you would probably not be my friend anymore.

  14. I’ve never seen Dr. Strangelove, which has gotten me many strange looks from my friends, and even my father.

  15. betheboy

    That gets a funny look from me too Mace.

  16. pete

    i’ve never seen any of the star wars movies. the wild bunch is a good one though

  17. Since I’m still feeling rodent-y can I recommend “Willard” (while booking it out of the room)?

    Can’t catch me!

  18. oh…my…god you people are KILLING me!

    I think I need to do some kind of crazy web-based long-distance intervention that crosses the time/space continuum between you, Finn, barefoot jim, and jodi (ack! Apocalypse Now?? The Heart of Darkness? Joseph Conrad and the Hero’s Journey!!)

    Seriously.

  19. Actually, you should read Gone With the Wind. The book is vastly superior to the movie. Give it a try; you won’t regret it. Great piece of literature.

  20. You’ve never seen Return of the Jedi? No. Seriously. I do not believe you. You literally must have been raised in a cave.

  21. Joseph J. Finn

    Hey, I’ve read Heart of Darkness, seen Apocalypse Now, seen the documentary Hearts of Darkness…I’m way up on my Conrad and Coppolla.

    And the novel of Gone With The Wind is even worse. It’s all the made-up apologetics without the spectacle.

    And Jodi, Fight Club is not a classic. No movie that goes that far off the rails and betrays the first two thirds of the movie deserves that status.

  22. I haven’t seen any of the Star Wars movies. None.

    “Gone with the Wind” was disappointing when I finally saw it. @teahouseblossom is probably right — read the book. See “Grease” on stage — where it belongs.

  23. Hey now, Joe, remember the first rule of Fight Club? Not to make fun of the obvious plot flaws. Now onto more serious matters.

    BeTheBoy: Jedi? Seriously? Didn’t you crave closure from Empire? If you do see it, try to find the original version (pre-1997 re-release).

    My wife and I don’t get out to see nearly as many movies as we’d like (what with the kids and all). I usually try to catch up via NetFlix or cable.

    Here are my gaps:
    – Nothing nominated for best picture in 2007 or 2005
    – The Godfather (or any of the sequels)
    – Citizen Kane

    Sad, I know. Despite this, I have managed to see every movie Adam Sandler even made. What’s the opposite of a gap?

  24. Yeah, yeah, I know Fight Club is not a “classic.” It just came to mind as it was on in my house for a bit last night. But yeah, otherwise, I’m pretty much an uncultured recovering redneck. Oh well.

    P.S. Barefoot Jim–don’t bother with Forrest Gump..it sucks.

  25. I’ve probably seen all the awfuland great iconic movies. I’ve seen a lot of movies. Millions upon millions I think.
    If you like star wars (which I do), you’ll find Return of the Jedi, clearly the best one. A less whiney Luke is really the way to go. As for the rest of your list, I can’t really stand grease or GWTW. For some strange reason I’ve seen broadcast news at least 20 times, but not since the age of 11.

  26. Andrew

    For those who haven’t seen Apocalypse Now, just skip it and go see Tropic Thunder, it totally deconstructs it and you’ll never be able to look at Apocalypse Now the same way again.

    Will- for shame on ROTJ. How else will you ever now the ramifications of “Back door, huh? Good idea.” Never thought Han could get away with such a gay line without ever doubting his masculinity for a second.

  27. JT

    While Jedi is great, I much prefer Empire.

  28. Burn

    I almost quite literally keeled over and died reading this thread. LOL.

    I also never saw the Star Wars thing until it threatened to end my 6-year relationship. That was a staged intervention. But come on! Forrest Gump, Fight Club! Granted I haven’t seen 3 & 4, but I more than make up for it for having seen Titanic 37 times. (7 of which were in the theaters).

    A friend of a friend has not seen the Sound of Music. Her blog post cracked me up:

    “He has never seen the sound of music. The sound of f*cking music. The hills are alive with the sound of nothing. He has never heard of a problem like Maria.”

  29. the wild bunch? i have never heard of it. i guess that is my cultural gap. the rest i’ve seen. and i just read the book post too. i haven’t read any of them. i feel like something’s wrong with me now. oh well…i guess i am in good company.

  30. Ok, going down AFI’s updated 2007 list of titles on DVD here are a few that I haven’t seen but probably should have:

    1. Casablanca
    2. Raging Bull
    3. Vertigo

    I’ve seen 19 of the top 25.

  31. Will doesn’t allow Star Wars in the house. We may divorce over this one day.

  32. Grease is very dated.
    Gone with the Wind is so long I’ve fallen asleep every time.
    I have seen all three original Star Wars but I couldn’t tell you which was which. No, wait…I don’t think I saw the one with the Ewoks.
    I haven’t see The Wild Bunch.
    Broadcast News is great. That’s the only one I’d say you should try to see.

  33. It’s not that I don’t want to see Dr. Strangelove, I’ve just never gotten around to it.

    It could be worse: Trevor has never heard, read, nor seen Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Breaks my tiny grey heart.

  34. I probably have so many cultural gaps that even a Dentist of Intellectual Knowledge couldn’t fill them.

  35. GO SEE JEDI!

    I haven’t seen Titanic or Citizen Kane. Don’t think I’m missing anything either.

    Want to see “THE SHIT” – check out Black Samurai! – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074213/
    2 words – midget fight.

  36. Ken

    ‘Gone With the Wind’ is actually a part of the acclaimed movement of ‘back to the land’ literature which was going on back in the day. The day it was written i.e. That’s a big reason it, the novel i.e., won the Pulitzer. Despite all the politics and goings on in the world, it’s the land, the Earth, that matters, it’s where we gain great strength. Quite green.

    If you see ‘Return of the Jedi’, insist on the original. It was recut after the last Trilogy, and the ending was completely ruined by the replacement of the original montage and soundtrack with a devastating attempt at … something. I hear the original was re-released intact; so insist on that, or find someone who has the original. (You can have mine for a mere $10K, US.)

    Ken

  37. A “No Star Wars” zone in the BtB/Slackmistress chambers?

    That’s really too bad, especially since by not watching the bonus disc that came with the latest DVD boxset just so happened to include my badass junior high self and my buddy Luis (sporting our Star Wars shirts at the Chinese Theater when r2d2, c3p0, and Darth got their prints in the concrete there) got cameo’d in the “Making of Star Wars” show that aired on ABC waaaay back in the summer of its release.

    Check it:

    http://www.wildbell.com/2007/05/24/a-star-wars-moment

    On some subsubsubsubbitysubsubsublevel I’m geekroyalty.

  38. How could you have missed Return of the Jedi?! Get a copy and watch it now!

  39. Pingback: Art of the Odd » Fixing a hole…

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