Desert Island Discs is a long running (since 1942) BBC Four radio program, in which the host interviews a famous or distinguished guest and asks them to choose 8 songs or pieces of music, one book (they are automatically given the complete works of Shakespeare, as well as the Bible or other similar religious or philosophical work) and one luxury item they would take with them if they were a castaway on the proverbial desert island. The guests then discuss their life, career and reasons for each of their choices.
So, with a slight tweaking of the original program's rules (25 instead of 8 titles), here is my own personal Desert Island Discs style list (the discs here being, of course, DVDs or Blu-Rays). I'll still keep the "one book" and "luxury item" rules. In this case, the one book would likely be The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkein, though if I could cheat the list a bit to include a book series, I'd probably swap the Rings out for the complete 21-novel Aubrey-Maturin naval saga by Patrick O'Brien (I'd certainly find more useful "island survival" info in the O'Brien books.) And the luxury item? Harder to decide. Probably a toss-up between a fat stash of Hershey's chocolate bars, or a comfy chair in which to lounge whilst watching these wonderful movies.
Please note, I make no claim for this list as "Best or Greatest movies of all time," like the infamous Sight and Sound Magazine poll that comes out periodically. These are strictly movies I adore, that feed and nurture my soul, and that would provide strength, joy and succor during my lonely exile on this imaginary island. Understandably, there are dozens of titles that sorely grieve me to leave off this list, and that, on a given day, might conceivably trade places with one of the movies below. But, by and large, these are the cream of the crop as far as I'm concerned. Titles are listed in no particular ranking order - though if anyone asks, I usually answer Casablanca as my favorite film. I mean, really - does it get any better than that?
Please feel free to play along if so inclined, and include your own list in the comments below.
It's a Wonderful Life Raiders of the Lost Ark
Rear Window The Quiet Man
Casablanca To Have and Have Not
On Her Majesty's Secret Service The Big Country
The Magnificent Seven The Great Escape
The Best Year's of Our Lives Rio Bravo
Jaws The Three Musketeers
The Professionals The Thin Man
Hatari! The Yakuza
Only Angels Have Wings The Adventures of Robin Hood
For a Few Dollars More Planet of the Apes