Michael Caine’s Top Ten Favourite Movies of All Time
8. Gone With The Wind, 1939
This was the first movie in colour to win a Best Picture Oscar and, taking inflation into account, it is still the highest grossing picture ever. The book, by Margaret Mitchell, was turned down by every major Hollywood studio and picked up in the end by the independent producer David O. Selznick. Selznick. was a genius at doing movies on the cheap. Apart from using the front door of his own studio as the front door to Tara, he saved money at both ends in the scene of the burning of Atlanta by setting fire to several old sets he wanted to get rid of on the back lot. The first director on the movie was brilliant, gentle and very sensitive man called George Cukor, and although Selznick fired him and replaced him with Victor Fleming, a brusque, tough, action director, neither Vivien Leigh nor Olivia de Havilland liked the change and continued to seek private direction from Cukor. This was also the film in which Clark Gable said ‘Damn.’ It had, of course, been said in a film before, but it caused controversy because Gone with the Wind was so big… I can watch this movie time and time again without tiring of it. It is a timeless classic.
7. All That Jazz, 1979
This is my favourite musical and Bob Fosse, who directed and choreographed it, is my favourite choreographer- he also directed two of my other favourite musicals, Cabaret, which won eight Oscars, including one for Bob for Best Director, and Sweet Charity, which had my friend and mentor Shirley Maclaine dancing up a storm and featured a great number by Sammy Davis Junior, ‘The Rhythm of Life’. But it is the music and dancing in All That Jazz that makes it stand out for me- that,plus the performance of Roy Schneider in the lead. When I was an out-of-work actor I had worked as a stage hand on Bob Fosse’s stage production of The Pajama Game, but I didn’t get to know him personally until he and I and several other actors danced with the Rockette’s chorus line at Radio City Music Hall in 1985. We were lined up in alphabetical order and I was next to Charles Bronson- who turned out to be an unexpectedly great chorus dancer. We were down one end with the slightly older chorus ladies, who were known as the Dirty Dozen. A bit further down the line, Rock Hudson got the younger fresher ones- which was a bit of a waste, come to think of it.