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David Fincher's Favorite Films

by Anne Thompson
February 21, 2011 9:29 AM
13 Comments
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Thompson on Hollywood

Check out this evergreen: David Fincher's handwritten note of his favorite films--which include a lot of the usual suspects. Peter Bogdanovich's comedy Paper Moon, George Roy Hill's Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Woody Allen's Zelig pop out as perhaps somewhat unexpected.

It comes from a Fincher interview in Empire first posted by Fincher Fanatic in 2008. Slashfilm helpfully added a text list of the films (below). The list pops up now and again--especially now that the guy might win an Oscar for The Social Network.

Thompson on Hollywood
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Chinatown
Dr. Strangelove
Godfather 2
Taxi Driver
Being There
All The Jazz
Alien
Rear Window
Zelig
Cabaret
Paper Moon
Jaws
Lawrence of Arabia
All the Presidents Men
8 1/2
Citizen Kane
Days of Heaven
Animal House
Road Warrior
Year of Living Dangerously
American Graffiti
Terminator
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
The Exorcist
The Graduate
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13 Comments

  • Alex Krajci | July 22, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    1941's Citizen Kane Is My Favorite Film.

  • Movie | November 19, 2011 4:28 AMReply

    I've not fallen for nothing I expect them to try and get the bitrate as low as possible but lovefilm seem to take it even lower than what could be classed as acceptable and add this to what could only be classed as the worst library ever netflix has to be better. Add movie showtimes to iGoogle

  • Brian Rose | September 23, 2011 1:41 AMReply

    For being such an outside-the-box straight up genius, damn his taste in films are conventional. Hell, he looked like he cribbed from the AFI list. And only 2 criterions in the lot!

  • bm36 | March 11, 2011 8:49 AMReply

    "Only one that’s not from the US?"

    I count four: one from Italy, two from Australia, and one from the UK. One shouldn't assume English language = American-made.

  • msd | March 2, 2011 9:20 AMReply

    Any list that includes Animal House isn't a nice, safe, AFI-approved one. If he cared what people thought about him I think he'd have more old or foreign movies but Fincher doesn't really care what people think.

    Most people's list would heavily reflect the age they really fell in love with movies, which is generally teens and early 20s (ditto favourite music). I doubt Fincher was seeing many non-English language films or silent movies or classics then, especially since he didn't go to film school. I'm pleasantly surprised he included two Australian movies, though. Road Warrior (aka Max Max 2) has a strong cult following but The Year Of Living Dangerously, Peter Weir's last pre-Hollywood movie, is fairly obscure. The inclusion of a Monty Python film is also a nice surprise, although I'd choose Life of Brian over Holy Grail.

  • cadavra | February 24, 2011 7:06 AMReply

    And not one silent film, either. Ths looks like it was cribbed from the AFI lists: all safe, "approved" choices.

  • O Solis | February 22, 2011 4:23 AMReply

    So glad to know that "Days of Heaven" is on there. Probably the most beautiful film ever made.

  • Brian | February 22, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    But then it's a hand-written list, which could easily change the next time he compiles one. We shouldn't hold him to it. Never mind.

  • Brian | February 22, 2011 4:18 AMReply

    Nothing from the 1930s on his list. Not even KING KONG. Only one from the 1940s. Only one from the 1950s. That's kind'a disappointing. 5 from the '60s, 14 from the '70s, 5 from the '80s. And as The Pope pointed out, only one foreign film.

    Granted, if someone pressed me for a list of favorites, I'd have a disproportionate amount from the 1960s, my formative moviegoing decade (just as the '70s was Fincher's), but there would be plenty from previous decades (and only a handful post-'70s, all Asian or Asian-influenced).

  • Mark | February 22, 2011 2:23 AMReply

    Surprised Star Wars isn't on there, that's what he cited as his favourite film for Rolling Stone back in '97.

  • willie | February 21, 2011 11:02 AMReply

    No surprises here! It'd be nice to see a list of his favorite B-sides, as it were, but his present list should be given to every nascent film student you know.

  • Eyeswiredopen | February 21, 2011 10:28 AMReply

    Only one that's not from the US?

  • The Pope | February 21, 2011 10:01 AMReply

    I am very surprised that Blade Runner is not there. And quite intrigued as to why there is only one non-English language film. Still, to each there own.

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