Mark Metcalf

To qualify as an American, see these movies (Part 4)

Mark Metcalf's 45-film American Filmology course: Start by earning your "High School Diploma" and graduate all the way to "Doctorate." This is Part 4, "Doctorate."

By - Nov 14th, 2012 01:31 pm
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(Reader’s note: Depending on the speed of your Internet connection, the trailers may take extra time to load. But they’ll be worth the wait.)

Mark Metcalf offers his list of films you must see to “seriously qualify yourself as an American.”

This is Part 3, click here for Part 1 (High School Diploma), here for Part 2 (Bachelor’s Degree) and here for Part 3 (Master’s Degree).


Grapes of Wrath (1940): The book is better, but it takes longer. Watch it for the pictures, for Fonda’s Tom Joad, for Jane Darwell’s Ma Joad, and for John Carradine’s divinely loony Casy.

The Master (2012): Americans love an easy answer, a quick fix. Can’t find a religion, start your own. The Master is a true masterpiece.

The General (1926): Determination, loyalty, true love and Buster Keaton’s sublimely serious dead pan. One of the great films of all time.

Medium Cool (1969): The media is cold, it watches it’s profit margin. The opening sequence pays for the whole film.

The Great McGinty (1940): Before, during and after every political “season,” you should watch this. What hath corruption wrought?

The Westerner (1940): Gary Cooper galloping across Texas is all you really need to know about the American West, and Cooper and Walter Brennan in negotiation is all you need to know about American business.

Paths of Glory (1957): WWI, France, and Kubrick’s masterly rumination on the dead souls that glorify war, and the poor souls that are their “food for powder.”

The Hustler (1961): Face it, we’re all hustler’s in this county, tryin’ to get ahead, grab our share of the delusion.

To visit the full list, start here with Part 1 (Introduction & High School Diploma), or click here for Part 2 (Bachelor’s), or here for Part 3 (Master’s).

For more of TCD’s film coverage, including Mark Metcalf’s “Moving Pictures” reviews, visit our Film Page.

Categories: Movies

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