Five Film Favorites: Movies About Making Movies

Day for Night by François TruffautLike many other film buffs I enjoy making lists of movies. In my cinema managing days (Biograph Theatre 1972-83) we used to kill a lot of time between shows putting together such lists and comparing them. We learned then to stay away from making lists like The 10 Greatest Movies of All-Time, or The 25 Most Influential Films, etc. That approach can be too serious, it puts pressure on the list-maker to be cinematically correct.

Instead, I go for favorites. My favorites. To keep it moving, just five favorites. And, of course, such lists are always subject to change, depending on the mood of the moment.

Accordingly, there have been lots of movies made about making movies. Inside looks, so to speak, at the process of producing feature films and the people who work in the industry. It’s a good category for cinephiles to have fun with — motion pictures about what goes on behind the camera.

To cut to the chase, here are my five favorites, for today, in alphabetical order:

“8½” (1963): Directed by Federico Fellini; Cast: Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimée

“Day for Night” (1973): Directed by François Truffaut; Cast: Jacqueline Bisset, Valentina Cortese, François Truffaut

“The Day of the Locust” (1975): John Schlesinger; Cast: Donald Sutherland, Karen Black, William Atherton

“The Player” (1992): Directed by Robert Altman; Cast Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward

“Sunset Boulevard” (1950): Directed by Billy Wilder; Cast: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

And, dear reader, if I don’t get bounced from this gig, next week a new list of five will be published here. — F.T. Rea

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