Five Favorite Films

Chris Parnell's Five Favorite Films

by | September 3, 2015 | Comments

(Photo by Jason Merritt / Getty Images)


Chris Parnell recently talked to Rotten Tomatoes about his Five Favorite Films. The charming and funny SNL Alum, television actor (Archer, 30 Rock, Rick and Morty), and star of the upcoming tennis comedy Break Point showed up ready with his picks, and they’re all aces. Here are his smashing selections —  compare and see if any of your favorites game, set, match!

Chariots of Fire (1981) 83%

I guess my first favorite movie would be Chariots of Fire. I know it’s not just me because it won an Academy Award, so I know it’s pretty good. But it struck a chord with me. I think when I was younger I was very religious, and that aspect of the story appealed to me. Although not anymore, I still love it. I have a certain, I guess, fascination with that kind of period in England. Not that I know about it; I’m not a historian or anything. But just like it’s something so romantic about, you know, going to school there and in that atmosphere and that time. I mean, it was an awful time for a lot of people, but for the guys who got to go to Oxford and Cambridge. I don’t know. It’s cool. And then they go to the Olympics, and the characters are just so interesting, and winning. I mean obviously based on real people, and such fantastic acting, you know. Great direction. Art direction, and wardrobe, and all of that.

Dune (1984) 52%

Dune, directed by David Lynch. I just love that movie. It’s so weird. It’s such a great combination of the book that Frank Herbert wrote, and then David Lynch’s sort of take on that and spin on that. It’s so otherworldly, but you know, so human obviously. I love Kyle MacLachlan, Patrick Stewart; it’s an amazing cast. I love science fiction, and it’s just so weird in so many ways. It’s so different than any other science fiction film that I know. I saw it (in the theater), I can’t even remember how old I was. I was a teenager maybe. But I remember when you went in to see it, they gave you a one-page glossary of terms used in the movie, because I guess they felt like that was going to be necessary for you to get what was going on. Of course, you get in there, it’s kind of hard to read this in the dark. But I enjoyed it. And I kind of rediscovered it. Later on at some point I watched it and I was like, “Oh my God, this really is so good.” I mean, there’s a few cheesy aspects to it, but it’s just awesome to me.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) 95%

I guess I’d have to say This Is Spinal Tap. I don’t know that many movies made me laugh as hard as that did — the first few times I saw it, anyway. I haven’t seen it in a while, but I know that at some point I will watch it again and laugh anew at it. That movie is just so brilliant. It captures something from a period in rock and roll that, even though I wasn’t there, it just feels so right. It feels like, “Oh, yeah, this is based on something real.” That time in rock and roll, and these guys are not that far off from real rock and rollers of a certain band. And it’s just brilliant. I mean, it’s just so well done, and just so funny. I mean, they were such an amazing team: Michael McKean, and then Rob Reiner directing, and Christopher Guest. You know, it’s a masterpiece, a comedy masterpiece.

Annie Hall (1977) 98%

It would probably be a Woody Allen movie, and I don’t know whether it would be Manhattan, or Annie Hall, or Broadway Danny Rose. Those are my three favorites, but it’s kind of hard to pick a favorite among those. I don’t know. It’s hard. I mean, they’re all three so good. I don’t know. Maybe Annie Hall is my favorite. It’s one of the most lauded certainly. But then you’ve got Manhattan, and the romance of New York City, and you have that obviously in Annie Hall, to a certain extent. Broadway Danny Rose is less often mentioned, I find, but still really amazing with him (Allen) and Mia Farrow. He’s such a character, and Broadway Danny Rose represents all these, you know, sort of loser acts in a way. But it’s such a sweetness to it that I love, and it’s just like all of his – I like all of those movies certainly. So well shot, in beautiful black and white. 

You Only Live Twice (1967) 75%

That would have to be a James Bond film, and then I was trying to think of what my favorite one would be. And I guess it would probably be You Only Live Twice. Mr. Connery. Even though I really like Roger Moore, too. I mean I liked all the Bonds, honestly. Including the newest, Mr. Craig. He’s fantastic. But yeah, You Only Live Twice. It takes place in Japan as a part of it, and you’ve got Blofeld, Spectre, the classic villains, and the whole thing with the volcano that’s really a secret lair. And you’ve got Russia and the United States. You know, it’s huge in scope. And I don’t know, it’s this great classic Bond to me, and a great song, a great theme song. I think the first time I saw it, I definitely saw it on TV. I’m not sure what year it came out, but I may not have even been born yet when that came out. I mean my first exposure to James Bond was absolutely on television. And then my first one to see in the theater, which I also love, is The Spy Who Loved Me. That was pretty exciting. That was the first Bond I saw at a movie theater.

Break Point opens in wide release on September 4, 2015.

  • I saw Dune in the theater, too. I was 13 and I totally remember getting the guide sheet as we walked in. Up until now, I wasn’t sure if I was just imagining it. Man, I remember how much my dad hated the movie.

    • MaxJohnson1971

      Ha!! I still have that sheet actually. And my favorite memory of seeing it at the theater was my dad leaning over to me about thirty minutes in and asking me “Do you know what’s going on?”. Ah the joys of cinema!!!

  • Bill Oppenheim

    You really needed to have read the novel as a “guide sheet”, partly because Lynch’s version pretty much lost half its running time due to a disastrous test screening. There’s been faux expanded versions assembled for tv, but not his original cut.

    • Techngro

      There’s also a fan-made version called ‘Spicediver’ iirc.

  • denzack157

    You have good taste!!!

  • ntvnyr30

    Love the choice “You Only Live Twice” one of my favorite Bond films with one of the best opening scenes and theme song.

  • It’s always nice when someone gives “Dune” some credit. Sure, David Lynch considers it the low point of his career, but that’s more because of the meddling of studio executives, not his creative vision. And Frank Herbert liked the movie, despite Lynch’s taking certain liberties. I agree completely with Chris Parnell, and I say that as someone who thinks Frank Herbert’s book is the greatest sci-fi novel ever written.

  • SgtMAD

    FRIGGIN’ DUNE? are you kidding me?

  • Bill E

    I saw Dune four times in theaters. At the time, I felt I was the only person in the world that liked it. Every review proclaimed it the worst film of the year (except for Newsweek). I think a lot of the hate came from the fact that it wasn’t what a sci-fi filmed was ‘supposed’ to be. It wasn’t clean. It wasn’t heroic. It was dark and mean. It was weird. It seems more accessible now, oddly enough. I wish Lynch would recut it and improve some of the FX work. Regardless, I love it from beginning to end.

Tag Cloud

San Diego Comic-Con rotten movies we love Britbox BBC America nbcuniversal Marvel Television Summer Pet Sematary free movies Election Countdown Trailer Amazon Studios films streaming vampires spy thriller Oscars VOD science fiction YA Logo criterion FOX sports sequels Christmas Winter TV Kids & Family VH1 IFC Opinion OneApp Marathons MCU adventure batman Comics on TV History Disney streaming service revenge canceled Winners NBC Esquire spain cancelled TV shows Rocky space teaser green book 20th Century Fox MTV Rocketman cars Podcast Nat Geo TIFF superhero Certified Fresh diversity FX Chilling Adventures of Sabrina cartoon American Society of Cinematographers serial killer stand-up comedy Elton John franchise Fantasy Spike joker boxoffice TV TCM Paramount police drama what to watch HBO Go biography Dark Horse Comics book versus sequel animated natural history USA movies X-Men Hallmark historical drama Paramount Network aliens justice league Arrowverse Trivia A&E Amazon Prime Sneak Peek ESPN TCA parents The Arrangement canceled TV shows Fall TV dark Vudu adaptation toy story Avengers TLC Superheroe Disney Channel Film Festival video BAFTA theme song strong female leads Pop fast and furious Spectrum Originals Year in Review RT21 Rom-Com WarnerMedia Teen 2016 Musicals supernatural zombie psychological thriller Tomatazos The Purge Amazon asian-american Brie Larson AMC Valentine's Day scary movies Lionsgate spanish language Television Academy universal monsters Heroines indie worst Apple TV+ Freeform Music Academy Awards spider-man tv talk rotten Emmys Mary Poppins Returns laika Pixar breaking bad Calendar Peacock obituary dragons Masterpiece thriller unscripted casting Toys indiana jones Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt game of thrones Tumblr Endgame Reality Competition CW Seed Disney Nominations Tarantino LGBTQ Starz documentaries concert series Ellie Kemper Classic Film USA Network anime best news mutant Adult Swim cinemax comics a nightmare on elm street reboot dceu dc Apple TV Plus Shondaland See It Skip It Character Guide Biopics christmas movies FX on Hulu jamie lee curtis Cosplay OWN foreign PaleyFest New York Comic Con HBO Max cancelled TV series stop motion cancelled stoner Turner Classic Movies discovery E3 Interview TV Land HBO anthology Musical Rock Extras DC Universe Holiday MSNBC award winner elevated horror Infographic witnail screen actors guild independent 72 Emmy Awards romance politics comiccon werewolf Columbia Pictures hollywood game show TruTV Sundance Now First Reviews Super Bowl dogs psycho Comic Book Black Mirror facebook emmy awards Warner Bros. WGN all-time BET period drama Star Trek Tubi PlayStation YouTube ABC Family CMT DC streaming service Sundance TV cats cops Holidays reviews NYCC GoT A24 child's play Lifetime Box Office BET Awards war Apple Comedy Syfy E! National Geographic TCA Awards Pirates Netflix romantic comedy social media 2017 Red Carpet based on movie Mary poppins YouTube Premium Lifetime Christmas movies blockbuster Horror Polls and Games transformers Western Women's History Month satire name the review Amazon Prime Video Crunchyroll Watching Series documentary Epix GIFs cancelled television Stephen King El Rey screenings Captain marvel Bravo Binge Guide DC Comics Television Critics Association finale Hulu The CW Shudder Set visit Premiere Dates BBC TV renewals ABC TNT TCA Winter 2020 crossover political drama spinoff Cannes Lucasfilm Disney+ Disney Plus Mudbound richard e. Grant Chernobyl medical drama golden globes Crackle Acorn TV twilight Fox News 2018 docudrama Sci-Fi composers technology slashers ghosts 71st Emmy Awards Anna Paquin Thanksgiving SundanceTV Film Mystery 2019 Creative Arts Emmys Ghostbusters DirecTV Hear Us Out BBC One television Comedy Central crime 4/20 24 frames nature cooking 21st Century Fox harry potter Disney Plus Pride Month TCA 2017 talk show CBS All Access Martial Arts latino comic south america First Look zombies SXSW ITV robots Awards RT History Food Network Action 2020 LGBT Funimation Family Showtime CBS mockumentary Pop TV kids Sundance Photos sag awards zero dark thirty Discovery Channel renewed TV shows movie Ovation Superheroes Song of Ice and Fire directors critics classics Quiz Mindy Kaling blaxploitation DGA APB ratings dramedy Best and Worst binge Universal Spring TV 45 Writers Guild of America Awards Tour miniseries crime thriller cults Hallmark Christmas movies halloween 2015 chucky travel video on demand Black History Month Nickelodeon VICE Walt Disney Pictures Baby Yoda Trophy Talk Travel Channel Country Emmy Nominations hispanic mission: impossible quibi children's TV IFC Films sitcom The Walking Dead festivals Grammys Video Games SDCC YouTube Red Netflix Christmas movies doctor who Drama hist Turner Mary Tyler Moore true crime TBS The Witch crime drama Sony Pictures Schedule die hard Cartoon Network singing competition Marvel Studios PBS GLAAD 007 Marvel Reality Star Wars FXX comedies disaster CNN President Animation