Five Favorite Films

Richard Linklater's Five Favorite Films

by | July 10, 2014 | Comments

Richard-Linklater's-Five-Favorite-Films

Director/screenwriter Richard Linklater has been a Tomatometer darling over the years. And this week, he hits 100 percent Certified Fresh for the second time with his new film Boyhood (the first time was Before Sunrise in 1995). Shooting his film over the span of a dozen years, Linklater captures the coming-of-age story of Mason (Ellar Coltrane), a boy who literally grows up before your eyes.

To celebrate Linklater’s cinematic achievement, we asked him about the films that he loves. Tasking Linklater to list his five favorites is like asking him to describe his mood: the list will likely change in a day, or even in five minutes. “I once made a list of my 250 favorites — and that was just scratching the surface,” Linklater laughed. Still, as you go through the list of Linklater’s five favorite films (as they struck him at 1:30 p.m. EST on a Thursday in July), you will see how well they represent a filmmaker whose art is funny, sprawling, romantic, and radical — a body of work that captures a certain realness about the human condition, no matter what the genre.


Some Came Running (Vincente Minnelli, 1959; 78% Tomatometer)



It’s one of the great ’50s melodramas, and it’s kind of like a musical without the music, but it has a great score, of course. I saw it in my early- to mid-20s, and it just really affected me. It’s about a guy who goes back to his hometown where his brother is a prominent citizen. He’s a stalled-out, blocked writer, and he’s been a soldier, and a worker, and a would-be novelist, and he’s kind of a gambler and a drinker — this is Sinatra, of course, the conflicted one — and he lives in two worlds. Because he’s a published writer, he has the respect of the local English teacher and her brother — the respectable world of literature — but he really has a soft spot for bars and gambling and floozies and the Shirley MacLaine character. And then you’ve got Gwen French, who’s played by Martha Hyer, who’s the uptight school teacher. So it’s all these opposites colliding — respectability, debauchery… It’s wonderfully melodramatic and beautifully made… It’s about male friendship too. I consider it kind of the first Rat Pack movie, although it’s just Dean and Frank with Shirley around too. It doesn’t have a lot of the other people, but it’s the first one to capture these guys gambling and hanging out and that camaraderie. They become roommates and go on, like, a trip to Terre Haute, IN, to go gambling. It’s just wonderful.

If… (Lindsay Anderson, 1968; 97% Tomatometer)



The great British director Lindsay Anderson died 20 years ago and he only made five or six films, but they’re all very interesting, and I think his most famous is called If… It’s the film Malcolm McDowell did before A Clockwork Orange, and it’s kind of the ultimate teenage movie. It’s beautiful and very radical. It won Cannes that year, and it’s very much of its time, the ’60s, and Malcolm McDowell is brilliant in it. It’s the ultimate teen rebellion movie — and I like that genre — but it’s also very poetic, almost Brechtian, and there’s almost fantasy elements to it. Like, there’s this woman in the movie who might not even be real. It’s filmed in color and there are sections that are black-and-white and it’s kind of amazing. It’s the first film of a trilogy too. Malcolm McDowell’s character’s name is Mick Travis, and so a few years later, they did a film called O Lucky Man! and then ten years later they did Britannia Hospital together, Lindsay Anderson and Malcolm McDowell. So it’s one of the greater film trilogies in my opinion… It’s definitely worth watching. It used to be a bigger cult film in the ’70s and the ’80s, but I see it’s falling off. I don’t know if young people are watching it the way they used to.

They’re watching Dazed and Confused.

If… is much better. Trust me.

The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1959; 100% Tomatometer)



The 400 Blows by Truffaut is a real canonical film that everyone’s seen — and yet, there are still a lot of people who haven’t seen it! It’s Truffaut’s first film. He did it in his 20s, and it’s about a few days in the life of his young, 13-year-old hero, Antoine Doinel, who went on to do four more films in character. Truffaut, of all the great the directors, I think, had the most sensitivity toward children ultimately. He made this film, which is widely considered to be the best film about a kid, and went on to do The Wild Child and Small Change. He was just a good director of kids and this is one of the great kids movies — a young hero and his family life. It’s incredible.

Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975; 93% Tomatometer)



It’s the ultimate, sprawling ensemble Altman film — the way each character has their own story to such a degree, and he pulls it all together. It has these thrilling moments, these funny moments. The music is both very moving and satirical, funny and beautiful too. Keith Carradine’s song, “I’m Easy,” is a beautiful song, and some of the other songs like “200 Years” by Henry Gibson is hilarious. It’s just ridiculous. So, that you could have all of this go into one big collage where you have realism, satire, romance — it’s all there — is quite a feat. And I actually saw this when I was a teenager — fourteen or fifteen — and I was bored. I didn’t really understand what I was watching, but I saw it a little bit later, and it kicked off something else in me.

Sullivan’s Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941; 100% Tomatometer)



Let’s do Preston Sturges and the greatest comedy of all. This film hasn’t aged a day from 1941 when it came out; it’s amazing — especially with Hollywood in mind. It’s the ultimate inside Hollywood movie. It’s about a guy searching for meaning in his art who’s had all this success in Hollywood… The human dynamics of it are very true to life. I mean, it’s a comedy and it’s all pitched at that point, but Preston Sturges was such the master of dialogue and delivery that the whole tone and pitch of it is totally unique. It’s amazingly contemporary. This character’s desires and the timeless subject of, say, art versus commerce is one of the best film depictions of that you could ever find — and in a very comedic way. He has a project that the studio doesn’t want him to make about homelessness — this is coming out of the Depression — and he’s a spoiled rich guy and he has a project he wants to make. Of course, the Coens made a film with that name, O Brother, Where Art Thou? That’s where that comes from. And it’s kind of a ridiculous desire to say something that has social significance and meaning about suffering and all that stuff, but he’s really kind of desperate to make a comedy. He ends up on a chain gang by a series of misadventures… So he really is suffering. It’s just a brilliant movie and surprisingly contemporary.


Boyhood opens in limited release this weekend, and it’s currently Certified Fresh at 100 percent on the Tomatometer.

Tag Cloud

Netflix Christmas movies young adult nbcuniversal Cosplay venice Star Trek franchise crime drama 21st Century Fox spinoff Netflix TV One Brie Larson spanish language spider-man versus toronto worst movies spy thriller supernatural 007 archives Christmas BET Awards Interview GIFs anime Opinion Musicals know your critic 2021 cancelled TV shows Apple a nightmare on elm street travel Year in Review Baby Yoda Emmy Nominations BAFTA Pet Sematary HBO Max psycho fast and furious comics RT21 Legendary FXX Pixar reviews deadpool cooking new zealand festival Calendar political drama universal monsters biopic video Superheroe latino Song of Ice and Fire Country razzies book adaptation SDCC rt labs italian Funimation Chilling Adventures of Sabrina debate halloween tv blockbusters unscripted ViacomCBS comic book movies 73rd Emmy Awards adventure Amazon Prime Video indie international crossover 24 frames Horror LGBTQ Acorn TV scorecard royal family Esquire ABC Signature Mindy Kaling foreign FX on Hulu werewolf pirates of the caribbean screen actors guild The Witch Freeform WarnerMedia Pop GoT rotten joker award winner prank finale 20th Century Fox Trivia comiccon kong Sony Pictures DirecTV Schedule action-comedy Reality Competition dark Mudbound vampires strong female leads TV movies CNN Showtime VICE remakes king arthur Podcast First Look Paramount History comic book movie VOD American Society of Cinematographers Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt ITV comedies japan Family indiana jones Premiere Dates mission: impossible zombies 2017 Epix lord of the rings Chernobyl Paramount Plus 2015 Marvel basketball Lifetime Christmas movies Infographic YouTube Red blockbuster justice league revenge breaking bad social media high school feel good Fox News jamie lee curtis boxing Broadway die hard saw slasher Holidays Watching Series Amazon Studios Box Office documentaries stop motion MTV superhero HBO Go Kids & Family Endgame golden globe awards stand-up comedy GLAAD Drama Film X-Men Mary poppins rt labs critics edition screenings children's TV Video Games streaming movies Fall TV First Reviews NYCC discovery dogs AMC green book Hear Us Out superman 45 Disney NBA Ovation BBC America The Academy A24 Fantasy Holiday obituary Crackle singing competition anthology Hallmark Christmas movies aapi FX dragons 99% Academy Awards Reality Certified Fresh Dark Horse Comics suspense Mary Tyler Moore wonder woman President sag awards TLC spanish New York Comic Con critics Apple TV+ aliens casting kaiju Starz news Tarantino mcc Set visit directors Spectrum Originals VH1 cops BET Creative Arts Emmys rom-coms Stephen King hollywood rotten movies we love CBS comic YouTube Premium cinemax Tubi WGN mutant Thanksgiving Discovery Channel LGBT cats dceu Oscars BBC One Logo Paramount Network kids war nfl mockumentary technology USA Network Alien PBS Black Mirror Writers Guild of America IFC french E3 Spike Nat Geo docudrama zombie teaser 93rd Oscars Rocky critic resources historical drama transformers theme song Classic Film television Columbia Pictures Britbox cancelled south america japanese child's play Trophy Talk YA Bravo christmas movies Hallmark Super Bowl facebook Marathons hispanic heritage month Pride Month festivals 72 Emmy Awards diversity documentary The Walking Dead MSNBC series scene in color halloween DC Universe 2018 cartoon crime thriller Sneak Peek Comedy romance Summer Trailer 90s name the review Awards Lifetime toy story Comic-Con@Home 2021 worst quibi TIFF live action natural history TV renewals football ratings tv talk target Shondaland medical drama Warner Bros. hist Lionsgate crime Marvel Television blaxploitation legend canceled TV shows cars Turner popular emmy awards movie Martial Arts Tumblr Travel Channel Spring TV 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Binge Guide Food Network laika ABC Family Rom-Com The Arrangement Mystery Peacock Anna Paquin Television Critics Association game show slashers MCU TCA 2017 olympics streaming cancelled television El Rey cults space what to watch YouTube boxoffice Film Festival game of thrones Photos Sundance TV ESPN Character Guide Tokyo Olympics Wes Anderson Cannes book monster movies OneApp Amazon Prime Walt Disney Pictures Disney+ Disney Plus disaster Valentine's Day richard e. Grant hidden camera criterion CBS All Access Action based on movie new star wars movies serial killer CW Seed adaptation thriller Disney Plus OWN stoner TCA Winter 2020 Comedy Central Elton John IFC Films dramedy 2016 Western Toys Disney streaming service Ghostbusters sitcom USA Comic Book 4/20 DC Comics trailers Lucasfilm NBC Cartoon Network fresh films all-time zero dark thirty elevated horror Rock renewed TV shows harry potter sports 71st Emmy Awards Ellie Kemper biography robots Biopics Sci-Fi sequel E! Election composers Winners Red Carpet Television Academy asian-american Star Wars Sundance Animation TV rt archives BBC heist movie Superheroes Quiz See It Skip It king kong black Mary Poppins Returns National Geographic Polls and Games Pop TV ghosts marvel cinematic universe godzilla Arrowverse romantic comedy chucky TNT Marvel Studios golden globes jurassic park science fiction hispanic Hulu talk show miniseries Syfy marvel comics CMT Exclusive Video Sundance Now TCM Countdown Black History Month parents canceled PlayStation San Diego Comic-Con politics police drama HBO gangster Music Fox Searchlight Nickelodeon Universal Adult Swim new york Women's History Month Nominations Vudu women Pirates Image Comics Rocketman adenture posters Amazon TBS witnail doctor who FOX The Walt Disney Company Shudder SundanceTV Captain marvel ID TV Land Teen dexter DC streaming service TCA nature Heroines concert Disney Channel The CW dc A&E Pacific Islander satire 2019 DGA classics Comics on TV Turner Classic Movies Tomatazos 2020 independent binge Crunchyroll batman telelvision Grammys Apple TV Plus sequels RT History 1990s Emmys Musical video on demand twilight Avengers comic books TCA Awards PaleyFest Winter TV best australia TruTV james bond animated reboot APB free movies Extras The Purge SXSW period drama ABC scary movies Best and Worst Awards Tour spain movies true crime cancelled TV series Masterpiece docuseries psychological thriller