July 13, 2012 in Features

Paramount perfection

As the film studio turns 100, we look at their high points
Barry Koltnow McClatchy-Tribune
 

Frank Puglia and Marlon Brando in “The Godfather.”
(Full-size photo)(All photos)

We are here today to salute the movie studio responsible for “A Night at the Roxbury.”

I don’t know if Paramount Pictures is proud of “A Night at the Roxbury,” but the studio has managed to stay in business despite that 1998 comedy that ranks among the worst movies ever made in Hollywood.

Directed by John Fortenberry, who parlayed the feature films “A Night in Roxbury” and “Jury Duty” (another contender for the title of worst movie ever made) into a long and lucrative career as a television director, the movie stars Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan as brothers Steve and Doug Butabi, who desperately want to own a hip nightclub on the Sunset Strip, but will be satisfied with just getting into The Roxbury. It’s yet another horrible comedy based on a “Saturday Night Live” sketch.

Still, Paramount Pictures celebrates its 100th birthday this year, and that deserves some recognition besides a reminder of their worst movie.

Therefore, in celebration of the studio created in 1912 by the late Adolph Zukor, we present the 25 greatest movies ever produced by Paramount.

“A Night at the Roxbury” does not appear on this list.

While I am convinced that you will agree completely with all my selections, and the order in which they appear, feel free to let me know if that is not the case.

Before you waste your time, however, I should warn you that you will NOT find “Congo,” “The Coneheads” or “Little Fockers” on this list. I have to put my foot down somewhere, and I wanted to point out a few more Paramount failures so you wouldn’t think I was on the studio’s payroll.

Here are Paramount’s greatest hits.

1. “The Godfather” (1972) - Paulie? Fuhgeddaboutit.

2. “Sunset Boulevard” (1950) - She’s ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille.

3. “Chinatown” (1974) - And this is how the San Fernando Valley was born.

4. “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) - Fredo, you were his brother.

5. “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) - Snakes on a plane? I hate snakes on a plane.

6. “Saving Private Ryan” (1998) - Was Matt Damon really worth it?

7. “Titanic” (1997) - Hey Rose, share that flotation device

8. “Saturday Night Fever” (1977) - Attica! Attica! Attica!

9. “Wings” (1927) - Paramount won the first best picture Oscar ever with this one.

10. “Duck Soup” (1933) - “Men, we’re fighting for this woman’s honor, which is more than she ever did.”

11. “Psycho” (1960) - No thanks, I think I’ll take a bath.

12. “Rear Window” (1954) - The adventures of Tom, the peeper.

13. “Sullivan’s Travels” (1941) - Oh brother, where are thou?

14. “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” (1962) - Print the legend.

15. “The Odd Couple” (1968) - And you thought your roommate was annoying.

16. “The Errand Boy” (1961) - The French weren’t alone in loving this comedy.

17. “White Christmas” (1954) - I’m dreaming of a Christmas, but I’m not sure what color?

18. “Atlantic City” (1981) - You have to be from there to fully appreciate the realism. Unfortunately.

19. “Shane” (1953) - “Shane, Shane, come back.”

20. “Paper Moon” (1973) - A big Oscar for a little lady.

21. “Apocalypse Now” (1979) - Into the heart of darkness.

22. “Braveheart” (1995) - Mel with anger issues. Who knew?

23. “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (1961) - Would have been higher except for that ridiculous and insulting racial stereotype.

24. “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962) - A treat for the true conspiracy nut.

25. “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) - Corinthian leather, the final frontier.

Contact Barry Koltnow at bkoltnow@ocregister.com.


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