For whatever reason, whether it was my own stubbornness or lack of interest, I very rarely if ever sought out old classic films as I grew up. Even as I found myself diving deeper and deeper into film, seeking out specific directors and seeing more and more films both at home and the theater, I still rarely went out of my way.
There were a few exceptions, though with little rhyme or reason to explain why. I went through a Kubrick phase in high school, so those were covered. I had seen Citizen Kane and the original King Kong and some of the more ubiquitous classics (Wizard of Oz, for example). The big move forward was a German Silent Film course I took in college, which exposed me to Murnau and Fritz Lang and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and the original Scarface. I loved it all.
Despite this, there were still so many gaps. I hadn’t seen Lawrence of Arabia or Gone With the Wind. I hadn’t seen a single Hitchcock film. Not one! I hadn’t seen the classic Scorcese or Kurosawa movies. It was something I always wanted to change, but didn’t necessarily know the best way to go about it. The actual breakthrough happened when I started listening to the (excellent) Filmspotting podcast, specifically episode 410. Adam and Josh brought on Michael Phillips to talk about their ten best films of all time, and I had actually seen maybe two of three of them total. Something had to change.
I put together a list of 52 films at the beginning, which has since grown to 62. The full list can be found at http://letterboxd.com/realgone/list/2013-classic-film-marathon/