Confessions alert! This is an incriminating list with no spoilers. This is me confessing my ignorance to the world. This is me throwing my credibility on the ground. This is dangerous. These are the top ten movie classics I’m embarrassed not to have seen (in no particular order). Feel free to laugh at my expense.

10. Festen

Living in Iceland you go see a lot of Danish films, it’s part of the culture. Everyone, and I mean everyone, saw Festen. It was the hottest thing since sliced bread. Dogma was cooler than post-modernism and everyone wanted to have made Festen. It even made its way to the stage attracting a huge audience in one of the most acclaimed productions of its time in the National Theatre. But I didn’t go and I didn’t see it. I’ve read the script. It’s not as shocking as I thought. What was all the fuss about? I guess I’ll have to see it to find out, huh?

9. Sunset Blvd.

I’ve driven down Sunset Blvd. I knew that doing so was supposed to hold a deeper meaning for me, and I noted it when I saw the sign, but I have no clue what the significance should have been, because I haven’t seen this movie. I know it has a dramatic poster and that it is number 32 in IMDb‘s 250 most highly ranked movies, if that counts for something. It’s about a movie star, right?

8. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Don’t tell my ex but I have never seen his all-time favorite: Dr. Strangelove. The poster’s all weird, the title doesn’t give you any info on the plot (does it?) and quite frankly I’ve always been too embarrassed to ask, even too embarrassed to google the damn thing. But now the world knows (and I’ve googled it). It seems like it would be funny though. I mean, it’s hilarious (is what I would say if you asked me at a party).

7. Apocalypse Now

Probably the most quoted war movie of all time. Try watching Tropic Thunder and erasing your knowledge of this film, Full Metal Jacket (that one I’ve seen) and Platoon (no, I haven’t seen Platoon either, just shoot me). No wonder I didn’t find it particularly funny. I really want to see this one, but getting someone to see it with you without revealing that you are still in the dark about this acclaimed movie masterpiece is a bit tough. I could have seen it on my own? Shut up.

6. The Exorcist

I’m not into horror films but the ones I’ve seen all seem to draw on The Exorcist. Or so I’ve been told. So there’s a girl in a bed and her head turns 360 degrees and she’s very good at projectile vomiting. Is there more to know? Is there more to Psycho than the shower scene? Yes. So I probably should try to sit through this one, huh?

5. The Shining

I feel like I have already seen The Shining, though really I haven’t. It’s hard not to stumble upon bits of it (they are scattered all over the place, what’s the deal with the twins?) and quite frankly I think that by now it would probably just disappoint me to see it (that’s my excuse anyway). I still should and I should be very ashamed not to have seen it? I know, I know. But it looks like it’s really scary…

4. Lawrence of Arabia

To be fair, has anyone really seen this film? Sure, its title is made into a joke in Sex and the City 2 (sadly, I have seen that one), like everyone should know it, but do they? Please tell me no. I think you’re all faking it. You probably caught it on some random channel, tried watching it and fell asleep, but go around telling everyone how great it is. You don’t? That’s what I do anyway if I haven’t seen some epic movie. Shoot, probably shouldn’t tell people that.

3. Jaws

How is it that everyone in the entire universe has seen this movie and I haven’t? You weren’t all alive when it came out. You don’t all love monster movies. But you’ve all seen Jaws? To be fair I’ve probably seen the best bits in other movies, Mythbusters and other programmes, and I know the theme song by heart. Do I have to see it then? Yeah, you’re right.

2. Annie Hall

I go around telling people I don’t really like Woody Allen but that’s a lie. I just haven’t seen most of his important work. My step-grand-parents have the poster for Annie Hall in their home, so don’t tell them I haven’t seen it, I will lose all credibility. I know that the way Diane Keaton is dressed changed the way a lot of women dress and is still an inspiration for designers. But the slogan: a nervous romance doesn’t really reel you in. Sounds like Allen and Keaton are just being awkward – I’ve seen that a hundred times!

1. Trainspotting

To my generation, telling people you haven’t seen Trainspotting is like telling another generation you haven’t seen The Godfather (I have, don’t worry). There’s a solid reason (somewhat) I didn’t see Trainspotting when it came out in 1996. I was 11. The reason I haven’t seen it since is also simple. My mother. My mom told me never to see it, it was filthy and disgusting. So I haven’t. Which is weird, because I’m really into the British in-yer-face scene and what I’ve seen from it fascinates me. But mother knows best. So mom: can I please see it now? Please? People are laughing at me.

Do you have something to confess?

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  • Rikka

    Ok ok, you can watch Trainspotting. But please close your eyes in the most horrible scenes. They still haunt me after 15 years!

    • kolbrunbjort

      Thanks mom!

      • Rikka

        But I warn you: It’s more disgusting than the unmentionable film, you know which one I mean …

  • Sverrir

    I haven’t seen Festen or Lawrence of Arabia, but c’mon, not The Shining nor Jaws?

    • Ingvar Ómarsson

      Heim að horfa á Festen. Núna.

  • Jónas Haux

    I’ve only not seen festen.

    Sunset Blvd. and Dr. Strangelove are among my favourite films. So go see them.

    But you’ve not seen Jaws, Shining and The Exorcist?

  • http://derp Haukur

    The good, the bad and the ugly.

    • kolbrunbjort

      A brave soul! Thanks for sharing!

  • themovieblog8

    I’ve missed a LOT of movies (I blame it on my being 15). I need to make a list like this. Mind if I steal?

    • Erlingur Gretar

      Well, at 15, that’s not so much “missed” as “have yet to see”. And go ahead! Let’s make this a viral confessional form amongst film writers!

  • stewag48

    Dr Strangelove, Jaws and Lawrence of Arabia are the three ones i liked and recommend. Sunset Blvd was interesting but unremarkable and Exorcist, Apocalypse Now and The Shining were terrible….did’nt see the others…………………

  • Halldór Marteinsson

    Avatar is the only movie on imdb’s top 250 I haven’t seen. Not a classic, just a movie most people have seen.

  • atlisig

    The Exorcist, The Shining and Lawrence of Arabia are merely “very good” in my opinion but the rest is all great films. I would say Annie Hall, Apocalypse Now! and Jaws are among the absolutely greatest movies ever made (the others only slightly less great) and you need to watch them NOW!

    I find it annoying how many people say they don’t like Woody Allen when in fact they’ve hardly seen anything by him. I urge you to check out Manhattan and The Purple Rose of Cairo as well, both great films and I would bet that you’d like them. His “early funny ones” like Bananas and Take the Money and Run are also great.

    As for me I’m such a crazy film geek that I’ve probably seen way too much…but I’ve still yet to see stuff like Tokyo Story, The Bride of Frankenstein, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Gone With the Wind, White Heat, Ran, My Fair Lady, An American In Paris, Kramer Vs. Kramer, Out of Africa and also slightly more mainstream films like The Muppet Movie, A Few Good Men, Nine to Five, Jesus Christ Superstar and The Notebook.

    Also I haven´t seen a single film starring Chuck Norris, except for the Bruce Lee movie in which he had a small role.

    • FrankenPC

      Watch The Octagon if you get a chance. It’s the only Chuck Norris movie that I liked. But, it’s freakin dated. So, it takes a little intestinal fortitude.

  • Hannes Oli

    I’ve only not seen Lawrence of Arabia, seen parts of it but wasn’t interested enough…all the other films are really good, especially Annie Hall (one of my all time favourites), the Kubrick films and Apocalypse Now…my embarrassing misses: The Good, the bad and the ugly, Inglourious Basterds, Seven Samurai, Seventh Seal, The King’s Speech….fun list though…

  • manymediamusings

    I actually haven’t seen many of the movies on this list. But one movie I’ll admit I haven’t yet seen is Psycho. I know – I need to see it. Of the movies I have seen on your list, Sunset Boulevard is my favorite. In fact, it’s one of my favorite movies, period.

  • Geek Soul Brother

    You do have some classics here, but it’s understandable. Most people have watched classic movies in the theater. If it’s about catching up to it on DVD everybody says “I’ll see it one day” and they never get to it. At least you didn’t have Star Wars listed. I’ve never seen Festen, so thanks for pointing it out.

  • Eric

    Out of these, I haven’t seen Festen or Lawrence of Arabia.

    Many of the others I just watched for the first time recently as part of my 50 Movies Project: Sunset Blvd, Dr. Strangelove, The Exorcist, Jaws and Annie Hall. Really enjoyed all of them, although Annie Hall a little less than the others.


    Does this mean there’s a list of 10 you are embarrassed about? haha

  • Palm Trees & Bare Feet

    You must see Trainspotting! That’s a must! And I am embarrassed to never have seen Ghost Busters…yes, I said it. I. HAVE. NEVER. SEEN. GHOST BUSTERS!

    Great post! :)

  • yaykisspurr

    I haven’t seen Trainspotting either, though I’ve heard a lot about it. Great idea for a post!

  • Pingback: Top 10 Movies I’m Embarrassed I Haven’t Seen « themovieblog8

  • filmdrivel

    Great post, i might have to have a go at this myself, definitely a lot of black and white classics i haven’t seen, including Sunset Boulevard.

  • slackjawattack

    All classics. Watch “Jaws” first, incredible what Spielberg did with seventies special effects…

  • Pingback: Retro Review: Sunset Blvd. | Filmophilia

  • cinewiki

    Good list!

  • Betty

    OK, I bought the movie “Titanic” but I still have not watched it. I still like the old black and white with Barbara Stanwick.

  • William

    Ok. Everyone has the classics they have missed but I am really shocked by Jaws. Every other film is forgivable even though they are great. But Jaws?

  • jon

    sunset blvd ftw

  • FrankenPC

    The Shining, as you know, is a Kubrick movie. If you know anything about famous directors, you know that Kubrick is a god with the camera. Yes, the Shining is freakin scary. Even knowing the plot, it’s still scary. But, if you can stomach it, the cinematography is absolutely hypnotizing. Layer that on top of 5 star performances and you have one hell of an engaging movie.

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