No, I don’t mean the school exam. It was a question on Twitter yesterday. What is the film you have watched 7+ times? Now that is a hard question because there is always going to be more than one. Where does one begin on such a quest? The DVD collection must be the starting place surely? Or maybe the first film you ever recall watching?
The first film I can ever recall seeing is Jason and the Argonauts because when I was about 8 we were allowed to stay up late to watch it. One would think if it was the first film you saw then there is the possibility that it is the one you have seen the most times. I cannot attest to that but I have watched it more than 7 times and it is also in my DVD collection. Of the same genre, you can also include Clash of the Titans (original version) – also in the collection.
What else in the collection? There is the original Star Wars trilogy and whilst I don’t think I have watched The Empire Strikes Back or Return of the Jedi that many times – maybe 4 or 5 – I have watched Star Wars (note – I refuse to call it A New Hope) at least 7 times. Then there is Back to the Future again at least 7 for the first one, and let us not forget Raiders of the Lost Ark. The same would also go for Beverley Hills Cop and Police Academy where I possess the full set but have watched the first film in the series the most times.
Now, what about James Bond? Well, everyone has their favourite Bond and this is usually the first one you saw. For me that was Roger Moore and I have seen his films the most. My best guess is that the only two I might have watched 7 times are Live and Let Die and The Man With the Golden Gun, and maybe – breaking actor rank – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.
Then there are the Carry On films and here I prefer the period ones. For 7+ times I would guess Don’t Lose Your Head – my favourite, all about the Black Fingernail – Carry on Follow That Camel and Carry On Cleo.
Then, of course, there are the Mel Brooks films. I have seen Blazing Saddles a few times (“Never mind that s***, here comes Mongo!”) but Spaceballs is the one I have probably seen at least the required number of times here. (Unfortunately John was Hurt in the making of this motion picture.)
What next? Well, there are the films that were always on the TV when you were a kid, especially Christmas, so some of them you were watching once a year. I would include four in this category; The Wizard of Oz, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and The Sound of Music.
Christmas films are watched numerous times over and over. I don’t think It’s A Wonderful Life quite makes it but Scrooge does and also a mostly unknown little film that I had on tape once but have never see on TV since the first time I saw it – The Man in the Santa Clause Suit – where Fred Astaire plays nine roles. Trading Places possibly, but Die Hard does not make it (5ish) and it is not a Christmas film anyway.
Just a mention of animated films. The only one I think I may have watched that many times is Robin Hood.
Back to the DVD collection. I usually collect series but I do have some quirky one offs that I just like. Briefly back to where we started with fantasy. I think I have watched Young Sherlock at least 7 times – it was called Sherlock Holmes and the Pyramid of Fear when I first saw it. Then there is the time travel story with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour – Somewhere in Time – and possibly Mannequin. And one of my favourites that had me in stitches the first time I watched it years ago – A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To the Forum.
So here it is, my 7+ list – although it is always possible something may have slipped the net – in chronological order.
- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
- Jason and the Argonauts (1963)
- Mary Poppins (1964)
- Carry On Cleo (1964)
- The Sound of Music (1965)
- A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum (1966)
- Carry On Don’t Lose Your Head (1967)
- Carry On Follow That Camel (1967)
- Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
- Scrooge (1970)
- Robin Hood (1973)
- Live and Let Die (1973)
- The Man With The Golden Gun (1974)
- Star Wars (1977)
- The Man In The Santa Clause Suit (1979)
- Somewhere in Time (1980)
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
- Clash of the Titans (1981)
- Trading Places (1983)
- Beverley Hills Cop (1984)
- Police Academy (1984)
- Back To The Future (1985)
- Young Sherlock (1985)
- Mannequin (1987)
- Spaceballs (1987)
I only had to check the year on a few of these. None after the 80’s – I wonder what that says about me and also film making.