Here we continue, what will probably eventually become known as, the ill-fated journey of watching each of the British Film Institute’s 100 best films of the 20th Century. Starting at 100 and working my way to Orson Welles’ The Third Man at number 1. I’ll try to keep these blogs relatively spoiler free and I’ll consider them only a small record of moving through this series.
I’ve never been someone who often watches war movies. To my eternal shame, I’ve never seen Platoon or Apocalypse Now. It’s odd because I do enjoy a good mindless military TV show – my guiltiest of guilty pleasures was the “guns, girls and grrrr” nonsense of Strike Back. I came to number 92 on the list – Noël Coward and David Lean’s In Which We Serve – with some degree of ambivalence but that was knocked out of me quick-smart. It tells the story of one ship and her crew from before her launch to after her sinking during the Battle of Crete in World War Two. The film is an engaging piece of war-time propaganda – it was released in 1942, midway through that very war – and with that, it is a moving piece of cinema that had more emotional impact on me than, say, a film such as Saving Private Ryan has done.