September 23, 2019

Every Great Movie You Should Watch, According to Bill Hader

Films from Paul Thomas Anderson, Martin Scorsese, and Ridley Scott make the Emmy-winning star of Barry's list.

Bill Hader, fresh of his second Best Actor in a Comedy Emmy win for HBO's Barry, is a huge film nerd. Like, he's up there with Tarantino and Scorsese -- the latter of which made his list of essential movies all filmmakers and film fans need to see.

Hader (via Collider) joins the ranks of Spike Lee, Tarantino, and Scorsese among those filmmakers using their watchlists -- the movies that shaped theirs -- as curriculum for helping other filmmakers shape their own. For a filmmaker, there is arguably no better education that watching movies. Because filmmakers are film watchers. Learning about craft in action, watching screenplay structure unfold in real (read: movie) time, or the hard work of a DP and his crew pulling off a shot like the Cabana oner in Goodfellas, is a vital part of the process. Sure, it may seem unproductive -- sitting on your couch, watching movies. Or TV shows. 

But, it's actually background processing. Your research involves studying and observing the craft of others so that you can build your own. As we watch X scene or Y sequence, we're likely watching films in the vein of our work -- hoping some sort of inspiration or clarity strikes. And as we do so, we're often constantly background processing -- turning the mind over and over on a dialogue scene you can't crack in your script, or trying to come up with a visually exciting way to shoot exposition. Film watching is an essential, must-have component of the filmmaking process. You never know when it may come in handy -- or how it might help you win your second Emmy. 

Before Hader shared his list of influential films, he prefaced it with: 

"These are movies that, after seeing them, inspired me to go make…something, anything! Since I don’t know how old you are, you should know there’s some titles that are incredibly adult (Clockwork OrangeEnter the VoidChopperCome and SeeBlue Velvet come to mind) so beware. But enjoy and be open; that’s how I like to approach a movie. And turn off you phone and don’t check your email, it affects the experience."

Truer words, Stefon. Truer words... Here's Hader's list:

8 ½

Abigail’s Party

Ace in the Hole

Act of Killing

Aguirre, The Wrath of God

Airplane

Ali: Fear Eats the Soul

Credit: Fox
Alien (Scott)

All About My Mother

All that Jazz

All the Presidents Men

American Friend

Amores Parros

Apocalypto

Apollo 13

Ashes and Diamonds

Asphalt Jungle

Awful Truth, The

Bad Day at Black Rock

Ball of Fire

Bad News Bears, The (Richie)

Battle of Algeirs

Being John Malkovich

Being There

Best Years of Our Lives

Bicycle Thieves

Big Clock, The

Bigger than Life

Black Cat, The (Ulmer)

Black Narcissus

Blazing Saddles

Blood Simple

Blue Velvet

Bob Le Flambeur

Boogie Nights

Bottle Rocket

Breaking Point (Curtiz)

Bringing Up Baby

Broken Lullaby

Brood, The

Brother’s Keeper

Bucket of Blood, A (Corman)

Burbs, the

Cache

Canoa: A Shameful Memory

Carrie (DePalma)

Catch-22 (Nichols)

Charley Varrick

Children of Men

Chopper

Citizen Kane (duh)

Cleo 5 to 7

Credit: WB
Clockwork Orange, A

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Closely Watched Trains

Come and See

Conformist, The

Contempt (Godard)

Cranes are Flying, The

Crime Wave (deToth)

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Crowd, The (Vidor)

Crumb

Cul-de-Sac

Cure (Kurosawa)

Dames

Dawn of the Dead (Romero)

Day of Wrath

Dazed and Confused

Dead of Night (Cavalcanti)

Death Line

Dekalog

Do the Right Thing

Don’t Look Now

Down By Law

Downhill Racer

Dr Strangelove

Duck Soup

Duel

Earrings of Madame D

Election

Elevator to the Gallows

Emperors Naked Army Marches on

Enigma of Kaspar Hauser

Enter the Void

Evil Dead 1 and 2

Executioner, The (Berlanga)

Exorcist

Exterminating Angel, The

Fabulous Baron Munchausen (Zeman)

Face in the Crowd, A

Fat City

Faust (Murnau)

Female Trouble

Fireman’s Ball, The

Fireworks (Kitano)

Force Majeure

Fort Apache

Gates of Heaven

Credit: Paramount
Godfather 1&2 (duh)

Good Morning (Ozu)

Grand Illusion

Haunting, The (Wise)

Harlan County, USA

His Girl Friday

Hit, The

Hoop Dreams

Host, The (Bong)

Ikiru

In the Mood for Love

Informer, The (Ford)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman)

It’s a Gift

Ivan’s Childhood

Jackie Brown

Jules and Jim

Kanal

Kentucky Fried Movie

Kes

Kill Baby Kill

Killer of Sheep

Kwaidan

L atalante

Last Detail

Le Boucher

Le quattro volte

Lil Quinquin

Los Olvidados

Love and Death

Loves of a Blonde

Malcolm X

Man Escaped

Matter of Life and Death

McCabe and Mrs Miller

Medium Cool

Merry Widow, The (Lubitsh)

Midnight Cowboy

Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters

Mon Oncle

Mona Lisa

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Life of Brian

Mouth Agape, A

My Darling Clementine

My Friend Totoro

Naked Spur, The

Near Dark

Credit: MGM
Network

Night and the City (Dassin)

Night of the Demon

Nights of Cabiria

No Country for Old Men

Nuts in May

Once Upon a Time in the West

One-Eyed Jacks

Only Yesterday

Pans Labyrinth

Paper Moon

Parenthood

Paris Texas

Pather Panchali

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

Peppermint Frappe

Pickpocket

Point Blank

Prick Up Your Ears

Radio Days

Rashomon

Credit: Orion
Robocop (1987)

Rolling Thunder

Rosemary’s Baby

Ruggles of Red Gap

Rushmore

Safe

Salvatore Giuliano

Sansho the Baliff

Schizopolis

Scream of Fear

Sexy Beast

Shampoo

Shaun of the Dead

Sherlock Jr.

Short Cuts

Silence of the Lambs

Singing in the Rain

Small Change

Songs from the Second Floor

Sorcerer

Spirited Away

Sullivans Travels

Summer with Monika

Sunrise

Sunset Blvd

Credit: Columbia Pictures
Taxi Driver

Tenant, The

Texas Chainsaw Massacre

There Will Be Blood

Thin Blue Line

Thing, The (Carpenter)

Train, The

Third Man

To Be or Not to Be

Tokyo Story

Toy Story

Trading Places

Treasure of Sierra Madre

Trouble in Paradise

Twentieth Century

Unfaithfully Yours

Unforgiven Clint Eastwood
Credit: WB
Unforgiven

Up

Virgin Spring

Virgin Suicides

Viridiana

Wages of Fear

Where’s the Friends House?

Wind, The (Sjostrom)

Woman in the Dunes

Woman Under the Influence, A

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

Y Tu Mama Tambien

Yi yi

Zero for Conduct

Gotta love a guy who puts RoboCop AND Y Tu Mama Tambien on the same list. How many of these films have you seen? Moreover, how many of them have helped or inspired you? Let us know below in the comments.

And please, share your list of films all filmmakers should see to help them hone their craft. 

Your Comment

1 Comment

Very interesting list, only Jackie Brown from Tarantino, two criminally underrated Mike Leighs, Miyazaky, Jiří Menzel... wow

September 24, 2019 at 4:07PM

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