I was brought up in a movie-loving home. My mother was a casual watcher of movies, preferring much more TV, but my father was, if not a fanatic, then certainly a fan, if that makes sense. His tastes ran almost exclusively to westerns and war pictures, with detours here and there. He was raised on those type movies and enjoyed entertainment where a clear delineation existed between the good guys and the bad guys and none of the wishy-washy stuff that emerged in the sixties with the appearance of the “anti-western” and pacifist pictures. Strangely enough I did not follow him down such a cinematic path. My boyhood movie loves were horror flicks, initially the wonderful old and creaky fantasies produced by Universal Studios at the onset of the Depression and replayed for years on Saturday afternoon TV; and when I got a little older I began paying more attention to foreign-language films, because certain celebrated critics considered them more “profound” than American output. Eventually, with my first VCR in 1985, I opened up a good bit and began watching the “horse operas” so beloved by Daddy and have never looked back.
Dr. Clyde Wilson has kindly asked me to contribute a list of films that have had an endearing impact on me. The below roster is not necessarily a compilation of my choices for the BEST movies ever made, although a number of them would certainly earn a place on that rollcall as well. These are movies I’ve seen a number of times, dozens of times, and have never grown tired of; even with repeated viewings they never fail to move me, emotionally, intellectually, and otherwise.
Randall Ivey is Instructor in English at the University of South Carolina-Union where he has seven times been voted Teacher of the Year by students. He is the author of two novels, a children’s book, and several collections of prize-winning short stories. He is founder and director of the Upcountry Literary Festival.