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100 Movies to Take into a Bunker

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Scott Roberts
100 Movies to Take into a Bunker
on Jan 17, 2012 at 3:11:39 pm

Last night I thought of doing this pretty much as a pointless exercise for myself to see what I would actually do in a completely hypothetical situation (also because I was bored and felt like it), but I wondered this scenario:

The government has paid me a vast sum of money to sit in an underground bunker for 10 straight years with no breaks. I’d be typing in data about minerals or something, the bunker task isn’t really important, it’s some remedial task that requires me to be down there typing in data for 10 years. It’s not that hard or time-consuming, but I have to do it every day, so there’s plenty of time on my hands. All the necessities are there (food, water, bed), but there would only be enough room for me to bring along 100 films for the next decade to watch in the space they have provided me. It’s vastly expensive or something for me to reach the outside world to get new stuff, so I’m stuck with what I pick. There is no internet (so no YouTube or downloading movies), and as expected, Comcast couldn’t provide adequate service down there, so no broadcast television. I bet the Dolphins still wouldn’t win the Superbowl in the 10 years I was gone, so no sports for a decade would probably be alright. There is other stuff to entertain me like a few books, albums (save those for another list!), napping and (shutter) exercising, but let’s just say that watching movies would probably be in my top 3 desired activities on any given day, so it would be important what I choose. Just as a strange inexplicable technicality: they won’t let me take any TV box sets, only films. Don’t ask me why! The government works in strange ways!

When I went through and did my rough list without even counting how many I was picking, but only picking things I really assumed would make the list, I had 141. Time to do some hacking.

Now it’s a matter of choices. I would probably want a good mixture of genres to keep things fresh. Also a good mixture of old and new (I’m surprised at my almost complete lack of 1950s and earlier films). Replay value is crucial in this situation, don’t include anything I would only want to watch once. I love my depressing movies, but if I’m stuck in a bunker I’m probably going to want a decent amount of uplifting, happy movies. Probably a chunk of comedies to keep my spirits up. Include some childhood nostalgia to raise my spirits, maybe a couple musicals and/or music docs for pep as well. If it’s a slow drama, it better be something that I really, really love. I’m probably going to want a lot of action type movies to keep my energy levels high. I can’t think of a better place to desire a crap load of escapism than in an underground bunker…! (OK, a prison… But they won’t let you take movies in there.)

Then it came down to things like trilogies… Do I want to take up three entire slots for a trilogy? Maybe take the best one or two? Does that ruin the entire purpose of having any one the films singularly, if I can’t watch the entire trilogy? Trilogies do run longer, they would take up more of my time down there. And do I need similar films? Do I need Zombieland AND Dead Alive? Godfather AND Goodfellas? Do I really want to take Batman Returns if I’m already taking Dark Knight? The choices!

So now the government is knocking at my door, and I have my big duffel bag of 100 movies ready to go. They drag me, I mean escort me, to the bunker and below are the choices I made. I didn’t want to torture myself with ranking them in a best/worst order, so I just arranged them alphabetically. See you in 2022!

1. 28 Days Later
2. 50/50
3. Adventureland
4. Almost Famous
5. Anchorman
6. Annie Hall
7. Apocalypse Now
8. Back to the Future
9. Battle Royale
10. The Big Lebowski
11. Black Dynamite
12. The Blues Brothers
13. Bonnie and Clyde
14. Boogie Nights
15. Cannibal! the Musical
16. A Clockwork Orange
17. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
18. Cool Hand Luke
19. Crank
20. Creepshow
21. The Dark Knight
22. Dazed and Confused
23. Death Race 2000
24. The Departed
25. Die Hard
26. Dog Day Afternoon
27. Do the Right Thing
28. Dr Strangelove
29. Dumb and Dumber
30. Election
31. Enter the Dragon
32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
33. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
34. Evil Dead II
35. Fargo
36. Forrest Gump
37. The French Connection
38. Ghostbusters
39. Gimme Shelter
40. The Godfather
41. Goodfellas
42. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
43. The Graduate
44. Gremlins 2: The New Batch
45. Grindhouse
46. Groundhog Day
47. A Hard Day's Night
48. Heavy Metal
49. Hot Fuzz
50. Inception
51. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
52. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
53. Inglourious Basterds
54. Jaws
55. Jurassic Park
56. The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters
57. Knocked Up
58. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
59. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings
60. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
61. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
62. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
63. No Country for Old Men
64. Observe and Report
65. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
66. Poltergeist
67. Predator
68. Pulp Fiction
69. Raging Bull
70. Robocop
71. Rocky
72. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
73. Rosemary's Baby
74. The Royal Tenenbaums
75. The Running Man
76. Scarface (1983)
77. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
78. The Shawshank Redemption
79. The Shining
80. Some Like It Hot
81. Spiderman 2
82. Star Wars: A New Hope
83. Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back
84. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
85. Super Troopers
86. Taxi Driver
87. Team America World Police
88. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
89. Tommy Boy
90. Total Recall
91. Toy Story
92. Toy Story 3
93. Up in the Air
94. WALL-E
95. The Warriors
96. Wayne's World
97. Wet Hot American Summer
98. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
99. Woodstock: 3 Days of Peace and Music
100. Zombieland

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Mike Cohen
Re: 100 Movies to Take into a Bunker
on Jan 17, 2012 at 5:10:21 pm

Interesting exercise - will have to do this offline and report back. Sounds like a deep space mission type of scenario rather than an underground bunker. I think from a psychological point of view entertainment will be a high priority for a crew of men and women going to Mars and back over 3 years, for example. Hopefully some government person is wise enough to pack some baby supplies in one of the cargo pods because 10 men and women may blast off but 12 or more may come back - space travel is boring.


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