Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Directors Project: #38 - George Roy Hill

Scene from Cinema Paradiso
With the many lists and essays written on the subject of film, there has been one thing that The Oscar Buzz has tried to understand: Who is my favorite of the film world? For 10 weeks this summer, I will be exploring this with a countdown of the Top 50 names based on a numerical ranking of ratings from various sources, the following is a list of directors who rank above everyone else. With occasional upsets, this is intended as both a discussion opener as well as a better understanding of me as a film critic and fan. Please enjoy and leave any comments you have regarding the entry's selection.


Years Active: 1952-1988

Films as Director: 14

Oscar Wins: 1 (Best Director - The Sting)

Who: One of cinema's greatest mysteries is why Hill's reputation isn't held to nearly as high of a regard as his peers. When looking at the echelon of cinema, there isn't much discussion of his filmography, which features some of the most stylized, personal films to appeal to a wide audience. Covering everything from westerns to sports films, his 30 year career was full of some of the most highly enjoyable films. He worked a lot with Paul Newman and helped to make him into one of the more diversely interesting actors of his generation.

Scene from The Sting
-- The Sting (1973) --

Flickchart Ranking: #103 (800 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 870 points

-- The World According to Garp (1982) --

Flickchart Ranking: #212 (700 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total:770 points

-- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) --

Flickchart Ranking: #447 (500 points)
IMDb Rating: 7/10 (70 points)
Perks: None
Total: 570 points

-- Slap Shot (1977) --

Flickchart Ranking: #456 (450 points)
IMDb Rating: 6/10 (60 points)
Perks: None
Total: 510 points

OVERALL TOTAL: 2720 points

Scene from Slap Shot
When looking at the people on this list, this one was a surprise not because I have a previously established notion towards him, but because of how many impressive films he has made without me knowing. The Sting and The World According to Garp are two films that I particularly like and their contemporary takes on society and genre remain iconic and influential examples of American film making. Seeing  the many films off of his resume that I haven't seen, he has done plenty of films that I probably should see. His work feels oddly specific while also seeming mainstream enough in comedic sensibilities to be some of the most accessible films. He's like Howard Hawks in that he doesn't get enough respect for the otherwise popular and noteworthy work.

UP NEXT: Spaghetti western maestro whose sparse imagery helped to define the apocalyptic cinema of the cowboy.

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