classic movies The Top Five Movies That You've Pretended To See But Haven't  

Ariel Abbas
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When people need a quick way to prove their intelligence, they often like to show off their amazing taste in movies to others. Usually, conversations like this are the centerpiece of bad cocktail parties (frequently nestled in between stale hors d'oerves and an unbarable game of charades). The following list contains a bunch of movies that smart people talk about. Ironically, there’s a 1 in 5 chance that these people have never actually seen these movies (there’s also a 4 in 5 chance that statistic is completely made up).

Oh, and before some sanctimonious a-hole gets all upset with me. Yes, I’ve seen every movie on this list. And yes, I’m better than you. That’s why I’m holding this pipe and wearing this smoking jacket, you see…

Gone with the Wind is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Top Five Movies That You've Pretended To See But Haven't
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This spot almost went to the other classic film epic—Lawrence of Arabia—but, Gone with the Wind just has the right combination of historical importance, puffy dresses, and blatant racism that screams "I’ve-pretended-to-see-this-movie!" This flick’s biggest detractor? Length. Coming in with a whopping runtime of 226 minutes, it’s not exactly "casual viewing." In turn, instead of actually watching this movie, people tend to go the easy route and just "pretend"—much like the time I bought that letterman’s jacket and "pretended" that I went to Harvard.

It certainly doesn’t help matters much that societal norms pretty much require that you see Gone with the Wind if you want to be knowledgeable about cinema. Well, society also says that I should wear pants—and that certainly isn’t happening anytime soon. Well, la-dee dah! Sorry if I can’t live up to your standards Mr. High and Mighty…

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Pretty in Pink is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Top Five Movies That You've Pretended To See But Haven't
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Granted, this choice isn’t going to make sense to a lot of people…but it definitely applies to my generation. You see, like many early twenty-somethings, the John Hughes teen comedies of the eighties hit it big when I was far too young to appreciate them. With the exception of Ferris Bueller, I completely missed out. It wasn’t until college that I actually sat down and saw the lot of them in an all-night bender of chocolate, cheese burgers, and self-remorse. Before then, I’d awkwardly smile in social settings when these flicks were brought up. I’d pretend to know who "Ducky" was and that "The Breakfast Club" was not some promotion offered by Denny’s.

Luckily, I’ve now atoned for my crimes, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks out there that shamefully have to hide the fact that they have never seen these movies. Since Pretty in Pink was the last of the John Hughes-era teen comedies that I saw in my quest for cinematic redemption, it earns a spot on this list. Now that I’m all caught up, I can move on to more important and troubling quandaries. For instance, is Molly Ringwald attractive? Well, let me tell ya, after a long discussion with my penis, the jury is still out on that one…

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Citizen Kane is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Top Five Movies That You've Pretended To See But Haven't
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Considering that Citizen Kane is often lauded as the greatest film of all time, I find it funny that most people probably haven’t seen it. Fess up…right now you’re sitting there in front of your computer screen, pretending to do something generic in Microsoft Excel, and lying to yourself yet again. "Ha," you snicker. "I’ve seen Citizen Kane a billion times! Pffft." Then, a bead of sweat forms on your brow. Your pulse quickens. Your chest tightens. On the surface, you’re calm, but deep down, you know the truth—the deep, dark secret eating you up inside.

Well, ladies and gentleman, that feeling won’t go away until you do something about it. Immediately, you must put Citizen Kane at the coveted top spot of your Netflix Queue. You must quell that simmering sense of guilt once and for all…or, you could just read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia....

Regardless, the next time someone brings up Citizen Kane in informal conversation you no will no longer have to stare at the floor awkwardly and deliver your usual canned response: "Uh…yeah…Rosebud…sled…totally…hey, is that a blue car over there?"


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Modern Times is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Top Five Movies That You've Pretended To See But Haven't
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When it comes to movies that people have not seen (but pretend to), silent films are a veritable goldmine. I picked Charlie Chaplin’s Modern Times, but this spot could just have easily gone to Metropolis or Sunrise or some other German sounding movie that nobody can understand. Every prestigious "best of" movie list invariably has some silent film on there. Most often, it’s a movie that few people have actually seen, so during the televised special—in order to make it somewhat interesting—they usually cut to wacky close-ups of black and white footage while Roger Ebert gives an awkward thumbs up.

To be fair, Modern Times is definitely a silent movie you should check out (instead of pretending to have watched). It’s Chaplin at his best and still holds up remarkably well. That being I said, I fully understand that watching silent movies with a modern mindset isn’t what I would call easy. It’s tough to appreciate the spectacular use of symbolism and stark black and white imagery while people are acting with the kind of over-zealous, "crazy eyes" best reserved for bad student theater and amateur improv…Everybody! Jazz Hands!

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