Films we loveSINCE everyone else is compiling...


Films we love

SINCE everyone else is compiling a favorite-films list -- spurred by the American Film Institute's survey to determine the top English-language films of all time -- members of the editorial department were polled, too.

It turns out the view from the Ivory Tower isn't all that different from the way AFI members look at the cinema. For the record, the top Sun editorial department film favorites were:

1. "Casablanca"

2. "Citizen Kane"

3. "The Godfather" (Part I)

4. "High Noon"

5. "Gone with the Wind"

6. "Glory"

7. "Dr. Strangelove"

8. "Lawrence of Arabia"

9. "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"

10. "Star Wars"

Our top three picks duplicated the AFI list, but in different order.

The editorialists' runaway No. 1 choice was the Humphrey Bogart-Ingrid Bergman love-suspense yarn set in North Africa during World War II, not Orson Welles' groundbreaking "Citizen Kane." We had "Gone With the Wind" as No. 5; AFI listed it as No. 4.

"Glory," the tragic but heroic tale of a black regiment during the Civil War, didn't make the AFI list; on the other hand, Sun editorialists failed to give even honorable mention to the following top-ten AFI finishers: "The Wizard of Oz," "The Graduate," "On the Waterfront," "Schindler's List," and "Singin' in the Rain."

What this shows is what we already knew: Tastes vary widely, but the true classics stand out quite vividly for most individuals.

One other clear conclusion: The AFI list, as well as the editorial department's list, amounts to a hum-dinger of a can't-miss compilation of great movies. Some of these films may be controversial, but they are never dull, even when viewed years -- or decades -- later.


Barley benefit?

BARLEY HAY as a water-pollution fighter? That's the theory being tested in Carroll County, where barley bales are being placed in six ponds to study how they limit the growth of harmful algae.

The experiment will show whether a British farmer's accidental discovery is scientifically effective in this country. Several years ago, the farmer's cart tipped, spilling bales of barley hay that rolled into his algae-choked ponds. Soon after, the algae disappeared and other British farmers adopted the idea for their infested ponds.

It's a reminder that serendipity still plays an important role in scientific knowledge.

Barley hay is mostly used as low-cost animal bedding. But it could be valuable as a low-cost replacement for expensive chemicals now used to control surges of algae, which rob pond waters of life-giving oxygen.

That's why the study involving the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service, Carroll County government and Hood College in Frederick is more than idle scientific curiosity.

Barley's contributions to mankind have been generous, from soups and cereals to animal foods to the whiskey of Scotland. Could another benefit be hiding in the haystack?

Pub Date: 7/03/98

Copyright © 2020, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad