Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Sean Paul Murphy, Writer
Sean Paul Murphy, Writer

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Seven Guy Films

Here's an unscientific list of guy films that, in my years of experience as the former head of the Baltimore Film Club, I find that women don't seem to enjoy with equal fervor as men. That doesn't mean that some women don't like them.  Just most of the women I know.

It would be very easy to make a such a list if I included torture-porn horror movies like I Spit on Your Grave, teen sex comedies like Porky's, any martial arts flicks and deliberately misogynistic films like Neil LaBute's In the Company of Men.  Instead, I have chosen films that were all hits or well-reviewed and intended for a wide audience.

THE GODFATHER, 1972, Director Francis Ford Coppola.  Many women appreciate this sprawling saga of a mafia family based on the bestseller by Mario Puzo, but few treat it with the near religious reverence that men often do. Rare is the man who cannot quote it chapter and verse. Writer/Director Nora Ephron spoke for many men in You've Got Mail when she had Tom Hanks explain to Meg Ryan that: "The Godfather is the sum of all wisdom. The Godfather is the answer to any question."  This reverence extends to the second film, but not necessarily the third.


SE7EN, 1995, Director David Fincher. Despite the presence of the hunky Brad Pitt, and the soothing influence of Morgan Freeman, David Fincher's tale of a serial killer intent on illustrating the seven deadly sins is a taste many women simply prefer not to acquire. I was unexpectedly knocked out by the film when I first saw it, but words of the young lady I took to the movies that night summed it up nicely: "Boys looking for love shouldn't take girls to films like this." And, yes, she was true to her words.  Darn you, David Fincher!


SLAP SHOT, 1977, Director George Roy Hill. There is actually considerable nuance and depth in this outwardly raunchy and meandering comedy about a failing minor league hockey team but women tend to bench the film before uncovering it.  You would think that the presence of Paul Newman, despite his character's casual sexism and general cluelessness, would generate a wider female audience but it doesn't do so. Interestingly, this film was written by a woman, Nancy Dowd, who based her script on the experiences of her professional hockey-playing brother.


SCARFACE, 1983, Director Brian De Palma. This expletive-filled tale of the rise of Tony Montana, a Cuban immigrant who claws his way to the top of the drug business in Florida, is always a sure winner among the guys. Throw this Blu-Ray into the player and the boys happily settle in for the ride, often quoting the lines ahead of the characters. The women, however, tend to leave the room for other pursuits.


TAXI DRIVER, 1975, Director Martin Scorsese. In this film, director Martin Scorsese and screenwriter Paul Schrader channeled all of their respective obsessions and paranoia into this dark but classic tale of a taxi driver slowly falling into madness and violence. In this film, the taxi driver, Travis Bickle, played by Robert De Niro, takes the object of his desire, Cybill Shepherd, to a pornographic film for their first and only date. Her response to that film is similar to most women's response to this film.



FULL METAL JACKET, 1987, Director Stanley Kubrick. Kubrick's masterful tale of the dehumanization wrought by war has been a constant source of trash talk by men since the first day of its release. Real-life drill instructor R. Lee Ermey provides a nonstop treasure trove of insults, and the treatment of women is even less enlightened. Many Asian women have had the film's depiction of the Vietnamese prostitute thrown back at them. It is a masterpiece, but it can be argued that the colorfulness of the dialogue overwhelms the larger themes.


A CLOCKWORK ORANGE, 1971, Director Stanley Kubrick. I initially didn't want to include two films by the same director, but both of these films warrant inclusion. Of all the major directors, Stanley Kubrick seems to be the master of alienating women. In this once x-rated parable about free will, a violent young man is given the chance to leave prison if he submits to an experimental mind-control program which will render him "good." About forty members of the Baltimore Film Club saw a revival screening of this film. Afterwards, we voted thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the film on the sidewalk outside of the theater. All of the men voted thumbs-up. All of the women voted thumbs-down. An interesting debate ensued. The women were fairly insistent that no theme or lesson justified the rape and violence depicted in the film. Were they right? I'll leave that for you to decide.

In the meantime, be sure to check out my book.  Most women do not find it objectionable.



Other Lists:
Top 10 Horror Films of the 2000s
Top 10 Horror Films of the 1990s
Top 10 Horror Films of the 1980s
Top 10 Horror Films of the 1970s
Top 10 Horror Films of the 1960s
Top 10 Horror Films of the 1950s
Top 15 Horror Films of the 1930s and 1940s
7 Guy Films
My 5 Favorite Westerns
20 Films, or Confessions of a Misspent Youth
My 20 Favorite Beatles Songs
My 5 Least Favorite Beatles Songs
My 5 Favorite Dylan Albums
Halloween Recommends

This blog was answer by my niece:  Uncle Films

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