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The Favorite Movies of 42 Famous People

Presidents & Politicians

What's with presidents and High Noon?

1. Barack Obama -- The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather: Part II (1974)
When Katie Couric asked then-presidential-candidate Barack Obama what his favorite movie is, he replied, "Oh, I think it would have to be The Godfather. One and Two. Three not so much. That saga -- I love that movie. ...I think my favorite has to be, the opening scene of the first Godfather... It sets the tone for the whole movie."

2. Ronald Reagan -- High Noon (1952)
Reagan appreciated Will Kane's dedication to duty and law. (Reagan's also rumored to have been a fan of the 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life.)

3. Richard Nixon -- Patton (1970)
Nixon's preference for Patton was mentioned in a 1960 1970 TIME article: "The martial epic Patton so stirs Richard Nixon that he has seen the film at least twice." According to American Experience: Nixon on PBS, "Richard Nixon loved the movie Patton and watched it again and again in the White House." The Telegraph reported that Nixon "urged aides to see the film and became, in the words of Secretary of State William Rogers, a 'walking ad' for it. He screened it three times in the weeks before the US invasion of Cambodia in April 1970..." Nixon's love for Patton was also mentioned in Woodward and Bernstein's 2005 book, The Final Days.

4. Bill Clinton -- High Noon (1952)
Clinton was such a fan of the Western that he apparently screened the film a record 17 times at the White House.

5. George W. Bush -- Field of Dreams (1989)
According to a May 2001 article in The Atlantic, "Bush's favorite movie is Field of Dreams, which made him cry, he once said, because it reminded him of playing catch in the back yard with his father—a pretty fair ballplayer himself once."

6. Dwight Eisenhower -- High Noon (1952)
Eisenhower was reportedly a big fan of the movie, screening it several times at the White House (though not quite as many times as Clinton).

7. John McCain -- Viva Zapata! (1952)
During his presidential campaign, John McCain was asked about his favorite film by Katie Couric. His response: "Viva Zapata. ...It's a heroic tale of a person who sacrificed everything for what he believed in and there's some of the most moving scenes in that movie that I've ever seen."

8. Mitt Romney -- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
Romney lists these two films as his favorites on his Facebook page, followed by Star Wars and Henry V.

9. Dan Quayle -- Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986)
During the 1990 presidential campaign, Quayle declared Ferris Bueller his favorite movie, with the explanation, "It reminded me of my time in school."

10. Newt Gingrich -- Casablanca (1943)
When asked his favorite movie, Gingrich told the Washington Times, "Probably Casablanca."

11. Rick Santorum -- Field of Dreams (1989)
Apparently Santorum has many favorites, but, when put on the spot by the Washington Times in 2011, he named the baseball classic his favorite.

Singers & Musicians

12. Justin Bieber -- Step Brothers (2008)
In 2010, Bieber provided US Weekly with a list of "25 Things You Don't Know About Me." #17: "Step Brothers is my favorite movie."

13. Jennifer Lopez -- West Side Story (1961)
During a West Side Story-themed photo shoot for Vanity Fair in 2009, Lopez revealed that she watched the classic musical "37 times" growing up. She identifies with Anita, explaining: "I never wanted to be that wimpy Maria... I wanted to be Anita, who danced her way to the top."

14. George Harrison -- The Producers (1968)
Harrison reportedly liked the film so much that it inspired him to become a producer himself.

Actors & Actresses

Interestingly, I have never met or heard of an actor or actress choosing one of their own films as their all-time favorite.

15. Johnny Depp -- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Explained Depp: "I wanted to have a tornado sweep me up and take me away from the life I was living as a teenager."

16. John Travolta -- A Man And A Woman (1966)
IMDb.com lists Travolta's favorite movie as A Man And A Woman, also noting that he was partial to Yankee Doodle Dandy (1946) as a child.

17. Heath Ledger -- The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Ledger favored the classic film because, he stated, "It was the only film my parents allowed me to see as a kid."

18. Tom Hanks -- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Hanks has frequently discussed his love for Kubrick's classic, including at a forum for the film's 40th anniversary, where he said of the movie, "You can look at it over and over and ponder its meaning." According to a Tom Hanks fan site, the actor has seen 2001 approximately 40 times.

19. Bill Paxton -- Splendor in the Grass (1961) and Harold and Maude (1971)
In a 2006 interview with TV Guide, Paxton said, "You've got to understand something about me and my career: I'm a romantic in life philosophy, in how I look at the world, the beauty of nature, of relationships. But I never got to do those roles. In my twenties, I wanted to be in a Splendor in the Grass." Paxton listed both Splendor in the Grass and Harold and Maude for Cindy Pearlman's 2007 book You Gotta See This.

20. Salma Hayek -- Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The "Times Topics" page for Hayek at The New York Times website reports: "At 6, she was smitten with acting after seeing Willie [sic] Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

21. Vin Diesel -- Gone With The Wind (1939)
In 2006, ELLE asked Diesel, "Have you ever watched a movie and identified with a character romantically?" The actor replied, "Clark Gable in Gone With the Wind. Here's this guy saying, 'I may be rough around the edges, but I'm the better man for you, and you're still locked over there with pretty boy.'" He also listed it as his favorite movie for Pearlman's You Gotta See This.

22. Tim Allen -- The Seven Samurai (1954)
AFI interviewed celebrities about their films in a lead-up to their "100 Years, 100 Movies" event in 2007. In his interview, Allen named The Seven Samurai as his favorite.

23. Lindsey Lohan -- Kitten With a Whip (1964) and Bye Bye Birdie (1963)
In 2008, Lindsay told PAPERMAG, "[Marilyn Monroe] had something that captured people. That’s the part that I love about her... I look to her in The Seven Year Itch, just like I look to Ann-Margret in Kitten With a Whip, which is one of my favorite movies, and which I’m actually trying to remake." For Pearlman's You Gotta See This, Lohan reiterated her love of Kitten With a Whip and added, "And I also love Bye Bye Birdie."

24. Owen Wilson -- Punch Drunk Love (2002) and The Insider (1999)
Wilson reportedly stated, "I loved Punch-Drunk Love. It revved me up to write something. It's a simple story, but it proves it's all in the details." He also told Glen Whipp of the Los Angeles Daily News, "I loved Punch-Drunk Love, The Insider and United 93."

25. Antonio Banderas -- Touch of Evil (1958) and The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Banderas is an Orson Welles fan. He listed Touch of Evil as one of his 5 favorite films (as well as the ever-popular Lawrence of Arabia and The Godfather) for Rotten Tomatoes, and he listed it again for Pearlman's You Gotta See This, along with another Welles film, The Magnificent Ambersons.

26. Julianne Moore -- Rosemary's Baby (1968)
For the New York Times' "Watching the Movies With" feature, Moore picked Rosemary's Baby, stating, "This is the first movie that came to mind when I thought of what I wanted to watch," and "Wow, I love the beginning of this movie."

27. Charlize Theron -- I Could Go On Singing (1963)
For You Gotta See This, Theron told Pearlman that I Could Go On Singing is "the best movie I've ever seen," and then said--twice--"It's my favorite film of all time."

28. Shia Lebouf -- Saving Silverman (2001) and Dumb & Dumber (1994)
IMDb.com lists the two comedies as Lebouf's favorite films.

29. Richard Gere -- The Passenger (1975)
For You Gotta See This, Gere told Pearlman that The Passenger "has always been" one of his favorites.

30. Dennis Miller -- A Man For All Seasons (1966)
Miller has discussed A Man For All Seasons on "The Dennis Miller Show." He also mentioned it in an appearance on "The O'Reilly Factor" in 2008 -- "My favorite film of all time is probably A Man for All Seasons."

31. Uma Thurman -- Pillow Talk (1959)
For Pearlman's You Gotta See This, Thurman revealed her favorite, explaining: "All my life I wanted to be Doris Day. One of my favorites is Pillow Talk. It’s a light, breezy romp of a film that’s so much fun to watch. I love that Doris didn’t play anyone but herself in her movies."

32. Morgan Freeman -- Moulin Rouge (2001)
In 2005, Freeman was quizzed on his favorites by IGN. For movie, he responded: "My favorite movie that I didn't work on? Moulin Rouge. I just think that movie is fabulous." Six years later, he repeated the favorite to the Rotten Tomatoes staff, stating, "I think one of the best movies ever made was Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge! It was just an extraordinarily well done film. Editing, directing, costuming -- just everything about it was perfect." He also listed King Kong (1933), High Noon (1952), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and Moby Dick (1956).

33. David Duchovny -- Chinatown (1974)
The Rotten Tomatoes staff interviewed Duchovny about his favorite films in April; he replied, "I'm gonna say Chinatown. That's just great storytelling, acting, directing. I think Polanski's an amazing director." He also listed The Godfather (1972), The Godfather: Part II (1974), Annie Hall (1977), and Oldboy (2003).

34. Reese Witherspoon -- Overboard (1987)
Witherspoon disclosed this factoid during the 84th Annual Academy Awards telecast earlier this year.

35. Dennis Quaid -- Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Discussing David Lean, the director of Lawrence of Arabia, Quaid said, "He's always been my favourite director. Lawrence of Arabia is my favourite movie of all time."

36. Vince Vaughn -- Tender Mercies (1983) and The Bad News Bears (1976)
For Pearlman's You Gotta See This, Vaughn disclosed these two favorites, stating: "Tender Mercies is a film that I love very much because it's very simple storytelling," and "The Bad News Bears is my favorite comedy. I saw that movie as a child, and there was something very real about that movie in that it seemed to be an honest portrayal of people." He also reportedly once told Premiere magazine that Little Darlings (1980) was also a favorite.

37. Seth MacFarlane -- The Sound of Music (1964)
When interviewed by IGN in 2003, MacFarlane was asked what his favorite film is. His answer: "I gotta give it to The Sound of Music. I'm sorry. I know that's, like, a lame answer, but I f***in' love The Sound of Music. It's The Sound of Music... It's not like it's some obscure independent film. There are those who would be expecting me to say Caddyshack – which is number two..."

38. Orson Welles -- City Lights (1931)
Of the Chaplin film, Welles once said, "...but you must see City Lights... You’ll see Chaplin in City Lights."

& More...

39. Steven Spielberg -- Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Spielberg helped restore the film for a 2000 DVD release; in the accompanying documentary, "A Conversation with Steven Spielberg," the director discusses the impact the movie had on his life and why it's his favorite film.

40. Thomas Edison -- Birth of a Nation (1915)
When asked about his favorite movie in a February 1930 interview with American Magazine, Edison replied, "Let’s see now–what’s the name of it? Oh yes, I remember–The Birth of a Nation, that great picture Griffith made. But who cares?"

41. Roger Ebert -- La Dolce Vita (1960)
In a 2008 column for The Chicago Sun-Times, the critic asked himself, "What is my favorite film?" The answer: "Right now, this moment, the answer that would spring most quickly to mind is Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960). I've seen it, oh, at least 25 times, maybe more. It doesn't get old for me. ...I've grown so worked up just writing this paragraph that I want to slide in the DVD and start watching immediately. "

42. Michael Phelps -- Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Of Austin Powers, Phelps has said, "It’s still as funny as it was when it was released."
* * *
So, what's your favorite?

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Jim Henson's Labyrinth Is Being Adapted Into a Stage Musical
Henson Company
Henson Company

More than 30 years after its cinematic debut, Labyrinth could be hitting the stage. In an interview with Forbes, Jim Henson's son and Henson Company CEO Brian Henson shared plans to transform the cult classic into a live musical.

While the new musical would be missing David Bowie in his starring role as Jareth the Goblin King, it would hopefully feature the soundtrack Bowie helped write. Brian Henson says there isn't a set timeline for the project yet, but the stage adaptation of the original film is already in the works.

As for a location, Henson told Forbes he envisions it running, "Not necessarily [on] Broadway, it could be for London's West End, but it will be a stage show, a big theatrical version. It’s very exciting."

Labyrinth premiered in 1986 to measly box office earnings and tepid reviews, but Jim Henson's fairytale has since grown into a phenomenon beloved by nostalgic '80s kids and younger generations alike. In the same Forbes interview, Brian Henson also confirmed the 2017 news that a long-anticipated Labyrinth sequel is apparently in development. Though he couldn't give any specifics, Henson confirmed that, "we are still excited about it but the process moves very slowly and very carefully. We're still excited about the idea of a sequel, we are working on something, but nothing that's close enough to say it's about to be in pre-production or anything like that."

While fans eagerly await those projects to come out, they can get their fix when the film returns to theaters across the U.S. on April 29, May 1, and May 2. Don't forget to wear your best Labyrinth swag to the event.

[h/t Forbes]

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John P. Johnson, HBO
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10 Wild Facts About Westworld
John P. Johnson, HBO
John P. Johnson, HBO

The hit HBO show about an android farm girl finding sentience in a fake version of the old West set in a sci-fi future is back for a second season. So grab your magnifying glass, study up on Lewis Carroll and Shakespeare, and get ready for your brain to turn to scrambled eggs. 

The first season saw Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) and her robotic compatriots strive to escape bondage as the puppet playthings of a bored society that kills and brutalizes them every day, then repairs them each night to repeat the process for paying customers. The Maze. The Man in Black. The mysteries lurking in cold storage and cantinas. Wood described the first season as a prequel, which means the show can really get on the dusty trail now. 

Before you board the train and head back into the park, here are 10 wild facts about the cerebral, sci-fi hit. (Just beware of season one spoilers!)

1. IT’S NOT THE FIRST TV ADAPTATION OF THE MOVIE.

Though Westworld, the 1973 film written and directed by Michael Crichton, was a hit, its 1976 sequel Futureworld was a flop. Still, the name and concept had enough cachet for CBS to move forward with a television concept in 1980. Beyond Westworld featured Delos head of security John Moore (Jim McMullan) battling against the villainous mad scientist Simon Quaid (James Wainwright), who wants to use the park’s robots to, what else, take over the whole world. It would be a little like if the HBO show focused largely on Luke Hemsworth’s Ashley Stubbs, which just might be the spinoff the world is waiting for.

2. THE ORIGINAL GUNSLINGER HAS A CAMEO.

Ed Harris and Eddie Rouse in 'Westworld'
JOHN P. JOHNSON, HBO

The HBO series pays homage to the original film in a variety of ways, including echoing elements from the score to create that dread-inducing soundscape. It also tipped its ten-gallon hat to Yul Brynner’s relentless gunslinger from the original film by including him in the storage basement with the rest of the creaky old models.

3. QUENTIN TARANTINO, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, AND MANY OTHERS COULD HAVE REBOOTED IT.

Speaking of Brynner’s steely, murderous resolve: His performance as the robo-cowboy was one of the foundations for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s turn as the Terminator. Nearly 20 years later, in 2002, Schwarzenegger signed on to produce and star in a reboot of the sci-fi film from which he took his early acting cues. Schwarzenegger never took over the role from Brynner because he served as Governor of California instead, and the reboot languished in development hell.

Warner Bros. tried to get Quentin Tarantino on board, but he passed. They also signed The Cell director Tarsem Singh (whose old West would have been unbelievably lush and colorful, no doubt), but it fell through. A few years later, J.J. Abrams—who had met with Crichton about a reboot back in 1996—pitched eventual co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy on doing it as a television series. HBO bought it, and the violent delights finally made it to our screens.

4. IT COSTS $40,000 A DAY TO VISIT THE PARK. (AND THAT’S THE CHEAP PACKAGE.)

Thandie Newton and Angela Sarafyan in 'Westworld'
HBO

In season one, Logan (Ben Barnes) revealed that he’s spending $40,000 a day to experience Westworld. That’s in line with the 1973 movie, where park visitors spent $1000 a day, which lands near $38,000 once adjusted for inflation. Then again, we’re talking about 2052 dollars, so it might still be pricey, but not exorbitant in 2018 terms. But a clever Redditor spotted that $40,000 is the minimum you’d pay; according to the show’s website, the Gold Package will set you back $200,000 a day.

5. BEN BARNES BROKE HIS FOOT AND DIDN’T TELL ANYONE.

Once Upon a Time’s Eion Bailey was originally cast as Logan but had to quit due to a scheduling conflict, so Ben Barnes stepped in … then he broke his foot. The actor hid the injury for fear he’d lose the job, which is why he added a limp as a character detail. “I’m sort of hobbling along with this kind of cowboy-ish limp, which I then tried to maintain for the next year just so I could pretend it was a character choice,” Barnes said. “But really I had a very purple foot … So walking was the hardest part of shooting this for me.”

6. THE CO-CREATORS RICKROLLED FANS OBSESSED WITH UNCOVERING SPOILERS.

Eagle-eyed fans (particularly on Reddit) uncovered just about every major spoiler from the first season early on, which is why Nolan and Joy promised a spoiler video for anyone who wanted to know the entire plot of season two ahead of its premiere. They delivered, but instead of show secrets, the 25-minute video only offered a classy rendition of Rick Astley’s internet-infamous “Never Gonna Give You Up,” sung by Evan Rachel Wood with Angela Sarafyan on piano, followed by 20 minutes of a dog. It was a pitch-perfect response to a fanbase desperate for answers.

7. IT FEATURES AN ANCIENT GREEK EASTER EGG.

Amid the alternative rock tunes hammered out on the player piano and hat tips to classic western films, Westworld also referenced something from 5th century BCE Greece. Westworld, which is run by Delos Incorporated, is designed so that guests cannot die. Delos is also the name of the island where ancient Greeks made it illegal for anyone to die (or be born for that matter) on religious grounds. That’s not the only bit of wordplay with Greek either: Sweetwater’s main ruffian, Hector Escaton (Rodrigo Santoro), gets his last name from the Greek eschaton, meaning the final event in the divine design of the world. Fitting for a potentially sentient robot helping to bring about humanity’s destruction.

8. JIMMI SIMPSON FIGURED OUT HIS CHARACTER’S TWIST BECAUSE OF HIS EYEBROWS.

Evan Rachel Wood and Jimmi Simpson in 'Westworld'
HBO

In season one, the show’s many secrets were kept even from the main cast until the time they absolutely needed to know. Jimmi Simpson, who plays timid theme park neophyte William, had a hunch something was funny with his role because of a cosmetic change.

“I was with an amazing makeup artist, Christian, and he was looking at my face too much,” Simpson told Vanity Fair. “He had me in his chair, and he was just looking at my face, and then he said something about my eyebrows. ‘Would you be cool if we just took a couple hairs out of your eyebrows, made them not quite as arched?’” Guessing that they were making him look more like The Man in Black, Simpson said something to Joy, and she confirmed his hunch. “She looked kind of surprised I’d worked it out,” he said.

9. THE PLAYER PIANO MAY BE AN ALLUSION TO KURT VONNEGUT.

One of the show’s most iconic elements is its soundtrack of alternative rock songs from the likes of Radiohead, The Cure, and Soundgarden redone in a jaunty, old West style. In addition to adding a creepy sonic flavor to the sadistic vacation, they also may wink toward Kurt Vonnegut’s first novel, Player Piano, which deals with a dystopia of automation where machines do everything for humans, leading to an entrenched class struggle. The show’s resonant elements are clear, but Westworld also mentions that the world outside the theme park is one where there’s no unemployment and humans have little purpose. Like The Man In Black (Ed Harris), the protagonist of Player Piano also longs for real stakes in the struggle of life.

10. THERE ARE TWO JESSE JAMES CONNECTIONS.

Anthony Hopkins and Jeffrey Wright in 'Westworld'
HBO

Anthony Hopkins’s character Dr. Robert Ford is an invention for the new series, and he shares a name with the man who assassinated infamous outlaw Jesse James (a fact you may remember from the aptly named movie The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). The final episode of the first season flips the allusion when Ford is shot in the back of the head, which is exactly how the real-life Ford killed James.

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