With his blockbuster Spider-Man trilogy now on Netflix, now feels like a great time to look at the other movies Sam Raimi, the acclaimed director, considers his favourites of all time.
Throughout his incredible career, Sam Raimi has impacted the landscape of modern cinema in innumerable ways. In addition to the pioneering Evil Dead franchise that influenced the frameworks of horror cinema, Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy and his approach to the superhero genre changed the modern cinematic spectacle forever. Apart from the highly successful projects, even Raimi’s missteps – such as Crimewave – are now seen by fans as cult classics.
Last year, Raimi returned to the world of superhero movies with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which ended up becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year. While his directorial style is quite versatile, the influence of his favourite films is often evident in most of his works. During a conversation with Rotten Tomatoes, the Evil Dead director opened up about the cinematic masterpieces that changed his life.
To set the ball rolling, Raimi cited the complex drama of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre: “One of my favourite films is The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, which John Huston directed. Tim Holt, Humphrey Bogart and Walter Huston. I love how it’s a story of friendship and how greed corrupts that friendship and destroys it. But, by the end, there’s some coming out of it, some healing by the Tim Holt character.”
While talking about his favourite directors, Raimi named Alfred Hitchcock: “I’ve always been a fan of Hitchcock, and I love his shorthand. He’s a masterful storyteller, and one of the reasons, to me, is how well he understands the language of film and how little he has to do to communicate an idea. Also, I love his great respect for the audience. He knows he can give them so little and that they can put together so much. I’m very impressed with that.”
In addition to selecting Psycho as one of the greatest films ever made, Raimi elaborated on his love for Hitchcock’s sense of humour. He continued: “And his great, brilliant sense of humour. I love how funny he is. He must have been the funniest actor in Hollywood in the late ’50s and early ’60s. When I see his cameos and his most incredibly, hysterically droll performances in Alfred Hitchcock Presents, there’s nobody I can think of who would have been funnier.”
Raimi also spoke about his appreciation for the Coen brothers’ 1998 masterpiece The Big Lebowski, claiming that the hilarious neo-noir completely blew his mind. Often counted among one of the most influential American movies from the ’90s, The Big Lebowski’s unique comedic style inspired multiple generations of directors.
“It took me so by surprise,” Raimi admitted. “And I’m not sure whether it’s for personal reasons or simply that the film is so hysterically funny, but they’re just such brilliant — what’s the word for someone who observes? — sponges of dialect and people and character and the way that people sound and what’s so absurd about everything. It’s just one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. So many great moments, so brilliant. I love their sense of humour and their filmmaking style. And Mr Bridges’s performance is incredibly great.”
Check out the fill list below.
Sam Raimi’s favourite films:
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1948)
- The Big Lebowski (Coen brothers, 1998)
- Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)