Bill Collins is one of the most recognisable film critics in Australia.
His career started in the 1960s and moved through television stations ABC, TCN Channel 9, ATN Channel 7 Sydney, Network Ten and FOXTEL.
In 1977, he published ‘Bill Collins Book of Movies’, where among the 237 pages, he listed his ‘Ten Favourite Movies’.
(Note that, in 2013, to celebrate his 50 years as a film critic, Bill Collins listed his 10 favourite films. That list can be found here)
1/ Gone With the Wind
‘Has the magic to endure. Perhaps we should not try too hard to find the reasons for its undiminished power for fear or laying bare the mechanics which make our spontaneous wonder and joy possible.’
2/ The Wizard of Oz
‘It remains one of the greatest triumphs in movie history. I love it. We should love without shame what we love. Since 1939 there have been many screen fantasies and films with fantasy sequences. None of them has ever come near emulating the artistic, critical and popular esteem of The Wizard of Oz’
3/ Brief Encounter
‘This film is an emotional experience to be treasured forever. I have loved Brief Encounter since I first saw it’.
4/ San Francisco
‘It is a grand show of shows. Hollywood triumphant. The thing is, at least in part, that San Francisco captures the emotions directly and completely with its lack of guile, its simplicity and its optimism.’
5/ Waterloo Bridge
‘There are many romantic films which I love. The film itself is finely assembled. Herbert Stothart’s musical score is beautiful . There are three women’s performances which add so much to the film’s appeal.
6/ Pride and Prejudice (1940)
‘The world in which these characters and others live is beautifully realised in Karl Freund’s black-and-white camerawork. Even down to the minor points – such as finding an appropriate Robert Burns’ song for Mary Bennet to sing and touching on period detail – Pride and Prejudice is a wondrous creation.’
7/ The Philadelphia Story
‘One of the wittiest and sophisticated American comedies ever to come to the screen. I can see The Philadelphia Story again and again without any diminution of enjoyment. This film is unquestionably my favourite screen comedy and can never be placed outside that precious collection of my personal top ten movie experiences of all time.’
8/ Duel in the Sun
‘One of the neglected masterpieces of the American cinema. What a film! It is impossible to explore all its riches in less than three or four viewings – except that its dynamic impact is so overwhelming that remaining detached, in a sense, to examine it is hard to do.’
9/ The Razor’s Edge
‘An appreciation of The Razor’s Edge is dependent on having an open mind, on not underrating the film simply because it is so entertaining.’
10/ The Picture of Dorian Gray
‘The extraordinary artistic temperament and movie style of Albert Lewin is, of course, the overwhelming force