This just in: 'Citizen Kane' is the No. 1 movie of all time. That shocking news is brought to us by Britain's venerable Sight and Sound magazine, the American Film Institute, and a host of others. It's to the point where you don't even have to bother reading them to know who's No. 1.
No longer. We at the Monitor are going to compile a list Orson Welles has no chance of winning. To wit: The Great Guilty Pleasure List. This is a movie that you are embarrassed to admit you love while in the company of film snobs, but that holds you spellbound every time it's on cable.
A few tips to get you started: If the movie is in black and white or has subtitles, chances are good it's not a guilty pleasure. (There are exceptions: Hong Kong martial arts extravaganzas totally qualify.) If the movie has won an Oscar for anything other than Best Sound, it probably won't elicit the elitist ridicule necessary to make our Top 10. "How Green Was My Valley" is not a guilty pleasure. "Howard the Duck" is. "The Big Sleep," not so much. "Big Trouble in Little China," definitely. Anyone mounting a passionate and credible defense for "Ishtar" or "Waterworld" will get a personal thank-you from the editor.
To get the reel rolling, I'll reveal my choice, a movie that caused one of my best friends to pause in dismay before saying, "You really like that movie?" Another pause. "Oh dear." My candidate is a lush romance set in California's wine country starring ... Keanu Reeves as a candy salesman. I own "A Walk in the Clouds," and I'm not embarrassed to admit it (well, maybe a little). E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org by Sept. 13 with your entries. And remember, there's no shame here. Sometimes, "the heart wants what the heart wants."