What’s your favorite four-film run from a director?

I’ll admit I’ve only seen that one once, maybe 20 years ago. It is one of those I’m not in a hurry to revisit either.

Granted dropping it off would be no great pain, because that still hits 4 ending with Planes Trains and Automobiles. Also the next year he followed with writing Home Alone which was directed by Chris Columbus, which absolutely would have made the list otherwise.

I hadn’t seen it in years, and had very, very fond memories of that movie from my teen years…

…and then saw it for the first time in decades about three years ago and was just like YIKES. It was definitely an example of how society grows and recognizes – and how I personally have moved along a trajectory. Because I never noticed that stuff before, and now it’s like yeeesh.

This article by Molly Ringwald is an interesting and thoughtful retrospective on those Hughes films:

So I though ‘I should try and do a Speilberg list too’ since I’d seen a few other people take cracks, but come away perplexed.

And, yeah, it’s tricky. Jaws->Temple of Doom is a list of incredible movies… with 1941 in the middle. It’s not bad, but is the kind of screwball comedy that was only ever ok to begin with. (again, I’ve seen it once years ago. It was only looking now I see it is Spielberg, it stands out horribly in the company it keeps)

Always, Lost World, and AI much up an otherwise stellar run from 87 to 2002 as well. I mean Speilberg had a run of nearly 30 years of some tremendous films, but there is always one or two duds perfectly spaced that I can’t quite name a run of 4 films.

I found the same with Spielberg, and I’m not gonna even soften on 1941. It’s terrible. And AI is just a mess. Yeah, he and Scorcese both seem to hit these incredible highs, and then screw up their winning streaks with something like “New York New York”…

I mean, I’m huge Lynchophile, but Wild at Heart and Lost Highway are kind of…lesser Lynch, frankly. He’s a little erratic, as many creative geniuses often are. Not sure he ever quite had a “run”.

I think I’d put Wong Kar-Wai’s run of Fallen Angels, Happy Together, In The Mood For Love, and 2046 up against just about any other director’s whole body of work.

EDIT: This is such a very “Bill Simmons” exercise, btw.

But that leaves out Chungking express and Days Of Being Wild. You’re making Faye Wong sad!

I know, I know, believe me. But then you’d have to include Ashes of Time since we’re just doing “runs” here, which was one of his two rare missteps (along with the rather turgid and unfortunate Blueberry Nights).

Wong’s filmography is near-perfect , but not quite.

Yeah, as I mentioned a bit further up, you can go further back than Prisoners! Incendies is amazing but I’ve not seen Maelstrom or Polytechnique which are meant to be great too.

Good shout with PT Anderson. I adore Magnolia.

@BaggerMcGuirk Thank you! Oh my god, the theme for PeeWee’s Big Adventure (never seen it) has been rattling around in my head for months now (somehow) and I’ve not been able to work out where it’s from. I got close with PeeWee’s TV show but that’s not the same.

I’ve seen AI twice, a long time ago, but both times I enjoyed it way more than most folk seemed to. I’d be interested to know what I make of it now. I’m sure Mark Kermode (British critic) didn’t like it at the time but has softened on it in the years since. Ah yes, here.

Yeah, I haven’t seen all of his earlier stuff, but everything else of his has been rock solid.

And PT Anderson is another one with a nearly flawless filmography in my mind. Any run of four of his would fit.

I’m with you on AI. I saw it for the first time just a year or so ago, and I kind of loved it.

I can see why it would be divisive though. It is a little bit messy.


The Game
Fight Club
Panic Room

You could drop Panic Room for Alien3 if you’re so inclined (I am not).

But that James Cameron arc is hard to beat…

I was going to post that Fincher lineup, since I love Seven, The Game and Fight Club so much. But I’d have to really fudge it to include either Alien 3 or Panic Room. Wish I could ignore Panic Room and go to Zodiac.

I was thinking about this, too. I actually really liked Panic Room, but I’m not sure I could defend it to others. But if he had done Zodiac first, that would be an incredible streak.

Many great runs.

I’ll nominate Billy Wilder with 5 (minor) classics from 1950 - 1955

1955 The Seven Year Itch
1954 Sabrina
1953 Stalag 17
1951 Ace in the Hole
1950 Sunset Blvd.

and Billy Wilder with 3 classics and a cult hit from 1957 - 1961
1961 One, Two, Three
1960 The Apartment (directed by)
1959 Some Like It Hot
1957 Witness for the Prosecution

I’m a big Leone fan. My choice would have been to replace Fistful of Dollars with Duck, You Sucker. It’s the clearly better movie IMHO.

That’s a great run!

Nice! I’ve seen the last three. And looks like they’re on HBO Max! It’s been a long time. I should rewatch them. Double Life looks like it’s only on Criterion channel. I haven’t seen that one.

New York, New York was great. I love that movie, the atmosphere, the music, the two characters. Need to find a copy…

The Draughtsman’S Contract
A Zed and Two Noughts
The Belly of an Archtect
Drowning By Numbers
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife And Her Lover
Prospero’s Books
The Baby Of Macon

That’s a seven movie run in my book. Everyone of it is a favourite of mine.

Then there is Billy Wilder

Some Like It Hot
The Appartment
One Two Three
Irma LaDouce

I haven’t much experience with Ingmar Bargman, but I bet there are 4 great movies in a run. Same with Fellini. Maybe the Kinski movies by Werner Herzog.

I hadn’t thought of him, but you’re right…that Greenaway run is magnificent.

I’d definitely add on Tarkovsky four masterworks:

Andrei Rubelev

And Godard has a simply brilliant 6-film run in the mid-60s.

Bande a Part
A Married Woman
Pierrot Le Fou
Masculin Feminin