Rupert Pupkin Speaks: My Favorite "Guys on a Mission" Movies ""

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My Favorite "Guys on a Mission" Movies

After listening to Josh Olson's wonderful commentary on the trailer for William Friedkin's film SORCERER over at TRAILERS FROM HELL(a site which Dennis Cozzalio speaks highly of here), I find myself yet again inspired. Inspired not only to show that film to my son this week(we watched Frankenheimer's THE TRAIN last week so this will be a perfect follow-up) but also to quickly write up a list of my favorite "Guys On a Mission" films. Lots of great films with this set-up so there will be some I miss. Most of these tend to end up being war movies. Seems like teams are often assembled to pull something off in a war situation. I'm opting out pf putting the most well known films of this genre on the list(THE DIRTY DOZEN, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE GUNS OF NAVARONE & BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI) in the interest of promoting some other favorites of mine. I expanded the time period and genre base so I could include some oddballs...

1. SEVEN SAMURAI(1954; Akira Kurosawa)
SORCERER(1977; William Friedkin)
THE TRAIN(1964; John Frankenheimer)
WHERE EAGLES DARE(1968; Brian G. Hutton)
RUN SILENT RUN DEEP(1958; Robert Wise)
TO BE OR NOT TO BE(1942; Ernst Lubitsch)
7. DARK OF THE SUN(1968; Jack Cardiff)
THE PROFESSIONALS(1966; Richard Brooks)
EASTERN CONDORS(1987; Sammo Hung Kam-Bo)
10. KELLY'S HEROES(1970; Brian G. Hutton)
11. THREE KINGS(1999; David O. Rusell)

12. CONDORMAN(1981; Charles Jarrott)

13. IRON EAGLE(1986; Sidney J. Furie)

14. HIGH ROAD TO CHINA(1983; Brian G. Hutton)

15. ICE STATION ZEBRA(John Sturges; 1968)


Brian Padian said...

great list brian. what about heist movies - rififi, asphalt jungle, the killing - etc. also, i know you love sorcerer but what about 'wages of fear'?

Rupert Pupkin said...

Yeah I thought about including heist movies as they certainly are mission movies, but thought I'd save them all for a separate list. I can tell you know that THE KILLING would probably be my #1. I like WAGES OF FEAR quite a bit yes, just opted not to include it as I was including SORCERER on this list. Certainly people should see both though if they've not seen them.

sleestakk said...

Really great list and of all your lists the one that has the most blindspots for me (not surprising considering the caliber of film here - translation: I watch more bad films than good). This will be a nice list to check off as I watch. Thanks!

(and no shit from me on Condorman! Truly fun film that fits the theme)

Rupert Pupkin said...

Very curious to hear your thoughts on these as you see them! Been watching waay more bad films than good films lately(I go in phases). Might turn around soon...
So glad you're a CONDORMAN fan too. I have shown it to some friends and they have been less than impressed. I really think nostalgia plays a HUGE part in that one. Even had one friend fall asleep out of boredom sprawled out on the floor while watching it. Very unfortunate. We have since adopted the phrase "He CONDORMAN-ed that movie".

Unknown said...

A lot people aren't crazy about it, but I recently caught up with and enjoyed THE MUTANT CHRONICLES which certainly fits the "guys on a mission" genre. Decent pulpy fun.

Aaron said...

I've been going through your archives and checking out all of your lists and I've been digging it so far. Awesome stuff! We should do a top five sometime! As for Guys On A Mission... I'll have to get back to you on that one, but I'll definitely try to think of a few. It's far too early for any sort of thinking at the moment.

SteveQ said...

I was going to question why Wages of Fear was overlooked, but I see I'm late.

btw, since it otherwise would seem made up, the 3 films where someone's beaten to death with their own arm: "The Monster and the Stripper," "Deadly Prey" (1987), "Evening of the Flesheaters."

Rupert Pupkin said...

JD-I've heard good(and by good I mean bad) things about THE MUTANT CHRONICLES. Just added it to the queue!
AARON-Thanks so much man! Glad you're digging the lists! I just can't stop making them! Would love to do a top 5 with you at some point for sure!

STEVE-Thanks so much for the "Beaten with an arm" film list. I've seen DEADLY PREY(which is amazing), but hadn't heard of the others. Now they must be seen. Loved your cavewoman list btw!

SteveQ said...

How about The Blues Brothers Movie - they were on a mission from God! And many war pics fit the category: The Dirty Dozen, The Great Escape, etc. Both Fitzcarraldo and the Burden of Dreams (in fact, all Herzog films) are obsessive man on a mission films.

Rupert Pupkin said...

BLUES BROS is a good one. I'm not as big a fan of it as many(not that I don't like it, just don't watch all that often). DIRTY DOZEN & GREAT ESCAPE I noted leaving off specifically, but yeah they fit the bill absolutely.
FITZCARROLDO is a great call! What a mission!

Drew McIntosh said...

I've always thought Sorcerer was severely underrated, though I still much prefer the masterful original.

Also good call on Where Eagles Dare, big fan of that one. nice list!

Rupert Pupkin said...

Thanks Drew! More people need to see both SORCERER and WAGES OF FEAR! Love WHERE EAGLES DARE. Are you a fan of DARK OF THE SUN? if you haven't seen it, I think you'd like it.

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