Today is the tenth day of the tenth month of the year 2010. This has absolutely no significance whatsoever (unless you’re the one who really knows the truth about what the CIA is doing to us while we sleep, and then, we’ll see you at the top of MacGregor Hill at midnight), but since we’ll use any old excuse to toss out a list of movies, the numerical oddity is good enough to sink our teeth into 10 films that connect in title alone.
You can also help out in documenting 10/10/10 by heading over to Flickr, another site that’s exploiting the arbitrary, man-made construction of the Julian calendar to bring people together. That’s all we’re trying to do, film lovers.
Without further ado, get your ten on.
10. Ten Little Indians (1965)
The Pitch: In 1939, Agatha Christie wrote a fantastic and fantastically convoluted mystery novel entitled “Ten Little Ni—-s.” The title was changed to “And Then There Were None” to avoid offending American audiences, and a film was made of the project. In 1965, the second adaptation, entitled Ten Little Indians, hit the screen with a few changes to fit the attitudes of the time. Instead of an island, it’s on a mountain (which nods to Christie’s “Mousetrap”). Instead of a solemn spinster, the character is a chic movie starlet. Instead of no sex scenes, there are sex scenes. It switches up considerably from the novel, but it’s still a great (sometimes over-the-top) mystery.
10. The Ten Commandments (1956)
The Pitch: While there are also multiple versions of this tale on film (a connective link!), the most famous by far is the 1956 version featuring Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner (the actor, not the Jamaican bobsledder). It diverges from the Bible a bit, but the snakes and staffs and years in the desert are all still there. If you’ve never seen it, or just want to see the epic again, wait until 4/4/11. It’ll be playing. Trust me.
10. The Ten (2007)
The Pitch: David Wain’s second film is not the funniest movie involving the Ten Commandments (see above), but it boasts a lot of modern comedic star power. That star power sort of goes off the absurdist deep end, but the film also includes Jesus as a South American Lothario, which is never a bad thing. Sadly, it’s far more average than one would hope from the people involved.
10. The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
The Pitch: No one thought there needed to be a sequel to The Whole Nine Yards except maybe a few producers with cash flashing in their eyes. Shockingly, the producers were wrong. A completely unnecessary movie, it earned a staggering 4% positive rating over at Rotten Tomatoes. While a review aggregator is no substitute for taste, it’s still impressive that so many gathered together in solidarity to recognize this movie as the piece of unnecessary pile of unfunny that it is.
10. October: Ten Days That Shook The World (1928)
The Pitch: Sergei Eisenstein had just made a splash with his technical marvel The Battleship Potemkin, and he followed it up by taking a commission to film a version of John Reed’s book about the October Revolution in honor of the tenth anniversary of the event. As we all know from history, the October Revolution was the second part of the major Socialist Revolution in Russia that would lead to the Bolsheviks capturing The Winter Palace in order to take over the capital. Eisenstein himself captures a fictionalized version of the event in stylized glory.
10. American History X (1998)
The Pitch: Didn’t expect Roman numerals, did you? Well deal with it. This movie is phenomenal, grisly, and it launched the career of Edward Norton in earnest. It also stands as one of the largest crimes in Academy Award history when Norton lost the Best Actor statue to, wait for, Roberto “Beautiful Life” Benigni. You couldn’t even just give it to Tom Hanks for Saving Private Ryan? At least that would make sense, and neither Hanks nor Norton would have walked over people to get to the stage.
10. Hitler: The Last Ten Days (1973)
The Pitch: Obi-wan Kenobi as Hitler. Little more needs to be said, but the intensity of the role (even if it’s completely and utterly inaccurate) is unforgiving. Alex Guinness was such a talent, and here, that talent is on display in its full-throated majesty. The movie begins on Hitler’s 56th birthday and takes the story through his suicide in the last days of the Nazi regime, much like the infamous 1955 G.W. Pabst film of the same name minus the Hitler Colon.
10. Jason X (2002)
The Pitch: How do you push the boundaries of a tired, 9-movies-old franchise while attempting not to confuse your audience in case you actually get to make Freddy vs Jason? Send Jason Vorhees to space. As ridiculous as it sounds, the whole movie is a return to the personality of the character (aided greatly by incredible behind-the-mask acting from Kane Hodder). Plus, it has some insane kills, including (but not limited to) a young woman’s face shoved into a basin of liquid nitrogen and then smashed against the counter.
10. Ten (2002)
The Pitch: Abbas Kiarostami is a legendary Iranian filmmaker who has over 40 films to his name. Many of them could be considered masterpieces, and Ten is one of them. It features 10 different stories all told within the confines of a van as a psychologist drives around the city meeting with her clients vehicular-ly. It’s a beautiful narrative of the drama that life deals the people of Tehran, especially the female members of society. Oddly enough, Kiarostami also directed a section for Ten Minutes Older and a documentary about his filming techniques for Ten called 10 on Ten.
10. 10 (1979)
The Pitch: Bo Derek is the perfect woman. It’s no wonder that the squatty Dudley Moore became infatuated with her so fiercely that he’d follow her and her husband on their honeymoon after ditching his own girlfriend (played by Julie Andrews). This movie, besides being funny, iconic, and 10-themed to a tee taught us the important lesson that maturing often means swinging with an insanely hot woman involved in an open relationship in Mexico before returning to the solid foundation of a real relationship. This still holds true to this day.
Good thing they all connected thematically as well, right?