Paul Duane


Voted for

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia1974Sam Peckinpah
Hard to Be a God2013Alexei German
Mad Max: Fury Road2015George Miller
CURE1998Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Only Angels Have Wings1939Howard Hawks
Suspiria1977Dario Argento
Aguirre, Wrath of God1972Werner Herzog
King Kong1933Ernest B. Schoedsack, Merian C. Cooper
Helpmates1931James Parrott
Mikey and Nicky1976Elaine May


Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

1974 USA, Mexico

The greatest portrayal of toxic masculinity in modern cinema, utterly without hope. Only a destroyed romantic could create such nihilism.

Hard to Be a God

2013 Russian Federation

(see next comment which covers two films)

Mad Max: Fury Road

2015 USA, Australia

Two epic films made by directors in their seventies, two herculean feats of imagination, determination and unstoppable courage, two of the most purely cinematic films ever made.


1998 Japan

Maybe the most frightening thing I’ve ever seen.

Only Angels Have Wings

1939 USA

There's no such thing as a perfect film, but for me, this is a perfect film.


1977 Italy

I can watch this repeatedly, endlessly, despite knowing everything that’s going to happen, and it’s always an extraordinary experience, a waking terror-dreamscape of vivid horrors.

Aguirre, Wrath of God

1972 Federal Republic of Germany

(see following comment)

King Kong

1933 USA

Two films about iconic, oversized monsters, made by men who were/are adventurers as much as they were/are filmmakers. Cinema is rooted in these kinds of adventures and these kinds of adventurers.


1931 USA

Laurel and Hardy are the purest creatures ever captured on film, and they will live forever.

Mikey and Nicky

1976 USA

A film whose greatness and terrible, vertiginous tragedy grows with each viewing. Elaine May has made only four films. That to me is an indictment of modern American cinema.

Further remarks

Only choosing one Howard Hawks film here is something that I will grieve over in the long winter evenings.

I almost substituted Rio Bravo for my initial choice but I can't tear myself away from a deep and abiding love for the fliers of Barranca, and their constant quixotic attempts to escape gravity.

I feel like my love of 'scum cinema' has gone unrepresented here and I very nearly added Last House on Dead End Street, one of the most astonishingly scuzzy and depraved films ever made, but if doing so meant losing Laurel & Hardy, or King Kong, I couldn't do it. So I didn't.