One of Stanley Kubrick’s favourite films was White Men Can’t Jump

Christopher Hooton
Monday 15 August 2016 16:04

Stanley Kubrick might be regarded as a visionary, a master, a savant, but he was no elitist.

His favourite films include, yes, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Citizen Cane and Metropolis, but also…1992 basketball comedy White Men Can’t Jump.

The movie forms part of a list compiled by Criterion in 2012 but doing the rounds again this week, and it’s pretty eclectic.

Scraped from interviews with Kubrick’s friends, family and colleagues along with the man himself, it includes (in no particular order): Citizen Kane, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Dog Day Afternoon, Roxie Hart, Hell's Angels, An American Werewolf in London, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Metropolis, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Abigail's Party, Roger & Me and oddly enough Mary Poppins, White Men Can't Jump, Modern Romance and The Jerk.

Kubrick's script will be brought into the screen 16 years after the iconic filmmaker's death

These can be added to a similar list made by BFI in 2013. Here’s some interesting tidbits from it.

Kubrick on…

Ingmar Bergman

"Your vision of life has moved me deeply, much more deeply than I have ever been moved by any films. I believe you are the greatest film-maker at work today" (from letter sent to Bergman in February 1960)

David Lynch

He apparently showed The Shining cast Eraserhead to “put them in the mood” that he wanted to achieve with the film

Federico Fellini

“I know only La Strada [of Fellini’s films] but that is amply sufficient to see in him the most interesting poetic personality of the Italian cinema.”

Roman Polanski

According to a biographer, Kubrick decided to make The Shining because he though Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski) and The Exorcist (William Friedkin) were brilliant and felt compelled to make a horror of his own.

BFI’s ‘Master List’:

1. Henry V

Laurence Olivier

2. Alexander Nevsky

Sergei Eisenstein

3. Le plaisir

Max Ophuls

3. (tie)

La ronde

Max Ophuls

3. (tie)

The Earrings of Madame de . . .

Max Ophuls


Smiles of a Summer Night

Ingmar Bergman

4. (tie)

Wild Strawberries

Ingmar Bergman

4. (tie)

Cries and Whispers

Ingmar Bergman



David Lynch


Beauty and the Beast

Jean Cocteau


La strada

Federico Fellini


Children of Paradise

Marcel Carné

8. (tie)

I vitelloni

Federico Fellini


The Spirit of the Beehive

Víctor Erice



Lindsay Anderson


La notte

Michelangelo Antonioni



Akira Kurosawa

12. (tie)

Seven Samurai

Akira Kurosawa

12. (tie)

Throne of Blood

Akira Kurosawa


The Silence of the Lambs

Jonathan Demme


The Battle of Algiers

Gillo Pontecorvo


Harold and Maude

Hal Ashby



Andrei Tarkovsky


Closely Watched Trains

Jiří Menzel


The Phantom Carriage

Victor Sjöström


Babette’s Feast

Gabriel Axel


Rosemary’s Baby

Roman Polanski


The Bank Dick

Edward Cline


City Lights

Charles Chaplin


Picnic at Hanging Rock

Peter Weir



Andrzej Wajda


The Firemen’s Ball

Miloš Forman


The Vanishing

George Sluizer


Blood Wedding

Carlos Saura


Bob le flambeur

Jean-Pierre Melville

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