My Submission to the Childhood Countdown

I happen to be taking a look at Aaron West’s Criterion Blues blog and noticed his recent posting of his Adolescence and Childhood film list that he submitted for the upcoming Countdown over at Wonders in the Dark. I have been participating in WitD’s annual Countdown series for a few years, actually since it first began and thought wow, why haven’t I done this before. So I am borrowing Aaron’s idea (it’s possible some other participant(s) has done this in the past, if so, I am unaware) and posting my own submission.

As mentioned, this year’s countdown is on favorite films about Childhood. Now these are not children or young adult films pumped out by Disney or whomever. They are films that are about childhood or have a significant role by a young person. This, as usual brought up a lot of discussion between participants (emails were flying!) on just what constitutes a film about childhood,  and where does childhood end and adulthood begin. In others words, just because there is a child in the film, it does not qualify as a film about childhood. My own thoughts, and what I used as a guideline were childhood ends with the end of one’s high school years, generally seventeen. My second guideline was there had to be a significant role by a young individual that was important to the storyline. Subsequently, you will find a film like Shane, a western whose plot is more about  the Van Heflin, Alan Ladd and Jack Palance interplay than the young boy. But the young boy’s role is an important part in the film. We see much of what happens through his eyes. You will also note that I included Mildred Pierce which I don’t believe anyone else submitted. Mildred Pierce, a film about childhood? Well, Veda, played by a thirteen year old Ann Blyth, is significant to the story, and we all know about how young vile, uncaring, self-centered  teens who believe the world revolves around them can be and Veda is a poster girl for vile.

Anyway, whether one agrees with my choices or not, below is my submission which will be tabulated with all the other entries. A final list will be compiled with a review by one participant posted each weekday until the complete list of 60 films are revealed. The Countdown will started sometime in June.

1-Au Revoir les Enfants

Aurevoir2-The Last Picture Show


3-Forbidden Games


4-To Kill a Mockingbird


5-Cinema Paradiso


6-Night of the Hunter


8-The 400 Blows

9-The Fallen Idol

10-Little Fugitive

11-Murmur of the Heart

12-American Graffitii




16-Lacombe, Lucien


et-movie18-Mon Oncle Antoine

19-Bicycle Thieves

20-Hope and Glory

21-Rebel without a Cause

22-Wild Boys of the Road

23-City of God

24-A Christmas Story

25-Stand By Me

26-Lord of the Flies

27-Empire of the Sun

28-Paper Moon


29-The White Ribbon

30-The Spirit of the Beehive

31- The Kid

32-Dead Poet’s Society

33-The Wanderers

34-Billy Elliot

35-Oliver Twist

36-The Window

37-River’s Edge



40-Deep End

41-Little Manhattan

42-Beast of the Southern Wild

43-Rumble Fish

44-East of Eden

45- The Outsidersoutsiders-015

46 – Little Miss Sunshine

47 Walkabout


50-Teacher’ Pet (Out Gang)

51-Heavenly Creatures

51-The Secret of Roah Inish

53-Cooley High


55-The Curse of the Cat People


57-How Green Was My Valley


59-The Miracle Worker

60-Mildred Pierce



This entry was posted in Lists.

6 comments on “My Submission to the Childhood Countdown

  1. aaronwest says:

    That is a beautiful list and we share a number in common, notably an appreciation for Malle films. He really had a sensibility of exploring childhood. This was my first contribution to the list series, but most certainly not the last.


  2. John Greco says:

    Thanks Aaron! Malle tackled a variety of subjects, but childhood seemed to the thread that synchs many of his films. I thought about adding “Pretty Baby” to my list.


  3. Great list – we share many entries, and it was your list the inspired me in that monumental email chain to submit my own. I will probably also be following suit and publishing my list on my blog when it gets closer to WitD’s kick-off of the countdown.


    • John Greco says:

      Thanks David! I saw your list in Sam’s emails and as always an excellent list of entries. Look forward to your posting.


  4. […] Click here to see John Greco’s fabulous list at Twenty Four Frames. […]


  5. Sam Juliano says:

    A very great list of course and one I was thrilled to have for tabulation!! Amazing how much our tastes coincide John!! And what a spiffy presentation here!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s