The French Connection
Mark Gill: My Favorite Thriller Movies
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Mark Gill
Producer

The movie that made the earliest impression on me was one I was far too young to see, and that was The Godfather. Since then, and throughout my career, I find I gravitate toward thrillers. Paying homage to this genre was part of the inspiration behind creating Solstice Studios.

1
The Conformist
1970
The Conformist
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In terms of films that I’ve liked over the years, a lot of them have intrigue or thriller written on them. I have to say, my favorite movie is The Conformist, the Bertolucci film. But equally, or right next to it, would be The French Connection.

2
The French Connection
1971
The French Connection
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I’ve always loved The French Connection and want to make something that would be an homage to that. It’s really high-octane, if you will, but also the development of character was really strong. And if I recall correctly, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. [It did, along with Actor, Directing, Editing and Adapted Screenplay Oscars.]

3
Rear Window
1954
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If you don’t pick a Hitchcock movie and you like thrillers, you need to be fired. They’re all amazing, of course, but I found there was something haunting about Rear Window and I couldn’t get it out of my head.

4
No Country for Old Men
2007
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It’s probably mostly about [star] Javier Bardem. That’s just the most amazingly complex, odd, one-of-a-kind character you can ever imagine. I thought he was extraordinary.

5
The English Patient
1996
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The director, Anthony Minghella, was one of the nicest people I’ve ever met, and I thought he created something that was both lyrical and powerful, and boy, that’s hard to do. One or the other, sure, but for me it captured both. I just thought it was extraordinarily beautiful cinema that was mind-blowing. Having been along for the ride—running the marketing of it and getting to work with them was such a privilege—and having it go all the way through to winning Best Picture was quite something.

6
The Godfather
1972
The Godfather
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I have to go back to the movie that inspired me to watch movies, and that I was far too young to be seeing: The Godfather. I don’t know what my parents were thinking, but I’m glad they did it. It was admittedly right up to the edge of what I could handle at 10 years old, but I got through it and I thought it was inspirational.

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