When it comes to a person’s favorite movie, they often try and to learn anything they can about it – whether it’s looking at the cast’s social media platforms to see what it was like behind the scenes or the interviews they give to magazines. However, one of the first things many cinephiles often check out is the cast and crew commentaries.
Cast and crew commentaries provided a rare glimpse into the inner workings of filmmakers that viewers don’t get usually get to see. Directors explaining the motivation of certain shots, lighting, and other creative choices allow fans to have a completely new appreciation for the film. Some of the best commentaries are those that highlight these behind-the-scenes facts while being as entertaining as the film itself.
10 Titanic (1997)
Titanic tells the beautiful love story of Jack and Rose meeting on the ill-fated R.M.S Titanic. The film has remained one of the best romance movies of the 1990s and is celebrated for its amazing effects and immersive storytelling.
James Cameron’s commentary goes into depth about the making of the film, even going into the creation of the title card at the start of the film. Cameron also speaks about visiting the wreckage of the R.M.S Titanic himself and how the footage he captured there is included in the film. For fans of the film, this commentary will definitely answer any questions about the logistics of creating the classic film.
9 Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is a 1999 film focused on an unnamed narrator who starts an underground fight club with a soap salesman called Tyler Durden. However, it spirals into something much darker. It is a complex story with unique characters, which makes the commentary with the cast and director all the more enjoyable to fans.
David Fincher, Ed Norton, and Brad Pitt’s comments on the film add some levity to the otherwise serious movie. They joke around with Fincher about scenes being under-lit and openly laugh at some of their chosen facial expressions. There are also moments where Fincher offers some insight into why he chose certain shots. It is definitely a must-listen for those interested in filmmaking and want to hear the cast and directors have fun as well.
8 Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World (2010)
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is a romantic action comedy based on the comic series by Bryan Lee O’Malley. The film follows Scott Pilgrim as he falls for Ramon Flowers and finds that she has a league of seven evil exes he must face and defeat before dating her. It is a hilarious yet heartwarming story that was done with so much dedication from the creatives on the commentary.
Director & co-writer Edgar Wright, co-writer Michael Bacall, and Bryan Lee O’Malley all passionately talk about their own experiences creating the film from pre to post-production. O’Malley speaks about him being influenced by John Hughes, with Wright and Bacall agreeing how they tried to show the director’s influences in the script. O’Malley may surprise fans of the film when he explains how much of the film is influenced by his life, in particular, Ramona’s first ex being named after his own wife’s ex-boyfriend.
7 Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)
Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring is the first installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. It is the epic adventure of Frodo Baggins to save Middle Earth with a crew of companions by destroying the powerful One Ring. The first film of the series is a favorite amongst fans, as is the cast’s commentary of the film.
The main cast including Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, and more discuss the making of the film. It is such a funny yet informative conversation and it is clear to fans that all of the actors enjoyed being a part of the film. They finish each other’s sentences and expose hilarious behind the scene moments. It is great for fans to hear how the cast appreciates the film just as much as they do.
6 Silence Of The Lambs (1991)
Silence of the Lambs is a psychological thriller following Clarice Starling, a top student at her FBI training academy, and her interviews with serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The film has countless moments that still hold up today and the commentary sheds light on how much research, work, and preparation went into the film.
The discussions that feature on the Criterion Collection editions are unique. It includes commentary from director Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and uniquely an FBI profiler. Hearing the artistic perspective of the cast and crew alongside the real-life experiences of the FBI profiler provide an entertaining yet informative experience for fans of the film.
5 Citizen Kane (1941)
Citizen Kane is a classic film that is about a reporter who is tasked with discovering the meaning behind Charles Foster Kane’s last words. The reporter delves deep into Kane’s past discovering what a complex and impressive life he lived.
Roger Ebert was one of the most respected film critics and he provides such an insightful commentary to this film dubbed to be the best ever made. Not only does Ebert gets into the story and characters but he also has so much technical knowledge of how the film was shot. His passion for the film is evident and viewers are sure to learn so much from Ebert’s commentary.
4 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
This Is Spinal Tap is a 1984 mockumentary following the fictional heavy metal band Spinal Tap. The film satirizes the world of heavy metal and countless rock and roll documentaries. The entire movie is hilarious and the majority of the film was actually improvised by the actors.
What makes This Is Spinal Tap‘s commentary unique is that the actors stay in character the entire time. Fans of the film will love listening along to the actors’ improvise throughout the track. The actors dig into the characters they hate and make fun of Rob Reiner’s fake-looking beard in the film. There are never any dull moments in this track and fans of the film will appreciate it.
3 Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby is a hilarious comedy about Ricky Bobby, a respected Nascar driver, who has to fight to keep his top spot after a French Formula One racer gives him a run for his money. It is such a unique concept but it was sold as a six-word pitch by star Will Ferrell and director Adam McKay.
Will Ferrell, John C. Reiley, and Adam McKay start off this conversation so hilariously and keep up the comedy throughout the entire track. The three go into ridiculous bits including their co-star Molly Shannon actually being a robot and them pretending to be recording it 25 years after the film’s release. It is equally as funny as the film and is sure to become a favorite commentary for fans of the movie.
2 Taxi Driver (1976)
Taxi Driver is about veteran and taxi driver Travis Bickle. Bickle suffers from insomnia and struggles with his mental health which leads him to believe he can help clean up New York City. This “dream” results in him planning to assassinate a presidential candidate.
Martin Scorsese’s and screenwriter Paul Schrader’s commentary for the film is so insightful into their writing and filmmaking process. Schrader’s direct look into the mind of Travis allows audiences to learn about the inner workings and motivations as a character. It is a must-listen track for those who want to hear two different perspectives of a classic film.
1 The Goonies (1985)
The Goonies is a feel-good adventure comedy about a group of local kids who try to save their homes from being destroyed by land developers by going to find pirate treasure. It is a sentimental classic 1980s film that still resonates with audiences today.
The cast of the film reunited in 2001 and recorded this track for the DVD release. Fans learn plenty of behind the scene facts and hear hilarious stories from the cast. Some of these interesting moments were shots taking twelve takes, Sean Astin paraphrasing the story about One-Eyed Willy, and the director’s most frequent direction for the children being “Big eyes!”. It is a sweet commentary that acts as a reunion for the cast and a piece of nostalgia for the fans.