Watch: Damon Lindelof Lists Favorite Movies + Advice For Hollywood Hopefuls

A new video featuring Damon Lindelof gives an insight into the mind behind Lost, Star Trek and the next Alien movie. Lindelof has made a video talking about his six favorite films, explaining why each one of them are important to him personally and as a storyteller. Plus in another video, Lindelof offers his advice on how to make it in show business. Check them out below


Damon Lindelof’s Top 6 Flix

Star Trek co-writer/producer Damon Lindelof, describing himself as a "professional nerd" sits in his toy-filled office and lists his six favorite movies (via

The full list (in no particular order) of favorite movies:

  • Touch of Evil (1958)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  • Pulp Fiction (1994)
  • The Shining (1980)
  • Bambi (1942)
  • Godfather II (1974)

Damon’s advice for those who want to make it big in Hollywood

Damon also talks to IamRogue about what it takes to make it in show business. 

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‘Bambi is a very intense movie.’ Oh dear. Perhaps my faith in these guys is misplaced. Besides, where’s TWOK….

My five, off the top of my head, in no particular order and at this precise moment, would be:

a) The Third Man
b) Vertigo
c) Excalibur
d) Solaris (original)
e) Double Indemnity

But there are SO many….

Another classification which stands out for me is best acting. For me it’s Olivier; his best performances, in my mind, are Hamlet and Wuthering Heights.

Touch of Evil? An unusual choice, but a very fascinating choice. Wonder what Roberto’s take on that movie is… Charlton Heston as a Mexican federale and all!

Something Damon would like to remake someday? Its storyline would seem highly relevant again today.

Great choices! Raiders of the Lost Ark is my all-time favorite. Sorry, Khan. :)

I agree with all his choices except Bambi.

10K? I better get back to work.

And Damon, where did this “theological quest” lead you and what have you decided from it all?

Touch of Evil was hard for me to digest, although the opening shot was really cool. The Third Man blew me away when I caught it on TV one late NYC night. Raiders is a masterpiece.

I love how Alec (#1) was upset that Lindeloff failed to name TWOK, but when he listed his top five, he didn’t name TWOK.


Lindelof’s favorites are mostly excellent films, though I find it difficult to accept Bambi and Raiders of the Lost Ark at the same caliber as the others. But then, that’s what personal favorites are about. What I can’t help but notice is a lack of cerebral SciFi, like 2001, Solaris (by Tarkovsky), or even Blade Runner or Star Trek TMP. I also don’t get how you can admire so deeply Touch of Evil and not admire Citizen Kane more (and I’m a confirmed Orson Welles fan, to be sure). I’d list my own personal favorite movies now, but I find it to be an almost impossible task….

A Touch of Evil greatest opening sequence ever. And I have to give him props for throwing Bambi up in there. :)

Everyone loves The Lion King, but save for the music, to me it’s just a lesser remake of Bambi.

Raiders was so over-watched for as kid that eventually the tracking on the VHS stopped working.

Dont get me started on Bambi….

Don’t discount Bambi, guys — it’s one of Disney’s early experiments at ripping your heart out and stomping on it, so it has to count for something.

Not sure why some of you are criticizing him for sharing his PERSONAL favorites. Anyway, here are mine (in no particular order):

-Raiders of the Lost Ark
-North by Northwest
-Once Upon a Time in the West
-Back to the Future
-The Third Man
-The Iron Giant (Yes, like Bambi, an animated film that deals with very adult themes. Also extremely under-rated!)
-The Wrath of Khan

I could go on, but these are my cream of the crop—the ones I’d want with me on a desert island… how I’d be able to watch them is another matter. ;)

Some of my favorites include:

“The Lion King”
“The Wrath of Khan” and “First Contact”
“Terminator 2: Judgement Day”
“The Original Star Wars Trilogy”
“Raiders Of The Lost Ark”
“Forbidden Planet”
“The Day The Earth Stood Still”–Original version
“Superman The Movie”
“Back To The Future”
“Batman”, “Batman Begins”, “The Dark Knight”
“Jurassic Park”
“Spider Man 2”
“District 9”

And I would shoot myself with a phaser if I didn’t include “Star Trek” ’09!
I have so many favorites I cannot possibly list them all!

I love these too:

Runaway Train
The Book of Eli
Deep Rising
Event Horizon
Peggy Sue Got Married
Last of the Mohicans (theatrical release, if you can find it)
Meet the Robinsons

My constantly rotating Top 5 movies:

Superman: The Movie
The Dark Knight
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

I mean, it goes without saying that various Star Treks will be on OUR lists.

We don’t have to renew our oaths every time a favorites list comes up on this site do we?


Well, I threw TWOK into my list because it really is one of my favorites. But, yeah, I see your point. I’m sure if any of us were on that proverbial desert island, we would want all the Trek films with us (yes, even FF and Nemesis).

Oh, and I forgot one:
The Empire Strikes Back

Can’t forget the best Wars movie!

My Top5
– The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (EELV)
– Heart of Glass
– Blade Runner (FC)
– Wings of Desire
– Julien Donkey-Boy

“Pulp Fiction” broke all the rules when it comes to writing a screenplay. The story was not linear, and the dialogue was strange yet came off as natural for the characters. Another film which broke rules regarding writing a screenplay is “MASH.” (1970) Try finding the plot points in that one. Plus you had overlapping dialogue. Maybe not the best way to have characters express themselves but it gave the war satire a dose of reality. MASH and Pulp Fiction are rebellious films.

20 Back to the Future II did a non linear story about 10 years before Pulp Fiction came out.

#19 — cool… Heart of Glass is one of my favorite Herzog movies… (but I think Stroszek may actually occupy that postion, I don’t know). I found Julien Donkey-Boy excruciating to watch, but it’s certainly a powerful film.

#20 & #21 — “Pulp Fiction” is a landmark American film, and I love it to death, but the credit for one of the firsts, if not *the* first, is Last Year at Marienbad, 1961, by Alain Resnais.

#14 — I like that you include Moon. It’s a modern classic, up there with the best cerebral SciFi, in my opinion…. Also, kudos to you for including Forbidden Planet and the original Day The Earth Stood Still in amongst the SciFi Action blockbusters. The soundtrack to Forbidden Planet is the best, ever!

#1 – Bambi is very intense especially to young minds. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking Disney = innocent fluff. It’s a mistake to think that it is a silly cartoon animal film.

Bambi opens up the horrors of the world to a child. It is brutally truthful and honest.

Listen again to what Lindelof says in the feature.

Bambi is masterpiece of cinema. Of any art form.

The First Son of Krypton

Great Choices, and good sound advice. I can only hope one day I can be a screenwrite :)

My choices;
1. Inception
2. The Undiscovered Country
3. Star Trek (It was fun!)
4. The Godfather parts 1 and 2
5. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers
6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
7. 2001
8. Blade Runner, the Final Cut
9. Alien
10. Reservoir Dogs

8. Captain Realistic – November 12, 2010 You got my little joke. Seriously, though, I enjoy TWOK as much as any of the five I’ve listed. Really, TWOK (and indeed Solaris (original), 2001, and Soylent Green) is a very good sci-fi film. But I tried to have variety with my five choices: The Third Man is a great film noir with Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten; Vertigo is a great mystery romance thriller with James Stewart and directed by my favourite director, Mr Hitchcock; Excalibur is the definitive film of the King Arthur legend, based on Le Morte d’Arthur; Solaris is an intellectual sci-fi film based on Lem’s excellent philophical novel; and double imdemnity is another classic film noir. The five I’ve listed are inter-subjectively great films, regardless of who you are, really. But TWOK is a great film – if you are a Trekkie: you know and love the characters and the universe. Otherwise, it’s just very good. It isn’t directed by, nor does it star or feature, any of the Hollywood greats. There are so many great films; too many to mention all. But a few key additions come to mind: Rear Window, Psycho, The Thirty Nine Steps, North by Northwest, Notorious (Hitchcock); Judgement at Nuremburg (starring, in a minor role, a certain Bill Shatner pre-Trek); The Conversation; Where Eagles Dare; Charade; Chinatown; High Noon; Rashomon; Ben Hur, Spartacus; Casablanca; The Great Escape; Wuthering Heights, Hamlet (Olivier) etc…………….. If you haven’t seen any of the above, I would… Read more »
9. 4 8 15 16 23 42 – November 12, 2010 I actually think that TWOK is far more cerebral than TMP. People think that a slow film, devoid of action, is a more likely candidate for a cerebral film than a quick, action-packed film. Perhaps that’s because some of the most cerebral sci-fi films are slow films devoid of much action: Solaris (original) and 2001 are prime candidates. But it doesn’t necessarily follow. TWOK had a truly great, cerebral story. The film is book-ended by the opening and closing passages of a Tale of Two Cities; and the story, following the structure of Paradise Lost, with obvious references to Moby Dick, takes our heroes through life, and death, together. When the film opens, Kirk is in a mid-life crisis: he feels old and worn out. (Here, the filmmakers chose to tackle the subject of our heroes’ advancing years head-on.) As the story progresses, and Kirk faces his old nemesis whom he thought far gone from his life, this feeling of inadequacy grows. It’s only through chance and circumstance, through knowing something more about starships than Khan that saves Kirk’s blushes as the old Admiral is ambushed. Then Kirk confronts his long-lost son and becomes further depressed: lamenting on a life that could have been, but wasn’t. In the meantime, Khan shows up again and maroons Kirk on a barren moon. Kirk once more cheats himself out of death and prepares for the final show-down with Khan. Kirk wins the… Read more »

Some of the pictures that do represent my personal, mental canon of the cinematic arts:

Modern Times (1936) / The Grapes Of Wrath (1940) / Spartacus (1960) / A Patch Of Blue (1965) / Network (1976) / The China Syndrom (1979) / Missing (1982) / Daughters of the Dust (1991) / Quiz Show (1994) / Lone Star (1996) /Beloved (1998) / Miracle at St. Anna (2008)

Non-US Films:
Battleship Potemkin (Bronenosets Potyomkin, USSR, 1925)
Bicycle Thieves (Ladri di biciclette, Italy, 1948)
Shônen (Boy, Japan, 1969)
What Did You Do In The War, Thanassi (Ti Ekanes Sto Polemo, Thanasi, Greece, 1971)
Furyo – Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (UK/Japan, 1983)
Sarraounia (Burkina Faso, Mauritania, France, 1986)
White Page (Page Blanche, Cambodia/Switzerland, 1991)
Willow and Wind (Beed-o Baad, Iran/Japan, 1999)
J.S.A.:Joint Security Area (Gongdong Gyeongby Guyeok, South Korea, 2000)
At Five In The Afternoon (Panj E As, Iran/France, 2003)

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

My top ten list of all time fav movies. Non Trek of course.

1. Mr Roberts.
2. The Final Countdown.
3. The Dirty Dozen.
4. The Shootest.
5. They Died with there Boots on.
6. Singing in the Rain.
7. The Hunt for Red October.
8. Clear and Present Danger.
9. Star Wars 3.4.and 5
10. Cloe Encounters of the 3rd Kind.
There are so many but that’s my top 10. Of course any and all Trek Movies are my all time Favs.

#1 My dad, out of the blue, wanted to see Excalibur when it came out. For him it seemed like an odd choice being more “old School” in his tasts of movies. He asked if I wanted to go and of course I did. It was my first R rated movie as well and I remember being scared that they wouldnt let me in cause I was under 17. lol Needless to say I liked it, he thought it was just “ok”.

#20 #21

Stanley Kubrick did a nonlinear story with “The Killing” (1956) long before “Pulp Fiction.”

When making my list of favorite movies I don’t usually put this one in either. It was good, but it’s not in my top ten lists. I would put it as number 11.

my top 10 right now is (not in order though)

8. UP

Okey, so I had to round out my favorites with some animated fair and childhood favorites. I’m as GUY as a they come, but those of you who have seen it, you can’t tell me that the lost little kitty mewwing for his pal OTIS didn’t make you cry. I know it did, admit to it.

Also, THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE, is lots of fun, and so underrated by everybody. I’m a huge sherlock holmes fan, and so loved this mousian take on it.

The rest of my choices are pretty self evident, and of course TWOK is #11 at this exact point in time. so there you have it, my humble top ten list.

Oh, and I almost forgot (not a top ten but….) as childhood favorites with memories attached go….THE BRAVE LITTLE TOASTER, come on, that movie had, like, mystical qualities when I was a kid. loved it

The Killing was a very interesting movie.

De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves was a very very powerful depiction of life in postwar Italy. One of the most powerful films I’ve ever seen.

La Dolce Vita, also powerful. I just love that ending.


Agreed! The Great Mouse Detective is very under-rated! Right up there with Brad Bird’s The Iron Giant.

“Bambi” redefined my world as a child, showing that evil existed in a form previously unknown. I remember my parents renting the video and explaining the circumstances to me in my living room – I was horrified. To this day, I am forever thankful to my parents that they did not coose to rent “Ole’ Yeller”. Life is so cruel at times.


@ 22

“Stroszek” is great but I put many Herzog movies before it.
Right after “Heart of Glass” I put “Fata Morgana” and “Nosferatu – The Vampyre”.

And then it continues with “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” and “Woyzeck”.
Further than that I consider – depending on the mood – “Signs of Life” and “The Wild Blue Yonder” pretty much as strong as “Stroszek”.

“Julien Donkey-Boy” is Harmony Korine’s strongest film but I also love “Gummo”.
JD-B has dark and sad moments but it is also hilariously funny most of the time!

And to conclude my post I put my Top10 since most of you guys listed at least ten:
– The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (EELV)
– Fata Morgana
– Heart of Glass
– Nosferatu – The Vampyre
– Blade Runner (FC)
– Wings of Desire
– Alien³
– Gummo
– Julien Donkey-Boy
– Tarnation

Capt Mike of the Terran Empire

Oh yes. At #11 it would be one of my faves. Old Yeller. Loved and Hated the Movie. Hated it because of the ending. Almost as sad as when Edith Died and Spock said to MCcoy. He Kows Dr. He Knows.

Here are a few of the other favorites of mine I forgot to mention:

“The Shawshank Redemption”
“The Matrix”
“The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy”
“Kill Bill” 1 and 2
“28 Days Later”
“28 Weeks Later”
“The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly”
“Dirty Harry”


Well said about “The Wrath Of Khan”!


“Alien 3”?

I’ll throw in as well..

My favorites:

The Dark Knight
Galaxy Quest
Finding Nemo

Raiders changed my life!

Raiders changed my life! Godfather, Taxi Driver, Jaws, Pick ofDestiny, Fantasia, Star Wars, Funny Girl(love Babs)

Here are some of my favorites, as in if someone is playing it in my vicinity, my afternoon is gone

…I admit not all are necessarily technically “the best” movies:

CLASH OF THE TITANS (1981 version. accept no substitutes!)
FLASH (ah!-aaahhh!) GORDAN
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (only during that special time of year, of course)

I’ll stop now before I list every movie in my collection. :P

I saw Bambi at 4, in a theatre, and was so torn up that it’s the only Disney movie I’ve never wanted to watch again (yet still remember every second, 35 years later). That’s gotta say something. I should probably watch it now, or get some therapy.

@35. dmduncan – November 13, 2010

I certainly agree with you about “The Killing”.

Regarding “La Dolce Vita”, to be honest at this moment my recollections of the film do seem rather hazy. I remember seeing the picture on television as a teenager and feeling (quite self-righteously) repulsed by both the overall setting and by some of the characters´ actions. However, in order to form any kind of substanciative opinion, I would have to re-watch first.

45. gingerly – November 13, 2010
The Vikings – is that the one with Kirk Douglas? I’ve been to the castle featured in that film – in France. A good film with good battle scenes and memorable music.


Having thought about my fickle choices again, if I place a premium on simple subjective enjoyment and meaning, TWOK would feature very, very highly in my top 5. As a fan of Trek, it’s influenced me in many ways as well as giving me lots of enjoyment. I’ve seen it more times than any of the films I’ve mentioned in any of my posts. The more I think about it, the more I should have included it. My joke rebounded on me…

P.S., on the subject of Khan, has anyone read the novelisation? Is it good?

“Paths of Glory” is another excellent film. Early Kubrick is a bit under-rated, his later works a bit over-rated… but only slightly.

And I do mean only slightly! 2001 is the closest thing to pure art in film that I’ve ever seen.

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