The ‘Great’ Film List

A few weeks ago, I talked about a list I have compiled in order to get a good idea of what are considered ‘great’ movies. Since I keep mentioning it to people, I figured I’d share the top of the list.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I’ve combined the lists provided by Empire, imdb, and AFI. I gave a score weighted to favor imdb over Empire and AFI over imdb. For movies that did not make it onto the imdb top 250, I took the rating provided by the site and determined a ranking. It is not a perfect method to score the films since Empire is rated by their readers, imdb is rated by a combination of critics and their readers (as far as I could tell), and AFI is determined by some people in a back room. But I figure the combination of the three diminishes any bias toward one or the other.

As you can see, I’ve made a major dent in the top 60 of the list. I borrowed GF II from my father and have been holding off watching it until we have a night where I don’t have other films rented. I’ve started running into films that the local video store doesn’t have. There is another rental store in town that carries lesser known films and I may need to start going there. What you see below is the bulk of the movies I intend to see. My goal is to see the top 100 of each list along with all those in the ‘movie literate’ list and all the ‘Best Pictures’. That puts my current ‘to see’ list at 150 films. Yes, it’s a monumental task. But it’s fun and I’ve seen some excellent films so far.

For reference on the list below: those marked with a (*) are those I have not seen yet; those with an (x) are on the ‘movie literate’ list; and those with a (y) are Academy Award Best Picture winners. After the top 100, I included all of the movie literate and Best Picture winners not in the top 100.

1 The Godfather 1972 y
2 Casablanca 1942 xy
*3 The Godfather Part II 1974 xy
4 Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981
5 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 1977
6 Shawshank Redemption 1994
7 Apocalypse Now 1979 x
8 Pulp Fiction 1994 x
9 Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back 1980 x
10 GoodFellas 1990 x
11 Schindler’s List 1993 xy
12 Citizen Kane 1941 x
13 Fight Club 1999 x
14 The Dark Knight 2008
15 Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 x
16 Taxi Driver 1976 x
17 Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 x
18 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1967
19 Singin’ in the Rain 1952 x
20 Chinatown 1974 x
21 Psycho 1960 x
22 Raging Bull 1980
23 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 2001
24 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 2003 y
25 2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 x
*26 The Third Man 1949 x
27 Some Like It Hot 1959 x
28 Sunset Boulevard 1950 x
29 A Clockwork Orange 1971 x
30 Vertigo 1958 x
31 The Matrix 1999
32 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 xy
33 Seven Samurai 1954 x
34 Jaws 1975 x
35 Alien 1979 x
36 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991
37 The Apartment 1960 y
38 Back to the Future 1985
39 Aliens 1986
40 The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers 2002
41 12 Angry Men 1957
42 The Usual Suspects 1995
43 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest 1975 y
44 On the Waterfront 1954 xy
45 The Shining 1980
46 Rear Window 1954 x
*47 The Treasure of Sierra Madre 1948 x
48 Gone with the Wind 1939 xy
49 Blade Runner 1982 x
50 North by Northwest 1959 x
51 Die Hard 1988
52 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid 1969
53 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
*54 Heat 1995
55 The Silence of the Lambs 1991 y
56 American Beauty 1999 y
57 Annie Hall 1977 xy
58 L.A. Confidential 1997
59 Oldboy 2003
60 The Graduate 1967 x
61 The Big Lebowski 1998
*62 Double Indemnity 1944 x
63 Reservoir Dogs 1992
64 Donnie Darko 2001
65 Once Upon a Time in America 1984
66 Seven 1995
*67 The Great Escape 1963
68 Batman Begins 2005
69 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi 1983
70 Amadeus 1984 y
*71 The 400 Blows 1959 x
72 It’s a Wonderful Life 1946 x
*73 8 ½ 1963 x
*74 Yojimbo 1961
75 The Bridge on the River Kwai 1957 y
*76 Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949
*77 Pan’s Labyrinth 2006
78 To Kill a Mockingbird 1962
79 Saving Private Ryan 1998
80 Stand by Me 1986
81 City of God 2002
*82 Touch of Evil 1958 x
83 The Sting 1973 y
84 Memento 2000
85 Toy Story 1995
86 The Night of the Hunter 1955 x
*87 Network 1976
*88 Andrei Rublev 1969
89 Unforgiven 1992 y
*90 The Wild Bunch 1969 x
91 The Wizard of Oz 1939 x
*92 His Girl Friday 1940
93 Gladiator 2000 y
*94 Paths of Glory 1957
*95 Manhattan 1979
96 Amélie 1999
*97 Rosemary’s Baby 1968
98 Cool Hand Luke 1967
*99 Come and See 1985
*100 The Hustler 1961
Forrest Gump 1994 y
* La Dolce Vita 1960 x
* Tokyo Story 1953 x
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial 1982 x
The Departed 2006 y
Fargo 1996 x
* M 1931 x
* Bicycle Thieves (The Bicycle Thief) 1948 x
Duck Soup 1933 x
Platoon 1986 y
* The Rules of the Game 1939 x
The Maltese Falcon 1941 x
Dances with Wolves 1990 y
No Country for Old Men 2007 y
* A Man for All Seasons 1966 y
* The Searchers 1956 x
* Breathless 1960 x
It Happened One Night 1934 y
* All About Eve 1950 xy
* The Exorcist 1973 x
* Rashomon 1950 x
The French Connection 1971 y
Blue Velvet 1986 x
* The Best Years of Our Lives 1946 xy
Braveheart 1995 y
* Scarface 1983 x
* Rebecca 1940 y
Monty Python and the Holy Grail 1975 x
* Carrie 1976 x
Midnight Cowboy 1969 y
* Rocky 1976 y
* Dirty Harry 1971 x
* Modern Times 1936 x
* The Deer Hunter 1978 y
* Battleship Potemkin 1925 x
Ben-Hur 1959 y
* The Manchurian Candidate 1962 x
* The Lady Eve 1941 x
Rain Man 1988 y
* Metropolis 1927 x
A Streetcar Named Desire 1951 x
* Un Chien Andalou 1929 x
The King’s Speech 2010 y
* All Quiet on the Western Front 1930 y
* The General 1926 x
Slumdog Millionaire 2008 y
* Mad Max 2 1982 x
Patton 1970 y
* Rebel Without a Cause 1955 x
Million Dollar Baby 2004 y
* Night of the Living Dead 1968 x
* The Big Sleep 1946 x
* Days of Heaven 1978 x
* Bringing up Baby 1938 x
Do the Right Thing 1989 x
* Gandhi 1982 y
* Bonnie and Clyde 1967 x
* Persona 1966 x
* Frankenstein 1931 x
Titanic 1997 y
From Here to Eternity 1953 y
The Sound of Music 1965 y
* Halloween 1978 x
* Mutiny on the Bounty 1935 y
* My Fair Lady 1964 y
* A Hard Day’s Night 1964 x
* Children of Paradise/Les Enfants du Paradis 1945 x
* Trouble in Paradise 1932 x
West Side Story 1961 xy
The English Patient 1996 y
* Intolerance 1916 x
* Nosferatu 1922 x
* Out of the Past 1947 x
* Aguirre, the Wrath of God 1972 x
* The Lost Weekend 1945 y
* The Day the Earth Stood Still 1951 x
* The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie 1972 x
* You Can’t Take it With You 1938 y
In the Heat of the Night 1967 y
A Beautiful Mind 2001 y
* Crash 2005 y
An American in Paris 1951 y
* Easy Rider 1969 x
* The Scarlet Empress 1934 x
* Red River 1948 x
* Repulsion 1965 x
* How Green Was My Valley 1941 y
* Hamlet 1948 y
Ordinary People 1980 y
* The Big Red One 1980 x
* A Star is Born 1954 x
* Wings 1927 y
* The Last Emperor 1987 y
* The Hurt Locker 2009 y
* Nashville 1975 x
* Grand Hotel 1932 y
* Mrs. Miniver 1942 y
* Marty 1955 y
Kramer vs. Kramer 1979 y
* It’s a Gift 1934 x
* Blowup 1966 x
* All The King’s Men 1949 y
Bambi 1942 x
* Oliver! 1968 y
* The Life of Emile Zola 1937 y
* Going My Way 1944 y
* Gentlemen’s Agreement 1947 y
Terms of Endearment 1983 y
* Driving Miss Daisy 1989 y
The Crying Game 1992 x
Shakespeare in Love 1998 y
* Chariots of Fire 1981 y
Chicago 2002 y
* The Great Ziegfeld 1936 y
* Tom Jones 1963 y
* Out of Africa 1985 y
* Gigi 1958 y
* Around the World in 80 Days 1956 y
* The Greatest Show on Earth 1952 y
* A Broadway Melody 1929 y
* Cavalcade 1933 y
* Cimarron 1931 y
* Pink Flamingos 1972 x

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~ by Frank on August 2, 2011.

7 Responses to “The ‘Great’ Film List”

  1. I have not seen some of those either. From the first 100:

    27 Some Like It Hot 1959 x
    28 Sunset Boulevard 1950 x
    32 Lawrence of Arabia 1962 xy
    44 On the Waterfront 1954 xy
    48 Gone with the Wind 1939 xy
    *76 Kind Hearts and Coronets 1949
    80 Stand by Me 1986
    86 The Night of the Hunter 1955 x
    *92 His Girl Friday 1940
    98 Cool Hand Luke 1967

  2. What a fantastic project. I highly recommend viewing 8 1/2 next from your list. It’s a film for film-lovers. Next time we hang out let’s talk film. I’ve seen a fair number of these and would love to dish with someone who’s recently seen so many. Please keep tweeting these too.

  3. mare: I remember from past movie memes that you’ve seen so many of these great movies. That’s impressive to have missed only 10 out of the top 100.

    Patrick: I have 8 1/2 rented so I’ll see it this week if not tonight. It has been fun seeing so many of these. I used to just check out the new releases and forget about the rest. Yes, we’ll definitely have to compare notes.

  4. I know, I see way to many movies. Not that I remember them all; it happens that I see movies twice because the description on Netflix doesn’t ring a bell at all.

    Oh and some of those 90 movies I didn’t finish, despite them being so great. 8 1/2 is one of them. At the time I saw it I just didn’t like it, maybe that has changed now. Also I didn’t completely see Andrei Rublev because the projector in the cinema broke after 2 hours. Never went back to see the last hour, even though I got a free pass.

  5. I didn’t include those that I saw only part way. I watched 8 1/2 last night. It was interesting, but it didn’t quite see what made it exceptional. I’ve been trying to read up on it since. I think I saw Rocky, but I’m not positive. I’ve usually used imdb to watch their trailers and the synopsis to see if I may have already seen them. Wikipedia does a decent job also.

  6. Frank, you seem to be a little noir deficient, so I’d recommend you see “The Third Man,” “Touch of Evil” and “Double Indemnity” immediately. Great films.

    Thanks for the list. It’s a good reference.

  7. Thanks. Those three are at or near the top of my list. My local video store doesn’t have ‘The Third Man’ on DVD, just Blue Ray. And every time I check for ‘Double Indemnity’, it’s not there. I suspect it is lost or misplaced somewhere else in the store. I recommend ‘Oldboy’. That was one of the better ones I’ve seen lately.

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