Let's start with the Movies. Like so much else in life, a movie is a subjective experience. We bring to the viewing experience our past, our opinions and our mood at the time. Sometime we will hate a movie only to watch it again years later and love it. Similarly, we may fall in love with a movie only to wonder what we were thinking years later. What makes this genre endure, however, is the movies that we fall in love with and stay in love with throughout our lives. Many of mine are represented in this list.
So, here we go:
100: Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
99: There Will Be Blood (2007)
98: All About My Mother (1999)
97: Diner (1982)
96: Sullivan's Travels (1941)
95: Rushmore (1998)
94: Brokeback Mountain (2005)
93: A Face In The Crowd (1957)
92: The Piano (1993)
91: Do The Right Thing (1989)
A good start, but none of these bottom ten rank as among my favorites. Diner is fun to watch now because all the famous faces in it were unknowns at the time. Brokeback Mountain, for whatever reason, didn't speak to me as it did to so many others. Having said that, the scene at the end with the shirt moved me to tears. The Piano is one of the most overrated films of all time. Worth a watch once to see a ten-year-old Anna Paquin show that she was born knowing how to act, but otherwise a dreary movie.
90: The French Connection (1971)
89: Woodstock (1970)
88: The Dark Knight (2008)
87: La Dolce Vita (1960)
86: All About Eve (1950)
85: Dirty Harry (1971)
84: Olympia (1938)
83: The Wild Bunch (1969)
82: Scenes From A Marriage (1973)
81: Blade Runner (1982)
I love Woodstock, but rarely watch it. I will throw it into the DVD player when I doing things around the house just to listen to the music. La Dolce Vita is the single most boring movie I have ever seen, seconded only by Scenes From A Marriage. The French Connection, Dirty Harry, and Blade Runner, although not among my favorite movies, are all fun as hell.
80: Dazed and Confused (1993)
79: Night of the Living Dead (1968)
78: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
77: Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
76: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
75: Touch of Evil (1958)
74: The Hurt Locker (2009)
73: Cabaret (1972)
72: The 400 Blows (1959)
71: American Graffiti (1973)
Raiders of the Lost Ark, as Mark says in his review, is a perfect movie. I have lost count of the number of times I have watched it. Harrison Ford at his best. Dog Day Afternoon is an acting tour de force. Lawrence of Arabia is another one that I believe is overrated. Speaking of Harrison Ford, American Graffiti is not a great movie, but it is fun to watch now to see all the famous faces as unknowns.
70: L'Avventura (1960)
69: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
68: GoodFellas (1990)
67: Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
66: The Shining (1980)
65: Last Tango in Paris (1973)
64: The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
63: Network (1976)
62: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
61: The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
I recently re-watched GoodFellas; it is still brilliant. Last Tango in Paris was one of the first times I disobeyed a direct order from my parents. My best friend and I snuck in to see the movie and were shocked by the sex; it is much less shocking now that both sex scenes and I have grown up. Is it possible to not love E.T.? I literally hid beneath under my blanket while watching The Silence of the Lambs. Terrifying.
60: Top Hat (1935)
59: All the President's Men (1976)
58: The Seventh Seal (1957)
57: Midnight Cowboy (1969)
56: Schindler's List (1993)
55: Frankenstein (1931)
54: Breathless (1960)
53: Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
52: Titanic (1997)
51: A Hard Day's Night (1964)
All the President's Men is in my top ten. Brilliant acting and a story that, although you know the ending going in, still manages to ramp up the tension. Plus, it's all true! Schindler's List is another brilliant film. Worth watching for the credit sequence at the end that reduced me to an emotional puddle. I love all three of the first Star Wars movies. Titanic is romantic fun; not sure I would have put it this high up the list (better than GoodFellas, for example?).
49: Goldfinger (1964)
48: It Happened One Night (1934)
47: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
46: The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
45: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
44: On the Waterfront (1954)
43: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
42: Taxi Driver (1976)
41: The Road Warrior (1981)
Goldfinger is the only Bond film to appear on the list. I don't know them all that well, but would be interested in hearing from those of you who do if you agree. It Happened One Night is my favorite romantic comedy of all time because, you know, Clark Gable. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is another favorite because, you know, Jimmy Stewart.
40: Double Indemnity (1944)
39: The Rules of the Game (1939)
38: Vertigo (1958)
37: Manhattan (1979)
36: Rosemary's Baby (1968)
35: Apocalypse Now (1979)
34: Adam's Rib (1949)
33: The Graduate (1967)
32: Duck Soup (1933)
31: Chinatown (1974)
These ten interest me simply because of where they fall on the list. They are all good movies, but only Apocalypse Now would I say is one of the greats.
30: Sunrise (1927)
29: North by Northwest (1959)
28: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
27: The Maltese Falcon (1941)
26: Bicycle Thieves (1948)
25: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
24: The Sound of Music (1965)
23: Notorious (1946)
22: Toy Story (1995)
21: Some Like It Hot (1959)
Now, we're beginning to get to those movies that most critics and viewers alike consider the best of the best. The Sound of Music was the first movie I ever saw and I still love it. Toy Story is in my top ten.
20: The Sorrow and the Pity (1969)
19: Pulp Fiction (1994)
18: Jaws (1975)
17: Seven Samurai (1954)
16: Singin' in the Rain (1952)
15: Blue Velvet (1986)
14: Bambi (1942)
13: Annie Hall (1977)
12: The Searchers (1956)
11: King Kong (1933)
Another good list for the second ten. Jaws scared me so much, it kept me out of the ocean for two whole days. That was saying something when I was a kid. Singin' in the Rain is my favorite musical, ever. Blue Velvet, I must admit, I have never been able to get through. It is too intense for me.
We have finally made it to the Top 10:
10: Gone With the Wind (1939)
-- Certainly in my top ten because, once again, Clark Gable. Plus, Vivien Leigh gives the performance of her career. One of the few films I would argue is better than the book.
9: Nashville (1975)
-- A very good movie, but not one of my favorites.
8: The Gold Rush (1925)
-- This movie is simply divine. Nearly a century later, it still makes me laugh out loud. I believe that this is Chaplin's best performance.
7: Mean Streets (1973)
-- Early Scorsese that proves just how masterful he is at making us care about truly horrific people.
6: It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
-- I've already written about why I love this movie so much.
5: Psycho (1960)
-- This movie is scary, scary, scary. It is also so iconic, there is currently a TV series showing us the backstory.
4: Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
-- Even all these years later, I am shocked by the level of violence in this film. Wonderful acting and direction make this one to watch.
3: Casablanca (1942)
-- Certainly in my top ten, both Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman are magnificent in this film. One of the few where the ending makes me smile in spite of the fact that our couple does not end up together. Redemption doesn't come much better than this. "We'll always have Paris." Yes, indeed.
2: The Godfather (1972)
-- I would argue that this is the best film ever made. Coppola managed to get career defining performances from just about every male in Hollywood worth watching. The violence can be tough to take, but watching Pacino become the man in charge is as compelling as anything I have ever seen.
1: Citizen Kane (1941)
-- This is the film that is always listed as the best. Yes, there are some wonderful shots and some wonderful moments. Overall, however, this movie is a bore that goes on for far too long. I went to see it on the big screen a couple of years ago, hoping that I would finally discover what it is so that so inspires filmmakers and critics about this movie. I did not.
So, there they are. What do you think? Did they forget any (like Forrest Gump, the only one in my top ten not included)? Is your favorite listed? If so, where? Do you agree or disagree with the top ten? And, please, do let me know where you think I have missed the boat entirely.
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