Sunday, July 01, 2007


Dennis is hereby absolved from any glaring omissions from this list

Back in the days when it felt like I had all the time in the world, I used to keep a regularly updated list of my top 10 movies, or favorite directors, or 30 favorite movies, or 50 all-time best movies, or whatever struck my fancy. It had been a long time, however, since I’d really considered (beyond the numbers one and two spots, anyway) what a list of my favorite movies might look like. Earlier this year I was asked to compile a list of my 30 favorite movies, the stipulation being total honesty as to absolute favorites, not necessarily the kinds of familiar titles one might expect to find on a Sight and Sound all-time best list, or even movies I might be tempted to include merely to secure my appearance as a serious film critic, as opposed to some presumably less-serious film fan. The list I came up with included many titles that I’m sure most self-respecting critics would never consider highlighting, and I must admit I experienced a brief pang of post-compilation regret that I hadn’t taken the opportunity to spruce up my list with more scholar-friendly titles. But if I had, that would have missed the point of the exercise and undermined what was valuable and interesting about this sort of list—the peek into what a person who is expected to enjoy and revere Renoir and Ozu and Fellini and Altman first gravitates to when the opportunity for the lights to go down arises.

Falling in Love Again: Morocco

So when I was asked to compile this list of 100 movies you have before you, I approached it in the same spirit, as an opportunity to expand on the seemingly endless roster of films I would naturally include on any list of my favorites. Like my friend Edward Copeland, through whom I became involved in this latest enterprise, I began with a list of nearly 300 movies I jotted down off the top of my head (making sure to include the 30 from the earlier list), which meant that coming up with ideas for titles to include was far easier than whittling down a list by almost two-thirds in order to keeping from severely breaking format. In doing so, I found myself having to be unusually harsh with the oeuvres of directors like Alfred Hitchcock and especially Robert Altman. In order to keep the list from looking like a lopsided endorsement of an entire filmography, I kept myself down to only two Altman titles, albeit essential ones. And regarding Hitchcock, I actually left off more titles (five) than I ended up including (three). While I was not surprised at the number of Brian De Palma films on my final list (four), I was very surprised at the strong showing of Martin Scorsese, who appeared four times with films from a very narrow period of time (1973-1977), even though I was not surprised that some of his most revered titles (Raging Bull, GoodFellas, to name two) stood no chance of making even my top 300. Some might find it odd that there are twice as many films by Michael Ritchie (two) on my list than there are by Preston Sturges, Roberto Rossellini, Stanley Kubrick or Clint Eastwood. And again, there was some surprise on my part that, for a year (1980) that I remember as especially lame (the beginning of a weak decade), there should be so many movies (five) from that year. So, the final result is most probably a list that may be no more useful to the average reader than as a tool for updating their Netflix queue, a reminder of titles forgotten or never seen. It is certainly not any more comprehensive than is my own film scholarship which, despite my advancing age, still has many gaping holes, a goodly portion left yet to be experienced.

But I’ve always thought that an initial list of my 100 favorite films would be a good way for anyone, readers familiar and especially those unfamiliar with the voice occupying this blog, to get a quick and dirty handle on my particular sensibility. I only regret that, in order to get this up and running on time, I had no extra time to rank them in preferential order (a nearly impossible task for me), provide comments, reviews or, in some cases, justifications for some of my choices. (In a couple of cases, those justifications, which will require much more space than a capsule review, will be forthcoming.) So, in that quick and dirty spirit, I offer this list as a stand-alone entry here, and also as part of an ongoing, soon-to-be-announced project. I hope you enjoy it, I hope it drives you crazy, I hope it inspires you to comment on what I included and what I left out, and I hope it reminds you of movies you love as well as movies you have yet to see.


1920s (2)
THE GENERAL (1927; Buster Keaton)
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (1928; Carl Theodor Dreyer)

1930s (9)
MOROCCO (1930; Josef von Sternberg)
CITY LIGHTS (1931; Charles Chaplin)
M (1931; Fritz Lang)
HORSE FEATHERS (1932; Norman Z. MacLeod)
DUCK SOUP (1933; Leo McCarey)
ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939; Howard Hawks)
THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939; Jean Renoir)
YOUNG MR. LINCOLN (1939; John Ford)

Kind Hearts and Coronets

1940s (13)
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940; Howard Hawks)
BALL OF FIRE (1941; Howard Hawks)
CITIZEN KANE (1941; Orson Welles)
THE LADY EVE (1941; Preston Sturges)
SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943; Alfred Hitchcock)
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (1944; Jean Cocteau)
A CANTERBURY TALE (1944; Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger)
OPEN CITY (1945; Roberto Rossellini)
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (1946; Frank Capra)
NOTORIOUS (1946; Alfred Hitchcock)
RED RIVER (1948; Howard Hawks)

Singin' in the Rain

1950s (18)
IN A LONELY PLACE (1950; Nicholas Ray)
SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950; Billy Wilder)
ACE IN THE HOLE (1951; Billy Wilder)
THE AFRICAN QUEEN (1951; John Huston)
BEND OF THE RIVER (1952; Anthony Mann)
IKIRU (1952; Akira Kurosawa)
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (1952; Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly)
THE BIG HEAT (1953; Fritz Lang)
PICKUP ON SOUTH STREET (1953; Samuel Fuller)
TOKYO STORY (1953; Yazujiro Ozu)
SEVEN SAMURAI (1954; Akira Kurosawa)
THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955; Charles Laughton)
THE SEARCHERS (1956; John Ford)
NIGHTS OF CABIRIA (1957; Federico Fellini)
THE TALL T (1957; Budd Boetticher)
NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959; Alfred Hitchcock)

OHAYO (GOOD MORNING) (1959; Yazujiro Ozu)
RIO BRAVO (1959; Howard Hawks)

One Two Three

1960s (11)
ONE TWO THREE (1961; Billy Wilder)
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962; David Lean)
(1964; Stanley Kubrick)
WOMAN IN THE DUNES (1964; Hiroshi Teshigahara)
REPULSION (1965; Roman Polanski)
AU HAZARD BALTHAZAR (1966; Robert Bresson)
THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY (1966; Sergio Leone)
ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1969; Sergio Leone)
THE WILD BUNCH (1969; Sam Peckinpah)

1970s (26)
THE DEVILS (1971; Ken Russell)
DELIVERANCE (1972; John Boorman)

THE GODFATHER (1972; Francis Ford Coppola)
CHARLEY VARRICK (1973; Don Siegel)
EMPEROR OF THE NORTH (1973; Robert Aldrich)THE LONG GOODBYE (1973; Robert Altman)
MEAN STREETS (1973; Martin Scorsese)
AMARCORD (1974; Federico Fellini)
CHINATOWN (1974; Roman Polanski)
THE GODFATHER PART II (1974; Francis Ford Coppola)
ITALIANAMERICAN (1974; Martin Scorsese)
DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975; Sidney Lumet)
LOVE AND DEATH (1975; Woody Allen)
JAWS (1975; Steven Spielberg)
MANDINGO (1975; Richard Fleischer)
NASHVILLE (1975; Robert Altman) *

SMILE (1975; Michael Ritchie)
THE BAD NEWS BEARS (1976; Michael Ritchie)
CARRIE (1976; Brian De Palma)
HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD (1976; Joe Dante & Allan Arkush)
TAXI DRIVER (1976; Martin Scorsese)

HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A. (1977; Barbara Kopple)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK (1977; Martin Scorsese)
1941 (1979; Steven Spielberg)

The Right Stuff

1980s (11)
DRESSED TO KILL (1980; Brian De Palma)
THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (1980; Irvin Kershner)
THE LONG RIDERS (1980; Walter Hill)
MELVIN AND HOWARD (1980; Jonathan Demme)
USED CARS (1980; Robert Zemeckis)
BLOW OUT (1981; Brian De Palma)
BURDEN OF DREAMS (1982; Les Blank)
THE RIGHT STUFF (1983; Philip Kaufman)
THE FLY (1986; David Cronenberg)
PROJECT A PART II (1987; Jackie Chan)
CASUALTIES OF WAR (1989; Brian De Palma)

The high hat: Miller's Crossing

1990s (7)
MILLER’S CROSSING (1990; Joel & Ethan Coen)
UNFORGIVEN (1992; Clint Eastwood)
HARD-BOILED (1992; John Woo)
COBB (1994; Ron Shelton)
JACKIE BROWN (1997; Quentin Tarantino)
THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998; Joel & Ethan Coen)

2000s (2)
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS, THE RETURN OF THE KING (2001-2003; Peter Jackson)
GOODBYE, DRAGON INN (2003; Ming-liang Tsai)

* If I were ranking these by preference, this would be number one, as it has been for about 26 years

THE DIRECTORS (and how many times they ranked on this list)

Howard Hawks (5)

Brian De Palma (4)
Martin Scorsese (4)

Alfred Hitchcock (3)
Billy Wilder (3)

Robert Altman (2)
Joel & Ethan Coen (2)
Francis Ford Coppola (2)
Federico Fellini (2)
John Ford (2)
Akira Kurosawa (2)
Fritz Lang (2)
Sergio Leone (2)
Yazujiro Ozu (2)
Roman Polanski (2)
Michael Ritchie (2)
Steven Spielberg (2)

Robert Aldrich (1)
Woody Allen (1)
Les Blank (1)
Budd Boetticher (1)
John Boorman (1)
Robert Bresson (1)
Luis Bunuel (1)
Frank Capra (1)
Jackie Chan (1)
Charles Chaplin (1)
Edward Cline (1)
Jean Cocteau (1)
David Cronenberg (1)
Joe Dante & Allan Arkush (1)
Jonathan Demme (1)
Jacques Demy (1)
Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly (1)
Carl Theodor Dreyer (1)
Clint Eastwood (1)
Terence Fisher (1)
Richard Fleischer (1)
Samuel Fuller (1)
Robert Hamer (1)
Walter Hill (1)
Tobe Hooper (1)
John Huston (1)
Peter Jackson (1)
Philip Kaufman (1)
Buster Keaton (1)
Irvin Kershner (1)
Barbara Kopple (1)
Stanley Kubrick (1)
Charles Laughton (1)
David Lean (1)
Sidney Lumet (1)
Anthony Mann (1)
Leo McCarey (1)
Norman Z. McLeod (1)
Ming-liang Tsai (1)
Errol Morris (1)
Sam Peckinpah (1)
Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger (1)
Nicholas Ray (1)
Jean Renoir (1)
Roberto Rossellini (1)
Ken Russell (1)
Joseph Sargent (1)
Ron Shelton (1)
Don Siegel (1)
Josef von Sternberg (1)
Preston Sturges (1)
Quentin Tarantino (1)
Hiroshi Teshigahara (1)
Orson Welles (1)
James Whale (1)
John Woo (1)
Robert Zemeckis (1)

As I neared the magic number of 100 movies, these were the last movies to get pruned away:

Audition, Birth, Bringing Up Baby, Bull Durham, Die Hard, Dirty Harry, Do The Right Thing, Dune, Eraserhead, The Haunting (1961), The Incredibles, Island Of Lost Souls, The Kids Are Alright, King Kong, La Cage Aux Folles II, The Man Who Would Be King, The Miracle Of Morgan’s Creek, Mulholland Drive, Rear Window, Secret Honor, Showgirls, Some Like It Hot, Strangers On A Train, A Streetcar Named Desire, Supercop: Police Story III, Top Hat, Ugetsu Monogatari, Viridiana and You Only Live Twice.


Cerb Chaos said...

Can I just say that I'm very happy to find out that someone else likes The Long Riders so much. Walter Hill is pretty amazing

Damian Arlyn said...

Nicely done, Dennis. I like your list a lot. I like how you broke it up by decade, I like how you subsequently mentioned the number of films on your list made by certain directors and I like how you revealed the process by which you arrived at your final list.

However, what I like most of all (as I said to Piper regarding his list) is that you made it absolutely clear from the start what kind of a list you were composing and why you chose to do it that way. I tried to do the same with my list as well because it's a little unclear to me with some people what precisely it is that they are listing: their peronal favorites, the all-time greatest films they've ever seen or some combination of the two?

Anyway, good job. You certainly reminded me of some films I still need to see. :)

Paul C. said...

When I made my top 100-ish list a few years ago, my criteria was a combination of favorite movies and great movies. I started with a list of a couple hundred and then whittled it down by asking the question, "which of these movies are not only great movies, but also movies that I personally love?" And I went from there. I'm actually in the process of adding to my list presently.

Also, judging by one title on your list I'm guessing you won't enjoy this week's When Good Directors Go Bad. Like 1941, it's a movie you've included on this list. I actually like it more than 1941, but I also found it extremely flawed. You'll see what it is when the time comes.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, as always a very impressive list. To be honest I almost threw up when I realized you had to type all this stuff. No wonder you never have time! You need to cut this out Mister!!

Ok, I do have a couple of thoughts about this list.

1) I think you cheated a little. See, by making this list totally objective and not providing any details about why they made the list you give us readers no ammunition to argue a point. Very sneaky.

2) You group them into decades which made this list too damn easy to compile. Now if you have put them in some sort of order number 1 to 100 or 100 to 1 well, that would have been very impressive indeed. Cheater.

Anyway, you know I’m just yankin’ your lariat about this. As always Dennis, you are always entertaining in your writing and you give us admirers a peak into your inner workings. Very nicely done. Now I’m off to firebomb my little blog I started a few days ago. I mean... what’s the point after another impressive post by you.

Larry Aydlette said...

Good list, Dennis. Sorry to say, but I think it's very film-scholarly, 1941 notwithstanding!

giles edwards said...

It's strange, when Offscreen -- -- is calling, perhaps quite rightly for Paul Schrader to enlighten much further on the rationale behind his choices for his controversial canon, I look at this list and it needs no justificaiohn. It makes perfect sense.

The hyperactive train-hopping of "Supercop: Police Story III" jiving up against "Tha Passion Of Joan Or Arc" which is shucking around "The Tall T" which is slow-dancing sultrily with "Blow Out"....'s obvious. This is a list from someone who simply loves cinema in all its glorious permutations. There's no better type.

Anonymous said...

Good list. I differ with your opinions quite often, so I exptected your list to make me say "What the hell!?" more than once, but it didn't.

I am confused about one thing. It's pretty clear from reading your blog that for you Robert Altman is at the top of the heap for you, while Scorsese ranks somewhat lower. So, why limit the number of Altman films on the list to the point where there are actually fewer of his films in your list than Scorsese films? If this list represents your favorites, shouldn't the number of Altmans outstrip the number of Scorseses?

Anonymous said...

Great list, and thanks for also listing the "films that got left off"-- I think, honestly, the fun of these lists is not in claiming some sort of "greatest films of all time" mandate (which, at this point, is both impossible and kind of exhaustingly authoritarian), but instead, giving the reader insight into who you are, and hopefully giving them (ok, us (:) a bunch of new (to us) films to catch up on. But of course, your excellent blog does that with every post, anyway.

Just out of curiosity, as a fellow altman fan-- thanks for including The Long Goodbye, but why no McCabe and Mrs. Miller or Thieves Like Us (or 3 Women, for that matter, or did I just overlook them on your list)?

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Bill, Cinephile, you would think that this list would be top-loaded with Altman, wouldn’t you? But like I said in my introduction, if I gave space to every Altman film that I consider a favorite, well, we’re talking about M*A*S*H, Brewster McCloud, McCabe and Mrs. Miller, California Split, Thieves Like Us, Buffalo Bill and The Indians…, Three Women, Come to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean, Secret Honor, O.C. & Stiggs, Tanner ’88, Gosford Park, The Company and A Prairie Home Companion-- that’s 14 movies to displace. My love for Altman’s films is well documented, as you suggest, and I simply didn’t want my list to be mostly notable as a rehashed Altman lovefest. As for Scorsese, his films are, as an oeuvre, far less important to me, and some of his movies that would show up on many lists similar to this one (Raging Bull, GoodFellas) have no place on mine. (Conversely, somewhere in my top 400 or 500, The King of Comedy, The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun and maybe even Casino are surely free-floating.) But the movies of his that did mean a lot to me, all concentrated in a four-year period, were extremely personal and representative of a certain power that Scorsese, master technician that he is, never held for me in his later films. I thought that was worth noting.

As for the entirety of the list, I’m thinking this is just the beginning. I’m seriously considering taking note of what Sal said and committing myself to writing, however briefly, about each of these choices, in whatever order strikes me, as a way of clarifying, to myself as much as anybody, why I chose what I chose. Some choices (Nashville, The Passion of Joan of Arc, The Searchers) may be more obvious than others (Mandingo), but they ought to all be fun to write about.

Bingo! A method springs from the madness! Thanks, all, for getting me to think about all this just a little bit more than I was able to articulate last night!

Paul C:: How is it that we coincide like this so often?! I can't wait to see what's next! :)

Cerb: Hill is definitely one of my soft spots, but I think The Long Riders is something very special, and I think the western speaks to this director like no other genre. Have you seen Broken Trail?

Damian: Thanks. As Cinephile also said, there's no point in trying to pretend any such list is all-encompassing or that it's any sort of Schraderian attempt at the last word.

And Giles, your comment really made my day, because as I was drifting off to sleep last night, that's the conclusion I came to myself about it-- it's nothing more than a meager attempt to express a love for all aspects of the medium, with the hope of inspiring further interest in some of the titles that might not show up so often.

Shamus: I was hoping to find a picture of myself smoking a pipe whilst wearing cap, gown and tassle, but I came up empty! By the way, I came across a whole stack of papers written for film and other classes while I was digging through old boxes up in Oregon last weekend, and I kept thinking you'd think some of the comments left by teachers were pretty funny. No matter the ultimate yea or nay about the paper itself, there was always some comment that said something to the effect of, "A little long-- could use another run-through or some editing." Talk about my life's recurring motif!

Damian Arlyn said...


When I made my top 100-ish list a few years ago, my criteria was a combination of favorite movies and great movies. I started with a list of a couple hundred and then whittled it down by asking the question, "which of these movies are not only great movies, but also movies that I personally love?" And I went from there.

That's exactly the same criteria I used in the construction of my list, Paul. :)


I think, honestly, the fun of these lists is not in claiming some sort of "greatest films of all time" mandate (which, at this point, is both impossible and kind of exhaustingly authoritarian), but instead, giving the reader insight into who you are, and hopefully giving them (ok, us (:) a bunch of new (to us) films to catch up on.

This is why when I made my list I refrained from calling them the "greatest films of all time" or the "greatest films ever made" (I also happen to think making such a claim is impossible), but rather went with the far safer "greatest films I've ever Seen" label because such a thing is actually possible to say and lacks the authoritarian air you refer to. I could've followed Piper's and Dennis' example in the construction of my list, but I think seeing a person's collection of the greatest films he/she has ever seen can tell you just as much about them as a list of their personal favorites and still give people "a bunch of titles to catch up on" as well.

Phil Dyess-Nugent said...

Wow. That's got to be as convincing as any list that includes "The Devils" could possibly be.

Anonymous said...

How could I have forgotten The Passion of Joan of Arc from my own list?

Joe said...

Hello, viewing guide for the next several months.

Thanks, Dennis.

Derek said...

It was nice to see a few docs on there.... I'm consistently surprised when they're left off. A few that make my list:

Sherman's March (McElwee)
Always for Pleasure (Blank)
Vernon, FL (Morris)
The Plow that Broke the Plains (Lorentz)
Let There Be Light (Huston)
Salesman (Maysles)
Titicut Follies (Wiseman)
The Gleaners & I (Varda)
To Be & To Have (Philibert)

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Ack! To Be and To Have! A very important movie for me, and I completely forgot about it! This is what happens when one relies on, as Cheech and Chong would have it, a brain like a sieve. Consider it number 101, Derek!

Cerb Chaos said...

I actually haven’t seen Broken Trail, mainly because I saw my first Walter Hill movie after it premiered, I tried to catch up on his movies but I haven’t gotten to Broken Trail yet. Should be a treat.

I've been trying to build my own top 100, and even by limiting it to those which I absolutely love, it's pretty hard. I think a list of say, 250 would be the minimum for me, I admire the stick-to-it-iveness it took for you to make this listing, especially considering that you’ve seen more movies then I have.

Anonymous said...

Dennis, I realized Hill was my kind of director while watching the little seen "Wild Bill," which, to my mind, features one of the all-time great performances, from, for my money, the best actor working today, Jeff Bridges.

Although at the time I saw "Wild Bill" I had great affection for Hill's "Streets of Fire" (still do), I was primed to like "Wild Bill" after reading a rave review of the movie from Hal Hinson, then film critic for the Washington Post. (Whatever became of him?)

However, I can't really defend the movie. It wasn't well received, generally, by critics or the public, and I see some structural problems with the film now.

I haven't pulled it off the shelf in ages. Maybe I'd be downright embarrassed to watch it again. I confess that, on Hinson's strong recommendation around the same time, I went to see Sharon Stone's performance in "Diabolique" and realized that I'd been had. Soon Hinson was gone from the paper. But that experience of seeing "Wild Bill" stuck with me.

Bridges really did a bring an intensity -- an edgy volatility -- to the role, and the movie has the last good Ellen Barkin performance until "Oceans 13." Last time I watched it, though, the black-and-white scenes with Bruce Dern didn't play well.

If nothing else, "Wild Bill" has a great, iconic movie poster. Not the revamped image for the video release, but the original movie poster.

Anonymous said...

After reading this list, I tried to make my own list. It is hard to limit the number of films by a single filmmaker, so that three or four directors don't take over.

Also, I got embarrassed by how many of the films on my list were from the last 20-30 years, so I stopped.

Robert Fiore said...

An interesting thing you can do with a compilation like this is what I would call "Nut-Cutting Comparisons." Ranking is generally speaking a pointless exercise, but it gets more meaningful if you take pairs of comparable movies and decide which one you would rank over the other if you had to. Say, for instance, you've decided The Long Goodbye and Chinatown are going to be 11th and 12th -- which of the two do you put on top? The Searchers or Red River? City Lights or Rules of the Game? The Good, the Band and the Ugly or The Wild Bunch? In a Lonely Place or Sunset Boulevard?

Joe Baker said...

Dennis, you're obviously a Michael Ritchie fan, so I was curious as to your thoughts on "Prime Cut". I saw it last week and think it's certainly his best film. "Smile" and "Bad News Bears" are classics, but "Prime Cut" is something else altogether.. nasty, focused, efficient and darkly funny.

Anonymous said...

I can't help it, but I eat up lists like Cheetos. I also couldn't help but make my own list of 100 favorites.

Anonymous said...

Nice. Good to see Notorious.

Though I find it quite funny that you have "Love and Death", but no Bergman and "Burden of Dream", but no Herzog.

I'm really interested in seeing The Devils. What a great still image!

...can't believe you took Die Hard off...and right at the end! I hope you regret it more than any other.

PIPER said...

I like your list very much.

I like how you showed how many times a director was mentioned.

The Long Goodbye is one of my favorite Altman movies. It was on the bubble.

And I was pleased to see The Bad News Bears listed as well. A great, great movie. And while I haven't seen The Devils, it was nice to see a Ken Russell movie listed.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Philip, I associate Love and Death more with Russian literature, but what with those hilarious Persona-esque juxtapositions of Diane Keaton and Jessica Harper at the end, I know what you mean. And The Seventh Seal did almost make the list. It’s just been a long time since I’ve sat down and watched an Ingmar Bergman movie for the sake of pleasure.

As for Herzog, I saw all of his films in college—the proprietors of a local repertory art-house were all self-proclaimed Herzog fanatics—and liked nary a one of them. By the time of Fitzcarraldo, I found Blank’s window on the mind of this authentic madman-genius more fascinating than Herzog’s own films. Now, as an adult, I’ve become fascinated with Herzog anew—I’ve loved all of his documentaries and am on a mission to rediscover films like Aguirre, Kaspar Hauser and Stroszek, movies I have a strong suspicion I will have a greater appreciation for these days. So as much as I imagine that, if and when this list gets revised, a movie like Aguirre might very well be on it, there was no place for it this time around.

I’ve been hoping for a really good Warners or Criterion DVD for The Devils for the longest time, but still no word. It’s a real mind-bender.

And Die Hard, if I’m not mistaken, was somewhere around #103 or #104. After seeing the delightful Live Free or Die Hard, I suspect you’re right!

The Wrong Box said...

I enjoyed the list, and all my comments are in a spirit of fun.

That said, I'm glad the list included A Canterbury Tale and One, Two, Three, both of which are personal favorites of mine. (I just wrote a 38-page paper on 123 a few months ago.) However, I will always be firm in my belief that An American in Paris is a far better movie than Singin' in the Rain, Fail-Safe is better than Dr. Strangelove, and On Her Majesty's Secret Service is an all-time classic and by far the best Bond film.

Oh, and Brian de Palma's best film? Phantom of the Paradise, hands down.

Unknown said...

Great list, Dennis. I love personal lists like this because now I know enough about your tastes to know that I really should check out The Devils and Frankenstein Must Be Destroyed. Maybe even The Bad News Bears. You also inspired me to put up my own top 100 list. I wonder if anybody is collecting a list of these: random people's top 100.

One thing I've noticed about these lists -- they all seem to include The General and one or two other silent films from a list of about ten standards. The General I think makes it because it is probably the most "modern" of the silent classics. But aside from Keaton, I tend to find I enjoy silent films more for the (aesthetic) exoticism of the whole period rather than for their individual qualities, and I wonder if that might not be the reason there's less concensus than, say the movies of the 1950s.

Anonymous said...

I find myself sorely lacking perspective!

In my opinion 'top movie' lists really need blurbs for each of the films, highlighting the major reason for the writer - in as personal language as possible - to include them.

That is what makes these lists not just vaguely entertaining, but engaging and enlightening.

Congratulations on the list regardless, it's no mean feat!

Anonymous said...

Great list, The Passion of Joan of Arc is available online here:
Watch The Passion of Joan of Arc here Free