Monday, November 30, 2009

Top 100

At the suggestion of MovieMan, who thought it might be interesting to see what a complete Top 100 for me would look like, I have attempted the near impossible task of ranking 100 favorite movies. I took the basis of the ordering of my Year's Best selections, then interspersed films that were not included in the countdown. Trying to gauge exactly where these other films fit was interesting, resulting in a number of selections in the countdown being bumped entirely from the Top 100. I did change the ordering of the original 79 films, leaving them as I ranked them on Saturday. All that I did was add others that, for whatever reason, were not able to be chosen as the top film of their specific year. For ease in spotting which films I added, I've put additions in bold.

Needless to say, doing something of this nature is like splitting hairs. There are movies ranked in the 40s or 50s in this list that at another time could be near my Top 10. So, the only criteria used was what I'm feeling as my favorite at the moment. But, as I said in my last post, I love trying to do stuff like this - particularly making lists of this sort at various times, comparing them to how I ranked things in the past.

Maybe this is milking the Year's Best out even further, but I enjoyed trying to do this... and it's my blog, so that's good enough of a reason! :) Oh, and in the comments section I might discuss what I might be doing next with the blog (of course it's going to be oriented toward some sort of ranking or countdown).

1. Rear Window (1954, Hitchcock)
2. Goodfellas (1990, Scorsese)
3. Sweet Smell of Success (1957, Mackendrick)
4. The Godfather (1972, Coppola)
5. JFK (1991, Stone)
6. Out of the Past (1947, Tourneur)
7. The New World (2005, Malick)
8. Casablanca (1942, Curtiz
9. Rio Bravo (1959, Hawks)
10. The Conformist (1970, Bertolucci)
11. The Lady Eve (1941, Sturges)
12. Kiss Me Deadly (1955, Aldrich)
13. Apocalypse Now (1979, Coppola)
14. Unforgiven (1992, Eastwood)
15. The Godfather Part II (1974, Coppola)
16. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007, Dominik)
17. Army of Shadows (1969, Melville)
18. Angels With Dirty Faces (1938, Curtiz)
19. Trouble in Paradise (1932, Lubitsch)
20. Psycho (1960, Hitchcock)
21. Mafioso (1962, Lattuada)
22. Raging Bull (1980, Scorsese)
23. The Big Lebowski (1998, Coens)
24. All About Eve (1950, Mankiewicz)
25. The Apartment (1960, Wilder)
26. Gone With the Wind (1939, Fleming)
27. Le Samourai (1967, Melville)
28. Mulholland Dr. (2001, Lynch)
29. Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid (1973, Peckinpah)
30. Criss Cross (1949, Siodmak)
31. To Be or Not to Be (1942, Lubitsch)
32. Back to the Future (1985, Zemeckis)
33. Modern Times (1936, Chaplin)
34. Sherlock, Jr. (1924, Keaton)
35. Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Leone)
36. The Killers (1946, Siodmak)
37. Sunset Boulevard (1950, Wilder)
38. Days of Heaven (1978, Malick)
39. The Searchers (1956, Ford)
40. The Killing (1956, Kubrick)
41. L.A. Confidential (1997, Hanson)
42. Touchez pas au grisbi (1954, Becker)
43. Rebecca (1940, Hitchcock)
44. The Last of the Mohicans (1992, Mann)
45. Hamlet (1964, Kuzintsev)
46. Red River (1948, Hawks)
47. Pulp Fiction (1994, Tarantino)
48. M (1932, Lang)
49. Lost Highway (1997, Lynch)
50. Henry V (1989, Branagh)
51. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946, Wyler)
52. I Walked with a Zombie (1943, Tourneur)
53. The Conversation (1974, Coppola)
54. The Thin Man (1934, Van Dyke)
55. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989, Allen)
56. Lost in Translation (2003, Coppola)
57. In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)
58. Double Indemnity (1944, Wilder)
59. Lone Star (1996, Sayles)
60. The Roaring Twenties (1939, Walsh)
61. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, Leone)
62. The Asphalt Jungle (1950, Huston)
63. The Thin Red Line (1998, Malick)
64. A Place in the Sun (1951, Stevens)
65. The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Demme)
66. Fitzcarraldo (1982, Herzog)
67. Madame de... (1953, Ophuls)
68. The Burmese Harp (1956, Ichikawa)
69. Dr. Strangelove (1964, Kubrick)
70. The Innocents (1961, Clayton)
71. Citizen Kane (1941, Kane)
72. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971, Altman)
73. Scarlet Street (1945, Lang)
74. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, Huston)
75. On the Waterfront (1954, Kazan)
76. Persona (1966, Bergman)
77. The Palm Beach Story (1942, Sturges)
78. Rififi (1955, Dassin)
79. Black Robe (1991, Beresford)
80. Zodiac (2007, Fincher)
81. El Verdugo (1963, Berlanga)
82. The Letter (1940, Wyler)
83. The Remains of the Day (1993, Ivory)
84. Amadeus (1984, Foreman)
85. Schindler's List (1993, Spielberg)
86. Miller's Crossing (1990, Coens)
87. Downfall (2004, Hirschbiegel)
88. A Star is Born (1937, Wellman)
89. The Rules of the Game (1939, Renoir)
90. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986, Allen)
91. Chinatown (1974, Polanski)
92. Mr. Klein (1976, Losey)
93. Repulsion (1965, Polanski)
94. Au Revoir les Enfants (1987, Malle)
95. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Spielberg)
96. Aguirre, The Wrath of God (1972, Herzog)
97. Flame & Citron (2008, Madsen)
98. Casque d'or (1952, Becker)
99. Diabolique (Clouzot, 1955)
100. The Steel Helmet (1950, Fuller)


  1. Very interesting as always - quite a few I haven't seen. This is a worthwhile exercise if only because it allows you to revisit and re-evaluate the great films you have seen.

    I was thinking of posting my own top 50 (To be honest I haven't seen 100 great films and I wouldn't want to devalue the list).

  2. This is really interesting...

    So many great films that you ahd left out in the countdown. Thanks for the list and kudos for the courage to actually make such a tough list.

    Dave, I can't imagine how you can top this countdown now (look at the scope of it!), but looking forward to whatever you are up to. My guess is that you are going to narrow down and have another kind countdown - best of each genre or the top films of a single genre or something along those lines...

  3. Wow! THE NEW WORLD checked in very high, and you gave us a clue to what would head up the 2000's list. So manygreat films, such a distinguished list! I will be copying this for sure, and whn the all-time poll is conducted this will course be an invaluable reference. You have a great blend of the classic and the contemporary too! This is a true labor of love.

  4. So Sherlock Jr. is your favorite silent film. That's not a bad choice, and the silents are the obvious next direction for you to go in. Could we see a top list of those from you at some point? My own such list would be heavy on Keaton and Lang, but I won't say more until the time is right....

  5. Stephen - Give it a shot... it's a fun exercise, even if you never feel certain about any list like this. I could rearrange mine right now in certain spots!

    JAFB - The top of a genre was what I was thinking of... leaning toward doing like a Top 50 noirs, or maybe westerns. I don't know, just kind of thinking out loud with stuff. Samuel brings up a good idea, doing silent films, but I don't know that I've seen enough to do something like that just yet. Plus, Wonders in the Dark is going to move to silents after they complete the 1990s countdown.

    Sam - Definitely a labor of love, and as you know, one that could change any second. There are movies like Gone With the Wind that if you asked me tomorrow would be in my Top 10.

    Samuel - Yes, Sherlock Jr. is my favorite. I only saw it for the first time about two months ago and I felt like I had discovered a completely new world. The only Keaton I had seen to that point was The General, which I know is often considered his best, but it did not blow me away at first. ALTHOUGH, I now see a glaring omission from my list -- THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC should be on there somewhere. It contends with Sherlock Jr. as my favorite.

    As for moving to the silents, I would be up for it if I knew enough to do it, but I'm not sure that I do. Plus, WitD is moving that direction next also and folks like Allan and Sam are much more versed in the area than I am.

  6. Wow, Dave. You tackled another monumental task. I enjoyed reading your rankings and your changes from various years, as some of those changes reflect my own personal favs.

    One small correction: Raoul Walsh, and not Wlm Wellman, directed THE ROARING TWENTIES. Even Horace nodded on occasion, so you're in good company. :)

  7. Um. I meant HOMER nodded on occasion. I did it, too!! It's contagious. J/k.

  8. Good eye, CagneyFan! I wouldn't be surprised there are typos... the eyes start to blur after staring at lists of numbers for so long! :) Speaking of that great one... it would be my second favorite Cagney film behind only Angels With Dirty Faces.

  9. Really enjoyed reading this - interesting to see what just missed the cut. I love that Last of the Mohicans is so high up there. Also interesting to see Zodiac. Looking forward to the next list (by the way, I like you am waiting until Allan finishes the pre-1930 countdown - which is apparently going to be 100 films and 100 also-rans - before launching my own list.

  10. Hi. My own list is up Dave.

    The only thing that annoys me about these lists is the potential hundreds of great films that one hasn't seen and may never find out about.

  11. Great list and many that are on my own which I have not finalized and am not sure what I will do with it once it is. Of course, lists like this are a constantly moving target, as you state yourself, new films get added, opinion changes, etc.

  12. Great list, Dave, and I'll be fascinated to see what you do next - my problem with making any kinds of lists is that I find any film I haven't seen recently tends to fade in my memory a lot so I'm not at all sure how to rank them! I also agree with Stephen that I keep on building up lists of more and more great movies I haven't seen yet. But that's a good thing really.

  13. Hey goodfelladh, what up!! Congrats with your blog dude, it's pretty amazing.
    You know I started up my own blog but was already too lazy after the Welcome post to do any more. Great to see you're still up and watching lots of movies.... I am too atm and have seen some more films that have really impacted me a lot (most notably The Apartment and It's A Wonderful Life).

    It's fun to see your Top 100 after all this time, it hasn't changed that much I see. I myself finally got around to watch Sweet Smell Of Succes and it's great! Though I'm not sure I'll ever forgive you for bumping down Les Diaboliques so much. Also, what up with the severe lack of Capra -It's A Wonderful Life (more like It's A Wonderful Movie) and It Happened One Night need to be recognised! Not to mention the complete lack of Paul Thomas Anderson :(

    But on the other hand I'm happy to see L.A. Confidential so high. That's good stuff, one of my all time favourite movies.

    Anyway, I noticed on your blog that there aren't any labels for Mann (only for Michael Mann who I don't like that much). Have you seen any of his work? If not you really should, especially Railroaded!, Raw Deal and T-men. I think you'd dig.

    So keep on truckin', I'll pop in some time soon.

    PS. Vertigo > Rear Window. yeah you heard me!

  14. Tom - Good to see you stop by. You're wrong on Vertigo, but we'll leave that one alone! :)

    As you probably remember, the only PTA that I really like is There Will Be Blood. With Capra, I also really like It's a Wonderful Life but it just misses the Top 100 for me. You've got to remember in making a list like this, there are tons of great films that are going to be left off... doesn't mean I don't like them, just had to make some cuts.