101 Movies meme.

I saw it at Julie's. Below the fold is a list of 101 movies that the movie-intelligensia think you should have seen in order to have an intelligent discussion about film.

I have bolded the movies I have seen. As well (though I'm adding this part), I'm italicizing movies I have officially "seen" but know that I fell asleep in the middle of seeing them. (Most of these are post-sprog rentals.) And (one last modification), I'm putting an asterisk next to the ones that arguably have something like scientific content (even if peripheral).

Feel free to tell me, in the comments, which of the ones I haven't seen I ought to move to the top of the viewing list.

*"2001: A Space Odyssey" (1968) Stanley Kubrick
"The 400 Blows" (1959) Francois Truffaut
"8 1/2" (1963) Federico Fellini
"Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (1972) Werner Herzog
*"Alien" (1979) Ridley Scott
"All About Eve" (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
"Annie Hall" (1977) Woody Allen
"Bambi" (1942) Disney
"Battleship Potemkin" (1925) Sergei Eisenstein
"The Best Years of Our Lives" (1946) William Wyler
"The Big Red One" (1980) Samuel Fuller (Seen half of it.)
"The Bicycle Thief" (1949) Vittorio De Sica
"The Big Sleep" (1946) Howard Hawks
*"Blade Runner" (1982) Ridley Scott
"Blowup" (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
"Blue Velvet" (1986) David Lynch
"Bonnie and Clyde" (1967) Arthur Penn
"Breathless" (1959) Jean-Luc Godard
*"Bringing Up Baby" (1938) Howard Hawks
"Carrie" (1975) Brian DePalma
"Casablanca" (1942) Michael Curtiz
"Un Chien Andalou" (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali
"Children of Paradise" / "Les Enfants du Paradis" (1945) Marcel Carne
"Chinatown" (1974) Roman Polanski
"Citizen Kane" (1941) Orson Welles
*"A Clockwork Orange" (1971) Stanley Kubrick
"The Crying Game" (1992) Neil Jordan
*"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) Robert Wise
"Days of Heaven" (1978) Terence Malick
"Dirty Harry" (1971) Don Siegel
"The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie" (1972) Luis Bunuel
"Do the Right Thing" (1989) Spike Lee
"La Dolce Vita" (1960) Federico Fellini
"Double Indemnity" (1944) Billy Wilder
*"Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb" (1964) Stanley Kubrick
"Duck Soup" (1933) Leo McCarey
*"E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982) Steven Spielberg
"Easy Rider" (1969) Dennis Hopper
*"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980) Irvin Kershner
"The Exorcist" (1973) William Friedkin
"Fargo" (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen
"Fight Club" (1999) David Fincher
*"Frankenstein" (1931) James Whale
"The General" (1927) Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman
"The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II" (1972, 1974) Francis Ford Coppola
"Gone With the Wind" (1939) Victor Fleming
"GoodFellas" (1990) Martin Scorsese
"The Graduate" (1967) Mike Nichols
"Halloween" (1978) John Carpenter
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964) Richard Lester
"Intolerance" (1916) D.W. Griffith
"It's A Gift" (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
"It's a Wonderful Life" (1946) Frank Capra
*"Jaws" (1975) Steven Spielberg
"The Lady Eve" (1941) Preston Sturges
"Lawrence of Arabia" (1962) David Lean
"M" (1931) Fritz Lang
"Mad Max 2" / "The Road Warrior" (1981) George Miller
"The Maltese Falcon" (1941) John Huston
*"The Manchurian Candidate" (1962) John Frankenheimer
*"Metropolis" (1926) Fritz Lang
"Modern Times" (1936) Charles Chaplin
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975) Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam
"Nashville" (1975) Robert Altman
"The Night of the Hunter" (1955) Charles Laughton
*"Night of the Living Dead" (1968) George Romero
"North by Northwest" (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
"Nosferatu" (1922) F.W. Murnau
"On the Waterfront" (1954) Elia Kazan
"Once Upon a Time in the West" (1968) Sergio Leone
"Out of the Past" (1947) Jacques Tournier
"Persona" (1966) Ingmar Bergman
"Pink Flamingos" (1972) John Waters
"Psycho" (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
"Pulp Fiction" (1994) Quentin Tarantino
"Rashomon" (1950) Akira Kurosawa
"Rear Window" (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
"Rebel Without a Cause" (1955) Nicholas Ray
"Red River" (1948) Howard Hawks
"Repulsion" (1965) Roman Polanski
"Rules of the Game" (1939) Jean Renoir
"Scarface" (1932) Howard Hawks
"The Scarlet Empress" (1934) Josef von Sternberg
"Schindler's List" (1993) Steven Spielberg
"The Searchers" (1956) John Ford
"The Seven Samurai" (1954) Akira Kurosawa
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952) Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
"Some Like It Hot" (1959) Billy Wilder
"A Star Is Born" (1954) George Cukor
"A Streetcar Named Desire" (1951) Elia Kazan
"Sunset Boulevard" (1950) Billy Wilder
"Taxi Driver" (1976) Martin Scorsese
"The Third Man" (1949) Carol Reed
"Tokyo Story" (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
"Touch of Evil" (1958) Orson Welles
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" (1948) John Huston
"Trouble in Paradise" (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
"Vertigo" (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
"West Side Story" (1961) Jerome Robbins/Robert Wise
"The Wild Bunch" (1969) Sam Peckinpah
"The Wizard of Oz" (1939) Victor Fleming

More like this

If you really fell asleep in the middle of Fight Club (though I find it hard to believe this is possible!) you really owe it to yourself to remedy that situation. This is a fantastic movie.

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" (1951) Robert Wise

See this one. It's good, and there are references to it everywhere.

Also, see "Brazil," even though the movie intelligensia haven't blessed it as a movie that you must see. Then again, pay no attention to me, because I'm clearly not qualified to have an opinion about film, given this list. (I probably have fewer bolded entries than you.)


Stange list, no Clint Eastwood and lots of great classics seem to be missing, I dunno, like Network and then of course LotR (I mean even if you didn't like it...)

First rule for falling asleep in the middle of Fight Club is: you do not talk about falling asleep in the middle of Fight Club.

RE: Brazil, we have the Criterion Collection DVDs, which include both the cut Gilliam wanted and the cut the studio wanted. Dystopian fun!

Clint Eastwood was in Dirty Harry, wasn't he?

Forget Dirty Harry, Doc. Get a quick education on Clint Eastwood here:
http://www.filmbug.com/db/275 or look him up on Wikipedia.
I don't even like movies, but have watched a couple of his productions and thought them fine.

You know, Un Chien Andalou is available online. Set aside 15 minutes to watch... and a couple of hours to scratch your head and go "What the hell was that?"

To my shame, there are a lot of movies on that list I'm not familar with. But Doctor Strangelove is a hell of a trip. The Day The Earth Stood Still is also pretty awesome.

I'm not sure if this is just me, but there seems to be too much of an American movie bias. The non-American films seem to be a token gesture, but I think they should have included more French movies especially Jacques Tati's "M. Hulot's Holiday" and they "Stalingrad". And there are other classic early Soviet movies that say a lot about using movies as propoganda!

What's with the no Chaplin or Peter Sellars? No Krzysztof Kieslowski, no Babette's Feast? Sorry this is list is missing some classic films.

Ok so some of those I think are missing are American and some of the ones listed aren't.

Dr. Strangelove is a good one. Also, skip "Once upon a time in the West" and add "The Good, The Bad, The Ugly" by the same director instead. Oh, and if you're not tired of Sergio Leone, you might get a kick out of seeing "For a handful of dollars", since you've already seen Rashomon.

Off list, I'd really recommend "Tampopo" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092048/) a Japanese comedy, and a must for any serious food lover.

Lab Cat:
Peter Sellars played at least three characters in Dr.Strangelove.

By dogscratcher (not verified) on 23 Apr 2006 #permalink

Lab Cat:
I'm fairly certain Chaplin had a minor part in Modern Times.

As far as great movies go, I'd reccomend The 400 Blows, The Bicycle Thieves, Goodfellas, and North by Northwest.

400 Blows is one of the best movies about adolescence I've ever come across

The Bicycle Thieves is a staple Italian Neo-Realist film about the relationship of a father and son in post-war italy.

Goodfellas is required viewing for Mafia buffs.

North by Northwest if only for the final scene.

(And if you're feeling frisky, why not pick up The Road Warrior. I don't precisely know what it's doing on this list, but it's damn fine post apocalypse/Peak Oil cinema. Make sure you get the one with the Australian language track.)

By Random_Tangent (not verified) on 23 Apr 2006 #permalink

Ugh, "A Fistful of Dollars", of course...

And to make is more than just a correction, if you want to get off the beten track a bit, go see "Leningrad Cowboys Go America", a heartwarmingly absurd Finnish roadmovie set in the US. That's one movie that tends to split people - they either love it or hate it.

It scares me to realize that I've seen them all, but then I'm an old guy who used to teach "Film Studies" at a major university. I've seen a lot of movies.

Many of these films are of historical significance and were sensational in their time, but don't hold up well. "Breathless" is one of these. It broke all the rules, but today everyone breaks them. "Intolerance" is probably the most important film on the list, but horribly dated today. Others are as good today as they were then. "Bicycle Thief" [actually "Thieves"] is still a wonder to behold. "Bonnie and Clyde" still works well. Some feature great acting. "On the Waterfront" is dated, but see it for Brando's legendary performance; ditto for "Streetcar." Others are just plain beautiful; "Days of Heaven" for example. "La Dolce Vita" is accessible Fellini [although 8 ½ is better regarded]. As a philosopher you will enjoy it; there are serious points being made there [and it gave us the term "Papparazzi" as well as the least exciting orgy scene ever]. "Dr. Strangelove" is a hoot. See it! I never cared for "All About Eve" but women respond well to it - you might like it. If you have kids see "Night Of the Hunter"; it will scare you silly. And on the subject of Mitchum, also see "Out of the Past." Renoir's "Rules [actually "Rule"] Of the Game" is marvelous social commentary, but dated these days. John Wayne's greatest performance is in "The Searchers." It is still a lot of fun to watch, and makes an important cultural statement to boot. "Sunset Boulevard" is great fun; high camp before it had a name, an effective noir, and a lot of inside Hollywood crap for the critics to revel in. "Scarface" is dated, but Ann Dvorak's performance is wonderful. "Children of Paradise" has its moments, if you like mimes. "Double Indemnity" is classic noir and the dialogue is priceless "Was I going too fast, officer?".

If I had to pick one movie to watch tonight, it would be "The Searchers" [for about the twelfth time] or perhaps "North by Northwest" [also about twelve times]. They are both great stories by two of my favorite directors. One thing I would recommend - read up on each of these films before you see it. Try to understand ahead of time just why it is considered "great." It will increase your enjoyment. Remember "great" doesn't mean entertaining. Some of these films, [Fellini and Renoir in particular] have serious intellectual content.


For Peter Sellars I was thinking Pink Panther of course and I think a Chaplin movie rather than "Chaplin had a minor part in Modern Times". But that is just my choice. I wasn't surprised to see that I hadn't seen many of the movies listed as I don't go to movies very often. I used to go more often, but obviously not to see any of the top 100 movies.

You can download M here: http://www.archive.org/details/M_

If you only know the cartoon version of Peter Lorre promoted by Hollywood, you'll be blown away by his incredible acting chops in this film. Also, you'll be haunted by the image of a balloon tangled in electrical wires for the rest of your life.

Otherwise, I'd definitely bump 8 1/2 and La Dolce Vita to the top of my list if I were you. Don't be intimidated by the "intellectual" weight of Fellini; his movies are also gorgeous, funny, engaging, and entertaining. You can experience the content of his films without necessarily having to verbalize it. (Also, Nino Rota's music is always fantastic.)

We are ashamed that you launched into the world (leaving our home) without seeing Dr. Strangelove, etc. You really MUST. And then there are the harder to find Sellers sci+politics films not on the list: The Mouse that Roared, and The Mouse on the Moon.

All things Hitchcock are worth the time, and relatively hard to fall asleep to. At least finish him off from this list with N-by-NW. But look up, not on the list, The Trouble with Harry [which is mainly that he is dead]. It was the debut film for Shirley MacLain, and has some other wonderful players; it is not really as HORROR-ified as some other Hitchcock.

Your eldest bro would advocate all things Felini, and maybe foreign. But you know me--can't quite get into it.

By Super Sally (not verified) on 24 Apr 2006 #permalink

I'll also endorse Dr. Strangelove and The Day the Earth Stood Still for high on your list.

If you enjoyed Rear Window and Vertigo, then see North by Northwest.

I'm dismayed that none of the classic Alec Guinness films are listed. Try The Ladykillers and The Horse's Mouth for comedy, and The Bridge on the River Kwai for drama.

I was surprised to see no mention of Ingmar Bergman's "The Seventh Seal". One of the very few movies set in the distant past(12th century) which had no obvious 20th century thoughts in the dialogue.

By Dave Whitton (not verified) on 25 Apr 2006 #permalink

The Seventh Seal rocks my world! The dubbing on the version I have is not bad, but I really prefer the subtitles.

And as long as we're kvetching about omissions, where's Harold and Maude?