A Movie Log

A blog formerly known as Bookishness

By Charles Matthews

Great Movies: A List in Progress

This is an unashamedly personal list of all the movies I consider great. I have excluded silent films, such as The General (Buster Keaton, 1926) and Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927), because I don't think it's fair to judge them by the same standards as films with sound. By "great" I mean that a film possesses an exceptional quality that sets it apart from the run of the mill. Listmakers are usually stuck with their opinions at the moment when they published their choices. This one, however, is designed to be updated continuously, so that whenever I encounter a film that I think belongs on it, or see a film again and have a higher or lower opinion of it, I can promote or demote the existing titles on the list as I see fit.

  1. Tokyo Story (Yasujiro Ozu, 1953)
  2. The Godfather, Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
  3. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
  4. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
  5. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)
  6. Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray, 1955) 
  7. The World of Apu (Satyajit Ray, 1959) 
  8. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) 
  9. Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)
  10. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)
  11. The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939)
  12. Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, 1952)
  13. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
  14. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
  15. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
  16. L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)
  17. Sansho the Bailiff (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1954)
  18. The 400 Blows (François Truffaut, 1959)
  19. Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson, 1951)
  20. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
  21. The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)
  22. 8 1/2 (Federico Fellini, 1963)
  23. Late Spring (Yasujiro Ozu, 1949)
  24. Schindler's List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
  25. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
  26. L'Eclisse (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1962)
  27. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
  28. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)
  29. Early Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1951)
  30. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
  31. L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
  32. Ordet (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1955)
  33. Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953)
  34. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)
  35. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
  36. Saving Private Ryan (Steven Spielberg, 1998)
  37. Cries and Whispers (Ingmar Bergman, 1972)
  38. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
  39. Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, 1950)
  40. Jules and Jim (François Truffaut, 1964)
  41. A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)
  42. Floating Weeds (Yasujiro Ozu, 1959)
  43. Bande à Part (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) 
  44. Chimes at Midnight (Orson Welles, 1966)
  45. Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  46. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)
  47. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
  48. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1948)
  49. Boudu Saved From Drowning (Jean Renoir, 1932)
  50. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
  51. Open City (Roberto Rossellini, 1945)
  52. M (Fritz Lang, 1931)
  53. The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)
  54. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
  55. To Have and Have Not (Howard Hawks, 1944) 
  56. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
  57. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
  58. Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)
  59. La Chienne (Jean Renoir, 1931)
  60. Odd Man Out (Carol Reed, 1947)
  61. The Lord of the Rings (Peter Jackson, 2001, 2002, 2003)
  62. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Buñuel, 1972)
  63. The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 1942)
  64. Shoeshine (Vittorio De Sica, 1946)
  65. Charade (Stanley Donen, 1963)
  66. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
  67. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)
  68. Vivre Sa Vie (Jean-Luc Godard, 1962)
  69. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
  70. Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
  71. Les Enfants du Paradis (Marcel Carné, 1945)
  72. Fargo (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1996)
  73. The Miracle of Morgan's Creek (Preston Sturges, 1944)
  74. No Country for Old Men (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 2007)
  75. The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970)
  76. The Piano (Jane Campion, 1993)
  77. Wings of Desire (Wim Wenders, 1988) 
  78. The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock, 1935)
  79. All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950) 
  80. The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)
  81. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
  82. Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1941)
  83. The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940)
  84. Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)
  85. Ninotchka (Ernst Lubitsch, 1939)
  86. Belle de Jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967)
  87. Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)
  88. David Copperfield (George Cukor, 1935)
  89. Scarface (Howard Hawks, 1932)
  90. Tristana (Luis Buñuel, 1970)
  91. La Notte (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)
  92. Breathless (Jean-Luc Godard, 1960)
  93. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (Robert Altman, 1971) 
  94. Miller's Crossing (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1990)
  95. Twentieth Century (Howard Hawks, 1934)
  96. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
  97. Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1983)
  98. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
  99. King Kong (Ernest Schoedsack and Merian Cooper, 1933)
  100. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
  101. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
  102. Pierrot le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)
  103. GoodFellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
  104. Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)
  105. Umberto D. (Vittorio De Sica, 1952)
  106. Aparajito (Satyajit Ray, 1956) 
  107. Stalker (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1979)
  108. Mamma Roma (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1962)
  109. Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
  110. The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)
  111. The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952)
  112. Harakiri (Masaki Kobayashi, 1962)
  113. Laura (Otto Preminger, 1944)
  114. Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 1982)
  115. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (James Cameron, 1991)
  116. The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984)
  117. Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosawa, 1957)
  118. Le Notti di Cabiria (Federico Fellini, 1957)
  119. Le Plaisir (Max Ophuls, 1952)
  120. The Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo, 1966) 
  121. La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960)
  122. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
  123. L.A. Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)
  124. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
  125. All the President's Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976)
  126. A Hard Day's Night (Richard Lester, 1964)
  127. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
  128. Holiday (George Cukor, 1938)
  129. The Big Lebowski (Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, 1998)
  130. The English Patient (Anthony Minghella, 1996)
  131. Malcolm X (Spike Lee, 1992)
  132. Z (Costa-Gavras, 1969)
  133. Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)
  134. It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934)
  135. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
  136. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966)
  137. The Exterminating Angel (Luis Buñuel, 1962)
  138. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
  139. Top Hat (Mark Sandrich, 1935)
  140. The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz, 1938)
  141. Hail the Conquering Hero (Preston Sturges, 1943)
  142. Orphée (Jean Cocteau, 1950) 
  143. Claire's Knee (Eric Rohmer, 1970)
  144. Masculin Féminin (Jean-Luc Godard, 1966)
  145. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
  146. La Belle et la Bête (Jean Cocteau, 1946) 
  147. Dazed and Confused (Richard Linklater, 1993) 
  148. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, 2006)
  149. My Darling Clementine (John Ford, 1946)
  150. The Lady Vanishes (Alfred Hitchcock, 1938)
  151. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
  152. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
  153. The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962)
  154. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
  155. Day for Night (François Truffaut, 1973)
  156. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957)
  157. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
  158. Contempt (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963)
  159. The Man Who Would Be King (John Huston, 1972)
  160. Brief Encounter (David Lean, 1945)
  161. Mulholland Dr. (David Lynch, 2001)
  162. Camille (George Cukor, 1936)
  163. The Heiress (William Wyler, 1949)
  164. Radio Days (Woody Allen, 1987)
  165. The African Queen (John Huston, 1951) 
  166. Dodsworth (William Wyler, 1936)
  167. Oliver Twist (David Lean, 1948)
  168. Adam's Rib (George Cukor, 1949)
  169. The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey, 1937)
  170. Madame de ... (Max Ophüls, 1953)
  171. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) 
  172. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980) 
  173. The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992)
  174. Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)
  175. Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
  176. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1983)
  177. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1997)
  178. Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)
  179. Les Cousins (Claude Chabrol, 1959)
  180. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
  181. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
  182. Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)
  183. Henry V (Laurence Olivier, 1944)
  184. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
  185. The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952)
  186. Little Women (George Cukor, 1933)
  187. Swing Time (George Stevens, 1936)
  188. My Night at Maud's (Eric Rohmer, 1969)
  189. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
  190. Only Angels Have Wings (Howard Hawks, 1939)
  191. The End of Summer (Yasujiro Ozu, 1961)
  192. The Golden Coach (Jean Renoir, 1953)
  193. Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967)
  194. Fists in the Pocket (Marco Bellocchio, 1965)
  195. Hiroshima Mon Amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)
  196. Paisan (Roberto Rossellini, 1946)
  197. Shanghai Express (Josef von Sternberg, 1932)
  198. 42nd Street (Lloyd Bacon, 1933)
  199. Young Frankenstein (Mel Brooks, 1974)
  200. Love Me Tonight (Rouben Mamoulian, 1932)
  201. Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, 1937)
  202. An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1963)
  203. Smiles of a Summer Night (Ingmar Bergman, 1955)
  204. The Lavender Hill Mob (Charles Crichton, 1952)
  205. French Cancan (Jean Renoir, 1955)
  206. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
  207. Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941) 
  208. Roman Holiday (William Wyler, 1959)
  209. Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)
  210. The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978)
  211. The Postman Always Rings Twice (Tay Garnett, 1949)
  212. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)
  213. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
  214. Jeanne Dielman, 23 Commerce Quay, 1080 Brussels (Chantal Akerman, 1975)
  215. Au Hasard Balthasar (Robert Bresson, 1966)
  216. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942) 
  217. Repulsion (Roman Polanski, 1965)
  218. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
  219. Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)
  220. From Here to Eternity (Fred Zinnemann, 1953)
  221. Day of Wrath (Carl Theodore Dreyer, 1943)
  222. Intruder in the Dust (Clarence Brown, 1949)
  223. Pickpocket (Robert Bresson, 1959)
  224. Rocco and His Brothers (Luchino Visconti, 1960)
  225. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)
  226. Rosemary's Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)
  227. Funny Face (Stanley Donen, 1957)
  228. To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)
  229. 2 or 3 Things I Know About Her (Jean-Luc Godard, 1967)
  230. A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951)
  231. Out of the Past (Jacques Tourneur, 1947)
  232. High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)
  233. Alice Adams (George Stevens, 1935) 
  234. Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)
  235. Pygmalion (Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, 1938)
  236. A Separation (Asghar Farhadi, 2011)
  237. The Fallen Idol (Carol Reed, 1948)
  238. The Remains of the Day (James Ivory, 1993)
  239. Follow the Fleet (Mark Sandrich, 1936)
  240. Story of Women (Claude Chabrol, 1988) 
  241. The Asphalt Jungle (John Huston, 1950)
  242. Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933)
  243. Elevator to the Scaffold (Louis Malle, 1958)
  244. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days (Cristian Mungiu, 2007)
  245. Yi Yi (Edward Yang, 2000)
  246. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953)
  247. The Prisoner of Zenda (John Cromwell, 1937)
  248. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)
  249. Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2014)
  250. American Graffiti (George Lucas, 1973)
  251. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) 
  252. Leave Her to Heaven (John M. Stahl, 1945)
  253. Raise the Red Lantern (Yimou Zhang, 1991)
  254. Morning for the Osone Family (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1946)
  255. About Elly (Asghar Farhadi, 2009)
  256. Europa '51 (Roberto Rossellini, 1952)
  257. Red Dust (Victor Fleming, 1932)
  258. The Blue Angel (Josef von Sternberg, 1930)
  259. Purple Noon (René Clément, 1959)
  260. Gun Crazy (Joseph H. Lewis, 1950)
  261. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (Mervyn LeRoy, 1932)
  262. Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)
  263. Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998)

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