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I created this list for a group I use to meet with to discu2001ss movies. Since I went to all the trouble to create it, I thought I would share it.
First, some explanations and qualifications.
It is a personal record. It’s not an objective list of the movies that are generally considered to be the greatest, but the films that I feel are the greatest.

I have, at times, cheated (yes, it’s true) and combined some movies together, such as Godfather I and II.

I begin with listing my favorite film followed by my next two favorites (I did this because it was part of the requirements of the group).

After the top three films, I listed my next seven in alphabetical order.

And then the final 90, listed also in alphabetical order.

At the very end, I decided to include a number of titles that were released theatrically, or have been shown theatrically, but were really made for television, and therefore didn’t exactly qualify for this list.


2001: A Space Odyssey


Maltese Falcon, The


Magnificent Ambersons, The

Rules of the Game, The

Seven Samurai, The

Seventh Seal, The

Shadow of a Doubt

Singing in the Rain

Strangers on a Train


400 Blows, The
All About Eve
Annie Hall
Ashes and Diamonds
Awful Truth, The
Big Sleep, The
Bitter Tears of Petra Van Kant, The
Bringing Up Baby
Cat People
Children of Paradise
Citizen Kane
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Code Unknown
Crowd, The
Day for Night
Diary of a Country Priest, The
Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The
Double Life of Veronique, The
Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Duck Soup
Fox and His Friends
General, The
Godfather, Parts I and II, The
Gold Rush, The
Gospel According to St. Matthew, The
Great Dictator, The
Hail, The Conquering Hero
Hara Kiri
Hard Day’s Night, A
High and Low
High Noon
Human Condition, Parts I, II and III, The
I Walked With a Zombie
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956 and 1978)
It Happened One Night
John Ford’s Calvary Trilogy (She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Fort Apache, Rio Grande)
La ceremonie
La dolce vita
La jetee
La ronde
Lady Eve, The
Last Year at Marienbad
Leopard, The
Les diaboleques
Lord of the Rings, The
Love and Death
Murmur of the Heart
Once Upon a Time in the West
Palm Beach Story, The
Passion of Joan of Arc, The
Pulp Fiction
Raging Bull
Rebel Without a Cause
Rome: Open City
Smiles of a Summer Night
Talk to Her
The Lady Vanishes, The
Third Man, The
Three Colors: Blue, White, Red
To Be or Not to Be
To Have and to Have Not
Tokyo Story
Top Hat
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Wages of Fear, The
Wild Bunch, The
Wizard of Oz, The

The following is a list of made for TV series and movies made by major filmmakers

Fanny and Alexander

World on a Wire

Scenes from a Marriage

The Decalogue

Berlin Alexanderplatz

The Best of Youth


  1. Hmmm. No Pontecorvo (Burn, Battle of Algiers), no Costa-Gravas (Z, Missing, Amen), no Year of Living Dangerously. Instead of Sunset Blvd we have Singing in the Rain: Ahh those rose colored glasses; let’s forget the ugly under-belly of post-war America by watching Gene Kelly’s mesmerizing smile atop flashing feet. No thanks, I prefer depressing reality to false positivity. And there’s more reality and humor in seeing machismo lampooned than celebrated; thus I’d prefer The Russians Are Coming to Raging Bull. For romance I’d have to add Trust by Hal Hartley and Bliss by Ray Lawrence, Australia 1985 [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088821/], The Princess Bride; more delightful pound for pound than It Happened One Night, but if you want something from the period (thirties) I’d pick My Man Godfrey over that one. No Brazil, no Time Bandits… The Wild Bunch—really? Peckinpah is on my list—of most pointlessly brutal filmmakers, though he has a lot of company these days. Must we menfolk celebrate idiocy into eternity?
    Hi from Charles Fredricks. Hope to make it back to the group one of these days. A documentary takes precedence.

    • Thanks for reading. Well, I can’t have every movie on my list, I had to make some choices since I only could chose 100. You do have some worthy choices up there. I think I have quite a few films that are depressing when it comes to dealing with reality from Hari Kari to The Human Condition to M to Goodfellows. I may not have enough from post war America, but I hardly think that qualifies me as having rose colored glasses.

  2. Howard, your credibility just took a nose-dive with me, I’m afraid – while you have some great choices on your list, I find it unforgivable that you left out Gone With The Wind – you rate Godfather 3 before GWTW? You serious? Personally, I think it’s the greatest movie ever made, considering it was made in 1939 and few templates preceding it, it was mostly “new” cinema at the time re how to tell a story and technique – Solaris in the top 100? Okay, each to their own and I know, it’s your list, haha.

    • There are many things I like about GWTW, mainly the acting of Leigh and Gable and some magnificent scenes like the train station with the wounded and dying. And the theme, which was popular at the beginning of the depression, that people like Scarlett are not good people, but are necessary for our survival, I’ve always found interesting. But I’m sorry. I just don’t get it. Who would ever want Leslie Howard when they could have Clark Gable. It just never made any sense to me.

So tell me what you think.

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