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Friday, June 09, 2006

Jacob’s 2006 List of the 150 Greatest Films Ever Made

In honor of my Birthday this week, as well as me seeing my 1,550th film (which may not exactly be something to celebrate), here is my list of the 150 best films ever.
The Rules:
(Rule 1: Shorts (The Wrong Trousers), Documentaries (Salesman), and Made for TV films (Brian’s Song) were not included. Rule 2: They must be movies I’ve seen. Rule 3: Unlike other film lists a series/trilogy cannot be a single film(Star Wars). Films were rated on 85% achievement of intended perfection 15% on importance and/or influence)

1. Citizen Kane (1941) Still as fun to watch as it is influential. I had the good fortune of seeing it years ago without a lot of expectation as something of an unseen gem on video.
2. Nattvardsgästerna (Winter Light) (1963)
3. Casablanca (1942)
4. Au hasard Balthazar (1966) 500 films from now, or whenever I release my next list this could very well be at the top. Quite possibly the most perfect film ever made. Godard called this film: “The world in an hour and a half.” At the surface it’s a story about several owners of a donkey, shown from the donkey’s perspective. A little deeper it’s a parable about Christ. But like all of Bresson’s films it has layers of meaning so thick that each time one sees it, the meaning changes depending on what the viewer brings to the film experience. Like Bresson’s films it stays in your mind like a memory from childhood, that becomes intertwined with your very soul. It is not always an easy film to watch, but it is one of the most rewarding experiences in film
5. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
6. Grande illusion, La (Grand Illusion) (1937)
7. Shichinin no samurai (The Seven Samurai) (1954)
8. On the Waterfront (1954)
9. Ladri di biciclette (The Bicycle Thieves)(1948)
10. City Lights (1931)
11. Bronenosets Potyomkin (Battleship Potemkin) (1925)
12. Sjunde inseglet, Det (The Seventh Seal)(1957)
13. The Decalogue (1987-88)
14. Rashômon (1950)
15. A Man Escaped (1956) Another masterwork from Bresson, a parable of grace and salvation...has in my opinion the greatest scene in film history.
16. The Crowd (1928)
17. Schindler's List (1993)
18. Taxi Driver (1976)
19. Star Wars (1977)
20. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
21. The Best Years of Our Lives (1947)
22. Rear Window (1954)
23. Vangelo secondo Matteo, Il (The Gospel According to St. Matthew) (1964)
24. Napoléon (1927) (Original Edit) One of the most inventive films of the silent era, and one of my favorites as well, though quite long, it plays with frame rates, colors, and camera angles that directors are afraid to do today.
25. Apocalypse Now (1979) I’ve had the privilege to see the 5 hour rough cut of this film, which is one of the most influential on me. While The Godfather was Coppola restrained, this is a primal scream of a film filled with sprawling expressionism, stylization, some of the darkest humor ever on film, considered the first post-modern horror film and rightly so.
26. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
27. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
28. Annie Hall (1977)
29. High Noon (1952)
30. 8½ (1963)
31. The 400 Blows (1959)
32. Mutiny on the Bounty (1931)
33. Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, La (Passion of Joan of Arc) (1928)
34. Ran (1985)
35. Tokyo monogatari (Tokyo Story) (1953) Ozu’s masterpiece, tells the story of the last visit of two grandparents to their children in Tokyo. Delicate, profound, sad, and deeply spiritual.
36. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
37. Vertigo (1958)
38. Ordet (The Word) (1955)
39. Midnight Cowboy (1969)
40. Touch of Evil (1958)
41. Roma, città aperta (Open City) (1945)
42. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
43. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
44. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
45. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
46. The Straight Story (1999)
47. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
48. Chinatown (1974)
49. Popiól i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) (1958)
50. Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) (1957)
51. The Third Man (1949)
52. Los Olivdados (The Young and the Damned) (1950)
53. Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre: The Wrath of God) (1972)
54. Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) (2000)
55. The Godfather (1972)
56. L’Atalante (1934: 89 Minute Version) Had he lived past 30, Jean Vigo may have become the greatest film maker the world has ever known. He became so sick with tuberculosis, which he would pass away from soon after the films release, that towards the end of the shoot he directed from a stretcher. Some say it was because of his fever that this film became so dream-like. This highly poetic and simple story of two newlyweds aboard a river boat, and more broadly of the difficulty and importance of human connection, has been a staple of top 10 films ever made since it was restored in 1990.
57. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
58. Greed (1924) (Restored Version)
59. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
60. The Apartment (1960)
61. Metropolis (1927)
62. Z (1969)
63. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
64. North by Northwest (1959)
65. Såsom i en spegel (Through A Glass Darkly) (1961)
66. Wings of Desire (1988)
67. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
68. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
69. Nuovo cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso)(1989)
70. A Nous La Liberte (1931) One of the most charming films I’ve ever seen, Chaplin borrowed so heavily from this early French musical, it’s studio sued him, but director Rene Clair dropped the charges saying he had borrowed enough from Chaplin. A funny, and touching tale of friendship in the midst of dehumanization.
71. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
72. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
73. Blue Velvet (1986)
74. Manhattan (1979)
75. Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
76. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
77. Boot, Das (The Boat) (1981)
78. Platoon (1986)
79. Dead Man Walking (1995)
80. Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke)(1997)
81. The French Connection (1971)
82. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
83. I am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
84. Vita è bella, La (Life is Beautiful)(1997)
85. Some Like It Hot (1959)
86. Do the Right Thing (1989)
87. The Gold Rush (192?)
88. Règle du jeu, La (The Rules of the Game) (1939)
89. A Place in the Sun (1951)
90. Ikiru (1952)
91. Psycho (1960)
92. West Side Story (1961)
93. Network (1976)
94. The Last Picture Show (1971)
95. The Sting (1973)
96. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
97. The Pianist (2002)
98. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
99. Gone With the Wind (1939)
100. Goodfellas (1990)
101. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
102. American Graffiti (1973)
103. The Deer Hunter (1978)
104. Fargo (1996)
105. Rushmore (1998)
106. Enfants du paradis, Les (Children of Paradise) (1945) Considered in the past to be the greatest French film ever, and is sometimes called the French Gone With the Wind, as it is a long, epic, sordid, love pentagram. While not a perfect film, it is highly entertaining in a Dickensian sort of way, and more than that it’s incredible this film was made at all in occupied France, and used as a way to hide resistance fighters and Jews from the Nazis.
107. A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
108. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
109. Offret - Sacrificatio (The Sacrifice) (1986)
110. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
111. The Conversation (1974)
112. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Version) (2001)
113. Jaws (1975)
114. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
115. Charade (1963)
116. The Lost Weekend (1945)
117. Ordinary People (1980)
118. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
119. Amadeus (1984)
120. Brief Encounter (1945) While better known for his epics, this early David Lean work is probably his best directing job. While a bit wordy for me, the film is one of the best romantic works on screen. Heartbreaking, and thoughtful, it’s opening scene is perhaps the most heartfelt on film
121. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
122. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
123. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
124. Marty (1955)
125. Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (2001)
126. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
127. 12 Angry Men (1959)
128. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
129. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
130. Five Easy Pieces (1970)
131. Henry V (1989)
132. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975)
133. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
134. In Cold Blood (1967)
135. How Green was My Valley (1941)
136. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
137. Badlands (1970)
138. Strangers on a Train (1951)
139. The Elephant Man (1980)
140. El Topo (1970)
141. Little Big Man (1970)
142. East of Eden (1955)
143. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
144. Patton (1970)
145. Toy Story (1995)
146. The Graduate (1967)
147. Harvey (1950)
148. Zelig (1983)
149. Wit (2002)
150. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

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