Sunday, July 29, 2007

The 100 Greatest Films Of All Time... Not According To Me

Three of film ick's writers - myself, Sledge and Martin - took part in a recent poll to decide upon 'The Online Film Community's Top 100 Films'. As expected, the list is broadly splattered with films any single individual amongst the contributors would likely be appalled by. That includes at least two of the film ick contingent.

Here's the official banner of the 'community list', in my preferred green style, followed by the final list itself. If you want to visit the
home of the list, you can find out a little more about the whys, hows and wherefores. And at the bottom of this post, I'll raise my eyebrows a little and chip in a few opinions on the final rundown.

100. Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922)
99. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore, 1988)
98. On the Waterfront (Kazan, 1954)
97. Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986)
96. Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992)
95. His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940)
94. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Jackson, 2003)
93. Toy Story (Lasseter, 1995)
92. Notorious (Hitchcock, 1946)
91. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959)
90. Ghostbusters (Reitman, 1984)
89. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
88. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Herzog, 1972)
87. Leon (Besson, 1994)
86. Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958)
85. Modern Times (Chaplin, 1936)
84. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Capra, 1939)
83. To Kill a Mockingbird (Mulligan, 1962)
82. The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer, 1962)
81. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron, 1992)
80. North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959)
79. King Kong (Cooper/Shoedsack, 1933)
78. Manhattan (Allen, 1979)
77. Ed Wood (Burton, 1994)
76. American History X (Kaye, 1998)
75. The Maltese Falcon (Huston, 1941)
74. Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993)
73. The Conversation (Coppola, 1974)
72. The Bicycle Thief (De Sica, 1948)
71. The Graduate (Nichols, 1967)
70. Network (Lumet, 1976)
69. Halloween (Carpenter, 1978)
68. The Rules of the Game (Renoir, 1939)
67. Do the Right Thing (S. Lee, 1989)
66. Heat (Mann, 1995)
65. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, 2001)
64. Aliens (Cameron, 1986)
63. Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991)
62. The Incredibles (Bird, 2004)
61. A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)
60. The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)
59. The General (Keaton/Bruckman, 1927)
58. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
57. Unforgiven (Eastwood, 1992)
56. L.A. Confidential (Hanson, 1997)
55. 12 Angry Men (Lumet, 1957)
54. The Shining (Kubrick, 1980)
53. M (Lang, 1931)
52. Memento (Nolan, 2000)
51. The Bridge on River Kwai (Lean, 1957)
50. Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944)
49. The Big Lebowski (J. Coen, 1998)
48. Sunset Blvd. (Wilder, 1950)
47. This is Spinal Tap (Reiner, 1984)
46. Run Lola Run (Tykwer, 1998)
45. Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990)
44. E.T. (Spielberg, 1982)
43. Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, 1952)
42. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
41. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)
40. Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)
39. Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968)
38. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975)
37. The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987)
36. The Usual Suspects (Singer, 1995)
35. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam/Jones, 1975)
34. Fight Club (Fincher, 1999)
33. Brazil (Gilliam, 1985)
32. Annie Hall (W. Allen, 1977)
31. Back to the Future (Zemeckis, 1985)
30. Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988)
29. The Third Man (Reed, 1949)
28. The Matrix (Wachowski/Wachowski, 1999)
27. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939)
26. Schindler’s List (Spielberg, 1993)
25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004)
24. Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962)
23. Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1996)
22. It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946)
21. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
20. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954)
19. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
18. Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)
17. Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)
16. The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont, 1994)
15. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
14. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
13. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucas, 1977)
12. Chinatown (Polanski, 1974)
11. Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)
10. Alien (R. Scott, 1979)
9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Kershner, 1980)
8. The Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974)
7. Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
6. Blade Runner (R. Scott, 1982)
5. Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942)
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981)
3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
1. The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)

Now, you can probably tell which titles in this list I have no truck with. More importantly, perhaps, is the list of films I find notable by their absence. I'll single out Vanilla Sky. Come back to me and 50 years and tell me I was right - it was indeed the most subversive American film made between Vertigo and the end of the 20th century (indeed, until 2007, the time of writing).

That Brazil is next to Fight Club gave me a giggle. My most beloved film and the one I am the most angered by, only a slot apart. At least they weren't in the other order.

Curious to see The Godfather beat The Godfather 2. I thought the world was pretty much agreed that part 2 is better than part 1. I certainly am, even if I'm only agreeing with myself.

Good to see Holy Grail take precedence over Life of Brian for once.

I'd feared that Goodfellas would top the list, and I was very glad to see it had not. if it hadn't turned up in the entire 100 I might have cracked open a bottle of something fizzy, but as it is, I'll stick with something flat.

Actually, I might leave it in the fridge alltogether... Jaws and Raiders of the Lost Ark? Testament to Spielberg's Ringo Starr status: Lawrence Kasdan - check, Verna Fields - check, early ILM- check, Spielberg himself - big Family Fortunes er-err noise. Not a popular opinion, I know.

By and large, though, this is a list of films that people should seek out and see, for good or bad, if they haven't caught them all yet. Anything in this 100 that has eluded you so far is pretty much an essential - if only so you can disagree with this consensus.

I'm grateful that all of the participants bothered and that the organisers did such a good job of collating the results, and quickly too. Good work, fellows. Let's do it again sometime.


Evilgrinch said...

'it was indeed the most subversive American film made between Vertigo and the end of the 20th century'

I think you're getting Vanilla Sky confused with Fight Club...

Mark said...

Yeah, my first thought on scanning the list was "THE GODFATHER isn't even my favourite GODFATHER film, let alone Coppola film".

But, no surprises really. A rather conservative list.

Sledge said...

Good to see Rear Window as the highest Hitchcock film.
It's the best film ever made !

Brendon said...

Fight Club subversive? Explain.

Capt Midnight said...

subversive? Guess nobody knows what does it mean.

None of them are subversive, but i challenge you brendon to tell me why you believe Vanilla Sky is so good. I've already know all the stupid arguments geeks use to say about that Fight Club piece of crap.

kellys said...

I love a juicy list, so thanks for sharing this. But it feels as conserative as the AFI's.

Mauro said...

Where the hell is Se7en or the shawshank redemption?! Two of the greatest movies ever made!

Anonymous said...

Vanilla Sky? Are you for real? This site is really starting to lose credibility.

I find these lists pretty much meaningless though, and always very predicatble.

garageman said...

Fuck these stupid lists, they're so childish and pointless.

Brendon said...

Shawshank Redemption is at number 16. I'm glad Se7en isn't there because, frankly, it's rather rubbish. Khondji's cinematography is great but... that's about it...

I agree that these lists are indeed pointless. Or virtually so. But childish? Childish? What do kids do that is anything like this?

Re: Vanilla Sky. It's a great film. And it almost certainly isn't what you think it is. Watch it again - and very carefully - and see what it actually is. And what it is actually about. Then you'll see what I meant by subversive.

The good thing about these lists is that they encourage discussion. And also ranting.

David said...

Saying that Vanilla Sky is "the most subversive American film made between Vertigo and the end of the 20th century" makes for a fine soundbite, but if you actually believe that it's a bit worrying; I'd like to see you back it up with more than just "watch it again".

Anyway, as for "childish" - these lists are just another form of "could Superman beat The Hulk", surely? Nothing wrong with that as such, but let's not pretend they provoke intelligent discussion.

And on that note: any person over, say, the age of 25 who thinks that Raiders of the Lost Ark or Star Wars are among the greatest films ever made needs to take a long, hard look at themselves.

Brendon said...

David, these lists tend not to provoke intelligent conversation, but the possibility exists. Sifting through the varying criteria that might be apllied make sfor interesting debate alone.

Getting into the details of Vanilla Sky is far too involved for a comments section. Really, I should record an audio commentary for the film and put it online for download, or something.

My 'watch it again' comment did have a little more to it. I was trying to say that the film isn't actually the same 'thing' that people think it is. it's an entirely different beastie.

And that is a key part of my argument. The film is genuinely a wolf in sheep's clothing.

I agree re: Star Wars and Raiders.

Anonymous said...

These lists are childish because the response is usually my list is more correct than your list crap and they're usually written by people who think either Star Wars is the best film ever made or Citizen Kane is, in other words people who are generally clueless about films.

Brendon said...

That is generally true, I agree. Still not sure 'childish' is the word...

I was slightly amused and quite disappointed to see Citizen Kane in the second slot.

Jonathan said...

Lists aren't shit. They're fun.

And sorry David, but you're seriously wrong here, at least in my eyes (and well, millions of other eyes too. Raiders is easily the greatest adventure film ever made. Naturally, that's an opinion, but out of the 1,500 people that voted on AFI (most who have studied and worked on films the majority of their lives), out of the 50 people that voted on the OFC list, out of the 150,000 people that voted for it on IMDb - they consider it one of the greatest films ever. What makes all of these people wrong and you right? What makes Raiders NOT one of the greatest films ever made?

Steve said...

I agree about Vanilla Sky. Great film. It will get it's due one day.

Mark said...

I'm pretty sure I preferred the original, mainly because there was a slightly higher quantity of Cruz nipplage.

I don't get the subversive tag either. Who or what is Crowe using the movie to undermine? Tom Cruise's vanity?

Anonymous said...

Die Hard?? Ghostbusters??! This list is shite.