Revisiting 202 Movies

When Jeff posted a list of The Top 100 Movies of All Time, I was happy to see that I'd caught 83 out of 100. As of Saturday night, with a viewing of Vertigo, I'm happy to report that number is now a solid 100 out of 100. (I wonder if I won Kelly's race to see every movie on the list?)

I liked this list a lot. I agreed with the inclusion of most of the titles, and as I caught up I found most of those other movies deserved to be there as well. Vertigo was great, possibly my favorite Hitchcock movie after North by Northwest and Rope, especially after I pondered the two possible interpretations of the film. And while I wasn't sure whether or not I had seen Vertigo when I first posted this list, I was a little disappointed in myself to realize I was thinking of High Anxiety and most definitely not this classic masterpiece. Mea culpa. The spoof focused on the barest of cosmetic elements from the original though, so I really had no idea what to expect and came in completely cold, enjoying the surprises it offered. The second I noticed that I'd “seen” the opening rooftop chase scene before since films such as The Matrix and Dark City paid homage to it, I realized I know nothing of movie history. A staggering amount of films have been influenced by Vertigo.

There are hundreds of thousands of movies in the world, and I know I'll never see them all. Beyond the mathematical impossibilities, some don't interest me while others are just not that good. Currently, I've rated 1,519 titles through Netflix, but that includes television shows on DVD. I'd still say I've seen over 1,000 films in 32 years, so I'm not doing too badly. I don't want to see every movie ever made, but I do want to see all the best ones, and the ones enjoyed by most everyone I might come in contact with. Let's take a look at that list again, along with how I've rated each one on a scale of one to five:

1. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back*****
2. Fight Club*****
3. Pulp Fiction*****
4. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King*****
5. The Shawshank Redemption*****
6. GoodFellas*****
7. The Godfather*****
8. The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring*****
9. Jaws****
10. Donnie Darko*****
11. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope*****
12. The Usual Suspects*****
13. The Matrix*****
14. Raiders Of The Lost Ark*****
15. Se7en*****
16. The Godfather: Part II*****
17. Gladiator*****
18. Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind*****
19. Aliens*****
20. Sin City*****
21. The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers*****
22. LA Confidential****
23. Taxi Driver*****
24. Die Hard*****
25. Batman Begins*****
26. Back To The Future*****
27. Schindler's List*****
28. Spider-Man 2*****
29. The Big Lebowski***
30. Heat*
31. Reservoir Dogs*****
32. Blade Runner*****
33. Terminator 2: Judgment Day*****
34. Alien*****
35. X-Men 2*****
36. Annie Hall****
37. Léon*****
38. Casablanca*****
39. Apocalypse Now*****
40. Memento*****
41. Jurassic Park*****
42. It's A Wonderful Life*****
43. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest*****
44. Monty Python And The Holy Grail*****
45. The Third Man****
46. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly*****
47. Toy Story 2****
48. A Clockwork Orange****
49. Moulin Rouge!*****
50. The Apartment*****
51. The Wild Bunch****
52. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial*****
53. Trainspotting*****
54. Raging Bull*****
55. City Of God*****
56. Stand By Me*****
57. The Thing****
58. Scarface (1983)*****
59. Airplane!*****
60. The Silence Of The Lambs****
61. Blue Velvet****
62. Seven Samurai*****
63. Citizen Kane*****
64. 2001: A Space Odyssey****
65. Shaun Of The Dead*****
66. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl*****
67. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind*****
68. Lawrence Of Arabia****
69. Halloween*****
70. The Searchers***
71. Rocky*****
72. Once Upon A Time In The West*****
73. Platoon*****
74. Kill Bill: Vol. 1*****
75. Magnolia*****
76. The Deer Hunter****
77. The Shining****
78. American Beauty****
79. Fargo*****
80. Chinatown****
81. Saving Private Ryan*****
82. Vertigo****
83. King Kong (2005)*****
84. Goldfinger*****
85. The Wizard Of Oz****
86. Dawn Of The Dead**
87. Requiem For A Dream****
88. The Terminator*****
89. Psycho****
90. Brokeback Mountain***
91. Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb****
92. The Bourne Supremacy*****
93. The Incredibles*****
94. Some Like It Hot****
95. Spirited Away*****
96. Rear Window*****
97. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre***
98. This Is Spinal Tap*****
99. Forrest Gump*****
100. The Exorcist****

So, where do I go from here? Well, a few months before I tackled this list, I examined a list of the ”102 Essential Movies”. I didn't do as well, with a mere 38, and the first one I tried, The 400 Blows, was good but didn't grab me enough to continue with the others. The title of today's post is a bit innacurate in adding the totals of both lists though, since about 35 titles overlap, but that might mean I now have a higher score on the “Essential” list:

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey*
2. The 400 Blows*
3. 8 1/2
4. Aguirre, the Wrath of God
5. Alien*
6. All About Eve
7. Annie Hall*
8. Apocalypse Now*
9. Bambi*
10. The Battleship Potemkin
11. The Best Years of Our Lives
12. The Big Red One
13. The Bicycle Thief
14. The Big Sleep
15. Blade Runner*
16. Blowup
17. Blue Velvet*
18. Bonnie and Clyde
19. Breathless
20. Bringing Up Baby
21. Carrie
22. Casablanca*
23. Un Chien Andalou
24. Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
25. Chinatown*
26. Citizen Kane*
27. A Clockwork Orange*
28. The Crying Game
29. The Day the Earth Stood Still
30. Days of Heaven
31. Dirty Harry*
32. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
33. Do the Right Thing*
34. La Dolce Vita
35. Double Indemnity
36. Dr. Strangelove*
37. Duck Soup
38. E.T. -- The Extra-Terrestrial*
39. Easy Rider
40. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back*
41. The Exorcist*
42. Fargo*
43. Fight Club*
44. Frankenstein
45. The General
46. The Godfather*, The Godfather, Part II*
47. Gone With the Wind
48. GoodFellas*
49. The Graduate*
50. Halloween*
51. A Hard Day's Night*
52. Intolerance
53. It's a Gift*
54. It's a Wonderful Life*
55. Jaws*
56. The Lady Eve
57. Lawrence of Arabia*
58. M
59. Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior*
60. The Maltese Falcon
61. The Manchurian Candidate
62. Metropolis
63. Modern Times
64. Monty Python and the Holy Grail*
65. Nashville
66. The Night of the Hunter
67. Night of the Living Dead*
68. North by Northwest*
69. Nosferatu
70. On the Waterfront*
71. Once Upon a Time in the West*
72. Out of the Past
73. Persona
74. Pink Flamingos
75. Psycho*
76. Pulp Fiction*
77. Rashomon
78. Rear Window*
79. Rebel Without a Cause*
80. Red River
81. Repulsion
82. The Rules of the Game
83. Scarface (1983)*
84. The Scarlet Empress
85. Schindler's List*
86. The Searchers*
87. The Seven Samurai*
88. Singin' in the Rain
89. Some Like It Hot*
90. A Star Is Born
91. A Streetcar Named Desire
92. Sunset Boulevard*
93. Taxi Driver*
94. The Third Man*
95. Tokyo Story
96. Touch of Evil
97. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
98. Trouble in Paradise
99. Vertigo*
100. West Side Story*
101. The Wild Bunch*
102. The Wizard of Oz*

The ones with a red asterisk (*) in this case indicate the ones I've watched, 52 out of 102(technically 103 since The Godfather and The Godfather, Part II were paired together). So, I'll try to work the other 51 into my rotation going forward, amid new movies and other classics not listed here. I'm sure I'll succeed eventually, only to find someone else has compiled a subjective list of titles, and the cycle will begin anew. Either that, or I'll end up like Burgess Meredith in that Twilight Zone episode in which he was the sole survivor of a nuclear war, finally with enough time to read all the books in the library, only to have his glasses fall off and break. In my case I'd have a full collection of DVDs, but only a Blu-Ray player will have survived the devastation with me...


Blogger Reel Fanatic said...

Wow .. I thought I was a movie buff, but I've only seen 45 of the flicks on the second list .. I definitely have some work to do!

1/21/2007 7:04 AM  
Blogger Kelly said...

Congratulations, you totally took it. I have about 15 to go. I liked seeing your star ratings, but we disagree on the validity some of these movies to belong on a "best" list.

1/21/2007 7:52 AM  
Anonymous Jeff (aka neolithic) said...

You know, I haven't even thought of cracking the last what, about 13 on the list I have yet to go. I have actually been consumed with the concept of writing (and hopefully producing) a television series, along with shooting a short film this year, and as such, I've been gobbling up TV boxed sets and watching them. Battlestar Galactica, Dead Like Me (shot here in Vancouver :D), Kenny vs. Spenny just for the plain fun of it. Mind you not having cable helps in that equation too.

Though in terms of tackling the list, I think I'd be more focused on the elements missing in the library before I attack the missing 13.

And to Kelly, I think, for some odd reason, this list was geared towards a certain male demographic, not an overall spread of film.

1/21/2007 12:24 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

You've seen 83? That's impressive! I don't care what anyone says, I'll never understand the appeal of movies like Donnie Darko or Big Lebowski. Many on this list are "given" classics, but there were a few surprises. There are also a few on the list that remain on my "to watch" list as well.:)

1/21/2007 1:41 PM  
Blogger b13 said...

the blue-ray player will play regular DVDs. So will an HD-DVD (which is my choice).

1/21/2007 9:46 PM  
Blogger MCF said...

I thought Big Lebowski was okay, but I wouldn't put it on a top 100. Donnie Darko on the otherhand is a masterpiece. It's both a powerful 80s period piece and a brain-busting study in time paradoxes.

In November I'd seen 83; I've since caught up and watched the remaining 17 on that list. The second list I've only seen half of though, so that's my next goal...

1/21/2007 9:47 PM  

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