I saw somewhere that someone had posted a list of their 100 favourite films on their blog (I’m afraid I can’t remember who it was, but I’ll wager more than one blogger has done this) so thought I’d follow suit and compile my own.
These are the films that made me what I am today: the films that make me laugh, cry, squeal, chew my fingernails, peek through my fingers, nod sagely, hug myself with glee, or retreat into a small room to write poetry and make art.
They are not necessarily critical favourites (indeed, I suspect a couple of them are still critically reviled), but some of them do make regular appearances in high-tone lists of Best Films of All Time. I can’t help that; I just like them, and I don’t think I’ve picked anything here simply to impress people. Not consciously, anyhow.
There are a lot of films I like that are not on this list. However, whereas Top Tens are difficult to decide upon, compiling this Top 100 was really easy, and fun, since it reminded of things I like. But like all such lists, If I’d compiled it a day later it would have been completely different.
I reserve the right the change this Top 100 at any moment, but if I want to add a film, I shall be obliged to delete one to make room for it. Those are the rules.
So here we go.
L’année dernière à Marienbad (1961)
Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
Ball of Fire (1941)
Barton Fink (1991)
Batman Returns (1992)
La belle et la bête (aka Beauty and the Beast) (1946)
Billion Dollar Brain (1967)
Body Heat (1981)
Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)
Céline et Julie vont en bateau (aka Celine and Julie Go Boating) (1974)
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie (aka The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie) (1972)
Cheung foh (aka The Mission) (1999)
Clans of Intrigue (1977)
Il conformista (aka The Conformist) (1970)
The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
Dance of the Vampires (1967)
Daughters of Darkness (aka Les lèvres rouges) (1971)
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dazed and Confused (1993)
Dead of Night (1945)
The Dead Zone (1983)
Le deuxième souffle (1966)
Les diaboliques (1955)
Die dritte Generation (aka The Third Generation) (1972)
Eight Diagram Pole Fighter (1984)
El Cid (1961)
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The Fate of Lee Khan (1973)
Funny Face (1957)
The Fury (1978)
Galaxy Quest (1999)
The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947)
Green for Danger (1946)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Histoires Extraordinaires (aka Spirits of the Dead) (Fellini segment) (1968)
I tre volti della paura (aka Black Sabbath) (1963)
The Innocents (1961)
Kairo (aka Pulse) (2001)
King Kong (1933)
King of New York (1990)
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Låt den rätte komma in (Let the Right One In) (2008)
Mad Max 2 (1981)
Majo no takkyûbin (aka Kiki’s Delivery Service) (1989)
The Man With Two Brains (1983)
Mars Attacks! (1996)
Master and Commander: Far Side of the World (2003)
A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
Le mépris (aka Contempt) (1963)
Mimi wo sumaseba (aka Whisper of the Heart) (1995)
Modesty Blaise (1966)
Murder by Decree (1979)
Music Lovers, The (1970)
Night of the Demon (1957)
North by Northwest (1959)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Die Büchse der Pandora (aka Pandora’s Box) (1929)
La peau douce (1964)
Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
Kurenai no buta (aka Porco Rosso) (1992)
The Rebel (1961)
The Red Shoes (1948)
The Right Stuff (1983)
Samâ uôzu (aka Summer Wars) (2009)
Le samouraï (1967)
The Secret Life of an American Wife (1968)
Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (aka Spirited Away) (2001)
Seven Samurai (1954)
Starship Troopers (1997)
Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)
Theatre of Blood (1973)
The Thing (1982)
The Three Musketeers (1973) + The Four Musketeers (1974)
To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)
Tokyo Story (1953)
Trois couleurs: Bleu (1993)
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992)
Ugetsu monogatari (1953)
The Uninvited (1944)
Wandâfuru raifu (aka After Life) (1998)
Who Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe? (1978)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Written on the Wind (1956)
i love batman returns
Me too. I think that’s the only superhero movie in this list, am I right?
Interesting list – I’d line up behind about 60% go those. God, what would I add? Probably A Canterbury Tale, Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps, Taal, On The Town, Funny Face, Mr Hulot’s Holiday, Rashomon, Un Chien Andalou, a handful from Truffaut, The Devils, The Strawberry Blonde and on and on and on… Can we make it a top 1,000?
Funny Face is in there!
I have rarely read a list I agreed with more 🙂 One or two I would drop (“The Fury”–really? I prefer “Obsession” by de Palma) but thank you for including forgotten pleasures like “Billion Dollar Brain”, “Celine et Julie” and the amazing “Le Deuzieme Souffle” 🙂
I think one’s film choices have a lot to do with the circumstances of the original viewing. The Fury just knocked me out (all that bleeding from orifices!), as did Phantom of the Paradise. I always liked Obsession, but didn’t see it till much later.
I saw de Palma’s films more or less in order, and “Obsession” just overwhelmed me, particularly Bernard Hermann’s score, Genevieve Bujold’s extraordinary performance (wonderful and underrated actress, and what has happened to her?))and the fabulously creative riff both on “Vertigo” and on incest themes/revenge themes after Greek myth. I like the architectural theme too, a subject that doesn’t get much attention in movies–both the power of individual buildings and the power of architectural shapes. This was something one of the missing directors from your list understood instinctively–Carl Theodor Dreyer.
Great Anne, lots of films I have not seen or heard of. Will make an effort to see some of them. These are some of my favourite’s: North By Northwest, Sunset Blvd, Rear Window, Desperately Seeking Susan, The Heartbreak Kid (remake), Mad Max 2, Big Business, Housesitter, Body Heat, Brokeback Mountain, The Grifters, Jackie Brown, Rosemary’s Baby & The Silence Of The Lambs.
Ah, Rosemary’s Baby. Not sure why I left that out. Or The Tenant, for that matter. When or if I get round to compiling Version 2, they will probably be in there, as will Showgirls, Went the Day Well? and Ride with the Devil.
I am now wondering why I didn’t include Monty Python and the Holy Grail (which I love on a whole other level beyond that of the comedy) or Groundhog Day.
Some great choices Anne! I love that you’ve included A Matter of Life and Death, which is in my top 10 (and possibly even top 5), also Le samouraï, King of New York, Les Diaboliques, Galaxy Quest, Night of The Demon and The Fury. I would have included Pulp Fiction, Léon, Up (purely for the first 10 minutes), Inception, Shawshank, Persepolis, The Exorcist, Once, In Bruges…