Monday, July 22, 2013


If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know I recently covered ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY's list of 100 greatest films in ten installments. EW's list caused film fans to react with shock and awe over some of their choices. I know. I was one of them.

But it is,after all, just a list, just a compilation of one person's (or several people's) opinions. It's not the law of the land and film buffs are free to accept and reject any and all of their choices. I will acknowledge that making a list of this type is no easy task and I'm sure that the staffers at EW worked long and hard to come up with their selections.

I'm going to try to provide you with my top 100 films over the next several days, time and energy permitting. I'm going to use EW's list as my template, adding and subtracting films as I see fit to give you a list of what I consider the 100 greatest films of all time. Your mileage may vary and I invite reader comments and feedback. As I said, this is just one man's opinion but I think it's an informed opinion.

Some curriculum vitae is in order here. In addition to writing about films on this blog, I have, for the last seventeen years written and contributed hundreds of film notes for the Paramount Theater's Summer Classic Film Series. I've learned a lot about the history of the cinema in the process of writing those notes and I've always tried to be fair and objective and keep my personal thoughts and feelings out of what I write.

Not so here. My blog is my place for true self-expression. If you're a regular reader you know that. When I like something, you'll know it. Same when I don't like something.

As for this movie list, I know I could come up with a somewhat different list again in a few months' time, so please don't consider this list carved in stone. It is subject to change. I can guarantee you that I've seen every film on this list. I'm not going to put a film on here based solely on it's reputation and critical standing. If I haven't seen a movie, it's not going to appear here.

There are no films made in the 21st century on this list. That doesn't mean there haven't been some really great movies made in the last thirteen years. It just means that it's far too early to tell what films are going to stand the test of time and hold up over the years to come as durable, acknowledged classics. At some point in the future, I can see myself putting such films as THE DEPARTED, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, GRAN TORINO and INCEPTION (but not AVATAR) on this list. For the same reason, there are only a handful of films from the '80s and '90s on this list. Finally, this list is guaranteed to be 100% free of the films of Quentin Tarantino and David Lynch.

And now, the top ten:

1. CITIZEN KANE (1941)


3. CASABLANCA (1942)


5. VERTIGO (1958)


7. THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)


9. 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (1968)


More to come. Stay tuned, keep reading and start arguing.

1 comment:

  1. I have to politely inquire why "Kane" made #1. I respect the choice based on technical virtues, quality of editing, production, etc. plus the importance of the film based upon its influence on cinematic history.

    Hmmm...might be answering my own question here...

    Also beginning to take into consideration, "Kane" was already considered a cinematic keystone long before I was around.

    Have to agree with the rest of the top ten, though I might quibble about "Vertigo" though only because I'm a "Rear Window" fan for Stewart and Hitchcock. Always struck me as kind of odd the relationship the two had together.

    Glad to see "Sunset" in the top ten. No one seems to know just how brilliant that movie is.