Kevyn Knox is a Film Historian and Critic from
Making a Top 10 list is next to impossible. Trying to narrow down all the great films you've seen to just a mere ten. Well, ya know what? Narrowing it down to just fifty isn't all that easier a thing to do.
I made it a little easier by allowing only one film per director. This did leave such films as Psycho, Taxi Driver, Gold Rush, Weekend, Jules et Jim, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Lola Montes, Out 1, Battleground, Johnny Guitar, I Walked With a Zombie, Au hasard Balthazar, Open City, Rashomon, Blue Velvet, The Big Sleep, Rules of the Game and (forgive me purists) 8 1/2 and Citizen Kane all lying dead on the cutting room floor. At least this did manage to narrow down my search without leaving out films for no reason. That was the easy part.
Having to make last minute cuts to such favourites as Some Like It Hot, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, Intolerance, The Godfather (I and II), Ordet, L'Avventura, The Man With the Movie Camera, Senso, The Third Man, Satantango and Jeanne Dielmann was heartbreaking.
Another thing that stopping at fifty did (I could have gone on to at least 150-200 and still had nothing but great films included) was inevitably leave off some of the great directors. No Dreyer. No Tarkovsky. No Visconti. No Ozu. No Antonioni. No Pasolini. No
Oh well. The list will probably change in my mind tomorrow or next week. It might even change mere minutes after I send this list off. That is what is so great about cinema. It's an ever-changing, ever-flowing entity all its own. Who are we to try to understand it?
With all that said, here is my (very fraught over) Top 50 Films, in chronological order.
- The General (1927) ..
ClydeBruckman & Buster Keaton
- Sunrise (1927) .. F.W. Murnau
- City Lights (1931) .. Charles Chaplin
- Boudu Saved from Drowning (1932) .. Jean Renoir
- Freaks (1932) .. Tod Browning
- Duck Soup (1933) .. Leo McCarey
- Liebelei (1933) .. Max Ophüls
- Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) .. Leo McCarey
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) .. Victor Fleming
- Casablanca (1942) .. Michael Curtiz
- Cat People (1942) .. Jacques Tourneur
- The Ox-Bow Incident (1943) .. William A. Wellman
- Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) .. Vincente Minnelli
- To Have and Have Not (1944) .. Howard Hawks
- Bicycle Thieves (1948) .. Vittorio De Sica
- The Red Shoes (1948) .. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
- High Noon (1952) .. Fred Zinnemann
- Singin' in the Rain (1952) .. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
- Pickup on South Street (1953) .. Samuel Fuller
- Ugetsu Monogatari (1953) .. Kenji Mizoguchi
- Seven Samurai (1954) .. Akira Kurosawa
- Viaggio in Italia (1954) .. Roberto Rossellini
- Kiss Me Deadly (1955) .. Robert Aldrich
- The Night of the Hunter (1955) .. Charles Laughton
- Rebel Without a Cause (1955) .. Nicholas Ray
- The Searchers (1956) .. John Ford
- Touch of Evil (1958) .. Orson Welles
- Vertigo (1958) .. Alfred Hitchcock
- The Four Hundred Blows (1959) .. Francois Truffaut
- Pickpocket (1959) .. Robert Bresson
- À Bout de Souffle (1960) .. Jean-Luc Godard
- La Dolce Vita (1960) .. Federico Fellini
- Viridiana (1961) .. Luis Buñuel
- Woman of the Dunes (1964) .. Hiroshi Teshigahara
- Chelsea Girls (1966) .. Andy Warhol
- Persona (1966) .. Ingmar Bergman
- Bonnie and Clyde (1967) .. Arthur Penn
- Playtime (1967) .. Jacques Tati
- Wavelength (1967) .. Michael Snow
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ..
- The Wild Bunch (1969) .. Sam Peckinpah
- The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) .. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
- Céline and Julie Go Boating (1974) .. Jacques Rivette
- The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976) .. John Cassavetes
- Annie Hall (1977) .. Woody Allen
- Raging Bull (1980) .. Martin Scorsese
- Dazed and Confused (1993) .. Richard Linklater
- Pulp Fiction (1994) .. Quentin Tarantino
- In the Mood for Love (2000) .. Wong Kar Wai
- Mulholland Dr. (2001) .. David Lynch