The 50 Greatest Films

1. Citizen Kane (1941) .. Orson Welles
2. Vertigo (1958) .. Alfred Hitchcock
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) .. Stanley Kubrick
4. The Godfather (1972) .. Francis Ford Coppola
5. Casablanca (1942) .. Michael Curtiz
6. The Third Man (1949) .. Carol Reed
7. Taxi Driver (1976) .. Martin Scorsese
8. Seven Samurai (1954) .. Kurosawa Akira
9. Psycho (1960) .. Alfred Hitchcock
10. Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) .. Stanley Kubrick
11. The Godfather: Part II (1974) .. Francis Ford Coppola
12. The Searchers (1956) .. John Ford
13. Rear Window (1954) .. Alfred Hitchcock
14. Singin' in the Rain (1952) .. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
15. Persona (1966) .. Ingmar Bergman
16. Chinatown (1974) .. Roman Polanski
17. Sunset Boulevard (1950) .. Billy Wilder
18. Sunrise (1927) .. F.W. Murnau
19. Tokyo Story (1953) .. Ozu Yasujiro
20. Pulp Fiction (1994) .. Quentin Tarantino
21. La Règle du Jeu (1939) .. Jean Renoir
22. 8½ (1963) .. Federico Fellini
23. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) .. David Lean
24. The Night of the Hunter (1955) .. Charles Laughton
25. Apocalypse Now (1979) .. Francis Ford Coppola
26. City Lights (1931) .. Charles Chaplin
27. Bicycle Thieves (1948) .. Vittorio De Sica
28. Annie Hall (1977) .. Woody Allen
29. Touch of Evil (1958) .. Orson Welles
30. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) .. Carl Theodor Dreyer
31. Blade Runner (1982) .. Ridley Scott
32. M (1931) .. Fritz Lang
33. The General (1927) .. Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton
34. Some Like It Hot (1959) .. Billy Wilder
35. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) .. Sergio Leone
36. The Four Hundred Blows (1959) .. Franτois Truffaut
37. Duck Soup (1933) .. Leo McCarey
38. Double Indemnity (1944) .. Billy Wilder
39. Raging Bull (1980) .. Martin Scorsese
40. All About Eve (1950) .. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
41. A Clockwork Orange (1971) .. Stanley Kubrick
42. The Apartment (1960) .. Billy Wilder
43. La Grande Illusion (1937) .. Jean Renoir
44. Ikiru (1952) .. Kurosawa Akira
45. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) .. Frank Capra
46. Rashomon (1950) .. Kurosawa Akira
47. The Wizard of Oz (1939) .. Victor Fleming
48. Do the Right Thing (1989) .. Spike Lee
49. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) .. Sergio Leone
50. L'Avventura (1960) .. Michelangelo Antonioni


Ted Michael Morgan said...

Watching any of these splendid films is time well used. Thanks.

Michał Oleszczyk said...

Interesting results; good job, Iain! I am happy to see THE APARTMENT making it to the top 50 -- it rarely does.

Anonymous said...

No critic in the world worth his salt would put Pulp Fuction in the top 20 films OF ALL TIME - ahead of City Lights, The Wizard of Oz or Bicycle Thieves...

Alan Bacchus said...

Good work Iain.
Surprisingly it's very similar to the various other Best of lists out there.

José Sinclair said...

I agree re Pulp Fiction - it came in 20th on my internet survey, I was surprised..
I compiled a top 1011 list on the net, found over 1300 entries on all the big surveys..

The top: 1-Godfather, 2-2001, 3-Chinatown, 4-Star Wars, 5-Citizen Kane, 6-Vertico, 7-Seven Samurai, 8-Psycho, 9-Godfather Pt II, 10-Its a Wonderful Life

Not what I would pick: 2001 is ok, Dr Strangelove, Lawrence of Arabia, Best Years of Our Lives belong here for me. Yimou's HERO, etc..

see our list, Top Ranked Films on the Net at:

we have the full 1011 ranked and alphabetical.. also highest ranked directors...

Good stuff Iain!! -- Jose S

José Sinclair said...

ps - also agree with Seven Samurai up high. find Psycho laughable, Wonderful Life overrated, and Blade Runner (I like the P.K. Dick story Minority Report by Spielberg more, and I'm a big Dick fan.. wait -that didn't sound right!)
SUnset Boulevard is better crime than Pulp Fiction, by far..also Once Upon a Time in America..

L'AVVENTURA is a classic, glad it made the list - I'd have it about 10-20th on mine.. the more I remember it, the higher it goes!

ps - its BICYCLE THIEF, singular not plural - I found it both ways on the net so I checked better sources.. when I saw it at college it was "Thief" - only the dad steal a bike, not the kid..
I liked UMBERTO D better from De Sica, loved FLIKE the dog, deserved a special oscar!

..jose, worldsbestfilms

Bags said...

Hmm lets not have the 'Thief' debate - the 'ladri' of the original title is italian for thieves, hence the plural, but I think that both ways work as elegantly as each other.

PS: Great job Iain!!

PIPER said...

It's a good list. A solid list. But not a very exciting one. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

weepingsam said...

NIce work, Iain - it's good to run surveys like this every couple years. I suppose when a bunch of people vote, they'll generally end up picking most of the same films, so the most interesting effect is comparing them over time... Kind of notable that nothing made since 1994 made the top 50....

Lechuguilla said...

A sample size of 187 is quite impressive, and lends credibility to the results. Congrats Iain on a terrific job.

Ken Thompson (Lechuguilla)

Peter Hall said...

Where's Unforgiven, Go Tell the Spartans, or They Live. Those are my top three and they're not even on the list!

Tim said...

This list mainly strikes me as 'what someone told you to like' than anything; very few of them would make my "top 50" - if I made such doggerel. "Pulp Fiction"? You have got to be kidding.
"Once Upon a Time in the West"? "Psycho"? Please.

Anonymous said...

Was this really a survey, or did you just copy every other movie from the AFI one hundred? Martin Scorcese makes the list twice, but nothing at all from Tarkovsky or Sergei Eisenstein, not to mention Robert Bresson, Jules Dassin, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Werner Herzog, and at least a dozen others I can think of. I spit on your movie list!

PIPER said...

You know, when I saw that someone had posted Anonymously about this list, I knew without reading the comment that it would be a slam against the list.

I have no problem with criticism or debate, but I really hate chicken shits. Have the balls to put a name to the criticism.

And Scorcese is actually spelled Scorsese, you Moron!

And this isn't even my list.

Anonymous said...

P.S. I just cross-checked this list with the AFI 100, because at first glance it looked like there were way too many similarities. Here are my (unofficial) results:

(1) 9 out of the top 10 on the OLR list are English-language films. Every one of these appears on the AFI list.

(2) 17 out of the top 20 on the OLR list are English-language films. Every one of these appears on the AFI list.

(3) 35 of the 50 on the OLR list are English-language films. 33 of these 35 appear on the AFI list. The only exceptions are Touch of Evil and Night of the Hunter.

So to sum up, the English-language selections make up 90% of the top 10, 85% of the top 100, and 70% of the total list. And 94% of these selections are identical to those on the AFI list.

I call B.S. on these results. Who exactly did you survey here? What percentage of the "filmmakers, critics, bloggers, historians, and other assorted cinephiles" were from the U.S. or UK? If it was a similarly disproportionate amount, in what manner does this represent a "consensus"? Moreover, did they just plagiarize the AFI list and then add their favorite foreign film?

Tim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Anonymous guy one last time. I just saw Iain Stott's own top "50" list, and it actually looks pretty awesome--lots of more important and less conventional stuff there. Please take my previous remarks as directed at the critics surveyed, and not at this individual, who seems to me to have quite excellent and diverse tastes.

Tim said...

WHERE is Tarkovsky? Bunuel? Eisenstein? Marker? Something by Lynch belongs in here somewhere, also Terry Gilliam. And really, Allen's done better than Annie Hall.

Where are the short films, and short film directors?

This is the same BS with Casablanca, Citizen Kane and Kurosawa's samurai films in it. It's tired.

PIPER said...

Peter Hall,

They Live on a top 50? It's bold. I love it, but mostly only because I love John Carpenter.


You're right that something by Lynch should be here. And Annie Hall is not Allen's best work. But I'm more of a Allen cornball sympathizer. Give me Sleeper or Love and Death over any of them.

Unknown said...

Where are the great documentary films? I can think of several off the top of my head that should be in any top 50 list:
"Fast, Cheap, and Out of Control"
"Fog of War"
"March of the Penguins"
"Battle for Algiers"
"Triumph of the Will" (although this is a very un-PC choice)

Joel Bocko said...

As some have indicated, a solid list and great for beginners (especially since it takes a lot of the stronger films from the AFI list but combines them with the most celebrated classics of foreign cinema) - but with a sort of a been-there, done-that feel for the more experienced film buff. Interesting to see Anon eat his words after checking out the blogger's individual list. Perhaps he/she should have held his/her tongue - proverbially speaking of course - before lashing out?

I am big on canons, but more in the sense of many individual lists taken together than a composite made from majority opinion; heterogenous rather homogenous. Not sure if I spelled that right - don't kill me, Piper! At any rate, I find myself most interested in my own - and others' - "favorite great movies", not so much the guilty pleasures or momentary obsessions nor the objective "best" lists (unless they have an ironically idiosyncratic bent to them).

At any rate, it's quite hard to argue with the quality of any movies on this list. Even Pulp Fiction, irritating as its influence has been, is quite an accomplishment taken on its own terms.

weepingsam said...

It's a respectable list, but I'm with movieman - the "Participants" page is the real time sink... the final top 50 is like the center of gravity, with all those other lists orbiting around it...

PIPER said...


I'll let you slide, but you're on thin ice.

aaronmeister said...

I agree with the films in this list, but certainly not in the order presented, and I do feel that the 90s are not represented.

Since the list is titled the "Greatest" and not "Best" I agree with films such as Psycho being on the list. The lasting impression truly has made it one of the greatest, but certainly far from the best.

And it should be Bicycle THIEVES because not only is the main character a thief, but also the person who stole his bike.

Cory said...

I wouldn't put 8 1/2 so low it's definitely a top 5 film, and City lights is too low aswell

Joshua Berger said...

all are deserving, good films, but the list is hardly inspiring in its originality. tho when u have that many participants the general consensus is never going to be very surprising. but a good list nonetheless. i dont fully understand the scorn at pulp fiction in the comments, perfect position imo.

my own gripes with the list:

godfather 1 and 2 are both about 5-10 spots too high in their respective positions of 3 and 11, imo, and vertigo at 2 is a little hard to justify. 8 1/2 and rules of the game should be a little higher. a little more noir representation would be nice as well. i never saw the huge fuss about the searchers, and dr strangelove never scored that highly in my books either, but overall nothing is outrageously wrong in this list. i definitely like seeing the third man at 6 tho :)

i would have liked to have seen a lynch film there, especially seeing as the same group of participants named him as a top 20 director, so blue velvet or mulholland drive (or if my own rantings and ravings are to be believed, lost highway) probably deserve spots.

other films excluding these 3 that are definitely in my top 50 would be the conversation, the seventh seal, the trial, magnolia and the deer hunter.

Eric Vejnovich said...

Any time I throw together a 'All Time' list, I usually end up listing them 'in no particular order,' as I don’t really know how to put one film I love at #5 versus another at #7 and so on…

However, for my number one film… that one stands alone.

The greatest film that I've ever seen would have to be Werner Herzog's "Agguire, The Wrath of God."

It really baffles me how this film isn’t one of these standard accepted top 20 films on any of these lists. I don't know why it doesn’t share the same rarified air as "Seventh Seal" or "Rules of the Game" or any of these other universally lauded foreign films.

Certainly I would think film scholars/ critics would know of and worship the film, but I would even think its a film that just your average lover of film would find themselves blown away by it.

If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check out "Agguire, the Wrath of God" immediately.

And then name for me a better closing image... wow.

Michael Main said...

erin, i agree that aguirre is one of the greats. tho the audio was terrible on what i saw - neither the german or english ( i cant remember which was dubbed and which wasnt) was ok, on the R4 release at least. but yeh, great film, and i agree there are few better closing images - maybe 2001?

IsaacTheSalsaShark said...

What's with all the hate on Psycho? If you don't like Psycho that's fine, but it's an incredible film and most people would agree it's one the best.

And, I'm a little sad to see The Battle of Algiers and Aguirre: The Wrath of God didn't make the list.

Anonymous said...

I know it was mostly Americans surveyed, but surely such a high percentage of the ten best ever made haven't really all been made in one country?!?
Sight and Sound's a british magazine and yet its list usually has much more foreign repreresentation...

jj mollo said...

There are very few films that I can stand to watch more than once. Hitchcock I can't deal with at all. Otherwise, I like your list. Here's some of my favorites. Time Bandits, The Triplets of Belleville, Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, It's a Wonderful Life, and Groundhog Day.

Anonymous said...

T think that this is a really great looking list! I have seen every movie on here and agree that they are all good. I'm glad Pulp Fiction, Taxi Driver and Blade Runner are here (my favorite's)But everyone has there own opinion and I don't think that dr Strangelove, Night of the Hunter, Do the Right thing belong about English Patient, Magnolia and Unforgiven instead

Anonymous said...

Too Western-centric, other than the three films by Ozu and Kurosawa. No films by Satyajit Ray or any other movies by Asian directors. A shame.

suhel said...

has anybody even bothered to check out satyajit ray?

Anonymous said...

I, personally, can't stand Citizen Kane. Although I know why it's on the list. I think M is far more compelling a film than Citizen Kane. Sure, beautiful cinematography. Never once during the film do I give a rats-ass about Kane or "who he is." Not even long enough to suspend my disbelief to become interested in the fact that is what the plot of the film is about... "Oh, Rosebud! Rosebud! Why should I care?"

And the AFI list is a *complete* joke. Seriously, Titanic scores higher than Sidney Lumet's Network? Dagger out of my back, please... Oh, wait, that's right... James Cameron is on the *board* of AFI, now I see how this list works.

Dennis Fischer said...

I think L'AVVENTURA is quite overrated, but otherwise, I can't really argue with the list, which includes most of my all-time favorites. It was nice to see at least a few silent films making the list. Too many Best of lists these days skew toward only the most recent titles.

Eric said...

sorry, but a toplist without eisenstein obviously is not a toplist

Anonymous said...

I agree Pulp Fiction should be on the list. If anything, newer films are habitually underrated and the older canonized ones by famous directors get placed too high. Like, I haven't been impressed by any Kubrick film that does not involve bomb riding.

And American mafia films are *way* overrated.

Prof. Paranoia said...

I agree with most of the choices but I feel some of the movies are too high: 2001, taxi driver, rear window, so on.

Also, good to see the apartment.

Anonymous said...

I love that TOUCH OF EVIL is on this list. the story isn't as deep as Welles' Citizen Kane, but it visually is its equal or better. The Third Man should be on here as well, and i love that once upon a time in the west made it. I don't know if i saw La Dolce Bita either. Was it there? If not it should be.

Schindler said...

Good and strong list overall.

However where are Shawnshank Redemption and Schindler's List?

I know the classics are classics but considering there are only 2 films on the list from 1990 to present is really disappointing.

Term Paper said...

Amazing I never got this type of post, it's good to run surveys like this every couple years...

Julia Jones said...

Thank you very much for sharing this entertaining information. I will watch some of the films mentioned for sure and I would vote for some of them myself. My aunt made a similar research while her thesis writing
and some of the results coincide with

water in heat said...

This list is so b.s. I won't even try to comment, I would be here all night.

But..... for starters: no Fassbinder, no Salo (no, you don't have to like it, but belongs on any top 100 and is on my top 10), no Ponticorvo, no Sokerov, no Rosi....

GregWA said...

I always wish these lists would come with a full demographic report of the voters - sex, race, country, religion, etc - especially sex. Given that those who write about film have been (and still are) dominated by white men, the results always seem skewed in those directions.

For instance, only a handful of the films listed here are told from a feminine perspective and the first one doesn't appear until Persona at #15.

I wonder if films like Pulp Fiction, Blade Runner, Apocalypse Now and A Clockwork Orange could make a similar list with a more balanced electorate.

Shaun Swart said...

Where is Shawshank Redemption ??

Baron said...

Looks way different than my top 50, that's for sure.

Unknown said...

There were only three that I could sit through

Michael said...

visit piratebay to download these films ..
Job Vacancies

Mixtapes said...

Nice list, thanks for this classics on there pulp fiction is one of my favs.

Anonymous said...


soeti said...

Размышления на тему того, кто такой вебмастер читаем на блоге

tava tea said...

I can't deal with at all. Otherwise, I like your list. Here's some of my favorites. Time Bandits, The Triplets of Belleville, Koyaanisqatsi: Life out of Balance, It's a Wonderful Life, and Groundhog Day.

Viagra vs Cialis said...

This is a topic that you can debate forever. I think it basically is on the money with the top 50 movies. But my order would be a lot different barring the top 5.

triniti said...

Bon travail Iain.
Étonnamment, il est très similaire à la meilleure diverses autres listes de là-bas.

acheter kamagra said...

Permet pas le débat "voleur» - le «Voleur» du titre original est en italien pour acheter kamagra les voleurs, d'où le pluriel, mais je pense que les deux façons de travail avec autant d'élégance que les autres.

acheter levitra said...

Personnellement, je ne peux pas supporter Citizen Kane. Même si je sais pourquoi il est sur la liste. Je pense que M est beaucoup plus convaincante d'un film de Citizen Kane. Bien sûr, la photo magnifique. Pas une seule fois pendant le acheter levitra film puis-je donner un rat-ass sur Kane ou «qui il est." Pas même assez longtemps pour suspendre mon incrédulité à s'intéresser au fait que c'est ce que l'intrigue du film est au sujet de ... "Oh, Rosebud! Rosebud! Pourquoi devrais-je m'inquiéter?

acheter kamagra said...

Je sais que c'était surtout des Américains interrogés, mais sûrement un pourcentage aussi élevé des dix meilleurs jamais réalisés n'ont pas vraiment tous été fabriqués dans un pays?
Sight and Sound est un magazine britannique, et pourtant sa liste a généralement beaucoup plus repreresentation étrangers

acheter levitra said...

Regarder un de ces films magnifiques est temps bien utilisé. Merci.

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Anonymous said...

Jeg er enig re Pulp Fiction - den kom i det 20. på min internet-undersøgelse, blev jeg overrasket.

tomzjacky said...

I visit your blog first time and i am very glad to visit your blog.Because i see those movies which was i don't know.Great work.

GameGuru2U said...

Great list. I've seen most of them, but are definitely a few I plan on watching after reading this.

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