The 100 Best Movies Ever Made
In English, that is. Against our principles, we've included one by Martin Scorsese and one by D.W. Griffith. We compensated for that by including no films by David Lean or Mike Nichols. And look out, there's a film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger here.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) Before that movie staple, Adventure Films for Boys of All Ages, degenerated into cinematic roller-coaster rides, the genre boasted articulated plots, real wit, stylish villainy and great players. This, the best of the lot, has all that and a great star, Errol Flynn, at his apex.
The African Queen (1951) A floating paean to cranky, middle-aged single people. The best of the Hepburn/Tracy pictures, because Tracy isn't in it.
All About Eve (1950) Power-crazed media figure comes to regret helping an ungrateful unknown to become a star. A film so close to our own experience at Movieline, we have to go lie down now.
Annie Hall (1977) Unlikely Galahad's unlikely love poem to the most unlikely of screen queens.
Badlands (1973) This nasty, bleak little take on Hollywood's favorite tale--psycho lovers on the lam from the law--gets better with every passing year. Two otherwise inexplicable stars can justly point with pride to their work here.
Bambi (1942) The only film master-piece ever created for three-year-olds.
Being There (1979) In this film, when the idiot savant, who knows the world only through the garden he tends and the television he watches, makes gentle pronouncements that launch him to the heights of American power, the pseudo-aphorisms are a lot more clever than "Life is like a box of chocolates." Intelligent is as intelligent does.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) Director William Wyler's tale of soldiers returning home to small-town America after World War II may not ever have been the paragon of sensitive realism it was once taken for, but it's still an accurate, meaningful fantasy of the way we never were.
Blade Runner (1982, the director's cut) An expensive, stylish, despairing vision of 21st-century L.A. in which Daryl Hannah and Sean Young, both perfectly cast, play androids. The most borrowed/stolen-from film of the last 20 years.
Blow-Up (1966) Those who think Antonini's English-language film about a '60s London fashion photographer is dated should watch it again and try to name even one important item missing from this defining encyclopedia of what happened to us when we started looking at ourselves as cool objects.
Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch's fabulously, authentically neo-Freudi-an fairy tale about the seriously dark and weird things going on in a small American town and/or in the mind of an over-curious young man who lives there. A masterpiece that slipped miraculously through the screens Hollywood keeps in place to prevent such original eruptions.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) A precariously thin veneer of charm helps put over this frankly amoral tale of venal users who deserve--and, surprise, wind up with--each other. Hit theme tune goes a long way to disguise the bitterness of this pill.
Cabaret (1972) A precariously thin veneer of charm helps put over this frankly amoral tale of venal users who deserve--and, surprise, don't wind up with--each other. Flashy musical numbers go a long way to disguise the bitterness of this pill.
Casablanca (1942) A time capsule of World War-II era glamour, nobility and romance. The only movie that could rival the average Shakespeare play for number of lasting phrases contributed to everyday speech.
Chinatown (1974) The best thing Jack Nicholson will ever do. The best thing Faye Dunaway will ever do. The best thing Roman Polanski will ever do. The best thing Robert Towne will ever do. Etc.
Citizen Kane (1941) A boy and his sled are separated. Problems ensue.
City Lights (1931) Even if--like us--you can generally do without Charlie Chaplin, this one's a keeper.
The Conversation (1974) Are we just being paranoid, or has everything this movie predicted about the invasion of personal privacy come to pass? In any case, the thinking man's Sliver.
Dodsworth (1936) This tale of a self-made American millionaire industrialist who sells his factory and sails off to Europe with his flighty, pretentious wife is even more remarkable than it seemed upon first release, because Hollywood would never write as much virtue and benevolence into the character of a businessman now.
Don't Look Now (1973) There's a lot more going on in this film than the question of whether Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie were or were not actually doing it during the filming of the sex scene. Basically a kinky and intellectual ghost story, outre director Nicolas Roeg's tale of things unseen becomes, thanks to his lucid, subversive eye, an Investigation of the Unseen.
Double Indemnity (1944) So oft-imitated it should be old hat by now, but no--mix together the ruthlessness of the script, the director, and the film's femme fatale star, and what you get is a poisonous cocktail that still has real kick to it.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) A classic black comedy about the Cold War. Stanley Kubrick's icy gallows humor is hyperbolic but dead-on accurate about the various species of crazed extremists who handled the Bomb back when it looked like we might be Sobbing it momentarily.
The Elephant Man (1980) Quite an odd film to come from Hollywood, where physical beauty is the town religion. David Lynch's true story of John Merrick, a legendarily ugly man with an exquisitely gentle soul despite alt the misfortune and cruelty visited on him. makes you cry all the tears Merrick's kind doctor doesn't.
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) The best of the Star Wars trilogy. All the fun-filled archetypes are in top form, and a perfect balance is achieved between special effects and story, humor and emotion, and giddy action and dim-bulb philosophy.
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) By now, backlash has set in, claiming this movie's no The Wizard of Oz. They're wrong.
A Face in the Crowd (1957) Power-crazed media figure comes to regret helping an ungrateful unknown to become a star. A film so close to our own experience at Movieline, we have to go lie down now.
Five Easy Pieces (1970) Bob Rafelson tops our list of filmmakers with only one movie in 'em, but that one movie is a corker. Some people can-not buy Jack Nicholson as a piano virtuoso, but we have trouble getting past the early scenes depicting Jack as an oil rigger. From then on, smooth sailing.
Funny Face (1957) Power-crazed media figure comes to regret helping an ungrateful unknown to become a star. A film so close to our own experience at Movieline, we have to go lie down now.
Gallipoli (1981) One of the two best anti-war films ever made, starring a young Mel Gibson, whose outra¬geous good looks seduce you right into the heart of the battle.
Gigi (1958) A gloriously gilded easier egg of a movie. Despite the sugary trimmings, it's bracingly tart to the taste.
The Godfather, Parts I and II (1972, 1974) The very best of the gangster-glamorizing genre, if you give a damn about such things, and you really shouldn't.
Gone With the Wind (1939) Long, Southern soaper closer to Jackie Collins than Shakespeare. Two big stars at their best. Still works, always will.
Gun Crazy (1949) This nasty, bleak little lake on Hollywood's favorite tale--psycho lovers on the lam from (he law--has some-thing that's missing from Bonnie and Clyde, Thieves Like Us, True Romance and ail the others: irrepressible, irresistible Peggy Cummins, the gal we'd most like to be gunned down by.
A Hard Day's Night (1964) Very funny, winning young guys run, hop, jump, flirt, wisecrack and make music. Our favorite Marx Brothers movie.
The Haunting (1963) Two towering talents the movies completely misused--Claire Bloom and Julie Harris--provide the warm heart beating at the center of this cold-blooded haunted house thriller, which lets your imagination do all the work.