100 Best Films of All Time – Part 1
September 3, 2009 by John Villoch
Filed under Movie News
Movienewz.com proudly reveals a definitive list of the 100 Best Films of All Time or 100 Films You Should See Before You Die.
I’m often asked “What is your favorite film?” you’ll discover the answer to that inquiry later on. With that question in mind, I decided to compile a definitive list of the “100 Best Films of All Time” or alternatively “100 Films You Should See Before You Die” but that was too morbid.
These exceptional films span cinematic history and include all genres and countries. I’ve combed through my mental inventory and narrowed down about 200 of my favorite films to an all-encompassing list of 100 timeless and influential classics that either add something refreshing to the genre or invent an entirely new subgenre. So without further ado, lets count down the 100 Best Films of All Time.
The Ninth Configuration (1980)
The lunatics are running the asylum. Is Colonel Kane (Stacy Keach) really a noted psychiatrist, assigned to supervise patients in an experimental government clinic, or is he really “Killer” Kane, a decorated U.S. Marine who committed atrocities in Vietnam before going insane? And why did Captain Cutshaw (Scott Wilson) go berserk just seconds before a scheduled rocket launch? These are just some of the puzzles that will eventually be solved in ‘The Ninth Configuration’, a giddy and often brilliant drama created by William Peter Blatty, who wrote ‘The Exorcist’ before directing this adaptation of his own novel, Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane. Directed by: William Peter Blatty Starring: Stacy Keach, Scott Wilson, Jason Miller and Ed Flanders.
99. Planet of the Apes (1968) – Based on Pierre Boulle’s novel and adapted for the screen by ‘The Twilight Zone’s Rod Serling, ‘Planet of the Apes’ is everything science fiction should be, intriguing, thought provoking and relevant.
98. Toy Story (1995) – The first CGI feature-length animated film is still the best. Inventive and magical are just a few words to describe this landmark achievement.
97. Sixteen Candles (1984) – If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, consider the late writer-director John Hughes flattered. His first in a long line of beloved films, about socially awkward teens in the ’80s, is just as meaningful today as it was back then.
96. The Graduate (1967) – This social satire about the rebellious spirit of the ’60s launched the career of two-time Oscar-winner Dustin Hoffman and cemented the reputation of acclaimed director Mike Nichols.
Enter the Dragon (1973)
The art of fighting without fighting. The last film completed by Bruce Lee before his untimely death, ‘Enter the Dragon’ was his entrée into Hollywood. The American-Hong Kong coproduction, shot in Asia by American director Robert Clouse, stars Lee as a British agent sent to infiltrate the criminal empire of bloodthirsty Asian crime lord Han (Shih Kien) through his annual international martial arts tournament. Directed by: Robert Clouse Starring: Bruce Lee and John Saxon.
94. Field of Dreams (1989) – Director Phil Alden Robinson’s moving drama starring Kevin Costner is based on W.P. Kinsella’s novel ‘Shoeless Joe’, about an Iowa farmer who builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield.
93. Amadeus (1984) – Based on Sir Peter Shaffer’s London and Broadway stage hit about the rivalry between two composers, ‘Amadeus’ is a celebration of Mozart’s timeless music as well as a gripping drama.
92. The Sixth Sense (1999) – Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan’s plot-twisting eerie tale about a boy (Joel Osment) who sees dead people is haunting and brilliant.
91. Die Hard (1988) – Based on Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel ‘Nothing Lasts Forever’, this influential action thriller launched the film career of Bruce Willis and established an entire new action genre: Terrorists vs. Lone Hero.
North By Northwest (1959)
It’s a classic Hitchcock Wrong Man scenario. Grant is Roger O. Thornhill, an advertising executive who is mistaken by enemy spies for a U.S. undercover agent named George Kaplan. Convinced these sinister fellows (James Mason as the boss, and Martin Landau as his henchman) are trying to kill him, Roger flees and meets a sexy ‘Stranger on a Train’ (Eva Marie Saint). ‘North By Northwest’ is remembered for the crop-duster plane attack in the cornfield and the cliffhanger finale atop the stone faces of Mount Rushmore. Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint and Martin Landau.
89. Gladiator (2000) – Ridley Scott’s seminal epic about Maximus (Russell Crowe), a Roman general who became a slave then a heroic gladiator, is a visually stunning film with riveting performances by Russell Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix. “Am I not merciful?”
88. Open Your Eyes (1997, Spain) – ‘Abre los ojos’ is remarkable, imaginative and complex. César (Eduardo Noriega) a handsome man who falls for Sofía (Penélope Cruz), the beautiful girlfriend of his best friend, is horribly disfigured by an obsessive ex-lover. American director Cameron Crowe remade the film as ‘Vanilla Sky’ in 2001, with Tom Cruise in the lead role and Cruz reprising her role as Sophia.
87. Dances With Wolves (1990) – Kevin Costner’s directorial debut (of Michael Blake’s novel) is a triumph. Civil War soldier (Kevin Costner) is assigned to his dream post, a remote junction on the Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe.
86. No Country for Old Men (2007) – The Coen brothers (Joel and Ethan Coen) adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s novel is a densely woven crime story about a drug deal gone violently wrong and the futility of human efforts to thwart lawlessness. Javier Bardem is chillingly calm as a sociopath who uses a pneumatic device as his weapon of choice.
The Lost Boys (1987)
Sleep all day. Party all night. It’s fun to be a vampire. What makes ‘The Lost Boys’ such a noteworthy vampire film? Echo and the Bunnymen’s cover of The Doors “People are Strange,” the boardwalk, the motorcycle race, the wine bottle, the dilapidated hotel vampire cave, train track initiation, Frog brothers, “death by stereo,” Nanook the dog, the screwy grandfather and Gerard Mcmann’s “Cry Little Sister” just to name a few. You will be hard-pressed to find a single frame of director Joel Schumacher’s stylish cultural time capsule that is not noteworthy. ‘The Lost Boys’ tells the story of Michael (Jason Patric) and his younger brother Sam (Corey Haim) who move with their divorced mother Lucy (Dianne Wiest) to the fictional coastal town of Santa Carla, (doubles for Santa Cruz) California where the local teenage gang headed by David (Keifer Sutherland) turns out to be a pack of “bloodthirsty vampires.” Directed by: Joel Schumacher Starring: Jason Patric, Kiefer Sutherland, Corey Haim, Jami Gertz, Dianne Wiest, Corey Feldman, Barnard Hughes, Edward Herrmann, Billy Wirth, Jamison Newlander, Brooke McCarter and Alex Winter.
84. Seven (1995) – David Fincher’s uncompromisingly bleak thriller, about an ingenious serial killer that forces each of his victims to die by acting out one of the seven deadly sins, popularized and virtually reinvented “The serial killer” genre in the 1990s.
83. The Sting (1973) – ‘The Sting’ sets the bar for the con-man movie genre. Director George Roy Hill (‘Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid’) reunites Paul Newman and Robert Redford as two Chicago con artists who set out to avenge the murder of a mutual friend and partner in the 1930s.
82. JFK (1991) – Director Oliver Stone used his “artistic license” and forever changed the way films about historical figures are constructed. Kevin Costner centers a colorful cast of characters in Stone’s controversial conspiracy-filled retelling of New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison’s investigation into JFK’s assassination.
81. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) – Stanley Kubrick’s ’2001: A Space Odyssey’ (inspired by Arthur C. Clarke’s novel) is a science fiction masterpiece. The film follows the investigation of mysterious monoliths throughout the universe and astronauts David (Keir Dullea) and Frank (Gary Lockwood) who battle their ship’s intelligent computer, HAL-9000.
Wanna buy Madonna’s pap smear? Richard Linklater’s debut feature is a comic kaleidoscopic portrait of the quirky characters stuck in a college town (it’s Austin, Texas, but it could stand for hundreds of such places), a devilishly clever and endlessly inventive film that overcomes its nothing budget with scene after hilarious scene of short, sharp cinematic shots. Structured something like Luis Buñuel’s ‘The Phantom of Liberty’, ‘Slacker’ is a comic series of character pieces, each lasting a few minutes before the camera picks up and follows someone, perhaps simply an extra in the scene, to the next conversation. Characters spout off theories on everything from JFK and Charles Whitman (we even get an eerie glimpse of the tower he climbed for his killing spree) to Elvis and UFOs, and more (wanna buy a Madonna pap smear?) on our bohemian tour of a condensed day-in-the-life. Directed by: Richard Linklater Starring: Richard Linklater, Rudy Basquez, Jean Caggeine, Jan Hockey and Stephan Hockey.
79. Amores Perros (2000, Mexico) – Director Alejandro González Iñarritu’s sensational film debut recounts three stories that unfold and intertwine on the brutal streets of Mexico City.
78. Chinatown (1974) – Part detective mystery and part psychological drama, Roman Polanski’s first-rate 1974 neo-noir classic starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway is a multi-layered story about political corruption in 1930s Los Angeles.
77. His Girl Friday (1940) – The best adaptation of the stage play ‘The Front Page’, the fast-paced repartee between Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in this classic battle-of-the-sexes screwball comedy has inspired countless other comedies.
76. Forrest Gump (1994) – Based on Winston Groom’s ’86 novel, director Robert Zemeckis’ ‘Forrest Gump’ is a sweet and tender love story starring Tom Hanks as a simple man who finds himself at the center of the pivotal events of the 20th century and Robin Wright Penn as the flighty object of his affection.
Additional Sources: VideoHound, Amazon.com, Wikipedia