Jim's Film Website: Best Films

Cocteau's Beauty and the BeastHere are my picks for 10 Best Films in over 30 categories, including genres ranging from comedy to drama, documentary to science fiction. Released between 1915 and today, these works span most of cinema's history, and represent two dozen countries. I cannot recommend any films more enthusiastically.

In each category, the film after the gold star gold star is my top pick. On a quirky note, works on my "10 Greatest" list do not appear elsewhere, but those on my "Favorites" do. Let me know what you think, including what I shamelessly omitted, grotesquely overrated (for Adventure, Die Hard 2 but no Jaws), and bizarrely categorized (Seven Samurai as the best Western, with not a 10-gallon hat in sight). These lists change from time to time, so feel free to check back.

Guest "Best" Lists: New! Thank you to Shane Solow for your list of 200 Best Films, covering a wide range of genres. And thanks to earlier contributors Gretchen Fowler for your 100 Noteworthy Films by Women; William Harris, of Michigan, for your "Top 100 Films" list (includes William's revised Top 10 Films list and Top 10 Works of Music list); and to John Davies, of Wales, for your "100 Favorite Films" list.

'10 Best Films' Lists

Favorites

Genres

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Favorites

Passion of Joan of Arcgold star 10 Greatest Films — The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928)

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Star Wars Episode IV A New Hopegold star 10 Favorite Films — Star Wars Episode 4: A New Hope (Lucas / 1977)

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gold star 10 Favorite Filmmakers

BergmanIngmar Bergman (1918–2007; Sweden)

  • The Seventh Seal (1957)
  • Bergman's Trilogy: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light & The Silence (1961–1963)
  • Persona (1966)
  • The Magic Flute (1974)

CocteauJean Cocteau (1889–1963; France)

  • Blood of a Poet (1930)
  • Beauty and the Beast (La belle et la bête) (1946) [my review]
  • Les Parents Terribles (1948)
  • Orpheus (1950) [my mini-review]

DreyerCarl Th. Dreyer (1889–1968; Denmark)

  • Michael [Mikaël] (1924) [my review]
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  • Vampyr (1932)
  • Day of Wrath (1943)

EisensteinSergei Eisenstein (1898–1948; Russia)

  • Battleship Potemkin (1925) [my mini-review]
  • Qué Viva México (1931)
  • Alexander Nevsky (1938)
  • Ivan the Terrible, Parts I & II (1943–1946)

FassbinderRainer Werner Fassbinder (1946–1982; Germany)

GodardJean-Luc Godard (1930– ; France) (1896–1977; US)

  • Breathless (1959)
  • Pierrot le Fou (1965)
  • Two or Three Things I Know About Her (1966)
  • Week End (1967)

HitchcockAlfred Hitchcock (1899–1980; UK/US)

KubrickStanley Kubrick (1928–1999; US/UK)

  • The Killing (1956)
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • Barry Lyndon (1975)

KurosawaAkira Kurosawa (1910–1998; Japan)

  • Stray Dog (1949)
  • Rashomon (1950)
  • Seven Samurai (1954)
  • Ran [King Lear] (1985) [my review]

WellesOrson Welles (1915–1985; US)

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Genres

North by Northwestgold star Adventure — North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959)

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Bringing Up Babygold star Animals — Bringing Up Baby (Hawks / 1938)

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Spirited Awaygold star Animation — Spirited Away (Miyazaki / 2001)

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Aguirregold star Biography — Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Herzog / 1972)

Note: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Networkgold star Business — Network (Lumet / 1976)

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Pather Panchaligold star Childhood — Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray / 1955)

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Philadelphia Storygold star Comedy — The Philadelphia Story (Cukor / 1940)

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Mean Streetsgold star Crime — Mean Streets (Scorsese / 1973)

Related Genres: Crime (situational, analytical), Gangster (psychological, mythic), and Suspense (atmospheric)

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Berlin Symphony of a Great Citygold star Documentary — Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Ruttmann / 1927)

Note: Man With the Movie Camera (Vertov / 1929) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Personagold star Drama — Persona (Bergman / 1966)

Note: Citizen Kane (Welles / 1941), Tokyo Story (Ozu / 1953), and L'Avventura (Antonioni / 1960) are not listed here because they appear among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Gone With the Windgold star Epic — Gone With the Wind (Fleming & uncredited Cukor / 1939)

Note: Intolerance (Griffith / 1916) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Orpheusgold star Fantasy — Orpheus (Cocteau / 1949)

Note: Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau / 1946) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

Related Genres: Fantasy (imaginary beings, non-horrific), Horror (fear, supernatural-based), and Science Fiction (extra-terrestrials, imaginary technology)

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Sunset Blvd.gold star Filmmaking — Sunset Blvd. (Wilder / 1950)

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The Godfather Collectiongold star Gangster — The Godfather, Parts One & Two (Coppola / 1972 & 1974)

Related Genres: Crime (situational, analytical), Gangster (psychological, mythic), and Suspense (atmospheric)

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Fellini Satyricongold star GLBT — Fellini Satyricon (Fellini / 1969)

GLBT Cinema: Gay/ Lesbian/ Bisexual/ Transgender (GLBT) Cinema resources, including 50 outstanding GLBT films and great directors

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The Haunting (1963) - directed by Robert Wisegold star Horror — The Haunting (Wise / 1963)

Note: Although this category covers all forms of Horror pictures, there is an annotated 10 Best Vampire films list with my review of Murnau's Nosferatu.

Related Genres: Fantasy (imaginary beings, non-horrific), Horror (fear, supernatural-based), and Science Fiction (extra-terrestrials, imaginary technology)

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Rashomongold star Law — Rashomon (Kurosawa / 1950)

Note: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Great Expectations (Lean / 1946)gold star Literary — Great Expectations (Lean / 1946)

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Singin' in the Raingold star Music(als) — Singin' in the Rain (Kelly & Donen / 1952)

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Ivan the Terriblegold star Politics — Ivan the Terrible (Eisenstein / 1943 & 1946)

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The Gospel According to Saint Matthewgold star Religion — The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (Pasolini / 1966)

Note: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Detourgold star Road — Detour (Ulmer / 1945)

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L'Atalantegold star Romance — L'Atalante (Vigo / 1934)

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Story of Louis Pasteurgold star Science — The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle / 1936)

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2001gold star Science Fiction — 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick / 1968)

Note: A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick / 1971) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

Related Genres: Fantasy (imaginary beings, non-horrific), Horror (fear, supernatural-based), and Science Fiction (extra-terrestrials, imaginary technology)

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Welles' Othellogold star Shakespeare — Othello (Welles / 1952)

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Raging Bullgold star Sports — Raging Bull (Scorsese / 1980)

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Kiss Me Deadlygold star Suspense — Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich / 1955)

Related Genres: Crime (situational, analytical), Gangster (psychological, mythic), and Suspense (atmospheric)

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My Fair Ladygold star Teaching — My Fair Lady (Cukor / 1964)

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Children of Paradisegold starTheatre — Children of Paradise (Carné / 1945)

Note: L'Amour fou (Rivette / 1968) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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La Belle Noiseusegold star Visual Arts — La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette / 1991)

(Painting/ Photography/ Sculpture/ Architecture)

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Platoongold star War — Platoon (Stone / 1986)

Note: Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein / 1925) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I've Seen

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Seven Samuraigold star Westerns — Seven Samurai (Kurosawa / 1950)

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Adaptationgold star Writing — Adaptation (Jonze / 2002)

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