*MAJOR UPDATE IN PROGRESS* I’m revising this entire website, including LGBTQ+ Literature and Film. Thank you for understanding.

Jim’s Film Website: Best Films I’ve Seen

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 [email link temporarily removed because I have a looming deadline!], 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

Genres

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  • Adventure
  • Animals
  • Animation
  • Biography
  • Business
  • Childhood
  • Comedy
  • Crime
  • Documentary
  • Drama
  • Epic
  • Fantasy
  • Filmmaking
  • Gangster
  • Horror
  • Law
  • LGBTQ+
  • Literary
  • Music(als)
  • Politics
  • Religion
  • Road
  • Romance
  • Science
  • Science Fiction
  • Shakespeare
  • Sports
  • Suspense
  • Teaching
  • Theater
  • Visual Arts
  • War
  • Westerns
  • Writing

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

  • Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein / 1925) [my mini-review]
  • Beauty and the Beast (Cocteau / 1946) [my review]
  • Citizen Kane (Welles / 1941)
  • A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick / 1971)
  • Intolerance (Griffith / 1916)
  • L’Amour fou (Rivette / 1968)
  • L’Avventura (Antonioni / 1960)
  • Man With the Movie Camera (aka The Man With a Camera) (Vertov / 1929)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928)
  • Tokyo Story (Ozu / 1953)

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

  • Beauty and the Beast (Disney/ Trousdale & Wise / 1991)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (Whale / 1935)
  • Bringing Up Baby (Hawks / 1938)
  • Chinatown (Polanski / 1974)
  • E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (Spielberg / 1982)
  • The Godfather Parts I & II (Coppola / 1972 & 1974)
  • Gone With the Wind (Fleming, Cukor, et al. / 1939)
  • North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959)
  • Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock / 1943)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucas / 1977)

*10 Favorite Filmmakers

Ingmar 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]

Carl Th. Dreyer (1889–1968; Denmark)

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

Sergei 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)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder (1946–1982; Germany)

Jean-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)

Alfred Hitchcock (1899–1980; UK/US)

Stanley Kubrick (1928–1999; US/UK)

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

Akira Kurosawa (1910–1998; Japan)

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

Orson Welles (1915–1985; US)

Genres

Adventure — North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959)

  • The African Queen (Huston / 1951)
  • Die Hard 2: Die Harder (Harlin / 1990)
  • Goldfinger (Hamilton / 1964)
  • The Guns of Navarone (Thompson / 1961)
  • King Kong (Cooper & Schoedsack / 1933)
  • Les Vampires (Feuillade / 1915)
  • The Matrix (the Wachowskis / 1999)
  • North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Spielberg / 1981 & 1989)
  • The Wages of Fear (Clouzot / 1952)

Animals — Bringing Up Baby (Hawks / 1938)

  • Au hasard Balthazar (Bresson / 1966)
  • Babe (Noonan / 1995)
  • Bambi (Disney/ Hand / 1942)
  • Bringing Up Baby (Hawks / 1938)
  • Fly Away Home (Ballard / 1996)
  • Gates of Heaven (Morris / 1978)
  • March of the Penguins (Jacquet / 2005)
  • 101 Dalmatians (Disney/ Geronimi, Luske, & Reitherman / 1961)
  • Umberto D. (De Sica / 1952)
  • The Yearling (Brown / 1946)

Animation — Spirited Away (Miyazaki / 2001)

  • Akira (Katsuhiro Ôtomo / 1988)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Disney/ Trousdale & Wise / 1991)
  • Fantasia (Disney/ Beebe & Roberts / 1940)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki / 1988)
  • Pinocchio (Disney/ Sharpsteen & Luske / 1940)
  • Spirited Away (Miyazaki / 2001)
  • The Triplets of Belleville (Chomet / 2003)
  • Toy Story (Lasseter / 1995) & Toy Story 2 (Lasseter & Brannon / 1999)
  • Waking Life (Linklater / 2001)
  • Yellow Submarine (Dunning / 1968)

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

  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Herzog / 1972)
  • Bully (Larry Clark / 2001)
  • Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker / 1967)
  • The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (aka Every Man for Himself and God Against All) (Herzog / 1975)
  • The Honeymoon Killers (Kastle / 1969)
  • Lola Montès (Ophüls / 1955)
  • Schindler’s List (Spielberg / 1993)
  • Testament of Orpheus (Cocteau / 1959)
  • Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (Craven / 1994)
  • The Wrong Man (Hitchcock / 1956)

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

Business — Network (Lumet / 1976)

  • À Nous la Liberté (Clair / 1931)
  • The Apartment (Wilder / 1960)
  • Fight Club (Fincher / 1999)
  • La Terra Trema (Visconti / 1947)
  • The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles / 1942)
  • The Merchant of Four Seasons (Fassbinder / 1971) [my review]
  • Modern Times (Chaplin / 1936)
  • Network (Lumet / 1976)
  • On the Waterfront (Kazan / 1954)
  • Roger & Me (Moore / 1989)

Childhood — Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray / 1955)

  • Bully (Larry Clark / 2001) [my mini-review]
  • The 400 Blows (Truffaut / 1959)
  • Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon / 1992)
  • Los Olvidados (Buñuel / 1950)
  • The Night of the Hunter (Laughton / 1955) [my mini-review]
  • Pather Panchali (Satyajit Ray / 1955)
  • Walkabout (Roeg / 1970)
  • Y Tu Mamá También (Cuarón / 2002)
  • Young Törless (Schlöndorff / 1966) & If… (Anderson / 1968)
  • Zero for Conduct (Vigo / 1933) & Over the Edge (Kaplan / 1979)

Comedy — The Philadelphia Story (Cukor / 1940)

  • Annie Hall (Allen / 1977)
  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick / 1964)
  • The Graduate (Nichols / 1967)
  • The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges / 1944)
  • The Philadelphia Story (Cukor / 1940) [my mini-review]
  • Playtime (Tati / 1967)
  • Rules of the Game (Renoir / 1939)
  • Some Like It Hot (Wilder / 1959)
  • Trouble in Paradise (Lubitsch / 1932)
  • Week End (Godard / 1967)

Crime — Mean Streets (Scorsese / 1973)

  • Fargo (Coen / 1996)
  • “Franz Walsch Trilogy” – Love is Colder Than Death [my review], Gods of the Plague [my review], & The American Soldier [my review] (Fassbinder / 1969, 1970, & 1970)
  • Get Carter (Hodges / 1972)
  • The Killing (Kubrick / 1956)
  • M (Lang / 1931)
  • Le Corbeau (Clouzot / 1943)
  • Mean Streets (Scorsese / 1973)
  • Rififi (Dassin / 1954)
  • Se7en (Fincher / 1995)
  • Stray Dog (Kurosawa / 1949)

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

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

  • À Propos de Nice (Vigo / 1929)
  • Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Ruttmann / 1927)
  • Don’t Look Back (Pennebaker / 1967)
  • Fata Morgana & Lessons of Darkness (Herzog / 1969 & 1992)
  • Hospital (Wiseman / 1970)
  • Land Without Bread (Buñuel / 1932)
  • Nanook of the North (Flaherty / 1922)
  • Qué Viva México (Eisenstein / 1931)
  • Salesman (Maysles, Zwerin, & Maysles / 1968)
  • The Times of Harvey Milk (Epstein & Freedman / 1984)

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

Drama — Persona (Bergman / 1966)

  • Day of Wrath (Dreyer / 1943)
  • The Earrings of Madame de… (Ophüls / 1953)
  • Katzelmacher (1969) [my review]
  • Muriel (Resnais / 1963) [my review]
  • Nashville (Altman / 1975)
  • Persona (Bergman / 1966)
  • The Piano (Campion / 1993)
  • Summer (aka Le Rayon Vert) (Rohmer / 1986)
  • Sunrise (Murnau / 1927)
  • Two or Three Things I Know About Her (Godard / 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

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

Racism remains a curse. This film, a product of its time, is a masterpiece of filmmaking, and it showcases one of the most powerful and resilient women in film and literature, Scarlett O’Hara. But while it ignores many aspects of racial violence, including the dehumanization of Blacks under slavery, it also has, as its moral center, the indomitable and wise Mammy. Much to discuss and debate.

  • Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein / 1938)
  • Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky / 1966)
  • Barry Lyndon (Kubrick / 1975)
  • Black Panther (Coogler / 2018)
  • Gone With the Wind (Fleming & uncredited Cukor / 1939)
  • Lawrence of Arabia (Lean / 1962)
  • Napoleon (Gance / 1927)
  • Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki / 1997)
  • The Scarlet Empress (von Sternberg / 1934)
  • Spartacus (Kubrick / 1960)

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

Fantasy — Orpheus (Cocteau / 1949)

  • Arabian Nights (Pasolini / 1974)
  • Celine and Julie Go Boating (Rivette / 1973)
  • The Devil’s Backbone (del Toro / 2001)
  • Die Nibelungen, Part I: Siegfried (Lang / 1924)
  • It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra / 1946)
  • Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais / 1961)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers & The Return of the King (Jackson / 2001–2003)
  • Orpheus (Cocteau / 1949) [my mini-review]
  • Ugetsu (Mizoguchi / 1953)
  • Woman in the Dunes (Teshigahara / 1964)

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).

Filmmaking — Sunset Blvd. (Wilder / 1950)

  • Beware of a Holy Whore (Fassbinder / 1971) [my review]
  • Contempt (Godard / 1963)
  • Day for Night (Truffaut / 1973)
  • 8 1/2 (Fellini / 1963)
  • Mullholland Dr. (Lynch / 2001)
  • Peeping Tom (Powell / 1960)
  • The Player (Altman / 1992)
  • Sherlock, Jr. (Keaton / 1924)
  • Sullivan’s Travels (Sturges / 1941)
  • Sunset Blvd. (Wilder / 1950)

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

  • Bonnie and Clyde (Penn / 1967)
  • The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover (Greenaway / 1989)
  • Dr. Mabuse the Gambler & Dr. Mabuse, King of Crime (Lang / 1922)
  • The Godfather & The Godfather Part II (Coppola / 1972 & 1974)
  • Goodfellas (Scorsese / 1990)
  • Little Caesar (LeRoy / 1930)
  • The Public Enemy (Wellman / 1931)
  • Scarface (Hawks / 1932)
  • The Third Man (Reed / 1949)
  • White Heat (Walsh / 1949)

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

Horror — The Haunting (Wise / 1963)

  • The Birds (Hitchcock / 1963)
  • Black Sunday (aka La maschera del demonio) (Mario Bava / 1960)
  • The Haunting (Wise / 1963) [my mini-review]
  • Martin (Romero / 1978)
  • Night of the Living Dead, Dawn of the Dead, & Land of the Dead (Romero / 1968, 1979 & 2005)
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street (Craven / 1984)
  • Nosferatu (Murnau / 1922) [my review] & Nosferatu (Herzog / 1979)
  • The Seventh Victim (Robson / 1943) & Rosemary’s Baby (Polanski / 1968)
  • The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (Hooper / 1974)
  • Vampyr (Dreyer / 1932)

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).

Law — Rashomon (Kurosawa / 1950)

  • 12 Angry Men (Lumet / 1957)
  • Adam’s Rib (Cukor / 1949)
  • A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) (Powell & Pressburger / 1946)
  • The Paper Chase (Bridges / 1973)
  • Paths of Glory (Kubrick / 1957)
  • Rashomon (Kurosawa / 1950)
  • Salvatore Giuliano (Rossi / 1961)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (Mulligan / 1962)
  • Witness For the Prosecution (Wilder / 1957)
  • Young Mr. Lincoln (Ford / 1939)

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

Literary — Great Expectations (Lean / 1946)

  • Effi Briest (Fassbinder / 1974 — from Theodor Fontane’s 1895 novel) [my review]
  • The Grapes of Wrath (Ford / 1940 — from John Steinbeck’s 1939 novel)
  • Great Expectations (Lean / 1946 — from Charles Dickens’s 1860 novel)
  • The Heiress (Wyler / 1949 — from Henry James’s 1881 novel Washington Square)
  • Howards End (Ivory / 1992 — from E.M. Forster’s 1910 novel)
  • Lord of the Flies (Brook / 1963 — from William Golding’s 1954 novel)
  • The Maltese Falcon (Huston / 1941 — from Dashiell Hammett’s 1930 novel)
  • Young Törless (Schlöndorff / 1966 — from Robert Musil’s 1906 novel)
  • War and Peace (Bondarchuk / 1965 — from Leo Tolstoy’s 1869 novel)
  • Women in Love (Russell / 1969 — from D.H. Lawrence’s 1920 novel)

LGBTQ+ — Fellini Satyricon (Fellini / 1969)

LGBTQ+ Cinema: LGBTQ+ Cinema resources, including 50 outstanding LGBTQ+ films and great directors.

Music(als) — Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly & Donen / 1952)

  • The Boy Friend (Russell / 1971)
  • Cabaret (Fosse / 1972)
  • Company: Original Cast Album (Pennebaker / 1970)
  • Gimme Shelter (Maysles, Zwerin, & Maysles / 1970)
  • A Hard Day’s Night (Lester / 1964)
  • Singin’ in the Rain (Kelly & Donen / 1952)
  • Sympathy for the Devil (aka One Plus One) (Godard / 1968)
  • The Tales of Hoffmann (Powell & Pressburger / 1951)
  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy / 1964) [my review]
  • West Side Story (Wise & Robbins / 1961) [my mini-review]

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

  • The Conformist (Bertolucci / 1971)
  • Election (Payne / 1999)
  • Even Dwarfs Started Small (Herzog / 1968)
  • The Great McGinty (Sturges / 1940)
  • Ivan the Terrible, Parts I & II (Eisenstein / 1943 & 1946)
  • La Chinoise (Godard / 1967)
  • La Guerre est finie (Resnais / 1966)
  • Salò (Pasolini / 1975)
  • Taxi Driver (Scorsese / 1976)
  • Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl / 1935)

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

  • Bergman’s Trilogy: Through a Glass Darkly, Winter Light & The Silence (Bergman / 1961–63)
  • Black Narcissus (Powell & Pressburger / 1946)
  • The Devils (Russell / 1971)
  • Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson / 1950)
  • The Gospel According to Saint Matthew (Pasolini / 1966) [my review]
  • Hail Mary (Godard / 1985)
  • Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (Christensen / 1922)
  • Jesus Camp (Grady & Ewing / 2006)
  • Ordet (Dreyer / 1955)
  • Sebastiane (Jarman & Humfress / 1976) [my review]

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

Road — Detour (Ulmer / 1945)

  • Badlands (Malick / 1973)
  • Detour (Ulmer / 1945)
  • Kings of the Road (Wenders / 1976)
  • La Strada (Fellini / 1954)
  • Natural Born Killers (Stone / 1994)
  • Road to Morocco (David Butler / 1942)
  • Speed (De Bont / 1994)
  • The Sugarland Express (Spielberg / 1974)
  • Two For the Road (Donen / 1967)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Fleming / 1939)

Romance — L’Atalante (Vigo / 1934)

  • All That Heaven Allows (Sirk / 1955) and Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder / 1974) [my review]
  • Brief Encounter (Lean / 1945)
  • Casablanca (Curtiz / 1942)
  • Gertrud (Dreyer / 1964)
  • Hiroshima Mon Amour (Resnais / 1959)
  • In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai / 2000)
  • L’Atalante (Vigo / 1934)
  • Nights of Cabiria (Fellini / 1957)
  • The Piano (Campion / 1993)
  • Vertigo (Hitchcock / 1958)

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

  • The Andromeda Strain (Wise / 1971) [my review]
  • Angels & Insects (Haas / 1995)
  • A Brief History of Time (Errol Morris / 1991)
  • The Conversation (Coppola / 1974)
  • Kinsey (Condon / 2004)
  • Le Gai Savoir [The Joy of Knowledge] (Godard / 1968)
  • Never Cry Wolf (Ballard / 1983)
  • Primate (Frederick Wiseman / 1974)
  • Red Beard (Kurosawa / 1965)
  • The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle / 1936)

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

  • Alien (Ridley Scott / 1979)
  • Alphaville (Godard / 1965)
  • Bride of Frankenstein (Whale / 1935)
  • The Brood (Cronenberg / 1979)
  • E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (Spielberg / 1982)
  • Forbidden Planet (Wilcox / 1956)
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Siegel / 1956) & Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Kaufman / 1978)
  • Metropolis (Lang / 1926)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucas / 1977), Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Kirschner / 1980) & Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (Lucas / 2005)
  • 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).

Shakespeare — Othello (Welles / 1952)

  • Chimes at Midnight (aka Falstaff) (Welles / 1966) [brings together the Falstaff sections of Henry IV, Parts I & II and Merry Wives of Windsor, plus parts of Henry V and Richard II]
  • Hamlet (Olivier / 1948)
  • King Lear (Kozintsev / 1969)
  • Much Ado About Nothing (Branagh / 1993)
  • My Own Private Idaho [incorporating parts of Henry IV, Parts I & II] (Van Sant / 1991) [my review]
  • Othello (aka The Tragedy of Othello: The Moor of Venice) (Welles / 1952) [my mini-analysis of a sequence]
  • Ran [King Lear] (Kurosawa / 1985) [my review]
  • William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet (Luhrmann / 1996)
  • The Tempest (Jarman / 1982) [my review] and The Angelic Conversation (Jarman / 1985) [my review]
  • Throne of Blood [Macbeth] (Kurosawa / 1957)

Sports — Raging Bull (Scorsese / 1980)

  • Body and Soul (Rossen / 1947)
  • Horse Feathers (McLeod/Marx Brothers / 1932)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Richardson / 1962)
  • National Velvet (Brown / 1944)
  • Olympia (Riefenstahl / 1936)
  • Raging Bull (Scorsese / 1980)
  • The Set-Up (Wise / 1949) [my mini-review]
  • This Sporting Life (Anderson / 1963)
  • Tokyo Olympiad (Ichikawa / 1966)
  • Two-Lane Blacktop (Hellman / 1970)

Suspense — Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich / 1955)

  • Branded to Kill (Suzuki / 1967)
  • Chinatown (Polanski / 1974)
  • Diabolique (Clouzot / 1955)
  • Double Indemnity (Wilder / 1944)
  • Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich / 1955)
  • Ossessione (adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice) (Visconti / 1946) [my mini-review]
  • Pierrot le Fou (Godard / 1965)
  • Shadow of a Doubt (Hitchcock / 1943)
  • Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock / 1951) [my mini-review] & [my analysis of a scene]
  • Touch of Evil (Welles / 1958)

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

Teaching — My Fair Lady (Cukor / 1964)

  • Blackboard Jungle (Richard Brooks / 1955)
  • The Blue Angel (von Sternberg / 1930)
  • Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Wood / 1939)
  • The Innocents (Clayton / 1961)
  • Le Gai Savoir (Godard / 1968)
  • The Miracle Worker (Penn / 1962)
  • My Fair Lady (Cukor / 1964) & non-musical original Pygmalion (Anthony Asquith & Leslie Howard / 1939)
  • The Paper Chase (James Bridges / 1973)
  • Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir / 1975)
  • Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Nichols / 1966)

Visual Arts — La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette / 1991)

(Painting/ Photography/ Sculpture/ Architecture)

  • Blowup (Antonioni / 1966)
  • A Bucket of Blood (Corman / 1959)
  • Caravaggio (Jarma / 1986) [my review]
  • The Draughtsman’s Contract (Greenaway / 1982)
  • F for Fake (Welles / 1973)
  • Hour of the Wolf (Bergman / 1968)
  • La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette / 1991 – 240-minute original version)
  • La Notte (Antonioni / 1960)
  • Pillow Book (Greenaway / 1996)
  • Rear Window (Hitchcock / 1954)

War — Platoon (Stone / 1986)

  • All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone / 1930)
  • Apocalypse Now & Apocalypse Now Redux (Coppola / 1979 & 2001)
  • The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo / 1966)
  • Das Boot (Petersen / 1981)
  • Grand Illusion (Renoir / 1937)
  • The Hurt Locker (Bigelow / 2009)
  • Les Carabiniers (Godard / 1963)
  • Open City (Rossellini / 1945)
  • Platoon (Stone / 1986)
  • Shame (Bergman / 1968)

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

Westerns — Seven Samurai (Kurosawa / 1950)

  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone / 1967)
  • Johnny Guitar (Ray / 1954)
  • McCabe and Mrs. Miller (Altman / 1971)
  • The Ox-Bow Incident (Wellman / 1943)
  • Red River (Hawks / 1948)
  • The Searchers (Ford / 1956)
  • Seven Samurai (Kurosawa / 1954)
  • Winchester ’73 (Mann / 1950)
  • Whity (Fassbinder / 1970) [my review]
  • The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah / 1969)

Writing — Adaptation (Jonze / 2002)

  • Adaptation (Jonze / 2002)
  • The Blood of a Poet (Cocteau / 1930)
  • The 4th Man (Verhoeven / 1983)
  • His Girl Friday (Hawks / 1940)
  • In a Lonely Place (Ray / 1950)
  • La Dolce Vita (Fellini / 1960) [my review]
  • Manhattan (Allen / 1979)
  • Memento (Nolan / 2001)
  • Satan’s Brew (Fassbinder / 1976) [my review]
  • The Story of Adèle H (Truffaut / 1975)

Begun 1997 / Revised September 5, 2020

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