Jim's Film Website

Best Films I’ve Seen

Here are my enthusiastic picks for 10 Best Films in over 35 categories, including genres ranging from comedy to drama, documentary to science fiction. Released between 1915 and today, these works span cinema’s history, and represent two dozen countries. I also have a Brief Guide to Film, that looks at filmmaking aesthetics and techniques.

In each category, the film in the heading is my top pick. On a quirky note, works on my “10 Greatest” list do not appear elsewhere, but those on my “Favorites” do. In a few instances, I’ve tucked in an eleventh recommendation. Let me know what you think, including what’s shamelessly omitted, grotesquely overrated (for Adventure, Die Hard 2 but no Jaws), bizarrely categorized (Seven Samurai as the best Western, with not a 10-gallon hat in sight), and clung to (for Epic, Gone With the Wind, now with a note on the curse of racism and suggestions for discussion) – PLEASE NOTE about contacting me, in spring/summer 2021, I’m finishing a large project and may not be able to respond soon. These lists change from time to time, so feel welcome to check back. SEE ALSO my 50 Landmark Films (since 1894), and Best English-Language Films — Year by Year.

’10 Best Films’ Lists

Genres

^ top

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

^ top

*10 Favorite Films — Star Wars Episode IV: 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)

^ top

*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)

Jean 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)

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)

  • 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)

^ top

Genres

Adventure — North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959)

NOTE: I purposely omit additional franchise films.

  • The African Queen (Huston / 1951)
  • Die Hard (McTiernan /1988) & Die Hard 2: Die Harder (Harlin / 1990)
  • The Gold Rush (Chaplin / 1925) (currently free at Internet Archive)
  • Goldfinger (Hamilton / 1964)
  • King Kong (Cooper & Schoedsack / 1933)
  • Les Vampires (Feuillade / 1915)
  • The Matrix (the Wachowskis / 1999)
  • North by Northwest (Hitchcock / 1959) [my mini-review]
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark & Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Spielberg / 1981 & 1989)
  • The Wages of Fear (Clouzot / 1952)

^ top

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)
  • Free Willy (Wincer / 1993)
  • Gates of Heaven (Morris / 1978)
  • March of the Penguins (Jacquet / 2005)
  • Umberto D. (De Sica / 1952)
  • The Yearling (Brown / 1946)

^ top

Animation — Spirited Away (Miyazaki / 2001)

  • 101 Dalmatians (Disney/ Geronimi, Luske, & Reitherman / 1961)
  • Akira (Katsuhiro Ôtomo / 1988)
  • Beauty and the Beast (Disney/ Trousdale & Wise / 1991)
  • Fantasia (Disney/ Beebe & Roberts / 1940)
  • How to Train Your Dragon (Sanders & DeBlois / 2010)
  • My Neighbor Totoro (Miyazaki / 1988)
  • Pinocchio (Disney/ Sharpsteen & Luske / 1940)
  • Spirited Away (Miyazaki / 2001)
  • Toy Story (Lasseter / 1995) & Toy Story 2 (Lasseter & Brannon / 1999)
  • Yellow Submarine (Dunning / 1968)

^ top

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

  • Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Herzog / 1972)
  • Bully (Larry Clark / 2001) [my mini-review]
  • 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.

^ top

Business — Network (Lumet / 1976)

  • À Nous la Liberté (Clair / 1931)
  • The Apartment (Wilder / 1960)
  • 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)
  • The Social Network (Fincher / 2010)

^ top

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)
  • Zero for Conduct (Vigo / 1933)

^ top

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)

^ top

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).

^ top

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

  • À Propos de Nice (Vigo / 1929)
  • Berlin, Symphony of a Great City (Ruttmann / 1927) (currently free online)
  • 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.

^ top

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: The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer / 1928), 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.

^ top

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

NOTE on Gone With the Wind: Racism remains a curse. This film, a product of its time, is a masterpiece of filmmaking, and it showcases one of the most self-empowering 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 moral center, the indomitable and wise Mammy. Much to discuss and debate, including the general topic of dehumanization – racism, as well as sexism and homophobia – as the root of all evil.

  • Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein / 1938)
  • Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky / 1966)
  • Barry Lyndon (Kubrick / 1975)
  • Oedipus Rex (Pasolini / 1967) [my review]
  • 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 [currently free on YouTube] (Griffith / 1916, reportedly sincere repudiation of the racism in his Birth of a Nation, 1915) is not listed here because it appears among the 10 Greatest Films I’ve Seen.

^ top

Fantasy — Orpheus (Cocteau / 1949)

  • Arabian Nights (Pasolini / 1974) [my review]
  • 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).

^ top

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)

^ top

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).

^ top

Horror — The Haunting (Wise / 1963)

  • The Birds (Hitchcock / 1963)
  • Black Sunday (aka La maschera del demonio) (Bava / 1960) & The VVitch: A New-England Folktale (Eggers / 2015)
  • 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 (Wes Craven / 1984)
  • Nosferatu (Murnau / 1922) [my review] & Nosferatu the Vampyre (Herzog / 1979) [my mini-review]
  • 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 Outstanding 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).

^ top

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.

^ top

LGBTQ+ — Fellini Satyricon (Fellini / 1969)

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

^ top

Literary — Great Expectations (Lean / 1946)

^ top

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]

^ top

Politics — Ivan the Terrible, Parts One & Two (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) [my review]
  • Taxi Driver (Scorsese / 1976)
  • Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl / 1935)

^ top

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)
  • 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) & The Devils (Russell / 1971)
  • Jesus Camp (Grady & Ewing / 2006)
  • Midsommar (Ari Aster / 2019)
  • 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.

^ top

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)

^ top

Romance — L’Atalante (Vigo / 1934)

  • All That Heaven Allows (Sirk / 1955) & 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)

^ top

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

(STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

  • The Andromeda Strain (Wise / 1971 – technically science fiction, but based on scientific process) [my review]
  • A Brief History of Time (Errol Morris / 1991)
  • The Conversation (Coppola / 1974)
  • Kinsey (Condon / 2004)
  • Le Gai Savoir [The Joy of Knowledge] (Godard / 1968)
  • The Martian (Ridley Scott / 2015)
  • Never Cry Wolf (Ballard / 1983)
  • Primate (Frederick Wiseman / 1974)
  • Red Beard (Kurosawa / 1965)
  • The Story of Louis Pasteur (Dieterle / 1936)

^ top

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

  • Alien (Ridley Scott / 1979) and Aliens (James Cameron / 1986) NOTE: I purposely omit additional franchise films.
  • 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) (currently free at Internet Archive.)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucas / 1977) & Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Kirschner / 1980) NOTE: I purposely omit additional franchise films.
  • 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).

^ top

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 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)

^ top

Sports — Raging Bull (Scorsese / 1980)

  • Body and Soul (Rossen / 1947)
  • Fight Club (Fincher / 1999)
  • Horse Feathers (McLeod/Marx Brothers / 1932)
  • The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Richardson / 1962)
  • 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)

^ top

Superhero — Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe & Anthony Russo / 2014)

NOTE: I purposely omit additional franchise films.

  • Adventures of Captain Marvel (12-chapter serial) (John English & William Witney / 1941)
  • Avengers: Infinity War (Joe & Anthony Russo / 2018) & Avengers: Endgame (Joe & Anthony Russo / 2019)
  • Batman Returns (Tim Burton / 1992)
  • Black Panther (Ryan Coogler / 2018)
  • Blade (Stephen Norrington / 1998)
  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Joe & Anthony Russo / 2014)
  • The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan / 2008)
  • Deadpool (Tim Miller / 2016)
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (James Gunn / 2014)
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller / 2018)

^ top

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 sequence]
  • Touch of Evil (Welles / 1958)

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

^ top

Teachers — 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)
  • The Lesson (Ruth Platt / 2016)
  • The Miracle Worker (Penn / 1962) & The Wild Child (L’enfant sauvage) (Truffaut / 1970)
  • 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)

^ top

Theater — Children of Paradise (Carné / 1945)

  • All About My Mother (Almodóvar / 1999)
  • The Band Wagon (Minnelli / 1953)
  • Children of Paradise (Carné / 1945) [my mini-review]
  • The Story of Floating Weeds & Floating Weeds (Ozu / 1934 & 1959)
  • 42nd Street (Bacon & Berkeley / 1933)
  • Freaks (Browning / 1932)
  • Show Boat (Whale / 1936)
  • The Producers (Mel Brooks / 1968)
  • The Red Shoes (Powell & Pressburger / 1948)
  • Twentieth Century (Hawks / 1934)

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

^ top

Visual Arts — La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette / 1991)

(Painting, Photography, Sculpture, Architecture)

  • Blowup (Antonioni / 1966)
  • A Bucket of Blood (Corman / 1959)
  • Caravaggio (Jarman / 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)

^ top

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.

^ top

Westerns — Seven Samurai (Kurosawa / 1950)

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

^ top

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)
Jim's Film Website

Begun 1997 / Revised April 14, 2021

^ top