My Top 40 Movies

This is a fairly accurate list - allowing for my being somewhat forgetful - of my 40 favourite films. A lot are old classics because I have a great fondness for old movies, expecially those in black and white - that is despite my being overjoyed when colour TV came into being in the UK. That statement obviousy gives a clue to my advanced age - comparatively and I don't feel at all old.

The list is not in priority order - the films are listed purely as I remember them.
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Brief Encounter (1945)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband. (86 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
2.
Friendly Persuasion (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War. (137 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
3.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice. (129 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
 
4.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. (112 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
5.
The Lion in Winter (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
1183 AD: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. (134 mins.)
Director: Anthony Harvey
 
6.
A Man for All Seasons (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage. (120 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
7.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
 
8.
The Importance of Being Earnest (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When Algernon discovers that his friend, Ernest, has created a fictional brother for whenever he needs a reason to escape dull country life, Algernon poses as the brother, resulting in ever increasing confusion. (95 mins.)
Director: Anthony Asquith
 
9.
Rebecca (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife. (130 mins.)
 
10.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
11.
The Shootist (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A dying gunfighter spends his last days looking for a way to die with a minimum of pain and a maximum of dignity. (100 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
 
12.
Harvey (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Due to his insistence that he has an invisible six foot-tall rabbit for a best friend, a whimsical middle-aged man is thought by his family to be insane - but he may be wiser than anyone knows. (104 mins.)
Director: Henry Koster
 
13.
Whisky Galore (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Scottish islanders try to plunder 50,000 cases of whisky from a stranded ship. (82 mins.)
 
14.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family. (118 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
15.
The Longest Day (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The events of D-Day, told on a grand scale from both the Allied and German points of view. (178 mins.)
 
16.
Battle of Britain (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
In 1940, the British Royal Air Force fights a desperate battle to prevent the Luftwaffe from gaining air superiority over the English Channel as a prelude to a possible Axis invasion of the UK. (132 mins.)
Director: Guy Hamilton
 
17.
Shakespeare in Love (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays. (123 mins.)
Director: John Madden
 
18.
Elizabeth (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A film of the early years of the reign of Elizabeth I of England and her difficult task of learning what is necessary to be a monarch. (124 mins.)
Director: Shekhar Kapur
 
19.
The 39 Steps (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information. (86 mins.)
 
20.
The African Queen (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. (105 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
21.
Oliver! (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A young boy runs away from an orphanage and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor. (153 mins.)
Director: Carol Reed
 
22.
Richard III (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Shakespeare's powerful tale of the wicked deformed king and his conquests, both on the battlefield and in the boudoir. (161 mins.)
 
23.
Henry V (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In the midst of the Hundred Years' War in 1415, the young King Henry V of England embarks on the conquest of France. (137 mins.)
 
24.
Shenandoah (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In Shenandoah, Virginia, widower farmer Charlie Anderson lives a peaceful life with his six sons - Jacob... (105 mins.)
 
25.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed. (123 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
26.
Charade (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Romance and suspense ensue in Paris as a woman is pursued by several men who want a fortune her murdered husband had stolen. Who can she trust? (113 mins.)
Director: Stanley Donen
 
27.
How the West Was Won (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A family saga covering several decades of Westward expansion in the nineteenth century--including the Gold Rush, the Civil War, and the building of the railroads. (164 mins.)
 
28.
Life of Brian (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah. (94 mins.)
Director: Terry Jones
 
29.
Starman (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them. (115 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
 
30.
Enemy Mine (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A soldier from Earth crash-lands on an alien world after sustaining battle damage. Eventually he encounters another survivor... (108 mins.)
 
31.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
32.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. (216 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
33.
The King and I (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children. (133 mins.)
Director: Walter Lang
 
34.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father's footsteps and stop the Nazis. (127 mins.)
 
35.
Big Wednesday (1978)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The lives of some California surfers from the early '60s to the '70s. (120 mins.)
Director: John Milius
 
36.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Jake Blues, just out from prison, puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised. (133 mins.)
Director: John Landis
 
37.
The Great Escape (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Allied P.O.W.s plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. (172 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
 
38.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
39.
The Bourne Identity (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man is picked up by a fishing boat, bullet-riddled and suffering from amnesia, before racing to elude assassins and regain his memory. (119 mins.)
Director: Doug Liman
 
40.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer