BFI/S&S 250 Greatest Films Of All Time, 2012by wjmclaughlin | created - 03 Aug 2012 | updated - 18 Aug 2012 | Public
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1. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 282,584 | Gross: $3.20M
5. Sunrise (1927)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
Votes: 481,360 | Gross: $56.95M
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 31,263 | Gross: $0.02M
11. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Unrated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 44,288 | Gross: $0.05M
12. L'Atalante (1934)
Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.
13. Breathless (1960)
Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.
Votes: 58,327 | Gross: $0.34M
14. Apocalypse Now (1979)
R | 147 min | Drama, War
During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade Colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.
Votes: 497,267 | Gross: $83.47M
15. Late Spring (1949)
Not Rated | 108 min | Drama
Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.
16. Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama
The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. A study on saintliness and a sister piece to Bresson's Mouchette.
Votes: 13,399 | Gross: $0.04M
19. The Mirror (1975)
G | 107 min | Biography, Drama
A dying man in his forties remembers his past. His childhood, his mother, the war, personal moments and things that tell of the recent history of all the Russian nation.
21. L'Avventura (1960)
Not Rated | 143 min | Drama, Mystery
A woman disappears during a Mediterranean boating trip. During the search, her lover and her best friend become attracted to each other.
22. Contempt (1963)
Not Rated | 102 min | Drama
Screenwriter Paul Javal's marriage to his wife Camille disintegrates during movie production as she spends time with the producer. Layered conflicts between art and business ensue.
Votes: 22,366 | Gross: $0.04M
24. Ordet (1955)
Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy
Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.
25. In the Mood for Love (2000)
PG | 98 min | Drama, Romance
Two neighbors, a woman and a man, form a strong bond after both suspect extramarital activities of their spouses. However, they agree to keep their bond platonic so as not to commit similar wrongs.
Votes: 88,858 | Gross: $2.73M
28. Mulholland Dr. (2001)
R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.
Votes: 267,176 | Gross: $7.22M
30. Shoah (1985)
Not Rated | 566 min | Documentary, History, War
Claude Lanzmann's epic documentary recounts the story of the Holocaust through interviews with witnesses - perpetrators as well as survivors.
Votes: 6,472 | Gross: $0.02M
31. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
R | 202 min | Crime, Drama
The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York City is portrayed, while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on the family crime syndicate.
Votes: 888,778 | Gross: $57.30M
32. Taxi Driver (1976)
R | 113 min | Crime, Drama
A mentally unstable veteran works as a nighttime taxi driver in New York City, where the perceived decadence and sleaze fuels his urge for violent action, while attempting to liberate a twelve-year-old prostitute.
Votes: 570,923 | Gross: $28.26M
34. The General (1926)
Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
35. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 126,134 | Gross: $0.03M
36. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.
Votes: 476,239 | Gross: $32.00M
Not Rated | 201 min | Drama
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.
Votes: 4,513 | Gross: $0.02M
38. Satantango (1994)
450 min | Drama
Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.
42. Pather Panchali (1955)
Not Rated | 125 min | Drama
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.
Votes: 16,445 | Gross: $0.54M
43. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Votes: 195,913 | Gross: $25.00M
45. Pierrot le Fou (1965)
Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Pierrot escapes his boring society and travels from Paris to the Mediterranean Sea with Marianne, a girl chased by hit-men from Algeria. They lead an unorthodox life, always on the run.
46. Playtime (1967)
Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy
Monsieur Hulot curiously wanders around a high-tech Paris, paralleling a trip with a group of American tourists. Meanwhile, a nightclub/restaurant prepares its opening night, but it's still under construction.
47. Nema-ye Nazdik (1990)
Not Rated | 98 min | Biography, Crime, Drama
Votes: 10,543 | Gross: $0.00M
48. The Battle of Algiers (1966)
Not Rated | 121 min | Drama, War
In the 1950s, fear and violence escalate as the people of Algiers fight for independence from the French government.
Votes: 42,923 | Gross: $0.06M
50. City Lights (1931)
G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.
Votes: 125,589 | Gross: $0.02M
53. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Votes: 243,461 | Gross: $13.28M
54. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Votes: 355,148 | Gross: $36.76M
55. Raging Bull (1980)
R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport
An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.
Votes: 259,916 | Gross: $23.38M
57. The Leopard (1963)
PG | 186 min | Drama, History
The Prince of Salina, a noble aristocrat of impeccable integrity, tries to preserve his family and class amid the tumultuous social upheavals of 1860's Sicily.
59. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Unrated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.
61. The Mother and the Whore (1973)
210 min | Drama, Romance
In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre, who is idle and chauvinist, spends his days reading, drinking and shagging ... See full summary »
62. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)
Not Rated | 124 min | Drama
In medieval Japan, a compassionate governor is sent into exile. His wife and children try to join him, but are separated, and the children grow up amid suffering and oppression.
66. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.
68. Rio Bravo (1959)
Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.
Votes: 46,834 | Gross: $12.54M
69. Blade Runner (1982)
R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller
A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.
Votes: 548,512 | Gross: $27.00M
70. Blue Velvet (1986)
R | 120 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
The discovery of a severed human ear found in a field leads a young man on an investigation related to a beautiful, mysterious nightclub singer and a group of psychopathic criminals who have kidnapped her child.
Votes: 148,756 | Gross: $8.55M
73. The Third Man (1949)
Not Rated | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Votes: 127,355 | Gross: $0.45M
76. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Unrated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 29,007 | Gross: $0.17M
77. Nashville (1975)
R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.
Votes: 19,357 | Gross: $9.98M
80. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
PG-13 | 164 min | Western
A mysterious stranger with a harmonica joins forces with a notorious desperado to protect a beautiful widow from a ruthless assassin working for the railroad.
Votes: 242,588 | Gross: $5.32M
81. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance
The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.
82. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.
Votes: 215,520 | Gross: $44.82M
83. El espíritu de la colmena (1973)
Unrated | 95 min | Drama, Fantasy
In 1940, after watching and being traumatized by the movie Frankenstein (1931), a sensitive seven year-old girl living in a small Spanish village drifts into her own fantasy world.
85. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
Votes: 429,661 | Gross: $1.02M
86. The Color of Pomegranates (1969)
Not Rated | 79 min | Biography, Drama, History
A super-stylized, surreal biography of Armenian troubadour Sayat Nova, whose life is depicted through non-narrative amalgamations of poetic images.
88. Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian (1991)
Not Rated | 237 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
Based on a true story, primarily on a conflict between two youth gangs, a 14-year-old boy's girlfriend conflicts with the head of one gang for an unclear reason, until finally the conflict comes to a violent climax.
90. A Day in the Country (1936)
Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Comedy, Drama
The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day.
93. The Seventh Seal (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Fantasy
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague.
Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.
97. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Not Rated | 163 min | Drama, Romance, War
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.
99. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance
An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.
100. Imitation of Life (1959)
Not Rated | 125 min | Drama
An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.
Votes: 12,101 | Gross: $13.99M