My 50 Deserted Island Films

These are the top 50 films (listed chronologically) that I would want to have while marooned on a deserted island.
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1.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders. (76 mins.)
Director: Robert Wiene
“ Classic German expressionist film. Masterpiece of horror. ” - jploch
 
2.
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ Max Schreck actually thought he was a vampire. ” - jploch
 
3.
Un Chien Andalou (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery. (16 mins.)
Director: Louis Bunuel
“ Salvidor Dali's surrealistic short. Eyeball-cutting scene one of the most memorable in cinema history. ” - jploch
 
4.
David Copperfield (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A gentle orphan discovers life and love in an indifferent adult world. (130 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
“ W. C. Fields as Micawber, Roland Young as Uriah Heep, and Basil Rathbone as the stern Mr. Murdstone. George Cukor outdid himself! ” - jploch
 
5.
Reefer Madness (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  
Cautionary tale features a fictionalized and highly exaggerated take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music. (66 mins.)
Director: Louis Gasnier
“ Hilarious exploitation film about...shhh....marijuana. Dave O'Brien's scene where he's laughing uncontrollably is a riot. ” - jploch
 
6.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well. (102 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
“ What else can you say? Garland, Bolger, Haley, Lahr, Hamilton = stellar cast ” - jploch
 
7.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Bogart, Greenstreet and Lorre. This is the stuff movie dreams are made of! ” - jploch
 
8.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ One of the greatest films of all time. I could go to Rick's every night. ” - jploch
 
9.
Laura (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating. (88 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
“ Film-noir masterpiece. Dana Andrews superb as detective who falls in love with the not-dead Gene Tierney. Clifton Webb as the unrequited lover. Vincent Price as a golddigging playboy. ” - jploch
 
10.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Billy Wilder's classic film-noir. Fred MacMurray plays naive insurance agent who falls for Barbara Stanwyck's plan to murder her abusive husband. Edward G. Robinson is great in supporting role as insurance claims investigator. ” - jploch
 
11.
To Have and Have Not (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer. (100 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall steams up the screen in this WWII saga set on the island of Martinique. Walter Brennan and Hoagy Carmichael are fantastic in supporting roles. ” - jploch
 
12.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ Bogart and Bacall again. Bogart as Phillip Marlowe in this confusing tale of blackmail, pornography, and murder. Two versions were produced. The released version had retakes featuring more Bogart and Bacall together. Martha Vickers as Carmen Sternwood was exceptionally hot! ” - jploch
 
13.
Key Largo (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Bogart and Bacall again. This time Edward G. Robinson joins the fun as gangster Johnny Rocco. Robinson holds hotel owner Lionel Barrymore, Bogart and Bacall hostage. Then comes the big blow.... ” - jploch
 
14.
The Lemon Drop Kid (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced... (91 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lanfield
“ Bob Hope as a racetrack tout who owes gangster Fred Clark $10 g's. Hilarious bit with Hope in drag in one scene. Marilyn Maxwell, Jane Darwell and Lloyd Nolan offer support. ” - jploch
 
15.
Rear Window (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. (112 mins.)
“ Classic Hitchcock! James Stewart plays a wheelchair-bound photographer who tries to convince Grace Kelly that neighbor Raymond Burr is a murderer. Wendell Corey and Thelma Ritter in supporting roles. ” - jploch
 
16.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. (111 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
“ The film that made James Dean a star. Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus, Dennis Hopper all appear. ” - jploch
 
17.
East of Eden (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A wilful young man contends against his brother for the attention of their religious father while reconnecting with his estranged mother and falling for his brother's girlfriend. (118 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
“ John Steinbeck's "East Of Eden" comes to the big screen. James Dean makes his film debut as Cal Trask. Raymond Massey, who played the father, reportedly hated Dean's acting style and actually threatened to quit. Julie Harris was great as Abra. Jo Van Fleet, as Cal and Aron's mother, won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. ” - jploch
 
18.
Giant (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Sprawling epic covering the life of a Texas cattle rancher and his family and associates. (201 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean in this sprawling Hollywood version of Edna Ferber's novel. Oil, money and racism come to the forefront. Carroll Baker and Dennis Hopper played Hudson and Taylor's children. Dean's last film. ” - jploch
 
19.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
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. (128 mins.)
“ James Stewart and Kim Novak in Hitchcock's mystery about a detective who falls for client's wife. Stewart suffers from fear of heights. ” - jploch
 
20.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Orson Welles, Charlton Heston and Janet Leigh in Welles' film-noir masterpiece. Story of murder and police corruption in a Mexican town. ” - jploch
 
21.
Rio Bravo (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (141 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ John Wayne, Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson in Howard Hawks' tale of a sheriff trying to keep a murderer in jail. Martin plays his drunken deputy and Nelson is a young gun who assists. Walter Brennan plays a crippled jailkeeper. Martin and Nelson also sing! ” - jploch
 
22.
Ben-Hur (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. (212 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
“ Charlton Heston in William Wyler's Bibical epic. Heston as the ex-galley slave who challenges childhood friend Stephen Boyd to a chariot race in a do-or-die match. Jack Hawkins plays the Roman commander Heston saves. ” - jploch
 
23.
Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A. J. Niles is the author of a series of 'Bachelor Books'. These books describe the romantic life of a bachelor in various cities of the world... (109 mins.)
Director: Jack Arnold
“ Bob Hope in an early sixties sex romp playing author J.J. Niles who moves to "Paradise", a planned community in Southern California. Lana Turner plays his love interest. Real-life husband and wife Jim Hutton and Paula Prentiss offer support. ” - jploch
 
24.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. (126 mins.)
“ Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, and Angela Lansbury in John Frankenheimer's political thriller about a Korean War vet brainwashed in becoming an assassin. Lansbury is particularly nasty in this role as Harvey's mother. ” - jploch
 
25.
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop. (95 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Stanley Kubrick's satire with Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, and Sterling Hayden about an insane general trying to start a nuclear war. Slim Pickens rides the bomb. ” - jploch
 
26.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. (112 mins.)
“ Charlton Heston plays an astronaut who lands on a planet populated by apes. Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowell play the simians. At the end Heston knows where he really is. ” - jploch
 
27.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them. (135 mins.)
Director: Sam Peckinpah
“ Aging outlaws in 1913 plan one more holdup in Sam Peckinpah's bloody epic. William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates and Ben Johnson play the bad guys. Robert Ryan's on the trail after them. Watch for Bo Hopkins as "Crazy Lee." ” - jploch
 
28.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Two Western bank/train robbers flee to Bolivia when the law gets too close. (110 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Paul Newman and Robert Redford as outlaws bound for Bolivia. Katherine Ross plays Etta Place, the Sundance Kid's love. Wait, guys..the Bolivian army's there. ” - jploch
 
29.
Patton (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton. (172 mins.)
“ George C. Scott's Oscar-refused performance as the WWII general. "Old Blood and Guts" would have been proud as Scott waded through buckets of German blood. Karl Malden as Gen. Omar Bradley provides excellent support. ” - jploch
 
30.
Vanishing Point (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops. (99 mins.)
“ Barry Newman as Kowalski, a cop turned race car driver turned car deliverer. Cleavon Little as "Super Soul", a DJ who acts as a guide and conscience for Newman's escapades. ” - jploch
 
31.
Dirty Harry (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath. (102 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
“ Clint Eastwood's homage to the police. San Francisco's Harry Callahan would not take any crap from Andrew Robinson's sniper. "Do you feel lucky?" ” - jploch
 
32.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
“ An offer Marlon Brando couldn't refuse. Francis Ford Coppola's gangster epic spawned two sequels, but who could forget the horse head scene? Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall and Diane Keaton as wife Kay round out the fine cast. ” - jploch
 
33.
Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
With the help of an irreverent young sidekick, a bank robber gets his old gang back together to organize a daring new heist. (115 mins.)
Director: Michael Cimino
“ Eastwood again. This time with Jeff Bridges as part of a foursome planning the same robbery from years ago. George Kennedy and Geoffrey Lewis are also in the quartet. ” - jploch
 
34.
McQ (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Seattle cop Lon McQ investigates the murder of his best friend and the corruption within the police department. (111 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
“ John Wayne as a Seattle cop whose partner was on the take. Eddie Albert plays his boss. Diana Muldaur and Clu Gulager involved in the case. ” - jploch
 
35.
Nashville (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed. (160 mins.)
Director: Robert Altman
“ Robert Altman's epic about the country music capital. Has political overtones in the writing. Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin head an all-star cast. Keith Carradine won an Oscar for his song "I'm Easy." ” - jploch
 
36.
Network (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A television network cynically exploits a deranged former anchor's ravings and revelations about the news media for its own profit. (121 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
“ Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and William Holden in Paddy Chayefsky's satire about a deranged TV anchorman and his rants. "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" became national catchphrase. ” - jploch
 
37.
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Alcatraz is the most secure prison of its time. It is believed that no one can ever escape from it, until three daring men make a possible successful attempt at escaping from one of the most infamous prisons in the world. (112 mins.)
Director: Donald Siegel
“ Clint Eastwood in fact-based prison yarn about 1962 escape. Patrick McGoohan plays the sadistic warden. ” - jploch
 
38.
Caddyshack (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher. (98 mins.)
Director: Harold Ramis
“ Snobs vs. slobs. Golf caper with Rodney Dangerfield, Chevy Chase, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray. Swimming pool scene with the "accident" cleaned up by Murray will get you laughing hysterically. ” - jploch
 
39.
Airplane! (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. (88 mins.)
“ Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Lloyd Bridges and Peter Graves in the Zucker brothers comedy masterpiece. Pilot Hayes must save a plane filled with stricken passengers and crew. Leslie Nielsen is hilarious. ” - jploch
 
40.
The Four Seasons (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Three middle-aged wealthy couples take vacations together in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Along the way we are treated to mid-life... (107 mins.)
Director: Alan Alda
“ Alan Alda, Carol Burnett, Len Cariou, Sandy Dennis, Jack Weston, and Rita Moreno play three couples who vacation together each season. Cariou dumps Dennis for Bess Armstrong. Written by Alda. Alda's daughters also appear. ” - jploch
 
41.
Goodfellas (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
The story of Henry Hill and his life through the teen years into the years of mafia, covering his relationship with wife Karen Hill and his Mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVitto in the Italian-American crime syndicate. (146 mins.)
Director: Martin Scorsese
“ Martin Scorcese's epic gangster flick with Robert DeNiro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci. Said by many to be the greatest Mafia picture ever. Pesci won an Oscar. ” - jploch
 
42.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ Quentin Tarentino's non-linear masterpiece. Where do you start? John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, and Harvey Keitel all gave outstanding performances. And Ving Rhames was there as Marcellus. What in the hell was in that suitcase? ” - jploch
 
43.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.3/10 X  
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Director: Frank Darabont
“ Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman in a prison-buddy tale stretching nearly 20 years. Innocent banker Robbins convicted of killing wife. Then meets Freeman in prison. Used by corrupt warden in money-laundering scheme. Plans and executes elaborate escape. ” - jploch
 
44.
Sling Blade (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Karl Childers, a simple man hospitalized since his childhood murder of his mother and her lover, is released to start a new life in a small town. (135 mins.)
“ Billy Bob Thornton wrote and directed this tale of a simple man being released from a mental hospital after serving time for killing his mother and her lover. Lucas Black plays young boy who Thornton meets. Boy's mother is dating Doyle, an abusive drunk played by Dwight Yoakum. "Some people call it a kaiser blade. I call it a sling blade." ” - jploch
 
45.
Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999 TV Movie)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
History of Apple and Microsoft. (95 mins.)
Director: Martyn Burke
“ Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall play Steve Jobs and Bill Gates in this TNT movie. Interesting picture of the rise of both Apple and Microsoft. ” - jploch
 
46.
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The Bride wakens from a four-year coma. The child she carried in her womb is gone. Now she must wreak vengeance on the team of assassins who betrayed her - a team she was once part of. (111 mins.)
“ Tarentino's homage to martial arts films. Part 1 introduces The Bride and follows her deadly trail in hunting down Bill, her former boss and ex-lover. ” - jploch
 
47.
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The Bride continues her quest of vengeance against her former boss and lover Bill, the reclusive bouncer Budd and the treacherous, one-eyed Elle. (137 mins.)
“ Part 2 continues the bloody rampage until Bill gets what he deserves. ” - jploch
 
48.
Death Proof (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Two separate sets of voluptuous women are stalked at different times by a scarred stuntman who uses his "death proof" cars to execute his murderous plans. (113 mins.)
“ Kurt Russell plays a scarred stuntman who drives a "death proof" car stalking two lovely women in Quentin Tarentino's part of the Grindhouse film. ” - jploch
 
49.
Planet Terror (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
After an experimental bio-weapon is released, turning thousands into zombie-like creatures, it's up to a rag-tag group of survivors to stop the infected and those behind its release. (105 mins.)
“ Robert Rodriguez' part of the Grindhouse film involves a biochemical weapon being released and turning people into zombies. Rose McGowan plays a lovely with a machine gun for a leg helping to stop the zombie army. ” - jploch
 
50.
RED (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
When his peaceful life is threatened by a high-tech assassin, former black-ops agent Frank Moses reassembles his old team in a last ditch effort to survive and uncover his assailants. (111 mins.)
“ Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich star in this picture about ex-CIA agent Willis teaming up with old partners to stop attempts from a high-tech assassin from killing him. Ernest Borgnine in one of his last roles plays Henry. ” - jploch