Favorites from 70 years of moviegoingby london777 | created - 08 Jan 2013 | updated - 10 months ago | Public
There is no consistent logic to my list. Some movies are just personal favorites, perhaps because I associate them with certain stages of my life, and these I wouldn't expect to appear in the lists of other posters. With some other entries I feel no affinity but respect their influence on cinema history. I was encouraged to post my list by frabbit8 who has himself listed 250 titles: http://www.imdb.com/list/rlkIn2JlgFw/?start=1&view=detail&sort=title:desc and I am indebted to him for reminding me of many great films which otherwise might have slipped my mind. My own list might look rather different had I seen many of the films he lists, especially those from the Far East. I have not attempted to conceal my personal prejudices. Westerns, horror flicks, sci-fi and musicals normally leave me cold. I realise my education is sadly deficient in respect of many great films from Continental Europe and developing nations. I have only listed films that I have myself watched, in most cases several times.
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2. Out of the Past (1947)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
5. Apur Sansar (1959)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama
This final installment in Satyajit Ray's Apu Trilogy follows Apu's life as an orphaned adult aspiring to be a writer.
Votes: 8,418 | Gross: $0.02M
6. 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: 127,307 | Gross: $0.45M
9. 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: 267,102 | Gross: $7.22M
10. The Red Shoes (1948)
Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance
A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.
Votes: 22,211 | Gross: $10.90M
13. 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.
14. Manhattan (1979)
R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
The life of a divorced television writer dating a teenage girl is further complicated when he falls in love with his best friend's mistress.
Votes: 114,214 | Gross: $45.70M
15. The Big Sleep (1946)
Approved | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
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.
16. 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.
20. Double Indemnity (1944)
Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.
Votes: 110,674 | Gross: $5.72M
22. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
23. 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: 429,525 | Gross: $1.02M
25. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
Not Rated | 106 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit."
26. Night and the City (1950)
Not Rated | 96 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
A small-time grifter and nightclub tout takes advantage of some fortuitous circumstances and tries to become a big-time player as a wrestling promoter.
27. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir
Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.
28. Ace in the Hole (1951)
Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir
A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
Votes: 21,796 | Gross: $3.97M
29. Diabolique (1955)
Not Rated | 117 min | Crime, Drama, Horror
The wife and mistress of a cruel headmaster conspire to kill him; after the murder is committed, his corpse disappears, and strange events begin to plague the two women.
30. 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.
31. In the Valley of Elah (2007)
R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son's disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.
Votes: 63,186 | Gross: $6.78M
PG | 95 min | Comedy, War
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 378,689 | Gross: $0.28M
33. It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)
Approved | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An escaped convict tries to hide out at his former lover's house, but she has since married and is reluctant to help him.
Votes: 972 | Gross: $0.01M
35. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime
In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.
Votes: 244,511 | Gross: $45.51M
36. 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: 282,473 | Gross: $3.20M
38. Fargo (1996)
R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Jerry Lundegaard's inept crime falls apart due to his and his henchmen's bungling and the persistent police work of the quite pregnant Marge Gunderson.
Votes: 507,214 | Gross: $24.61M
39. Danton (1983)
PG | 136 min | Biography, Drama, History
Action opens in November of 1793, with Danton returning to Paris from his country retreat upon learning that the Committee for Public Safety, under Robespierre's incitement, has begun a ... See full summary »
40. 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: 476,056 | Gross: $32.00M
41. The Ninth Gate (1999)
R | 133 min | Mystery, Thriller
A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.
Votes: 146,144 | Gross: $18.66M
44. Land and Freedom (1995)
Not Rated | 109 min | Drama, War
David is an unemployed communist that comes to Spain in 1937 during the civil war to enroll the republicans and defend the democracy against the fascists. He makes friends between the soldiers.
Votes: 8,605 | Gross: $0.23M
46. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Votes: 88,704 | Gross: $5.01M
47. 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: 548,184 | Gross: $27.00M
48. 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.
50. Dersu Uzala (1975)
G | 142 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
The Russian army sends an explorer on an expedition to the snowy Siberian wilderness where he makes friends with a seasoned local hunter.
52. Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Romance
In Sweden at the turn of the century, members of the upper class and their servants find themselves in a romantic tangle that they try to work out amidst jealousy and heartbreak.
55. Elmer Gantry (1960)
Approved | 146 min | Drama
A fast-talking traveling salesman with a charming, loquacious manner convinces a sincere evangelist that he can be an effective preacher for her cause.
Votes: 8,641 | Gross: $11.34M
56. Kanal (1957)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, War
In 1944, during the Warsaw uprising against the Nazis, Polish Lieutenant Zadra and his resistance fighters use Warsaw's sewer system to escape the German encirclement.
57. Secrets & Lies (1996)
R | 136 min | Drama
A successful black woman discovers that her birth mother is a underprivileged white woman, but the woman denies it. As emotions run high, everyone's secrets are exposed.
Votes: 31,174 | Gross: $13.42M
60. Through a Glass Darkly (1961)
Not Rated | 89 min | Drama
Recently released from a mental hospital; Karin rejoins her emotionally disconnected family and their island home, only to slip from reality as she begins to believe she is being visited by God.
62. Night and Fog (1956)
Not Rated | 32 min | Documentary, Short, History
The history of Nazi Germany's death camps of the Final Solution and the hellish world of dehumanization and death contained inside.
PG-13 | 178 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from the Dark Lord Sauron.
Votes: 1,368,011 | Gross: $315.54M
64. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
PG-13 | 179 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.
Votes: 1,219,948 | Gross: $342.55M
PG-13 | 201 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Votes: 1,347,827 | Gross: $377.85M
66. Oliver Twist (1948)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama
An orphan named Oliver Twist meets a pickpocket on the streets of London. From there, he joins a household of boys who are trained to steal for their master.
67. Fail-Safe (1964)
Approved | 112 min | Drama, Thriller
American planes are sent to deliver a nuclear attack on Moscow, but it's a mistake due to an electrical malfunction. Can all-out war be averted?
70. 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: 126,085 | Gross: $0.03M
72. Onibaba (1964)
Unrated | 103 min | Drama, Horror
Two women kill samurai and sell their belongings for a living. While one of them is having an affair with their neighbor, the other woman meets a mysterious samurai wearing a bizarre mask.
75. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
Votes: 45,150 | Gross: $23.65M
79. Nosferatu the Vampyre (1979)
PG | 107 min | Horror
Count Dracula moves from Transylvania to Wismar, spreading the Black Plague across the land. Only a woman pure of heart can bring an end to his reign of horror.
81. Ivan's Childhood (1962)
Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, War
In WW2, twelve year old Soviet orphan Ivan Bondarev works for the Soviet army as a scout behind the German lines and strikes a friendship with three sympathetic Soviet officers.
83. Gone with the Wind (1939)
G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 238,321 | Gross: $198.68M
84. The Wages of Fear (1953)
Not Rated | 131 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller
In a decrepit South American village, four men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe.
88. La belle et la bête (1946)
Not Rated | 93 min | Drama, Fantasy, Romance
A beautiful young woman takes her father's place as the prisoner of a mysterious beast, who wishes to marry her.
Votes: 20,681 | Gross: $0.30M
91. Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)
TV-PG | 89 min | Drama, Romance
A rebellious, hard-living factory worker juggles relationships with two women, one of whom is married to another man but pregnant with his child.
93. Shakespeare in Love (1998)
R | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, History
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.
Votes: 188,641 | Gross: $100.32M
95. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
R | 178 min | Western
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery.
Votes: 558,789 | Gross: $6.10M
96. Angel Heart (1987)
R | 113 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.
Votes: 68,161 | Gross: $17.19M
98. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.
Votes: 15,933 | Gross: $0.11M
99. The Usual Suspects (1995)
R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.
Votes: 824,535 | Gross: $23.34M
100. In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Approved | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.
Votes: 55,063 | Gross: $24.38M