Favorites from 70 years of moviegoing

by london777 | created - 08 Jan 2013 | updated - 31 Jan 2017 | 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: [link]http://www.imdb.com/list/rlkIn2JlgFw/?start=1&view=detail&sort=title:desc[/link] 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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1. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 76,701

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.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 26,890

3. A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, John Sweet

Votes: 4,181

4. Children of Paradise (1945)

Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir

Votes: 15,916

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.

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Soumitra Chatterjee, Sharmila Tagore, Alok Chakravarty, Swapan Mukherjee

Votes: 8,762 | 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.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 133,791 | Gross: $0.45M

7. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 165,409

8. Annie Hall (1977)

PG | 93 min | Comedy, Romance

92 Metascore

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane

Votes: 225,744 | Gross: $39.20M

9. Mulholland Dr. (2001)

R | 147 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

83 Metascore

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.

Director: David Lynch | Stars: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Jeanne Bates

Votes: 273,035 | 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.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 22,882 | Gross: $10.90M

11. Seven Samurai (1954)

Not Rated | 207 min | Adventure, Drama

98 Metascore

A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Yukiko Shimazaki

Votes: 263,736 | Gross: $0.27M

12. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

PG | 104 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote, Kathleen Byron

Votes: 15,641

13. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

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.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 71,287

14. Manhattan (1979)

R | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

83 Metascore

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.

Director: Woody Allen | Stars: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Mariel Hemingway, Michael Murphy

Votes: 116,321 | Gross: $45.70M

15. The Big Sleep (1946)

Not Rated | 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.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, John Ridgely, Martha Vickers

Votes: 70,323

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.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Max von Sydow, Gunnar Björnstrand, Bengt Ekerot, Nils Poppe

Votes: 132,247

17. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 85,198

18. Great Expectations (1946)

Not Rated | 118 min | Adventure, Drama, Mystery

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Director: David Lean | Stars: John Mills, Valerie Hobson, Tony Wager, Jean Simmons

Votes: 19,345

19. Brief Encounter (1945)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Romance

Meeting a stranger in a railway station, a woman is tempted to cheat on her husband.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard, Stanley Holloway, Joyce Carey

Votes: 29,672

20. Double Indemnity (1944)

Passed | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

95 Metascore

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Byron Barr

Votes: 117,122 | Gross: $5.72M

21. Rashômon (1950)

Not Rated | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Machiko Kyô, Masayuki Mori, Takashi Shimura

Votes: 123,099

22. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery

96 Metascore

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Gladys George, Peter Lorre

Votes: 131,995

23. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 444,232 | Gross: $1.02M

24. Laura (1944)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 36,087

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".

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Paul Stewart, Juano Hernandez

Votes: 15,630

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.

Director: Jules Dassin | Stars: Richard Widmark, Gene Tierney, Googie Withers, Hugh Marlowe

Votes: 9,643 | Gross: $3.60M

27. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

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.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 22,701

28. Ace in the Hole (1951)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Film-Noir

72 Metascore

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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur, Porter Hall

Votes: 22,412 | 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.

Director: Henri-Georges Clouzot | Stars: Simone Signoret, Véra Clouzot, Paul Meurisse, Charles Vanel

Votes: 52,302

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.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Roger Livesey, Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook, Roland Culver

Votes: 11,050

31. In the Valley of Elah (2007)

R | 121 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

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.

Director: Paul Haggis | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jonathan Tucker, Jason Patric

Votes: 63,907 | Gross: $6.78M

32. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 390,719 | Gross: $0.28M

33. It Always Rains on Sunday (1947)

92 min | Crime, Drama

An escaped convict tries to hide out at his former lover's house, but she has since married and is reluctant to help him.

Director: Robert Hamer | Stars: Googie Withers, Jack Warner, John McCallum, Edward Chapman

Votes: 1,042 | Gross: $0.01M

34. Fitzcarraldo (1982)

PG | 158 min | Adventure, Drama

The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle.

Director: Werner Herzog | Stars: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy, Miguel Ángel Fuentes

Votes: 25,529

35. O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

PG-13 | 107 min | Adventure, Comedy, Crime

69 Metascore

In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman

Votes: 249,017 | 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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore

Votes: 295,126 | Gross: $3.20M

37. The Asphalt Jungle (1950)

Not Rated | 112 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Sterling Hayden, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, James Whitmore

Votes: 20,063

38. Fargo (1996)

R | 98 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

85 Metascore

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.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare

Votes: 525,484 | 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 »

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Gérard Depardieu, Wojciech Pszoniak, Anne Alvaro, Roland Blanche

Votes: 5,179

40. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin

Votes: 493,319 | Gross: $32.00M

41. The Ninth Gate (1999)

R | 133 min | Mystery, Thriller

44 Metascore

A rare book dealer, while seeking out the last two copies of a demon text, gets drawn into a conspiracy with supernatural overtones.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Johnny Depp, Frank Langella, Lena Olin, Emmanuelle Seigner

Votes: 148,004 | Gross: $18.66M

42. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 22,892

43. High and Low (1963)

Not Rated | 143 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

An executive of a shoe company becomes a victim of extortion when his chauffeur's son is kidnapped and held for ransom.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Toshirô Mifune, Yutaka Sada, Tatsuya Nakadai, Kyôko Kagawa

Votes: 21,498

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.

Director: Ken Loach | Stars: Ian Hart, Rosana Pastor, Icíar Bollaín, Tom Gilroy

Votes: 8,786 | Gross: $0.23M

45. Odd Man Out (1947)

Not Rated | 116 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A wounded Irish nationalist leader attempts to evade police following a failed robbery in Belfast.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: James Mason, Robert Newton, Cyril Cusack, F.J. McCormick

Votes: 7,311

46. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

99 Metascore

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.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Bruce Bennett

Votes: 94,486 | Gross: $5.01M

47. Blade Runner (1982)

R | 117 min | Sci-Fi, Thriller

89 Metascore

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.

Director: Ridley Scott | Stars: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos

Votes: 580,734 | 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.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: Gabriele Ferzetti, Monica Vitti, Lea Massari, Dominique Blanchar

Votes: 21,124

49. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personas are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 78,105

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.

Director: Akira Kurosawa | Stars: Maksim Munzuk, Yuriy Solomin, Mikhail Bychkov, Vladimir Khrulev

Votes: 19,958