Top Shelf Movies

by thephantom-3 | created - 04 Jul 2015 | updated - 01 Jan 2016 | Public

These are my favorite movies, the movies that I have watched repeatedly over the course of my life. I call them top shelf movies because that is where they reside in my DVD/Bluray cabinet, in chronological order as they appear in this list.

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1. King Kong (1933)

Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

90 Metascore

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 74,244 | Gross: $10.00M

2. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

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 to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 354,998 | Gross: $2.08M

3. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama

73 Metascore

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains, Edward Arnold

Votes: 99,186 | Gross: $9.60M

4. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Votes: 13,049 | Gross: $11.80M

5. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 361,695

6. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949)

Approved | 68 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

74 Metascore

An animated adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" followed by an adaptation of "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".

Directors: James Algar, Clyde Geronimi, Jack Kinney | Stars: Bing Crosby, Basil Rathbone, Eric Blore, John McLeish

Votes: 10,994

7. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter develops a dangerous relationship with a faded film star determined to make a triumphant return.

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

Votes: 182,032

8. Dial M for Murder (1954)

PG | 105 min | Crime, Thriller

75 Metascore

A tennis player frames his unfaithful wife for first-degree murder after she inadvertently hinders his plan to kill her.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Ray Milland, Grace Kelly, Robert Cummings, John Williams

Votes: 142,192 | Gross: $0.01M

9. 12 Angry Men (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama

96 Metascore

A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, John Fiedler

Votes: 605,281 | Gross: $4.36M

10. Some Like It Hot (1959)

Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

97 Metascore

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.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft

Votes: 223,525 | Gross: $25.00M

11. Psycho (1960)

R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

A Phoenix secretary embezzles forty thousand dollars 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: 545,681 | Gross: $32.00M

12. Birdman of Alcatraz (1962)

Not Rated | 147 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A surly convicted murderer held in permanent isolation redeems himself when he becomes a renowned bird expert.

Directors: John Frankenheimer, Charles Crichton | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Karl Malden, Thelma Ritter, Neville Brand

Votes: 14,686

13. The Great Escape (1963)

Not Rated | 172 min | Adventure, Drama, History

87 Metascore

Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson

Votes: 206,845 | Gross: $12.10M

14. The Love Bug (1968)

G | 108 min | Comedy, Family, Sport

48 Metascore

A race car driver becomes a champion with a Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Dean Jones, Michele Lee, David Tomlinson, Buddy Hackett

Votes: 12,822

15. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

80 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 697,542

16. Duel (1971 TV Movie)

PG | 90 min | Action, Horror, Thriller

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell

Votes: 57,614

17. Westworld (1973)

PG | 88 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

77 Metascore

A robot malfunction creates havoc and terror for unsuspecting vacationers at a futuristic, adult-themed amusement park.

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, James Brolin, Norman Bartold

Votes: 47,273

18. Herbie Rides Again (1974)

G | 88 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

49 Metascore

The living Volkswagen Beetle helps an old lady protect her home from a corrupt developer.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Helen Hayes, Ken Berry, Stefanie Powers, John McIntire

Votes: 6,689 | Gross: $38.23M

19. Blazing Saddles (1974)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Western

73 Metascore

In order to ruin a western town, a corrupt politician appoints a black Sheriff, who promptly becomes his most formidable adversary.

Director: Mel Brooks | Stars: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens, Harvey Korman

Votes: 117,037 | Gross: $119.50M

20. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

87 Metascore

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 515,950 | Gross: $260.00M

21. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 122,745 | Gross: $139.88M

22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

83 Metascore

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Will Sampson, Michael Berryman

Votes: 841,050 | Gross: $112.00M

23. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)

G | 74 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

A collection of animated shorts based on the stories and characters by A. A. Milne.

Directors: John Lounsbery, Wolfgang Reitherman | Stars: Sebastian Cabot, Junius Matthews, Barbara Luddy, Howard Morris

Votes: 29,938

24. Roots (1977)

TV-14 | 588 min | Biography, Drama, History

A dramatization of author Alex Haley's family line from ancestor Kunta Kinte's enslavement to his descendants' liberation.

Stars: LeVar Burton, Robert Reed, John Amos, Louis Gossett Jr.

Votes: 15,147

25. Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 48 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

A poor otter family risks everything for the chance to win the cash prize of a talent contest for Christmas.

Director: Jim Henson | Stars: Jerry Nelson, Frank Oz, Marilyn Sokol, Dave Goelz

Votes: 2,758 | Gross: $0.23M

26. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

Unrated | 127 min | Horror, Thriller

71 Metascore

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia S.W.A.T. team members, a traffic reporter, and his television executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Director: George A. Romero | Stars: David Emge, Ken Foree, Scott H. Reiniger, Gaylen Ross

Votes: 104,249 | Gross: $5.10M

27. Roots: The Next Generations (1979)

840 min | Drama, History, War

The dramatization of Alex Haley's family line from post Civil War America to the writer's search for his roots.

Stars: Debbi Morgan, Dorian Harewood, Paul Koslo, Stan Shaw

Votes: 2,162

28. The Shining (1980)

R | 146 min | Drama, Horror

66 Metascore

A family heads to an isolated hotel for the winter where a sinister presence influences the father into violence, while his psychic son sees horrific forebodings from both past and future.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd, Scatman Crothers

Votes: 793,290 | Gross: $44.02M

29. 9 to 5 (1980)

PG | 109 min | Comedy

58 Metascore

Three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.

Director: Colin Higgins | Stars: Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton, Dabney Coleman

Votes: 25,049 | Gross: $103.29M

30. An American Werewolf in London (1981)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

60 Metascore

Two American college students on a walking tour of Britain are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.

Director: John Landis | Stars: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher, Griffin Dunne

Votes: 83,071 | Gross: $30.57M

31. Clash of the Titans (1981)

PG | 118 min | Action, Adventure, Family

59 Metascore

Perseus must battle Medusa and the Kraken to save the Princess Andromeda.

Director: Desmond Davis | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Harry Hamlin, Claire Bloom, Maggie Smith

Votes: 37,940 | Gross: $41.09M

32. Stripes (1981)

R | 106 min | Comedy, War

68 Metascore

Two friends who are dissatisfied with their jobs decide to join the army for a bit of fun.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, John Candy, Harold Ramis, Warren Oates

Votes: 59,603 | Gross: $85.30M

33. The Last Unicorn (1982)

G | 92 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama

70 Metascore

A brave unicorn and a magician fight an evil King who is obsessed with attempting to capture the world's unicorns.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr. | Stars: Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Angela Lansbury, Alan Arkin

Votes: 22,558 | Gross: $6.46M

34. A Christmas Story (1983)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Family

77 Metascore

In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director: Bob Clark | Stars: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Scott Schwartz

Votes: 122,364 | Gross: $20.61M

35. Ghostbusters (1984)

PG | 105 min | Action, Comedy, Fantasy

71 Metascore

Three former parapsychology professors set up shop as a unique ghost removal service.

Director: Ivan Reitman | Stars: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis

Votes: 326,885 | Gross: $238.63M

36. The Goonies (1985)

PG | 114 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

62 Metascore

A group of young misfits who call themselves The Goonies discover an ancient map and set out on a quest to find a legendary pirate's long-lost treasure.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman

Votes: 220,390 | Gross: $61.50M

37. The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)

G | 86 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck Finn join Mark Twain on his airship to meet Halley's Comet.

Director: Will Vinton | Stars: James Whitmore, Michele Mariana, Gary Krug, Chris Ritchie

Votes: 2,324 | Gross: $0.85M

38. Clue (1985)

PG | 94 min | Comedy, Crime, Mystery

36 Metascore

Six guests are anonymously invited to a strange mansion for dinner, but after their host is killed, they must cooperate with the staff to identify the murderer as the bodies pile up.

Director: Jonathan Lynn | Stars: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd

Votes: 70,588 | Gross: $14.64M

39. Stand by Me (1986)

R | 89 min | Adventure, Drama

75 Metascore

After the death of one of his friends, a writer recounts a boyhood journey with his friends to find the body of a missing boy.

Director: Rob Reiner | Stars: Wil Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O'Connell

Votes: 336,982 | Gross: $52.29M

40. Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

PG-13 | 99 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

53 Metascore

A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend's fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.

Director: John Carpenter | Stars: Kurt Russell, Kim Cattrall, Dennis Dun, James Hong

Votes: 113,978 | Gross: $11.10M

41. Witchboard (1986)

R | 98 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

When his girlfriend becomes dangerously obsessed with a ghost she contacted using an ouija board, Jim reluctantly joins forces with her ex - his own estranged childhood best friend - to identify and exorcise the evil spirit.

Director: Kevin Tenney | Stars: Todd Allen, Tawny Kitaen, Stephen Nichols, Kathleen Wilhoite

Votes: 5,490 | Gross: $7.37M

42. House (1985)

R | 93 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

44 Metascore

A troubled writer moves into a haunted house after inheriting it from his aunt.

Director: Steve Miner | Stars: William Katt, Kay Lenz, George Wendt, Richard Moll

Votes: 21,072 | Gross: $19.44M

43. Under the Cherry Moon (1986)

PG-13 | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

Two cousins from Miami are in the Mediterranean, enjoying life by scamming money off of rich women. One day, they read about a young woman set to inherit $50,000,000 from her father. At ... See full summary »

Directors: Prince, Michael Ballhaus | Stars: Prince, Jerome Benton, Kristin Scott Thomas, Steven Berkoff

Votes: 2,878 | Gross: $10.09M

44. Near Dark (1987)

R | 94 min | Action, Crime, Drama

76 Metascore

A small-town farmer's son reluctantly joins a traveling group of vampires after he is bitten by a beautiful drifter.

Director: Kathryn Bigelow | Stars: Adrian Pasdar, Jenny Wright, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton

Votes: 30,363 | Gross: $3.37M

45. The Lost Boys (1987)

R | 97 min | Comedy, Horror

63 Metascore

After moving to a new town, two brothers discover that the area is a haven for vampires.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Jason Patric, Corey Haim, Dianne Wiest, Barnard Hughes

Votes: 113,019 | Gross: $32.22M

46. Heathers (1988)

R | 103 min | Comedy, Crime

72 Metascore

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann | Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty, Lisanne Falk

Votes: 79,443 | Gross: $1.11M

47. The Blob (1988)

R | 95 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Remake of the 1958 sci-fi horror classic about a deadly blob from another planet which consumes everything in its path. Teenagers attempt without success to warn the townspeople, who refuse to take them seriously.

Director: Chuck Russell | Stars: Shawnee Smith, Kevin Dillon, Donovan Leitch Jr., Jeffrey DeMunn

Votes: 28,547 | Gross: $8.25M

48. Scrooged (1988)

PG-13 | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

38 Metascore

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner | Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover

Votes: 77,905 | Gross: $60.33M

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