Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Greatest Films of All Time: 101-200

"I don't try to guess what a million people will like. It's hard enough to know what I like."

John Huston

This is the fifth in a series of posts on my exploration of the world's Greatest Films of All Time. The initial post included an Introduction and Films 1-20. The other posts include Films 21-50, Films 51-100, and The Directors.

You can skip the following brief intro if you've already read the other posts.

Briefly, I researched and compiled 30 lists of Greatest Films from various sources around the globe, including critics such as Roger Ebert and Jonathan Rosenbaum; popular magazines like Time and Time Out (UK); films journals such as Sight & Sound, Cahiers du cinema, Kinovedcheskie Zapiski (Russia); and a range of Film Archives from countries like China, India, Ecuador, Israel, Greece, and Finland.

The 30 polls produced a total of 580 films. When films weren't ranked in the polls, I assigned a numeric value depending on the total number of films included (eg. 100 films = 20 points). So, the list I'm presenting is not a ranking of films I personally think are the greatest of all time. It's simply a reflection of results from across 30 polls voted on by hundreds of other people.

My quest was twofold: To see which works were considered the masterpieces of cinema from a variety of international sources, and to see if and how the perception of great films and great directors varied from one region of the world to another.

Films 101-200

Luis Buñuel's delicious and disturbing Exterminating Angel, ranked #177 and among my own 100 Favorite Films.

Since this list is pretty long, I'm not going to offer much comment. There were a few points of interest, however.

Several classic comedies from the 1930s and 1940s, which seemed ignored in the more serious-minded Top 100, show up in this list. Howard Hawks' two defining screwball classics appear: Bringing Up Baby (#112) and His Girl Friday (#155) , which may have the fastest-spoken dialog in cinema history. Wisecracking only for the initiated.

Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Sturges each notch two entries, the former with the delightful Trouble in Paradise (#118) and The Shop Around the Corner (#185), and the latter with the magnificent The Lady Eve (#119) and Sullivan's Travels (#185). The only Marx Brothers film in the Top 200, Duck Soup (#125), shows up. And two of my favorite comedies - George Cuckor's wonderful The Philadelphia Story (#144) and Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (#152) - deservedly make the list.

The first films from the 21st century appear: David Lynch's skewed riff on Sunset Blvd., Mulholland Drive (#173) and Wong Kar Wai's In the Mood for Love (#188).

The famous British directing team of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, who didn't have any films in the Top 100, wind up with four in this list: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (#109); A Matter of Life and Death (#113); Black Narcissus (#138), which I highly recommend; and The Red Shoes (#164).

Here's the full list:

101. (tie) Notti di Cabiria, Le [Nights of Cabiria] (1957) Federico Fellini 184.5
101. (tie) On the Waterfront (1954) Elia Kazan 184.5
103. Zangiku monogatari [Story of the Late Chrysanthemums] (1939) Kenji Mizoguchi 184
104. My Darling Clementine (1946) John Ford 181.5
105. Thiassos, O [Traveling Players] (1975) Theodoros Angelopoulos 178
106. (tie) Jazz Singer, The (1927) Alan Crosland 175
106. (tie) Olvidados, Los [The Young and the Damned] (1950) Luis Buñuel 175
108. Nashville (1975) Robert Altman 172.5
109. Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The (1943) Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger 170.5
110. Partie de Campagne [A Day in the Country] (1936) Jean Renoir 170
111. Pandora's Box (1928) G.W. Pabst 165
112. Bringing up Baby (1938) Howard Hawks 158.5
113. Matter Of Life And Death, A (1946) Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger 157.5
114. King Kong (1933) Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack 154
115. Condamné à mort s'est échappé, Un, ou Le vent souffle où il veut [A Man Escaped] (1956) Robert Bresson 150.5
116. Journal d'un curé de campagne [Diary of a Country Priest] (1950) Robert Bresson 149
117. Sherlock Jr. (1924) Buster Keaton 147
118. Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch 145.5
119. Lady Eve, The (1941) Preston Sturges 143
120. Belle et la bête, La [Beauty and the Beast] (1946) Jean Cocteau 141
121. Battaglia di Algeri, La [The Battle of Algiers] (1965) Gillo Pontecorvo 138.5
122. Blaue Engel, Der [Blue Angel] (1930) Josef von Sternberg 135
123. (tie) Letzte Mann, Der [The Last Laugh] (1924) F.W. Murnau 130
123. (tie) Zemyla [Earth] (1930) Aleksandr Dovzhenko 130
125. Duck Soup (1933) Leo McCarey 128.5
126. Crowd , The (1928) King Vidor 128
127. Nanook of the North (1922) Robert Flaherty 127
128. (tie) Play Time (1967) Jacques Tati 125
128. (tie) Umberto D (1952) Vittorio De Sica 125
130. Maltese Falcon, The (1941) John Huston 120.5
131. Ran (1985) Akira Kurosawa 117.5
132. (tie) Great Dictator, The (1940) Charlie Chaplin 117
132. (tie) Jetée, La [The Jetty] (1962) Chris Marker 117

Chris Marker's 1962 science-fiction film La Jetée, a 28-minute work composed of still photographs. It served as the inspiration for Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys (1995).

134. (tie) Aparajito (1956) Satyajit Ray 115
134. (tie) Apur Sansa [The World of Apu] (1959) Satyajit Ray 115
136. Clockwork Orange, A (1971) Stanley Kubrick 108.5
137. Nuit et Brouillard [Night and Fog] (1955) Alain Resnais 107
138. (tie) Black Narcissus (1947) Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger 106.5
138. (tie) Vredens dag [Day of Wrath] (1943) Carl Dreyer 106.5
140. (tie) Shoah (1985) Claude Lanzmann 105
140. (tie) Ukigumo [Floating Clouds] (1955) Mikio Naruse 105
140. (tie) Vampires, Les (1915-16) Louis Feuillade 105
143. Performance (1970) Nicholas Roeg 103
144. (tie) Jeanne Dielman 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) Chantal Ackerman 102
144. (tie) Philadelphia Story, The (1940) George Cukor 102
146. Treasure of Sierra Madre, The (1948) John Huston 101.5
147. Senso (1954) Luchino Visconti 101
148. (tie) Johnny Guitar (1954) Nicholas Ray 100
148. (tie) Stagecoach (1939) John Ford 100
148. (tie) Vivre sa vie [My Life to Live] (1962) Jean-Luc Godard 100
148. (tie) Wind, The (1928) Victor Sjöström 100
152. It Happened One Night (1934) Frank Capra 98.5
153. (tie) Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Charlie Chaplin 98
153. (tie) Star Wars (1977) George Lucas 98
155. His Girl Friday (1940) Howard Hawks 97.5
156. (tie) Foolish Wives (1922) Erich von Stroheim 95
156. (tie) Once Upon a Time in America (1983) Sergio Leone 95
158. Paisà [Paisan] (1946) Roberto Rossellini 93
159. Manhattan (1979) Woody Allen 92
160. Laura (1944) Otto Preminger 91
161. Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt [Berlin, Symphony of a City] (1927) Walter Ruttmann 90
162. (tie) Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938) Leni Riefenstahl 89
162. (tie) Sweet Smell of Success, The (1957) Alexander Mackendrick 89
164. (tie) Vangelo secondo Matteo, Il [The Gospel According to Saint Matthew] (1964) Pier Paolo Pasolini 87.5
164. (tie) Red Shoes, The (1948) Michael Powel & Emeric Pressburger 87.5
166. Ukigusa [Floating Weeds] (1959) Yasujiro Ozu 85.5
167. (tie) Banshun [Late Spring] (1949) Yasujiro Ozu 85
167. (tie) Jalsaghar [The Music Room] (1958) Satyajit Ray 85
167. (tie) Oktyabr [October] (1927) Sergei M. Eisenstein 85
170. 2 ou 3 choses que je sais d'elle [2 or 3 Things I Know About Her] (1967) Jean-Luc Godard 83
171. Rocco e i suoi fratelli [Rocco and His Brothers] (1960) Luchino Visconti 82.5
172. Las hurdes [Land without Bread] (1932) Luis Buñuel 82
173. (tie) Charme discret de la bourgeoisie, Le [The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie] (1972) Luis Buñuel 81.5
173. (tie) Mulholland Dr. (2001) David Lynch 81.5
175. (tie) Piano, The (1993) Jane Campion 81
175. (tie) Sans Soleil [Sunless] (1983) Chris Marker 81
177. Ángel exterminador, El [Exterminating Angel] (1962) Luis Buñuel 80.5
178. (tie) Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn 80
178. (tie) Maman et la putain, La [The Mother and the Whore] (1973) Jean Eustache 80
178. (tie) Scarlet Empress, The (1934) Josef von Sternberg 80
181. Stalker (1979) Andrei Tarkovsky 79
182. (tie) Viskningar och rop [Cries and Whispers] (1972) Ingmar Bergman 78
182. (tie) Kaagaz Ke Phool [Paper Flowers] (1959) Guru Dutt 78
184. Nema-ye Nazdik [Close-Up] (1990) Abbas Kiarostami 77
185. Shop Around the Corner, The (1940) Ernst Lubitsch 76.5
186. Sullivan's Travels (1941) Preston Sturges 76
187. Do the Right Thing (1989) Spike Lee 75.5
188. Fa yeung nin wa [In The Mood For Love] (2000) Wong Kar Wai 75
189. (tie) Sayat Nova [Color of Pomegranates] (1968) Sergei Parajanov 75
189. (tie) Terra trema [The Earth Trembles] (1948) Luchino Visconti 75
191. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) Vincente Minnelli 73
192. (tie) Buono, il brutto, il cattivo., Il [The Good, the Bad and the Ugly] (1966) Sergio Leone 72
192. (tie) Mean Streets (1973) Martin Scorsese 72
192. (tie) Paths of Glory (1957) Stanley Kubrick 72
195. Brief Encounter (1945) David Lean 71.5
196. (tie) Barefoot Contessa, The (1954) Joseph Mankiewicz 71
196. (tie) Casque d'or (1952) Jacques Becker 71
196. (tie) Deer Hunter, The (1978) Michael Cimino 71
196. (tie) Moonfleet (1955) Fritz Lang 71
196. (tie) Plaisir, Le (1952) Max Ophüls 71
196. (tie) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) Walt Disney 71

Films ranked 101-200 that show up in my own list of Favorite 100 Films: Bringing Up Baby (#112), The Maltese Falcon (#130), Ran (#131), The Philadelphia Story (#144), It Happened One Night (#152), His Girl Friday (#155), Manhattan (#159), and The Exterminating Angel (#177).

I'd be curious, once again, to know some of your own experiences with these films. And which ones would you put in your own Top 100?

Until the next reel. . .


Liam said...

My impression often upon reading that list is seeing films I can't believe didn't make it into the top 100 (Bringing up Baby, Duck Soup, Maltese Falcon, Do the Right Thing -- I could go on and on). I think these film critic types need to learn to relax and enjoy a comedy.

crystal said...

And a cartoon - Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - one of my favorites.

Jeff said...

Sorry, off-topic comment...

At the end of the 3rd quarter here, it appears to be true that the chemistry between Favre and Coles is a work in progress. Is it true that Coles was upset to see Pennington shipped out?

cowboyangel said...


Do the Right Thing? One of the 100 Greatest of All Time? Porque? Maltese Falcon and Ran were the two that most surprised me. I'm used to comedies not being taken more seriously.

cowboyangel said...


I finally watched Snow White recently. It was very good.

I'm sure in the future, there will be more animated films included in "Greatest Films" lists. There are a couple of newer ones in the IMDB Classic Film Board Top 200:

1. Grave of the Fireflies / 1988 / Isao Takahata (currently #56)
2. Spirited Away / 2001 / Hayao Miyazaki (currently #90)

cowboyangel said...


I'll answer your football question, but only if I hear from you on the films! :-)

I think the chemistry between Favre and Coles would be fine if Laveranues would catch the damn ball. Two major drops yesterday. I don't remember him doing that before. Maybe he's still used to Pennington's softballs.

Yeah, he and Pennington are very close friends, and he was . . . distraught when Chad was cut so quickly. Of course, he didn't have a problem when the Redskins offered him a little more money than the Jets several years ago. He was gone in a flash. Only to wind up back here again. Now he's sad. Whatever. I just want to catch the damn ball on key 3rd downs!

Speaking of which, have you seen Braylon Edwards at all? Oh my - I read so much about him in the pre-season. The greatest young receiver blah-blah-blah . . . friends with Michael Phelps, etc. I watched parts of Cleveland's first two games - parts, mind you - and I've seen him drop six passes. Horrible, horrible playing.

BTW, I think you guys are in trouble after all. I wasn't convinced you would be. And I should say, you'll probably make the playoffs with that super-easy schedule. But you've scored 17 and 19 points against the Chiefs and Jets. Cassell played well yesterday (especially since Mangini didn't seem interested in pressuring him that much! Arrgghh!), but it's obvious to me that there's a major difference between him and Brady. The Pats wouldn't have won yesterday if they had played a good team. I don't see how you guys advance in the playoffs. I'm not even sure how you're going to beat Buffalo, the way they're playing.

Garpu said...

I wonder why animated films didn't make it on. The old Disney cartoons had some really amazing work in them. For instance, they used to paint a lot of the backgrounds onto glass, then film that. (I lived with a few animators at CalArts.)

cowboyangel said...


Well, Snow White was on the list. Granted, tied at #200. Like musicals and comedies, animated films don't get the same kind of respect that dramas do. Even genre dramas like westerns of film noir do better than supposedly "lighter" films. That's the way it's always been. As I said to Crystal, I think that will change for animated films in the near future. Sadly, however, I think musicals will continue to be considred second-rate.

Except, of course, for Singin' in the Rain, which is the token musical, just as Snow white is usually the token animated film.

Liam said...

I'm not dead set on Do the Right Thing as a top 100 film, but I think Spike Lee is an underrated director and I think it was very good on the question of race. Malcolm X might be better -- I don't know, I never saw it.

Btw, have you seen "Burn After Reading"? We saw it this weekend and enjoyed it. It's very dark. I've read a couple of reviews that have accused it (surprise! for a Cohen bros film) of being "cold," but I think that's the whole point. I don't know how political the Cohen Brothers meant it to be, but I could see it as an attack on the superficiality and brutality of our political system.

cowboyangel said...

Spike's had an interesting career so far. Important indy director, important African-American director, then no one goes to see his films for a while, now he's doing Hollywood projects (Inside Man) and documentaries.

You should see Malcolm X. Denzel's amazing. I thought it was a very good film. And I love Inside Man, which is an excellent bank-job film with little touches of Spike here and there. Also a great New York movie. Alex has been showing it in her American Film class and the ESL students seem to really like it, especially for the NY aspect.

I'd have to see Do the Right Thing again at this point to really make any judgment about it being Top 100 or not. It's been a while.

Glad to hear that you liked Burn After Reading. We were interested - then it got such negative reviews in the New Yorker and NYT. Started to wonder. Maybe we'll see it this weekend.

Seems like critics have always had a love-hate relationship with the Coens.

As they have with Spike Lee.

Liam said...

I can see why they say it's cold, but I'm not very fond of the person who did the review in the Times (Manhola Dargis??Sp?).

cowboyangel said...

I'm not fond of any of them, to be honest. not so much the New yorkers folks either, though Anthony Lane's not bad.

Jeff said...

How does Ran wind up at 131 instead of in the top 25??

I was glad to see Mean Streets on the list, an under-appreciated Scorcese film, and one of my favorite perfomances by the young Bobby DeNiro, not to mention Harvey Keitel.

Spike is a good director, but I'm not sure how well Do the Right Thing holds up over time. It now seems as dated as the Public Enemy soundtrack it's set to.

My favorite films of his are the first one he made, She's Gotta Have It, and the jazz one with Wesley Snipes and Denzel Washington, Mo' Better Blues. Despite the amazing resemblance bewtween Denzel Washington and Malcom X, I didn't think that X film was very good. Having read the Autobiography of Malcom X, which was full of such vivid imagery, I was a bit disappointed with what Lee eventually put across.

Yeah, I think you are right about the Patriots. Cassell isn't making mistakes, that's one thing, and they say he is "managing" the games well, but putting up less than 20 points against the likes of the Chiefs and the Jets isn't going to cut it, even though they have a ridiculously soft schedule. How that happened, I'll never know. Seriously. You tell me.

I'm enjoying Notre Dame's suprisingly positive start though.

I haven't been following Braylon Edwards. I'll have to check out what you're telling me.

cowboyangel said...


It's funny about Ran. A lot of people, myself included, think very highly of it. As I may have mentioned before, I would probably pick it as my #1 "favorite" film.

But it obviously doesn't move other people as much. On the IMDB Classic Film Board Top 200, which is voted on every other month, it's always a battle to keep it from sinking. Right now, I think it's about 130 as well. Seems like such a perfect movie to me. But, again, it wasn't as innovative as some of his earlier work. Just a great film by a great master.

I haven't seen Mean Streets. Was a bit surprised to see it wind up in a Top 200.

I've never read The Autobiography of Malcolm X, so I couldn't compare it to the movie. I just remember that it didn't get very good reviews at the time, so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw it. And, jazz fan that I am, I STILL haven't seen Mo' Better Blues.

Did you happen to catch any of the Cowboys-Eagles game? Wow - now that was some exciting football. 30-24 at the half! Seems like it had a little bit of everything. Of course, I was pleased with the final result. But even so, it was just fun to watch, even for a guy like me who loves classic defensive struggles that end 13-10.

McNabb looks better than I think I've ever seen him. I didn't expect that. And despite Romo's occasional mystifying blunders - his fumble in the end zone - I have to say, he may throw the most beautiful long passes I've ever seen. His late crucial one to Witten should be recorded for future QBs to admire.

After all of two weeks, I think Dallas and Philadephia may be the two best teams right now. With the Giants close behind. That NFC East is going to be a real battle this year. Pittsburgh should also be considered, I guess, though I wasn't overly impressed with their game against Cleveland.

And the Broncos are sure scoring a lot of points. I loved Shanahan going for 2 at the end of that Chargers game. (Though, granted, they shouldn't have had the opportunity at all with that horrible non-fumble call.)

I'm very curious to see the Pats take on the Bills. Any idea when they play?