Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Top 500 Greatest Movies of All Time

Empire Magazine polled 10,000 readers, 150 Hollywood insiders (including Quentin Tarantino, Sam Mendes, Mike Leigh, Guillermo Del Toro, Pedro Almodovar and Cameron Crowe) and 50 key film critics to come up with a ranked list of the 500 Greatest Movies of All Time.

I can’t argue too much with the top three:
1. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
3. Star Wars Episode V: Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner,1980)

I might rank Jaws higher than #5, but I also haven’t seen the 4th movie on the list: The Shawshank Redemption. In fact, that’s the only movie in the top 10 I haven’t seen, which I found a pleasant surprise.

If you don’t want to wade through Empire’s cumbersome weblisting, you can visit the blog of one of the 50 polled film critics (Peter Sciretta) and see a straight up list of the top 50.

The Dark Knight ranked at #15. While I’m not sure I’d rank it higher than say… Casablanca, I’m glad to see it in the top 20. The only glaring omission I see is that Fellowship of the Ring and Return of King are in the top 50, but Two Towers isn't (I'm sure it's on the list of 500 somewhere, I just haven't found where yet) when I would argue it's the superior of the three. Or at least better than Fellowship.

Amazingly, I’ve only not seen 13 of the top 50. 12 if you consider that I’ve seen most of Once Upon a Time in the West. There are only 2 movies in the top 50 that I’ve never heard of, and only 1 I have heard of that I’ve never at some point thought “I’d like to see that movie.”

Can you beat me? How many in the top 50 have you seen? Can you guess which movie I previously had no interest in seeing?


  1. What a crappy list. But I've seen 39 of the 50.

  2. I've only seen 29. And there are five movies on that list that I have no interest in seeing at all ever.

  3. How can you NOT have seen Shawshank!?!?! This is unacceptable. The ones I've missed are below. Um. Yes, there is something wrong with me.

    14. Once Upon A Time In The West (Sergio Leone, 1968)
    21. The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)
    36. Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1969)
    41. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959)
    42. Kind Hearts And Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949)

  4. Oh, I guess there were three movies I'd never heard of, and they're all on Megan's list of not-seens. I promise I'll go out and see Shawshank ASAP.

    What's the matter Prince? You don't like it because Return of the Jedi and Temple of Doom weren't #1 and #2?

  5. WORD on The Goonies. And Alan, you will not regret it. I promise.
    The only one I hadn't heard of was Andrei Mumblepants. I would lay odds that the top 50 were heavily weighted by critics and people who think they are very fancy and smart, but are actually pretentious twits.

    I have a hard time cramming in all of the awesome film in the world, man. Last night I watched The Gay Divorcee, a smidge of Hepburn in Little Women, and of course, Project Runway.

    I wish someone would pay me to watch movies. Not to write about them, just to watch them, and pontificate on them. That would be awesome.


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