My Top 50 Favorite Films

Probably every movie lover makes a favorite film list at one time or another. Fletch over at Blog Cabins just posted a list of his top 50 films, encouraging others to do the same. That was all it took to get me going. (Yeah, I'm also one of those people that feels the need to respond to every email survey I receive from friends. Sharing opinions is fun!)

Top 10 is one thing, top 50 might be even trickier. I've grouped my choices into a few different categories, leaving my favorites for last on each list. It should be noted that these are my personal favorites, which is pretty subjective and basically comes down to the movies I have watched and enjoyed repeatedly, films which get quoted the most in my little world. These are not all necessarily the same movies I would put on a list of the best films ever made. But what good is a movie best list if it's not films you actually enjoy watching, anyway? And so, without further ado, my favorites:

Alfred Hitchcock movies:
Rear Window
Dial M for Murder
North by Northwest

Billy Wilder:
The Major and the Minor
Some Like it Hot
The Apartment

Orson Welles:
Citizen Kane
The Magnificent Ambersons
The Third Man

That Thing You Do!
Singin' in the Rain
A Hard Day's Night
The Wizard of Oz
Guys and Dolls
West Side Story
An American in Paris

Out of the Past
The Maltese Falcon

Chick Flicks:
Sense and Sensibility
Out of Africa
You've Got Mail

Back to the Future
The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars IV: A New Hope

Newer Favorites:
The Princess Bride
Catch Me If You Can
A River Runs Through It
Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Much Ado About Nothing
Joe Versus the Volcano
Quiz Show
The Hunt for Red October

Older Favorites:
Dr. Strangelove
Born Yesterday (the William Holden version, of course)
Father of the Bride (the Spencer Tracy version, of course)
Seven Days in May
12 Angry Men
Gone With the Wind
The Hustler
The Philadelphia Story

If I could only choose one out of all of my favorites as my top pick ever, it would probably be The Maltese Falcon.

By the way, I know there are only actually 49 here. I didn't count wrong, I was just afraid of missing some great movie and feeling bad about it later. So I'm leaving a spot open for floating favorites -- when I think of one that didn't make the list, it will become my current 50th.

Now it's your turn. What's on your list?


Cesia said...

Did you forget THE MUSIC MAN?!?!?!?

Deep breaths. Okay, now that I got that out of my system, I can comment on what an undertaking this is! I'm always too wishy-washy to pick out my favorites. So I'll just comment on yours. :)

N x NW & Rear Window: YES!!
Singin in the Rain: YES!!
Oklahoma: I saw that 4 times (not quite by choice) in the period of one year, and got a little burnt out on it. But I could probably be convinced to watch the Hugh Jackman version again.
Maltese Falcon: Classic.
You've Got Mail: Liked it, but this story has been done SO MANY TIMES. (Although, who can resist Hanks&Ryan?)
Gattaca: Oh man, this movie rocked. But I never hear anyone talk about it. Did it fall into a black hole or something?
Back to the Future/Star Wars: Duh. Classics.
Princess Bride: Its always a tossup whether I've seen this or The Fugitive more times.
Catch Me if You Can/Sneakers: Awesome.
River Runs: Good, but depressing.
Ferris Bueller: Classic. I remember my brother always quoting this growing up. "When Cameron went down to Egypt land ... let my Cameron go!"
Clueless: Ehh. I'd rather watch Emma.
Joe vs. Volcano: Yeahhhh! I think you're the only other person I've met to like this!!
Red October: Can you believe I am currently in the process of watching this movie for the first time?!?! I think its up there with The Fugitive for how many times my mom has watched it, and yet I've never seen it. Oh, well, an hour left of the movie and that will be fixed.
12 Angry Men: YES!
Gone With the Wind: Don't kill me ...

I've never seen it. When it was on TV as a kid, it was on past my bedtime. Sorry.
Casablanca: Yes! Bogart was just so cool.
Hustler: Paul Newman? Yes, please! :)

I may now have to go attempt this. You should do worst movies ever, too. Don't forget Wild Wild West. :)

- Cesia.

Wendymoon said...

Music Man, oh yeah, that must be the one I forgot! I do really love the songs in the show, I just enjoy some other movie musicals better. While we're on musicals I missed, there's also Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Gigi.

I just loved Oklahoma! growing up. We had it on video discs and I watched it over and over, although I would often skip the side 3 ballet (I didn't like Dream Laurie & Dream Curly).

You've Got Mail & Joe Vs. the Volcano were both movies that I HATED the first time I saw them. But they grew on me. Now You've Got Mail is the probably the movie I quote the most. While the romantic comedy, people who don't like each other at first fall in love idea may be overused, I think it was done here pretty perfectly.

I know Clueless is Emma updated; while I enjoy Emma I find it a bit slow-moving. Clueless is starting to feel kinda dated, but I still think it's funny. (And I like Cher better than Elle in Legally Blonde, which is a movie in a very similar vein.)

Another Hitchcock one I'd like to add is The 39 Steps.

Worst movies? Wow. I think I'd need a longer list. ;-)

Fletch said...

Yepo, you're definitely more classic leaning than I. But that's ok. :)

You did, though, remind me of two that I forgot/would make the next 10 of mine: Gattaca and Clueless.

David Bishop said...

I haven't made my list yet, but I like yours. I'm not sure how you included Joe Versus the Volcano and You've Got Mail without Sleepless in Seattle. I always think of those as a sort of trilogy.

Unfortunately, I've only seen 30 of your 50, but I think I have most of the unseen Netflixed.

Wendymoon said...

David, you're right, Sleepless In Seattle would complete the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan movie trio. Somehow I've never liked that one as well, though. I always feel bad for poor Walter (Bill Pullman) getting left alone, even though he's a good guy.

That's one thing I don't like about romantic movies -- the notion that two people are just destined for each other. I don't think it works like that, and I think this movie-promoted fantasy makes a lot of people unhappy with real life love.

David Bishop said...

But doesn't Sleepless in Seattle sort of acknowledge that what happens in it is really just a 'movie fantasy.' I feel like it constantly compares itself to An Affair to Remember. Maybe it promotes the idea that the 'movie fantasy' can come true, but I took it to mean that the movie was self-aware and was just trying to remind you that this was an ending atypical with reality.

Anyway, I just got my Top 100 List posted:


Wendymoon said...

Sleepless in Seattle does borrow a lot from An Affair to Remember (and admits to it). The Meg Ryan character even comments about how she's seen that movie too many times, trying to talk herself into reality as opposed to love in the movies. She says she doesn't believe in signs, but there are many moments that further the idea of "magic" connections.

Sleepless may be aware that it's showing an unrealistic, fantasy romance. But I feel that it's still guilty of promoting romantic cliches by showing a character who doesn't believe in them finding the perfect Hollywood ending anyway.

It's not that I think Sleepless in Seattle is an awful movie, it's just not one of my personal favorites.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I have to say it is really refreshing to see someone else who enjoys Musical *and* SciFi.

I don't have a top 50 - I wouldn't even know where to start, or what to leave off! I will have to think about this!

Wendymoon said...

Thanks, Shannon. Actually, I'd love to see a sci-fi musical. Why hasn't anyone done that yet?

David Bishop said...

Joss Whedon has. It's called Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


Wendymoon said...

David, would you believe I just watched Dr. Horrible for the first time last night? I liked Firefly a lot and had heard something about Dr. Horrible coming out a while ago, but I only yesterday remembered to look it up.

I guess you could call it a sci-fi musical (although it had a definite comic book feel to it, with the making of a super-villain and all). I enjoyed the quirkiness of it and the acting, but the ending was just so tragic!

David Bishop said...

I think you just pegged everything Joss Whedon has ever done.

"quirkiness of it and the acting, but the ending was just so tragic"

I'm a Whedon fan through and through. Glad to hear you liked Dr. Horrible.

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