3/24/09

100 films to see before you die

The staff at Yahoo! Movies has put together this list of the 100 films you must see before you die. How many have I seen? I'm going to make the ones I've seen bold, and italicize the ones I want to see. I will also star * those I definitely agree are must-sees.

(Before anyone asks, since I've said before I choose not to see R-rated films, the ones on the list I mark as seen will be the edited for TV versions. Thanks!)

*12 Angry Men
2001: A Space Odyssey
400 Blows
8 1/2

The African Queen
Alien
*All About Eve
Annie Hall
Apocalypse Now

The Battle of Algiers
The Bicycle Thief
Blade Runner
Blazing Saddles
Blow Up
Blue Velvet
Bonnie and Clyde
Breathless
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Bringing Up Baby
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
*Casablanca
Chinatown
*Citizen Kane
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Die Hard
Do the Right Thing
Double Indemnity
*Dr. Strangelove
Duck Soup

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Enter the Dragon
The Exorcist

Fast Times At Ridgemont High
The French Connection

The Godfather
The Godfather, Part II
Goldfinger
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Goodfellas
The Graduate
Grand Illusion
Groundhog Day

A Hard Day’s Night

In the Mood For Love
It Happened One Night
*It’s a Wonderful Life

Jaws

King Kong (1933)

The Lady Eve
Lawrence of Arabia
The Lord of the Rings

M
M*A*S*H
*The Maltese Falcon
The Matrix
*Modern Times
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

National Lampoon’s Animal House
Network
Nosferatu

On the Waterfront
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Paths of Glory
Princess Mononoke
Psycho
Pulp Fiction

Raging Bull
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Raise the Red Lantern
Rashomon
Rear Window
Rebel Without a Cause
Rocky
Roman Holiday

Saving Private Ryan
Schindler’s List
The Searchers
Seven Samurai
The Shawshank Redemption
The Silence of the Lambs
*Singin’ in the Rain
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Some Like It Hot
The Sound of Music
*Star Wars
*Sunset Blvd.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
*The Third Man
This is Spinal Tap
Titanic
*To Kill a Mockingbird
Toy Story

The Usual Suspects

Vertigo

When Harry Met Sally…
Wild Strawberries
Wings of Desire
*The Wizard of Oz
Women On the Verge of Nervous Breakdown
The World of Apu

There's several on here that are on my mostly-seen list (I've seen part or almost all of the film and know the story) but if I didn't sit through and watch from beginning to end I didn't mark it off.

I'm not sure about some of these choices. In particular I've always disliked Groundhog Day, but hey, that's just me. I know my foreign film knowledge is pitifully small, so I should probably try to remedy that.

If it were my list, I would add some more classics, like An American in Paris, The Apartment, The Magnificent Ambersons, West Side Story, Out of the Past, The Philadelphia Story and Gone With the Wind.

So, how many of these have you seen? Mark them off and link back to share your list. Don't forget to include what movies you would have added to the list and what you disagree with!

17 comments:

Cesia said...

You've never seen Jaws?! I think my in-laws may disown you.

(I was forced to watch it and then expected to go to Hawaii. Yeah.)

- Cesia.

Raquelle said...

How did GWTW not make it? I don't like that film, but I concede it's a big classic! I also think Philadelphia Story and Out of the Past should be on there.

Here's what I've seen. This was fun!

8-1/2
All About Eve (I'll star this one too!) *
Blow Up
Breathless
Bringing Up Baby
Casablanca
Citizen Kane *
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon *
Double Indemnity
Duck Soup
ET
The Godfather
It Happened One Night *
King Kong (1933)
The Lady Eve
The Lord of the Rings
M *
M*A*S*H
The Maltese Falcon
On the Waterfront *
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Psycho
Rear Window *
Rebel Without a Cause
Roman Holiday
Schindler’s List
The Silence of the Lambs
Singin’ in the Rain *
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Some Like It Hot
The Sound of Music
Sunset Blvd.*
The Third Man *
This is Spinal Tap
Titanic
Toy Story
Vertigo
The Wizard of Oz

And yes, I've never seen Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption, To Kill a Mockingbird or Jaws!

David Bishop said...

How many times have you seen Groundhog Day? Sometimes it takes people awhile to realize what makes it stand out.

Kate Gabrielle said...

Rather than copy & paste the list-- I'd say I've watched about 1/2, would like to watch about 5 more, wish I hadn't seen about 10 and disagree with about 75% of the picks. Since I really like older movies I would probably knock out 99% of the movies made after 1970, and replace them with really good pre-codes, Capra movies or Hitchcock films.

By the way-- you HAVE to watch Duck Soup! It's one of the best Marx Bros. movies :)

Wendymoon said...

Cesia - Jaws is one of my mostly-seens. I should get to it.

Raquelle - I was shocked about GWTW too! And I don't know about the others you haven't seen, but I think To Kill a Mockingbird would be a guaranteed good watch for you.

David - The first time I saw Groundhog Day I must have been in a really bad mood, because I hated and avoided it for a long time after. I've seen it a couple times since. I think I "get" it, I just don't find Bill Murray likable and that sours it for me.

Kate - I would have preferred the list to be ALL classics myself. That's a list I would work on checking off completely. As for Duck Soup, I do want to see it. I've seen a compilation of clips from Marx bros movies and even a Groucho impersonator, but I should really try the films.

David Bishop said...

I don't think Bill Murray is supposed to be likable in Groundhog Day. Bill Murray's character starts out a as complete jerk and stays that way for the majority of the film. He's the kind of guy that wouldn't do anything for anybody unless he got something out of it.

The movie is a demonstration of Aristotle's virtue theory. Aristotle argues that virtue is the product of habit. Moreover, Aristotle believed that a truly virtuous person would do good because it is a reward in and of itself rather than because of the recognition we might receive from it. What better way to habitually train yourself than to go through the exact same day repeatedly over the course of what seems to be years?

I'm sorry if I come off as aggressive, I just really like this movie.

Wendymoon said...

Re: Groundhog Day, I know the Bill Murray character is supposed to be an unlikable jerk at the beginning. What I'm saying is I don't ever seem to find Bill Murray likable. So even in the end when he has transformed into a better person, I'm not rooting for him.

Virtue being its own reward is a nice idea, but in the movie there is another reward: Phil gets the girl. Yeah, maybe it's because he has given up on trying to get her and instead has become a nice guy. But that's still how the cycle ends, and I can't believe that that end wasn't still in Phil's mind and heart all along.

I'm not saying the movie doesn't have philosophical merit. I'm just saying it doesn't work for me as a movie I enjoy watching.

Vanessa said...

How did you manage to not watch Lord of the Rings? I don't think I know anyone who hasnt seen it...even my non-film-fanatic-friends have seen it...

David Bishop said...

I will concede that ending it in the typical romantic comedy 'boy gets girl' fashion weakens it a bit, but I would also argue that even though Phil was interested in Rita, him being a better person was more about himself than it was about her in the end. It was more a bonus than the objective. Earlier in the movie Phil tries to be a 'nice guy' in order to sleep with her and fails every time.

To each his or her own I guess, but I really am pleased to see it make this list. There are a few movies on the list that I don't 'enjoy' but am glad to see made it, like Nosferatu.

Wendymoon said...

Vanessa - I'm not sure how I've avoided Lord of the Rings all this time, either! I remember reading all the books when I was in high school, but somehow when the movies came out they looked more frightening/freaky than what I had imagined, so I stayed away.

David - I've been really thinking about the idea of watching movies that challenge me vs. movies I enjoy.

Do I use movies as an escape? Sometimes yes, for sure. But that doesn't mean I don't like deep movies with more serious themes. There are some films that I think have interesting or important messages, but I couldn't watch them every day. Are there movies that I think are great even though I don't enjoy watching them? Again, yes.

But to me, best of all is when movies are illuminating and thought-provoking while also being enjoyable. I can see how Groundhog Day would fit into that framework for some people, but just it doesn't for me. The theme doesn't resonate with me, and I also don't find it particularly funny or especially like the actors. Is it worthy to be on this list? It's not for me to say, and I'm not petitioning to get it removed. People can watch it and decide for themselves. But would it be on my list of 100 films? Nope.

David Bishop said...

I didn't put it in my 100, but my '100' is a list of my favorite movies, not the movies I consider to be the worthwhile for everybody. I would probably spend more time getting the average movie goer to watch Groundhog Day, a movie I didn't even put on my list, than Serenity, a movie I placed at number 4.

Stacia said...

I hope this isn't out of line, but I can't remember reading why you said you didn't watch R-rated movies. I'm just curious more than anything.

nino said...

If you're committed to avoid R-rated movies, then come over to Canada and watch them in here because we are one grade less than the US ratings so you can watch a US R-rated movie as 18A (or even 14A) ans still keep your promise :)

Aside from joking, I don't let Ratings (that's decided by other individuals) stop me from enjoying the movies that I like.

Go for it, we support you.

Wendymoon said...

Stacia, I don't mind you asking. Maybe I haven't made it clear before about the ratings thing.

Deciding not to watch some movies is a personal choice I have made. I don't like movies with a lot of explicit sex and violence, so avoiding R-rated movies seems like a good place to draw the line.

But, as nino points out, ratings vary from place to place. Also, some movies have been re-rated over the years. Other movies are unrated.

So it's not really all about the ratings for me, it's about the content. For example, I don't really watch horror movies no matter what they are rated. Other times I have found myself watching a PG-13 or PG movie and closing my eyes or turning away at certain points. That's how uncomfortable I get. Maybe I'm more just more sensitive than most people. But I'm ok with staying that way.

That's part of why I really gravitate toward classic movies. I like that even heavy subjects are handled more subtly.

I know some will think this is a strange position to take, but hey, it works for me. :-)

Fletch said...

I don't want to know how few I've seen. I'm just gonna blindly guess 40.

David Bishop said...

You're not completely alone. I'm really hesitant to see most R rated movies, and even when I do, I end up seeing the violence, sex, and profanity as a sort of price that I have to pay to watch a good movie.

A lot of times I don't go to see movies until I can get friends to come back to me and tell me just how bad some of the R rated content will be. The truth is, I'm pretty squeamish, sex makes me uncomfortable, and I haven't said a real harsh curse word since I took a vow not to in the 8th grade.

And yet, I appreciate that there are movies that challenge me a bit. Movies that don't censor reality. It's a mixed bag, but I'm pretty fond of it.

Princess Fire and Music said...

I can't really agree with any list that tries to narrow down "must-see" movies to just a hundred. That said, the ones I've seen are:

12 Angy Men
The African Queen
All About Eve
Bringing Up Baby
Casablanca
Citizen Kane
Double Indemnity
Dr. Strangelove
E.T.
The Godfather
It Happened One Night
It's A Wonderful Life
The Lord Of The Rings
The Maltese Falcon
Nosferatu
On The Waterfront
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
Singin' In The Rain
Snow White
Some Like It Hot
Sunset Boulevard
Titanic
To Kill A Mockingbird
Toy Story
When Harry Met Sally
The Wizard of Oz

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