27 May 2020

10 Best Films

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Far Out Magazine publishes Woody Allen’s list of ten favorite films:

The 400 Blows – François Truffaut, 1959
8½ – Federico Fellini, 1963
Amarcord – Federico Fellini, 1972
The Bicycle Thieves – Vittorio de Sica, 1948
Citizen Kane – Orson Welles, 1941
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie – Luis Buñuel, 1972
Grand Illusion – Jean Renoir, 1937
Paths of Glory – Stanley Kubrick, 1957
Rashomon – Akira Kurosawa, 1950
The Seventh Seal – Ingmar Bergman, 1957

An overly conventional list, “Seven Samurai” is obviously more worthy than “Rashomon.” “Citizen Kane” sucks. “Paths of Glory” is a tendentious, downer leftie propaganda piece. And “Bicycle Thief” should be singular.


Last year, the same publication gave us Quentin Tarrantino’s list of twelve favorites:

1. Apocalypse Now – Francis Ford Coppola, 1979.
2. The Bad News Bears – Michael Ritchie, 1976.
3. Carrie – Brian de Palma, 1976.
4. Dazed and Confused – Richard Linklater, 1993.
5. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Sergio Leone, 1966.
6. The Great Escape – John Sturges, 1963.
7. His Girl Friday – Howard Hawks, 1939.
8. Jaws – Steven Spielberg, 1975.
9. Pretty Maids All in a Row – Roger Vadim, 1971.
10. Rolling Thunder – John Flynn, 1977.
11. Sorcerer – William Friedkin, 1977.
12. Taxi Driver – Martin Scorsese, 1976.

“The Bad News Bears”?! “Carrie”!?? Tarrantino’s list is much more populist, but he’s not wrong in rating “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” “Great Escape,” and “Jaws” as great films. Kudos to Quentin for picking William Friedkin’s “Sorcerer,” a neglected, typically unappreciated, but fantastic remake of Henri-Georges Clouzot’s “Le Salaire de la Peur” (1953), that is, on the whole, even better than the original.


I’m a major cinemaphile myself. I ran a film society at college. So, inevitably, I’ve got to do my own top ten twelve list.

Intolerance – D.W. Griffith, 1916.
Earth – Alexander Dovzhenko, 1930.
Grand Illusion – Jean Renoir, 1937.
Children of Paradise – Marcel Carne, 1945.
Smiles of a Summer Night – Ingmar Bergman, 1955.
The Seventh Seal – Ingmar Bergman, 1957
Sword of Doom – Kihachi Okamoto, 1957.
La Dolce Vita – Federico Fellini, 1960.
Jules and Jim РFran̤ois Truffaut, 1962.
8 1/2 – Federico Fellini, 1963.
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors – Sergei Parajanov, 1965.
Hitler, ein Film aus Deutschland – Hans-Jurgen Syberberg, 1977.

3 Feedbacks on "10 Best Films"


Not a single American talkie on your list?

Back to the Future
Pulp Fiction
Double Indemnity
Manchurian Candidate
Cool Hand Luke
The Godfather
Blazing Saddles


With a little more room, I’d have added: “The Wild Bunch” – Sam Peckinpah, 1969. Pulp Fiction and Kill Bill are favorites of mine. And there really ought to be a John Ford in there.


No best film list can be taken seriously if it is not headed by “No Country For Old Men.”



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