Sunday, March 23, 2008

How to make a top 100 Films of All-Time List

I think the film critic community is fairly consistent about what they can agree upon are the classics. It you want to make a top 100 films of all time list, and this is a widespread of hobby among people and an obligation by any media outlet remotely related to the coverage of the entertainment industry (a great deal of film lists can be found at www.filmsite.org), this is the recipe:
First, put Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Godfather at the top, next be sure to include the following: Wizard of Oz, Gone with the Wind, All About Eve, Schindler's List, Pulp Fiction, Grapes of Wrath, Streetcar Named Desire, Apocolypse Now, One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest, Amadeus, Chinatown then be sure to throw in:
-No less than 4 Hitchkock Films (the preferred entries include Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo, and North by Northwest
-2 or 3 John Huston films
-2-5 Kubricks
-The 3 definitive Capra films (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It Happened One Night, It's a Wonderful Life)
-Some mention of Robert Altman, Howard Hawks and John Ford
-2 or 3 David Lean films (Must include Bridge on the River Kwai and Lawrence)
-Kazan and Brando's 2 masterpieces (Streetcar Named Desire and On the Waterfront)
-3 or 4 films from the Arthur Freed MGM musical era and a couple other musicals (suggestions include Cabaret, Swing Time, Moulan Rouge, Chicago, Yankee Doodle Dandy, or Oliver!)
-3-5 Scorsese films
-4 or 5 Westerns
-A horror film or thriller of some sort
-A couple of the classic blockbusters (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Rocky, Back to the Future, etc)
-About 6-8 war films
-Some of the counter cultural films of th 60s and 70s (good examples include Network, Bonnie and Clyde, Days of Heaven, Easy Rider, Badlands, Midnight Cowboy, and Cool Hand Luke)
-Film noir
-Some silents, including Chaplain and hopefully DW Griffith and Buster Keaton
-At least 4 Billy Wilder films
-Two or three Sidney Lumet films
-Some comedic films but must keep it appropriately high-brow: The Marx Brothers, Woody Allen, Tootsie, some of Mel Brooks' early work is permissible here, Ernst Lubitsch, Preston Sturges, Cameron Crowe, and as of late, Coen Brothers entries have become acceptable. Kevin Smith, the Farrelly Brothers, and most Saturday Night Light films will disqualify your film from any level of credibility. Don't even think about including Garden State or Napoleon Dynamite. Some Like it Hot, Dr. Strangelove, and The Apartment should be mentioned.
-A mix of Spielberg's heavier and lighter films (i.e. an acceptable combination might be Munich, Schindler's List, ET, Jaws, Raiders)
-Some sci-fi: Star Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Metropolist (if it's including non-English films) are musts, but other entries could include Blade Runner, Brazil, Aliens, etc.

Other guidelines:
-Any film with an Oscar nomination except Around the World in 80 Days is acceptable to put on your list
-Ernst Lubitsch and Preston Struges are optional but help to fill out the comedy entry
-A cartoon, likely produced by Disney, won't hurt
-Other recommended films but not required: Amadeus, The Great Escape, Manchurian Candidate, Do the Right Thing, King Kong, The Jazz Singer, Platoon, Shawshank Redemption OR Forrest Gump (rarely should you include both since their fan bases are mortal enemies of each other), The Third Man, The Lost Weekend, Philadelphia Story, American Graffiti, Conversation, Giant, Network, French Connection, Ben Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty, Adventures of Robin Hood, and Tootsie.
-There should be room for some of your personal favorites as long as they're not too outlandish

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