It’s a list that keeps on giving: the 50 best movies of all time. With this global critics list at The One-Line Review, at least, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There’s Citizen Kane at number one, and having shown the movie to my USC film criticism class, I get why the movie holds on to that top spot, decade after decade. The damn thing holds up. Pauline Kael said it was a comedy and she was right. It’s entertaining, funny, unique, utterly timely and resonant today. Kids understand it perfectly. It doesn’t age, even in black-and-white.
Much as I admire Vertigo, I prefer several other Hitchcocks: Notorious, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds among them. How telling that there are three Hitchcocks in the top thirteen and two Stanley Kubricks in the top ten.
The other top ten selections are fine, but I would want a Buster Keaton (The General, 33) or Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, 17) or John Ford (The Searchers, 12) or or Howard Hawks (Bringing Up Baby) in there. And Hawks is so out of favor that he didn’t make the top 50 at all.
The full list is on the jump.
Films receiving the same number of votes have been separated by their ranking on individual lists.
- Citizen Kane (1941) .. Orson Welles
- Vertigo (1958) .. Alfred Hitchcock
- 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) ..
- The Godfather (1972) .. Francis Ford Coppola
- Casablanca (1942) .. Michael Curtiz
- The Third Man (1949) .. Carol Reed
- Taxi Driver (1976) .. Martin Scorsese
- Seven Samurai (1954) .. Akira Kurosawa
- Psycho (1960) .. Alfred Hitchcock
- Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) ..
- The Godfather: Part II (1974) .. Francis Ford Coppola
- The Searchers (1956) .. John Ford
- Rear Window (1954) .. Alfred Hitchcock
- Singin’ in the Rain (1952) .. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
- Persona (1966) .. Ingmar Bergman
- Chinatown (1974) .. Roman Polanski
- Sunset Boulevard (1950) .. Billy Wilder
- Sunrise (1927) .. F.W. Murnau
- Tokyo Story (1953) .. Yasujiro Ozu
- Pulp Fiction (1994) .. Quentin Tarantino
- La R√®gle du Jeu (1939) .. Jean Renoir
- 8¬Ω (1963) .. Federico Fellini
- Lawrence of Arabia (1962) .. David Lean
- The Night of the Hunter (1955) .. Charles Laughton
- Apocalypse Now (1979) .. Francis Ford Coppola
- City Lights (1931) .. Charles Chaplin
- Bicycle Thieves (1948) .. Vittorio De Sica
- Annie Hall (1977) .. Woody Allen
- Touch of Evil (1958) .. Orson Welles
- The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) .. Carl Theodor Dreyer
- Blade Runner (1982) .. Ridley Scott
- M (1931) .. Fritz Lang
- The General (1927) ..
ClydeBruckman & Buster Keaton
- Some Like It Hot (1959) .. Billy Wilder
- Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) .. Sergio Leone
- The Four Hundred Blows (1959) .. FranœÑois Truffaut
- Duck Soup (1933) .. Leo McCarey
- Double Indemnity (1944) .. Billy Wilder
- Raging Bull (1980) .. Martin Scorsese
- All About Eve (1950) .. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- A Clockwork Orange (1971) ..
- The Apartment (1960) .. Billy Wilder
- La Grande Illusion (1937) .. Jean Renoir
- Ikiru (1952) .. Akira Kurosawa
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) .. Frank Capra
- Rashomon (1950) .. Akira Kurosawa
- The Wizard of Oz (1939) .. Victor Fleming
- Do the Right Thing (1989) .. Spike Lee
- The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) .. Sergio Leone
- L’Avventura (1960) .. Michelangelo Antonioni