Once Again Revisiting The Internet Movie Database Top 250 Movies List

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Once Again Revisiting The Internet Movie Database Top 250 Movies List

If you studed the Internet Movie Database list of “Top 250 Movies as voted by our users ,” which I did in the late 1990s, one thing became quite clear: Either the majority of voters just began going to the movies in 1990, or they all had very short memories! I wondered what the list would look like if I eliminated all newer movies, so it would reflect only the top-ranked classic films. So I put together a list and published it here. Now, as this is being written, it’s 2005, and I decided to do it again, this time eliminating all movies made after 1985 (plus a couple of foreign films). Here are the first 50 picks using my system:

1. The Godfather (1972)

2. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

3. Casablanca (1942)

4. Star Wars (1977)

5. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

6. The Seven Samurai (1954)

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

8. Rear Window (1954)

9. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

10. Citizen Kane (1941)

11. The Good, The Bad & the Ugly (1966)

12. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

13. 12 Angry Men (1957)

14. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

15. North by Northwest (1959)

16. Psycho (1960)

17. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

18. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

19. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

20. Vertigo (1958)

21. Apocalypse Now (1979)

22. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

23. Taxi Driver (1976)

24. Paths of Glory (1957)

25. The Third Man (1949)

26. Das Boot (1981)

27. Chinatown (1974)

28. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

29. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

30. Double Indemnity (1944)

31. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

32. M (1931)

33. Some Like It Hot (1959)

34. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

35. Rash�mon (1950)

36. All About Eve (1950)

37. Alien (1979)

38. Modern Times (1936)

39. Raging Bull (1980)

40. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

41. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

42. The Sting (1973)

43. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

44. Amadeus (1984)

45. The Shining (1980)

46. The Great Escape (1963)

47. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)

48. Metropolis (1927)

49. On the Waterfront (1954)

50. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

This is a much improved list over the last time I did it (perhaps the voters are becoming better educated about the classics), but a number of films that many classic movie fans would rank among their own top 50 ended up in the second 50, including (in order of where they finished, starting with a couple of big favorites that just missed making the top 50) City Lights (1931), The Wizard of Oz (1939), The Apartment (1960),High Noon (1952), Notorious (1946), The Big Sleep (1946), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), It Happened One Night (1934), Cool Hand Luke(1967), Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), The Philadelphia Story (1940), The African Queen (1951), Bringing Up Baby (1938), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), The Searchers (1956), All Quiet on the Western Front (1930), and Harvey (1950). But at least they made the top 100 of classics and the top 170 overall, meaning that almost 60% of the films on the current Top 250 list are classics. In fact, only a handful of films in the overall top 50 gave me pause, and none were particularly objectionable. (After the top 50 it gets a little dicey, with The Incredibles at #65, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 at #77 and Kill Bill: Vol. 2 at #94, all ahead ofHigh Noon and GWTW!)

As before, the list of “Bottom 100 movies” is filled with sequels, unfunny comedies, and bad action flics, as you might expect. There probably isn’t a movie that doesn’t belong on the list, although I’m happy to report that I’ve seen only a handful of them.

Have you made your own your own Top 50, 100 or 200 list? I have. Check out my list and find out how you can submit yours to be published on this site or linked to if it’s already on the Web somewhere!

Other classic movie checklists that you’ll enjoy.

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