102 Films

Jason Kottke posts a list by film critic Jim Emerson of 102 movies someone ought to have seen to be considered movie literate. I suspect my list and that of just about everyone else would be different, since we all like and dislike different things, but here’s the list.

An asterisk means I have seen it.

* 2001: A Space Odyssey (overrated)
* The 400 Blows (pretty good)
8 1/2
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
* Alien (defines the modern alien genre)
* All About Eve (good)
* Annie Hall (other than Tiger Lilly, I find Woody Allen’s movies boring)
* Apocalypse Now (great movie)
* Bambi (I liked it and my kids do too)
The Battleship Potemkin
* The Best Years of Our Lives (great movie)
* The Big Red One (pretty good)
The Bicycle Thief
* The Big Sleep (OK, not great)
* Blade Runner (one of my all time faves)
Blowup (never seen it, but would like to)
* Blue Velvet (great movie)
* Bonnie and Clyde (OK, not great)
* Breathless (nah)
Bringing Up Baby
* Carrie (good scary movie)
* Casablanca (as good as its reputation_
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
* Chinatown (pretty good)
* Citizen Kane (great film)
* A Clockwork Orange (famous for being weird, but still pretty good)
* The Crying Game (great ending)
* The Day the Earth Stood Still (great sci-fi)
* Days of Heaven (fantastic movie; a must see)
* Dirty Harry (great Clint)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
* Do the Right Thing (good movie)
La Dolce Vita
* Double Indemnity (one of my favorite of the film noir genre)
* Dr. Strangelove (great film)
* Duck Soup (I actually get the Marx brothers)
* E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial (great at the time)
* Easy Rider (good, but Wild Angels was better)
* The Empire Strikes Back (masterpiece)
* The Exorcist (great horror film)
* Fargo (great, but Raising Arizona is better)
* Fight Club (OK, not great)
* Frankenstein (masterpiece, if he’s talking about the 1931 one)
The General
* The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II (should have added III too)
* Gone With the Wind (I liked it the first few times I saw it)
* GoodFellas (great film)
* The Graduate (great film)
* Halloween (maybe the best modern horror film)
* A Hard Day’s Night (good because it’s the Beatles)
It’s a Gift
* It’s a Wonderful Life (my favorite holiday film ever)
* Jaws (how in the world has Jason not seen this!)
* The Lady Eve (good, but not great)
* Lawrence of Arabia (great epic film)
* Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior (great post apocalypse films)
* The Maltese Falcon (great Bogart)
* The Manchurian Candidate (OK, not great)
* Metropolis (never understood the big deal about this one)
Modern Times
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail (the funniest movie ever)
* Nashville (good, not great)
* The Night of the Hunter (great Mitchum)
* Night of the Living Dead (one of my all time faves)
* North by Northwest (my favorite Hitchcock)
* On the Waterfront (Brando when he wasn’t a cartoon character)
Once Upon a Time in the West
* Out of the Past (Another of my favorite film noir movies)
* Pink Flamingos (great, but I like Hairspray better)
* Psycho (good)
* Pulp Fiction (one of my all-time faves)
* Rear Window (good)
* Rebel Without a Cause (OK, but not as good as its reputation)
* Red River (great movie- there should be more westerns on this list)
* Repulsion (weird, but with Catherine Deneuve)
The Rules of the Game
* Scarface (pretty good, but Casino’s better)
The Scarlet Empress
* Schindler’s List (masterpiece
* The Searchers (another great western)
The Seven Samurai
* Singin’ in the Rain (a rare musical I like)
* Some Like It Hot (OK, not great)
* A Star Is Born (the original is bearable; I hated the remake)
* A Streetcar Named Desire (great movie)
* Sunset Boulevard (another great film noir movie)
* Taxi Driver (great movie)
* The Third Man (great Orson Welles)
Tokyo Story
* Touch of Evil (definitely in my top 5 all time)
* The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (great movie)
Trouble in Paradise
* Vertigo (more great Hitchcock)
* West Side Story (didn’t like it)
* The Wild Bunch (great western)
* The Wizard of Oz (speaks for itself)

I’ve seen 78 out of 102.

All in all, a fairly good list. I would certainly add The Birds, Suddenly Last Summer, Summer of 42, The Last Picture Show, and A Place in the Sun. I would seriously consider adding Full Metal Jacket, the remake of The Thing, Belly of an Architect and the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.