The Top 50 Movies of All Time

I love two things: Movies and spreadsheets. So I found a way of combining my two great loves: I took several Top X Movies lists, added them to a spreadsheet, weighting their scores depending on source, and came up with a combined top 50. There were some surprising entries, such as the heavy presence of Toy Story, and some of my favourites didn’t make the top 50. In fact The Big Sleep merely made rank 285. In theory I should have abandoned the list upon witnessing this injustice, but instead, I present it here below the cut for your amusement.

Rank Title Comment
1 Vertigo (1958) Hitchcock’s classic thriller, recently voted top of the BFI’s list. My review.
2 Toy Story 2 (1999) A shocking high entry for the second installment of Pixar’s classic
3 Citizen Kane (1941) Knocked off the top spots, but still a classic ahead of its time
4 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
5 The Godfather (1972)
6 Man on Wire (2008) The highest rated documentary, whose subject I found quite unlikeable
7 Tokyo Story (1953) Ozu Yasujiro’s family drama
8 Taxi to the Dark Side (2007) Another documentary, doggedly clinging on to its high ranking
9 The Rules of the Game (1939) Jean Renior’s classic
10 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) Little known,but a winner of three Oscars
11 The Godfather Part II (1974)
12 The Interrupters (2011) Again, a fairly recent documentary, this time about urban violence
13 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
14 The Searchers (1956) The Johns, Wayne and Ford, bring us our second Western entry
15 Toy Story (1995) Toy Story again
16 Man with a Movie Camera (1929) Soviet cinema
17 Pulp Fiction (1994)
18 The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) Described as “the pinnacle of silent cinema” and “the most influential film of all time”
19 Battleship Potemkin (1925) More Soviet cinema, surprisingly fallen below Man with a Movie Camera
20 Deliver Us From Evil (2006) A documentary covering abuses of children by the Catholic Church
21 8½ (1963) Fellini’s classic just outside the top 20.
22 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) A Western great, but I’m surprised its higher than Once Upon in the West
23 Waste Land (2010) A social documentary based around the lives of garbage pickers in Rio de Janeiro
24 12 Angry Men (1957) Based on a play, a powerful jury-room drama
25 Seven Samurai (1954) Japan’s second entry, and a powerful and influential classic.
26 Dr. Strangelove Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
27 Apocalypse Now (1979)
28 L’Atalante (1934) The classic French shipboard-romance
29 The Dark Knight (2008)
30 Rear Window (1954) Confession: I’m not actually a huge fan of Hitchcock…
31 Singin’ in the Rain (1952) This chart’s first musical! My review.
32 North by Northwest (1959) Hitchcock takes another stab at The 39 Steps
33 Breathless (1960) Another French film, this time a crime drama. My review.
34 Au Hasard Balthazar (1966) The story of a mistreated donkey and the people around him. French
35 Rashomon (1950) Akira Kurosawa’s second-best well-known movie, after Seven Samurai
36 Late Spring (1949) Director Yasujirô Ozu’s second-best well-known film, after Tokyo Story
37 Schindler’s List (1993)
38 Persona (1966) Sweden makes a showing in this thriller
39 Aruitemo Aruitemo (Still Walking) (2008) A Japanese family drama
40 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King(2003)
41 The 400 Blows (1959) I’m not sure there’s been enough French crime drama yet
42 Afghan Star (2008) A documentary about how contestants on “Pop Idol” in Afghanistan risk their lives to appear on the show.
43 The Third Man (1949) Orson Welles makes a second appearance, this time only as an actor. My review.
44 Mirror (1975) The story of the Russian nation, told as a biography
45 Fight Club (1999)
46 Poetry (2010) Korea enters the chart with this drama
47 L’Avventura (1960) An Italian mystery set at sea.
48 Contempt (1963) Jean-Luc Godard goes meta and makes a film about the conflicts in film-making
49 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back(1980) Star Wars just sneaks into the Top 50, though behind Lord of the Rings
50 Psycho (1960) Yes, Hitchcock again, but even I can’t deny Psycho’s influence

Sources: BFI Top 50, IMDB Top 250 and Rotten Tomatoes’ Top 100 movies of all time.

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