I came across Roger Ebert’s list of “101 Must-See Movies” (actually 102 if you count The Godfather twice) the other day and was surprised that I have done quite well seeing most of them. If you can think of any other “must see” movies that should have been included on this list please let me know by adding them to the comments section. I have the ones I have seen in boldface.

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Stanley Kubrick (the sci-fi film that set the standard)
  2. The 400 Blows (1959) Francois Truffaut
  3. 8 1/2 (1963) Federico Fellini
  4. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972) Werner Herzog
  5. Alien (1979) Ridley Scott
  6. All About Eve (1950) Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  7. Annie Hall (1977) Woody Allen
  8. Bambi (1942) Disney (I can’t believe I’ve never seen this. Talk about a deprived childhood!)
  9. Battleship Potemkin (1925) Sergei Eisenstein (lucky for me I studied film a few semesters, otherwise I might not have seen this one)
  10. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) William Wyler
  11. The Big Red One (1980) Samuel Fuller (Lee Marvin was brilliant and Mark Hamill might have freed himself from his Luke Skywalker image, but….)
  12. The Bicycle Thief (1949) Vittorio De Sica
  13. The Big Sleep (1946) Howard Hawks (Bogey and Bacall…what more could you ask for?)
  14. Blade Runner (1982) Ridley Scott (Give me the original and not the director’s cut)
  15. Blowup (1966) Michelangelo Antonioni
  16. Blue Velvet (1986) David Lynch (a film only Lynch could pull off)
  17. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) Arthur Penn
  18. Breathless (1959) Jean-Luc Godard
  19. Bringing Up Baby (1938) Howard Hawks
  20. Carrie (1975) Brian DePalma (Sissy Spacek was soooo scary)
  21. Casablanca (1942) Michael Curtiz (“Of all the gin joints in all the world, she had to walk into mine.” The story of my life Bogey.)
  22. Un Chien Andalou (1928) Luis Bunuel & Salvador Dali (another film that I was lucky to see when I was studying film at Southern Illinois University 1980-83)
  23. Children of Paradise/Les Enfants du Paradis (1945) Marcel Carne
  24. Chinatown (1974) Roman Polanski
  25. Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles
  26. A Clockwork Orange (1971) Stanley Kubrick
  27. The Crying Game (1992) Neil Jordan (the film that made you go hmmm…)
  28. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) Robert Wise
  29. Days of Heaven (1978) Terence Malick
  30. Dirty Harry (1971) Don Siegel (“I know what you’re thinking…did he fire six shots or five?”)
  31. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) Luis Bunuel
  32. Do the Right Thing (1989) Spike Lee
  33. La Dolce Vita (1960) Federico Fellini
  34. Double Indemnity (1944) Billy Wilder (a classic film noir)
  35. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) Stanley Kubrick (one of my favorite all time films. George C. Scott was brilliant. “I wouldn’t say we would get our hair mussed.”)
  36. Duck Soup (1933) Leo McCarey (oh, those zany, wacky Marx Brothers)
  37. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Steven Spielberg (if you haven’t seen this film, you are probably living on another planet.)
  38. Easy Rider (1969) Dennis Hopper (Born to be Wild!)
  39. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) Irvin Kershner (I am surprised Ebert included this one and not Star Wars A New Hope. Definitely, one of the darker Star Wars films…”Luke, I’m your father…”)
  40. The Exorcist (1973) William Friedkin (Linda Blair was sooo bad)
  41. Fargo (1995) Joel & Ethan Coen (It would be hard to pick just one Coen Brother’s film)
  42. Fight Club (1999) David Fincher
  43. Frankenstein (1931) James Whale
  44. The General (1927) Buster Keaton & ClydeBruckman
  45. The Godfather (1972) Francis Ford Coppola
  46. The Godfather Part II (1974) Francis Ford Coppola
  47. Gone With the Wind (1939) Victor Fleming
  48. GoodFellas (1990) Martin Scorsese (De Niro and Pesci were superb as was Liotta.)
  49. The Graduate (1967) Mike Nichols (I just have one thing to say: plastic)
  50. Halloween (1978) John Carpenter (this has to be one of the scariest movies and led the way for a trove of “slasher” films in the early 80s)
  51. A Hard Day’s Night (1964) Richard Lester (this film never gets too old to watch)
  52. Intolerance (1916) D.W. Griffith
  53. It’s A Gift (1934) Norman Z. McLeod
  54. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) Frank Capra
  55. Jaws (1975) Steven Spielberg (when this film came out in the summer of 1975, it changed Hollywood forever.)
  56. The Lady Eve (1941) PrestonSturges
  57. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean
  58. M (1931) Fritz Lang
  59. Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior (1981) George Miller (actually, I would have gone with Mad Max. That film still holds up after all these years.)
  60. The Maltese Falcon (1941) John Huston (Bogey was brilliant in this movie. In the 70’s there was an interesting sequel The Blackbird starring George Segal.)
  61. Manchurian Candidate (1962) John Frankenheimer (scary stuff…the recent remake with Denzel Washington was okay)
  62. Metropolis (1926) Fritz Lang (this was one of the first films I watched in the summer of 1980 when I started college at SIU)
  63. Modern Times (1936) Charles Chaplin
  64. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) TerryJones & Terry Gilliam (“We’re knights of the round table, we dance when we’re able…”)
  65. Nashville (1975) Robert Altman
  66. The Night of the Hunter (1955) Charles Laughton
  67. Night of the Living Dead (1968) George Romero (the scariest movie…ever!)
  68. North by Northwest (1959) Alfred Hitchcock
  69. Nosferatu (1922) F.W. Murnau
  70. On the Waterfront (1954) Elia Kazan (“I could’ve been a contender!”)
  71. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) Sergio Leone
  72. Out of the Past (1947) Jacques Tournier
  73. Persona (1966) Ingmar Bergman ( I would have chosen Seventh Seal)
  74. Pink Flamingos (1972) John Waters
  75. Psycho (1960) Alfred Hitchcock
  76. Pulp Fiction (1994) Quentin Tarantino (“Do you mind if I have a drink of your beverage to wash down this tasty burger?”)
  77. Rashomon (1950) Akira Kurosawa
  78. Rear Window (1954) Alfred Hitchcock
  79. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) Nicholas Ray
  80. Red River (1948) Howard Hawks
  81. Repulsion (1965) Roman Polanski
  82. Rules of the Game (1939) Jean Renoir
  83. Scarface (1932) Howard Hawks
  84. The Scarlet Empress (1934) Josef von Sternberg (I am still waiting for von Sternberg’s other major contribution to film history Greed to be available on DVD. Saw it in one of my film classes at SIU.)
  85. Schindler’s List (1993) Steven Spielberg
  86. The Searchers (1956) John Ford (the definitive anti-western)
  87. The Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa (one of my “top-ten” favorite movies hands down)
  88. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) Stanley Donen &Gene Kelly
  89. Some Like It Hot (1959) Billy Wilder
  90. A Star Is Born (1954) George Cukor
  91. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) Elia Kazan
  92. Sunset Boulevard (1950) Billy Wilder (“I am ready for my close up Mr. DeMille.”)
  93. Taxi Driver (1976) Martin Scorsese (“Are you talking to me…?”)
  94. The Third Man (1949) Carol Reed
  95. Tokyo Story (1953) Yasujiro Ozu
  96. Touch of Evil (1958) Orson Welles (Classic opening sequence.)
  97. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) John Huston
  98. Trouble in Paradise (1932) Ernst Lubitsch
  99. Vertigo (1958) Alfred Hitchcock
  100. West Side Story (1961) Jerome Robbins/RobertWise
  101. The Wild Bunch (1969) Sam Peckinpah
  102. The Wizard of Oz (1939) Victor Fleming