I want to assemble a library of the Top 100 movies- I need your top 10 suggestions

My film watching history is spotty at best, but I have a brand new DVD player and I want to assemble a worthy DVD library so I can be better informed and not be a film 'tard. I don’t want to just use the Academy award lists for reference. What are some lesser known films really worth having? What is your top ten (or greater) list of must have films?

All suggestions will be much appreciated!

**2001 A Space Odyssey

Lawrence of Arabia

Citizen Kane

Gone with the Wind


Inherit the Wind

The Maltese Falcon

Educating Rita

Forbidden Planet


It may profit you to visit IMDB’s Top 250 movies. It’s subject to change, being based on the inputs from online users, but it’s far from useless.

Anyway, my Top 10 (off the top of my head):

The Godfather Collection (all 3 GF’s)
The Usual Suspects
Raising Arizona
A Streetcar Named Desire
Rebel Without A Cause
Cool Hand Luke
Blade Runner
Taxi Driver

(ask me again in a week and it’s apt to have changed)

My all-time top ten list at the moment goes something like this:

Third Man
Princess Mononoke
Kind Hearts and Coronets
Grave of the Fireflies
Annie Hall
Gosford Park
His Girl Friday
Man for All Seasons

All of them are available on DVD.

Some of my favorite DVDs:

This is Spinal Tap


Memento Special Edition

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition

Groundhog Day

Bride on the River Kwai (2 disc edition)

Being John Malkovich

Godfather Collection

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Casablanca (new edition of it coming to DVD shortly)

OK, not exactly a top ten, but here are some of my top picks:

For bringing together an awesome sountrack with top quality directing, acting and plot:

Full Metal Jacket
An American Werewolf in London

For comedy which I have yet to see bettered, which will having you laughing until you fall on the floor:

Trains Planes and Automobiles
Stir Crazy
Trading Places

For tour de force acting and brilliant directing:

Raging Bull

For horror in a creepier-than-Creep McCreeps kind of way:


Of course there are many other great films which don’t come to mind right now, but I’d say the above would all be in my top 20 of all time.

Treasure of The Sierra Madre
African Queen
Night of The Living Dead
The Pianist
Office Space
Long Runner
Lonesome Dove
Best In Show

Dr. Strangelove
The Wild Bunch
Bride of Frankenstein
Planet of the Apes (original version)
North by Nortwest
Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (original)
Reservoir Dogs
A night at the Opera

The Usual Suspects
Pulp Fiction
Raiders of the Lost Ark (will be available on DVD in November)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Saving Private Ryan
LA Confidential
Blazing Saddles

**Dr. Zhivago

The Producers

The Conversation

What’s Up Tiger Lily

Tom Jones

Ben Hur

Schindler’s List

Some Like it Hot

A Hatful of Rain

On the Waterfront**

On preview, this one doesn’t really fit all the criteria, but it does have a kicking soundtrack and awesome special effects (oscar winning), and it still has the ability to scare the crap out of me even today. (plus its a John Landis film which adds kudos point anyway) :slight_smile:

Blues Brothers
Mad Max 1
Easy Money
Office Space
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Trading Places
Dumb & Dumber

It’s a tough list to write, but my top ten (for the moment, and taking into account what’s currently worth getting on DVD) is something like this-

Reservoir Dogs
Requiem for a Dream
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Welcome to the Dollhouse
The Princess Bride
Ghost World

My personal favorite 100 films:


A list which I’ve compiled which is a consensus list of what many people consider to be the top 200 films:


Very impressive work!

Since you’ve worked on this with great care, I hope you can give an educated opinion on how IMDB’s user-based Top 250 tallies with your tastes/preferences.

My own view is that IMDB’s list is skewed to recent films and possibly even to a younger audience, since (let’s face it) the younger demographic is likely more internet savvy than older groups.

One thing I have seen on the IMDB list(s) (it is dynamic and needs revisiting often) is that movies that Ebert slams or has in his under-2-star category have made it to the Top 250 with no sweat. In general, I like that aspect of the IMDB list, since those that I value (and Ebert doesn’t) are right up there.

The reverse is also true. Some of these films just don’t age well, as discussed in this thread.

Taxi Driver
Apocalypse Now
Once Upon A Time In America
A Clockwork Orange
The Last Temptation of Christ
Raging Bull
The Elephant Man
Requiem For A Dream
Jacob’s Ladder
Batman Returns

If you’re willing to include foreign films, you might consider three fabulous old French movies:

  1. The Grand Illusion
  2. Children of Paradise
  3. The Rules Of The Game

Grand Illusion is my vote for the best movie ever. Children of Paradise is a unique and wonderful film. The Rule of the Game is what Gosford Park is a pale replica of, in a way.

Recently saw Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, & highly recommend this film.
It is in Japanese with English subtitles.

“The Rule of the Game is what Gosford Park is a pale replica of, in a way.”
I have seen Rules of the Game and I wasn’t terribly impressed. When I saw Gosford Park (a few years later) I thought that it was reminiscent of Rules of the Game but so much better on many levels: better acting, a more intricate storyline and a richer visual recreation of the era (of course they had much better cinematographic technology ).
I didn’t like Grand Illusion that much either so I guess we just have different tastes. I am looking forward to watching Children of Paradise though.

Shawshank Redemption
The Godfather
The Godfather II
American History X
Dr. Strangelove
Requiem For A Dream
Pulp Fiction
The Usual Suspects
25th Hour
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