Improve on IMDb's Top 20

The Godfather vs. Goodfellas thread has prompted another spin-off.

Using as a starting point, which movies would you pull out for your own personal Top 20?

If there’s enough participation in this exercise, say 50 or more replies, I’ll build us a poll for the ultimate SDMB Top 20.

I have not seen 3 of the top 20. Them being:

  1. Seven Samurai
  2. City of God
  3. Once Upon a Time in the West

Otherwise…boy, you could do a lot of shuffling within the top 20. A couple on the outside looking in could justifiably get a bump up. Nothing strikes me as *completely *egregious. For me, and I know I’m in a minority, Pulp Fiction is #1. I think it’s just about the perfect movie.

Ask me again in a week, it’s gonna be a little different, but these will do for now. Numbers are their IMDb ranking:

Casablanca - 17
Breaker Morant*
The Incredibles - 200
Groundhog Day - 157
Aliens - 60
Star Wars: A New Hope - 16
The Fellowship of the Ring - 19
True Lies
Trading Places*
Raiders of the Lost Ark* - 22
The Matrix - 23
Memento - 29
Saving Private Ryan - 43
Back to the Future - 70
Monty Python and the Holy Grail - 74
Gladiator - 95
The Sixth Sense - 132
The Big Lebowski - 135
Notorious - 149
Galaxy Quest*

Honorable mentions:

Cinema Paradiso - 76
Se7en - 27
It’s a Wonderful Life - 28
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan*
Iron Man
Dark City**

*Not, I guess, in the IMDb Top 250.

I’ve never understood the attraction of either Pulp Fiction or Goodfellas. I don’t think Inception, The Dark Knight, The Empire Strikes Back, Fight Club or the LOTR films belong either, they are all good but I wouldn’t rate them that highly. I haven’t seen 12 Angry Men, Casablanca, City of God or Once Upon a Time in the West.

My replacements:
Lawrence of Arabia
L.A. Confidential
Pan’s Labyrinth
Raiders of the Lost Ark
In Bruges
Shadow of the Vampire

Ask me on another day and you’ll get a slightly different list.

Okay. To participate in my own thread I decided to approach the task by copying the IMDb list into a Notepad work space and stripping away those in their Top 20 that I don’t like (or didn’t see yet) and then to bring up the ones in the lower group – one at a time – until I got 20 listed. After that I stopped looking but I would bet that if I stayed at it I could bring other lower ones up and bump out some in this list.

These are not in order of my preference, but they would be in a Top 20 (preliminary) grouping:

  1. 9.2 The Godfather (1972) 451,637

  2. 9.0 The Godfather: Part II (1974) 275,113

  3. 8.9 Pulp Fiction (1994) 463,323

  4. 8.9 Schindler’s List (1993) 307,999

  5. 8.9 12 Angry Men (1957) 138,136

  6. 8.8 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) 240,949

  7. 8.8 Seven Samurai (1954) 106,985

  8. 8.7 Fight Club (1999) 429,726

  9. 8.7 Goodfellas (1990) 255,619

  10. 8.7 Casablanca (1942) 182,326

  11. 8.7 The Usual Suspects (1995) 292,423

  12. 8.6 Leon: The Professional (1994) 228,091

  13. 8.6 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) 168,385

  14. 8.5 Taxi Driver (1976) 175,252

  15. 8.5 Vertigo (1958) 100,928

  16. 8.5 Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 86,254

  17. 8.4 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) 90,062

  18. 8.4 L.A. Confidential (1997) 178,595

  19. 8.4 Chinatown (1974) 86,662

  20. 8.3 Singin’ in the Rain (1952) 60,763


May I send you a DVD? Anyone who loves movies should see it at least once. It’s deservedly a classic (and my all-time favorite).

I took Zeldar’s approach, too. But I got all the way to the bottom of the list with plenty of space to fill in my own favorites (full disclosure: I haven’t seen 111 of the top 250). There were plenty that I deleted because I liked, rather than loved, them.

These are in order of my own favorite, followed by their IMDB ranking.

Groundhog Day, 157
Amélie, 46
Hedwig and the Angry Inch*
Fight Club, 14
I Heart Huckabees*
What About Bob?*
2001: A Space Odyssey, 89
World’s Greatest Dad*
Sense and Sensibility*
Beauty and the Beast, 247
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 61
The Prestige, 73
The Station Agent*
All About Eve, 85
It Happened One Night, 140
There Will Be Blood, 147
My Neighbor Totoro, 186
A Streetcar Named Desire, 205

This will take time to rank, but a quick survey takes me out of the Top 250 with a couple of slots left in my Top 20. I can’t believe some of the garbage that made that list. I only have 3 of their Top 20 on my list.

I’ve heard it’s a good film, but I don’t like the out-of-context clips I’ve seen. Bogart’s speech at the end has been much parodied. I also know how it ends. In an ideal world I’d be able to scrub all this from my memory and give it the go it probably deserves, but it does put me off.