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Lists: 50 Best Movies of All Time, Again

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 13, 2009 at 5:49AM

It's a list that keeps on giving: the 50 best movies of all time. With this global critics list at The One-Line Review, at least, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There's Citizen Kane at number one, and having shown the movie to my USC film criticism class, I get why the movie holds on to that top spot, decade after decade. The damn thing holds up. Pauline Kael said it was a comedy and she was right. It's entertaining, funny, unique, utterly timely and resonant today. Kids understand it perfectly. It doesn't age, even in black-and-white.
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Welles-orson-citizen-kane_02

It's a list that keeps on giving: the 50 best movies of all time. With this global critics list at The One-Line Review, at least, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There's Citizen Kane at number one, and having shown the movie to my USC film criticism class, I get why the movie holds on to that top spot, decade after decade. The damn thing holds up. Pauline Kael said it was a comedy and she was right. It's entertaining, funny, unique, utterly timely and resonant today. Kids understand it perfectly. It doesn't age, even in black-and-white.

Much as I admire Vertigo, I prefer several other Hitchcocks: Notorious, North by Northwest, Psycho, and The Birds among them. How telling that there are three Hitchcocks in the top thirteen and two Stanley Kubricks in the top ten.

The other top ten selections are fine, but I would want a Buster Keaton (The General, 33) or Billy Wilder (Sunset Boulevard, 17) or John Ford (The Searchers, 12) or or Howard Hawks (Bringing Up Baby) in there. And Hawks is so out of favor that he didn't make the top 50 at all.

The full list is on the jump.


The 50 Greatest Films

Films receiving the same number of votes have been separated by their ranking on individual lists.

  1. Citizen Kane (1941) .. Orson Welles

  2. Vertigo (1958) .. Alfred Hitchcock

  3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) .. Stanley Kubrick

  4. The Godfather (1972) .. Francis Ford Coppola

  5. Casablanca (1942) .. Michael Curtiz

  6. The Third Man (1949) .. Carol Reed

  7. Taxi Driver (1976) .. Martin Scorsese

  8. Seven Samurai (1954) .. Akira Kurosawa

  9. Psycho (1960) .. Alfred Hitchcock

  10. Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) .. Stanley Kubrick

  11. The Godfather: Part II (1974) .. Francis Ford Coppola

  12. The Searchers (1956) .. John Ford

  13. Rear Window (1954) .. Alfred Hitchcock

  14. Singin' in the Rain (1952) .. Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly

  15. Persona (1966) .. Ingmar Bergman

  16. Chinatown (1974) .. Roman Polanski

  17. Sunset Boulevard (1950) .. Billy Wilder

  18. Sunrise (1927) .. F.W. Murnau

  19. Tokyo Story (1953) .. Yasujiro Ozu

  20. Pulp Fiction (1994) .. Quentin Tarantino

  21. La R√®gle du Jeu (1939) .. Jean Renoir

  22. 8¬Ω (1963) .. Federico Fellini

  23. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) .. David Lean

  24. The Night of the Hunter (1955) .. Charles Laughton

  25. Apocalypse Now (1979) .. Francis Ford Coppola

  26. City Lights (1931) .. Charles Chaplin

  27. Bicycle Thieves (1948) .. Vittorio De Sica

  28. Annie Hall (1977) .. Woody Allen

  29. Touch of Evil (1958) .. Orson Welles

  30. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) .. Carl Theodor Dreyer

  31. Blade Runner (1982) .. Ridley Scott

  32. M (1931) .. Fritz Lang

  33. The General (1927) .. Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton

  34. Some Like It Hot (1959) .. Billy Wilder

  35. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) .. Sergio Leone

  36. The Four Hundred Blows (1959) .. FranœÑois Truffaut

  37. Duck Soup (1933) .. Leo McCarey

  38. Double Indemnity (1944) .. Billy Wilder

  39. Raging Bull (1980) .. Martin Scorsese

  40. All About Eve (1950) .. Joseph L. Mankiewicz

  41. A Clockwork Orange (1971) .. Stanley Kubrick

  42. The Apartment (1960) .. Billy Wilder

  43. La Grande Illusion (1937) .. Jean Renoir

  44. Ikiru (1952) .. Akira Kurosawa

  45. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) .. Frank Capra

  46. Rashomon (1950) .. Akira Kurosawa

  47. The Wizard of Oz (1939) .. Victor Fleming

  48. Do the Right Thing (1989) .. Spike Lee

  49. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966) .. Sergio Leone

  50. L'Avventura (1960) .. Michelangelo Antonioni



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