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Ranking Stanley Kubrick: Top Ten Directors, Top Twenty Flickchart Movies

by Anne Thompson
August 12, 2010 4:02 AM
3 Comments
  • |
Thompson on Hollywood

My most recent online time-waster (along with Flickchart) is Formspring, which asks you questions and posts your answers on various social media. For example, when asked to name my top ten directors of all time, I came up with this list:

John Ford, Akira Kurosawa, Buster Keaton, Howard Hawks, Orson Welles, Alfred Hitchcock, Billy Wilder, Jean Renoir, David Lean, Stanley Kubrick.

Here's a Clockwork Orange set story about how photographer Dmitri Kasterine snapped this iconic still of Kubrick. When asked on Formspring to rank 12 Kubrick films between Killer's Kiss and Eyes Wide Shut, I did:


1. A Clockwork Orange
2. Dr. Strangelove
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
4. Paths of Glory
5. The Shining
6. Barry Lyndon
7. Spartacus
8. Lolita
9. The Killing
10. Full Metal Jacket
11. Eyes Wide Shut
12. Killer's Kiss

And just for fun, here are my Flickchart top 20 rankings right now (I don't make the list--Flickchart does, based on my choices of which two movies I like better). Sure enough, my fave directors are well-represented, from Lean to Wilder, along with Steven Spielberg, Frank Capra, Martin Scorsese, John Huston, John Lasseter and Sergio Leone (truth is, I like Once Upon a Time in the West better than The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in America, but this list is derived from the choices they give you). And I don't think Flickchart has asked me to rank many Jean Renoir or Buster Keaton movies. Night of the Hunter got up there with just two votes--if I were to like any given film more than Lawrence of Arabia, it would instantly go to number one. So far, none has.

Lawrence of Arabia
It Happened One Night
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Apartment
GoodFellas
Toy Story
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Some Like It Hot
Paths of Glory
Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Braveheart
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Wall-E
The Night of the Hunter
Psycho
The Departed
Doctor Zhivago
All About Eve
Once Upon a Time in America
Brokeback Mountain

UPDATE: As long as I'm posting lists, The Playlist asked Edgar Wright for his top ten musicals (they post great clips). He makes some offbeat choices, like Bugsy Malone, The Blues Brothers and The Phantom of the Paradise, which I'll have to look at again. I do applaud his love of Grease, Fred Astaire, Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, Busby Berkeley, Bob Fosse and Michael Powell, but I don't think of The Red Shoes as a musical, exactly. I adore West Side Story's music and dancing, but the movie was almost ruined by the casting of Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer. I wish I could have seen the original Broadway show. And Honorable Mention South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut is genius. Wright throws in his five top rock 'n roll movies for good measure, including, natch, A Hard Days Night.

3 Comments

  • Peter H. Brothers | August 17, 2010 8:01 AMReply

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Agoura Hills, California

    “MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN -- THE FANTASTIC CINEMA OF ISHIRO HONDA” by Peter H. Brothers.

    For the first time in America, a book has been published on Japan's foremost director of Fantasy Films: MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN – The Fantastic Cinema of Ishiro Honda.

    Known primarily for directing such classic Japanese monster movies as Rodan, Mothra, Attack of the Mushroom People and the original Godzilla, Honda has been a much-overlooked figure in mainstream international cinema.

    MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN is the first book to cover in English print Honda’s life as well comprehensively evaluates all 25 of his fantasy films. It is also gives objective and critical analysis of Honda's filmmaking methods, themes and relationships with actors and technicians.

    Making use of extensive interviews from Honda’s colleagues, as well as a wealth of original source material never before gathered into one volume (including previously-unpublished essays), MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN is an affectionate tribute to arguably the most-prolific and influential director in the history of fantasy films.

    MUSHROOM CLOUDS AND MUSHROOM MEN (ISBN No.: 978-1-4490-2771-1) is available online and at AuthorHouse.com at: www.authorhouse.com/Bookstore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=65692.

    Thank you for your kind attention!

  • Anne Thompson | August 12, 2010 5:46 AMReply

    Peckinpah is up there, but I just can't throw off the guys you suggest. The others, excepting Aldrich, would certainly be in my top fifty.

  • Brian | August 12, 2010 5:29 AMReply

    Every time I've tried to register on Flickchart, it just keeps flashing the same registration field and I'm never able to get past it, no matter how many times I type in the user name and password I'd just created. I give up.

    I like your directors list. It's close to mine. (I think I'd take Lean, Kubrick and Renoir off, though, and pick from the following: Sam Peckinpah, Robert Aldrich, Anthony Mann, Hayao Miyazaki, Yasujiro Ozu.)

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