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Scorsese's List of 85 Films You Must See

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood February 24, 2012 at 7:21PM

During an interview, off the top of his head Martin Scorsese gave writer Rick Tetzeli a list of 85 must-see films that influenced him. Of course as an NYU Cinema Studies graduate and so-called film expert, I had to check my mettle against Scorsese.
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Martin Scorsese
Martin Scorsese

During an interview, off the top of his head Martin Scorsese gave writer Rick Tetzeli a list of 85 must-see films that influenced him. Of course as an NYU Cinema Studies graduate and so-called film expert, I had to check my mettle against Scorsese. Well, it looks like I need to do some serious catching up on my Rossellini and Visconti. I saw Scorsese's must-see "My Voyage to Italy" doc, which has long clips, but that's not the same thing as seeing these films in their entirety.

I have not seen 24 of the films on Scorsese's list, which is disturbing to say the least, as obscure as some of them are. It's always humbling to be reminded of holes in one's viewing. Of the ones I still have to see, most embarrassing are "All That Heaven Allows," "America America," "Caught," "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse," I Walk Alone," "La Terra Trema," "Night and the City," "The Power and the Glory," "and "Two Weeks in Another Town."

This article is related to: Classics, Lists, Martin Scorsese


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.