Greatest Films of All Time

Checklist of Greatest Movies

Film, Year, Director, Comment

More than Akira Kurosawa, Ingmar Bergman, Stanley Kubrick, and Federico Fellini? Maybe there are other directors worthy of to be listed, but I’m not sure. Of course, I haven’t seen every movie ever made .

This page is, at the moment, an evolving checklist of films I’ve seen since the beginning of 2009, mostly on DVDs, very often from the excellent Criterion Collection. It’s presented roughly in the order that I viewed them, starting with Kurosawa. Omissions of indisputably great films like “Citizen Kane” or “The Godfather” just means that I haven’t seen them since early 2009.

One minor point about watching movies. Where did we get the idea that we should only see a movie once? That a film should communicate all that it has to say in one viewing? We listen to the same pieces of music over and over again. … “Beethoven’s Fifth? Nah, don’t play that; I’ve already heard it.” Books? I’ve read The Iliad, The Lord of the Rings, and Moby Dick many times. Some people read the Bible endlessly. Plays? Who would not see a good production of Hamlet because they had already seen it? To be sure, there are many movies that I regret spending the time to see even once. But that’s a different matter. There are plenty of films that bear 2nd and 3rd viewings. One critic even said that a film that has nothing more to share after one viewing isn’t a very good movie.

Film Year Director Comment
Rashomon 1950 Akira Kurosawa winner of Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival
Seven Samurai 1954 Akira Kurosawa Sight & Sound’s 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time
Ugetsu 1953 Kenji Mizoguchi Silver Bear at Venice, TIME’s 100 Greatest
Tokyo Story 1953 Yasujiro Ozu Sight & Sound’s 2002 Critics and Directors Poll for the best films of all time, TIME’s 100 Greatest
Ikiru 1952 Akira Kurosawa TIME’s 100 Greatest
La Strada 1956 Federico Fellini Academy Award Best Foreign Film
La Dolce Vita 1960 Federico Fellini Anita Ekberg in the Trevi Fountain!
statue of Christ flown over Rome
Nights of Cabiria 1957 Federico Fellini Academy Award Best Foreign Film

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