Treebeard's Homepage : Rants and Writes

Treebeard's Movie List

These are films I might watch again (and again) on TCM, IFC, SUNDANCE, AMC, etc. If I were making my own top 10/100 list, these would be the candidates. It's a mixed bag. I avoid hard choices and include everything. I rarely get to a theater, which must influence this list.

Some of these films count as "guilty pleasures." Not all the "bests" are "favorites," and vica-versa. I last saw some of these when I was a kid, but they still resonate.

It's really too soon for the 90s. It takes years to discover which movies (and books and music and friends...) stay with you. These are tentative.

Best decade?
I think it's interesting that I honestly picked about the same number of films for each half decade. But expectations change! Overall, I'd have to pick the late 40s-50s as the best years. These films tell honest stories with few cheap thrills (that grow old), great comedy and humanity. These are real classics. Recent 90s films really suck.

My list is also available as a text file.

 * These are my real favorites!
1995 - 1999
 The Addiction(Abel Ferrara/1995)
 Dead Man(Jim Jarmusch/1995)
 Lone Star(John Sayles/1995)
1990 - 1994
 Akira Kurosawa's Dreams(Akira Kurosawa/1990)
 Awakenings(Penny Marshall/1990)
 Beauty and the Beast(Disney, Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise/1991)
 City of Hope(John Sayles/1991)
 Clerks(Kevin Smith/1994)
 Crumb(Terry Zwigoff/1994)
 Delicatessen(Jean-Pierre Jeunet/1991)
 El Mariachi(Robert Rodriguez/1992)
 The Fugitive(Andrew Davis/1993)
 Goodfellas(Martin Scorsese/1990)
 The Grifters(Stephen Frears/1990)
 Groundhog Day(Harold Ramis/1993)
 Hard-Boiled(John Woo/1992)
 Heavenly Creatures(Peter Jackson/1994)
 The Killer(John Woo/1990)
 The Last of the Mohicans(Michael Mann/1992)
 A League of their Own(Penny Marshall/1992)
 Night on Earth(Jim Jarmusch/1991)
 Nobody's Fool(Robert Benton/1994)
 Once Were Warriors(Lee Tamahori/1994)
 Party Girl(Daisy von Scherler Mayer/1994)
 Pulp Fiction(Quentin Tarantino/1994)
 The Rapture(Michael Tolkin/1991)
 Schindler's List(Steven Spielberg/1993)
 Searching For Bobby Fischer(Steven Zaillian/1993)
 The Stars Fell on Henrietta(James Keach/1994)
 Time of the Gypsies(Emir Kusturica/1990)
1985 - 1989
 The Adventures of Baron Munchausen(Terry Gilliam/1989)
 Akira(Katsuhiro, Sheldon Renan/1989)
 Au Revoir Les Enfants(Louis Malle/1987)
 Back to the Future(Robert Zemeckis/1985)
 Bagdad Cafe(Percy Adlon/1988)
 Big(Penny Marshall/1988)
 Big Trouble in Little China(John Carpenter/1986)
 Blue Velvet(David Lynch/1986)
 Brain Dead(Adam Simon/1989)
 Brazil(Terry Gilliam/1985)
 Breakfast Club(John Hughes/1985)
 The Dead(John Huston/1987)
 Grave of the Fireflies(Isao Takahata/1988)
 The Journey of Natty Gann(Jeremy Paul Kagen/1985)
 Lonesome Dove(Simon Windsor/1989)
 The Last Temptation of Christ(Martin Scorsese/1988)
 Matewan(John Sayles/1987)
 The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!(David Zucker/1988)
 Pee Wee's Big Adventure(Tim Burton/1985)
 Radio Days(Woody Allen/1987)
 Ran(Akira Kurosawa/1985)
 Re-Animator(Stuart Gordon/1985)
 The River's Edge(Tim Hunter/1987)
 Runaway Train(Andrei Konchalovsky/1985)
 Sammy & Rosie Get Laid(Stephen Frears/1987)
 Sid and Nancy(Alex Cox/1986)
 Stand By Me(Rob Reiner/1986)
 Tampopo(Juzo Itami/1986)
 They Live(John Carpenter/1988)
 Tremors(Ron Underwood/1989)
 Witness(Peter Weir/1985)
 Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown(Pedro Almodovar/1988)
 A World Apart(Chris Menges/1988)
1980 - 1984
 Airplane!(Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams, David Zucker/1980)
 Altered States(Ken Russell/1980)
 Amadeus(Milos Forman/1984)
 The Big Red One(Samuel Fuller/1980)
 Blade Runner(Ridley Scott/1982)
 Blood Simple(Joel Coen, Ethan Coen/1984)
 The Blues Brothers(John Landis/1980)
 Coal Miner's Daughtor(Michael Apted/1980)
 El Norte(Gregory Nava/1983)
 The Empire Strikes Back(Irvin Kershner/1980)
 Fast Times at Ridgemont High(Amy Heckerling/1982)
 Heartland(Richard Pearce/1981)
 King of Comedy(Martin Scorsese/1982)
 Mad Max(George Miller/1980)
 Missing(Constantin Costa-Gravas/1982)
 Ms. 45(Abel Ferrara/1981)
 Once Upon a Time in America(Sergio Leone/1984)
 Paris, Texas(Wim Wenders/1983)
 Pennies From Heaven(Herbert Ross/1981)
 Raging Bull(Martin Scorsese/1980)
 Raiders of the Lost Ark(Steven Spielberg/1981)
 Repo Man(Alex Cox/1983)
 The Road Warrior(George Miller/1981)
 Starman(John Carpenter/1984)
 The Terminator(James Cameron/1984)
 Tootsie(Sydney Pollack/1982)
1975 - 1979
 Alien(Ridley Scott/1979)
 Allegro Non Tropo(1976)
 Annie Hall(Woody Allen/1977)
 Apocalypse Now(Francis Ford Coppola/1979)
 A Boy and His Dog(L. Q. Jones/1975)
 Breaking Away(Peter Yates/1979)
 Dersu Uzala(Akira Kurosawa/1975)
 Eraserhead(David Lynch/1978)
 Invasion of the Body Snatchers(Philip Kaufman/1978)
 A Little Romance(George Roy Hill/1979)
 The Man Who Would be King(John Huston/1975)
 Monty Python and the Holy Grail(Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones/1975)
 Monty Python's Life of Brian(Terry Jones/1979)
 National Lampoon's Animal House(John Landis/1978)
 Network(Sidney Lumet/1976)
 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest(Milos Forman/1975)
 Rocky(John D. Avildsen/1976)
 Star Wars(George Lucas/1977)
 Taxi Driver(Martin Scorsese/1976)
1970 - 1974
 Aguirre: Wrath of God(1972)
 American Graffiti(George Lucas/1973)
 Blazing Saddles(Mel Brooks/1974)
 Chinatown(Roman Polanski/1974)
 Clockwork Orange(Stanley Kubrick/1971)
 The Conversation(Francis Ford Coppola/1974)
 Duel(Steven Spielberg/1971)
 Enter the Dragon(Robert Clouse/1973)
 The Exorcist(William Friedkin/1973)
 Fiddler on the Roof(Norman Jewison/1971)
 Godfather(Francis Ford Coppola/1972)
 Godfather 2(Francis Ford Coppola/1974)
 Harold and Maude(Hal Ashby/1971)
 The Last Picture Show(Peter Bogdanovich/1971)
 Macbeth(Roman Polanski/1971)
 M*A*S*H(Robert Altman/1970)
 McCabe and Mrs. Miller(Robert Altman/1971)
 Mean Streets(Martin Scorsese/1973)
 Performance(Donald Cammell, Nicholas Roeg/1970)
 The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes(Billy Wilder/1970)
 Sleeper(Woody Allen/1973)
 That's Entertainment!(Jack Haley Jr./1974)
 Walkabout(Nicholas Roeg/1971)
 The Wicker Man(Robin Hardy/1973)
 Women in Love(Ken Russell/1970)
 Young Frankenstein(Mel Brooks/1974)
1965 - 1969
 Blow-Up(Michelangleo Antonioni/1966)
 Bonnie and Clyde(Arthur Penn/1967)
 Charly(Ralph Nelson/1968)
 Cool Hand Luke(Stuart Rosenberg/1967)
 Easy Rider(Dennis Hopper/1969)
 Five Million Miles to Earth(Roy Ward Baker/1968)
 The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly(Sergio Leone/1967)
 If...(Lindsay Anderson/1969)
 Marat/Sade(Peter Brook/1966)
 Medium Cool(Haskell Wexler/1969)
 Morgan!(Karel Reisz/1966)
 The Naked Prey(Cornel Wilde/1966)
 Once Upon A Time In The West(Sergio Leone/1968)
 Planet of the Apes(Franklin J. Schnaffner/1968)
 The Producers(Mel Brooks/1968)
 Rosemary's Baby(Roman Polanski/1968)
 Seconds(John Frankenheimer/1966)
 The Sound of Music(Robert Wise/1965)
 The Taming of the Shrew(Franco Zeffirelli/1967)
 True Grit(Henry Hathaway/1969)
 2001: A Space Odyssey(Stanley Kubrick/1968)
 The Wild Bunch(Sam Peckinpah/1969)
 Will Penny(Tom Gries/1967)
1960 - 1964
 The Apartment(Billy Wilder/1960)
 Breakfast at Tiffany's(Blake Edwards/1961)
 Dr. No(Terence Young/1962)
 Dr. Strangelove(Stanley Kubrick/1964)
 A Hard Day's Night(Richard Lester/1964)
 High and Low(Akira Kurosawa/1962)
 Jason and the Argonauts(Don Chaffrey/1963)
 Lawrence of Arabia(David Lean/1962)
 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance(John Ford/1962)
 The Pink Panther(Blake Edwards/1964)
 Psycho(Alfred Hitchcock/1960)
 Ride the High Country(Sam Peckinpah/1962)
 Shock Corridor(Samuel Fuller/1963)
 A Shot in the Dark(Blake Edwards/1964)
 To Kill a Mockingbird(Robert Mulligan/1962)
 West Side Story(Robert Wise/1961)
1955 - 1959
 Ben Hur(William Wyler/1959)
 Black Orpheus(Marcel Camus/1958)
 The Bridge on the River Kwai(David Lean/1957)
 Forbidden Planet(Fred M. Wilcox/1956)
 Friendly Persuasion(William Wyler/1956)
 Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison(John Huston/1957)
 The Hidden Fortress(Akira Kurosawa/1958)
 Hiroshima Mon Amour(Alain Resnais/1959)
 Invasion of the Body Snatchers(Donald Siegel/1956)
 The Killing(Stanley Kubrick/1956)
 The Night of the Hunter(Charles Laughton/1955)
 Nights of Cabiria(Federico Fellini/1957)
 North by Northwest(Alfred Hitchcock/1959)
 No Time For Sergeants(Mervyn LeRoy/1958)
 Odds Against Tomorrow(Robert Wise/1959)
 Paths of Glory(Stanley Kubrick/1957)
 The Red Balloon(Albert Lamorisse/1956)
 The Searchers(John Ford/1956)
 The Seven Year Itch(Billy Wilder/1955)
 Somebody up there Likes Me(Robert Wise/1956)
 Some Like it Hot(Billy Wilder/1959)
 The Spirit of St. Louis(Billy Wilder/1957)
 Throne of Blood(Akira Kurosawa/1957)
 Touch of Evil(Orson Wells/1958)
 Vertigo(Alfred Hitchcock/1958)
 Wages of Fear(Henri-Georges Clouzot/1955)
 Witness for the Prosecution(Billy Wilder/1957)
1950 - 1954
 African Queen(John Huston/1951)
 An American in Paris(Vincente Minnelli/1951)
 A Christmas Carol(Brian Desmond Hurst/1951)
 The Cruel Sea(Charles Frend/1953)
 The Day the Earth Stood Still(Robert Wise/1951)
 The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T(Roy Rowland/1953)
 From Here to Eternity(Fred Zinnermann/1953)
 High Noon(Fred Zinnermann/1952)
 Invaders From Mars(William Cameron/1953)
 On The Waterfront(Elia Kazan/1954)
 The Quiet Man(John Ford/1952)
 Rashomon(Akira Kurosawa/1951)
 Rear Window(Alfred Hitchcock/1954)
 Rebel Without a Cause(Nicholas Ray/1955)
 Seven Samurai(Akira Kurosawa/1954)
 Shane(George Stevens/1953)
 Singin' In The Rain(Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen/1952)
 Stalag 17(Billy Wilder/1953)
 Steel Helmet(Samuel Fuller/1951)
 A Star Is Born(George Cukor/1954)
 La Strada(Federico Fellini/1954)
 Strangers on a Train(Alfred Hitchcock/1951)
 A Streetcar Named Desire(Elia Kazan/1951)
 Sunset Boulevard(Billy Wilder/1950)
 The Thing(Howard Hawks/1951)
 War of the Worlds(Byron Haskin/1953)
1945 - 1949
 Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein(Charles T. Barton/1948)
 Beauty and the Beast(Jean Cocteau/1946)
 The Big Sleep(Howard Hawks/1946)
 Black Narcissus(Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger/1947)
 The Blue Dahlia(George Marshall/1946)
 The Body Snatcher(Robert Wise/1945)
 Dead of Night(Robert Hamer, etc./1945)
 Force of Evil(Abraham Polonsky/1949)
 The Fugitive(John Ford/1948)
 I Know Where I'm Going(Michael Powell/1945)
 Isle of the Dead(Mark Robson/1945)
 Macbeth(Orson Wells/1948)
 Mighty Joe Young(Ernest B. Schoedsack/1949)
 Mildred Pierce(Michael Curtiz/1945)
 On the Town(Gene Kelley, Stanley Donat/1949)
 Out of the Past(Jacques Tourneur/1947)
 The Red Pony(Lewis Milestone/1949)
 Red River(Howard Hawks/1948)
 The Red Shoes(Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger/1948)
 Rope(Alfred Hitchcock/1948)
 They Were Expendable(John Ford/1945)
 The Third Man(Carol Reed/1949)
 Three Godfathers(John Ford/1948)
 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre(John Huston/1948)
 Unfaithfully Yours(Preston Sturgis/1948)
 White Heat(Raoul Walsh/1949)
1940 - 1944
 Abe Lincoln in Illinois(John Cromwell/1940)
 Arsenic and Old Lace(Frank Capra/1944)
 The Bank Dick(Eddie Cline/1940)
 Casablanca(Michael Curtiz/1942)
 Citizen Kane(Orson Wells/1941)
 The Cat People(Jacques Tourneur/1942)
 Curse of the Cat People(Robert Wise, Gunther von Fritsch/1944)
 Double Indemnity(Billy Wilder/1944)
 The Grapes of Wrath(John Ford/1940)
 How Green Was My Valley(John Ford/1941)
 Hail the Conquering Hero(Preston Sturgis/1944)
 Laura(Otto Preminger/1944)
 The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp(Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger/1943)
 The Maltese Falcon(John Huston/1941)
 The Magnificent Ambersons(Orson Wells/1942)
 Meet Me In St. Louis(Vincente Minnelli/1944)
 Miracle of Morgan's Creek(Preston Sturgis/1944)
 Murder, My Sweet(Edward Dmytryk/1944)
 National Velvet(Clarence Brown/1944)
 The Palm Beach Story(Preston Sturgis/1942)
 Philadelphia Story(George Cukor/1940)
 Pinocchio(Disney, Ben Sharpsteen/1940)
 The Sea Hawk(Michael Curtiz/1940)
 Sullivan's Travels(Preston Sturgis/1941)
 They Drive by Night(Raoul Walsh/1940)
 The Wolf Man(George Waggner/1941)
1935 - 1939
 Adventures of Robin Hood(Michael Curtiz/1938)
 The Awful Truth(Leo McCarey/1937)
 Bride of Frankenstein(James Whale/1935)
 Bringing Up Baby(Howard Hawks/1938)
 Captain Blood(Michael Curtiz/1935)
 Captains Courageous(Victor Fleming/1937)
 The Four Feathers(Zoltan Korda/1939)
 Gone with the Wind(Victor Fleming/1939)
 The Good Earth(Sidney Frankin/1937)
 Goodbye, Mr. Chips(Sam Wood/1939)
 Gunga Din(George Stevens/1939)
 The Hunchback of Notre Dame(William Dieterle/1939)
 Modern Times(Charlie Chaplin/1936)
 Mutiny on the Bounty(Frank Lloyd/1935)
 A Night at the Opera(Sam Wood/1935)
 Ninotchka(Ernst Lubitsch/1939)
 Olympia(Leni Reifenstahl/1936)
 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs(Disney, David Hand/1937)
 Stagecoach(John Ford/1939)
 Stage Door(Gregory La Cava/1937)
 The 39 Steps(Alfred Hitchcock/1935)
 They Won't Forget(Mervyn LeRoy/1937)
 Top Hat(Mark Sandrich/1935)
 Way Out West(James W. Horne/1937)
 The Wizard of Oz(Victor Fleming/1939)
1930 - 1934
 Animal Crackers(Victor Heerman/1930)
 All Quiet on the Western Front(Lewis Milestome/1930)
 Island of Lost Souls(Erle C. Kenton/1933)
 The Black Cat(Edger G. Ulmer/1934)
 The Blue Angel(Josef von Sternberg/1930)
 City Lights(Charlie Chaplin/1931)
 Dinner at Eight(George Cukor/1933)
 Dracula(Tod Browning/1931)
 Duck Soup(Leo McCarey/1933)
 42nd Street(Lloyd Bacon/1933)
 Frankenstein(James Whale/1931)
 Freaks(Tod Browning/1932)
 Gabriel Over the White House(Gregory La Cava/1933)
 It Happened One Night(Frak Capra/1934)
 King Kong(Ernest B. Schoedsack/1933)
 L'Atalante(Jean Vigo/1934)
 Little Women(George Cukor/1933)
 M(Fritz Lang/1931)
 Tabu: A Story of the South Seas(Robert Flaherty, F. W. Murnau/1931)
 Tarzan and His Mate(Jack Conway/1934)
 Tarzan, the Ape Man(Woodbridge S. Van Dyne/1932)
 The Thin Man(Woodbridge S. Van Dyne/1934)
 Zero For Conduct(Jean Vigo/1933)
1925 - 1929
 Ben Hur(Fred Niblo/1926)
 The Crowd(King Vidor/1928)
 The Freshman(Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor/1925)
 The General(Buster Keaton, Clyde Bruckman/1927)
 The Gold Rush(Charle Chaplin/1925)
 Metropolis(Fritz Lang/1926)
 The Passion of Joan of Arc(Carl Theodor Dreyer/1928)
 The Phantom of the Opera(Rupert Julian/1925)
 Sunrise(F. W. Murnau/1927)
 The Wind(Victor Sjostrom/1928)
1920 - 1924
 Greed(Erich von Stroheim/1924)
 Nanook of the North(Robert Flaherty/1922)
 Nosferatu(F. W. Murnau/1922)
Culls and Maybes...
 The Four Corners of Nowhere(?/?)
 Apollo 13(Ron Howard/1995)
 Clueless(Amy Heckerling/1995)
 Contact(Robert Zemeckis/1997)
 Fargo(Joel Coen/1996)
 L.A. Confidential(?/1997)
 The Abyss(James Cameron/1989)
 Hairspray(John Waters/1988)
 Max Headroom(?/1986)
 Raising Arizona(Joel Coen/1987)
 Roger and Me(Michael Moore/1989)
 Stop Making Sense(Jonatham Demme/1984)
 All That Jazz(Bob Fosse/1979)
 Cheech and Chong's Up in Smoke(Lou Adler/1979)
 Jaws(Steven Spielberg/1975)
 The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz(Ted Kotcheff/1974)
 Pink Flamingos(John Waters/1972)

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