Dean Clancy’s Movie List

A thousand films, from great to ugh.


‘The fact is I am quite happy in a movie, even a bad movie.’ — Binx Bolling, The Moviegoer

Okay, I’m not happy in a bad movie, but I do love a good one. Like all forms of story-telling, film is inherently hopeful. A great film makes you happy to be alive. I’ve seen a lot of movies, most of them mediocre, a few unforgettable.

Below is a list of roughly one thousand feature films I can remember having seen, arranged within tiers, from best to worst.

Regarding my tastes: I’m pretty conservative, but I am willing to like any film, regardless of style, content, or subject-matter, provided it’s a good story well told, holds my interest from first frame to last, and doesn’t try too hard to shock, disgust, or titillate. I want to be entertained, amused, inspired, not lectured, insulted, or exploited. I don’t insist on a happy ending, but I do look for a subtle affirmation of hope. The highest praise I can give a film is that I want to see it again. Few earn that honor.

Note: A number of the titles on this list I walked out of mid-film or fast-forwarded through in disgust or boredom. They are included here only as a warning. Many I’ve only seen in an edited-for-TV version. Your mileage may vary. Consult the parents’ guide before viewing!

I hope you find this list helpful in your own viewing.

— Dean

P.S. At the bottom of this post, I offer some commentary on particular films, and name some of my favorite directors.


My five categories:

★★★★ Wonderful
★★★ Good
★★ Pretty Good
★ So-So
✖ Ugh


1. Wonderful ★★★★

★★★★ A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
★★★★ A Man for All Seasons (1966)
★★★★ A New Leaf (1971)
★★★★ A Shot in the Dark (1964)
★★★★ Alien (1979)
★★★★ Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
★★★★ Casablanca (1943)
★★★★ City Lights (1931)
★★★★ Darkest Hour (2017)
★★★★ Double Indemnity (1944)
★★★★ Downfall (2004)
★★★★ Dr. Strangelove (1964)
★★★★ Duck Soup (1933)
★★★★ Forbidden Planet (1956) *
★★★★ Fort Apache (1948)
★★★★ Frankenstein (1931)
★★★★ Girl Shy (1924)
★★★★ Gojira (1954)
★★★★ Grand Hotel (1932)
★★★★ Grand Illusion (1937)
★★★★ Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
★★★★ High and Low (1963)
★★★★ How to Steal a Million (1966)
★★★★ It Happened One Night (1934)
★★★★ Ivan’s Childhood (1962)
★★★★ Le Samourai (1967)
★★★★ Lincoln (2012) *
★★★★ Lost in Translation (2003)
★★★★ M (1931)
★★★★ Mary Poppins (1964)
★★★★ Modern Times (1936)
★★★★ Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
★★★★ My Darling Clementine (1946)
★★★★ My Fair Lady (1964)
★★★★ Night and Fog (1955) *
★★★★ North by Northwest (1959)
★★★★ One Two Three (1961)
★★★★ Paths of Glory (1957)
★★★★ Patton (1970)
★★★★ Planet of the Apes (1968)
★★★★ Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
★★★★ Rashomon (1950)
★★★★ Rear Window (1954)
★★★★ Red Beard (1965)
★★★★ Red River (1948) *
★★★★ Roman Holiday (1953)
★★★★ Safety Last! (1923)
★★★★ Sanjuro (1961)
★★★★ Sanshiro Sugata (1943)
★★★★ Scarface (1932)
★★★★ Seven Samurai (1954)
★★★★ Shane (1953)
★★★★ Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
★★★★ Stagecoach (1939)
★★★★ Star Wars (1977) *
★★★★ Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
★★★★ Taxi Driver (1976)
★★★★ The 39 Steps (1935)
★★★★ The Bad Sleep Well (1960)
★★★★ The Battle of Algiers (1966)
★★★★ The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
★★★★ The Exorcist (1973)
★★★★ The French Connection (1971)
★★★★ The General (1926)
★★★★ The Godfather (1972)
★★★★ The Godfather, Part II (1974)
★★★★ The Great Dictator (1940)
★★★★ The Incredibles (2004)
★★★★ The Kid (1921)
★★★★ The Lady Vanishes (1938)
★★★★ The Long Goodbye (1973)
★★★★ The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
★★★★ The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
★★★★ The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
★★★★ The Maltese Falcon (1941)
★★★★ The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
★★★★ The Pink Panther (1963)
★★★★ The Princess Bride (1987)
★★★★ The Rules of the Game (1939)
★★★★ The Sound of Music (1965)
★★★★ The Sting (1973)
★★★★ The Thin Man (1934)
★★★★ The Thing (1982)
★★★★ The Thing from Another World (1951)
★★★★ The Third Man (1949)
★★★★ The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
★★★★ The Virgin Spring (1960)
★★★★ This is Spinal Tap (1984)
★★★★ To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
★★★★ What’s Up, Doc? (1972)
★★★★ Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
★★★★ Yojimbo (1961)


2. Good ★★★

★★★ 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
★★★ 3:10 to Yuma (1957)
★★★ 8 1/2 (1963)
★★★ A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
★★★ A Night at the Opera (1935)
★★★ All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
★★★ All the President’s Men (1976)
★★★ American Graffiti (1973)
★★★ An American in Paris (1951)
★★★ Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
★★★ Andrei Rublev (1966)
★★★ Annie Hall (1977)
★★★ Arrival (2016)
★★★ Arthur (1981)
★★★ Babe (1995)
★★★ Baby Driver (2017)
★★★ Baby Face (1933)
★★★ Back to the Future (1985)
★★★ Bambi (1942)
★★★ Battleship Potemkin (1925)
★★★ Belle du Jour (1967)
★★★ Blade Runner (1982) *
★★★ Blow Up (1966)
★★★ Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
★★★ Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
★★★ Bridge of Spies (2015)
★★★ Captains Courageous (1937)
★★★ Chariots of Fire (1981)
★★★ Chinatown (1974)
★★★ Citizen Kane (1941)
★★★ Collateral (2004)
★★★ Contempt (1963)
★★★ D.O.A. (1950)
★★★ Danton (1983)
★★★ Death Wish (1974)
★★★ Deliverance (1972)
★★★ Dial M for Murder (1954)
★★★ Die Hard (1988)
★★★ Dunkirk (2017)
★★★ E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
★★★ Easy Rider (1969)
★★★ Escape from New York (1981)
★★★ Fail Safe (1964)
★★★ Fargo (1996)
★★★ Five Easy Pieces (1970)
★★★ Get Carter (1971)
★★★ Ghostbusters (1984)
★★★ Gilda (1946)
★★★ Gladiator (2000)
★★★ Gravity (2013)
★★★ Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
★★★ Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
★★★ Harold and Maude (1971)
★★★ Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
★★★ Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
★★★ Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
★★★ Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
★★★ Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
★★★ His Girl Friday (1940)
★★★ Hitchcock/Truffaut (2015)
★★★ Hud (1963)
★★★ I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
★★★ Ikiru (1952)
★★★ In Cold Blood (1967)
★★★ Incredibles 2 (2018)
★★★ It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
★★★ It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
★★★ Jaws (1975)
★★★ Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
★★★ Jurassic Park (1993)
★★★ Kagemusha (1980)
★★★ Kes (1969)
★★★ Key Largo (1948)
★★★ Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
★★★ La Dolce Vita (1960)
★★★ La Strada (1954)
★★★ Little Caesar (1931)
★★★ The Longest Day (1962)
★★★ Look Who’s Back (2015)
★★★ McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
★★★ Memento (2000)
★★★ Midnight Run (1988)
★★★ Minority Report (2002)
★★★ Mirror (1975)
★★★ Mission Impossible: Fallout (2018)
★★★ Monsters, Inc. (2001)
★★★ Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1974)
★★★ Moon (2009)
★★★ Mouchette (1967)
★★★ Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
★★★ Night of the Living Dead (1968)
★★★ Nights of Cabiria (1957)
★★★ On the Waterfront (1954)
★★★ Out of the Past (1947)
★★★ Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
★★★ Paper Moon (1973)
★★★ Rocky (1976)
★★★ Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
★★★ Sabrina (1954)
★★★ Schindler’s List (1993)
★★★ Seven Days in May (1964)
★★★ She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)
★★★ Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
★★★ Sicario (2015)
★★★ Sicario: Day of the Soldado (2018)
★★★ Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
★★★ Solaris (1972)
★★★ Song of the South (1946) *
★★★ Sophie’s Choice (1982)
★★★ Sopie Scholl: The Final Days (2005)
★★★ Soylent Green (1972)
★★★ Stalag 17 (1953)
★★★ Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
★★★ State of the Union (1948)
★★★ Tangled (2010)
★★★ The Absent-Minded Professor (1961)
★★★ The Apartment (1964)
★★★ The Awful Truth (1937)
★★★ The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)
★★★ The Bank Dick (1940)
★★★ The Bicycle Thief (1948)
★★★ The Big Short (2015)
★★★ The Big Sleep (1946)
★★★ The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
★★★ The Conversation (1974)
★★★ The Death of Stalin (2017)
★★★ The Disaster Artist (2017)
★★★ The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
★★★ The Florida Project (2017)
★★★ The Freshman (1925)
★★★ The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
★★★ The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)
★★★ The Graduate (1967)
★★★ The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
★★★ The Great Escape (1963)
★★★ The Hidden Fortress (1958)
★★★ The Hunt for Red October (1990)
★★★ The Hurt Locker (2009)
★★★ The Ice Storm (1997)
★★★ The Jungle Book (1967)
★★★ The Kid Brother (1927)
★★★ The Killing (1956)
★★★ The King’s Speech (2010)
★★★ The Ladykillers (1955)
★★★ The Last King of Scotland (2006)
★★★ The Last Picture Show (1971)
★★★ The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
★★★ The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
★★★ The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977)
★★★ The Matrix (1999)
★★★ The Misfits (1961)
★★★ The More the Merrier (1943)
★★★ The Mouse That Roared (1959)
★★★ The Night Porter (1974)
★★★ The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976)
★★★ The Pawnbroker (1964)
★★★ The Producers (1968)
★★★ The Quiet American (2002)
★★★ The Revenant (2015)
★★★ The Searchers (1956)
★★★ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)
★★★ The Shining (1980)
★★★ The Sixth Sense (1999)
★★★ The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965)
★★★ Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn (1982)
★★★ State and Main (2001)
★★★ The Thomas Crown Affair (1968)
★★★ The Trial of Joan of Arc (1962)
★★★ The Unforgiven (1960)
★★★ The Usual Suspects (1995)
★★★ The Wizard of Oz (1939)
★★★ The Women (1939)
★★★ Thief (1981)
★★★ Throne of Blood (1957)
★★★ Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)
★★★ Tristana (1970)
★★★ Triumph of the Will (1934)
★★★ Twelve O’Clock High (1949)
★★★ Vertigo (1958)
★★★ Viridiana (1961)
★★★ Wait Until Dark (1967)
★★★ What About Bob? (1991)
★★★ Wild Strawberries (1957)
★★★ Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)
★★★ Wings (1927)
★★★ You Can’t Take It With You (1938)
★★★ Young Frankenstein (1974)
★★★ Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
★★★ Zodiac (2007)
★★★ Zulu (1964)


3. Pretty Good ★★

★★ 12 Angry Men (1957)
★★ 1776 (1972)
★★ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)
★★ 3:10 to Yuma (2007)
★★ A Few Good Men (1992)
★★ A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
★★ A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001)
★★ Adam’s Rib (1949)
★★ Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
★★ Air Force One (1997)
★★ Airplane! (1980)
★★ All About Eve (1950)
★★ Amélie (2001)
★★ American Hustle (2013)
★★ American Sniper (2014)
★★ An Affair to Remember (1957)
★★ Ant-Man (2015)
★★ Argo (2012)
★★ Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
★★ Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
★★ Bagdad Cafe (1987)
★★ Ball of Fire (1941)
★★ Batman Begins (2005)
★★ Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971)
★★ Being There (1979)
★★ Ben-Hur (1959)
★★ Black Hawk Down (2001)
★★ Black Mass (2015)
★★ Black Panther (2018)
★★ Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
★★ Body Heat (1981)
★★ Boys Town (1938)
★★ Braveheart (1995)
★★ Breathless (1960)
★★ Bringing Up Baby (1938)
★★ Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
★★ Cactus Flower (1969)
★★ Call Northside 777 (1948)
★★ Captain America: Winter Soldier (2014)
★★ Captain Blood (1935)
★★ Captain Phillips (2013)
★★ Carnal Knowledge (1971)
★★ Casino Royale (2006)
★★ Catch Me If You Can (2002)
★★ Charade (1963)
★★ Chocolat (2000)
★★ Cinderella (1950)
★★ Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
★★ Crocodile Dundee (1986)
★★ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
★★ Dark Passage (1947)
★★ Day of the Jackal (1973)
★★ Deathtrap (1982)
★★ Defiance (2008)
★★ Diehard (1988)
★★ Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
★★ District 9 (2009)
★★ Django, Unchanged (2012)
★★ Doctor Zhivago (1965)
★★ Don’t Drink the Water (1969)
★★ Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922) *
★★ Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)
★★ Drunken Angel (1948)
★★ Dumbo (1941)
★★ Eastern Promises (2007)
★★ Ecstasy (1933)
★★ Enemies at the Gate (2001)
★★ Enter the Dragon (1973)
★★ Eraser (1996)
★★ Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
★★ Fanny and Alexander (1982) *
★★ Finian’s Rainbow (1968)
★★ For a Few Dollars More (1965)
★★ Foreign Correspondent (1940)
★★ Fury (2014)
★★ Gattaca (1997)
★★ Get Smart (2008)
★★ Giant (1956)
★★ Gigi (1958)
★★ Glory (1989)
★★ Gone with the Wind (1939)
★★ Groundhog Day (1993)
★★ Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
★★ Gunga Din (1939)
★★ Hail, Caesar! (2016)
★★ Happy Gilmore (1996)
★★ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 1 (2010)
★★ Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2 (2011)
★★ Heat (1995)
★★ Hell or Highwater (2016)
★★ Hello, Dolly! (1969)
★★ Henry V (1989)
★★ High Plains Drifter (1973)
★★ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
★★ Hobson’s Choice (1954)
★★ Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
★★ Hot Saturday (1932)
★★ Inherit the Wind (1960)
★★ Interstellar (2014)
★★ Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
★★ John Wick (2014)
★★ John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
★★ Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons (2013)
★★ Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
★★ Killer’s Kiss (1955)
★★ King Kong (1933)
★★ King of Hearts (1966)
★★ Lady and the Tramp (1955)
★★ Laura (1944)
★★ Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
★★ Lethal Weapon (1987)
★★ Life is Beautiful (1997)
★★ Lillies of the Field (1963)
★★ Local Hero (1983)
★★ Lolita (1962)
★★ Love in the Afternoon (1957)
★★ Mad Max (1979)
★★ Mad Max: Road Warrior (1981)
★★ Madadayo (1993)
★★ Mamma Mia! (2008)
★★ Man of the West (1958)
★★ El Dorado (1966)
★★ Man Hunt (1941)
★★ Manhattan (1979)
★★ Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)
★★ Marathon Man (1976)
★★ MASH (1970)
★★ Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
★★ Meet the Robinsons (2007)
★★ Metropolis (1927) *
★★ Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
★★ Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
★★ Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (2011)
★★ Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015)
★★ Mr. & Mrs. Smith (1941)
★★ Much Ado About Nothing (1993)
★★ Muppet Treasure Island (1996)
★★ Murder by Death (1976)
★★ My Favorite Year (1982)
★★ My Man Godfrey (1936)
★★ National Treasure (2004)
★★ Network (1976)
★★ Ninotchka (1939)
★★ No Country for Old Men (2007)
★★ Nostalghia (1983)
★★ Notorious (1946)
★★ O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)
★★ Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
★★ On the Beach (1959)
★★ One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)
★★ Our Man in Havana (1960)
★★ Pale Rider (1985)
★★ Pat and Mike (1952)
★★ Peter Pan (1953)
★★ Pinocchio (1940)
★★ Play It Again, Sam (1972)
★★ Pretty Poison (1968)
★★ Psycho (1960)
★★ Ran (1985)
★★ Ready Player One (2018)
★★ Remains of the Day (1993)
★★ Rio Bravo (1959)
★★ Rio Grande (1950)
★★ Robin Hood (1973)
★★ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
★★ Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)
★★ Rushmore (1998)
★★ Saboteur (1942)
★★ Saving Mr. Banks (2014)
★★ Saving Private Ryan (1998)
★★ Scandal (1950)
★★ Seems Like Old Times (1980)
★★ Separate Tables (1958)
★★ Serenity (2005)
★★ Silence of the Lambs (1991)
★★ Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
★★ Sleeper (1973)
★★ Some Like It Hot (1959)
★★ Son of Flubber (1963)
★★ Spartacus (1960)
★★ Spider-Man (2002)
★★ Spider-Man 2 (2004)
★★ Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
★★ Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
★★ Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
★★ Strangers on a Train (1951)
★★ Stray Dog (1949)
★★ Suspicion (1941)
★★ Take the Money and Run (1969)
★★ Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
★★ The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
★★ The African Queen (1951)
★★ The Aristocats (1970)
★★ The Bank *** (1940)
★★ The Birth of a Nation (1915)
★★ The Bourne Identity (2002)
★★ The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
★★ The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921) *
★★ The Court Jester (1955)
★★ The Deer Hunter (1978)
★★ The Defiant Ones (1958)
★★ The Departed (2006)
★★ The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel (1951)
★★ The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
★★ The Eagle Has Landed (1977)
★★ The Fifth Element (1997)
★★ The Four Musketeers (1974)
★★ The Fugitive (1993)
★★ The Great Train Robbery (1979)
★★ The Guns of Navarone (1961)
★★ The Hospital (1971)
★★ The Imitation Game (2014)
★★ The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
★★ The Last Hurrah (1958)
★★ The Legend of Drunken Master (1994)
★★ The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)
★★ The Lion in Winter (1968)
★★ The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
★★ The Martian (2015)
★★ The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
★★ The Monuments Men (2014)
★★ The Mummy (1999)
★★ The Muppet Movie (1979)
★★ The Night of the Iguana (1964)
★★ The Odd Couple (1968)
★★ The Old Man and the Sea (1958)
★★ The Parallax View (1974)
★★ The Parent Trap (1961)
★★ The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
★★ The Philadelphia Story (1939)
★★ The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
★★ The Queen (2006)
★★ The Red Balloon (1956)
★★ The Santa Clause (1994)
★★ The Seventh Seal (1957)
★★ The Simpsons Movie (2007)
★★ The Sword in the Stone (1963)
★★ The Talk of the Town (1942)
★★ The Ten Commandments (1956)
★★ The Terminator (1984)
★★ The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
★★ The Three Musketeers (1973)
★★ The Untouchables (1987)
★★ Thelma & Louise (1991)
★★ Things to Come (1936)
★★ Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)
★★ Three Days of the Condor (1975)
★★ Tintin (2011)
★★ Titanic (1997)
★★ To Be or Not to Be (1942)
★★ To Catch a Thief (1955)
★★ Top Gun (1986)
★★ Touch of Evil (1958)
★★ Toy Story (1995)
★★ Toy Story 2 (1999)
★★ Toy Story 3 (2010)
★★ True Grit (1969)
★★ Two for the Road (1967)
★★ WALL-E (2008)
★★ Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
★★ Who’s Minding the Mint? (1967)
★★ Winchester ’73 (1950)
★★ Zelig (1983)
★★ Zero Dark Thirty (2012)
★★ Zootopia (2016)


4. So-So

★ 12 Years a Slave (2013)
★ A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)
★ A History of Violence (2005)
★ A Most Wanted Man (2014)
★ A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
★ Affair in Trinidad (1952)
★ Airplane! 2: The Sequel (1982)
★ Alice in Wonderland (1951)
★ Alladin (1992)
★ And God Created Woman (1956)
★ Apocalypse Now (1979)
★ Armageddon (1998)
★ Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
★ Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
★ Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
★ Bananas (1971)
★ Barbershop (2002)
★ Barry Lyndon (1974)
★ Batman (1966)
★ Batman (1989)
★ Beauty and the Beast (1991)
★ Beauty and the Beast (2017)
★ Becket (1964)
★ Bedazzled (1967)
★ Big Hero 6 (2014)
★ Boom Town (1940)
★ Brazil (1985)
★ Bullitt (1968)
★ Burn After Reading (2008)
★ Cabaret (1972)
★ Caddyshack (1980)
★ Cars (2006)
★ Captain America: Civil War (2016)
★ Casino Royale (1967)
★ Cheaper by the Dozen (1950)
★ Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
★ Cinema Paradiso (1988)
★ Cool Hand Luke (1967)
★ Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
★ Dante’s Peak (1997)
★ Dead Again (1991)
★ Das Boot (1981)
★ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
★ Desk Set (1957)
★ Dirty Harry (1971)
★ Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
★ Dr. No (1963)
★ Empire of the Sun (1987)
★ Enchanted (2007)
★ Ender’s Game (2013)
★ Equilibrium (2002)
★ Escape from L.A. (1996)
★ Fahrenheit 451 (1966)
★ Fantasia (1940)
★ Father of the Bride (1950)
★ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
★ Fierce Creatures (1997)
★ Finding Nemo (2003)
★ Fist of Legend (1994)
★ For Pete’s Sake (1974)
★ Forrest Gump (1994)
★ Foul Play (1978)
★ Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994)
★ From Here to Eternity (1953)
★ From Russia with Love (1963)
★ Full Metal Jacket (1987)t
★ Funny Face (1957)
★ Funny Girl (1968)
★ Gallipoli (1981)
★ Game Night (2018)
★ Gandhi (1982)
★ Gaslight (1944)
★ Gentleman’s Agreement (1948)
★ Goldfinger (1964)
★ The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)
★ Hanover Place (1979)
★ Hawaii (1966)
★ Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
★ Her (2014)
★ High Noon (1952)
★ Hondo (1953)
★ The Hot Rock (1972)
★ How Green Was My Valley (1941)
★ How to Murder Your Wife (1965)
★ I Am Legend (2007)
★ I Live in Fear (1955)
★ I Love You Again (1940)
★ Ice Station Zebra (1968)
★ In Bruges (2008)
★ Inception (2010)
★ Independence Day (1996)
★ Inglourious Basterds (2009)
★ Inside Man (2006)
★ Inside Out (2015)
★ Irma la Douce (1963)
★ Iron Man (2008)
★ Iron Man 2 (2010)
★ IT (2017)
★ Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2013)
★ Jeremiah Johnson (1972)
★ Joe Kidd (1972)
★ Juno (2007)
★ K-19: The Widowmaker (2002)
★ Khartoum (1966)
★ Klute (1971)
★ La La Land (2016)
★ Ladyhawke (1985)
★ Life of Pi (2013)
★ Lost Horizon (1937)
★ Marooned (1969)
★ McClintock! (1963)
★ Meet John Doe (1941)
★ Megamind (2010)
★ Mission Impossible (1996)
★ Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
★ Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)
★ Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
★ Murder, My Sweet (1944)
★ National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
★ Neptune’s Daughter (1949)
★ Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)
★ Ocean’s Twelve (2004)
★ Ocean’s Thirteen (2007)
★ Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
★ One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
★ Play Misty For Me (1971)
★ Predator (1987)
★ Prometheus (2012)
★ Ragtime (1981)
★ Rain Man (1988)
★ Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
★ Romancing the Stone (1984)
★ Sabrina (1995)
★ San Andreas (2015)
★ Shenandoah (1965)
★ Silent Running  (1972)
★ Skyfall (2012)
★ Sleeping Beauty (1959)
★ Spectre (2015)
★ Spy Kids (2001)
★ Solo (2018)
★ Star 80 (1983)
★ Star Trek (2009)
★ Start Trek Into Darkness (2013)
★ Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
★ Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)
★ Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
★ Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002)
★ Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
★ Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
★ That Touch of Mink (1962)
★ The Age of Innocence (1993)
★ The Big Chill (1983)
★ The Big Heat (1953)
★ The Big Red One (1980)
★ The Birds (1963)
★ The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
★ The China Syndrome (1979)
★ The Dark Knight (2008)
★ The Devil’s Brigade (1968)
★ The Dirty Dozen (1967)
★ The Great Gatsby (2013)
★ The Inspector General (1949)
★ The Italian Job (1969)
★ The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
★ The Late Show (1977)
★ The Little Mermaid (1989)
★ The Long Riders (1980)
★ The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
★ The Lower Depths (1957)
★ The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
★ The Muppets Most Wanted (2014)
★ The Nice Guys (2016)
★ The ODESSA File (1974)
★ The Party (1968)
★ The Passion of the Christ (2004)
★ The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)
★ The Quiet Man (1952)
★ The Rescuers (1977)
★ The Return of the Pink Panther (1975)
★ The Right Stuff (1983)
★ The Russia House (1990)
★ The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966)
★ The Saint (1997)
★ The Seven Year Itch (1955)
★ The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
★ The Spy Next Door (2010)
★ The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)
★ The Thomas Crown Affair (1999)
★ The Year of Living Dangerously (1982)
★ The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
★ Thor (2011)
★ Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
★ Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974)
★ Time Bandits (1980)
★ Tombstone (1993)
★ True Grit (2010)
★ Twentieth Century (1934)
★ Unknown (2011)
★ V for Vendetta (2005)
★ Viridiana (1961)
★ War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
★ What’s New Pussycat? (1965)
★ Where Eagles Dare (1968)
★ Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
★ Wonder Woman (2017)
★ Wyatt Earp (1994)
★ You Only Live Twice (1967)


5. Ugh

✖ $ (1971)
✖ A Clockwork Orange (1971)
✖ A Passage to India (1984)
✖ A Room with a View (1985)
✖ Avanti! (1972)
✖ A View to a Kill (1985)
✖ A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
✖ Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (2012)
✖ Age of Consent (1969)
✖ Alien: Resurrection (1997)
✖ Aliens (1986)
✖ All That Jazz (1979)
✖ Amadeus (1984)
✖ American Gangster (2007)
✖ Antz (1996)
✖ Apocalypto (2006)
✖ Around the World in 80 Days (2004)
✖ Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
✖ Avanti! (1972)
✖ Avatar (2009)
✖ Barbarella (1968)
✖ Battlefield Earth (2000)
✖ Batman v. Superman (2016)
✖ Battle in Heaven (2005)
✖ Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
✖ Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (1989)
✖ Blazing Saddles (1974)
✖ Blue Velvet (1986)
✖ Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)
✖ Bob Roberts (1992)
✖ Boogie Nights (1997)
✖ Brave (2012)
✖ Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
✖ Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
✖ Clash of the Titans (1981)
✖ Conan the Barbarian (1982)
✖ Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)
✖ Crimson Peak (2015)
✖ Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: Sword of Destiny (2016)
✖ Cujo (1983)
✖ Dances with Wolves (1990)
✖ Dodes’ka-Den (1970)
✖ Dr. Strange (2016)
✖ Dune (1984)
✖ Eagle Eye (2009)
✖ Every Girl Should Be Married (1948)
✖ Excalibur (1981)
✖ Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
✖ Family Plot (1976)
✖ Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
✖ Frenzy (1972)
✖ Futureworld (1976)
✖ GoldenEye (1995)
✖ Gone Girl (2014)
✖ Goodbye Children (1987)
✖ Gremlins (1984)
✖ Grindhouse (2007)
✖ Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 (2017)
✖ Guyana Tragedy: The Story of Jim Jones (1980)
✖ Hang ‘Em High (1968)
✖ Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
✖ Haywire (2011)
✖ Hell Boy (2004)
✖ Hercules (1997)
✖ Hidalgo (2004)
✖ Highlander (1986)
✖ Howard the Duck (1986)
✖ Howards End (1992)
✖ I Am Curious—Yellow (1967)
✖ In Like Flint (1967)
✖ Independence Day: Resurgence (2016)
✖ Into the Woods (2014)
✖ Iron Man 3 (2013)
✖ Jackass (2002)
✖ Jason Bourne (2016)
✖ JFK (1991)
✖ Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)
✖ Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
✖ Justice League (2017)
✖ Kindergarten Cop (1990)
✖ King Kong (2005)
✖ Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
✖ Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
✖ Kong: Skull Island (2017)
✖ Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
✖ Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
✖ Kung Fu Killer (2014)
✖ Kung Fu Panda (2008)
✖ Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)
✖ Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016)
✖ L.A. Confidential (1997)
✖ Last House on the Left (1972)
✖ Last Tango in Paris (1972)
✖ Live Free or Die Hard (2007)
✖ Logan (2017)
✖ Lost in Space (1998)
✖ Love and Death (1975)
✖ Lust, Caution (2007)
✖ Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
✖ Man of Steel (2013)
✖ Marnie (1964)
✖ Midnight Cowboy (1969)
✖ Mission Impossible 2 (2000)
✖ Moana (2016)
✖ Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
✖ Moonraker (1979)
✖ Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium (2007)
✖ National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
✖ Night Train to Paris (1964)
✖ Northmen: A Viking Saga (2014)
✖ Oliver & Company (1988)
✖ On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
✖ Ordinary People (1980)
✖ Out of Africa (1985)
✖ Papillon (1973)
✖ Patriot Games (1992)
✖ Peeping Tom (1960)
✖ Persona (1966)
✖ Peyton Place (1957)
✖ Please Don’t Eat the Daisies (1960)
✖ Pocahontas (1995)
✖ Poltergeist (1982)
✖ Pulp Fiction (1994)
✖ Raise the Titanic (1980)
✖ Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
✖ Reds (1981)
✖ Reservoir Dogs (1992)
✖ Revenge of the Pink Panther (1978)
✖ Rio Lobo (1970)
✖ Road to Utopia (1946)
✖ Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)
✖ Rope (1948)
✖ Ruthless People (1986)
✖ Salt 2010
✖ Scarface (1983)
✖ Shampoo (1975)
✖ Shrek (2001)
✖ Silk (2007)
✖ Silver Streak (1976)
✖ Simon of the Desert (1965)
✖ Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977)
✖ Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004)
✖ Spider Man 3 (2007)
✖ Spy Kids 3-D: Game Over (2003)
✖ Stardust Memories (1980)
✖ Stargate (1994)
✖ Starship Troopers (1997)
✖ Star Trek Generations (1994)
✖ Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)
✖ Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (1989)
✖ Star Trek: First Contact (1996)
✖ Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)
✖ Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
✖ Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
✖ Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist (2014)
✖ Stripes (1981)
✖ Suicide Squad (2016)
✖ Terminator 3 (2003)
✖ Thank You for Smoking (2005)
✖ That Obscure Object of Desire (1977)
✖ The 400 Blows (1959)
✖ The Big Lebowski (1998)
✖ The Black Dahlia (2006)
✖ The Brown Bunny (2003)
✖ The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
✖ The Dead (1987)
✖ The Dreamers (2003)
✖ The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
✖ The English Patient (1996)
✖ The Final Countdown (1980)
✖ The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)
✖ The Great Mouse Detective (1986)
✖ The Hateful Eight (2015)
✖ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
✖ The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
✖ The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
✖ The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)
✖ The Hunger Games (2012)
✖ The Jerk (1979)
✖ The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)
✖ The Last Action Hero (1993)
✖ The Last Emperor (1987)
✖ The Left Hand of God (1947)
✖ The Lion King (1994)
✖ The Long Ships (1964)
✖ The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
✖ The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
✖ The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
✖ The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
✖ The Rock (1996)
✖ The Running Man (1987)
✖ The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
✖ The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1971)
✖ The Three Caballeros (1944)
✖ The Tourist (2011)
✖ The Towering Inferno (1974)
✖ The Trouble with Harry (1955)
✖ The Wild Bunch (1969)
✖ There’s a Girl in My Soup (1970)
✖ There’s Something About Mary (1998)
✖ Three Amigos (1986)
✖ Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990)
✖ Tin Men (1987)
✖ Tootsie (1982)
✖ Topaz (1969)
✖ Torn Curtain (1966)
✖ Total Recall (1990)
✖ Total Recall (2012)
✖ Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
✖ Tropic Thunder (2008)
✖ Treasure Planet (2002)
✖ Twins (1988)
✖ Ultraviolet (2006)
✖ Unforgiven (1992)
✖ Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning (2012)
✖ Valley of the Dolls (1967)
✖ Valerian (2017)
✖ Waterworld (1995)
✖ What’s Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
✖ Wild Things (1998)
✖ Winter Light (1962)
✖ Zardoz (1974)


Notes

Blade Runner (1982). I’ve only seen the original 1982 theatrical version and a 1990s version labeled a ‘director’s cut’ that Ridley Scott did not embrace. I look forward to seeing his 2007 ‘final cut’ version.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1921). There are many versions of this film, which differ from each other in various ways, including print quality, color washes, title card language, title card font, even the musical score. Some are damaged or missing certain scenes or individual frames. Several restorations have been done over the years. I give the gold medal to the 2014 digital restoration by the Murnau Foundation, distributed by Kino Lorber. Painstakingly remastered from a rare, nearly complete original negative, this version includes optional English subtitles and a choice of two alternative musical scores, one spare, the other richer.

Dr. Mabuse, The Gambler (1922). Four hours long. I watched the Murnau Foundation restoration distributed by Kino Lorber.

Fanny and Alexander (1982). I’ve only seen the original 188-minute theatrical version. There’s also a 312-minute television miniseries version.

Forbidden Planet (1956). I never tire of this gem. There is occasionally talk of a remake, but you cannot remake a gem. That said, I would hope someone, in a future remastered version, would polish it up gently. I’d eliminate three small, but jarring, flaws: 1) the glaring jump cut in the final scene, 2) the visible zipper on the back of Ann Francis’s body suit in the innocent nude-bathing scene, and 3) the distracting ‘electronic tonalities’ background music in a few scenes where silence would work better. These flaws are artifacts of the decision by MGM executives to skip final edits and rush the rough cut directly to theaters in the wake of positive test screenings. Also welcome would be a tightening up of a few scenes that feel draggy. I’d also gently update the matte paintings and planet-in-space shots, to make their flaws less obvious. But only gently. Never over-polish a gem.

Lincoln (2012). A great film, and a near-masterpiece. It would be a true masterpiece if it omitted the superfluous hagiographical material at the beginning and end and just began with Lincoln’s dream and ended with his departure for Ford’s Theater.

Metropolis (1927). There has never been anything quite like this unique classic of the silent era, a film at once essential and awful. Fritz Lang’s direction leaves much to be desired, and yet his bold vision is unforgettable and in some ways remains unmatched. A big-budget flop on release, the film has been edited into many different versions, at least one with a completely different storyline. Most are shorter than the original and, due to the elimination of key scenes and plot points, even sillier. No version is satisfying. If you view only one, make it the 2010 Murnau restoration distributed by Kino Lorber. It is long, beautiful to look at, and definitive: the first version to date to include virtually all of the film’s famous lost footage, nearly a quarter of the original running time. That footage, rediscovered in 2008, is unfortunately in poor condition, and a couple of scenes are so badly deteriorated they are merely summarized with title cards. But this edition is close to Lang’s original, 1927 vision. And what a vision it is!

Night and Fog (1955). Francois Truffaut called this harrowing documentary about the Holocaust ‘the greatest movie ever made.’ He’s right.

Red River (1948). I am eager to view the original, but now rarely seen, theatrical release version, which in lieu of inter-titles has narration by Walter Brennan.

Song of the South (1946). Zip-a-dee-doo-dah! A charming animated classic that has sadly fallen victim to the PC thought police. The film may be imperfect, but it is by no means racist, and Disney is wrong to suppress it. Viewers should be allowed to judge for themselves.

Star Wars (1977). Han shot first.

Touch of Evil (1958). I’ve only seen the original 1958 version. I also hope to see the ‘restored’ version, which is based on Welles’s notes. Either way, everyone should see the famous long opening shot.

Some Final Thoughts

I love the great silent films, because they have to tell their stories visually, with a minimum of dialogue.

My favorite directors are Kurosawa, Chaplin, and Renoir.

I’m also smitten with Tarkovsky, who is in a class all by himself. But his work is an acquired taste, and probably the reason they invented the fast-forward button.

I’ve also enjoyed films by (in alphabetical order): Altman, Antonioni, Bergman, Capra, Coppola (father and daughter), Daves, Fellini, Ford, Frankenheimer, Friedkin, Hawks, Hill, Hitchcock, Huston, Kubrick, Lang, Lester, Lumet, Melville, Scott, Spielberg, Sturges, Truffaut, Wilder, and Wise. Apologies to the many other fine directors I’ve omitted.

I confess I don’t care much for Orson Welles, Woody Allen, or the Coen Brothers—all overrated, in my opinion, despite some real flashes of genius.

Scorsese does little for me, though I did enjoy Taxi Driver.

Buñuel nearly always makes a Buñuel film, alas.

Von Trier and Tarantino are troubled souls—pray for them!

Regarding sequels, my feeling is good films don’t need them and bad films don’t deserve them. But I did enjoy Godfather II and Empire Strikes Back. I’ve never viewed Godfather III and don’t plan to.

P.S. Prequels are a public nuisance!


Updated: September 22, 2018.

Published: December 27, 2010.

Author: Dean Clancy.

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