Monday, May 2, 2011

Taschen's 100 All-Time Favourite Movies

I recently bought the Taschen edition of 100 All-Time Favourite Movies by Jurgen Muller. Split into two Volumes (1915-1959, and 1960-2000), this is an extensive encyclopaedia into some of the finest works in cinema. There is a detailed contextual foreword about each decade, before a chapter on each selected film. Accompanying the detailed analyses are stunning photographs and quotes from critics and theorists. It is wonderfully researched and beautifully constructed. In addition to the list of films I have made it my endeavour to see before the end of the year (here), I am going to try and see each of the films listed by Taschen. Some of them I have already seen, so I won't re-watch them, but there are many that I haven't. If it appears in this book, I'm sure it's well worth seeing.

Here is the complete list of films selected by Taschen:

The Birth of a Nation (D.W Griffith, 1915)

Nosferatu (F.W Murnau, 1922)

*The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. Demille, 1923)

The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)

Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925)

The General (Buster Keaton and Clyde Bruckman, 1926/27)

Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1926)

The Blue Angel (Joseph Von Sternberg, 1930)

*Under the Roofs of Paris (Rene Clair, 1929/30)

M (Fritz Lang, 1931)

*Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)

*King Kong (Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933)

Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)

The Grand Illusion (Jean Renoir, 1937)

Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)

*Fantasia (Samuel Armstrong, James Algar et al, 1940)

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

*To Be Or Not To Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942)

Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

The Big Sleep (Howard Hawks, 1946)

*Beauty and the Beast (Jean Cocteau, 1946)

Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)

*The Treasure of Sierra Madre (Jon Huston, 1947)

The Bicycle Thief (Vittorio De Sica, 1948)

The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949)

All About Eve (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950)

Rashomon (Akira Kurosawa, 1950)

*The Young and the Damned (Luis Bunuel, 1950)

Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)

*A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951)

The African Queen (John Huston, 1951)

*High Noon (Fred Zinnemann, 1952)

*Fanfan the Tulip (Christian-Jaque, 1952)

The Wages of Fear (Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1953)

The Seven Samurai (Akira Kurosawa, 1954)

*La Strada (Federico Fellini, 1954)

Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955)

*The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

Giant (George Stevens, 1956)

The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

*Elevator to the Scaffold (Louis Malle, 1957)

Wild Strawberries (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)

Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, 1958/59)

Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)

Ben Hur (William Wyler, 1959)

La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1959/60)

L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960)

Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

*Breakfast at Tiffany's (Blake Edwards, 1961)

Lawrence of Arabia (David Lean, 1962)

*To Kill a Mockingbird (Robert Mulligan, 1962)

Dr Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Stanley Kubrick, 1963)

*Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964)

*Dr Zhivago (David Lean, 1965)

Pierrot Le Fou (Jean-Luc Godard, 1965)

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966)

Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)

The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

*Once Upon a Time in the West (Sergio Leone, 1968)

*Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969)

Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969)

The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)

*Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti, 1970)

A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)

Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)

*Cabaret (Bob Fosse, 1972)

The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

*The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Luis Bunuel, 1972)

*A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)

Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)

Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)

Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)

Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)

The Deer Hunter (Michael Cimino, 1978)

*The Tin Drum (Volker Schlondorff, 1979)

Mad Max (George Miller, 1979)

Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)

Fitzcarraldo (Werner Herzog, 1981)

*Fanny and Alexander (Ingmar Bergman, 1982)

Scarface (Brian De Palma, 1982/83)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982)

*The Fourth Man (Paul Verhoeven, 1983)

Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

Dead Ringers (David Cronenberg, 1988)

The Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991)

Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)

Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai, 1994)

Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

L.A Confidential (Curtis Hanson, 1997)

Face/Off (John Woo, 1997)

*The Celebration (Thomas Vintenberg, 1998)

All About My Mother (Pedro Almodovar, 1999)

American Beauty (Sam Mendes, 1999)

Magnolia (Paul Thomas Anderson, 1999)

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee, 2000)

* references the films I am yet to see

What do you think of Taschen's list? Anyone else surprised to see Face/Off here? I mean, it's a great film, but I saw better films in the late 90's.


  1. Face/Off is a strange choice, I suppose it's an awesome action film but there definitely were better films that year.

    Fitzcarraldo is amazing, one of my favourites, I'm glad to see it here!

    Anyway, it's a very good list and I'm sure the book looks great, in fact I own the Taschen book on Stanley Kubrick, and it's pretty amazing.

  2. Face/Off is a good film, but you'd think The Shawshank Redemption or Reservoir Dogs would have made it somewhere on that list.

  3. Wow, I would not at all have put Face/Off, Star Wars, and definitely not Forrest Gump. But other than that great list. The Shawshank Redemption should have been on there, along with The Deer Hunter and Letters from Iwo Jima. unless I missed those. Great post!

  4. @ Jack L.- I also really liked Aguirre: The Wrath of God by Werner Herzog. It would make my 100. But i really want to see Fitzcarraldo. I have seen that Kubrick book you mention. There is an edition for Scorsese, Eastwood etc. too.

    @ Pete - I guess they were looking at films that defined an era, and a genre within that era. How many action films came out in the late 90's? Heaps. I think Face/Off is one of the best. Shawshank has to be there, I think ;-)

    @ Matt - You wouldn't have Star Wars? Dude, it's a cinematic classic. My list would include both Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back haha. I do agree that Forrest Gump shouldn't be there, though. The Deer Hunter made the list!

    Thanks for the comments, guys!