Favorite Movies

My favorite movies grouped according to genre.  Or, to characterize it another way: a compilation of some of the greatest films of all time…that are also enjoyable to watch.  The films listed in the genre categories are presented chronologically; those in the Honorable Mentions section (at the end) are listed alphabetically.  Neither of these should be construed as rank ordering; if a movie is listed, it’s a favorite.  When a movie is added to a category the revision date just below will be noted and the entry highlighted like this.  You’ll also notice that I’ve done away with arbitrary restrictions like Top 10 or the like.

Updated 10/25/16

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Action Adventure

To Have and Have Not (1944), Directed by Howard Hawks

Anne of the Indies (1951), Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Directed by Steven Spielberg

The Last of the Mohicans (1992), Directed by Michael Mann

Patriot Games (1992), Directed by Phillip Noyce

Jurassic Park (1993), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Braveheart (1995), Directed by Mel Gibson

Twister (1996), Directed by Jan De Bont

Dante’s Peak (1997), Directed by Roger Donaldson

Ronin (1998), Directed by John Frankenheimer

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000), Directed by Ang Lee

Gladiator (2000), Directed by Ridley Scott

Master and Commander (2003), Directed by Peter Weir

Spider-Man 2 (2004), Directed by Sam Raimi

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Comedy

Modern Times (1936), Directed by Charlie Chaplin

I Was a Male War Bride (1949), Directed by Howard Hawks

Singin’ in the Rain (1952), Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen

Clue (1985), Directed by Jonathan Lynn

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), Directed by John Hughes

Home Alone (1990), Directed by Chris Columbus

City Slickers (1991), Directed by Ron Underwood

Father of the Bride (1991), Directed by Charles Shyer

Dave (1993), Directed by Ivan Reitman

RadioLand Murders (1994), Directed by Mel Smith

Forget Paris (1995), Directed by Billy Crystal

Men in Black (1997), Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld

Chicken Run (2000), Directed by Peter Lord and Nick Park

My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002), Directed by Joel Zwick

The Incredibles (2004), Directed by Brad Bird

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Drama

Casablanca (1942), Directed by Michael Curtiz

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Directed by William Wyler

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946), Directed by Frank Capra

12 Angry Men (1957), Directed by Sidney Lumet

Rocky (1976), Directed by John G. Avildsen

The Mission (1986), Directed by Roland Joffe

Driving Miss Daisy (1989), Directed by Bruce Beresford

Dances With Wolves (1990), Directed by Kevin Costner

The Remains of the Day (1993), Directed by James Ivory

Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), Directed by Steven Zaillian

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Directed by Frank Darabont

Life is Beautiful (1997), Directed by Roberto Benigni

Cast Away (2000), Directed by Robert Zemeckis

A Beautiful Mind (2001), Directed by Ron Howard

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Family Films

The Wizard of OZ (1939), Directed by Victor Fleming

The Bishop’s Wife (1947), Directed by Henry Koster

Swiss Family Robinson (1960), Directed by Ken Annakin

Mary Poppins (1964), Directed by Robert Stevenson

The Railway Children (1970), Directed by Lionel Jeffries

The Journey of Natty Gann (1985), Directed by Jeremy Kagan

Labyrinth (1986), Directed by Jim Henson

The Neverending Story (1986), Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Batteries Not Included (1987), Directed by Matthew Robbins

The Princess Bride (1987), Directed by Rob Reiner

Beauty and the Beast (1991), Gary Trousdale & Kirt Wise

Cool Runnings (1993), Directed by Jon Turteltaub

Babe (1995), Directed by Chris Noonan

Toy Story 1 & 2 (1995), Directed by Ash Brannon & John Lasseter

Whisper of the Heart (1995), Directed by Yoshifumi Kondô

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001), Chris Columbus

Monsters, Inc. (2001), Pete Docter & David Silverman

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Mystery/Thriller

The Maltese Falcon (1941), Directed by John Huston

The Big Sleep (1946), Directed by Howard Hawks

Out of the Past (1947), Directed by Jacques Tourneur

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), Directed by Don Siegel

Jaws (1975), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Alien (1979), Directed by Ridley Scott

The Hunt for Red October (1990), Directed by John McTiernan

Presumed Innocent (1990), Directed by Alan J. Pakula

The Bodyguard (1992), Directed by Mick Jackson

The Firm (1993), Directed by Sydney Pollack

The Fugitive (1993), Directed by Andrew Davis

Cop Land (1997), Directed by James Mangold

L.A. Confidential (1997), Directed by Curtis Hanson

Collateral (2004), Directed by Michael Mann

Flightplan (2005), Directed by Robert Schwentke

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Romance

It Happened One Night (1934), Directed by Frank Capra

Random Harvest (1942), Directed by Mervyn LeRoy

The More the Merrier (1943), Directed by George Stevens

I’ll Be Seeing You (1944), Directed by William Dieterle

Untamed Heart (1993), Directed by Tony Bill

Phenomenon (1996), Directed by Jon Turteltaub

The Road Home (1999), Directed by Yimou Zhang

Mostly Martha (2002), Directed by Sandra Nettlebeck

Kinamand (2005), Directed by Henrik Ruben Genz

Something New (2006), Directed by Sanaa Hamri

Twilight (2008), Directed by Catherine Hardwicke

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Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), Directed by George Lucas

The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Directed by Irvin Kershner

Aliens (1986), Directed by James Cameron

The Abyss (1989), Directed by James Cameron

The Matrix (1999), Directed by Andy & Larry Wachowski

Artificial Intelligence: AI (2001), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Fellowship of the Ring (2001), Directed by Peter Jackson

The Two Towers (2002), Directed by Peter Jackson

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War Drama

La Grande Illusion (1937), Directed by Jean Renoir

The Story of G.I. Joe (1945), Directed by William A. Wellman

Twelve O’Clock High (1949), Directed by Henry King

The Man Who Never Was (1956), Directed by Ronald Neame

Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Directed by David Lean

The Great Escape (1963), Directed by John Sturges

Das Boot (1981), Directed by Wolfgang Peterson

Glory (1989), Directed by Edward Zwick

Stalingrad (1993), Directed by Joseph Vilsmaier

Saving Private Ryan (1998), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Band of Brothers (2001), Various Directors

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Honorable Mentions

84 Charing Cross Road (1987), Directed by David Hugh Jones

All About Eve (1950), Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Always (1989), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Amadeus (1984), Directed by Milos Forman

Amazing Grace (2006), Directed by Michael Apted

Apollo 13 (1995), Directed by Ron Howard

The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945), Directed by Leo McCarey

Benny & Joon (1993), Directed by Jeremiah Chechik

The Bicycle Thief (1948), Directed by Vittorio De Sica

Chariots of Fire (1981), Directed by Hugh Hudson

Chocolat (2000), Directed by Lasse Hallstrom

A Christmas Carol (1984), Directed by Clive Donner

City of Angels (1998), Directed by Brad Siberling

The Color Purple (1985), Directed by Steven Spielberg

Dead Poets Society (1989), Directed by Peter Weir

Dear Frankie (2004), Directed by Shona Auerbach

Doctor Zhivago (1965), Directed by David Lean

Elizabeth (1998), Directed by Shekhar Kapur

Enemy at the Gates (2001), Directed by Jean Jacques Annaud

The Enemy Below (1957), Directed by Dick Powell

The English Patient (1996), Directed by Anthony Minghella

Far and Away (1992), Directed by Ron Howard

Field of Dreams (1989), Directed by Phil Alden Robinson

Finding Neverland (2004), Directed by Marc Forster

Forrest Gump (1994), Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Going My Way (1944), Directed by Leo McCarey

Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939), Directed by Sam Wood

The Gospel of John (2003), Directed by Philip Saville

The Grapes of Wrath (1940), Directed by John Ford

The Green Mile (1999), Directed by Frank Darabont

Hitch (2005), Directed by Andy Tennant

Hoosiers (1986), Directed by David Anspaugh

Howard’s End (1992), Directed by James Ivory

I Am Sam (2001), Directed by Jessie Nelson

It Could Happen to You (1994), Directed by Andrew Bergman

Karafuru Colourful (2010), Directed by Keiichi Hara

The Karate Kid (1984), Directed by John G. Avildsen

La vie en Rose (2007), Directed by Olivier Dahan

Ladies in Lavender (2004), Directed by Charles Dance

Les Miserables (1998), Directed by Bille August

The Lion King (1994), Directed by Roger Allers & Rob Minkoff

Local Hero (1983), Directed by Bill Forsyth

Lost in Yonkers (1993), Directed by Martha Coolidge

A Man for All Seasons (1966), Directed by Fred Zinnemann

The Man From Snowy River (1982), Directed by George Miller

Medicine Man (1992), Directed by John McTiernan

Miracle (2004), Directed by Gavin O’Connor

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), Directed by Frank Capra

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), Directed by Frank Capra

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), Directed by Dan Ireland

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935), Directed by Frank Lloyd

My Man Godfrey (1936), Directed by Gregory La Cava

National Treasure (2004), Directed by Jon Turteltaub

The Natural (1984), Directed by Barry Levinson

O Brother, Where Art Thou (2000), Ethan & Joel Coen

Of Mice and Men (1992), Directed by Gary Sinise

On the Town (1949), Directed by Stanley Donen

Out of Africa (1985), Directed by Sydney Pollack

Pirates of the Caribbean (2003), Directed by Gore Verbinski

Places in the Heart (1984), Directed by Robert Benton

Project X (1987), Directed by Jonathan Kaplan

Quiz Show (1994), Directed by Robert Redford

The Right Stuff (1983), Directed by Philip Kaufman

A River Runs Through It (1992), Directed by Robert Redford

Rocky II (1979), Directed by Sylvester Stallone

Schindler’s List (1993), Directed by Steven Spielberg

The Set-Up (1949), Directed by Robert Wise

Shackleton (2002), Directed by Charles Sturridge

Shall We Dance? (1996), Directed by Masayuki Suo

Stanley & Iris (1990), Directed by Martin Ritt

Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Directed by Robert Wise

A Tale of Two Cities (1935), Directed by Jack Conway

Titanic (1997), Directed by James Cameron

Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), Francis Ford Coppola

Two Days, One Night (2014), Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

You’ve Got Mail (1998), Directed by Nora Ephron

Zelary (2003), Directed by Ondrej Trojan

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What makes a film Great?  That turns out to be (not surprisingly) a subjective thing, which I have attempted to articulate HERE.

Number of Films on this list – 182
Earliest release – 1935
Most recently released – 2014
Span of filmmaking in which the majority of best films were produced – 75 years
My predicted estimate – 91 years

The IMDb has approximately 257,000 theatrically released Feature-length films on record.  In my lifetime (so far) I have managed to screen somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,600 to 1,800 of them.  Among those select few…these are my favorites.

Published on December 14, 2008 at 11:00 am  Leave a Comment  

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