List this

Didn’t participate but felt like critiquing the Online Film Community’s Top 100 Movies list at Cinema Fusion. I’m late to the game on this, but figured I’d throw my opinion in too. Because rather than stick my neck out on the line, I like to lob spitballs from the back row.

First of all – the Online Film Community? Kind of a vague name for a group of handpicked “movie website journalists and editors”. I guess they’re not technically critics or reviewers. OK, so the common theme is that they comment on movies in general. Isn’t that like 90% of the Internet? Other than the intense political blogger or the focused pornography addict, everyone online talks about movies. I just wish the name meant something to give this list some credibility, because there are some interesting choices on there.

Secondly, I don’t want this list to be Your Father’s Top 100 Movies List, but there’s some awfully silly stuff going on here. Well, see for yourself. Here’s the list – cut-n-pasted for your approval, along with comments by yours truly:

The Online Film Community’s Top 100 Movies

100. Nosferatu (Murnau, 1922) – I like it.
99. Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore, 1988) – nah, it’s a miss for me.
98. On the Waterfront (Kazan, 1954)
97. Blue Velvet (Lynch, 1986) – sentimental favorite, but probably doesn’t belong.
96. Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino, 1992) – no freaking way.
95. His Girl Friday (Hawks, 1940)
94. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Jackson, 2003) – not a fan.
93. Toy Story (Lasseter, 1995) – interesting.
92. Notorious (Hitchcock, 1946)
91. The 400 Blows (Truffaut, 1959) – I like.
90. Ghostbusters (Reitman, 1984)
89. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
88. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (Herzog, 1972) – Interesting. Give me Fitzcarraldo, but I’ll allow it.
87. Leon (Besson, 1994) – interesting.
86. Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958) – sigh, guess I’m one of the few that doesn’t love this sucker.
85. Modern Times (Chaplin, 1936)
84. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Capra, 1939)
83. To Kill a Mockingbird (Mulligan, 1962)
82. The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer, 1962) – I like.
81. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Cameron, 1992) – No, no, no.
80. North by Northwest (Hitchcock, 1959) – Again, no.
79. King Kong (Cooper/Shoedsack, 1933)
78. Manhattan (Allen, 1979)
77. Ed Wood (Burton, 1994) – Huh? I’ll take Big Fish and it still doesn’t make the list.
76. American History X (Kaye, 1998) – NO NO NO
75. The Maltese Falcon (Huston, 1941)
74. Groundhog Day (Ramis, 1993) – I like.
73. The Conversation (Coppola, 1974) – Yep. This is perfectly placed.
72. The Bicycle Thief (De Sica, 1948)
71. The Graduate (Nichols, 1967)
70. Network (Lumet, 1976)
69. Halloween (Carpenter, 1978) – Hmm. Interesting.
68. The Rules of the Game (Renoir, 1939)
67. Do the Right Thing (S. Lee, 1989)
66. Heat (Mann, 1995) – Very interesting.
65. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson, 2001) – Again, my fandom is missing.
64. Aliens (Cameron, 1986)
63. Silence of the Lambs (Demme, 1991)
62. The Incredibles (Bird, 2004) – Probably not this high.
61. A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)
60. The Apartment (Wilder, 1960)
59. The General (Keaton/Bruckman, 1927)
58. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1928)
57. Unforgiven (Eastwood, 1992) – I like.
56. L.A. Confidential (Hanson, 1997) – The only good Curtis Hanson movie, but it’s not this good.
55. 12 Angry Men (Lumet, 1957)
54. The Shining (Kubrick, 1980) – Because you can catch this movie on cable, right?
53. M (Lang, 1931)
52. Memento (Nolan, 2000) – Why is this gimmick of a film more historically forgivable than The Sixth Sense? Or better yet, Diabolique?
51. The Bridge on River Kwai (Lean, 1957)
50. Double Indemnity (Wilder, 1944)
49. The Big Lebowski (J. Coen, 1998) – Doesn’t really belong.
48. Sunset Blvd. (Wilder, 1950)
47. This is Spinal Tap (Reiner, 1984) – Shouldn’t really be on this list.
46. Run Lola Run (Tykwer, 1998) – Wow. Um, it’s good but.. #46 of all time?
45. Goodfellas (Scorsese, 1990)
44. E.T. (Spielberg, 1982)
43. Singin’ in the Rain (Donen/Kelly, 1952)
42. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
41. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Leone, 1966)
40. Raging Bull (Scorsese, 1980)
39. Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone, 1968)
38. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975)
37. The Princess Bride (Reiner, 1987) – NO NO NO. I’m sorry. It’s cute and all, but…
36. The Usual Suspects (Singer, 1995) – Not a huge fan.
35. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Gilliam/Jones, 1975) – Interesting, but not the best Python.
34. Fight Club (Fincher, 1999) – Boy people love a good twist movie. Or Fight Club, for that matter.
33. Brazil (Gilliam, 1985)
32. Annie Hall (W. Allen, 1977)
31. Back to the Future (Zemeckis, 1985)
30. Die Hard (McTiernan, 1988) – Actually, this pick is so ridiculous that I love it.
29. The Third Man (Reed, 1949)
28. The Matrix (Wachowski/Wachowski, 1999) – Feels like I’m in college again – everyone telling me how good this is.
27. The Wizard of Oz (Fleming, 1939)
26. Schindler’s List (Spielberg, 1993)
25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2004) – It’s good, but I don’t think it’s got staying power. It’s a popular pick to represent the 21st century, to add something modern to all the flicks made before the end of the Cold War.
24. Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962)
23. Fargo (Joel and Ethan Coen, 1996)
22. It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946) – Awfully high, doncha think? Of course, it’s on TV every Xmas, so everybody knows it.
21. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
20. Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954)
19. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
18. Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)
17. Rear Window (Hitchcock, 1954)
16. The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont, 1994)
15. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
14. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
13. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Lucas, 1977) – NO, I’m sorry.
12. Chinatown (Polanski, 1974) – Interesting, but too high.
11. Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)

And a top 10 you could have predicted with at least 80% success:

10. Alien (R. Scott, 1979)
9. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Kershner, 1980) – At least it’s the best of the series.
8. The Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974)
7. Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
6. Blade Runner (R. Scott, 1982) – It’s a miss for me.
5. Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942)
4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg, 1981)
3. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Kubrick, 1964)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
1. The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)

Now, I don’t believe that the participants nor the compilers are at fault with such an alternately dull and stupefying list – it’s just a result of such a thing as an online survey, which is hardly scientific or unique. A popular film most stuck at #80 on one’s list could crawl into the top 50 because it would be on everyone’s list, whereas a smaller film will drift off the list entirely because it doesn’t get enough votes. Everyone’s seen Ghostbusters – but has everyone seen Rashomon?

[On a positive note, I’m pleasantly surprised that Field of Dreams is not here. Not that it’s terrible, but like others on this list – it simply doesn’t belong on a list of top 100.]

Truly – I was hoping for some fun or obscure movies making the list. Throw in a Rififi or an Ocean’s Eleven, fine. But stop with the Fight Club already.

Maybe I’m being a stick in the mud, but instead of the Online Approved Movie Commenters List, why don’t we just call this list what it is:

The iMDB top 100.

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Posted on August 7, 2007, in Film news, Web. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The Matrix ranked higher than The Freakin’ Third Man?! Give me a break. This list is only slightly less amusing than the IMDb Top 250.

  2. 50 film bloggers participated, and what — about five of them were women? Yeah, that’s… fair.

  3. philosopherouge

    I’ve commented more than a few times on this list, consensus’ are unfortunately doomed to be uninteresting, and this is one of the worst I’ve seen. C’est la vie.

    Two quick comments on your comments:
    -I agree with you on Cinema Paradiso… I don’t get the love.
    -I’m happy you don’t feel Holy Grail is the best Python, for me Life of Brian betters it in almost every way.

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