the XMDB top 101 films of all time!!!

This is the Xerxes Movie Database's top 100 list, how many of these great films have you seen?  Most of the films on this list will probably seem like cult films of the last 20 years - that may be because I am 30 years old and live mostly in my age.  Some great films have been left of this list, that is because it is the top 100, not the top 1000.  This list was created partially as a response for the IMDB's top 250 films (which gives high ranks to new films and flavorites-of-the-Oscar-season) as well as any other Top Films lists (that always seems to list the same movies - Citizen Kane, Gone with the Wind, etc.).  I like the way the Japanese do it - they regularly put Les Enfants du Paradis as their number one, a film that American critics fail to recognize at all, followed by Roman Holiday.

Somewhat hypocritically, I have attached links to the IMDB record for each film.  Just trying to be helpful...

1 - Betty Blue (French title 37,2 le Matin) - A tragic love story, funny and involving, with excellent performances, stylish direction, and a great soundtrack.
2 - Apartment Zero - A tense homoerotic film noir set in Argentina that nobody really bothered to watch.  An undiscovered classic.
3 - The Third Man - Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in a tale of the bad side of post-war Vienna, a tense tale of friendship gone bad done to perfection.
3.14 - Pi - Surreal math drama kekeps it tense with the baldest psychological terror this side of Eraserhead.
4 - Top Secret! - Elvis impersonator helps the French resistance liberate Nazi East Germany in the '80s.  Absurd, ironic comedy, the best ever.
5 - Roadkill - "A Rock and Roll Movie About a Girl Who Learns How To Drive."  Guerilla film-making creates the best Canadian road movie ever.
6 - Cube - Six unsympathetic protagonists locked in a death-dealing cube.  Why are they there?  Endless irony.
7 - Ring - Japanese horror about a cursed video tape.  One of the best psychological horrors ever.  Watch it at home.
8 - Casablanca - Lots of classics don't make this list, but a list without Casablanca fails to get the point.  See it again.
9 - the Usual Suspects - Heist-gone-wrong movie so involving and complex, you can't just watch it once.
10 - Life is Beautiful - A holocaust movie like none other.
11 - Lawrence of Arabia - The classic film that just goes on and on and on...  The desert has never been made this enticing.
12 - 12 Angry Men - Twelve men, all with intense characters and compelling histories, on a jury to decide the life and death of one unfortunate kid.
13 - Down By Law - Three losers interact in jail, then break out.  The dialogue is tops.  Watch all of Jim Jarmush's other films as well, particularly Night On Earth.
14 - Vertigo - A stylish mystery of love and death and mistaken identity by the master, Alfred Hitchcock.
15 - L.A. Confidential - Tense cop drama in '50s L.A. dealing with tense, complex characters involved in heavy intrigues.  Wow!
16 - the Matrix - A head scratcher, but since everybody's already seen it...
17 - M - German director Fritz Lang's first talking picture shows a lynch mob corner a child-murderer like a rat.  Nothing since has come close.
18 - THX-1138 - George Lucas' not-so-famous movie, starring Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasance trapped in a white underground surreality they can't escape.
19 - Fight Club - David Fincher, finally lightening up and living up to his expectations by making a black comedy about suicidal men who plot destruction.
20 - Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers - Claymation done right for the first time in years, Gromit is the best mute genius of a dog since Brain.
21 - the Wizard of Oz - The film that everybody has seen and sung to is still beyond reproach.
22 - the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - epic tale of bad men searching for gold who come across the sad waste of the American Civil War...
23 - Sunset Blvd. - Perhaps one of the best narrated tales ever, a black comedy showing the slight rise and fall of a faceless Hollywood hack.
24 - All About Eve - Bette Davis is fantastic, and so is everybody else in this tense comedy about the quest for fame in Hollywood.
25 - Apocalypse Now - Epic film showing what we expect of war - insanity! And try to also see Apocalypse Pooh! if you can.
26 - Monty Python and the Holy Grail - If you haven't seen it, you should know that this movie is very funny and - contary to popular belief - rather quotable.
27 - the Manchurian Candidate - Intense cold war oedipal drama about brain washed army freaks.  Out of this world.  Frank Sinatra at his most penetrating.
28 - Reservoir Dogs - Tense, tense, tense, tense.  Great dialogue, fantastic situations, it might actually really happen to a group of thieves one day.
29 - Alien - The perfect idea, the best setting, the firat and only time it was really done right.
30 - Fargo - A compelling story about truly horrible people, the movie that shouldn't have been great but was.  Watch the other Coen brothers films too.
31 - Leon - The tale of the sympathetic child-man unstoppable assassin and his little friend, stellar performances by all and just the right heavy directorial touch.
32 - the Straight Story - A great film about an old man on the road, containing just the right balance of tender sentiment and life angst.
33 - Mononoke Hime - maybe not Miyazaki Hayao's best film (try to see them all), but one of the best marriages of story, image, and animation out there.
34 - Glory - A Civil War film about a black battalion that makes you want to join in.
35 - Full Metal Jacket - Kubrick's Vietnam film is chock full of memorable scenes, particularly the opening.  The sound-bite film.
36 - Rebecca - Hitchcock doing old film noir about the ghost of the dead wife.
37 - the Shining - A great Kubrick film of a great story with a great actor and an even better mountain-top setting.
38 - Manhattan - Woody Allen is a fine director with good ideas.  Watch either the touching Manhattan or the hilarous, innovative Annie Hall.
39 - Ben-Hur - If you only watch one gladiator movie, watch this one.
40 - Gone with the Wind - The movie that gives romance novels a good name.
41 - Metropolis - A vision of the world as it never turned out, beautiful magic nonetheless and a joy to watch.
42 - Cool Hand Luke - A fine, fine film about a guy called Luke who can really eat eggs.  Paul Newman in his finest form.
43 - the Wild Bunch - I haven't seen this film yet, but I just know it should be on my list between Cool Hand Luke and the Sweet Hereafter.
44 - the Sweet Hereafter - Compelling characters, great acting and directing, perfect story, bitter irony.  See this and all of Atom Egoyan's other films.
45 - Once Upon A Time In America - Epic tale of gangster America, sweepingly beautiful, James Woods and DeNiro at their best, and Sergio Leone's last film.
56 - Forrest Gump - I don't care what anybody says, I like this capsule of recent American history and I like Forrest Gump himself.  Gump way better than Garp.
47 - Witness for the Prosecution - Court drama with Marlene Dietrich that still has the power to keep everyone guessing.
48 - the Fugitive - Harrison Ford finally puts in a good performance again in this justified remake of the tense '60s TV show.
49 - Raise High The Red Lantern - Intoxicatingly beautiful, this tale of a lowly fourth wife is an imperialistic metaphor for modern China.
50 - Trainspotting - Brisk pacing and an excellent style marry a novel perfectly with the medium of images.
51 - As Good As It Gets - Jack Nicholson puts in a performance that is as good as it gets about the guy we love to hate.
52 - Twelve Monkeys - Great set design, fine performances by all three leads, building dread, deep thoughts.  Expands on "la Jetee" very nicely.
53 - Fucking Åmål - How did this get here?
54 - X-Men - Perhaps the best comic book adaptation yet, and a pretty good character development exercise too.
55 - Bonnie and Clyde - Faye Dunaway.  Wow.
56 - Miller's Crossing - A gangster movie about a mob killer trying to figure it out.  Similar films on this list, but I just love it when they do it right.
57 - Roman Holiday - Audrey Hepburn is gorgeous, Gregory Peck is a prince, therefore everybody should love this film.
58 - King Kong - The original 1933 Kong has everything anybody would need in it, a surprise considering how old it is.  Still a rival tofilms like Jurassic Park.
59 - Swingers - Crackling dialogue and surreal/funny situations give this film a life of its own.
60 - Dog Day Afternoon - Al Pacino in one of his best movies, a tense/wacky heist-gone-wrong film (there are so many, but...) that will never die!
61 - Being There - Chance the Butler is so subtle he may be one of the best movie characters of all time.
62 - the Birds - Hitchcock's film about the enemy around us is actually quite surreal, but we love it for the great characters.
63 - A Charlie Brown Christmas - groovy tunes, surreality, and Snoopy.
64 - A Fish Called Wanda - A heist-gone-wrong film full of hilarious situations and great characters.  A very funny film.
65 - the Phantom of Liberty - Luis Bunuel created this omnibus of visual gags and short film.  When watching, keep in mind that truth is still stranger than fiction.
66 - Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia - Sam Peckinpah tour-de-force of a hitman's mission to stay alive in a deadly world.
67 - Twin Peaks - We have over 20 hours of this stylish/surreal murder drama/black comedy to enjoy, and it is all good.
68 - the Hunger - The vampire film that everybody wrote off, Catherine Deneuve and David Bowie do way better than Anne Rice.
69 - Midnight Express - Another underrated film, Robert DeNiro and Charles Grodin both near their career best.
70 - Carlito's Way - And yet another underrated film, this bad-guy-tryingi-to-do-good gets it all right, even if it is directed by Brian DePalma.
71 - Bitter Moon - Thank you, Roman Polanski, for this dismal tale of true love and it's direst consequences.
72 - Rosemary's Baby - Thank you, Roman Polanski, for this dismal tale of motherhood and it's direst consequences.
73 - Xiu Xiu - the Sent Down Girl - Joan Chen directorial debut about the most beautiful teenage girl in '60s Cultural Revolution China, lost in the wilds.
74 - Mildred Pierce - Joan Crawford career best performance in a compelling tale of rich people who cannot be happy.
75 - Pee Wee's Big Adventure - One of the funniest movies around, and Tim Burton's only good movie.  Bring Pee Wee back!  
76 - Kalifornia - Edgy, tense thriller done right about four people on the road, one of them a serial killer.  Brad Pitt puts in a fine, fine performance.
77 - Buffalo 66 - Another performance that is as good as it gets about the guy we love to hate, this time done stylishly with Christina Ricci, Angelica Huston.
78 - the Beguiled - An evil, manipulative Clint Eastwood Civil War drama in a convent, psychologically fascinating.
79 - A Perfect World - Another Clint Eastwood film, this time with Kevin Costner on the run and bonding with a kid.  Costner's career best.
80 - Wittgenstein - Vague scenes from the life of my favorite philosopher.  I love this movie as other people hate it.
81 - Irma Vep - Beautiful, stylistic black and white film starring Maggie Cheung in France making a movie.  Best use of a Sonic Youth song for cathartic ending.
82 - Bound - Lesbians rip off the mob and create a dramatic situation.  Sexy, smart, stylish, compelling.
83 - Breaking the Waves - Beautiful cinematography in rural Ireland and tense, edgy acting make this dramatic film a great metaphor for the miracles of Christ.
84 - Canadian Bacon - Great comedy about the natural animosity that Canadians and Americans have for each other.
85 - Innocent Blood - Vampire comedy/action-drama with the fabulous Anne Parrigou and the inspired madness of Robert Loggia and Don Rickles.
86 - the Big Lebowski - Comedy so subtle you might not notice how hilarous and ironic it is, and just think it's stupid.
87 - Map of the Human Heart - Sweeping, epic tale of Inuit boy who does good in World War 2, culminating with wild sex on a huge balloon.
88 - the Blue Angel - Early German morality play with Marlene Dietrich gets mood and drama and wicked manipulation down just right in black and white.
89 - A Woman Under the Influence - Peter Falk as a concerned husband fearing wife Gena Rowland's insanity, plodding and uncertain yet full of genius.
90 - Jacob's Ladder - Tense, scary, surreal mystery drama about a Vietnam war vet who is either losing his mind or his soul.
91 - Let's Get Lost - Black and white documentary on the final days in the life of Chet Baker, beautiful and breezy.
92 - What Happened to Baby Jane - Scary psycho-drama about two strange sisters.  Surely we all know someone just like the adult Baby Jane?
93 - Vampire's Kiss - A film entirely centered on Nicolas Cage's most manic performance as a yuppie who believes he is (or is he?) a vampire.
94 - the Lost Highway - Surreal back and forth between Bill Pullman and Balthasar Getty is the strangest film David Lynch has done since Eraserhead.
95 - Shallow Grave - A tense film about murder between friends where money is also involved.  Actually, tense doesn't even begin to describe it...
96 - the Shawshank Redemption - Tim Robbins is usually good, here he is great as the nerd who does good in prison.  What a bustout!
97 - Kikujiro no Natsu - Takeshi helps a kid by taking him on the road to find his mother.  Touching and funny.
98 - Deep River - Love and existential doubt in India.  Mifune Toshiro's last performance.  Based on the fantastic novel by Endo Shosaku.
99 - Speaking Parts - Video used effectively in film, as grieving sister mourns her dead brother on several levels.  Also sexy, surreal, cold as steel, sharp as a knife.
100 - Jesus of Montreal - one of the best Canadian movies ever made, and a metaphor of a modern life of Christ, double (see also #83).  Should actually be #1.
101 - Wild at Heart - Wild indeed; disturbing too and with one memorable image after another.

These pictueres also belong on this list, but I can't really figure out where to fit them in.  :

Swallowtail Butterfly  - a stylish Japanese film about foreigners living in an Interzone who get involved in pop music and other conspiracies.  Fantastic.
Any John Waters film.  They're all good, although I have a soft spot for Crybaby and Pecker.  Maybe John directs male heart-throbs well.
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email: Peter Höflichall writing copyright Peter Hoflich, 2000