102 Greatest Films by filmsite

"The Greatest Films can't be measured scientifically because greatness is extremely subjective. The artistic greatness of films (and other works of art) can never be rated or quantified, although critics, reviewers, and fans still make ten best lists, hundred best lists, all-time greatest lists, favorites lists, awards lists, and generate results of polls. Over a long period of time, it has been found that the English-language films found here in this selection of 100 Greatest Films repeatedly appear on all-time best film lists and are often noted in the collective responses of film viewers."

- filmsite


Weight: 50


Detractions

  1. Single author (-50)

Films (102)

1. Pulp Fiction

Directed by Quentin Tarantino | Rated R | 154 min | 1994

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.


2. The Shawshank Redemption

Directed by Frank Darabont | Rated R | 142 min | 1994

Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency.


3. Schindler's List

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated R | 195 min | 1993

In German-occupied Poland during World War II, Oskar Schindler gradually becomes concerned for his Jewish workforce after witnessing their persecution by the Nazi Germans.


4. Blade Runner

Directed by Ridley Scott | Rated R | 117 min | 1982

A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.


5. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated PG | 115 min | 1982

A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world.


6. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

Directed by Irvin Kershner | Rated PG | 124 min | 1980

After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke.


7. Raging Bull

Directed by Martin Scorsese | Rated R | 129 min | 1980

An emotionally self-destructive boxer's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.


8. Apocalypse Now

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola | Rated R | 153 min | 1979

During the Vietnam War, Captain Willard is sent on a dangerous mission into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade colonel who has set himself up as a god among a local tribe.


9. Annie Hall

Directed by Woody Allen | Rated PG | 93 min | 1977

Neurotic New York comedian Alvy Singer falls in love with the ditzy Annie Hall.


10. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

Directed by George Lucas | Rated PG | 121 min | 1977

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.


11. Taxi Driver

Directed by Martin Scorsese | Rated R | 113 min | 1976

A mentally unstable Vietnam War veteran works as a night-time taxi driver in New York City where the perceived decadence and sleaze feeds his urge for violent action, attempting to save a preadolescent prostitute in the process.


12. Jaws

Directed by Steven Spielberg | Rated PG | 124 min | 1975

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and a grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.


13. Nashville

Directed by Robert Altman | Rated R | 159 min | 1975

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.


14. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

Directed by Milos Forman | Rated R | 133 min | 1975

A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.


15. Chinatown

Directed by Roman Polanski | Rated R | 130 min | 1974

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.


16. The Godfather: Part II

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola | Rated R | 202 min | 1974

The early life and career of Vito Corleone in 1920s New York is portrayed while his son, Michael, expands and tightens his grip on his crime syndicate stretching from Lake Tahoe, Nevada to pre-revolution 1958 Cuba.


17. The Godfather

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola | Rated R | 175 min | 1972

The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son.


18. Easy Rider

Directed by Dennis Hopper | Rated R | 95 min | 1969

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.


19. Midnight Cowboy

Directed by John Schlesinger | Rated X | 113 min | 1969

A naive hustler goes to New York to seek personal fortune but in the process finds himself a new friend.


20. The Wild Bunch

Directed by Sam Peckinpah | Rated R | 145 min | 1969

An aging group of outlaws look for one last big score as the "traditional" American West is disappearing around them.


21. 2001: A Space Odyssey

Directed by Stanley Kubrick | Rated G | 149 min | 1968

Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.


22. Bonnie and Clyde

Directed by Arthur Penn | 111 min | 1967

A somewhat romanticized account of the career of the notoriously violent bank robbing couple and their gang.


23. The Graduate

Directed by Mike Nichols | 106 min | 1967

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.


24. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Directed by Mike Nichols | Rated TV-MA | 131 min | 1966

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.


25. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Directed by Stanley Kubrick | Rated PG | 95 min | 1964

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically try to stop.


26. Lawrence of Arabia

Directed by David Lean | Rated PG | 216 min | 1962

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and lead the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.


27. To Kill a Mockingbird

Directed by Robert Mulligan | 129 min | 1962

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice.


28. West Side Story

Directed by Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | 152 min | 1961

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.


29. Psycho

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | Rated R | 109 min | 1960

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.


30. Ben-Hur

Directed by William Wyler | Rated G | 212 min | 1959

When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.


31. North by Northwest

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | 136 min | 1959

A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.


32. Some Like It Hot

Directed by Billy Wilder | 120 min | 1959

When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.


33. Touch of Evil

Directed by Orson Welles | Rated PG-13 | 95 min | 1958

A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town.


34. Vertigo

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | Rated PG | 128 min | 1958

A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.


35. The Bridge on the River Kwai

Directed by David Lean | Rated PG | 161 min | 1957

After settling his differences with a Japanese PoW camp commander, a British colonel co-operates to oversee his men's construction of a railway bridge for their captors - while oblivious to a plan by the Allies to destroy it.


36. Paths of Glory

Directed by Stanley Kubrick | 88 min | 1957

After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.


37. The Searchers

Directed by John Ford | 119 min | 1956

A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe.


38. The Night of the Hunter

Directed by Charles Laughton, Robert Mitchum, Terry Sanders | 92 min | 1955

A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery.


39. Rebel Without a Cause

Directed by Nicholas Ray | Rated PG-13 | 111 min | 1955

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.


40. On the Waterfront

Directed by Elia Kazan | 108 min | 1954

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.


41. Rear Window

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | 112 min | 1954

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.


42. A Star Is Born

Directed by George Cukor | 154 min | 1954

A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.


43. Roman Holiday

Directed by William Wyler | 118 min | 1953

A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome.


44. Shane

Directed by George Stevens | 118 min | 1953

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.


45. High Noon

Directed by Fred Zinnemann | Rated PG | 85 min | 1952

A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him.


46. The Quiet Man

Directed by John Ford | 129 min | 1952

A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love.


47. Singin' in the Rain

Directed by Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | 103 min | 1952

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.


48. The African Queen

Directed by John Huston | Rated PG | 105 min | 1951

In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.


49. An American in Paris

Directed by Vincente Minnelli | 113 min | 1951

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.


50. A Streetcar Named Desire

Directed by Elia Kazan | Rated PG | 122 min | 1951

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.


51. All About Eve

Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz | 138 min | 1950

An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.


52. Sunset Boulevard

Directed by Billy Wilder | 110 min | 1950

A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity.


53. The Third Man

Directed by Carol Reed | 93 min | 1949

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.


54. Letter from an Unknown Woman

Directed by Max Ophüls | 86 min | 1948

A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall.


55. Red River

Directed by Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | 133 min | 1948

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.


56. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Directed by John Huston | 126 min | 1948

Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.


57. Out of the Past

Directed by Jacques Tourneur | 97 min | 1947

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.


58. The Best Years of Our Lives

Directed by William Wyler | 172 min | 1946

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.


59. The Big Sleep

Directed by Howard Hawks | 114 min | 1946

Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.


60. It's a Wonderful Life

Directed by Frank Capra | Rated PG | 130 min | 1946

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.


61. My Darling Clementine

Directed by John Ford | 97 min | 1946

A Western retelling the tale of the Shoot-out at the OK Corral.


62. Notorious

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | 101 min | 1946

A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?


63. Double Indemnity

Directed by Billy Wilder | 107 min | 1944

An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.


64. Meet Me in St. Louis

Directed by Vincente Minnelli | 113 min | 1944

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.


65. Casablanca

Directed by Michael Curtiz | Rated PG | 102 min | 1942

In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications.


66. The Magnificent Ambersons

Directed by Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | 88 min | 1942

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.


67. Yankee Doodle Dandy

Directed by Michael Curtiz | 126 min | 1942

A film of the life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.


68. Citizen Kane

Directed by Orson Welles | 119 min | 1941

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.


69. The Lady Eve

Directed by Preston Sturges | 94 min | 1941

A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, till one of them falls in love with him.


70. The Maltese Falcon

Directed by John Huston | 100 min | 1941

A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.


71. Fantasia

Directed by James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Rated G | 125 min | 1940

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.


72. The Grapes of Wrath

Directed by John Ford | 129 min | 1940

A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.


73. His Girl Friday

Directed by Howard Hawks | 92 min | 1940

A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying.


74. The Philadelphia Story

Directed by George Cukor | 112 min | 1940

When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.


75. Rebecca

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock | 130 min | 1940

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.


76. Gone with the Wind

Directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Sam Wood | Rated G | 238 min | 1939

A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War.


77. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

Directed by Frank Capra | 129 min | 1939

A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.


78. Ninotchka

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch | 110 min | 1939

A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.


79. Stagecoach

Directed by John Ford | 96 min | 1939

A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.


80. The Wizard of Oz

Directed by Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | 102 min | 1939

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.


81. Wuthering Heights

Directed by William Wyler | 104 min | 1939

A servant in the house of Wuthering Heights tells a traveler the unfortunate tale of lovers Cathy and Heathcliff.


82. The Adventures of Robin Hood

Directed by Michael Curtiz, William Keighley | Rated PG | 102 min | 1938

When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.


83. Bringing Up Baby

Directed by Howard Hawks | 102 min | 1938

While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.


84. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Directed by William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | 83 min | 1937

Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen soon learns of this and prepares to feed her a poison apple.


85. Modern Times

Directed by Charles Chaplin | Rated G | 87 min | 1936

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.


86. The Bride of Frankenstein

Directed by James Whale | 75 min | 1935

Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.


87. A Night at the Opera

Directed by Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | 96 min | 1935

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.


88. Top Hat

Directed by Mark Sandrich | 101 min | 1935

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.


89. It Happened One Night

Directed by Frank Capra | 105 min | 1934

A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.


90. Duck Soup

Directed by Leo McCarey | 68 min | 1933

Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.


91. 42nd Street

Directed by Lloyd Bacon | 89 min | 1933

A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a chorus girl has to replace the star.


92. King Kong

Directed by Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | 100 min | 1933

A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal giant gorilla who takes a shine to their female blonde star. Then he's captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.


93. Trouble in Paradise

Directed by Ernst Lubitsch | 83 min | 1932

A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.


94. City Lights

Directed by Charles Chaplin | 87 min | 1931

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.


95. All Quiet on the Western Front

Directed by Lewis Milestone | 136 min | 1930

A young soldier faces profound disillusionment in the soul-destroying horror of World War I.


96. The Crowd

Directed by King Vidor | 98 min | 1928

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.


97. Sunrise

Directed by F.W. Murnau | 94 min | 1927

A married farmer falls under the spell of a slatternly woman from the city, who tries to convince him to drown his wife.


98. The General

Directed by Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton | 67 min | 1926

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.


99. The Gold Rush

Directed by Charles Chaplin | 95 min | 1925

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.


100. Greed

Directed by Erich von Stroheim | 140 min | 1924

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.


101. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages

Directed by D.W. Griffith | 197 min | 1916

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.


102. The Birth of a Nation

Directed by D.W. Griffith | 165 min | 1915

The American Civil War divides friends and destroys families, but that's nothing compared to the anarchy in the black-ruled South after the war.