Ghibli Blog Rankings - The 50 Greatest Movies
Yes, Citizen Kane is still number one in this house!
The Sight & Sound 2012 poll of greatest films has been unveiled, which means it's time for everybody to pull out their long lists of favorite movies. And now, after many days of hard work and endless revisions, I present my rankings of the best movies ever made. Short comments follow after the rankings.
Ghibli Blog Rankings - The 50 Greatest Movies
1. Citizen Kane (1941, Orson Welles)
2. Casablanca (1942, Michael Curtiz)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
4. Lawrence of Arabia (1962, David Lean)
5. Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)
6. Star Wars (1977, George Lucas)
7. Duck Soup (1933, Leo McCarey)
8. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Carl Th. Dryer)
9. The Third Man (1949, Carol Reed)
10. Vertigo (1958, Alfred Hitchkock)
11. Omohide Poro Poro (1991, Isao Takahata)
12. Mimi wo Sumaseba (1995, Yoshifumi Kondo)
13. City Lights (1931, Charlie Chaplin)
14. Ran (1986, Akira Kurosawa)
15. Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
16. The Fog of War (2003, Errol Morris)
17. Paths of Glory (1957, Stanley Kubrick)
18. Annie Hall (1977, Woody Allen)
19. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001, Wes Anderson)
20. (tie) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg)
20. (tie) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, Steven Spielberg)
21. The Godfather Parts I & II (1972, 74, Francis Ford Coppola)
22. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee)
23. Rules of the Game (1939, Jean Renoir)
24. Floating Weeds (1959, Yasujiro Ozu)
25. The Big Sleep (1946, Howard Hawks)
26. Nights of Cabiria (1957, Frederico Fellini)
27. Princess Mononoke (1997, Hayao Miyazaki)
28. Porco Rosso (1992, Hayao Miyazaki)
29. The Wizard of Oz (1939, Victor Fleming)
30. Elizabeth (1998, Shekhar Kapur)
31. Metropolis (1926, Fritz Lang)
32. The Searchers (1956, John Ford)
33. Throne of Blood (1957, Akira Kurosawa)
34. Modern Times (1936, Charlie Chaplin)
35. Young Frankenstein (1974, Mel Brooks)
36. Blazing Saddles (1974, Mel Brooks)
37. Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)
38. Yojimbo(1961, Akira Kurosawa)
39. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968, Sergio Leone)
40. Fantasia (1940, Walt Disney)
41. Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (1996, Jim Mallon)
42. Ben-Hur (1959, William Wyler)
43. The Seventh Seal (1957, Ingmar Bergman)
44. Network (1976, Sydney Lumet)
45. Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Leaned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1963, Stanley Kubrick)
46. Gauche the Cellist (1982, Isao Takahata)
47. Night on the Galactic Railroad (1985, Gisaburo Suugi)
48. The Red Shoes (1948, Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger)
49. Beetlejuice (1988, Tim Burton)
50. (tie) Clue (1985, Johnathon Lynn)
50. (tie) Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986, John Hughes)
And now for a few quick thoughts. You fine readers have no idea how many times I've shuffled movies around this list, adding this, dropping that, desperately finding a place to squeeze in The Royal Tenenbaums and Ferris Bueller's Day Off, trying to remember whether I loved or merely liked The Seventh Seal. My mind constantly pulls out wonderful memories, reflective laughs and meditations.
I believe the key was writing a Top 50 list of movies, instead of the standard "Top 10." With a shorter list, one stays careful and overly cautious, wary of giving up a cherished classic. I won't cede Citizen Kane or Casablanca to anyone. However, if I expand my palette to fifty films, a far richer landscape emerges. Now I can embrace the vast history of cinema, honor the earliest classics, and raise the banner for modern pictures that deserve to be honored. I could easily add another fifty movies without blinking an eye. The Shining! La Dolce Vita! F For Fake! Ivan the Terrible! Waking Life! This could go on forever, which is an exhausting thought.
I'm thinking that I should write essays on each individual film on this list, make it a running series. That would give me more time to explore each film in better detail than I can here. Feel free to share your own thoughts and opinions. Enjoy.
Update 8/8/12, 1:11pm - Raiders or Last Crusade? Last Crusade or Raiders?? Which movie Indiana Jones movie takes the #20 spot? This dilemma has consumed me all week, and I cannot pick one film over another. Raiders is grittier, pulpier, has scarier villians, and Karen Allen. Last Crusade has more and better action scenes, is way funnier, and has Sean Connery. Both are, essentially, the same movie, and equally great.
So I'm going to cheat and declare a second mulligan (the first one being the two Godfathers joined together at #21). Raiders and Last Crusade will share the 20th slot, and you can just pick your favorite. Now I'm going to walk away before I really get carried away. This project is finished!
Update #2: 8/9/12 8:40am - More cheating. Marcee and I watched Chaplin's City Lights last night, and I immediately realized my mistake in ranking it so low. It deserves a Top 10 spot, but I can't fit it in, and I want to promote the two Studio Ghibli films, so we'll take 13th Place. This is the final edit, I swear(chuckling)! Thanks for your patience, feel free to hurl wisecracks.
Update #3: 8/9/12 10:20am - Great, I can't read and I can't count. I really should pay Reed Nelson to be my editor. There were two movies at #34, so I've shuffled things around...and we end with yet another mulligan. But it's fitting that a "Top 50 Movies" list would really have 53, in a Calvinball sort of way.