Godin & Barquin’s Cinephile’s Choice: Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time

Recently, the folks over at Sight & Sound compiled their once a decade list of Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time [1]. Over 800 film experts were called upon to present their top ten films, while over 350 directors were asked to submit their own separate lists.

In an attempt to counter these relatively vanilla lists, my good friend Derek and I decided that we would poll a bunch of our fellow film nerds and amateur critics to compile a list of our own. Naturally, certain films overlapped, but overall our list proves to be much more genre friendly and eclectic than Sight & Sound’s.

The forty-two people surveyed were asked to submit ranked top ten lists, and using super secret mathamatical voodoo, we sorted out the top fifty films of the two hundred seventy three submitted. Before we get started, here are a few interesting facts about the tally:

  • While Sight & Sound’s recently dethroned champion Citizen Kane did not appear once on any ballot, Orson Welles landed two films in the ballot (Chimes at Midnight The Trial).
  • Coincidentally, Richard Kelly also landed two films in the ballot, (Donnie Darko and Southland Tales).
  • Steven Spielberg was the most nominated director with seven films on the list, followed by Woody Allen, Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Alfred Hitchcock, and Stanley Kubrick, all of which had five.
  • Ridley Scott triumphed over his brother as usual, as Tony Scott did not place a single film on the list.
  • Sofia Coppola was just one film short of tying with her father Francis Ford Coppola’s three nominated films.
  • Some of the more unlikely films to grace the ballot include: Mean Girls, The Chipmunk Adventure, Pootie Tang, and Taken.
So without further ado, here are the Bottom 25 of our Top 50 Greatest Films of All Time.

50. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1966)
49. In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-wai, 2000)
48. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
47. All About My Mother (Pedro Almodóvar, 1999)
46. Rushmore (Wes Anderson, 1998)
45. Punch-Drunk Love (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2002)
44. The Iron Giant (Brad Bird, 1999)
43. Last Year at Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)
42. The Seventh Seal (Ingmar Bergman, 1957)
41. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
40. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)
39. 3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977)
37. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
37. Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994)
36. Mulholland Dr (David Lynch, 2001)
35. Suspiria (Dario Argento, 1977)
34. Solaris (Andrey Tarkovskiy, 1972)
33. A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)
32. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)
30. Godfather Pt II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
30. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
29. Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927)
28. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
26. Synecdoche, New York (Charlie Kaufman, 2008)
26. Drive (Nicolas Winding Refn, 2011)

Now click through to find out the top twenty-five!

Juan Barquin

Just yer average twenty-something college student with no time on his hands who ends up watching (and writing) too many movies and shows for his own good.

6 Responses

  1. Camiele says:

    How about my heart sorta just sang a little bit when I read this. I have to say, YAM’s lists are always more interesting than anything I’ve ever read… and that’s not just me saying it because I write for YAM. Truly, when it comes to lists, there’s always something that you wouldn’t expect, always something intriguing, and always a sense that this is just a list made of people who ENJOY film, music, whatever, not a list made out of pretentiousness or a desire to be thought of as “high and mighty”.

    I think this list is damn-near perfect. A few of these films I’ve never seen and I feel totally lacking as a result *sigh* However, two films that I would’ve considered are The Exorcist — one of the most beautifully stylistic and certainly most imfluential horror films ever made (I mean, any film that can make people pass out in hysterics and fear being in the same house as its VHS is one powerful piece of cinema) — and The Grave of Fireflies — easily one of the most heartbreaking films ever created of ANY genre.

    But, in any event, your list is beautiful and I’m glad I got the chance to read it!

    • amy says:

      @Camiele, Grave of the Fireflies would have had two votes. xD

      And yeah, I think a list this varied is hard to dispute as it’s at least not boring.

      Thanks for considering me for the vote, Juan. ~~~

      • Camiele says:

        @amy, Awww… HaHa. It’s definitely one of best animated films of all time. Story alone was just completely touching. But, oh well :(

        But I always get excited when that YAM Ranks tag is put into effect!

  2. Ross Birks says:

    Honoured to be a part of this list! I think it’s a great alternative to the often boring and predictable more academic lists and it gives great insight to which films truly capture everyone’s hearts and minds, critics, filmmakers, audiences and bloggers alike. Well done! It would also be interesting to see the individual lists published at some point down the line!

  1. April 10, 2014

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