This is the next batch of 50 films counting down my Top 1000 Films of All-Time.  The films down through Footlight Parade all earn an 86 while the rest of them earn an 87, which is high ***.5.  I recommend reading the introduction first.  For the previous installments, click on the Top 1000 among the tags at the top of the post.

#900

Die Ehe der Maria Braun
(The Marriage of Maria Braun)

  • Director:  Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  New Yorker Films
  • Year:  1979
  • Country:  West Germany  (German)
  • Major Awards:  Actress (NH), Foreign (NH, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $8,144 (ri)
  • WW Gross:  $9,061  (ri)
  • Entry Rank:  #425
  • TSPDT Rank:  #637
  • The Film:  Fassbinder’s best film is the story of a woman in post-war Germany trying to adapt to changing times.  Oddly not submitted to the Oscars, it has a powerhouse performance from Hanna Schygulla as a woman whose marriage to a soldier is interrupted and so she becomes the mistress of a rich industralist.

#899

Madame De…
(The Earrings of Madame De…)

  • Director:  Max Ophüls
  • Genre:  Drama  (Costume)
  • Distributor:  Arlan Pictures
  • Year:  1953  (OE: 1954)
  • Country:  France  (French)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #191
  • The Film:  Not the best film of Max Ophüls (he’ll have one more in the Top 1000) but a very good story of what happens when a beautiful woman sells a pair of earrings given to her by her husband and the long fall-out that comes of it.

#898

The Collector

  • Director:  William Wyler
  • Genre:  Drama  (Lit Adaptation)
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  1965
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, GG), Director (NH, AA, GG), A Screenplay (NH, AA, WGA, GG), Actress (NH, AA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $7,700,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #301
  • The Film:  John Fowles’ fantastic short novel becomes a taught thriller with a disturbing performance from Terence Stamp and a desperate one from Samantha Eggar.  Full review can be found here.  The last of William Wyler’s amazing twelve Oscar nominations.  This is actually his first film in the countdown (four films got knocked off over the years) but not only will he have a bunch more, but he was Oscar nominated for all of them.

#897

Blade Runner

  • Director:  Ridley Scott
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi  (Technology)
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  1982
  • Country:  United States
  • N.A. Gross:  $32,868,943
  • WW Gross:  $41,492,614
  • Entry Rank:  #452
  • TSPDT Rank:  #37
  • The Film:  As mentioned in my full review of the film, it can be hard to write about this film because I think it’s really good but not great and many people (just look at the TSPDT rank) think it’s great.  Not the people who give out awards (no major nominations) or pay for tickets (it didn’t make the Top 25 for the year and barely grossed more than Airplane II) but the kind of people who make up lists like TSPDT.  And it is a visionary film, a great melding of Dick’s ideas with a fascinating cinematic vision.  The first of five Ridley Scott films on the list.

#896

L’Atalante

  • Director:  Jean Vigo
  • Genre:  Drama  (Romance)
  • Distributor:  Cine Classics
  • Year:  1934  (OE: 1947)
  • Country:  France  (French)
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #58
  • TSPDT Rank:  #18
  • The Film:  Okay, if the critics that TSPDT uses for its lists are pushing Blade Runner too high then what about L’Atalante being in the Top 20?  It’s a really good film, a romantic drama about on board a boat but I’m always kind of amazed when it rates this high.

#895

Ju Dou

  • Director:  Zhang Yimou
  • Genre:  Drama  (Tragedy)
  • Distributor:  Miramax
  • Year:  1990  (OE: 1991)
  • Country:  China  (Mandarin)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,986,433
  • Entry Rank:  #544
  • The Film:  One of the first films of Zhang Yimou and one that really shows how good he is with his characters, how great he is with color on screen and what a brilliant rapport he has with his continual star, Gong Li.  The second Yimou film on the list but it’s going to be over 400 spots before we get to another one.

#894

Como agua para chocolate
(Like Water for Chocolate)

  • Director:  Alfonso Arau
  • Genre:  Drama  (Romance)
  • Distributor:  Miramax
  • Year:  1992  (OE: 1993)
  • Country:  Mexico  (Spanish)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, BAFTA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $21,665,468
  • WW Gross:  $21,744,201  (ic)
  • Entry Rank:  #570
  • The Film:  A good (but slim) book makes for a really good romance that covers a long period of time and follows a family through their travails when it comes to both fortune and food.  Fully reviewed here.  The highest grossing foreign film ever released in the States at the time (still in the Top 20 today) and one of the sad number of films in the Top 1000 submitted for Best Foreign Film at the Oscars and yet not even nominated.

#893

The Night of the Hunter

  • Director:  Charles Laughton
  • Genre:  Horror
  • Distributor:  United Artists
  • Year:  1955
  • Country:  United States
  • Major Awards:  Actor (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $654,000  (ri)
  • Entry Rank:  #214
  • TSPDT Rank:  #43
  • The Film:  Clearly we’re in the range here of films I think are really good but others think are among the best ever which means I probably don’t need to say much.  An unforgettable performance from Robert Mitchum as the evil step-father just looking to find a fortune.

#892

Breaking the Waves

  • Director:  Lars von Trier
  • Genre:  Drama  (Tragedy)
  • Distributor:  October Films
  • Year:  1996
  • Country:  Denmark
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG, NSFC), Director (NYFC, NSFC), Actress (NH, AA, BAFTA, GG, NYFC, NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $3,803,298
  • Entry Rank:  #623
  • TSPDT Rank:  #203
  • The Film:  What a hell of a film debut.  Emily Watson reminded me (physically) of Tori Amos when I first saw her but her acting was all her own.  I had no idea, given how powerfully I responded to this film, how much I would hate most of the rest of von Trier’s work.

#891

Swimming Pool

  • Director:  Francois Ozon
  • Genre:  Suspense
  • Distributor:  Universal (Focus Features)
  • Year:  2003
  • Country:  France  (English / French)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (BFCA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $10,130,108
  • WW Gross:  $22,441,497
  • Entry Rank:  #744
  • The Film:  I actually first saw Ludivine Sagnier as the sexual dynamo in this film before I saw her as the adorable younger sister in 8 Women (both films made me a big fan of Ozon though they are his only ones to actually make the Top 1000) and I wasn’t prepared for her there after seeing what she does here.  It’s a mystery of a film with an interesting clue at the end (I remember Roger Ebert writing about that) and shows how much better the French can deal with sexuality on film.

#890

In a Lonely Place

  • Director:  Nicholas Ray
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  1950
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Actor (NH), S. Actress (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #163
  • TSPDT Rank:  #265
  • The Film:  Nicholas Ray is a director I often find to be over-rated but he does have this film and one undisputed masterpiece aside from it.  I doubt even Treasure of the Sierra Madre prepared people for Bogie’s disturbed screenwriter which is probably why this was completely ignored in terms of awards attention.  A full review is here.

#889

High Sierra

  • Director:  Raoul Walsh
  • Genre:  Crime  (Gangster)
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  1941
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Director (NH), A Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #104
  • The Film:  One of two 1941 films that finally catapulted Bogie to stardom after a decade in films and rightfully so as the desperate thief Roy Earle who can’t help but find himself on the wrong side of everything.  Fully reviewed here.  Raoul Walsh was a talented director but this is actually his only film in the Top 1000.

#888

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried

  • Director:  Fritz Lang
  • Genre:  Fantasy
  • Distributor:  UFA
  • Year:  1924
  • Country:  Germany  (German)
  • Entry Rank:  #12
  • The Film:  Lang had five films between #1001 and #1500 and two more lower on the list but this is his first appearance in the Top 1000 (and his only one until the Top 500).  It’s the first of a two-part film (the second one ranked at #1249) that tell the epic fantasy German tale of Die Nibelungen.  One of the very few early Fantasy epics.

#887

Footlight Parade

  • Director:  Lloyd Bacon
  • Genre:  Musical
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  1933
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Entry Rank:  #52
  • The Film:  From the same director and in the same genre as the insanely over-rated 42nd Street but that film was nominated for Best Picture and bizarrely is judged a classic while this film is completely over-looked (its lack of an Oscar nominations or a place on TSPDT is why I didn’t see it until the 2010s).  A fantastic behind the scenes look at the days of live shows at movie houses with a brilliantly snarky James Cagney.  A full review is forthcoming in the 1930s post.

#886

My Favorite Year

  • Director:  Richard Benjamin
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1982
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG), Screenplay (NH, WGA), Actor (GG), S. Actress (GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $20,123,620
  • Entry Rank:  #445
  • The Film:  From prologues before movies to live acting in early television.  Peter O’Toole brilliantly proclaims that he can’t go on live: “I’m not an actor, I’m a movie star!”  But it’s much more than just O’Toole’s performance; it’s a great look at a long-lost era.

#885

The Twelve Chairs

  • Director:  Mel Brooks
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  UMC Pictures
  • Year:  1970
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), A Screenplay (NH, WGA), S. Actor (NH, NBR)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,806,258
  • Entry Rank:  #332
  • The Film:  When people talk about the brilliant early Mel Brooks work this is often, inexplicably, left out.  It’s a brilliantly funny adaptation of a classic Russian novel and it actually fits better with The Producers than the later parodies do.  Fully reviewed here.

#884

In the Valley of Elah

  • Director:  Paul Haggis
  • Genre:  Mystery
  • Distributor:  Warner Brothers (WiP)
  • Year:  2007
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Actor (AA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $6,777,741
  • WW Gross:  $29,541,790
  • Entry Rank:  #824
  • The Film:  In some ways, an interesting twist on the buddy cop film because it twists all of these things: it isn’t a comedy, one is a female while is a retired male and the crime they’re trying to solve is the disappearance of his son.  But it also fits in with two mismatched people who must find a way to solve the crime.  After his Crash won Best Picture this film proved Haggis could be a solid filmmaker though all his work after this disproved that.

#883

Radio Days

  • Director:  Woody Allen
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  Orion
  • Year:  1987
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Screenplay (WGA, AA, BAFTA), S. Actress (BAFTA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $14,792,779
  • Entry Rank:  #490
  • The Film:  Woody Allen takes a nostalgic look back at the golden era of radio, when listening to certain shows was a reason to be home in the evening but also pulls the curtains on what’s going on at the stations as well.  Overlooked at times because it was his first film following the amazing string of Broadway Danny Rose, Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah and Her Sisters.

#882

…and justice for all

  • Director:  Norman Jewison
  • Genre:  Drama  (Courtroom)
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  1979
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (AA), Actor (NH, AA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $33,300,000
  • Entry Rank:  #415
  • The Film:  Because of his Best Picture nominations, I doubt many think of this as Norman Jewison’s second best film (three of those nominated films were on the list but below #1000) but it is.  The last of Pacino’s great performances of the 70s and his last Oscar nomination for over a decade as he turned into a ham after this.

#881

In Bruges

  • Director:  Martin McDonagh
  • Genre:  Crime  (Black Comedy)
  • Distributor:  Universal  (Focus Features)
  • Year:  2008
  • Country:  Ireland
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG), Screenplay (AA, BAFTA), Actor (GG, GG), S. Actor (BAFTA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $7,800,824
  • WW Gross:  $34,085,749
  • Entry Rank:  #833
  • TSPDT Rank:  #515 (21-C)
  • The Film:  Almost a decade after Tigerland, Colin Farrell suddenly remembers that he actually knows how to act.  It’s a brilliant and very dark comedy about a hitman forced to hide out in Bruges and can’t stand it (something few others would complain about).  Far better than McDonagh’s later overrated Three Billboards and after years of playing Voldemort, this films allows Fiennes to get in some laughs with his villainy.

#880

Limbo

  • Director:  John Sayles
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Columbia  (Screen Gems)
  • Year:  1999
  • Country:  U.S.
  • N.A. Gross:  $2,160,710
  • Entry Rank:  #658
  • The Film:  Though John Sayles only has one masterpiece, he has made a lot of great (four films) and very good (four more films that didn’t make the Top 1000) films.  This one is poised between them, dealing with three people who end up trapped on an Alaskan island after a drug deal gone wrong with the requisite tension that supplies.

#879

Edward Scissorhands

  • Director:  Tim Burton
  • Genre:  Fantasy
  • Distributor:  20th Century-Fox
  • Year:  1990
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Actor (GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $56,362,352
  • WW Gross:  $86,024,005
  • Entry Rank:  #534
  • TSPDT Rank:  #678
  • The Film:  Veronica won’t be happy that Big Fish, one of her favorite films, is one of two Burton films off the list (Sleepy Hollow is the other).  This is the first of six Burton films that do make the list, a wondrous fantasy that also began a very productive working relationship with Johnny Depp.

#878

Primary Colors

  • Director:  Mike Nichols
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Satire)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1998
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  A Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, BAFTA), Actor (GG), Actress (NH), S. Actor (NH, BFCA), S. Actress (NH, AA, SAG, BAFTA, GG, BFCA, CFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $39,001,187
  • WW Gross:  $52,090,187
  • Entry Rank:  #643
  • The Film:  The fantastic Mark Harris has a biography of Mike Nicholas coming next year.  In the meantime, remind yourself that he had three films that didn’t quite make the list (The Birdcage, Silkwood, Carnal Knowledge) and this is the first of five that did make it.  Nichols and his long time co-star and friend Elaine May took the hack job on Clinton by that piece of shit Joe Klein and turned into deft, funny political satire with great acting all around.

#877

Star Trek: First Contact

  • Director:  Jonathan Frakes
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi  (Star Trek)
  • Distributor:  Paramount
  • Year:  1996
  • Country:  U.S.
  • N.A. Gross:  $92,027,888
  • WW Gross:  $146,027,888
  • Entry Rank:  #613
  • The Film:  The second best of the Star Trek films and by a long ways the best of the Next Generation films.  Kirk had Khan but Picard has the Borg and we get the time travel of the fourth film thrown in as well.  It’s always been ironic that the two best Star Trek films have been about revenge.  A full review can be found here.

#876

The General

  • Director:  John Boorman
  • Genre:  Crime  (True Crime)
  • Distributor:  Sony Pictures Classics
  • Year:  1998
  • Country:  Ireland
  • Major Awards:  Director (BSFC), Actor (BSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,214,198
  • Entry Rank:  #641
  • The Film:  It had been a long time since Boorman had made a really good film but he really came through with this story of Martin Cahill, one of the most successful thieves in Ireland (he even stole Boorman’s gold record from Deliverance) but found the whole of Ireland allied against him.  The best performance of Gleeson’s career and that’s saying quite a bit.

#875

Short Cuts

  • Director:  Robert Altman
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  New Line  (Fine Line)
  • Year:  1993
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Director (AA), Screenplay (GG), S. Actress (NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $6,110,979
  • Entry Rank:  #573
  • TSPDT Rank:  #496
  • The Film:  The first Altman film on the list.  Altman is often a mixed bag for people and it’s interesting that four of his films didn’t make the list but that there are four more and they won’t start to appear until 12 more posts along.  Altman does a masterful job balancing a wide variety of Raymond Carver’s brilliant stories and somehow makes a coherent film about L.A. in the process (which is amazing since the stories had nothing to do with L.A.).  A full review can be found here.

#874

Le Declin De L’Empire Americain
(The Decline of the American Empire)

  • Director:  Denys Arcand
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  Cineplex Odeon
  • Year:  1986
  • Country:  Canada
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA, NYFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,902,706
  • WW Gross:  $1,915,792  (ic)
  • Entry Rank:  #476
  • The Film:  Denys Arcand emerges with a worldwide reputation with this witty, snarky film about a group of intellectual snobs who gather together for the weekend.  He would revisit the characters over a decade later in an even better film.

#873

Life is Sweet

  • Director:  Mike Leigh
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  October Films
  • Year:  1990  (OE: 1991)
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (LAFC), Actress (LAFC), S. Actress (NH, LAFC, NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,516,414
  • Entry Rank:  #549
  • The Film:  After over a decade in television, Leigh returned to films and his second time out was this offbeat tale of a strange London family that kind of help set the stage for the rest of his career including gathering his primary cast: Jim Broadbent, David Thewlis, Timothy Spall and Alison Steadman.

#872

Mon oncle

  • Director:  Jacques Tati
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  Continental
  • Year:  1958
  • Country:  France
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA, NYFC)
  • Entry Rank:  #236
  • TSPDT Rank:  #390
  • The Film:  Tati wouldn’t wait nearly as long as Arcand and he brings back Monsieur Hulot just a few years after his hilarious holiday (which is over 250 spots higher on the list) to deal with his family.  The first French film to win the Oscar after it became a regular award and it was the start of an onslaught of French winners over the years.

#871

Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

  • Director:  Sam Peckinpah
  • Genre:  Crime
  • Distributor:  United Artists
  • Year:  1974
  • Country:  U.S.  /  Mexico  (English  /  Spanish)
  • Entry Rank:  #373
  • TSPDT Rank:  #621
  • The Film:  Trashed critically and a commercial failure, yet the one film that Peckinpah felt came out like he wanted it.  Roger Ebert first pointed me towards it with his Great Film review.  It’s dark, it’s violent, it’s everything that the very heart of Peckinpah’s work embraces.  The first of four Peckinpah films in the Top 1000.

#870

Boudu sauvé des eaux
(Boudu Saved from Drowning)

  • Director:  Jean Renoir
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Satire)
  • Distributor:  1932  (OE: 1969)
  • Year:  Les Establishments
  • Country:  France
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #47
  • TSPDT Rank:  #570
  • The Film:  Yes, this film really was Oscar eligible 37 years after its original release and I fully reviewed it here because of the brilliance of its script.  Like Peckinpah, the first of four films in the Top 1000, though Renoir also had two films just off the list and three more lower down.

#869

Take the Money and Run

  • Director:  Woody Allen
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Mockumentary)
  • Distributor:  Cinerama
  • Year:  1969
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH, WGA)
  • Entry Rank:  #325
  • The Film:  Christopher Guest often gets credit for the mockumentary but Woody Allen made this years before Guest was even in Spinal Tap.  It’s the hilarious tale of a horribly inept bank robber told and played in only the way that Woody Allen can.  When people talk about his “early funny films” this is one of the best that they’re talking about.  This is already Allen’s fourth film in the Top 1000.

#868

Billy Budd

  • Director:  Peter Ustinov
  • Genre:  Drama  (Lit Adaptation – Melville)
  • Distributor:  Allied Artists
  • Year:  1962
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (DGA), A. Screenplay (WGA, BAFTA), Actor (BAFTA), S. Actor (AA)
  • Entry Rank:  #270
  • The Film:  If you were to ask me to read the book again, I would reply “I prefer not to” (that’s a literary joke) but the film, which Peter Ustinov directed and starred in (in a supporting role) is well worth the time with fantastic performances all around and a riveting story.  In the stacked year of 1962 it can’t make the Top 5 in the major categories from me but it’s all over the Top 10.

#867

Jésus de Montréal
(Jesus of Montreal)

  • Director:  Denys Arcand
  • Genre:  Drama  (Religious)
  • Distributor:  Orion Classics
  • Year:  1989  (OE: 1990)
  • Country:  Canada
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), Foreign (NH, AA, BAFTA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,601,612
  • Entry Rank:  #516
  • The Film:  Just a few years after becoming known worldwide, Arcand returned with this delicious satire about a group of actors who manage to incite the Catholic Church due to their version of the Passion Play.  It’s appropriate that it doesn’t win the Nighthawk because it was just the fifth film to earn Oscar, Globe and BAFTA noms for Foreign Film but lose them all (and is one of just four films through 2020 to earn all three noms, lose them all and receive no other noms or wins in the category joined by The Chorus, Joyeux Noel and Baader Meihoff Complex).

#866

Walkabout

  • Director:  Nicholas Roeg
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  20th Century-Fox
  • Year:  1971
  • Country:  Australia
  • Entry Rank:  #338
  • TSPDT Rank:  #681
  • The Film:  Roeg is a critics director but most of his work outside of this film (and one other that make the Top 500) leaves me cold.  But this is a fascinating film, stark and beautiful, a film that make me really feel Australia (and remind myself that the land will kill you if the animals don’t get you first).  Because it was a bit too early, sometimes not though of as part of the Australian New Wave but one of the most important films in the country’s cinematic history.

#865

Winchester ’73

  • Director:  Anthony Mann
  • Genre:  Western
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1950
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (WGA)
  • Entry Rank:  #158
  • The Film:  Another critics director and he made a lot of good films and some very good films but the problem is that this is his best film and I can’t really put a director close to my Top 100 list who never made a great film.  All that said this is close to being a great film with Jimmy Stewart tracking down a murderer and the way the gun plays into the story.

#864

The Last Samurai

  • Director:  Ed Zwick
  • Genre:  War  (Samurai)
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  2003
  • Country:  U.S.  /  Japan  (English  /  Japanese)
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BFCA), Director (NBR), Actor (GG), S. Actor (SAG, AA, BFCA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $111,127,263
  • WW Gross:  $454,627,263
  • Entry Rank:  #719
  • The Film:  Fully reviewed by me as my bonus review in War.  A near great film that’s kept out of greatness at least in part by the white savior narrative but it’s fantastic too look at and helped make Ken Watanabe an internationally known star.

#863

Ronin

  • Director:  John Frankenheimer
  • Genre:  Action  (Heist)
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1998
  • Country:  England
  • N.A. Gross:  $41,616,262
  • Entry Rank:  #629
  • The Film:  Sometimes your own lists can surprise you and this is a case in point.  Like TSPDT, my own Top 1000 is dominated by several directors who appear over and over.  So looking at Frankenheimer and realizing that he had just one other film in the Top 1000 and that was way above this one, I wondered how many other directors had just two films on the list and had a bigger discrepancy.  Turns out it’s a lot.  First of all, there are actually 92 directors who have just two films on the list (the current list that is – several of them have a film drop off in the update while a few add films in the update) which is a lot more than I would have guessed.  What’s more, 17 of those directors have a bigger difference than Frankenheimer’s 486 spots, with the winner being Jean Cocteau at 898.  True, many of the directors with larger splits will have their lower film fall off in the update but there are still five directors with just two films and more than 486 spots between their two films and none of them had their lower film appear yet (namely because we’re just now basically reaching the point of films that will stay on the list after the update).  Of course none of that says anything about Ronin, but hey, I already wrote a full review of it anyway.

#862

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

  • Director:  Martin Scorsese
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Warner Brothers
  • Year:  1974
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (BAFTA), Screenplay (WGA, AA, BAFTA), Actress (NH, AA, BAFTA, GG), S. Actress (NH, AA, BAFTA, GG)
  • Entry Rank:  #367
  • The Film:  Speaking of my tendency to have directors who appear on the list a lot.  This is Marty’s second film on the list but most of his appearances will have to wait until the Top 250.  This is his wonderful Drama about a woman finding herself and it’s a nice counter to those who feel that Marty is just a male’s director.

#861

Moulin Rouge

  • Director:  John Huston
  • Genre:  Drama  (Biopic – Artist)
  • Distributor:  United Artists
  • Year:  1952
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA, BAFTA), Director (AA), A Screenplay (WGA), Actor (AA), S. Actress (NH, AA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $11,000,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #175
  • The Film:  John Huston’s lively biopic of Toulouse-Lautrec is full of vibrant color.  Ferrer might not be as good as Kirk Douglas in the similar Lust for Life (though he’s still really good) but the film as a whole is a lot stronger thanks to Huston’s writing and direction.  Fully reviewed here.  This is Huston’s second film on the list but it will be over 200 spots before we get to the rest of his brilliant work.

#860

Drugstore Cowboy

  • Director:  Gus Van Sant
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Avenue Pictures
  • Year:  1989
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NYFC), Director (NYFC), Screenplay (NYFC, LAFC, NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $4,729,352
  • Entry Rank:  #511
  • The Film:  A bleak look at Portland in the years before I moved there is a portrait of a city that doesn’t really exist any longer and yet still has some real echoes of today.  Fully reviewed here.  The first of Gus’ four films on the list.

#859

Avalon

  • Director:  Barry Levinson
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  TriStar Pictures
  • Year:  1990
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA), Director (DGA), Screenplay (WGA, AA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $15,740,796
  • WW Gross:  $15,779,578  (ic)
  • Entry Rank:  #521
  • The Film:  If not for Ghost, this film would likely be better remembered (as an Oscar nominee).  It’s also hard to remember just how good Barry Levinson was in that period with two films on the full list, a film just off the Top 1000, this film and one more above it all coming from 1987-91.  Fully reviewed here.

#858

The Fifth Element

  • Director:  Luc Besson
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi  (Space Travel)
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  1997
  • Country:  France  (English)
  • N.A. Gross:  $63,820,180
  • WW Gross:  $264,029,966
  • Entry Rank:  #612
  • The Film:  Polarizing reviews, not a blockbuster hit in the States and somehow not Oscar nominated for its amazing visual effects, yet Besson’s visionary Sci-Fi epic is a fantastic and fun trip that doesn’t hesitate to provide action or humor.  True, Gary Oldman goes way over the line between good and hammy, but for a lot of people that’s just part of the fun.

#857

Monty Python’s Life of Brian

  • Director:  Terry Jones
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Parody)
  • Distributor:  Orion
  • Year:  1979
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $20,206,622
  • WW Gross:  $20,738,770  (ic)
  • Entry Rank:  #405
  • TSPDT Rank:  #419
  • The Film:  If there was ever a year in recent history in which people needed to remember to always look on the bright side of life, this is the year.  Not quite well made enough to break into **** but devastatingly funny with one of the best songs ever written for a film (and doesn’t win the Nighthawk because of “Rainbow Connection”).  Still has the funniest death scene ever put on film and a scene that reduced one of my best friends to a quivering mess (the graffiti scene with the Roman soldier yelling at Brian reminded him of his Latin teacher).

#856

Melvin and Howard

  • Director:  Jonathan Demme
  • Genre:  Comedy  (True Story)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1980
  • Country:  United States
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG, NSFC, BSFC), Director (NYFC), Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, NYFC, NSFC, BSFC), Actor (GG), S. Actor (NH, AA, GG, BSFC), S. Actress (NH, AA, GG, NYFC, LAFC, NSFC, BSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $4,309,490
  • Entry Rank:  #416
  • The Film:  The second Jonathan Demme film in the Top 1000 but it will be a while before we get to either of the other two.  Demme is a great example of the auteur theory because his quirky sense of humor really shows through in his films even though he wasn’t a writer.  An off-beat story about a man who helps Howard Hughes and all the things that go wrong after that.

#855

Война и мир
(War and Peace; Voyna i mir)

  • Director:  Sergei Bondarchuk
  • Genre:  Drama  (Lit Adaptation – Tolstoy)
  • Distributor:  Continental
  • Year:  1968
  • Country:  USSR
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA, GG, NBR)
  • Entry Rank:  #314
  • The Film:  In the late 60s, Soviet filmmakers started tackling their greatest works of literature in big color productions.  None was bigger than this film, originally released at seven hours across four parts.  It’s an epic telling of the brilliant story that doesn’t skimp in any way.  Fully reviewed here.

#854

Joyeux Noël

  • Director:  Christian Carion
  • Genre:  War  (WWI)
  • Distributor:  Sony Pictures Classics
  • Year:  2005  (OE: 2006)
  • Country:  France
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA, BAFTA, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,054,361
  • WW Gross:  $17,709,155
  • Entry Rank:  #754
  • TSPDT Rank:
  • The Film:  This is what is known as a coincidence, and in spite of what my mother would try to convince you of, it has no meaning other than that.  This, along with Jesus of Montreal (a little above) is one of just four films in history to earn Oscar, Globe and BAFTA noms for Foreign Film but nothing else.  This really good film is about one of the most remarkable events in human history – when both sides of the trenches simply stopped fighting because it was Christmas.  That is the kind of thing, not the notion that there was a messiah or anything to do with presents, that makes Christmas the only holiday I really care about.

#853

黒い雨
(Black Rain)

  • Director:  Shohei Imamura
  • Genre:  Drama  (Historical)
  • Distributor:  Angelika Films
  • Year:  1989  (OE: 1990)
  • Country:  Japan
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #507
  • The Film:  From the same year as the Michael Douglas film but this didn’t hit the States until 1990 when it was actually Oscar eligible because Japan didn’t submit it the year before for Best Foreign Film.  In fact, this film got no plaudits in spite of its moving story of the fallout of Hiroshima that will haunt your brain.

#852

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

  • Director:  Terry Gilliam
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Surreal)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1998
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  A Screenplay (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $10,680,275
  • Entry Rank:  #619
  • The Film:  You might accuse me of being too soft on the film because it’s adapted from one of my favorite books but my full review makes it quite clear all the reasons why I think it’s a fantastic film.  It’s also worth tracking down the soundtrack because “Come Together” is a great song, but it’s even better when it fades in at the end of the wave speech.

#851

Longtime Companion

  • Director:  Norman René
  • Genre:  Drama  (Social)
  • Distributor:  Samuel Goldwyn Company
  • Year:  1990
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), S Actor (NH, AA, GG, NYFC, NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $4,609,953
  • Entry Rank:  #516
  • The Film:  Looking at the plaudits you would think this film is all about the Bruce Davison performance (and it’s great) but you’re missing that moment on the poster.  I wrote an entire paper about how the weakness of Philadelphia is that it looks back while this film and Angels in America look forward with hope.  With that fantastic song (“The Post-Mortem Bar”) and the brilliant, powerful, hopeful ending, this is a film whose finale is everything you could hope for.  “I just want to be there.”