Screen Shot 2021-07-15 at 3.58.42 PMThis is the 10th part of the Top 1000 list.  The introduction can be found here.  This might be the only group of 50 in the Top 1000 without a single Hitchcock, Spielberg, Kurosawa or Woody Allen film among them.
Except for the four films at the bottom, these are all a 91 which is mid-range ****.  The bottom four films are all 92.

#550

pirates_of_the_caribbeanPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

  • Director:  Gore Verbinski
  • Genre:  Adventure  (Swashbuckler)
  • Distributor:  Disney  (Buena Vista)
  • Year:  2003
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Actor (NH, SAG, AA, BAFTA, CC, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $305,413,918
  • WW Gross:  $654,264,015
  • Entry Rank:  #473
  • The Film:  What easily could have been a stupid uninspired movie based on a theme park ride suddenly turned into a thrill ride that was so fun and funny that it became a massive franchise that continues to go strong around the world.  I myself saw it three times in the theater.  It also turned out to be the film that finally got Johnny Depp into the Oscar race (when Ed Wood couldn’t).

#549

princess_and_the_warriorDer Krieger und die Kaiserin
(The Princess and the Warrior)

  • Director:  Tom Tykwer
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Sony Pictures Classics
  • Year:  2000  (OE: 2001)
  • Country:  Germany  (German)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $872,091
  • WW Gross:  $1,017,667
  • Entry Rank:  #436
  • The Film:  After making an international name for himself (and his lead actress, Franka Potente), Tom Tykwer returned with this off-beat love story.  Audiences and critics kind of reacted with a shrug but it’s actually his best film and his final of four films on the Top 1000.

#548

spider_man_two_ver2Spider-Man 2

  • Director:  Sam Raimi
  • Genre:  Action  (Comic Book – Spider-Man)
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  2004
  • Country:  U.S.
  • N.A. Gross:  $373,585,825
  • WW Gross:  $788,976,453
  • Entry Rank:  #484
  • TSPDT Rank:  #539  (21-C)
  • The Film:  After hitting it big with the first film, Sam Raimi upped the game with the second one and made the greatest super-hero film ever made (which would last all of one year until Nolan came along) with great action and a great story pulling from various aspects of the Spider-Man mythos.  This is the film that seemed to prove that the best comic book villains rely on getting the casting right and not just going for the big names like Schumacher had done with Alfred Molina being spot-on as Doc Ock.

#547

do_the_right_thingDo the Right Thing

  • Director:  Spike Lee
  • Genre:  Drama  (Social)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1989
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG, LAFC, CFC), Director (GG, LAFC, CC), Screenplay (AA, GG), S. Actor (NH, AA, LAFC, BSFC, CFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $27,545,445
  • WW Gross:  $37,295,445
  • Entry Rank:  #346
  • TSPDT Rank:  #137
  • The Film:  The climax has never sat right with me (but then again, I’m not Black) but as the film has aged it’s seemed even better.  Lee understood the rhythms of the hottest day of the summer and how to make the heat, the anger and the pain all come together for a shattering climax.  That the film continues to move up my list when it stars Spike (who I like a lot as a writer, director and person but not as an actor) and Rosie Perez (who I can’t stand) says something about how well made it is.

#546

DIST9_TSR_1SHT_3District 9

  • Director:  Neill Blomkamp
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi  (Alien Arrival)
  • Distributor:  TriStar
  • Year:  2009
  • Country:  South Africa
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA), Director (BAFTA), A. Screenplay (AA, GG, BAFTA, CC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $115,646,235
  • WW Gross:  $210,888,950
  • Entry Rank:  #530
  • TSPDT Rank:  #344  (21-C)
  • The Film:  This was the year that everyone was obsessed with Avatar and its effects and yet what District 9 does in integrating its effects into the practical world with makeup and making almost impossible to distinguish between them is far more impressive.  Plus, of course, this had a great story and actual acting from its cast of mostly unknowns.  Full review here.

#545

long_good_fridayThe Long Good Friday

  • Director:  John MacKenzie
  • Genre:  Crime
  • Distributor:  Embassy Pictures
  • Year:  1980  (OE: 1982)
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH, BAFTA), S. Actress (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #285
  • The Film:  Long before he was teaming up with Roger Rabbit, Bob Hoskins had proved his quiet intensity in the story of a very bad day for a mob boss who ends up with enemies he hadn’t prepared for.

#544

billy_elliot_ver1Billy Elliot

  • Director:  Stephen Daldry
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Universal (Focus Features)
  • Year:  2000
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA, CC), Director (AA, BAFTA), Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, BAFTA), Actor (NH, SAG, BAFTA), S. Actor (BAFTA), S. Actress (NH, SAG, AA, BAFTA), Ensemble (NH, SAG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $21,995,263
  • WW Gross:  $109,283,018
  • Entry Rank:  #433
  • TSPDT Rank:  #650  (21-C)
  • The Film:  I don’t know what was more absurd: that the Oscars nominated it for Director and Screenplay but passed it over for Picture in favor of Chocolat or that they couldn’t grasp that Jamie Bell, at just 14, had given a performance better than any of the ones that were nominated at the Oscars.  The directing debut of Stephen Daldry whose next three films would all earn Picture nominations.

#543

hotel_rwandaHotel Rwanda

  • Director:  Terry George
  • Genre:  Drama  (Historical)
  • Distributor:  United Artists
  • Year:  2004
  • Country:  U.S.  (English / French / Kinyarwanda)
  • Major Awards:  Picture (CC, GG), Screenplay (WGA, AA, BAFTA), Actor (AA, SAG, CC, GG), S. Actress (NH, AA, SAG), Ensemble (SAG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $23,530,892
  • WW Gross:  $33,882,243
  • Entry Rank:  #480
  • TSPDT Rank:  #696  (21-C)
  • The Film:  There was a moment where I almost broke watching this film when Paul Rusesebagina tells his wife if the soldiers come to throw herself and the children off the roof.  I couldn’t deal with hearing that, what with a six month old at home.  A harrowing, magnificently acted true story.

#542

black_swan_ver4Black Swan

  • Director:  Darren Aronofsky
  • Genre:  Horror
  • Distributor:  Fox  (Fox Searchlight)
  • Year:  2010
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA, BAFTA, CC, GG), Director (DGA, AA, BAFTA, CC, GG), Screenplay (WGA, BAFTA, CC), Actress (NH, SAG, AA, BAFTA, CC, GG, BSFC, CFC), S. Actress (SAG, BAFTA, CC, GG), Ensemble (SAG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $106,954,678
  • WW Gross:  $329,398,046
  • Entry Rank:  #535
  • TSPDT Rank:  #168  (21-C)
  • The Film:  As I mentioned in my review this film is a mind-fuck.  Given that it’s a mind-fuck and made more like an art house film than a blockbuster it’s astounding that it managed to make over $100 million at the U.S. box office but Aronofsky’s direction and Portman’s performance suck you in.  Fully reviewed here as a Best Picture nominee.

#541

greatmcgintyThe Great McGinty

  • Director:  Preston Sturges
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Satire)
  • Distributor:  Paramount
  • Year:  1940
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay  (NH, AA)
  • Entry Rank:  #59
  • The Film:  Preston Sturges took just $10 as payment for the script (which then won the Oscar) so that he could be guaranteed to direct the film.  It was the start of a magnificent run over the next five years, possibly the greatest run for any comedic writer-director in film history.  Fully reviewed here.

#540

aladdin_ver1Aladdin

  • Director:  Ron Clements  /  John Musker
  • Genre:  Kids  (Animated – Disney)
  • Distributor:  Disney  (Buena Vista)
  • Year:  1992
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (GG), Animated (NH, LAFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $217,350,219
  • WW Gross:  $504,700,000
  • Entry Rank:  #365
  • The Film:  On the negative side, Robin Williams’ performance guaranteed that studios would shell out for stars to do animation.  On the plus side, that’s because Robin Williams is so absolutely perfect in how he is over the top that it set the gold standard for what a voice performance in an animated film should be an only Antonio Banderas has come close since.  Plus the brilliant music.  Full review here.

#539

blazing_saddlesBlazing Saddles

  • Director:  Mel Brooks
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Parody)
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  1974
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH, WGA, BAFTA), S. Actor (NH), S. Actress (NH, AA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $119,601,481
  • Entry Rank:  #248
  • The Film:  It was The Producers when Mel Brooks said “Lady, it rose below vulgarity” but this is actually the film it most applies to.  There’s no other film in history that is so incredibly offensive towards just about everyone and yet almost every minute in it is hilarious.  One of the funniest films ever made if for nothing else than this line: “You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know… morons.”

#538

thelma_and_louiseThelma & Louise

  • Director:  Ridley Scott
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1991
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA, GG), Director (DGA, AA, BAFTA), Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, BAFTA, GG), Actress (NH, NH, AA, AA, BAFTA, BAFTA, BSFC, NBR), S. Actor (NSFC)
  • N.A. Gross:  $45,360,915
  • Entry Rank:  #356
  • TSPDT Rank:  #740
  • The Film:  Do people today remember that it actually wasn’t nominated for Best Picture in spite of a Director nomination and a Screenplay win?  The irony is that this fierce feminist film probably cost Barbra Streisand the chance to be the first American female nominated for Best Director at the Oscars.  But this is the far better film.

#537

million_dollar_babyMillion Dollar Baby

  • Director:  Clint Eastwood
  • Genre:  Drama  (Sports)
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  2004
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA, CC, GG, NYFC, NSFC), Director (DGA, AA, CC, GG, CFC), A. Screenplay (AA, WGA), Actor (AA), Actress, (AA, SAG, CC, GG, NYFC, NSFC, BSFC), S. Actor (NH, AA, SAG, CC, GG), Ensemble (NH, SAG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $100,492,203
  • WW Gross:  $216,763,646
  • Entry Rank:  #475
  • TSPDT Rank:  #788
  • The Film:  I’m a little torn on this film.  On the one hand, it is a great film with great acting from not just the major players but the entire cast and it was Eastwood’s best performance since Unforgiven.  But, on the other hand, it’s the film that beat The Aviator at the Oscars and didn’t come close to being a better film.  More here in the full review.

#536

white_ribbonDas weiße Band – Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte
(The White Ribbon)

  • Director:  Michael Haneke
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Sony Pictures Classics
  • Year:  2009
  • Country:  Germany  (German)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH, AA, BAFTA, CC, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $2,222,862
  • WW Gross:  $19,319,671
  • Entry Rank:  #521
  • TSPDT Rank:  #397
  • The Film:  It’s not crap like Funny Games (or the remake) that make Haneke such a fascinating filmmaker but films like this rather odd story (with brilliant cinematography) set in a German town just before World War I or his Cache that made me appreciate him as a filmmaker well before he was an Oscar nominee.

#535

monsters_ball_ver1Monster’s Ball

  • Director:  Marc Forster
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Lionsgate
  • Year:  2001
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA), Actor (NH, NBR), Actress (NH, SAG, AA, BAFTA, GG, NBR)
  • N.A. Gross:  $31,273,922
  • WW Gross:  $45,011,434
  • Entry Rank:  #442
  • TSPDT Rank:  #959  (21-C)
  • The Film:  It was the intense sex scene that initially made this film such a story but it was the Oscar winning performance from Halle Berry, the overlooked performance from Billy Bob Thornton and the smart, fascinating script with an ending that absolutely did not let it down that made it worth remembering.

#534

IMG_2797Clerks

  • Director:  Kevin Smith
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Black)
  • Distributor:  Miramax
  • Year:  1994
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $3,151,130
  • Entry Rank:  #381
  • The Film:  I really regret not seeing this in the theater and I made up for it in later years by flocking to Smith’s films.  Obviously, I’m a big fan of him and this film is where it all started.  It’s got some of the best dialogue ever put on film and a kick-ass soundtrack to boot.  I still think it’s possible the funniest line in film history is “My girlfriend sucked 37 dicks!”  “In a row?”

#533

shadowlands_ver1Shadowlands

  • Director:  Richard Attenborough
  • Genre:  Drama  (True Story)
  • Distributor:  Savoy Pictures
  • Year:  1993
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (BAFTA), A. Screenplay (NH, AA, BAFTA), Actor (NH, BAFTA, LAFC, NBR), Actress (NH, AA, BAFTA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $25,842,377
  • Entry Rank:  #371
  • The Film:  From a film that never fails to make me laugh to a film that made me cry in the theater (twice).  The heart-wrenching story of the late-in-life relationship with his wife that provided such happiness for C.S. Lewis.  Worth remembering that Hopkins would have likely had more awards attention if Remains of the Day hadn’t been the same year.  Full review here.

#532

midwinters_taleIn the Bleak Midwinter
(A Midwinter’s Tale)

  • Director:  Kenneth Branagh
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Shakespeare – Tragedy)
  • Distributor:  Sony Pictures Classics
  • Year:  1995  (OE: 1996)
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $469,571
  • Entry Rank:  #386
  • The Film:  There might not be another film that I think of so much as mine.  I anxiously awaited it and saw it on opening day (as almost no one else did).  I still have the film on video and I own the screenplay and when I met Michael Maloney at Borders one night this was the film I asked him about.  A brilliant use of Shakespeare to also make a heart-warming Rom-Com.  There is no film that I think needs me more to champion it and I think it fully deserves it.  Full review here which is just one of 16 reviews on the IMDb for this film even though it’s from the 90s.

#531

81:2La bella confusione
(8½)

  • Director:  Federico Fellini
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Surreal)
  • Distributor:  Embassy Pictures
  • Year:  1963
  • Country:  Italy  (Italian)
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (DGA, AA), Screenplay (AA), Foreign (NH, AA, NYFC, NBR)
  • Entry Rank:  #186
  • TSPDT Rank:  #6
  • The Film:  From a film that desperately needs a champion to one that definitely does not need one.  Currently ranked at #6 at TSPDT this is the kind of film that film critics love to adore.  And it is a great film, fascinating and surreal with a great performance at its center.  And like Vertigo, it’s not quite up to its reputation.  The second Fellini film on the list.

#530

elevator-to-the-gallows-md-webAscenseur pour l’échafoud
(Elevator to the Gallows)

  • Director:  Louis Malle
  • Genre:  Crime
  • Distributor:  Time Film Corp.
  • Year:  1958  (OE: 1961)
  • Country:  France  (French)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #150
  • TSPDT Rank:  #923
  • The Film:  Louis Malle kicks in the New Wave before Truffaut or Godard even step behind a camera.  A fascinating Crime film that works on different levels and keeps you guessing (and wondering who you should have sympathy for).  Full review here.  The second Malle film on the list.

#529

diaboliqueLes diaboliques
(Diabolique)

  • Director:  Henri-Georges Clouzot
  • Genre:  Suspense
  • Distributor:  United Motion Picture Organization
  • Year:  1955  (OE: 1956)
  • Country:  France  (French)
  • Major Awards:  Director (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), Actress (NH), Foreign (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #132
  • TSPDT Rank:  #643
  • The Film:  A taught thriller that would later be remade in the States as a complete dud.  But this original keeps you guessing (having read the novel doesn’t actually help) and was one of the best films to land in a weak year for film in the States.  Full review here.

#528

crossfireCrossfire

  • Director:  Edward Dmytryk
  • Genre:  Suspense
  • Distributor:  RKO Radio
  • Year:  1947
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, AA, BAFTA), Director (NH, AA), A. Screenplay (NH, AA), S. Actor (NH, AA), S. Actress (NH, AA)
  • Entry Rank:  #88
  • The Film:  The rare 1940s Oscar nominee for Best Picture that actually deserved its nomination (in fact it deserved all of its nominations) although admittedly in a weak year.  The murder of someone gay in the novel became the murder of someone Jewish in the film.  Original author Richard Brooks would soon after become an Oscar winning director.  Full review here.

#527

whiteTrois couleurs: Blanc
(Three Colors: White; White)

  • Director:  Krzystztof Kieslowski
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Miramax
  • Year:  1994
  • Country:  Poland  (Polish, French, English)
  • Major Awards:  Foreign (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,237,219
  • Entry Rank:  #375
  • The Film:  What most people (including myself) think of as the weakest in the trilogy is still a great film and there are some who actually think it’s the best of the trilogy.  Oscar submitted like Red but simply not nominated which is ridiculous.

#526

my_man_godfreyMy Man Godfrey

  • Director:  Gregory La Cava
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Screwball)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1936
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), Director (NH, AA), A. Screenplay (NH, AA), Actor (NH, AA), Actress (NH, AA), S. Actor (NH, NH, AA), S. Actress (NH, NH, AA), Ensemble (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #40
  • The Film:  Doubly well known, first for being the first film nominated in all four acting categories (the first year the supporting awards existed) and second being the only film in Oscar history nominated for all four acting categories, Director and writing but not Picture.  A Screwball Comedy classic.  Full review here.

#525

Pygmalion_(1938)_posterPygmalion

  • Director:  Anthony Asquith  /  Leslie Howard
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Play Adaptation – Shaw)
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1938
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, AA), A. Screenplay (NH, AA), Actor (NH, AA), Actress (NH, AA), Ensemble (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #45
  • The Film:  Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller didn’t win the Oscar even though they both deserved to while George Bernard Shaw became the first person in history to have won both the Nobel Prize and an Oscar.  Full review here.

#524

toy_story_three_xlgToy Story 3

  • Director:  Lee Unkrich
  • Genre:  Kids  (Animated – Pixar)
  • Distributor:  Disney  (Walt Disney Studios)
  • Year:  2010
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (AA, PGA, CC), A. Screenplay (NH, AA, BAFTA, CC), Animated (NH, AA, BAFTA, PGA, Annie, CC, GG, LAFC, BSFC, CFC, NBR)
  • N.A. Gross:  $415,004,880
  • WW Gross:  $1,006,970,811
  • Entry Rank:  #517
  • TSPDT Rank:  #99  (21-C)
  • The Film:  The series continues to get better as we deal with what happens to our toys when we go off to college and leave them behind.  Full review here.

#523

three_colors_blueTrois couleurs: Bleu
(Three Colors: Blue; Blue)

  • Director:  Krzystztof Kieslowski
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Miramax
  • Year:  1993
  • Country:  France  (French)
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), Actress (NH, GG), Foreign (NH, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $1,324,974
  • Entry Rank:  #364
  • TSPDT Rank:  #284
  • The Film:  The first in one of film’s most acclaimed trilogies deals with a woman trying to cope with life after the death of her husband daughter.

#522

talented_mr_ripleyThe Talented Mr. Ripley

  • Director:  Anthony Minghella
  • Genre:  Suspense
  • Distributor:  Paramount
  • Year:  1999
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA, CC, GG), Director (BAFTA, GG, NBR), A. Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, BAFTA), Actor (GG), S. Actor (AA, BAFTA, GG, NBR), S. Actress (BAFTA), Ensemble (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $81,298,265
  • WW Gross:  $128,799,509
  • Entry Rank:  #407
  • The Film:  Decades after the stylish Purple Noon we finally got another film version of Highsmith’s fascinating portrait of a man who seeks to be someone other than who he is.  Great performances all around but mostly shut out of the Nighthawks in a tough year.  Full review here.

#521

excalibur_ver4Excalibur

  • Director:  John Boorman
  • Genre:  Fantasy  (Arthurian)
  • Distributor:  Orion
  • Year:  1981
  • Country:  Ireland
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), Director (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), S. Actor (NH), S. Actress (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $34,967,437
  • Entry Rank:  #281
  • TSPDT Rank:  #832
  • The Film:  It’s not a perfect film version of the Arthurian legend but it’s got Nicol Williamson as Merlin and Helen Mirren as Morgana and it’s hard to get better than that.  Great look to the film, great action and a fully realized vision.  One of the few films I’ve deliberately gone out and bought the Blu-Ray.  Full review here.

#520

Ace_in_the_Hole_(1951_film_poster)Ace in the Hole
(The Big Carnival)

  • Director:  Billy Wilder
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Paramount
  • Year:  1951
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH, AA), Actor (NH), Actress (NBR), S. Actress (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $2,700,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #105
  • TSPDT Rank:  #782
  • The Film:  Amazingly this is the first Wilder film in the Top 1000 so far but he’s top-loaded in the Top 500.  A brilliant dark look at the thirst for publicity and the American obsession with it that wouldn’t end until the country put multiple entertainers into the White House.  Two brilliant performances that went unrewarded by the Oscars.

#519

amarcordAmarcord

  • Director:  Federico Fellini
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • Distributor:  New World Pictures
  • Year:  1974  (OE: 1975)
  • Country:  Italy
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NYFC), Director (AA, NYFC), Screenplay (NH, AA), Foreign (NH, AA, GG, NBR)
  • N.A. Gross:  $5,060,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #240
  • TSPDT Rank:  #70
  • The Film:  The film that snagged the Best Director nomination away from Spielberg for Jaws.  I wouldn’t say this charming about growing up in a seaside town in Italy in the 30s is Fellini’s best film but I would probably say it’s my favorite of his films.  Due to rule changes, the last film to win Best Foreign Film and earn nominations for other categories (Director, Screenplay) in a later year.

#518

to_have_and_have_notTo Have and Have Not

  • Director:  Howard Hawks
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Drama  (Lit Adaptation – Hemingway)
  • Year:  1944  (OE: 1945)
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), Director (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH), Actress (NH), Ensemble (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #74
  • TSPDT Rank:  #510
  • The Film:  Not a single Oscar nomination for the only film to involve two Nobel Prize winning writers (Hemingway wrote the novel – one of his worst – and Faulkner worked on the script) but it’s the film that introduced Bogie and Bacall.  Full review here.

#517

deliveranceDeliverance

  • Director:  John Boorman
  • Genre:  Adventure
  • Distributor:  Warner Bros
  • Year:  1972
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, AA, GG), Director (NH, DGA, AA, GG), A. Screenplay (NH, GG), Actor (NH, GG)
  • N.A. Gross:  $6,600,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #224
  • TSPDT Rank:  #572
  • The Film:  Taught and suspenseful, a solid novel became a film that excited people and then scarred them for life.  I remember driving my college roommate home to the boonies where he lived along the Columbia and him humming the “Dueling Banjos” because he knew full well what his hometown (no actual town) looked like.  Full review here.

#516

4horsemenThe Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

  • Director:  Rex Ingram
  • Genre:  Drama  (WWI)
  • Distributor:  Metro
  • Year:  1921
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  A. Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH), S. Actor (NH), S. Actress (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $9,183,673
  • Entry Rank:  #3
  • The Film:  I haven’t the faintest idea where BOM got that gross since Variety never reported any gross for it.  One of the first great films to deal with World War I and it helped make Valentino an indelible star.  Full review here.

#515

horsefeathersHorse Feathers

  • Director:  Norman Z. McLeod
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Comedy Team – Marx)
  • Distributor:  Paramount
  • Year:  1932  (OE: 1933)
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #23
  • The Film:  One of the funniest college films ever made with classic line (“You’re a disgrace to our family name of Wagstaff if such a thing is possible.”) after classic line (“I was gonna get a flat bottom but the girl at the boat house didn’t have one.”) after classic line (“I think you know what the trustees can do with their suggestions.”) after classic line (“I married your mother because I wanted children.  Imagine my disappointment when you arrived.”) and that’s without even getting to the password scene between Groucho and Chico.  Full review here because I used to have it in a different year (finally got hold of the official Oscar eligibility list).

#514

garden-of-the-finzi-continis-vintage-movie-poster-original-italian-4-foglio-55x78-2965Il giardino dei Finzi Contini
(The Garden of the Finzi-Continis)

  • Director:  Vittorio de Sica
  • Genre:  Drama  (Social)
  • Distributor:  Cinema V
  • Year:  1971
  • Country:  Italy  (Italian)
  • Major Awards:  A. Screenplay (NH, AA), Foreign (NH, AA)
  • N.A. Gross:  $3,498,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #214
  • The Film:  They were rich and that set them apart from the world but they thought that could keep them apart from the world and then came the war and the fact that they were Jewish meant more than being rich.  One final brilliant film from de Sica over 20 years after Bicycle Thieves.  Full review here.

#513

watership_downWatership Down

  • Director:  Martin Rosen
  • Genre:  Fantasy  (Animated)
  • Distributor:  Avco Embassy Pictures
  • Year:  1978
  • Country:  England
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), Animated (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #252
  • The Film:  Even though it’s really not a film for kids (in spire of being animated), I first saw it as a kid and it completely won me over.  I asked for it one Christmas and my parents went all over to find it on video and now I own it on Blu Ray.  For a long time, easily the best Animated Film not made by Disney.  Full review here.

#512

knifeinthewaterNóz w wodzie
(Knife in the Water)

  • Director:  Roman Polanski
  • Genre:  Suspense
  • Distributor:  Kanawha Films
  • Year:  1963
  • Country:  Poland
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (NH), Screenplay (NH), Actress (NH), Foreign (NH, AA)
  • Entry Rank:  #176
  • TSPDT Rank:  #903
  • The Film:  No matter your personal views of him, Polanski is one hell of a director as he proved here in his first feature-length film (he had made shorts before this), a thrilling tale of a strange man and a couple out on the water.

#511

foolishwivesFoolish Wives

  • Director:  Erich von Stroheim
  • Genre:  Drama
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1922
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #4
  • TSPDT Rank:  #747
  • The Film:  The very high entry rank is connected to the lack of major nominations at the Nighthawks – it predates the Oscars and thus is competing against a lot of great films.  Von Stroheim’s genius shines through even if we never get to see his six hour version.  It was supposedly the first film to cost over $1 million and it shows in every frame (that we see).

#510

mr_deeds_goes_to_townMr. Deeds Goes to Town

  • Director:  Frank Capra
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Screwball)
  • Distributor:  Columbia
  • Year:  1936
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, AA, NYFC, NBR), Director (NH, AA), A. Screenplay (NH, AA), Actor (NH, AA), Actress (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #36
  • The Film:  The second Oscar for Frank Capra for the film that really kind of introduced “Capracorn”, the populist film that conveyed a message but did it with solid entertainment.  Full review here.

#509

dracula_ver2Dracula

  • Director:  Tod Browning
  • Genre:  Horror  (Vampire – Dracula)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1931
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), Director (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH), S. Actor (NH), Ensemble (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #18
  • The Film:  The first English language version of the brilliant novel is also still the best English language version.  It’s true that Lugosi would never quite recapture this magic but it doesn’t matter because he’s so mesmerizing.  Full review here.

#508

point_blankPoint Blank

  • Director:  John Boorman
  • Genre:  Crime
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1967
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  A. Screenplay (NH)
  • N.A. Gross:  $4,741,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #191
  • TSPDT Rank:  #522
  • The Film:  Boorman’s third film in this post (thus the picture at the top) brings him up to four overall in the Top 1000 (and he’s not done).  This brilliant film didn’t receive a single nomination from any group.  Full review here.

#507

8357caed6bbb7fe02ec32f02fb341c50Der letzte mann
(The Last Laugh)

  • Director:  F.W. Murnau
  • Genre:  Drama  (Tragedy)
  • Distributor:  UFA
  • Year:  1924
  • Country:  Germany  (German)
  • Major Awards:  Actor (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #5
  • TSPDT Rank:  #177
  • The Film:  One of the brilliant Murnau films that he made in Germany before coming to the States and becoming the best director at work here.  An original story so it finally got a full review much later.  Tragic and moving and a reminder that Emil Jannings was one of the best actors of the Silent Era before his later awful Nazi collaboration.

#506

asphalt_jungle_ver2The Asphalt Jungle

  • Director:  John Huston
  • Genre:  Crime  (Heist)
  • Distributor:  MGM
  • Year:  1950
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (BAFTA), Director (NH, DGA, AA, GG, NBR), A. Screenplay (NH, WGA, AA, GG), Actor (NH), S. Actor (AA)
  • Entry Rank:  #90
  • TSPDT Rank:  #627
  • The Film:  You can tell it’s a re-release poster because of the prominent placement of the then relatively unknown Marilyn Monroe (who’s not in it much).  Perhaps it was a lack of box office that kept it out of Best Picture at the Oscars even though it was nominated for Director and Screenplay because it didn’t make the Top 90 for the year.  Full review here.  John Huston becomes the 8th director reach 5 films so far.

#505

that_obscure_object_of_desireCet obscur objet du désir
(That Obscure Object of Desire)

  • Director:  Luis Buñuel
  • Genre:  Comedy  (Surreal)
  • Distributor:  First Artists
  • Year:  1977
  • Country:  Spain  (Spanish)
  • Major Awards:  Director (LAFC, NSFC), A. Screenplay (NH, AA), Foreign (NH, AA, GG, LAFC, NBR)
  • N.A. Gross:  $3,150,000  (@-re)
  • Entry Rank:  #239
  • TSPDT Rank:  #601
  • The Film:  Buñuel’s final film (at the age of 77) is a fascinating and funny look at sexual relations with the bold move of having two different actresses playing the same role without comment by the other actors.  Full review here.  His fourth film so far in the Top 1000.

#504

solaris_ver2Solaris

  • Director:  Steven Soderbergh
  • Genre:  Sci-Fi
  • Distributor:  Fox  (20th Century-Fox)
  • Year:  2002
  • Country:  U.S.
  • N.A. Gross:  $14,973,382
  • WW Gross:  $30,002,758
  • Entry Rank:  #426
  • TSPDT Rank:  #502  (21-C)
  • The Film:  Soderbergh joins Boorman and Buñuel with four films so far.  It did solidly among critics (thus the TSPDT ranking) but audiences flat out hated it.  But it’s a great remake of the Tarkovsky film and a new, interesting look at the original novel.  Full review here.

#503

gay_divorceeThe Gay Divorcee

  • Director:  Mark Sandrich
  • Genre:  Musical  (Broadway Adaptation)
  • Distributor:  RKO Radio
  • Year:  1934
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH, AA), A. Screenplay (NH), S. Actor (NH), S. Actress (NH), Ensemble (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #25
  • The Film:  For some reason Top Hat has more fans (perhaps because it had more original songs) but this is actually the best of the Astaire / Rogers Musicals, namely because it has by far the best writing of any of them.  Full review here.

#502

invisible_manThe Invisible Man

  • Director:  James Whale
  • Genre:  Horror  (Lit Adaptation – Wells)
  • Distributor:  Universal
  • Year:  1933
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Picture (NH), Director (NH), A. Screenplay (NH), Actor (NH)
  • Entry Rank:  #22
  • The Film:  Between his two brilliant takes on Frankenstein (both of which will be in later posts because this is Whale’s first Top 1000 film), James Whale brings us Claude Rains (or at least his voice) in what might be the most under-rated of the classic Universal Horror films.  Full review here.

#501

birth_of_a_nation_ver3The Birth of a Nation

  • Director:  D.W. Griffith
  • Genre:  War  (Civil War)
  • Distributor:  Epoch
  • Year:  1915
  • Country:  U.S.
  • Major Awards:  Director (NH), Actress (NH)
  • Entry Rank:   #1
  • TSPDT Rank:  #304
  • The Film:  Possibly the highest grossing film of the Silent Era (there was a disclaimer about in every annual list in Variety).  Repulsive in content but brilliantly made and one of the most important films in the history of cinema.  A full review here where I try to grapple with all of the contributions and offensive aspects of the film.