Screen Shot 2022-08-07 at 11.49.33 AMI have been promising this post for a long time.  The 2.0 version was posted in September of 2011, which really means it was my Century of Film post because I cut those posts off in 2011.  It got delayed for so long because I was so busy writing other posts and trying to come up with tweaks to my system.  The 1.0 and 2.0 versions had a couple of problems which I will describe below.

But a lot of films have been released since then as well.  Of those three brilliant directors pictured on the left, only one was on the first version and only two in the second.  What’s more, in September of 2011 those three men had never won an Oscar (out of one nomination for Director) while since then they have won a combined 5 Oscars just for Best Director (10 in total), almost as many as everyone else in the film industry combined in that time period.  This time, they’re all three in there and they have made some big leaps.

Now, down to business. (more…)

lean-o-tool-tour-lawrence--gRight from the start, the directors kind of ruled the world of film.  They were paid well and by the 1930s they were getting “film by” credit and before too long that credit was before the title (in fact, mandated that way by agreement with the DGA).  They formed one of the powerful early guilds and their guild was one of the first two to begin giving out their own awards.  Writer-directors started to rise in the 1940s (lead by Preston Sturges and John Huston) and that would become the standard for most of the great foreign directors.  In the 1960s the auteur theory would come along and propel a number of directors to the top of the film world when it came to critical appreciation of the medium.  Today we are still in an era of truly great film directors, from those who came up through the medium in the 70s (Spielberg, Scorsese) to those 70s type independent minded directors who missed that era and came right after (Coen Brothers, Almodovar) to the great directors who made their mark in the 90s and later (Tarantino, Nolan, P.T. Anderson).  Following not too long after this post will come finally my 3.0 version of the Top 100 Directors of All-Time.


Screen Shot 2022-06-16 at 8.17.16 AMThis is the final grouping of 50 to count down the 1000 Greatest Films of the first Century of Film (1912-2011).

The original introduction can be found here.  Other parts can be found here.

The films in this portion rate at a 98 down through Modern Times and a 99 after that.

After some other posts, there will be an update that covers the years 2012-2016.  Then after some other posts, there will be another update that will cover the years 2017-2021.



“Smiley shrugged it all aside, distrustful as ever of the standard shapes of human motive, and settled instead for a picture of one of those wooden Russian dolls that open up, revealing one person inside the other, and another inside him. Of all men living, only Karla had seen the last little doll inside Bill Haydon. When was Bill recruited, and how? Was his right-wing stand at Oxford a pose, or was it paradoxically the state of sin from which Karla had summoned him to grace?” (p 316)

My Top 10

  1. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
  2. The Descendants
  3. Hugo
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  5. The Ides of March
  6. My Week with Marilyn
  7. Jane Eyre
  8. Moneyball
  9. Incendies
  10. The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn

note:  A solid Top 5 and Top 10. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-05-08 at 3.34.23 PMThe penultimate grouping of 50 has films that earn a 97 down through 2001.  After that, they are a 98.  The intro is here.  Other parts can be found here. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-04-23 at 6.22.30 AMLists are not a new thing for me.  Lists of the best films are not a new thing for me.  I have been doing this for so long that some of my old lists look like the work of a different person.

When cleaning up stuff at my mother’s house, I took her old Macintosh to be recycled.  But it wasn’t just her old computer.  It was the family computer that we bought in 1990.  It had old homework of mine from high school and among other things, what is possibly the first (certainly the oldest in existence) list of the Top 100 Movies of All-Time made by me.  As I prepare to dive into the Top 100 (through 2011), here’s a look back at a list I can’t really explain.  I’ll add a few notes at the bottom, but suffice to say, tastes change over time. (more…)

Screen Shot 2022-04-02 at 7.29.48 AMThree parts left in the first 1000 (before the updates).  The introduction can be found here.  The preceding parts of the list can be found here. (more…)

If Beale Street Could Talkbeale

  • Author:  James Baldwin
  • Published:  1974
  • Publisher:  The Dial Press
  • Pages:  197
  • First Line:  “I look at myself in the mirror.
  • Last Lines:  “Fanny is working on the wood, on the stone, whistling, smiling.  And, from far away, but coming nearer, the baby cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries and cries, cries like it means to wake the dead.”
  • Film Version:  2018  (****)
  • First Read:  sometime in the early 2010s


Screen Shot 2022-03-06 at 7.31.14 AMGetting close to the (initial) end of the Top 1000 list.  The introduction is here and the rest of the list can be found by going here.  Films through Inglourious Basterds (#174) are a 95 which is high ****.  The rest are a 96.  A 96 is, to me, worthy of a Best Picture win.  That means any Oscar winners from that point on, even if they don’t win the Nighthawk, earn no complaints from me.  Ironically, one of those films doesn’t even earn a Nighthawk nomination (The Hours) because 2002 is just that tough.  There are also a few films that come 5th in their years while the only actual Nighthawk winners in this post are all 95 films.  Things are so even across genres and major studios that only one film in this group of 50 is in the Top 5 all-time for its genre or major studio. (more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XXVI:

Real Geniusreal genius

  • Director:  Martha Coolidge
  • Writer:  Neal Israel, Pat Proft, PJ Torokvei
  • Producer:  Brian Grazer
  • Stars:  Val Kilmer, William Atherton
  • Studio:  TriStar
  • Award Nominations:  none
  • Length:  108 min
  • Genre:  Comedy
  • MPAA Rating:  PG
  • Release Date:  9 August 1985
  • Box Office Gross:  $12,952,019 mil  (#66 – 1985)
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #41 (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  Best Line Comedic  (“I was thinking of the immortal words of Socrates, who said, ‘I drank what’?”)
  • First Watched:  on television when it first came to cable
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  5 entirely, the ending at least 10


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