Favourite films

Following on from my list of favourite novels from a few weeks ago, I thought I’d compile a similar list of my favourite films—that’s movies to American folks. Although this website is about reading, writing, publishing and marketing of books, I feel that a post on films is nevertheless a good fit. After all, a film-maker has to pay attention to much of the same sort of thing that concerns a fiction writer: characterisation, plot, setting, and so on.

By ‘favourite’, I don’t necessarily mean the films I consider to be the best written, directed or acted, or ones that champion the highest ideals, or ones fulfilling any other objective measure of what makes a great film. Nope, I simply mean the films that left a lasting impression on me. Some of the films on this list I’ve watched over and over, and will watch again.

I did originally call this list ‘Top 50 Favourite Films’ but dropped the ‘Top 50’. There are  films I’ve seen and loved that don’t appear on this list because I can’t now quickly recall them—I have seen so many over the years that I’ve forgotten loads—or because my mood when I compiled the list was such that a film didn’t make it when on another day it would have. So this is more properly a list of fifty of my favourite films, but not necessarily the first fifty and not in any particular order.

You could say I’ve cheated slightly by including Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy as one film to avoid having to bump two other films off the list. But I’ve always considered the book as one novel, not a trilogy. I believe Tolkien wrote it as one book and it was only split into three at his publisher’s insistence. Thus, the film, like the book, is one in my eyes. So there.

Since so many films have been (usually pointlessly) remade or rebooted (whatever the heck that means), I’ve included the year the version of the film I’m referring to was released.

Finally, where I’ve read the book upon which the film is based, I’m including an Amazon UK link* to the book for anyone who wants to check it out.

Enough blathering. On with the list.

1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly [1966]

2. The Darjeeling Limited [2007]

3. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid [1969]

4. Random Harvest [1942]

5. The Longest Day [1962]

6. Inception [2010]

7. The Lord of the Rings trilogy [2001-03]


The Lord of the Rings

8. Shutter Island [2010]

9. Schindler’s List [1993]

10. Shrek [2001]

11. Kill Bill Vol I [2003]

12. Flight of the Navigator [1986]

13. The Wizard of Oz [1939]


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

14. The Life of Brian [1979]

15. Blair Witch Project [1999]

A Marmite film – I’m firmly in the ‘love it’ camp.

16. Gladiator [2000]

17. The Matrix [1999]

18. Memento [2000]

19. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood [2019]

Replacing Kill Bill Vol I as my favourite Tarantino film.

20. The Usual Suspects [1995]

21. Airplane [1980]

22. Se7en [1995]

23. The Godfather [1972]

Part II could as easily have been included.

24. The Ring [2002]

I’ve gone with the Hollywood version, but the original Japanese version—Ringu [1998]—is as good, if not better.

25. Stand By Me [1986]


Different Seasons

26. All the President’s Men [1976]

27. Three Days of the Condor [1975]

28. Cool Hand Luke [1967]

29. Twelve Angry Men [1957]

30. Once Upon a Time in the West [1968]

31. Blade Runner [1982]


Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

32. Interstellar [2014]

33. Fight Club [1999]

34. Guardians of the Galaxy [2014]

35. Office Space [1999]

36. The Prestige [2006]

37. Little Miss Sunshine [2006]

38. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest [1975]


One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

39. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind [2004]

40. The Princess Bride [1987]

41. It’s a Wonderful Life [1946]

42. The Truman Show [1998]

43. My Neighbour Totoro [1988]

Two other Studio Ghibli animations might have made the list on another day: Spirited Away [2001] and the utterly heartbreaking Grave of the Fireflies [1988].

44. The Exorcist [1973]


The Exorcist

45. Raiders of the Lost Ark [1981]

Happy 40th birthday! (Man, that makes me feel old.)

46. The Great Escape [1963]

47. The Wicker Man [1973]

Britt Ekland… sigh

48. Don’t Look Now [1973]

49. Casino Royale [2006]

This is the Daniel Craig version, not the wackily psychedelic 1967 version starring David Niven as Bond that has very little to do with Ian Fleming’s novel. It nevertheless possesses some charm in its own right, not least being the catchy theme tune.


Casino Royale

50. Sideways [2004]

 

* they’re affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a small amount of commission from Amazon on any sales resulting from following the links; it doesn’t affect the price you pay to Amazon