50 Best Films

by Empire Magazine



Empire Magazine readers selected The 50 Best Films, published in the November 2001 issue of the magazine. The results of the 'The Ultimate Movie Poll' also included 50 Best Actors, 50 Best Actresses, 50 Best Directors, and much more. See also Empire Magazine's pollings taken in 1999 and in 2003 for The 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, and their most recent 2017 polling for The 100 Greatest Movies.


Film Title
Must-see Moment
50. Vertigo (1958) The dolly zoom in the bell-tower.
49. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) Jack Nicholson's World Series rant.
48. Dr. Strangelove, Or: (1963) The haunting use of "We'll Meet Again."
47. Rear Window (1954) Grace Kelly's ultra-sexy entrance.
46. Grosse Point Blanke (1997) The last scene shoot-out.
45. Forrest Gump (1994) Forrest playing table tennis.
44. The Searchers (1956) Wayne walking away from the homestead and civility.
43. Jurassic Park (1993) The graceful beauty of the brachiosaurus.
42. Raging Bull (1980) The 12 minutes of bravura boxing.
41. Singin' in the Rain (1952) Donald O'Connor's "Make 'Em Laugh" schtik.
40. Return of the Jedi (1983) The speeder bike chase.
39. Fargo (1996) The 'son of a Gunderson' gag.
38. Gone With the Wind (1939) The inferno of Atlanta.
37. Taxi Driver (1975) Scorsese's chilling cameo as a passenger.
36. Lawrence of Arabia (1962) The mirage set-piece.
35. The Big Lebowski (1998) The bowling alley musical number.
34. Titanic (1997) The ship at right angles.
33. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) That cut from bone to spaceship.
32. Leon (1994) The opening hit.
31. Braveheart (1995) "Chaaarge!"
30. It's a Wonderful Life (1946) The legendary run down Bedford Falls Main Street.
29. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2001) The tree-top fighting.
28. Citizen Kane (1941) The astonishing camera move from operatic stage to the rafters.
27. Magnolia (2000) The audacious Aimee Mann sing-song.
26. Apocalypse Now (1979) The Huey helicopter attack on the coastal village.
25. L.A. Confidential (1997) Russell Crowe powering into an interrogation room to mete out justice.
24. Some Like It Hot (1959) Jack Lemmon and Joe E. Brown tangoing.
23. Alien (1979) The revelation of Ash's real identity.
22. Schindler's List (1993) The liquidation of the Krakow ghetto.
21. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) The first Lecter/Starling face-off.
20. Saving Private Ryan (1998) Bullets ripping into soldiers underwater.
19. Aliens (1986) Ripley's showdown with the alien queen.
18. Se7en (1995) Death a la sloth.
17. The Godfather, Part II (1974) De Niro becoming a player with a gun wrapped in a towel.
16. Blade Runner (1982) The opening futuristic cityscapes.
15. Casablanca (1942) The rousing rendition of La Marseillaise.
14. American Beauty (2000) Burnham spotting his wife and her lover while working at a burger joint.
13. Jaws (1975) "You're gonna need a bigger boat."
12. The Usual Suspects (1996) The final revelation.
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) From the boulder dash to Indy's uniquely hilarious way of dealing with a master swordsman, this has too many great bits to mention.
10. Pulp Fiction (1994) Vincent and Mia's Jack Rabbit Slims twist.
9. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) Holly Golightly outside Tiffany's licking an ice-cream.
8. GoodFellas (1990) "Funny how?"
7. Gladiator (2000) Maximus taking on all-comers in the arena.
6. Fight Club (1999) The Ikea catalog set-piece.
5. The Matrix (1999) Dodging the slo-mo bullets.
4. The Godfather (1972) Brando's death amid the orange trees.
3. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) Playing Mozart to transfixed prisoners.
2. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) The appearance of the AT-ATs.
1. Star Wars (1977) The final attack on the Death Star.

Facts and Commentary About the List:


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