Top Films of All-Time

Part 1


Top Films of All-Time
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The Top Films of All-Time: This section presents an overview of the rankings of films regarded as 'greatest' by other critics and film-makers' polls, box-office totals, awards organizations, and other tallies. (Not all entries are listed - these are only a representative sample.) Although this website doesn't strongly believe in the value of ranking films, it is nonetheless interesting to see how a certain number of films often appear at the very top of the rankings or ratings.

Note: The films marked with a yellow star are the films that the site has selected as the "100 Greatest Films".

THE MOST CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED FILM OF ALL-TIME
Citizen Kane (1941)
  • Invariably listed as the # 1 greatest film of all time by film critics
  • ranked # 1 for over 40 years by Sight & Sound
  • ranked # 1 in the Village Voice's listing of the '100 Best Films of 20th Century'
  • ranked # 1 in Time Out's Centenary Critics' Poll taken in 1995
  • ranked # 1 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
  • ranked # 1 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
  • ranked # 2 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
  • ranked # 19 in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time"
GREATEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
and
La Regle du Jeu (1939) (aka The Rules of the Game)

Ladri di Biciclette (1949) (aka The Bicycle Thief)
Rashomon (1950)
The Seven Samurai (1954)
Pather Panchali (1955)
  • Both Battleship Potemkin and La Regle du Jeu have regularly appeared in the top 10 of almost every Sight & Sound polling
  • Battleship Potemkin - voted the greatest film ever by a panel of experts at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair
  • La Regle du Jeu - ranked # 2 in the Village Voice's listing of the '100 Best Films of the 20th Century'; ranked # 58 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
  • Ladri di Biciclette - ranked # 1 in the 1952 Sight & Sound polling
  • Rashomon - the highest-ranked Japanese film (ranked # 10) in the Village Voice's listing of the '100 Best Films of the 20th Century'
  • The Seven Samurai - consistently the highest-rated foreign-language film in IMDb's top 250 films rankings, voted upon by site visitors
  • Pather Panchali - the only Indian film to appear on Sight & Sound Critics' Top Ten Poll (ranked # 6 in 1992)
FILM-GOERS' FAVORITE FILMS
Casablanca (1942)
  • Casablanca (1942)
    the # 4 best movie of all time in ABC-TV's "The Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time" in 2011
    ranked # 1 by Los Angeles Daily News' Readers' Poll of "Greatest American Films"
    described as "the best Hollywood movie of all time" in critic Leonard Maltin's movie guide listing of the "100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century"
    ranked # 1 as the "Greatest American Love Story" in AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions ranking in 2002
    ranked # 1 by Mr. Showbiz.com's (Internet website) Critics' Picks of "100 Best Movies of All Time"
    ranked # 2 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 3 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 3 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
    ranked # 16 in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time"
Star Wars (1977)
  • Star Wars (1977)
    ranked # 1 by Mr. Showbiz.com's (Internet website) Readers' Picks of "100 Best Movies of All Time"
    ranked # 1 by Empire Magazine's "Ultimate Movie Poll" of the 50 Best Films in late 2001
    ranked # 1 by Empire Magazine's polling of "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" in 1999; ranked # 2 in a similar 2003 polling
    ranked # 13 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 15 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 1 (along with The Empire Strikes Back (1980)) in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time" in 2001
    ranked # 1 in Phobos Entertainment's listing of the "50 Science Fiction Films You Just Have to See"
    ranked # 3 in Guardian Newspapers Limited's listing of the "Top 10 Sci-Fi Films" taken in 2004
    ranked # 16 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
    the # 1 science-fiction film in ABC-TV's "The Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time" in 2011
The Godfather (1972)
and
The Godfather, Part II (1974)

  • The Godfather (1972)
    the # 3 best movie of all time in ABC-TV's "The Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time" in 2011
    ranked # 2 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 1 in Time Out's Readers' Top 100 Poll taken in 1998
    ranked # 1 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
    ranked # 1 (long-time ranking) in IMDb's top 250 films rankings, voted upon by site visitors
    ranked # 2 in the Men's Journal's listing of "The 50 Best Guy Movies of All Time" taken in 2003
    ranked # 2 in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time" in 2001
    ranked # 3 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
  • The Godfather, Part II (1974)
    ranked # 32 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 1 in TV Guide's "50 Greatest Movies (on TV and Video)" selected in 1998
    ranked # 2 in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time"
    ranked # 7 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
    ranked # 31 in the Village Voice's listing of the '100 Best Films of 20th Century'
    ranked # 32 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • Gone with the Wind (1939)
    the # 1 best movie of all time in ABC-TV's "The Best in Film: The Greatest Movies of Our Time" in 2011
    ranked # 6 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 2 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions ranking in 2002
    ranked # 4 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies polling in 1998, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 8 in Entertainment Weekly's "100 Greatest Movies of All Time" book published in 1999
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
    ranked # 72 in AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies (10th Anniversary edition) polling in 2007, a list of the 100 greatest English-language movies
    ranked # 1 (long-time ranking) in IMDb's top 250 films rankings, voted upon by site visitors
    voted the best film never to have won "Best Picture" in a 2005 BBC poll
    ranked # 2 in Film Four's compilation of the "100 Greatest Films of All Time" in 2001
MOST AWARD-WINNING FILMS
Gone with the Wind (1939)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Gigi (1958)
  • Gone With the Wind (1939) - with 13 nominations and 8 Oscar wins - both records for the time, and it was the first color film to win Best Picture
  • From Here to Eternity (1953) - tied the record with 8 Oscar wins
  • On the Waterfront (1954) - tied the record again with 8 Oscar wins
  • Gigi (1958) - won a record-breaking 9 Oscars
Ben-Hur (1959)
  • The first film to win eleven Oscars, a record it held until tied 38 years later
Titanic (1997)
  • The second film to win eleven Oscars
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • The third film in Academy history to win eleven Academy Awards, and had the biggest sweep (11 of 11) in history as well
  • The earlier film in the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), was the pick of readers in a "Greatest Films" poll by Empire magazine in 2003
All About Eve (1950)
Titanic (1997)
  • The most-nominated films in Oscars history, each with 14 nominations
BOX-OFFICE BLOCKBUSTERS
Avatar (2009)
  • James Cameron surpassed his own Titanic (1997) with the highest-grossing film ever (domestic and worldwide)
Titanic (1997)
La Voyage Dans La Lune (1902)
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
The Big Parade (1925)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Gone with the Wind (1939)
The Sound of Music (1965)
The Godfather (1972)
Jaws (1975)
Star Wars (1977)
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Jurassic Park (1993)
Titanic (1997)
Avatar (2009)

Other Top Box-Office Films

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (2001)
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Finding Nemo (2003)
Shrek 2 (2004)

The Dark Knight (2008)
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011)
Skyfall (2012)
Marvel's The Avengers (2012)

All of these films were -- at one time -- the highest grossing film of all time, until superceded by the next film

  • The Birth of a Nation (1915) - Highest-grossing film until 1925
  • The Big Parade (1925) - Highest grossing silent film of all time
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Highest grossing until 1939
  • Gone With the Wind (1939) - Highest grossing until 1966
  • The Sound of Music (1965) - Highest grossing from August 1966 until the re-issue of Gone With The Wind in 1971
  • The Godfather (1972) - Highest grossing until 1975
  • Jaws (1975) - Highest grossing until 1977
  • Star Wars (1977) - Highest grossing until January, 1983
  • E.T. : The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) - Highest grossing until 1993
  • Jurassic Park (1993) - Highest grossing until 1997
  • Titanic (1997) - Highest grossing and most successful US film ever (unadjusted for inflation) - its worldwide gross was $1.835 billion, and it was the first movie to gross $1 billion
  • The Dark Knight (2008) - Highest grossing Batman film to date
  • Avatar (2009) - Highest grossing and most successful film ever (US and worldwide)
  • Toy Story 3 (2010) - the Highest grossing film (domestic) in the year 2010 and the highest grossing animated film of all-time (worldwide), surpassing Shrek 2 (2004); the first animated film in history to gross over $1 billion (worldwide)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011) - Highest grossing Harry Potter film to date
  • Skyfall (2012) - Highest grossing James Bond film to date
  • Marvel's The Avengers (2012) - Highest grossing Super-Hero film to date
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Star Wars (1977)
The Sound of Music (1965)
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Titanic (1997)

1920s:The Big Parade (1925)
1930s: Gone With The Wind (1939)
1940s: Bambi (1942)
1950s: Lady and the Tramp (1955)
1960s: The Sound of Music (1965)
1970s: Star Wars (1977)
1980s: E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
1990s: Titanic (1997)
2000s: Avatar (2009)
2010s: TBD

"Harry Potter" Films
"Star Wars" Trilogy and Prequels
"James Bond" Films
"Batman" Films
"Shrek" Films
"Spider-Man" Films
"Pirates of the Caribbean" Films
"The Lord of the Rings" Films
"Star Trek" Films


RECOMMENDED FILMS OF THE GREATEST DIRECTORS
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of Alfred Hitchcock

Rebecca (1940)
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Notorious (1946)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Rear Window (1954)
Vertigo (1958)
North by Northwest (1959)
Psycho (1960)

  • ranked as the # 1 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
  • ranked as the # 1 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 2 director in a listing of the Top 40 "Greatest Directors of All Time" by Empire Magazine in 2005
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of D.W. Griffith

The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Intolerance (1916)
Broken Blossoms (1919)
Way Down East (1920)

  • ranked as the # 2 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 15 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of Orson Welles

Citizen Kane (1941)
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The Lady from Shanghai (1948)
Touch of Evil (1958)

  • ranked as the # 2 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
  • ranked as the # 3 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 9 director in a listing of the Top 40 "Greatest Directors of All Time" by Empire Magazine in 2005
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of Jean-Luc Godard

Breathless (1959)
Une Femme est une Femme (1960)
Contempt (1963)
Pierrot le fou (1965)
Masculin Feminin (1966)
  • ranked as the # 4 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 31 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of John Ford

Stagecoach (1939)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
How Green Was My Valley (1941)
My Darling Clementine (1946)
The Quiet Man (1952)
The Searchers (1956)
  • ranked as the # 3 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
  • ranked as the # 5 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 18 director in a listing of the Top 40 "Greatest Directors of All Time" by Empire Magazine in 2005
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of Howard Hawks

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
His Girl Friday (1940)
To Have and Have Not (1944)
The Big Sleep (1946)
Red River (1948)
  • ranked as the # 4 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996
  • ranked as the # 18 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 21 director in a listing of the Top 40 "Greatest Directors of All Time" by Empire Magazine in 2005
Highly Recommended, Must-See Films of Stanley Kubrick

Paths of Glory (1957)
Lolita (1962)
Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned... (1964)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Barry Lyndon (1975)
The Shining (1980)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  • ranked as the # 4 director in a listing of the Top 40 "Greatest Directors of All Time" by Empire Magazine in 2005
  • ranked as the # 6 director in a listing of the "25 Most Influential Directors of All-Time" by MovieMaker Magazine in 2002
  • ranked as the # 23 director in a listing of "The 50 Greatest Directors and Their 100 Best Movies" by Entertainment Weekly in 1996


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