List 30 movies you love that are probably on no one's all-time best list

List 30 movies you love—movies you’ll watch pretty much whenever they’re on—but** that are probably not on any “official” all-time best list. In other words, try not to list universally acknowledged classics; that’s another topic. So it likely won’t be your 30 all-time favorites, but I’m interested in the less well-known or less praised movies that people love. Here’s my list (can you tell I like Luc Besson movies :D). It’s light on older films because the one’s I like I think most people consider great. Feel free to critique my list before adding your own if you wish. :slight_smile:

2 Days In the Valley
All That Jazz
Born Yesterday
Brassed Off
The Commitments
Connie and Carla
Defending Your Life
The Fifth Element
Ghost Dog-The Way of the Samurai
Glengarry Glen Ross
Grosse Point Blank
Groundhog Day
Hamlet (2000 version)
The Ladykillers (2004 version)
The Madness of King George
The Messenger – The Story of Joan of Arc
Mission to Mars
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House
Much Ado About Nothing (1993 version)
O Brother Where Art Thou?
The Professional
Rocket Gibralter
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Shall We Dance? (1995 Japanese version)
Summer Rental
Twelve O’Clock High

In no particular order:

El Cid
The Three Musketeers (1970s version with Oliver Reed)
The Four Musketeers (sequel)
2001 A Space Odyssey
Sound of Music
Ben Hur
Much Ado about Nothing (Kenneth Brannagh)
Henry V (Kenneth Brannagh)
The Robe
Quo Vadis
The Vikings
The Alamo (John Wayne) [Actually most John Wayne movies]
The Sea Hawk
Captain Blood
Robin Hood [Actually most Errol Flynn swashbucklers]
All the Sean Connery 007 movies
Tora, Tora, Tora
The Longest Day
Robin and Marian (Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn)
A Man for All Seasons
The Agony and the Ecstasy
Shoes of the Fisherman
American Graffitti
(Guilty pleasure - I will still watch the Annette Funicello/Frankie Avalon beach movies.)
Animal House
And how could I leave this off my list - Monty Python’s Quest for the Holy Grail.

I can see I am a bit older than you, but I’ll try

the Quiet Man
Wuthering Heights
Jane Eyre (any version, Charlotte Gainsborough has been the best so far)
Little Women (any version, Winona Ryder has been the best so far)
How Green Was My Valley (should also be on anyone’s top films of all time list, the novel was also excellent) Dada! Dada! the boy crying for his father trapped in the coal mine still gives me chills.

Bridge on the River Kwai (madness! madness!)
The Longest Day, still one of my favorite war movies

this has been remade several times, but the version I have in mind is with Charlton Heston in the 50s, the major who is disciplined by being sent to run a boys military boarding school, Major Payne is the latest re-make but I can’t remember the title of this one.

They Were Expendable, another favorite war movie
Yankee Doodle Dandy, this fits the criteria of “I watch it every time they show it”

Dark Victory
Now Voyager
Bette Davis is not one of my favorites but those and
Guess Whose Coming For Dinner and
All About Eve are all pretty good

The Best Years of Our Lives
The Bishop’s Wife
Bringing up Baby - best Cary Grant comedy ever made
this is the movie to watch when you are depressed, laughter cures what ails you

There is one with Claudette Colbert as an army nurse who gets her group off Bataan and describes what they went through, which I forget the title, but I watch it whenever I see it.

The Thin Man (the original, the rest went downhill)
My Man Godfrey

I also have a secret addiction to Shirley Temple movies

vintage Hitchcock:
Strangers on a Train

Nine to Five - Lily Tomlin is superb
Barefoot in the Park (again, Jane Fonda is not a favorite, but light comedy is her forte)

a totally idiotic Goldie Hawn-Chevy Chase thriller, where she unwittingly holds the clues to a plot to kill the Pope, the scense with Dudley Moore as an orchestra conductor who keeps getting into trouble because of Goldie are priceless comedy. I had the name when I started typing but can’t remember now.

Trapped in Paradise, more recent comedy with Nicholas Cage, think it is now my favorite Christmas movie, surpassing
It’s A Wonderful Life

A Texas Funeral.

Sorry, I’m not much of a movie buff. But I loved A Texas Funeral. A very deep movie.

And–forgive me, o cultural gods!–I loved The Marine with John Cena as the hero and Robert Patrick as the villain! Talk about total guilty pleasure!

Here’s my 30 but some are on other people’s lists I’m sure…

The Matrix
Widow’s Peak
The Best Years Of Our Lives
Gone With The Wind
A Room With A View
Howard’s End
The Paper Chase
Arsenic and Old Lace
The Bank **** (W.C. Fields)
The Great Gatsby
Strangers On A Train
North By Northwest
Citizen Kane
Being There
Bridge On The River Kwai
Searching For Bobby Fischer
Roman Holiday
Rear Window
Breakfast At Tiffanys
The Nun’s Story
In The Heat Of The Night
In Harm’s Way
Modern Times
No Time For Sergeants
Some Like It Hot
Schindler’s List
It’s A Wonderful Life
Dr. Strangelove

The Survivors (Robin William’s and Walter Matthau)


Hysterical (Hudson bros.)

The Scarlet and the Black

This is a made-for-TV movie, but it is AWESOME, especially the ending (and especially because it is a true story and the ending is true.). It is a great Catholic movie starring Gregory Peck. :thumbsup:

Puzzleannie, which version of Wuthering Heights do you recommend? I haven’t found one that comes even close to the book.

Some of my favorites off the top of my head (and I would be surprised if I could come up with 30)

Hope & Glory (The story of a world at war and a boy at play)
A Room with a View
Like Water for Chocolate
Name of the Rose
The Wedding Singer
Better Off Dead
The Goonies
A Christmas Story
Stand by Me

Not by as much as you think. As I said, I didn’t include many older films on my list because I consider many that I like to be classics, like many on your list. Any more favorite lesser-known movies?

The Private War of Major Benson

Probably in my top three of all time.

Three Came Home

Foul Play

I’m seeing a lot of highly-critically-acclaimed movies on some of these lists… :wink: Here’s mine, aiming mostly for the underrated, the obscure, and the bizarre:

Kafka (Soderbergh biopic-cum-Kafka-story)
City of Lost Children (surreal French adventure)
High Plains Drifter (Eastwood western)
Pink Flamingos (probably grievously morally offensive to everyone here, and a solid zero stars from Ebert, who regards it as more a ‘thing’ than a ‘movie’)
Vidocq (brilliant but almost unknown French action flick)
Save the Green Planet (weird Korean horror/comedy/drama/none of the above)
Repo Man (punk classic)
Alice (Jan Svankmeijer’s even more surreal than the original version of Alice in Wonderland)
Herz Aus Glas (Werner Herzog hypnotizes a bunch of actors and films a period piece)
Dark City (sci-fi/horror/noir)
Robot Carnival (animated collection of shorts involving robots)
Serial Mom (you thought your mom was nuts…)
The Glass Key (classic political/mob intrigue film noir)
MirrorMask (Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean team up with the Henson workshop for a story about a young girl running away from the circus)
Mildred Pierce (the wittiest noir I’ve ever seen, the characters just keep riffing off each other)
He Walked By Night (classic ‘true crime’ drama)
Shadow of the Vampire (Malkovich and Dafoe play Murnau and Schreck in a story based on the filming of the Expressionist classic Nosferatu)
Total Recall (a rather intelligent excuse for Arnie to wreck things, if he ever needs an excuse that is)
The Thief and the Cobbler (the animated masterwork that Disney ripped off completely for Aladdin; the ‘Recobbled Cut’ is publicly available online at Google video)
Fantastic Planet (old surrealist French sci-fi animated movie)
Tampopo (a quasi-western about the Quest for the Perfect Ramen and also how weird people are about food)
Attack the Gas Station (Korean film, a group of young hoodlums, well, attack a gas station, then decide to take it over and run it for a night)
The Crow (goth comes back from the dead for revenge)
RoboCop (it’s… RoboCop)
Escape from New York (just what the title says, no more, no less)
Army of Darkness (Bruce Campbell doing what he does best)
Dersu Uzala (renowned samurai epic director Akira Kurosawa takes a break and makes a movie about a Siberian tribesman helping a bunch of lost Soviet Army cartographers out)
Dolemite (one of the best-known blaxploitation movies, about a pimp coming out of jail to take the city back and make everything funky again)
Kin Dza Dza (underground budget science fiction from the Soviet Union, weird and subversive; also available free to the public on Google Video)

And last and most definitely least:
Skidoo. Otto Preminger, known for his heavy-handed dramatic oeuvre, makes a hippie LSD ‘comedy’ with Groucho Marx as a mob boss named ‘God’, Jackie Gleason as a retired hitman, and Carol Channing as his wife and horrifying singer. Highlights include Groucho’s head bouncing around a prison cell on a screw, a song&dance number by trash cans, and two prisoners escaping in a hot-air balloon made of lettuce sacks. This is the movie that ended Groucho Marx’s career. It’s so bad his daughter won’t allow it to be released on DVD or even VHS for fear of what it will do to Otto’s reputation. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You might just vomit.

Oh, my husband would love this thread!

My list is not very long:
The Passion of Christ
My Life
Lion King
Sweet home Alabama
Romy & Michelle’s hs reunion (I know, it’s dumb but that’s okay)
My Best Friends Wedding
Runaway Bride
Napolean Dynamite (my son loves it, so I had to add it)
The Christmas Story (my son loves this one also)
The Wedding Planner
My Big Fat Greek Wedding (hilarious)

High Plains Drifter (Eastwood western)

How :eek: can you list this one, without listing Pale Rider, right along with it? HPD=“the man from hell”; PR=“the man from heaven”. I bought the tapes of both on the same day! They are always played, one after the other.
Also Eastwood: Play Misty For Me. He made it aeons before that Fatal Attraction knockoff was even thought of…And he did it better, too!!!
And all the Dirty Harry movies, but the the one & only original, that still makes my hair stand up on the back of my neck, the way it did when I sat in the theater trying to pretend that I was eating my popcorn.

Am I the only person alive who still loves silent movies??? Lon Chaney Sr in ‘The Phantom of the Opera’; Greta Garbo in ‘The World,The Flesh, &The Devil’. All the Barrymores…the real Barrymores, I mean; not the goofy-valleygirl-nonsensical-imitation.Nosferatu: the original, starring Max Schreck, as the most rodentine character to ever grace the silver screen. “The Cabinet if Dr Caligari”…the absolute best movie I have ever seen. I own it, & no matter how many times I see it, I am still blown away by the tilted-out-of-kilter world that it creates…A world that will, within a decade & a half, come to horrible, terrifying life under Hitler…who was living not so far from the place & time where Caligari came into being. (No spoilers from me: See it. Even if you hate silents, hate Expressionism, & hate B&W movies in general). “Metropolis”-- a dystopia that might almost be true; it has inspired many a film that you will have seen, but none of them have ever come close to the original.

And (to the surprise of few who know me), anything with Bela Lugosi. Anything. But especially the 1931 Dracula…and another 1931 Dracula that I bet a lot of people don’t even know exists: the Spanish language Dracula that was shot on the same sets as the Lugosi version, working at night, while the English language crew worked days. They didn’t have the technology for dubbing voices (sound was still an innovation), and nobody wanted to see subtitles: that was half the point of sound. So they used the same screenplay, with a whole other cast, crew, & director. It is, :stuck_out_tongue: IMNSHO, the best version of Dracula that has ever been made. Are you sensing a pattern here??:smiley: Why deny it??:shrug: I love scary movies. Really scary movies, I mean; not the blood & guts- bespattered dreck that passes for scary today. You can throw all the blood & body parts in the world about on the screen; if the story wouldn’t be scary on the pages of a book–without all that–It’s not going to be scary on film…

(:wink: Yes, yes, I know…:cool: I’ll go quietly…“Mr DeMille? I’m ready for my close-up now!”)

YES! Lon Chaney in Phantom - great stuff!

A few of these movies are suspiciously mainstream - we want ones that WON’T make it onto top 30 lists people.

I’m a sucker for old swashbuckling pirate movies - so gimme Captain Blood or Seahawk - and Errol Flynn, which means Robin Hood too :wink:

Any of the old movies set in Tudor England (too many to list here, but Anne of the Thousand Days, Young Bess, and The Private Life of Henry VIII are great for starters, as is A Man for All Seasons of course)

Dances with Wolves was great
*Life is Beautiful *alongside Amelie, for the foreign film fans

Cat Ballou! Fantastically funny Western musical with Lee Marvin and Jane Fonda.

A great movie set 400 years earlier is Becket with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole. Have you seen it?

I believe I have. I know the story of St Thomas Becket anyways. But I really like The Lion in Winter (O’Toole as Henry II again - with Kate Hepburn as Eleanor of Aquitaine - fantastic combo!)

I agree! Plus a young Anthony Hopkins! Remade for TV with Patrick Stewart and Glenn Close. That version is well worth seeing also.

Just about any movie with giant bugs in it. I love Tarantula, and The Incredible Shrinking Man and for a more up to date one, Eight Legged Freaks. I also love Arachophobia (not giant spiders, but still scary). Then there’s Tremors, The Monolith Monsters and Quatermass and the Pit. Yep, there’s nothing like a good old monster movie.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit