I am coming to the end of this incredible journey of posting the top 100 films of all time. The key purpose of these posts is to not only reminisce and remember the greatest films, but also to debate ones thought of the films and educate viewers of the greatest films they may never have seen. One debate that always comes up is why are there so many older classics in the top 100 versus the newer films of today? The main reason is classic films had taken bigger risks taken and becoming pioneers in what we see used some much today. If you aren’t willing to watch some of the classics, then you are missing some of the great influences and material that has spawned multi-generations of filmmaking.
Thank you for joining me for this ride. Enjoy.
Here are the top 5 films of all time:
#5: 2001: A Space Odyssey – 1968
Written and directed by Stanley Kubrick, a movie about the evolution of intelligence and superiority. Dr. Bowman is set out to help find were the point of origin of a Monolith found buried on the moon. The figured out that the monolith is from Jupiter. Dr. Bowman and crew will travel to with an AI called Hal 9000 to Jupiter to seek where answers until Hal has other plans.
The mastermind behind the making of Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick really brought the most evolutionary movie regarding species dominance and the evolution of technology and the effects it can have on the human race in time. One of the many remarkable things about this film is how we didn’t know what it would look like in outer space, and yet here we have a movie that was spot on how out space looks and feels. The movie brings up the question of who is watching us, and that we are not alone in the universe. The symphonic music with the beautiful texture of visual images, and with a storyline that I find pertains more to our day then when it the film came out. There is no movie like this one, and nor will there be. Kubrick is a mastermind behind the camera, and illustrating his story and theology.
#4: Schindler’s List – 1993
Directed by Steven Spielberg, Schindler’s List is about a man named Oskar Schindler who is trying to take advantage of the situation of when the Nazi’s start taking over the possessions and properties of the Jews during World War 2. As the war continues, Oskar sees the changes and the brutality and realistic that the Nazi’s were killing and torturing the Jews, his business becomes one of saving.
Schindler’s List is one of the hardest films to watch; yet it shows the necessary reality of the extermination and evilness that the Nazi’s were doing to those who supported or were of the Jewish faith. The horrors of genocide lurked heavily. In all reality, we didn’t see the real horrors what shown on the screen, what was shown was still very hard to see. Spielberg did a great job though very difficult film for him to make. The film showed us something that we cannot forget, nor should we ever forget. At the same time, we need to remember all those who were victims and all those who became heroes. Though the brutal reality of this film was not easy, the interesting angle shots to help portray the emotion of the realism. It was stunning to see the evolution of Liam Neesom’s character as a swindler to transform to a prominent man. The movie shows that people who reach heroism aren’t perfect, but the actions do play the overall purpose. This is Spielberg’s masterpiece, and it is one that SHOULD be seen regardless of how uncomfortable it is.
#3: Star Wars – 1977
The Empire is ruling the galaxy with an iron fist. The rebel alliance is trying to find ways not just to overthrow the empire but also to survive because they are being hunted. Princess Leia who is on the Senate council has her hands on some secret information on the death star, which the Empire is finishing to construct. Princess Leia’s convoy is attacked and Darth Vader who is the right hand man to the Emperor captures her. Princess Leia hides the secret information in a R2D2 unit. The R2D2 with a C3PO unit escape the Empire attack and land in Tatooine. This epic adventure begins when a young boy name Luke Skywalker from a planet Tatooine comes across the robots and the hidden plans. He is spring loaded into the adventure and comes across some of the epic characters in Sci-fi film like Obi Wan Kenobi, Han Solo, and Chewbacca.
Star Wars changed cinema in various ways. The Starship flying over the screen brought a new way to see film. Notice when movies start before Star Wars, and all the credits are at the beginning of the film. Star Wars allowed a new experience of watching a movie. It also brought a new wave of characters that people can route for and connect with a galaxy full of imagination. George Lucas who brought this movie to the silver screen inspired a lot of new wave of sci-fi and family films. Interesting fact that an Akira Kurosawa film influenced Star Wars origin story called the Hidden Fortress. Star Wars is the film that drove the casual fan to the cinemas over and over again.
#2: The Godfather – 1972
Vito Corleone is a powerful person that is also the head of one of the crime families in New York. His daughter is getting married, and his son Michael is home from the war. However times are changing in New York and certain people want to bring drugs into the communities and need Vito’s blessing. Vito who is against the drug trade starts a gang rivalry with heavy opposition. Michael needs to decide whether or not to join the family business.
Trust me, the movie isn’t in the top ten films of all time because of the only rule in Godfather ‘is don’t go against the family.’ It is the second best film for a reason. Francis Ford Coppola brought a film to the for front with cinematic tactics used with shadows to tell a story of a man Vito played by Marlon Brando and the evolution of his son Michael played by Al Pacino. The story sets values and principals that even the viewer we follow. We listen and see the operations and why we don’t cross the family. It has an amazing cast that includes James Caan as Sonny, and Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen. The music to this movie sets the tone and the story, which makes this film one of the best films of all time.
#1: Citizen Kane – 1941
Charles Foster Kane is dead. A reporter has heard that the final words from this Newspaper Tycoon was ‘Rosebud.’ The interviewer goes through a series of interviews trying to figure out who are Charles Foster Kane and the meaning behind his final word Rosebud. This tale goes through various backstories of the people who knew of Charles Foster Kane’s life.
Why is this the best film of all time? This sounds like an essay would have to explain the countless reasons why Citizen Kane is the best film of all time. Realistically it is a film that inspired countless movies to be made. Did you know that the film Citizen Kane that was made the year of 1941 had as much special effects in the film as Star Wars did? At the same time the controversy behind the film almost didn’t come into existence because of an upset tycoon named William Randolph Hearst. Hearst felt the movie was to close to his personal experiences and didn’t want the world to see him like he was.
Orson Welles had complete control over this film. This is unusual because there is usually someone that has the ultimate say from the studios. The use of different camera angles, lighting, and use of fade ins and outs really was innovated at that time. With the limited budget the production had, the amazement to trick the screen photography, when watching we don’t see all the different editing tactics, and infusion we see from multiple slices of film spliced together. They used old newsreels and other sets around the studio lot so they could save money, and yet it only enhanced the uniqueness of the film. Also changing the look of Orson Wells aging from 25 to 70 years old.
The story was interesting in itself. The question of what is Rosebud? In the sense of humor of Orson Welles making the point of a movie trying to figure out Rosebud isn’t what the movie is deeper meaning is all about. It is about the things we wished for that we cannot get, the innocence of regret from the past, and nothing can compensate for family. Not wealth, materials, treasures, and sometimes we don’t understand that till we no longer have that luxury. Citizen Kane isn’t just filmed for that generation. I see its message that holds true to even today. What was it or who’s that one that got away? What will your life be remembered for? Do you live up to the principles you claim, or is it just a cover for greed or lies? Citizen Kane strips the nakedness of a billionaire. When Charles Foster Kane died, he was a frail man just like anyone else on this earth. It made me think of when I die, what will people remember of me, and what will I remember of my life? All of these things bundled make this film the best film of all time.