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Content on this page:

- What makes a film good
- This list
- 100 best movies

See also:

- African movies

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The best movies in the world

A list of great and recommendable movies selected by Jacob Crawfurd. Artistic masterpieces, film historic milestones or films that are simply refreshingly different, daring or challenging - in my opinion.

What makes a film good?

Films can be much more than just mainstream action and Hollywood melodrama. Many people are are not giving a fair chance to films that are not fast paced, does not have a "realistic" setting -or films trying a different approach. Films can give so much more than just a cheap action thrill. If you are open to it, that is.

Films can raise moral questions and show dillemmas that we are all familiar with. A good film rarely tries to give answers. It is impossible to give answers that are valid for everybody. The good films tries to show a bit of truth, give clues or something to "take away" for later digestion. Films can be provocative, eye-opening or simply unforgettable.

"A lot of people I talked to, think that movie history started with Star Wars"
( Roger Ebert, film critic. )

Gold in black and white

Don't miss the many old films just beacuse they are in black and white and sparse on computer generated special effects. There has always been great films and many of these are still important today. The film language has developed rapidly, but films of today owes a great deal to the older classics. Understanding the film historic background can bring new dimensions in viewing the new films.

This list

Lists like this are really silly. It is impossible to mention one favourite film - or even ten. One day you can go crazy over Vertigo or cry and laugh with Goldrush. The next day you are stunned by the genious of Stanley Kubrick or the fantasy of Fellini. How can you possibly compare 8½ with the Shining. They are both breathtaking in very different ways and it will never be fair.

Some films I just NEVER get tired of watching. This selection of 100 "best movies" covers at least some of the greatest moments that I have had with the silver screen. I believe that a few of these films have actually had part in changing the way I look at life. I hope they can do the same for you. I have tried to pick films representing very different "genres".


100 Best movies in the world

Sorted alphabetically.

Italy (1963)
Federico Fellinis ultimate film -about making film. A semi-autobiographical story starring Marcello Mastroianni as the director who has lost his inspiration. Incredible told by Fellini at a time when he himself was frustrated with lack of inspiration! This is the favourite film of many filmdirectors and photographers. If possible get your hands on the Criterion Collection DVD with a great digital transfer and loads of extra material.

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12 Monkeys

USA (1995)
Terry Gilliam sends Bruce Willis on a fantastic voyage through time. Gilliam truly has his own style in picture and storytelling. The story is inspired by a short film by Chris Marker: La Jetée. This same story inspired The Terminator, a very different kind of science fiction fantasy.

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The 400 Blows (Les quatre-cents coups)

France (1959)
The debut film for Francois truffaut also marked the beginning of the french New Wave. An important film historic milestone starring the young Jean-Pierre Léaud.

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2001: A Space Odyssey

Dave played by Keir DulleaUSA (1968)
Another milestone. With this film Stanley Kubrick reached the moon a year before the rest of mankind. An epic and a technical masterpiece with stunning photography and several unforgettable moments. Science Fiction was never the same after this odyssey.

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The African Queen

UK/USA (1951)
Master of storytelling, John Huston, takes us on a great adventure navigating a small boat through Africa during WW1. Humphrey Bogart is the ever drunk captain who has to put up with the missionary played by Katharine Hepburn. It is no great surprise that they eventually fall in love, but it is great filmmaking as they don't make it anymore.

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Amélie (Le Fabouleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain)

France, Germany (2001)
The charming and funny story of Amélie is a story filled with fantasy and visual imagination, as always with director Jean-Pierre Jeunet who also directed Delicatessen and City of Lost Children. The young and innocent Amélie is always helpful and through all her well-doing she finally discovers love. A small and simple story made into great entertainment.

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Ashes and Diamonds (Popiól I Diament)

Poland (1958)
It has been long time since I saw this rare and special treat, but I am ready to see it again at any given ocasion. It is a classic masterpiece about the moral question of killing somebody for the right cause. A resistance fighter (Zbigniew Cybulski) has to follow his orders on the last day of World War 2. The director is Andrzej Wajda and this name should be known to all true filmfans.

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Apocalypse Now (Redux)

Martin Sheen in Apocalypse NowUSA (1979/2001)
Maybe the greatest Vietnam film of them all, is not really about the war in Vietnam. Well it is, but it is also about so many other things -specially the very darkest sides of human nature. The story is based of Heart of Darkness, the classic Congo river novel by Joseph Conrad (also made into a TV film in 1994). Francis Ford Coppola directed this huge production with Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall and many other great actors. In 2001 the film was rereleased (the "Redux" version) with more than 50 minutes of scenes originally left of the cutting floor. And guess what ...in this rare case it WAS possible to improve a masterpiece.

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REDUX: VHS (NTSC)
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Barton Fink

USA (1991)

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Battle of Algiers (La Battaglia di Algeri)

Algeria, Italy (1965)
The Algerian civil war viewed from both grim sides. The Algerians sought independence as all other African countries in the sixties - and as most other places the French govenment hit back very hard. The shocking and dramatic story is historically correct and brutal. The film has changed many peoples opinions about what was going on in the colonies and it was also easy to draw parallels to the war in Vietnam. When viewed today is difficult not to think about the American involvement in Iraq. Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo.

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Belle de Jour - Beauty of the Day

France/Italy (1967)
Surrealistic masterpiece directed by Luis Buñuel. Starring Catherine Deneuve as the young high class woman who dreams(?) about working as a daytime prostitute.

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The Bicycle Thief (Ladri di biciclette)

Italy (1948)
A neo-realistic classic by Vittorio De Sica. A man and his son is searching desperately to find a stolen bicycle which is vital for the poor family.

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The Big SleepThe Big Sleep

USA, 1946
Director Howard Hawks made this classic film noir detective story with Humphrey Bogart as Philip Marlowe. The detective is hired by a rich family with more than a few dark secrets. Lauren Bacall is the ultimate femme fatale. Great entertainment and the Bogart/Bacall scenes are electric.

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Scene from Orfeu NegroBlack Orpheus - Orfeu Negro

Brazil, France, Italy (1959)
The greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice acted out in the favela of Rio de Janeiro during Carnival. A magic film which introduced the bossa nova to the Europeans. Remade as "Orfeu" in 1999, but THIS is the real thing.

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Blade Runner

USA (1982)
Science fiction classic directed by Ridley Scott with a script based on a book by Philip K. Dick. Brilliant atmosphere, ideas and production design which has later been copied in many other sci-fi films. Harrison Ford stars as the Policeman (Blade Runner) tasked with hunting down and exterminating Replicants - artificial humans.

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Blue Velvet

Directed by David Lynch

Bonnie and Clyde

USA (1967)
Directed by Arthur Penn

Das Boot

West Germany (1981)
Directed by Wolfgang Petersen

Brazil

Directed by Terry Gilliam

Breathless - À Bout De Souffle

France (1961)
Directed by Jean-Luc Godard

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Casablanca

 

Chinatown

Directed by Roman Polanski

Citizen Kane

Directed by Orson Welles

A Clockwork Orange

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Directed by Steven Spielberg

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & her Lover

France, Netherlands, UK (1984)
Directed by Peter Greenaway

The Conversation

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

The Crying Game

 

Day for Night

Directed by Francois Truffaut

The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie

Directed by Luis Bunuel

Diva

Directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix

Don't Look Now

Directed by Nicolas Roeg

The Double Life of Veronique

Directed by Kieslowski

Dr. Strangelove

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

The Element of Crime

Directed by Lars Von Trier

The Elephant Man

Directed by David Lynch

The Empire Strikes Back

 

E.T.

Directed by Steven Spielberg

The Exorcist

 

The Family

Directed by Ettore Scola

Fellini - Amarcord

Directed by Federico Fellini

From Russia With Love

 

Godfather

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

The Graduate

 

The Great Dictator

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

The Green Room

Directed by Francois truffaut

L.A. Confidential

 

La Dolce Vita

Directed by Federico fellini

Lawrence of Arabia

 

Like Water For Chocolate

 

Last Tango in Paris

Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

M

Directed by Fritz Lang

Magic Flute

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Magnolia

 

The Maltese Falcon

 

The Man Who Loved Women

Directed by Francois Truffaut

The Man Who Would Be King

Directed by John Huston

May Fools

Directed by Louis Malle

My Life to live

Directed by Godard

Mystery Train

Directed by Jim Jarmusch

Naked Lunch

Directed by David Cronenberg

North By NorthWest

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Nosferatu - Phantom der Nacht

Directed by Werner Herzog

Notorius

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

That Obscure Object of Desire

Directed by Bunuel

Once Upon A Time in the west

Directed by Sergio Leone

Pierrot Le Fou

Directed by Godard

Potemkin (Battleship Potemkin/Bronenosets Potyomkin

Directed by Sergei Eisenstein

Paris, Texas

Directed by Wim Wenders

Passion of Joan of Arc

Directed by Dreyer

Pink Floyd - The Wall

Directed by Alan Parker

The Player

Directed by Robert Altman

Raiders Of the Lost Ark

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Raise the Red Lantern

 

Rebecca

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Rebel Without a Cause

 

Red Sorghum

 

Rome, Open City

Directed by Roberto Rosselini

Rosemarys Baby

Directed by Roman Polanski

Rumblefish

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Seven Samurai

Directed by Akira Kurosawa

The Seventh Seal

Directed by Ingmar Bergman

Sex, lies, and videotape

 

Short Cuts

Directed by Robert Altman

Some Like It Hot

The Third Man

 

Time Bandits

Directed by Terry Gilliam

The Tin Drum

 

The Trial

 

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

 

Vertigo

Directed by Alfred hitchcock

Wild At Heart

Directed by David Lynch

Wings Of Desire

Directed by Wim Wenders

Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown

 

The World According to Garp

 

I have been told that this was only 98 movies! I haven't had the time to recount. But don't worry I will fill out the remaining details on this page later


Sorry, can't help it. Here is my favourite movie number 101:

Die Zweiter Heimat - chronik eineR jugend

The 26 hours film is something really special. The13 chapter film portraits a group of young students in München during the 60's. "Die Zweiter Heimat" is a giant production by German director Edgar Reitz. According to the book about the production it had: a script of 2,143 pages written over a six years period. 372 kilometer film was recorded during the 557 shooting days.

Read much more about the film on this homepage about Die Zweiter Heimat
Follow the production of Heimat 3

 

 

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