Three days ago Outpost director Rod Lurie asked industry-connected Facebook followers for their Ten Greatest Films of All Time lists. Five years ago I posted a list of 160 of my all-time greatest films, and even that omitted a shitload that I regard quite highly. So the idea of boiling that list down to ten…forget it.
Let’s use a more specific standard for inclusion, to wit: which films on your greatest of all time list seem to echo some aspect of the way things are today or reveal or reflect something about human nature as most of us are assessing it in late 2020? Certain great films like Mike Nichols‘ The Graduate, for example, seem to address life and/or the human condition as it was in the mid to late ’60s, and perhaps not as much today.
I’m told that many if not most of the lists that have come in so far have Jaws at the very top. I’m sorry but that’s pretty close to ridiculous. It’s just a popular, well-jiggered summer monster beach flick…come on!
HE’s Top Ten Greatest American Films (and this could all change five minutes from now): (1) A Serious Man, (2) Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, (3 & 4) The Godfather & The Godfather, Part II (5) 12 Angry Men, (6) Election, (7) Paths of Glory, (8) Rushmore, (9) Manchester By The Sea, (10) On The Waterfront.
HE’s Top 11 to 20 Films: (11) Lawrence of Arabia, (12) Moneyball, (13) Groundhog Day, (14) Goodfellas, (15) Out Of The Past, (16) Children of Men, (17) Zero Dark Thirty, (18) Heat, (19) The Best Years of Our Lives, (20) Shane.