Wednesday, September 19, 2007


The Ray Memorial 100

By Edward Copeland
If you are starting here, linked from somewhere else, it is in your best interest to read the original post listed below and, even more importantly, the intro to the list so you will understand how this list was formed and came about (and why some of your favorites aren't here). There is also a Ray Memorial List Index in the sidebar that contains links to all related posts. 174 ballots were submitted to determine this list. I tried to use as many different people who sent quotes as possible. For most of the balloting, the top two films seemed to trade the lead with each new ballot, but in the final weekend, the one that finished No. 1 took off. (I swear it's not a fix.) Bill Maisannes wrote, "I believe Kurosawa is that much better than the field. The Babe Ruth of cinema." There's certainly a case for that with the list. Kurosawa had the most possible titles going in, but only one failed to make the top 100, his next-lowest ranking was No. 64 and he had four finish in the top 20. If you missed the original post that explained how we whittled down to these 122 films, click here. Now, here is the list:

(189 points, 18 ballots)

Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov
Written by Viktor Rozov

"One of the great Soviet films as well as one of the great movie love stories ... , With some exquisite photography, a grand old-fashioned orchestral score and several astonishing impressionistic sequences, (Kalatozov) ... amplifies the already-heightened romanticism of the story in a way that, rather than soapy, becomes intensely affecting."

(204 points, 18 ballots)

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

"This one rides a razor blade of ambiguity to deliver one of the most tragic wallops in the history of cinema in its final scene. Absolutely devastating."

(208 points, 18 ballots)

Written and directed by Pier Paolo Pasolini

"Stands to reason that a gay communist atheist would make the best religious movie ever. By sticking to the text, mostly — and the land and faces of southern Italy — though he does use the style, the handheld cameras, zooming, telephoto lenses, to great effect as well."
Weeping Sam

(210 points, 17 ballots)

Written and directed by Bela Tarr

"After seeing this for the first time, I turned to the person sitting next to me and said 'If it was playing again right now, I would definitely stay.'"
Dave McDougall

(216 points, 18 ballots)

Written and directed by Luis Buñuel

"Have you ever been stuck at a party where you just can't leave. Well..."
Meier Vermes

(217 points, 32 ballots)

Written and directed by Tom Tykwer

"'The Butterfly Effect' was a movie with an important point about time travel: you should never go back in time to change the past because you, Ashton Kutcher, are an idiot. One of the virtues of this movie is this shows what happens when someone with brains tries to do it."
Meier Vermes

(219 points, 18 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean Cocteau

"Cocteau was one of the greatest multitalented artists of the 20th century, and a much better filmmaker than most people who devoted their lives exclusively to the craft. And his simple practical effects are more intoxicating than the photorealistic CGI clogging multiplexes today."
Paul C.

(219 points, 23 ballots)

Directed by Josef von Sternberg
Written by Carl Zuckmayer, Karl Vollmoller and Robert Liebmann

"The Blue Angel gave us sexuality as a means of control. Movies before, and far too many since, have lost themselves on libido but The Blue Angel understands that for so many people, sexual gratification comes from a sense of surrendering yourself to someone else, or controlling someone you could not control in the polite society of the real world."
Jonathan Lapper

(220 points, 29 ballots)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Written by Jeunet and Guillaume Laurant

"I know many don't think this even deserves to be in the running - either because it is too recent or because it is too sugary sweet. No matter, I love it. And if I've seen it 6 or 7 times , why would it matter if it's only 6 years old? It's a favorites list ... Not a 'completely objective definitive most influential standing the test of time' list. Anyway, when Amelie melts in a puddle on the floor, it's a perfect way of representing visually how she felt."
Bob Turnbull

(221 points, 16 ballots)

Directed by Rene Clement
Written by Clement, Jean Aurenche, Pierre Bost and Francois Boyer

"I highly encourage watching this film. It is such an amazing film, that deals with the effects of war in such an interesting way through Paulette, a five year old girl ... Paulette's attempts to understand God, death, war, family and friendship are unfolded in such a neat way in this picture. This is a true gem."

(222 points, 15 ballots)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

"Want to talk rigorous? I think that's what turns a lot of people off: it's hard to imagine a director this in control of sublime details accruing across a film for maximum affective impact around every corner."
Ryland Walker Knight

89. CLEO FROM 5 TO 7
(223 points, 20 ballots)

Written and directed by Agnes Varda

"Heartbreak hotel. Too bad Agnes doesn't get her due when it comes to the image we're given of the French New Wave and its pack of Cahiers boys. (It's clearly reflected in this list, isn't it?)"
Ryland Walker Knight

(236 points, 22 ballots)

Directed by François Truffaut
Written by Truffaut and Marcel Moussy

"With one of the classic one-shot jokes of all time."
Meier Vermes

(241 points, 19 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard

"Even in its failures it demonstrates its ambition."
Joseph Cox

"The kind of movie that, if you see it at the right time in your life, might have the power to change the way you look at movies forever."
Dennis Cozzalio

(241 points, 24 ballots)

Directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Written by Guillermo Arriaga

"I love how these scenes fit together, but fit together so loosely to tell such an interesting story about humanity."

(243 points, 26 ballots)

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Julio Alejandro

"Any fool can blaspheme, but it takes a genius like Buñuel to do it with this kind of wit, passion and wholehearted commitment."

(244 points, 17 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard

"It is to be young. Put this together with Godard's earlier Bande a
and Richard Lester's A Hard Day's Night and you have one formula for the elixir of youth — bourgeois Caucasian/European youth (say, 18-22) in the first half of the 1960s. But universally translated into 24 fps and crystalline b&w (and 1.33 - 1.66 — not 1.85 or CinemaScope!)."

Jim Emerson

(244 points, 18 ballots)

Directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara
Written by Kobo Abe

"Here's one that, while certainly a product of its time and place ... feels like it could almost be from anywhere, so unusual is its aesthetic approach and so universal are its themes of individual vs. society, society vs. nature, etc. The collaboration of writer Kobo Abe, composer Toru Takemitsu and director Hiroshi Teshigahara was one of the most fruitful of 1960s cinema and Woman in the Dunes is almost certainly the film in which all three men were operating at the closest to the height of their powers."

82. Z
(250 points, 24 ballots)

Directed by Costa-Gavras
Written by Jorge Semprun

"Kicked off the '70s paranoid political thriller genre, whose movies never came close to their originator."

(257 points, 22 ballots)

Directed by Elem Klimov
Written by Klimov and A. Adamovich

"It's just like Saving Private Ryan — only it's realistic!"
Oliver Quest

(257 points, 23 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"Bergman funny? You bet and it'll leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy."
Bob Turnbull

(260 points, 22 ballots)

Directed by Dario Argento
Written by Argento and Daria Nicolodi

"The shot of Jessica Harper walking out of the airport, a gust of wind blowing her hair, is magical."
Peter Nellhaus

(276 points, 30 ballots)

Directed by Roberto Rossellini
Written by Sergio Amidei and Federico Fellini

"Open City is one of the few films in history that is not only a work of art, but a necessary catharsis for a people lost and experiencing unbearable pain. It is also a vital historical artifact, capturing on film forever the look and feel of a war torn city."
Jonathan Lapper

(280 points, 23 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"The theatrical version is good, the television version is genius. Only in the longer version do you get the full impact of Bergman’s relationship hell."
Mark White

(280 points, 24 ballots)

Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar

"Almovodar has taken up Altman's title as the most feminist major director."
Joseph Cox

(281 points, 27 ballots)

Written and directed by Eric Rohmer

"My Night at Maud's is my all-time favorite Christmas movie. As much as it is a great film that is essentially about two people staying up all night talking, given the opportunity I probably would have wanted to do more than just converse with Francoise Fabian. That's why I like Eric Rohmer films — the women are both hot and smart."
Peter Nellhaus

(287 votes, 22 ballots)

Directed by Georges Franju
Written by Pierre Boileau, Pierre Gascar, Thomas Narcejac,
Jean Redon and Claude Sautet

"What a beautiful nightmare perfectly rendered."
J. Cochrane

(299 points, 28 ballots)

Directed by François Truffaut
Written by Truffaut, Jean-Louis Richard and Suzanne Schiffman

"Filled with love for films and those who make them. The way it portrays the cast and crew of the movie-within-a-movie is democratic in the best sense of the word."
L. Stevens

(300 points, 31 ballots)

Written and directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder

"Fassbinder uses All That Heaven Allows to craft a heartbreaking tribute to Douglas Sirk."

"The English name of the Fassbinder film should be Ali: Fear Eat Soul. It's incorrect in German as well, to suggest the language barrier between the immigrants and the Germans."

(302 points, 31 ballots)

Directed by Alain Resnais
Written by Marguerite Duras

"It was the sort of film that would have been common if sound had come to film later and yet the narration made me cry."
Joseph Cox

(317 points, 27 ballots)

Directed by Alain Resnais
Written by Alain Robbe-Grillet

"One of the strangest and most chilling films I've ever seen."

(322 points, 23 ballots)

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini and Tonino Guerra

"Fellini's nostalgia film may seem slight at first, but it's still wildly entertaining and quite funny. An effective swan song to his great period."
J. Cochrane

(344 points, 30 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Melville

"The scene I find myself remembering, over and over again, is the excruciatingly long take of Jean-Pierre Cassel, watching from a basement window as his comrades start up their truck and leave him and his friend behind forever."

(349 points, 30 ballots)

Written and directed by Wolfgang Peterson

"One of the best war movies ever. Riveting and thankfully apolitical."
J. Cochrane

(351 points, 26 ballots)

Directed by Jacques Rivette
Written by Rivette, Juliet Berto, Eduardo de Gregorio, Dominique Labourier,
Bulle Ogier and Marie-France Pisier

"It's the ultimate chick movie and a classic of French postmodernism!"
Tamsin Leyton

(351 points, 36 ballots)

Written and directed by Jacques Demy

"This film is akin to watching a feather float on warm breeze for 90 minutes. My favorite foreign musical containing three absolute treasures — Michel Legrand's legendary score, the exquisite beauty of Catherine Deneuve, and the sumptuous art/set design by Bernard Evein. A most intoxicating film, it works like a cinematic cure for depression."
Ron Houghton

(353 points, 30 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Ryuzo Kikushima and Hideo Oguni

"The notion of a kabuki adaptation of MacBeth may strike you as intriguing more than credible. But considering their shared affinity for bloodletting, 'universal' subjects and lofty, sweeping statements on humanity, Akira Kurosawa is maybe the closest the cinema has offered to a Shakespeare successor."

(353 points, 31 ballots)

Written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai

"As if Godard were reborn in Hong Kong. Dazzling and unexpected."
Sterling Taylor

62. BLUE
(353 points, 34 ballots)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

"The truest picture of grief and recovery ever on screen."
Joseph Cox

(353 points, 37 ballots)

Directed by Ang Lee
Written by Wang Hui-Ling, Tsai Jung Kuo and James Schamus

"Who can honestly forget the fight scenes in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? Has there ever been a fight scene that conveys so much emotion as Jen and Li Mu Bai soaring through the trees?"
Sam Brooks

(355 points, 27 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard

"Who wouldn't want to stop everything for the chance to dance The Madison with Anna Karina?"
Peter Nellhaus

(355 points, 31 ballots)

Directed by Jules Dassin
Written by Dassin, Rene Wheeler and Auguste Le Breton

"Dassin created the heist genre as we know with this film of Parisian crooks. With harsh lighting and rainswept streets this film one of the best French noirs. The complicated heist, sans score, is 30 minutes of cinema bliss."
Ron Houghton

(361 points, 39 ballots)

Written and directed by Pedro Almodovar

"Old, reckless Almodovar meets new, mature Almodovar, and the results are nothing less than shattering. Haunted me for days."

(365 points, 26 ballots)

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Elio Bartolini and Ottiero Ottieri

"Beautiful cinematography, and nothing happens ... which is precisely Antonioni's point I suppose. His isolationist nature in this film makes Ingmar Bergman look like an optimist. A great film that probably needs multiple viewings to truly appreciate it. Unthinkable in Pan and Scan."
J. Cochrane

(369 points, 27 ballots)

Written and directed by Edward Yang

"Like Jane Austen, it suggests that one family represents an entire universe."
Carrie Rickey

"When Edward Yang tragically died earlier this year, it ensured that Yi Yi: A One and a Two would go down with Eisenstein's Ivan the Terrible, Mizoguchi's Street of Shame and Sirk's Imitation of Life as one of the great directorial swan songs. What a loss."

(373 points, 31 ballots)

Directed by Giuseppe Tornatore
Written by Tornatore and Vanna Paoli

"Yes it's sappy and manipulative. I wouldn't have it any other way."
Jesse Cunningham

(377 points, 25 ballots)

Directed by Carl Theodor Dreyer

"You expect it to be about death and finality and instead it's about renewal and resurrection."
Carrie Rickey

(387 points, 38 ballots)

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron
Written by Cuaron and Carlos Cuaron

"Though it can be incredibly funny, in the end it is a sad, melancholy journey that we go on with these people. They discover not the artifice of the roadside curio shop but the dirt spitting out from the back tires. To their delight, they discover that heaven’s mouth is real, not a fantasy, but the reality of heaven’s mouth pushes the boys into an adulthood they can’t quite face."
Mark White

(400 points, 37 ballots)

Directed by Vittorio de Sica
Written by Cesare Zavattini

"I'm not a pet person, but this 'dog movie'(Fike! Fike!) is one of the most piercing studies of loneliness and the hell that may be waiting for all of us in old age. Forget playing chess with Death. Just try navigating a world hostile to the sad and infirm. De Sica was the first prophet of the AARP generation."
The Shamus

(401 points, 33 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa, Eijiro Hisaita, Ryuzo Kikushima and Hideo Oguni

"One of my all time favorite moments in a film — when Mifune throws a bunch of greedy executives out of his house and behind him you can see Tatsuya Nakadai and his partner judging them. The way Nakadai looks at the executives as they leave might be the best putdown ever put on film."
Weeping Sam

(405 points, 37 ballots)

Directed by Zhang Yimou
Written by Zhen Ni

"A fascinating glimpse of Chinese marriage and a wife's place in it. Wonderful art direction and cinematography."
J. Cochrane

49. MADAME DE...
(410 points, 31 ballots)

Directed by Max Ophuls
Written by Ophuls, Marcel Achard and Annette Wademant

"Hey, I just looked up the word 'exquisite' in the Oxford English
Dictionary and there's a still from Madame de...!"

Jim Emerson

(416 points, 25 ballots)

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Written by Ozu, Kazuo Hirotsu and Kogo Noda

"The film has everything — far more comedy than it gets credit for; the cultural details and critiques, from all angles — celebrating Japanese culture, making fun of it, working in all those baseball and movie jokes, putting that big Coke sign in the middle of a happy interlude; the brilliant performances, the way Hara and Ryu move, she being brought to bay, he holding everything in, acting the old man; everything. Almost endlessly rewarding, and ultimately heart-breaking."
Weeping Sam

(429 points, 30 ballots)

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Tullio Pinelli and Ennio Flajano

"Mrs. Fellini's sweet round clown face makes me watch this movie multiple times every year."
Steve on the Mountain

(435 points, 31 ballots)

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Written by Fuji Yahiro and Yoshikata Yoda

"If I had to choose just one movie — one movie — above all others on this list, Mizoguchi's would be it. I've long felt that if there were a god, the closest expression we're likely to find on this earth in in this movie. It's not the only film on my list that gives me goosebumps whenever the title is mentioned, but I don't believe there's ever been a greater motion picture in any language. This one sees life and memory as a creek flowing into a lake out into a river and into the sea."
Jim Emerson

(452 points, 35 ballots)

Written and directed by Robert Bresson

"Bresson made us realize that the narrative happened BETWEEN scenes"
Carrie Rickey

(452 points, 43 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa and Ryuzo Kikushima

"The way all action films should be: taut, simple and riveting, with as much meaning underneath as there is action on the surface."
Tripp Burton
(464 points, 43 ballots)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

"In my view, the most rewarding film experience I’ve ever had. Intellectually stimulating, emotionally resonant, and spiritually significant, The Decalogue is a beautiful fusion of form and function."
John Adair

(468 points, 32 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"On a purely formalist level, Ingmar Bergman's film is impeccable, but it's more than that. Anchored by several of the rawest, most mesmerizing performances singed onto celluloid, it burrows with hurting, devastating preciseness into the panic of a pain that can infiltrate and suffocate the soul at its core."

(481 points, 39 ballots)

Directed by Wim Wenders
Written by Wenders, Peter Handke and Richard Reitinger

"Elected to (my) top 10 because of the most gorgeous b&w photography I've ever seen. I know it's a cliche, but it must be seen in a theater to really appreciate it."
Sterling Taylor

(484 points, 48 ballots)

Directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
Written by Clouzot and Jerome Geronimi

"This film was so unique from any film I've watched, the characterization, filming, and effects are incredibly realistic, making this a definite new favorite film."

39. RED
(486 points, 45 ballots)

Directed by Krzysztof Kieslowski
Written by Kieslowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz

"Movies that make you wax metaphysical usually aren’t as much fun as this."

(496 points, 37 ballots)

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Ennio Flajano, Tullio Pinelli and Pier Paolo Pasolini

"It's got all the typical Fellini pageantry, but Giulietta Masina's performance as Cabiria gives this film its monumental power. ... Movie stars inspire sometimes scary levels of affection, and usually it seems odd to me; but I find it impossible not to go head over heels for that tiny powerhouse playing Cabiria.
Mike Doc

(501 points, 33 ballots)

Directed by Jean Vigo
Written by Vigo, Jean Guinee and Albert Riera

"One of cinema’s greatest love stories, with a glorious wild card in the mix in Michel Simon."
Paul Clark

(505 points, 39 ballots)

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carriere

"Buñuel had mellowed in temperament by the time of this companion piece to The Exterminating Angel, but his brutal wit is still much in evidence, and he's still got plenty to say about class entitlement and power and getting a good bite to eat."
Dennis Cozzalio

(517 points, 44 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean Cocteau

"So many unsurpassed moments in this why isn't that I always zero in that thing the beast's ears do when Belle takes the 'let's be friends' tack."
Bob Westal

(518 points, 38 ballots)

Directed by Marcel Carne
Written by Jacques Prevert

"The most sweepingly romantic movie every made, with a script by Jacques Prevert that achieves the status of literature, yet remains cinematic at all times. 'So you want to be loved for yourself, like the poor people? What's left for the poor people, then?'"

(526 points, 49 ballots)

Written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki

"The greatest animated film of all time. Period."
Tripp Burton
"I miss animation. Why is CGI considered cartoons?"
Joseph Cox

(529 points, 45 ballots)

Directed by Luis Buñuel
Written by Buñuel and Jean-Claude Carriere

"Buñuel powers the story of a bourgeois housewife who inexplicably takes up prostitution with an erotic dream logic that takes full advantage of Catherine Deneuve's sleepily sensual screen presence."
Dennis Cozzalio

(531 points, 38 ballots)

Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville
Written by Melville and Georges Pellegrin

"The muted colors fit the tone of the story and Jef Costello's personality perfectly. And I love the interrogation scene in the police station (as the officer goes between the multiple rooms)."
Bob Turnbull

30. WILD STRAWBERRIES (536 points, 46 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"Because Victor Sjostrom was the world's first great film director, and where else will you see Max von Sydow as a gas station attendant?"
Peter Nellhaus

(538 points, 43 ballots)

Directed by Michelangelo Antonioni
Written by Antonioni, Elio Bartolini and Tonino Guerra

"It's a murder mystery, but there's no blood. And no murder. It's a sex comedy. Without much sex. Or any laughs. It's like Lawrence of Arabia, only there's no action. Or characters who actually try to do things. Or any Academy Awards. But there's KILLER cinematography."
Meier Vermes

(544 points, 40 ballots)

Directed by Luchino Visconti
Written by Visconti, Suso Ceechi d'Amico, Pasquale Festa Campanile, Enrico Medioli and Massimo Franciosa

"A gorgeously mounted adaptation of one of the great novels of the century. ... A lot of the strongest patches in the script are lifted word for word from Lampedusa's book, but the celebrated ball sequence, which comprises the final third of the film, is pure cinema."

(585 points, 50 ballots)

Written and directed by Wong Kar-Wai

"The most erotic paean to sustained, unfulfilled desire I've ever seen."
Dennis Cozzalio

(596 points, 49 ballots)

Directed by Fernando Meirelles and Katia Lund
Written by Braulio Montavani

"This is one of the most powerfully moving and complex movies I've ever seen. I love to see how over decades all the character change and develop. At the same time it's a high energy and very engaging picture, touching on powerful themes of violence, poverty, love, and dedication."

(599 points, 42 ballots)

Directed by Andrei Tarkovsky
Written by Tarkovsky and Andrei Konchalovsky

"It's what Lawrence of Arabia would be like if Peter O'Toole didn't actually do anything. Seriously, it's a lot better than that sounds."
Tamsin Leyton

(618 points, 46 ballots)

Written and directed by Robert Bresson

"The power of this film sneaks up on you. You don’t realize how much you’ve grown to love Balthazar until the end and the impact of his death overwhelms you. Nothing prepares you for the sense of loss."
Mark White

(637 points, 39 ballots)

Directed by Jacques Tati
Written by Tati, Art Buchwald and Jacques Lagrange

"Just pure pleasure watching all the sight gags and invention in this film. I hope to one day see it on a big screen."
Bob Turnbull

(647 points, 48 points)

Directed by Kenji Mizoguchi
Written by Matsutaro Kawaguchi, Kyuchi Tsuji and Yoshikata Yoda

"Once you start talking about most of these films, you realize there's just too much to say. Nothing is enough."
Weeping Sam

(660 points, 54 ballots)

Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
Written by Godard and François Truffaut

"Not the film people think it is, but a much better one: a sweet mini-romance."
Dave McDougall

(699 points, 43 ballots)

Written and directed by Jean-Luc Godard

"Brigitte Bardot as Anna Karina? Fritz Lang as Fritz Lang? The movie opens with a camera shooting the audience: you cannot fail to be a part of this motherfucker. It's terrifying like a Joan Didion novel."
Ryland Walker Knight

(728 points, 56 ballots)

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Ennio Flajano and Tullio Pinelli

"One man questions his existence in a nighttime world of excess. Night after hedonistic night Marcello strives for some self worth in a atmosphere devoid of culture. The first time I saw this film I wanted to be Marcello, now I only pity him. I think it's called growing up."
Ron Houghton

(733 points, 53 ballots)

Written and directed by Bernardo Bertolucci

"More than a tad problematic in thematic terms but about as perfectly executed formally as any film ever made. Requires more time, even still. I'd love to root it all out in more than these words someday."
Ryland Walker Knight

(772 points, 54 ballots)

Directed by François Truffaut
Written by Truffaut and Jean Gruault

"The most lyrical film ever made, in any language."
L. Stevens

16. RAN (815 points, 61 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni and Masato Ide

"Shakespeare as spectacle, and one of the most visceral experiences I’ve had at the movies."

(860 points, 68 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"A medieval morality play both set in and a product of a world in dire need of such stories. A tale of sacrifice and the resurgence of life, of mankind's possibility for goodness in a world run amok with evil. Simple and sublime."
Dave McDougall

(884 points, 58 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni

"There aren't many films made that are better than this beautiful, lyrical piece of work. I love this film intensely."
David Gaffen

(900 points, 69 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa and Shinobu Hashimoto

"Kurosawa made us realize that point of view is everything."
Carrie Rickey

(916 points, 67 ballots)

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu
Written by Ozu and Kogo Noda

"The perfect example of less being more. Ozu's beautiful simplicity holds it's own with any director out there. A quietly brilliant film that gets better the more you think about it."
J. Cochrane

(932 points, 67 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"Bergman's crowning achievement is deceptively complex and vastly rich, and says more about life than any of his early, more direct films."

10. THE 400 BLOWS
(935 points, 68 ballots)

Directed by François Truffaut
Written by Truffaut and Marcel Moussy

"Next to Citizen Kane ,easily the greatest cinematic debut, and also one of the most wonderfully personal films in history. And is there ever a shot better than that final freeze frame?"
Tripp Burton

(1030 points, 75 ballots)

Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo
Written by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas

"Gillo Pontecorvo's The Battle of Algiers remains one of the most complicated political films ever built. Its ideas on terrorism and torture still fascinate today, especially as we continue to fight a possibly continuous war against terrorism."
Peter Labuza

(1054 points, 79 ballots)

Written and directed by Werner Herzog

"No better hallucinatory, screwed-up vision of obsession exists."
David Gaffen

(1056 points, 68 ballots)

Directed by Jean Renoir
Written by Renoir and Charles Spaak

"Renoir loved playing with the classes. He did so brilliantly in The Rules of the Game but by examining them in a World War I setting free of frivolity he allowed the examination to take on a life-and-death urgency that made the examination more piercing, and in the end, more personal."
Jonathan Lapper

(1105 points, 69 ballots)

Written and directed by Ingmar Bergman

"I don't understand this movie. I don't have to. I know it's brilliant anyway."
J. Cochrane

(1219 points, 76 ballots)

Directed by Vittorio de Sica
Written by de Sica, Cesare Zavattini, Suso Cecchi d'Amico, Oreste Biancoli,
Adolfo Franci and Gerardo Guerrieri

"If you do not tear up while watching De Sica's masterpiece, then you need surgery on your tear ducts."
Jeffrey Hill

4. 8 1/2
(1275 points, 82 ballots)

Directed by Federico Fellini
Written by Fellini, Ennio Flajano, Tullio Pinelli and Brunello Rondi

"The last five minutes destroy my composure. There is too much happening for it to fail to do so. Perfect double bill mate with The Life Aquatic, its American remake."
Ryland Walker Knight

3. M
(1422 points, 82 ballots)

Directed by Fritz Lang
Written by Lang and Thea von Harbou

"How many modern directors could make a film about a child killer, and evoke the same mixture of indignation, contempt and stark, true pity for the man's wretchedness?"

(1687 points, 105 ballots)

Directed by Akira Kurosawa
Written by Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto and Hideo Oguni

"Kurosawa’s epic might not have invented badass, but it certainly refined it."
Paul Clark
"Kurosawa's supremely entertaining, durable and expansive action epic has probably gotten better with age, standing proudly near the top of the heap watching filmmaker after filmmaker try, and usually fail, to approach its timeless mixture of personal drama, broad comedy and surging, emotional adventure."
Dennis Cozzalio
"This is the granddaddy of epic foreign films, but like (John) Ford, never at the expense of the characters. With camerawork that still looks innovative today: including rapid cutting, quick zooms, and the fluid pacing Kurasowa set the bar for action storytelling in film for the next five decades."
Ron Houghton
"How to make friends and influence American Westerns. Magnificent in its own right."
"This movie has more humanity packed into it than the earth."
Jeffrey Hill
"What epics should be — thrilling, moving, technically breath-taking, and historically serious. Like - one example — the historical point of the way guns are
transforming the world - all four dead samurai fall to gunfire."

Weeping Sam
"The perfect mix of entertainment and art."
Joseph Cox
"Most engaging 3+ hour movie I've ever seen."
Jesse Cunningham
"About as perfect a film as you will ever see."
Ryland Walker Knight
"Quite simply, the greatest film in ANY language of all time."
"It's a three-hour, 37-minute movie with a bare-bones plot and never becomes tiresome or tedious. How many action movies owe their debt to this movie?"
David Gaffen
"There’s a reason this movie seems to be on everyone’s Greatest Films lists. It is just that great."
Tripp Burton
"The best action movie ever. It's 3-1/2 hours long, but it's paced so beautifully that it doesn't seem long."
Sterling Taylor
"The incredible versatility of Takashi Shimura is demonstrated with his roles in this movie and in Ikiru.
Steve on the Mountain

(1801 points, 105 ballots)

Directed by Jean Renoir
Writen by Renoir and Carl Koch

"Not a perfect film, just the best."
L. Stevens
"The very flawed, human Octave may be the most lovable character in all of film."
"Renoir's prescient pre-war drama of societal collapse sneaks up on you and works on you from the inside out with a kind of unbearable lightness of feeling. Everyone should quit complaining that it routinely shows up in the top two of all these All-Time Best lists, just accept its greatness and bask in it."
Dennis Cozzalio
"The Discreet Lack of Charm of the Bourgeoisie."
"As important and groundbreaking as Welles’ debut two years later, just watching the film is a semester of film school in itself."
Tripp Burton
"For two hours you ask, 'where is this going?' Then you find out the answer. Cruel and devastating. The perfect example of the plotless film."
Mark White
"The mastery of this film is beyond my capacity for speech."
Dave McDougall
"About as perfect a screenplay as you can imagine"
Ryland Walker Knight
"'Everyone has his reasons.' Funny, heartbreaking, foolish, and wise. One movie I can watch again and again."
Sterling Taylor
"I didn't get this movie until about half way through. Then something clicked, and by the end I was convinced its landmark reputation is warranted."
J. Cochrane
"That moment with the woman sitting and wistfully watching the mechanical piano do its thing without needing her to play it kills me every time."
"When I first rented it, as soon as it ended, I rewound and watched it again. You could put it on a loop and never get tired of it, I think. It's hard to say much more and ever stop talking about it."
Weeping Sam
"'I wanted to depict a society dancing on a volcano' said Jean Renoir in regards to this wise, worldly and intricate comedy of pre-war upstairs-downstairs parallels and vicissitudes. He plays it wry and cheeky, but don't underestimate his bite. He paints an outwardly elegant though charred milieu, where characters know all there is to know about their own as well as each other's caprices and shortcomings, and have learned to be quite relaxed about them — those that haven't are bound to suffer. And though Renoir is eager to inject wherever possible his famous generosity of spirit, he's too shrewd to be at all optimistic. You could accuse him of cynicism, but you'd be misguided. He's long past cynicism."

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Cheers for some more good work, Ed. I would've voted but for my unfamiliarity with most of the films on the list (I've only seen about 40).

Allow me to register my delight at seeing Aguirre in the top 10! I'll bet if Stroszek had been included it would have done okay, though more need to see it... no bitching though, this is a good list.
Edward: This was great fun to participate in, but even more fun to read and look at your excellent presntation of the results. And you know what? No embarrassing aftertaste! God, what a glorious list of movies. I'm printing this out, taping a copy next to my DVD player, and I vow not to stop until I've caught up with every one of the films on this list that I haven't yet seen.
Edward, I'm floored by your commitment to this project. I didn't realize how daunting this must have been till I just read this post. Thank you, and well done!
Edward, this was an incredibly rewarding experience for me as a participant and the richest, most diverse list I have encountered. Let's do it again some time, if only so I can rectify my grievous error and include Pather Pachali.

Forgive me for asking this, after all the work that went into this, but have you thought of tabulating the number of first-place votes for each film? At some point, I would love to know who (if anyone) also put Children of Paradise No. 1.
Well, done Ed.

campaspe - I'm also kicking myself from omitting Pather Pachali from my list.
Great list, would have appreciated a bit more diversity but a good list nonetheless. Was shocked to see rules of the game at 1, i'll have to pull out the 2dvd criterion again and find out why.
Thanks Edward...I didn't want the list to end as I was enjoying the screencaps and comments so much.

And not only, as Dennis said, do I want to see every film nominated that I haven't yet seen (I've got about 35 left to see), I want to see all the ohter ones all over again. I was working through the list and hit Double Life Of Veronique and thought "Oh, I gotta watch that again", then I hit Suspiria and thought "Oh yeah, that was great too" and then Eyes Without A Face and Army Of Shadows and Beauty And The Beast and...

And those were ones I hadn't even included in my top 25. I even re-thought about whether I should've included recent viewings of Tampopo and Talk To Her in my list because they were so good...In the end, it's a great celebration of film.

I've got Seven Beauties waiting in my DVD player...Think I'll go watch it now...
A fantastic list, for sure - made up exclusively of movies I want to see and/or see again. I personally intend to ram it down the throat of every person from now on who tells me that Lord of the Rings or Star Wars or Donnie Darko or even The freakin Godfather is the greatest movie ever made (OK, OK, I'll pay The Godfather).

I was particularly delighted to see Kurosawa and Bergman and Bunuel and Fellini and Godard (and others!) pop up as many times as they deserve to on any list of great films.
Great list, Ed! I read it on my flight to Joisey.

You have a fan in the Charlotte airport. I was reading the runner up list and this woman next to me was looking over my shoulder. She said "oh, I read that blog. It's a good blog." I said, "yeah, I write for it." Then she said "GASP! YOU'RE EDWARD COPELAND?!!"

I had to break her heart and tell her I wasn't Edward Copeland. She was so disappointed. I should have said yes. I might have gotten some booty out of it.

But I digress. Now I know why you're exhausted! This must have taken eons to put together. You tipped your hand when you said that there was no fix in the voting. I knew Rules of the Game would be #1 when I read that.

I'm actually surprised Suspiria is on the list. Not that it's a bad film--I liked it--just that I figured it would be one of the also-rans. Guess we voters like our killin'.
It's a list full of great movies! I can't argue (or hardly even quibble) with any of the choices. I think it holds up against any comparable list, and I'm not sure if there is a comparable list, which makes this effort seem especially worthwhile. Thanks, Edward, for all the heavy lifting, and for giving us all not just a chance to participate but a list of great films to revisit, or in the case of many titles, to discover for the first time.
...and where is Sergio Leone?!?!
In the nominating process, we decided that since the films were primarily known in their dubbed versions (and American actors such as Eastwood and Wallach didn't speak Italian in their versions), that they were ineligible. I hadn't seen The Great Silence, but I realized too late that it probably should have been ineligible for the same reasoning, though it didn't end up in the top 100.
did you guys make a deal with Criterion?
Lots of voters said that Criterion should give us a big thank you, but I feel it's probably more a matter of access to the titles and so many of the titles being available by Criterion that accounts for that. Unfortunately though, there are a lot of titles among the original 122 that aren't available in any version.
No Black Orpheus? I saw it in a theatre about two years ago, and felt like I was watching a colour movie for the very first time! Deserves a place on this list...
Oops... just saw the post on the runners up, and Black Orpheus is there! Never mind....

(the cheeky side of me wants to say "what? No spot for Aventurera?" Google it and then rent it if you don't know it)
Metropolis was ruled as a silent, which we plan to do a similar survey of at some point, though I'm so exhausted after this one I may have to spend until January when I do the best/worst best actor Oscar survey to recuperate. If anyone else would like to pick the mantle and do a silent film survey before then, please be my guest.
AMELIE and AMORES PERROS were practically tied for the best film of 2001 in the US in my opinion (in terms of release year).
Well done Ed, and everyone else. This is a great list and I have a lot of watching to do.
Campaspe, I put Children of Paradise at number one.
An interesting list, but only one Tarkovsky? Personally I would have both "Stalker" and "Solaris" in my top 20, yet neither is here.
Congratulation to this great job!!!

I would have here also :

Central do Brasil
Ashes and diamond
Glad to see Bela Tarr squeezing in... but no Hou Hsiao Hsien anywhere!?
Wagstaff: Hooray!

My favorite critical quote about Children of Paradise I found on a DVD site, where the man said (I'm paraphrasing) "Some people dislike mimes. Get over it."
I think you missed Meditteraneo (1991),Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, and The Official Story (Oscar 1985-best foreign film)
Good Job!!!
Thank you
I seriously cannot believe that you don't have jean de florette/manon des sources on this list!
I forgot to include a link for newcomers to the original post to explain how we arrived at the 122 titles. Many of the ones mentioned were either ineligible (too new or a silent film) or failed to get the requisite number of votes in the nominating process to make the final cut (such as Jean de Florette).
No Wajda? No Kaurismaki? No Schloendorf? No Benigni? Oops.

My personal favs like "Burnt by the sun" by Nikita Mikhalkov and "Heart of the dog" by Vladimir Bortko based on Bulkhakov's novel are missing too.
This list depresses me...
heard of a country called india. tough to miss - it is between europe and japan.
This is sort of a typical list by which I mean derived from the Criterion Collection, etc. So many missing but then this is only 100. I guess 200 could be more interesting. Good films though. Thanks for the list.
Like most movies from that time period in Italy, Suspiria was dubbed in many languages for a larger release. Suspiria doesn't have a wider release in English than in Italian like most Sergio Leone movies though.
What a fantastic list. Thanks for sharing.
What's with the lack of Korean films? Not even Oldboy?
this is great work! i am surprised that the name of list is The Ray Memorial 100 andstill there is not a single film by legendary Satyajit Ray! of course i am an indian so i would wonder! but i think that his "PATHER PANCHALI" desrved to be in this list!
Anyways! its a great work!
Is there any chance of seeing list for same catagory {non-english films} in recent years?
if that is the case please let me know about poll. i would love to contribute!
Great work!
great list! but i hope Antonioni's "Desserto Rosso" and of course Satyajit Ray were on the list too...
Not sure how "great" it is in the historical sense, but I was surprised to not find my favorite foreign film of the last several years, "Il Postino".
Great list, I only miss "Au revoir les enfants"
NOt even one Argentinean movie? Whay About Cronica de una fuga, Pampa Barbara, Guerra Gaucha, Nueve Reinas, El hijo de la novia, Camila, La historia oficial, la guerra gaucha? Great list nevertheless
It was mentioned briefly before, but the omission of "Delicatessen" is glaring. Widely considered one of the greatest tours de force of cinematography ever, that movie redefined what cinema should be in the early 90's.
There's a distinct lack of Asian films, but then again you have to expect that from these kind of surveys since European cinema was foreign cinema for a long time outside of a few exceptions like Kurosawa. Solid compilation regardless. I'm with Jim Emerson in picking Sansho the Baliff to be the best of all time, but I'm sure its relative obscurity hurt it.
I agree Satyajit Ray should definately occupy a position, Pather Panchali is definately on par with anything done by Di Sica.
Joan Didion novels aren't terrifying, that's a weird comparison.

And "foreign movies" isn't a genre - why are you putting so much privilege on the American movie, making it the default from which these other movies compare to. Those Top Ten movies are just great movies and are each pretty essential to the history of all movies. This list seems like an elaborate way to brag about an inclusive knowledge of movies, but it only points out how ghettoized you see non-American movies.
I cant believe Ponette and The Bad Sleep Well arent on this list! Those are two of the best movies ever made, foreign or not!
People keep complaining about the lack of Asian films but by my count, 19 out of the 100 are Asian films which means they comprise nearly 20% of the list. On top of that, 6 out of the 22 runners-up also are from Asia. As for the concern about no films from certain places, did people want a quota system? Dammit! Why aren't there are any films from Lichtenstein! Where is the representation from Burma? Where is Belize? What a bunch of whiners. It's pretty obvious you haven't read all the posts that explained how this survey came about. The films to me say as much about what is accessible than anything else.
One other nitpick - Joseph Cox states that Almodovar has taken up Altman's position as the most feminist director. But since when is Altman a feminist - and not, truly, a mysoginist on the lines of the great film mysoginists like Hitchcock and Buñuel? And, for that matter, Almodovar didn't pick up any position from Altman, they're practically contemporaries.
I just finished watching "La Règle du Jeu" for the first time (having been planning to for many years), and I have to say I was mildly disappointed. I think it's an excellent film, but I have to question it's inclusion on greatest film lists.

For me, films which might be considered great have one thing in common; the scenario, cinematography, acting, direction, etc, somehow all merge to form a whole far greater than any of the individual parts - a magnificent confluence of mutually supportive streams, each of which are undeniably intrinsic to the very nature of the finished movement. If I would hear, for example, of "Shichinin no Samurai" or "Rear Window" being remade, my blood would run cold and I would be dumbfounded. I can't say the same thing for "The Rules of the Game"; while the screenplay was undeniably exquisite, I thought that the cinematography and acting were average, and sometimes even weak. Therefore, it's possible for me to imagine a better version of the screenplay being filmed.

Anyway, I'm really curious as to why other's think it's great cinema, as opposed to great writing.
Marmad, while I disagree with you (Rules is my favorite of all time and only gets better which each viewing), I can understand your complaints about some of the acting. As far as the cinematography, I believe that has a lot to do with the tortured history of the film itself, where much of it was thought lost and the print that everyone recognizes as what Renoir really intended to do wasn't assembled until nearly 20 years after the film was originally made. It's also natural sometimes to be resistant to something that you've heard such great things about for a long time that they are almost certain to disappoint. Many react that way to Citizen Kane the first time they see it: It's the double-edged sword of high expectations. I'd just recommend that sometime down the road (not right away), try watching it again and see if you still feel the same way. Of course, all opinions about movies are subjective anyway, so my opinion is no more right about Rules than yours is or will be.
crouching tiger was a cinematic mile-marker to say the least
No Leos Carax (Boy meets Girl, Lovers on the Bridge, Bad Blood)? Great list, but still should have more Tarkovsky, his film The Mirror is like watching a dream.
Truly exciting list.
Have you ever watched UN SOIR, UN TRAIN -- 1968 -- Andre Delvaux

(AKA: One Night...a Train
(from the novel by Johan Daisne)). Does not exist in DVD though which is a pity.

Did not see Eisenstein's Strike…

This list was missing. Nothing like this on the net.
Where did all of the pictures go?
I had to get out of Photobucket, so I had to recreate photos in Blogger. Since I wanted to conserve space, I had to let some photos go. This was a particularly painful one.
Thanks for the informative list, but I sure would have liked to see Au Hasard Balthazar without having the ending spoiled by the quote you gave.
Holy shit, remove the Balthazar quote. That is absolutely cheap. You don't quote that in a bullet point list, ever.
I personally loved the movie Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon.
A solid list although IMHO a few films that were overlooked:
The Vanishing
Slave of Love
The Passenger
Derzu Uzala
The Burmese Harp
Angel at My Table
and zero Powell-Pressburger films.
RED is on the list i can live without White but not
BLUE great list.

Das Boot should be higher
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