111 Must See Movies

There's a common thread running through several blogs at the moment concerning The 100 Greatest Movies, or the 100 Highest Grossing Movies, or the 100 Favorite Movies. Most recently commented on by Karolczak.com, this is a list that has gone around forever, been updated forever, and discussed frequently at every Oscar Party ever thrown.

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I find it interesting that we, as human beings, enjoy compiling lists. AFI, the American Film Institute compiles a 100 Greatest List seemingly every few months. So, from the jumping on the bandwagon department, the following is my current list of the 111 Films that every one must see at some time in their lifetime. In alphabetical order:

A Beautiful Mind
A History of Violence
A River Runs Through It
ABBA: The Movie--the first movie by Lasse Hallstrom
African Queen

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American Beauty
American History X
Batman Begins
Ben Hur
Bull Durham
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Cinderella Man

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Dances With Wolves
Dead Poets Society
Die Hard
Dirty Dancing

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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Finding Nemo
Forbidden Planet
Fried Green Tomatoes
G.I. Jane

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Good Morning Vietnam
Good Will Hunting
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Heaven Can Wait
Kill Bill V.1

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Kill Bill V.2
Kramer vs. Kramer
Leaving Las Vegas
Life Is Beautiful
March of the Penguins
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World
Moulin Rouge

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Muriel’s Wedding
Music of the Heart
Mutiny on the Bounty
My Best Friend’s Wedding
Norma Rae
North Country

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Pirates of the Carribean
Private Benjamin
Purple Rain
Saving Private Ryan
Schindler's List

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Shakespeare In Love
Silence of the Lambs
Somewhere In Time
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan
Star Wars
The Cider House Rules

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The Empire Strikes Back
The English Patient
The Fabulous Baker Boys
The Fellowship of the Ring
The Graduate
The Horse Whisperer
The Incredibles

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The Lion King
The Parent Trap—Lindsay Lohan
The Return of the King
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rose
The Shining
The Sixth Sense
The Sound of Music
The Ten Commandments
The Thin Red Line
The Two Towers
The Usual Suspects
The Witches of Eastwick
The Wizard of Oz
There’s Something About Mary

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To Die For
Top Gun
Toy Story
Varsity Blues
Wedding Crashers
White Palace
Wuthering Heights
Yours, Mine, and Ours—Lucille Ball

Thanks for reading.


Karl said...

So glad you qualified "Yours, Mine, and Ours" with the Lucille Ball version. It really would have put the entire list under question otherwise. ha.

May 09, 2006 10:24 PM
Jason said...

I only got 38 on your list. I liked that you included Trek's II and IV, both excellent movies, even if you aren't a Trek fan!

May 10, 2006 12:27 AM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

karl--yeah, no kidding.

jason--well you're young, give yourself some time.

Thanks to both of you for stopping by and checking out the list!

May 10, 2006 1:28 AM
Noi said...

Hmm..I have only watched ard 5-6 of the movies you have listed. OOoo I like Yours, Mine and Ours too! You fav movies varies a lot from each other.

Great post!

May 10, 2006 5:42 AM
Jason said...

Yeah, I know, got lots of time to spend watching movies :P

I actually combined the 3 lists I posted on my site into one huge Excel spreadsheet and ended up with 272 unique movies. Of which I've seen 125. I think I'm going to get Netflix at somepoint (probably when the weather starts getting bad in late Autumn) and start hitting some of these off.

May 10, 2006 10:52 AM
AubreyJ said...

I see I'm going to have to update my video library- after everything starts coming out in HD that is...
Great post...

May 10, 2006 11:52 AM
Tracy said...

Great list! American History X is my #1 all time favorite movie!

May 10, 2006 12:06 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...

Hey everyone, thanks for commenting!

Noi--Only 5 or 6 on the list? Is there a public library where you can borrow some of these movies to watch, or are they just not available in your part of the world?

Jason--or a cheaper alternative would be to stop at your local library and borrow a bunch of the classics for free.

Aubrey, as usual, thanks for reading. But I'm confused. Why wait for an HD standard when every movie is now available in digital clarity on DVD? Or are you waiting for a better television to view them with?

Tracy--while not my favorite, it's up there. When I was teaching religious school I used American History X to illustrate hate crime and what's out there to some very privileged and insulated kids. It was really eye-opening for them and made for probably my best teaching experience ever.

May 10, 2006 12:38 PM
michele said...

A list that doesn't include
The lost weekend &
Cool hand luke
I question it's accuracy MISTER!

May 10, 2006 2:30 PM
Matthew S. Urdan said...


You are free to creat your own list, you know. ;)

May 10, 2006 2:37 PM
Tricia said...

Well I think I've seen 60 to 70% of those movies, which surprises me, because I don't think of myself as a movie or telivision watching kind of person. I rarely even go to a movie theater (maybe every two years, and just about never rent a movie). But I guess considering that some are rather old movies I've had lots of opportunity to watch them at some point in my life.

Good list

May 10, 2006 5:14 PM
TheHamburger said...

How the hell didn't Rocky 5 make that list? Tommy Gunn? Come on!

May 10, 2006 5:23 PM
Noi said...

Its available of course, i am just not a movie goer. Usually I just purchase the dvd when it is out for quite some time. Thats when the prices drop realy low! Haha..of course I will be a few years behind.

I think I should be compiling my own 100 fav movies too. But mostly chick flicks..haha.

May 10, 2006 8:39 PM
AubreyJ said...

This was posted January 2006 at C/NET News.com
Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios, HBO Video, New Line Entertainment and Warner Home Video stood up with Toshiba at the Computer Electronics Show here and pledged that movies such as "Million Dollar Baby," "Harry Potter 4: The Goblet of Fire," "Blazing Saddles," "Full Metal Jacket" and "Jarhead" (not to mention box office clunkers like "Sahara" and "Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow") would come out this year on HD DVD discs.
( Story in full at this link- http://news.com.com/HD+DVD+backers+promise+200+movies/2100-1026_3-6019023.html )

OHHH there is a big difference between Digital v HD DVD
The DVD out now runs as Digitally Mastered - Near HD... They are most certainly not HD though. Example: If you have a big screen with HD and running off cable lets say... You most likely had to get all the digital channels to get the HD channels too. Go look at your TV programs and you will find the Digital channels usually channels 100 and up got a great crisp picture. Now go to your HD channels. Near life like with no comparison to the straight Digital channels. This is the difference in the new Format coming out this year... HD DVD

Next time you’re in Best Buy or Circuit City... look at the new DVD players coming out. ( Example and good read on one is at this link- http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=7652523&type=product&id=1134699969167 ) Most people don’t even know about these new players... not to mention the HD DVD format coming out this year in the movies too...

May 11, 2006 2:12 AM
MC said...

51... not bad, not great.

May 15, 2006 1:17 AM

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