|Artís Selection of Cinematic Classics
(not to be considered a comprehensive compendium)
I. ( In 1998 the American Film Institute celebrated its 100th anniversary
by announcing the 100 best American films of all time - they were chosen
from a pool of 400 finalists selected by the Institute. The ballots were
sent to 1500 prominent Americans, including screenwriters, directors, and
critics. The criteria for winning included historical significance,
critical recognition and awards, and popularity as measured by box
office, syndication, video sale and rental figures.) I have put the films
into chronological order by decade.
1.The Birth of a Nation - 1915 ; silent, #44 - the Civil War,
Reconstruction and the KKK.
2.The Gold Rush - 1925; silent, #74 - Charlie Chaplinís personal favorite
of all his films. Classic comedy and a theme of redemption.
3. The Jazz Singer - 1927; first talkie, #90 - Al Jolsonís classic. A
Jewish man faces a difficult moral dilemma - should he sing for the Lord
or for the world or for his parents or for his heritage. A good film for
4. All Quiet on the Western Front - 1930; #54 - a different type of war
film - from the perspective of the Germans in WWI. A strong anti-war
5. City Lights - 1931; silent, #76 - my favorite Chaplin film. Great
comedy and a super ending!
6. Frankenstein -1931; #87. Power without morality can be dangerous.
7. King Kong - 1933; #43 - the mother of all monster movies.
8. Duck Soup - 1933; #85 - Marx Brothers madness at its best!
9. It Happened One Night - 1934; #35 - Frank Capra screwball comedy with
10. Mutiny on the Bounty - 1935; #86 - Clark Gable in a very different
11. Modern Times - 1936; semi-silent, #81 - Chaplinís last movie with his
"little tramp" character includes some hilarious routines.
12. Snow White - 1937; #49 - Disney classic.
13. Bringing Up Baby - 1938; #97 - Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn
14. Gone With the Wind - 1939; #4. A portrayal of a vain woman whose lack
of moral standards are brought to the surface by trying times.
15. Wizard of Oz - 1939; #6. I believe that this popular, entertaining
movie can be a subtle influence towards humanism. The all-powerful Oz is
revealed to be only a product of manís ingenuity. The supposed real
solution to our problems lies within ourselves.
16. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - 1939; #29 - Frank Capraís classic
comedy-drama with Jimmy Stewart as the idealistic senator.
17. Stagecoach - 1939; #63 - John Wayne western.
18. Wuthering Heights - 1939; #73 - Sir Laurence Olivier in Emily
Bronteís classic novel.
19. Grapes of Wrath - 1940; #21 - Henry Fonda in this sad Steinbeck story
set in the Depression.
20. Philadelphia Story - 1940;#51 - a comedy with Jimmy Stewart,
Katherine Hepburn, and Cary Grant.
21. Fantasia - 1940; #58 - classical music and beautiful animation; a
work of art. Can be scary to small children.
22. Citizen Cane - 1941; #1 - Orson Wellesí ground-breaking, innovative
23. Maltese Falcon - 1941;#23 - Humphrey Bogart mystery.
24. Casablanca - 1942;#2 - Humphrey Bogart again in a classic thriller.
One of my favorite films because of its restraint in sexual matters and
its treatment of a moral dilemma.
25. Yankee Doodle Dandy - 1942; #100 - James Cagney does a great job of
portraying George M. Cohan.
26. Double Indemnity - 1944;#38 - Edward G. Robinson as a good guy and
Fred MacMurray star in this drama.
27. Itís a Wonderful Life - 1946; #11. No comment necessary.
28. Best Years of Our Lives - 1946; #37 - three WWII vets adjust to life
29. Treasure of Sierra Madre - 1948; #30 - a great Bogart film showing
how insidious greed can be.
30. The Third Man - 1949; #57 - mystery story.
31. Sunset Boulevard - 1950; #12 - Gloria Swanson, an actual silent film
star, plays an aging silent film star in this drama.
32. All About Eve - 1950; #16 - Bette Davis in an intense drama about
Hollywood - Oscars for best picture and director. A great film about the
lesson of sowing and reaping.
33. African Queen - 1951; #17 - Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn
34. Streetcar Named Desire - 1951; #45 - Marlon Brando in an intense
35. American in Paris - 1951; #68; - Gene Kelly dances in this lavish
film which won 6 Oscars.
36. A Place in the Sun - 1951; #92 - Montgomery Clift has affairs with
37. Singiní in the Rain - 1952; #10 - exhilarating, upbeat film with
fantastic dancing by Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald OíConnor.
38. High Noon - 1952; #33 - Gary Cooper (Oscar) plays the courageous
retiring frontier marshal in this classic western.
39. From Here to Eternity - 1953; #52 - 8 Oscars went to this film about
life at Pearl Harbor just before Japan attacked.
40. Shane - 1953; #69 - classic western.
41. On the Waterfront - 1954; #8 - intense drama (winner of 8 Oscars)
with Marlon Brando.
42. Rear Window - 1954; #42 - Hitchcock drama.
43. Rebel Without a Cause - 1955; #59 - cult classic with James Dean.
Note the scene early in the film when the students hear the astronomer
tell them his evolutionary, materialistic fable. No wonder they have no
reason to live. This film shows the legacy of evolutionary indoctrination
in our public schools.
44. Giant - 1956; #82 - a modern western drama. James Deanís last film.
45. The Searchers - 1956; #96 - John Wayne western.
46. Bridge on the River Kwai - 1957; #13 - intense WWII drama based on
historical happening. Winner of Oscars for best film, actor, and
47. Vertigo - 1958; #61 - Hitchcock drama.
48. Some Like it Hot - 1959; #14 - comedy with Marilyn Monroe.
49. North by Northwest - 1959; #40 - Hitchcock thriller.
50. Ben Hur - 1959; #72 - Winner of 11 Oscars! A truly great film.
51.Psycho - 1960; #18 - I have no intention of seeing this R rated film.
52. The Apartment - 1960; #93 - this is supposed to be a comedy about
Jack Lemmon letting his bosses use his apartment for affairs. I see
nothing funny about having affairs and consider this to be a film not
worth seeing, but itís mild by todayís lack of standards.
53. West Side Story - 1961; #41 - a sad story but with great music and
54. Lawrence of Arabia - 1962; #5 - biography of British Army officer won
55. To Kill a Mockingbird - 1962; #34 - a great story with Gregory Peck
winning an Oscar.
56. Manchurian Candidate - 1962; #67 - a very intense and rather scary
cold war drama.
57. Dr. Strangelove - 1964; #26 - a very dark and sick "comedy"about
nuclear war. Iíd like to urge everyone to be sure to not see this one.
58. My Fair Lady - 1964; #91 - great music and Audrey Hepburn in an
enjoyable romance story.
59. Dr. Zhivago - 1965; #39 - beautiful scenery, beautiful music, and the
horrors of war all combine to influence the viewers to romanticize and
excuse a manís inexcusable infidelity to his wife.
60. Sound of Music - 1965; #55 - A wonderful story and great music!
61. The Graduate - 1967; #7 - a story of sexual immorality.
62. Bonnie and Clyde - 1967; #27 - lots of violence and sexual
63. Guess Whoís Coming to Dinner? - 1967; #99 - an interesting film about
a planned inter-racial marriage in the sixties. Spencer Tracy and
Katherine Hepburnís last film together.
64. 2001 - A Space Odyssey - 1968; #22 - a strange film featuring an
evolutionary beginning, great special effects, man vs. computer, a
dazzling light show, and a weird ending.
65. Midnight Cowboy - 1969; #36 - I have no desire to see this R rated
film (rated X when first released).
66. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - 1969; #50 - the story of the two
67. Wild Bunch - 1969; #80 - I have no desire to see this R rated film.
68. Easy Rider - 1969, #88 - glorifies drugs, sex, rock music, and motor
cycles by making the heroes into martyrs.
69. MASH - 1970; #56 - this is perhaps one of the worst films ever
foisted on American society. It systematically ridicules all that is
noble in life and makes the cool, competent, and immoral protagonists out
to be heroes. The setting is the Korean War, but the time of the release
of the film was during the Viet Nam War. By combining comedy with an
attack on everything held dear to Americans, this film must have been
designed to tear down the morale and morality of our country. A better
job could not have been done by the KGB film institute if there was such
70. Patton - 1970; #89 - an interesting portrayal of this fascinating
71. A Clockwork Orange -1971; #46 - I have no intention of seeing this R
72. French Connection - 1971; #70 - I have no intention of seeing this R
73. The Godfather - 1972; #3 - I have no intention of seeing this R rated
74. American Graffiti - 1973; #77 - teenage life in California in the
fifties. On the whole, I consider this film to be, at best, a waste of
75. Chinatown - 1974; #19 - I have no intention of seeing this R rated
76. The Godfather, part 2 - 1974; #32 - ditto.
77. One Flew Over the Cuckooís Nest - 1975; #20 - an interesting story,
but I would not recommend it because of sexual content.
78. Jaws - 1975; #48 - if you love gore, youíll love this one.
79. Taxi Driver - 1976; #47 - I have no intention of seeing this R rated
80. Rocky - 1976; #78 - inspiring, but rather unrealistic boxing film.
81. Network - 1976; #66 - I have no intention of seeing this R rated
82. Star Wars - 1977; #15 - fantastic special effects.
83. Annie Hall - 1977; #31 - Woody Allen comedy. This film revolves
around sexual immorality.
84. Close Encounters of the Third Kind - 1977; #64 - in my opinion a
rather slow moving, extra-terrestrial movie.
85. The Deer Hunter - 1978; #79 - I have no intention of seeing this R
86. Apocalypse Now - 1979; #28 - ditto.
87. Raging Bull - 1980; #24 - ditto
88. Raiders of the Lost Ark - 1981; #60 - Indiana Jones adventure.
Contains objectionable parts.
89. E. T. - 1982; #25 - an endearing extra-terrestrial movie.
90. Tootsie - 1982; #62 - comedy with Dustin Hoffman playing an actor who
impersonates a woman.
91. Amadeus - 1984; #53 - an account of the rather bizarre life of the
musical genius, Mozart.
92. Platoon - 1986; #83 - I have no desire of seeing this R rated film.
93. Dances with Wolves - 1990; #75 - an interesting western story.
94. Goodfellas - 1990; #94 - I have no desire of seeing this R rated
95. Silence of the Lambs - 1991; #65 - ditto.
96. Unforgiven - 1992; #98 - ditto.
97. Schindlerís List - 1993; #9 - ditto.
98. Forest Gump - 1994; #71 - a weird comedy set in the sixties using
special effects to put the protagonist into several historical settings.
99. Pulp Fiction - 1994; #95 - I have no desire to see this R rated film.
100. Fargo - 1996; #84 - ditto.
Summary: pre-1930 films - 3
1930's films - 15
1940's films - 12
1950's films - 20
1960's films - 18
1970's films - 18
1980's films - 6
1990's films - 8
Other comments: Many of the movies that are on this list that I saw are,
in my opinion, not worthy of being on it, not to mention those that I
refused to see. Also, there were films that I thought should have been on
it, but were not included. I guess most people would say the same thing.
Artís Selection of Cinematic Classics - part 2
Herein are some of the films I have seen, with commentary, arranged by
category. Almost all of these are films which have been around for a
while. There are many other great films from the earlier days of the
movies which I have yet to see. Also, there are great films that are more
contemporary, but are not on this list. I did not include films from part
1 of the "cinematic classics."
1. Across the Pacific - Humphrey Bogart thriller.
2. Advise and Consent - good film about politics
3. The Agony and the Ecstacy - the story of Michelangelo
4. All the Kingís Men - a story of corruption in politics
5. All This and Heaven Too - a powerful film about a virtuous woman
retaining her honor amidst madness and murder. Stars Bette Davis and
6. Anastasia (1956) - the intriguing mystery starring Ingrid Bergman
7. Anna Karenina - Greta Garbo stars in Tolstoyís classic of a beautiful
woman reaping the wages of the sin of adultery. Of course, since it was
made in 1935, there is no foul language nor sex scenes.
8. Anna and the King - Jody Foster in this 1999 version of the story of
Anna Leonowens and the king of Siam (Thailand). Very well done. Little,
if any, objectionable content.
9. Apollo 13 - the true story of the intense, nearly fatal moon mission.
10. The Bear - An interesting and well done story of two bears and some
11. Beckett - historical drama starring Richard Burton and Peter OíToole
12. Ben Hur - An outstanding Christian film. Won eleven Oscars.
13. Billy Budd - Melvilleís classic story of good and evil, justice and
14. Birdman of Alcatraz - A remarkable true story of how a prisoner
becomes rehabilitated by caring for birds.
15. Brother Sun, Sister Moon - the story of St. Francis of Assisi.
16. The Caine Mutiny - Intense drama with Humphrey Bogart
17. Captains Courageous - Kiplingís story of the transformation of a brat
on a fishing boat. Stars Spencer Tracy.
18. Chariots of Fire - the true story of an Olympic runner who put his
religious convictions before his love of running.
19. Chronicles of Narnia - C. S. Lewisí classic allegory.
20. Cimarron - This landmark western (1931) depicts the settling of
Oklahoma. The hero is very virtuous, but mysteriously leaves his wife and
21. Coquette - Mary Pickfordís first talkie. Shows the tragedy of being
22. Cry the Beloved Country - A powerful film about life in apartheid
23. David Copperfield - Dickensí classic.
24. Diary of Anne Frank - The true, sad story of a Jewish girl hiding in
Holland during the Holocaust with her family. Humanism is preached at the
25. Disraeli - an outstanding portrayal of the British politician in this
26. A Dog of Flanders - A touching story with a lot of love. Very
27. Driving Miss Daisy - An elderly lady and her black chauffeur in this
film that won an Oscar for best picture.
28. Exodus - the story of the Jewís return to Israel in 1947.
29. Failsafe - a story of how a nuclear war might get started
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls - Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman in an action
story set in the Spanish Civil War.
31. The Fountainhead - Gary Cooper stars in this film highlighting the
virtues of integrity, determination, and refusal to compromise.
32. Gandhi - An account of the life of this amazing man.
33. Gaslight - Suspense tale with Ingrid Bergman winning an Oscar.
34. Goodbye Mr. Chips - I recommend this story of a teacher starring
35. The Good Earth - this classic Pearl Buck story stars Paul Muni.
36. The Greatest Story Ever Told - the story of our Lord.
37. Hatari! - John Wayne in an action-romance set in Africa.
38. The Hiding Place - True, inspiring story of Corrie Ten Boomís family
who hid Jews from the Nazis.
39. The Hunchback of Notre Dame - classic drama by Victor Hugo.
40. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang - another great Paul Muni film,
based on a true story
41. In a Lonely Place - A very intense mystery-romance with Humphrey
42. The Inn of the Sixth Happiness - Ingrid Bergman stars in a somewhat
modified version of the amazing, true story of Gladys Aylward, a British
maid who sent herself to China as a missionary.
43. The Jackie Robinson Story - the first baseball player to break the
color barrier. Starring Jackie Robinson.
44. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronteís masterpiece..
45. Jezebel - Bette Davis (Oscar) in a romance in the antebellum South.
Co-stars Henry Fonda.
46. Joan of Arc - portrayed by Ingrid Bergman.
47. Juarez - Another great Paul Muni biography. This time of the great
Benito Juarez - a man of courage and conviction. Co-stars Bette Davis.
48. Judgment at Nuremberg - Spencer Tracy and several other stars depict
the Nazi war crimes trials. Part of this is very strong when they show
films of death camps.
49. Julius Caesar - Shakespeare classic with Charlton Heston.
50. Key Largo - Humphrey Bogart - Edward G. Robinson suspense story
51. Keys of the Kingdom - A very uplifting novel about a catholic
missionary in China, starring Gregory Peck. The only objectionable part,
as far as Iím concerned, was a couple of instances of praying to saints.
52. The Killing - a classic, almost perfect crime - shows that crime
doesnít pay since thereís always the risk that something can go wrong.
53. Knute Rockne - All American - a great biography of a great, moral,
innovative coach. Includes "the Gipper" (Ronald Reagan).
54. Lassie Come Home - Endearing story of Lassie traveling hundreds of
miles to get home
55. The Last Days of Pompeii - a gladiator movie with a Christian
56. The Last Hurrah - Spencer Tracy as a politician
57. Les Miserables - Outstanding Victor Hugo classic about a man who
becomes a Christian.
58 The Letter - Bette Davis in a very intense drama
59. Life of Emile Zola - a true story of courage as Zola defends the
unjustly convicted Dreyfus. Stars Paul Muni.
60. Little Caesar - Edward G. Robinson gangster classic (1930). "Public
Enemy" and "Little Caesar" influenced the bringing about of the repeal of
61. Little Women - Louisa May Alcottís classic of four sisters growing up
with different personalities.
62. The Long Voyage Home - common sailors during the early days of WWII
on a freighter. An early John Wayne movie. The Duke plays a gentle Swede,
complete with accent.
63. Lost Horizon - based on James Hiltonís adventure novel of modern
people finding Shangri-La.
64. Lust for Life - Kirk Douglas in the life of Vincent Van Gogh.
65. Madame Bovary - This French masterpiece by Flaubert shows how morals
can be corrupted by romantic novels.
66. Madame Curie - A wonderful, true story of love and devotion between
67. A Man Called Peter - the life of Peter Marshall - chaplain to the
68. A Man for All Seasons - The outstanding, true story of Sir Thomas
More, who suffered martyrdom rather than compromise his beliefs.
69. Marked Woman - Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart co-star in this drama
said to be based on the events that ended the career of mobster Lucky
70. Marty - Drama about two lonely, unattractive people who meet. Oscars
for best picture, actor, and director.
71. Mata Hari - Greta Garbo depicts the famous WWI spy.
72. Min and Bill - Marie Dressler won an Oscar in this 1930 classic about
an old womanís love for the abandoned girl she raised. Co-stars Wallace
73. The Miracle Worker - The true story of Helen Keller being brought out
of her solitude.
74. The Mission - a powerful account of Jesuit missionaries to South
American Indians in the late 1700's.
75. Moby Dick - Herman Melvilleís classic features Gregory Peck as
76. Moulin Rouge - the biography of the artist Toulouse-Lautrec - a
tragic, short-lived life of rejection (mainly self-rejection),
loneliness, alcoholism, and wrong choices. Adult situations.
77. Nicholas and Alexandra -the last days of the last Czar of Russia. A
good film to see before Anastasia.
78. The Old Man and the Sea - Spencer Tracy classic.
79. Othello - Shakespeare classic with Sir Lawrence Olivier.
80. The Petrified Forest - Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart in a film
where the people are looking for love and purpose in life.
81. Public Enemy - James Cagney gangster classic.
82. Quo Vadis - Christians show faith and courage in the face of the
83. The Robe - A Roman soldier who was involved in Christís crucifixion
becomes converted. A classic Christian film.
84. Roman Holiday - a fun romance with Audrey Hepburn.
85. Sabrina - another romance with Audrey Hepburn. Costars Humphrey
86. The Scarlet and the Black - Gregory Peck stars in this film, based on
a true story, of a priest in WWII who hides escaped POWís, etc. An
87. The Search - a touching tale of a lost child in post- WWII Germany
and his mother who searches for him. Some filmed on location.
88. Searching for Bobby Fischer - based on the true story of a chess
89. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austinís classic.
90. Sergeant York - Outstanding, true story of this Christian's conversion
and heart for God walked out in the context of WWI. York wanted no glory
for himself and wanted there to be no film about his exploits in WWI,
until, with the approach of WWII, he believed it could be used to inspire
others to fight the menace of Nazism.
91. Shadowlands - inspiring story of C. S. Lewis.
92. The Silver Chalice - a Christian novel, featuring Luke, Joseph of
Arimathea, Peter, Simon the Sorcerer, etc. Paul Newmanís first film.
93. Sounder - the moving story of poor, black sharecroppers in the
94. Sparrows - A very moving silent film with a strong Christian
perspective. Stars Mary Pickford.
95. Spitfire Grill - A powerful drama.
96. Spirit of St. Louis - Account of Lindberghís historic flight,
starring Jimmy Stewart.
97. Story of Louis Pasteur - Another excellent biography starring Paul
98. The Ten Commandments - Epic film of the Exodus story.
99. Titanic - (1953 version) A tragedy can bring out the best in people.
100. To Have and Have Not - Humphrey Bogart thriller.
101. Tortilla Flat - Spencer Tracy in John Steinbeckís story. A good
story but includes praying to saints.
102. The Three Lives of Thomasina - A great story of a man who turns away
from God and then returns.
103. Uncle Tomís Cabin - a film version of the tremendously significant
104. Viva Zapata - The true story of the noble revolutionary in early
20th century Mexico, starring Marlon Brando.
105. War and Peace - Tolstoyís classic.
106. White Heat - classic James Cagney gangster film.
107. The Wind and The Lion - based on an historical incident in 1904 of a
Moroccan kid-napping an American woman and her children during Teddy
108. Witness for the Prosecution - Agatha Christie play with Charles
Laughton, Tyrone Power, and Marlene Dietrich.
109. The Yearling - The moving story of a boy becoming a man in the
1. Around the World in Eighty Days - Jules Verneís classic tale of
romance and adventure.
2. Blood Alley - John Wayne leads a whole village in an escape from Red
3. Journey to the Center of the Earth - Another Jules Verne classic. A
fun, adventure-filled tale. When the heroes are in danger they pray, and
praise the Lord when delivered. Parts were filmed at Carlsbad Caverns in
4. Kim - Rudyard Kipling adventure with Errol Flynn.
5. King Solomonís Mines - An African adventure a la Indiana Jones. Parts
of this were also filmed in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.
6. The Time Machine - The H.G. Wells classic of a man who travels into
7. War of the Worlds - When the aliens come, the people pray.
8. When Worlds Collide - classic sci-fi film about a futuristic "Noahís
1. 30 Seconds Over Tokyo - an account of one crew in Jimmy Doolittleís
daring raid over Tokyo in the opening months of WWII.
2. The Alamo - John Wayne directed and starred in this classic.
3. Andersonville - depicts the horrors of the worst Civil War prisoner of
4. Back to Bataan - John Wayne in story based on the liberation of the
Philippines in WWII.
5. The Battle of Britain - story of the heroic flyers defending Britain
6. Beau Geste - Jackie Cooper in the French Foreign Legion.
7. The Charge of the Light Brigade - Errol Flynn action - romance based
on the famous poem.
8. Churchill and the Generals - a made for t.v. movie dramatizing
Churchillís role in WWII.
9. The Dawn Patrol - Errol Flynn and David Niven flying in WWI action
10. Desperate Journey - Errol Flynn and Ronald Reagan in WWII action
11 .Distant Drums - Gary Cooper in this action film set in the Seminole
12. El Cid - Charlton Heston as the noble 10th century Spanish warrior.
13. Flying Leathernecks - John Wayne in a WWII film.
14. The Gallant Hours - James Cagney portrays Admiral Halsey at
15. The Great Escape - historic escape from a Nazi P.O. W. camp.