We're winding down in our list of the Top 100 Films of all time, with #40-31. One strange note about today's list: it features 3 films starring legendary English actor Alec Guinness. See if you can spot all three.
40. An American in Paris
The 1951 classic was a song and dance fest featuring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron and Oscar Levant doing some of their best work bringing iconic story man Alan Jay Lerner’s tale to life. When a group of friends are trying to make it in Paris, things are going swimmingly. That is, until two of them fall for the same girl. An American in Paris won six Oscars, including the coveted Best Picture.
39. Lawrence of Arabia
While this film is often used as an example of an epically long movie, Lawrence of Arabia is well worth the 216 minute run time. The epic 1962 film is based on the life of British General T.E. Lawrence during the Sinai and Palestine Campaigns of WWI. Shot in 70mm, the stunning visuals and amazing performance by Peter O’Toole make this one of the most influential and significant movies of all time. Check out our Lawrence of Arabia quotes page for more.
38. The 400 Blows
When it comes to French cinema, there are legions of films that could qualify to be on Movie Fanatic’s top 100 of all-time. But, there is something truly magnificent about Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows that haunts us to our soul. The 1959 film was way ahead of its time in its look at a well-meaning teenager who, when left to his own devices, turned to a life of crime. It is so worldly in its intelligence to look at the root of violence and crime, rather than to simply dismiss a person as “bad” and send them to prison.
37. No Country for Old Men
The Coen Brothers’ gritty thriller introduced American audiences to Javier Bardem in a big way, as his role as Anton Chigurh represents one of the absolute greatest movie villains ever. The archetypical Coen Brothers tale of a simple man getting caught up in a plot much to great for his own good gets a very gritty, very suspenseful makeover in No Country. The film won four Oscars, including Best Picture. Read through some No Country for Old Men quotes for more.
36. Schindler’s List
Schindler’s List not only finally got Steven Spielberg his first Oscar, but if we’re being honest, it was probably his best film to date. Liam Neeson played the real life Oscar Schindler, a Polish citizen who took it upon himself to save hundreds of Jews as the Nazis were breathing down his neck. Spielberg shot the film in black and white and it added a layer of intensity to an already deeply moving portrait of one hero whose selfless actions produced generations of people who are living today.
35. Doctor Zhivago
Adjusted for inflation, Doctor Zhivago is the eighth highest-grossing movie of all time. The film tells the story of a Russian doctor who falls for an activist’s wife, set to the backdrop of the Bolshevik Revolution. Omar Sharif and Julie Christie star along with Alec Guinness, who makes three appearances on this week’s list. Check out our Doctor Zhivago quotes.
34. The Empire Strikes Back
A majority of Star Wars fans feel, and this one included, that the best picture of the entire six film series was the second to come along. The Empire Strikes Back featured director Irvin Kerschner who took over for George Lucas and shot the film from a script by the screenplay wizard Lawrence Kasdan. Perhaps the reason the film works so well is it’s the darkest of the series? That could be debated for years… and has been! In the end, there is no question The Empire Strikes Back is not only one of the best Star Wars movies -- and that we can all agree on – but it is one of the best movies of all time… period. Read through some The Empire Strikes Back quotes for more.
33. Cool Hand Luke
Any Top 100 films of all time list is going to include some Paul Newman films, and ours is no different. Newman has already made a few appearances in our Top 100, but Cool Hand Luke is definitely one of his best performances. The film follows an wayward criminal and army veteran in a Florida Prison Camp as he butts heads against authority and order. One of the seminal “anti-hero” films of the 1960’s-70’s American New Wave, Cool Hand Luke received five Oscar Nominations. Take a look at some Cool Hand Luke quotes.
32. The Shawshank Redemption
Taking a Stephen King story and bringing it to the big screen has not always been an awards-worthy endeavor. But with director Frank Darabont’s vision and timeless performances by leads Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman, it earned seven Oscar nominations including Best Picture. The human spirit and what it is capable of in the most positive of ways is a theme that one would not expect from a prison-set film. Yet in The Shawshank Redemption it is the heart and soul of this brilliant movie history moment. Head over to our Shawshank Redemption quotes page for a look.
One of the most visually beautiful movies of all time from one of the most renowned Aesthetes in film, Terrence Malick’s Badlands features marvelous performances from a young Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek. The film tells the story of a naïve country girl who falls in love with a sociopathic criminal, and follows him on a cross-country killing-spree. The film also interestingly marks the first big-screen appearance of Charlie Sheen, who plays “Boy Under Lamppost.” Head to our Badlands quotes page for more.