Top 50 Countdown - #1

Once Upon a Time in the West

Year: 1968
Director: Sergio Leone
And so my Top 50 Countdown finally comes to an end. Except it doesn’t. After all, I want to do justice to my favorite film. I have much to say about Leone’s great Once Upon a Time in the West and so look for my review coming soon. […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 10-2

Once Upon a Time in America

Year: 1984
Director: Sergio Leone
With shootouts, murders and Prohibition speakeasy parties aplenty, Once Upon a Time in America is, no question, a virtuoso genre piece, but Leone also manages to transcend the gangster genre, transforming it into an exploration of the unreliability of memory, the subjectivity of truth, and the ephemeral […]

Top 50 Countdown - #11

McCabe & Mrs. Miller

Year: 1971
Director: Robert Altman

Altman’s stated intention in making McCabe & Mrs. Miller was to “destroy all the myths of heroism”, and the result is so thorough a revision of Western movie mythology that the abiding impression one is left with might best be described by an ironic inversion of that famous line […]

Top 50 Countdown - #12

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Year: 1966
Director: Sergio Leone
 “The Good”
 Clint Eastwood as Blondie, a super cool bounty hunter
“The Bad”
 Lee Van Cleef as Angel Eyes, a super bad mercenary
“The Ugly”
 Eli Wallach as Tuco, a super talkative trickster
Leone’s nihilistic, survival of the richest view of the Wild West reached its peak in The Good, the Bad […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 15-13

Singin’ in the Rain

Year: 1952
Director: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
Thanks to Comden-Green’s knowing screenplay, which sharply satirizes Hollywood types and hilariously parodies the industry’s awkward transition to sound pictures, Singin’ in the Rain is one of the best movies about movies ever made, whether in the musical genre or not. Mix in the musical numbers, […]

Top 50 Countdown - #16

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Year: 1989
Director: Woody Allen
Woody Allen: “I just wanted to illustrate, in an entertaining way, that there is no God and that we’re alone in the universe, and there is nobody out there to punish you. That your morality is strictly up to you. If you’re willing to murder and you can get away […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 20-17

Touch of Evil

Year: 1958
Director: Orson Welles
Finally given the opportunity to direct with a free reign after being stymied for years by short-sighted studios, Welles responded with a stylistic masterpiece of unparalleled virtuosity, as if years of pent-up creativity and artistic inspiration were finally released and came gloriously gushing forth onto Welles’ cinematic canvas. With its […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 25-21


Year: 1965
Director: Roman Polanski
One of the creepiest visions of madness ever put on film, Repulsion stars Catherine Denueve as a deeply disturbed, man-hating young woman whose distorted perception and disintegrating mental state is reflected in a frightening array of unnerving sound effects and hallucinatory imagery.
To read my longer review click here
Citizen Kane

Year: 1941
Director: Orson Welles
So much […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 30-26

The Wizard of Oz

Year: 1939
Director: Victor Fleming
The Wizard of Oz owes its enduring appeal not only to the captivating fantasy world created by its eye-popping Technicolor photography, imaginative set designs, memorable special effects, colorful costumes, catchy songs, and wondrous characters, but also to the film’s reassuring message which teaches us that, like Dorothy, we too […]

Top 50 Countdown - #’s 35-31


Year: 1953
Director: Luis Buñuel
Buñuel’s most scathing, wickedly funny attack on the Church, El explores the irrational jealousy of a respectable churchgoer, whose deeply ingrained sexual neuroses, firmly rooted in the repressive practices of the Church, come to the fore soon after his marriage, sparking within him paranoid suspicions of his wife’s unfaithfulness and ultimately compelling […]