Essential Films

Here are my essential films. It’s somewhere between my favourite films and a list of films that must been seen. It’s in alphabetical order and I was originally aiming for the 50 mark however there are too many good films so the current count is 83. The main table is generated from films.txt with getimdb.py (needs updating from MoinMoin to MD syntax). I’ve also cross referenced this list with the Bechdel Test Movie List on a Essential Films Bechdel Test

Title Year IMDB Rating Runtime Genres Director Cast
2001: A Space Odyssey 1968 8.3 149 Adventure, Sci-Fi Stanley Kubrick Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood
A Bridge Too Far 1977 7.4 175 Drama, History, War Richard Attenborough Siem Vroom, Marlies van Alcmaer
A Fistful of Dollars 1964 8.0 99 Action, Drama, Western Sergio Leone Clint Eastwood, Marianne Koch
A Good Year 2006 7.0 117 Comedy, Drama, Romance Ridley Scott Freddie Highmore, Albert Finney
Airplane! 1980 7.7 88 Comedy Jim Abrahams Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Lloyd Bridges
Aliens 1986 8.3 137 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller James Cameron Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn
Amélie 2001 8.3 122 Comedy, Romance Jean-Pierre Jeunet Audrey Tautou, Mathieu Kassovitz
Apollo 13 1995 7.6 140 Adventure, Drama, History Ron Howard Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton
Back to the Future 1985 8.5 116 Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi Robert Zemeckis Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd
Blade 1998 7.1 120 Action, Horror, Sci-Fi Stephen Norrington Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff
Blade Runner 1982 8.1 117 Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller Ridley Scott Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer
Blazing Saddles 1974 7.7 93 Comedy, Western Mel Brooks Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder
Catch Me If You Can 2002 8.1 141 Biography, Crime, Drama Steven Spielberg Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks
Clear and Present Danger 1994 6.9 141 Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller Phillip Noyce Harrison Ford, Willem Dafoe
Clerks 1994 7.7 92 Comedy Kevin Smith Brian O’Halloran, Jeff Anderson
Dirty Harry 1971 7.7 102 Action, Crime, Thriller Don Siegel Clint Eastwood, Harry Guardino
District 9 2009 7.9 112 Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller Neill Blomkamp Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope
Dr. No 1962 7.2 110 Action, Adventure, Thriller Terence Young Sean Connery, Ursula Andress
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb 1964 8.4 95 Comedy Stanley Kubrick Peter Sellers, George C. Scott
Erin Brockovich 2000 7.3 131 Biography, Drama Steven Soderbergh Julia Roberts, David Brisbin
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 1986 7.8 103 Comedy John Hughes Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck
For a Few Dollars More 1965 8.3 132 Western Sergio Leone Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef
Forrest Gump 1994 8.8 142 Drama, Romance Robert Zemeckis Tom Hanks, Rebecca Williams
From Russia with Love 1963 7.4 115 Action, Adventure, Thriller Terence Young Sean Connery, Daniela Bianchi
Full Metal Jacket 1987 8.3 116 Drama, War Stanley Kubrick Matthew Modine, Adam Baldwin
Garden State 2004 7.4 102 Comedy, Drama, Romance Zach Braff Zach Braff, Kenneth Graymez
Goldfinger 1964 7.7 110 Action, Adventure, Thriller Guy Hamilton Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe
Gone with the Wind 1939 8.1 238 Drama, History, Romance, War Victor Fleming Thomas Mitchell, Barbara O’Neil
Good Will Hunting 1997 8.3 126 Drama, Romance Gus Van Sant Matt Damon, Ben Affleck
Ice Cold in Alex 1958 7.8 130 Adventure, Drama, War J. Lee Thompson John Mills, Sylvia Syms
Inception 2010 8.8 148 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller Christopher Nolan Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 1989 8.2 127 Action, Adventure Steven Spielberg Harrison Ford, Sean Connery
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom 1984 7.6 118 Action, Adventure Steven Spielberg Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw
Jaws 1975 8.0 124 Adventure, Thriller Steven Spielberg Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw
Jurassic Park 1993 8.1 127 Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller Steven Spielberg Sam Neill, Laura Dern
Just Like Heaven 2005 6.7 95 Comedy, Drama, Fantasy, Romance Mark Waters Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo
Lawrence of Arabia 1962 8.3 228 Adventure, Biography, Drama, History, War David Lean Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness
Legally Blonde 2001 6.3 96 Comedy, Romance Robert Luketic Reese Witherspoon, Luke Wilson
Little Miss Sunshine 2006 7.8 101 Comedy, Drama Jonathan Dayton Abigail Breslin, Greg Kinnear
North by Northwest 1959 8.3 136 Adventure, Mystery, Thriller Alfred Hitchcock Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint
Notting Hill 1999 7.1 124 Comedy, Drama, Romance Roger Michell Julia Roberts, Hugh Grant
Once Upon a Time in the West 1968 8.5 165 Western Sergio Leone Claudia Cardinale, Henry Fonda
Paint Your Wagon 1969 6.6 164 Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance, Western Joshua Logan Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood
Pan’s Labyrinth 2006 8.2 118 Drama, Fantasy, War Guillermo del Toro Ivana Baquero, Sergi López
Papillon 1973 8.0 151 Biography, Crime, Drama Franklin J. Schaffner Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman
Planes, Trains & Automobiles 1987 7.6 93 Comedy, Drama John Hughes Steve Martin, John Candy
Play Misty for Me 1971 7.0 102 Drama, Thriller Clint Eastwood Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter
Pulp Fiction 1994 8.9 154 Crime, Drama Quentin Tarantino Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer
Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 8.4 115 Action, Adventure Steven Spielberg Harrison Ford, Karen Allen
Requiem for a Dream 2000 8.3 102 Drama Darren Aronofsky Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto
Ringu 1998 7.2 96 Horror, Mystery Hideo Nakata Nanako Matsushima, Miki Nakatani
Roman Holiday 1953 8.0 118 Comedy, Romance William Wyler Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn
Romeo + Juliet 1996 6.7 120 Drama, Romance Baz Luhrmann Leonardo DiCaprio, Claire Danes
Saving Private Ryan 1998 8.6 169 Drama, War Steven Spielberg Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore
Scarface 1983 8.3 170 Crime, Drama Brian De Palma Al Pacino, Steven Bauer
Schindler’s List 1993 8.9 195 Biography, Drama, History Steven Spielberg Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley
Snatch 2000 8.3 104 Comedy, Crime Guy Ritchie Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina
Spirited Away 2001 8.6 125 Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Mystery Hayao Miyazaki Rumi Hiiragi, Miyu Irino
Taken 2008 7.8 90 Action, Thriller Pierre Morel Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace
Terminator 2: Judgment Day 1991 8.5 137 Action, Sci-Fi James Cameron Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton
The Big Lebowski 1998 8.1 117 Comedy, Crime, Sport Joel Coen Jeff Bridges, John Goodman
The Blues Brothers 1980 7.9 133 Adventure, Comedy, Crime, Music, Musical John Landis Tom Erhart, Gerald Walling
The Breakfast Club 1985 7.9 97 Comedy, Drama John Hughes Emilio Estevez, Paul Gleason
The Conversation 1974 7.8 113 Drama, Mystery, Thriller Francis Ford Coppola Gene Hackman, John Cazale
The Departed 2006 8.5 151 Crime, Drama, Thriller Martin Scorsese Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon
The Fugitive 1993 7.8 130 Action, Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller Andrew Davis Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones
The Godfather 1972 9.2 175 Crime, Drama Francis Ford Coppola Marlon Brando, Al Pacino
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly 1966 8.8 161 Western Sergio Leone Eli Wallach, Clint Eastwood
The Graduate 1967 8.0 106 Comedy, Drama, Romance Mike Nichols Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman
The Great Escape 1963 8.2 172 Adventure, Drama, History, Thriller, War John Sturges Steve McQueen, James Garner
The Hangover 2009 7.7 100 Comedy Todd Phillips Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms
The Little Mermaid 1989 7.6 83 Animation, Family, Fantasy, Musical, Romance Ron Clements Rene Auberjonois, Christopher Daniel Barnes
The Matrix 1999 8.7 136 Action, Sci-Fi Lana Wachowski Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne
The Pianist 2002 8.5 150 Biography, Drama, Music, War Roman Polanski Adrien Brody, Emilia Fox
The Shawshank Redemption 1994 9.3 142 Drama Frank Darabont Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
The Shining 1980 8.4 146 Drama, Horror Stanley Kubrick Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall
The Silence of the Lambs 1991 8.6 118 Crime, Drama, Thriller Jonathan Demme Jodie Foster, Lawrence A. Bonney
The Wicker Man 1973 7.5 88 Horror, Mystery, Thriller Robin Hardy Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee
Three Colors: Blue 1993 7.9 94 Drama, Music, Mystery, Romance Krzysztof Kieslowski Juliette Binoche, Benoît Régent
Trainspotting 1996 8.1 93 Drama Danny Boyle Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner
Uncle Buck 1989 7.0 100 Comedy John Hughes John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly
Walk the Line 2005 7.8 136 Biography, Drama, Music, Romance James Mangold Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon
Where Eagles Dare 1968 7.7 158 Action, Adventure, War Brian G. Hutton Richard Burton, Clint Eastwood
Decade Count
1990 21
2000 18
1980 16
1960 14
1970 9
1950 3
2010 1
1930 1
Genre Count
Drama 42
Comedy 23
Adventure 20
Action 20
Thriller 20
Romance 16
Crime 13
Sci-Fi 10
War 10
Mystery 7
Biography 7
Western 6
History 6
Music 4
Fantasy 4
Horror 4
Musical 3
Family 2
Animation 2
Sport 1
Director Count
Steven Spielberg 8
Stanley Kubrick 4
Sergio Leone 4
John Hughes 4
Terence Young 2
Ridley Scott 2
James Cameron 2
Francis Ford Coppola 2
Robert Zemeckis 2
Actor Count
Harrison Ford 7
Clint Eastwood 7
Arnold Montey 6
Jimmy Star 5
Sean Connery 5
Antonio Molino Rojo 4
Richard Farnsworth 4
Frank Braña 4
Tom Hanks 4
Benito Stefanelli 4
Aldo Sambrell 4
Leonardo DiCaprio 4
Lorenzo Robledo 4
Enrique Santiago 3
Bob Simmons 3
Paul Maxwell 3
Richard Attenborough 3
Bob Harks 3
Nikki Van der Zyl 3
John Candy 3
Victor Harrington 3
Burnell Tucker 3
George Fargo 3
Lois Maxwell 3
Philip Stone 3
Laurence Herder 3
Ted Grossman 3
Xander Berkeley 3
Peter Evans 3
Steven Spielberg 3
Roy Beck 3
Harry Fielder 3
Joseph Bradley 3
Boyd Cabeen 3
Mario Brega 3
Bernard Lee 3
Reese Witherspoon 3
Matt Damon 3
Pat Roach 3
Arthur Tovey 3
Ricardo Palacios 3
Vivian Kubrick 3
David Daniel 3
Denholm Elliott 3
Pauline Chamberlain 3
Aileen Lewis 3
Mark Rolston 3
Kadrolsha Ona Carole 3
Anthony Chinn 3
Edie McClurg 3
Antonio Palombi 3
Nazzareno Natale 3

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