In the Summer of 2014, I was bored with Netflix. Both my DVD and Streaming queues were filled with a ton of blockbusters and other flicks I heard I should watch but didn’t really want to. It was largely uninspiring.

Then, all the filmmaking blogs were abuzz with xoJane’s  Mandy’s article “Bill Hader’s 200 Films Every Comedy Writer” should see from Mike Sacks’ book “Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers”.

I have to say, it spanned the history of film and was amazing!

To my surprise, at the time, I had seen about 75 of them. Now, I had to see the rest … so into the Netflix queue they went.

I then had a realization. These were just comedies and those that claimed to be. What about dramas? Were there other lists?

Of course, there were! I started poking around and came across a number of gold mines. One of the first lists was the “American Film Institute’s (AFI) 100 Years … 100 Quotes”  list. It’s all the quotes we’ve all seen used and abused mostly from the opening montages of awards shows.

  • “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night” – All About Eve
  • “Stella! Hey, Stella” – A Streetcar Named Desire
  • “Play it Sam. Play ‘As Time Goes By’” – Casablanca
  • “Are you talkin’ to me” – Taxi Driver

Again, I realized outside of the clips, I hadn’t seen most of them so I added them to my Netflix que.

I then became obsessed! Next thing I knew, I developed a huge list of movies that I want to watch at least once.

In the latest iteration, I have 1,852 movies on my list. I have since found other lists to add but here are the initial lists I’m using:

  • 2003- 2014 editions of “1001 Films to See Before You Die” (Listed in alphabetical order not a ranking)
  • Oscar Winners and Nominees for Best Original Screenplay
  • Oscar Winners and Nominees for Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Films on the (U.S) National Film Registry
  • AFI Top 100 list from 1998
  • AFI Top 100 list from 2007
  • AFI’S 100 Greatest Movie Quotes
  • AFI’s 25 Greatest Film Scores of All Time
  • AFI’s 25 Greatest Movie Musicals of All Time
  • AFI’s 100 Most Inspiring Films of All Time
  • WGA’s 101 Greatest Screenplays List
  • Of course, Bill Hader’s 200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See

Admittedly, my sources are primarily from the U.S. but they include a number of films from around the world.

I’m constantly looking to expand this list to include other top films lists from around the world. I want to have “The Worldwide Ultimate List of Every Film Everyone Should See” but I need your help with that. Please leave a note and link in the comments about really good lists

Now, the question is, how the hell do you watch all of these?

I recently found justwatch.com. This is a streaming search engine. Put in a title and it will tell you which service has it and how much it is. It’s available in 32 countries and have proven to be a timesaver for me.

To help put this in perspective, if you were to watch one of these per day, you’d be finished in over 5 years. Now, naturally, that does not include any new films or other lists that may be added. This list will grow and we will have fun watching all of the greatest movies ever made.

That’s a lot of movie watching. So … Without further ado … Our first four!

All About Eve – 1950

Written and Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Notable Cast

  • Bette Davis
  • Anne Baxter
  • George Sanders
  • Celeste Holm
  • Hugh Marlowe
  • Barbara Bates
  • Gary Merrill
  • Thelma Ritter
  • Marilyn Monroe

Academy Awards – 14 nominations/ 6 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #28 AFI Top 100 ‘07
  • #16 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #5 WGA 101 Greatest
  • 1990 Addition to U.S. National Film Registry

Description

Aging Broadway diva Margo Channing (Bette Davis) hires ingénue Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) as her assistant and let the cat-fighting begin! Plus, you put Celeste Holm in a movie and I’m there! You want to see powerful women on screen, it’s no better than this.

 

A Streetcar Named Desire – 1951

Screenplay by Tennessee Williams

Adaptation by Oscar Saul

Based on his original play: “A Streetcar Named Desire” Tennessee Williams

Directed by Elia Kazan

Notable Cast

  • Vivien Leigh
  • Marlon Brando
  • Kim Hunter
  • Karl Malden

Academy Awards – 9 nominations/ 4 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #47 AFI Top 100 ‘07
  • #45 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #19 AFI 25 Greatest Film Scores
  • 1999 Addition to U.S. National Film Registry

 

Description

One of Tennessee Williams’ finest, with superb film direction by very same director of the Broadway play Elia Kazan. At the end of her rope, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) moves in with her sister Stella (Kim Hunter) and brother-in-law (Marlon Brando) then … complications arise.

Casablanca – 1942

Written by Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch

Directed by Michael Curtiz

Notable Cast

  • Humphrey Bogart
  • Ingrid Bergman
  • Paul Henreid
  • Claude Rains
  • Conrad Veidt
  • Sydney Greenstreet
  • Peter Lorre

Academy Awards – 8 nominations/ 3 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #3 AFI Top 100 ‘07
  • #2 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #32 AFI 100 Most Inspiring
  • #1 WGA 101 Greatest
  • 1989 Addition to U.S. National Film Registry

Description

A number of screenwriting instructors use this as an example of a perfect or near perfect script.  As political thrillers go, they don’t get any better than this. Jilted American ex-pat and political neutral Rick Blaine (Bogart) runs a nightclub and casino in Vichy French and German occupied Casablanca. After obtaining transport papers from Signor Ugarte (Lorre), his jilter, Ilsa Lund (Bergman) shows up with her husband fugitive Czech Resistance leader Victor Laszlo (Henreid ) looking for a way to escape the Nazi’s.

Taxi Driver – 1976

Written by Paul Schrader

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Notable Cast

  • Robert De Niro
  • Jodie Foster
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Albert Brooks
  • Peter Boyle

Academy Awards – 4 nominations/ 0 wins

On Lists

  • 1001 Films
  • #52 AFI Top 100 ‘07
  • #47 AFI Top 100 ‘98
  • #32 AFI 100 Most Inspiring
  • #43 WGA 101 Greatest
  • 1994 Addition to the U.S. National Film Registry

 

Description

In all candor, after several viewings, I still don’t get this one. In general, I find Vietnam-era pieces hard to grasp. But, it is a classic and has wonderful cinematography of 1970’s New York. De Niro play Travis Bickle a Vietnam Vet who drives a cab at night and is disgusted by the world and saves Iris, a teenage prostitute played by a then 13-year-old Jodie Foster.

I hope you like this week’s selections. Let me know what you think.

mm

About 

Tim Lorge, a native of Turnersville, NJ, is a filmmaker, playwright, photographer, and film historian.

His most notable theatrical works include the stage plays "Family Snapshot," “Why We Left” and "The Ballad of Maggie and Ian." He currently has multiple film and web projects in various stages of production including his next feature film and a web series which finds him writing, directing and starring.

He is also a prolific technology writer, having served as Editor-in-Chief for Groupware News and as contributing author to the "Microsoft Official Academic Course Exam 70-412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012" published by John Wiley and Sons. He holds the distinction of being the only cast member of Microsoft's online reality show "Career Factor" to be asked to leave. It's a funny story - Ask him about it.

He regularly photographs the works of some of New York's most exciting playwrights and actors at "The Playground Experiment," and "The New Ambassadors Theater Lab", two distinctive New York City based theater development companies.

He is the Raindance New York City Hub Coordinator where he organizes the internationally known and respected Raindance Filmmaking Curriculum within the New York Metropolitan Area. In addition, he creates content for the Raindance blog on film history, software, cameras, lenses and other production gear.

  • twitter