The top ten movies of all time is always a relative list. History is told from a viewpoint and the same is true of a top ten list. I am the webmaster of My Hollywood Star. These are my choices for the all time top ten movies. I do not know about movies from other countries and cultures, with but a few exceptions. These choices are based on my experiences as an observer on hundreds of movie sets on which I worked and from the thousands of films I have watched.
I have been a movie extra, movie actor, stunt person, stand in, photo double and musician on many different Hollywood movie productions. I know what a director does and I know what a special effects team is required to do. All that is not enough to qualify my top ten list as being that of an expert. What makes me an expert is that I have been a movie fan for more than 65 years. I know what I like.
Gone With The Wind has just about everything going for it. It has a great title. It was made from a very popular novel of its day. It has romance, action, spectacular scenes and great music. It had the most popular top name cast of any movie in history. It was the top grossing movie of its day and its decade and its era. Total ticket sales would put it among the top ten of all time. DVD sales are still brisk 70 years after its first release. Plus it is a pretty good yarn with humor and surprises. It is a 4 hour long epic, approximately, counting the overture.
A man's movie with an all male cast, but the ladies will enjoy Tim Holt's reading of a letter from a lady to her boyfriend. Walter Huston, John Huston, Barton MacLaine all in support of Humphrey Bogart. The movie is about greed and gold.
Huge cast of big name comics all working in top form. Very high energy physical comedy and dialog that is cleverly written. Spencer Tracy is the straight man for the wild antics coming from all directions. There are several versions, the longest being 192 minutes.
Gloria Swanson is brilliant as an aging actress almost doing a parody of herself. She looks beautiful, but old, as she carries on a make believe romance with a younger William Holden. This film is a look at Hollywood in the Golden Era, even though it is black and white. It has romance, dark humor and some action scenes, plus very heavy drama.
Alfred Hitchcock made many wonderful movies. This is possibly his best but I would listen to arguments for Dial M For Murder, Psycho, Rear Window, Rope and Strangers on a Train. North by Northwest has some fabulous scenes and comedy and action. Cary Grant is at his best in this one. The biplane in the cornfield is the best scene of the many great scenes in this film.
Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter are so believable in this sci-fi black and white thriller from 1956. Avoid the remakes of this movie. The remakers are fakers and know not how to grab the audience. Stick with the original and still the best invasion flick.
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There have been many wonderful musicals. This 1952 classic is the one to which other musicals are compared. Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds use more energy per second on film than you will see being used in a martial arts spectacular. Some great dance numbers in this movie.
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are the three leading ladies in this 1959 gangster comedy. I do not think this could be remade with the flair this original has. This movie very possibly has the best last line of any movie.
John Wayne in his prime in 1959 with Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson and Ricky Nelson. Throw in Walter Brennan and Ward Bond and this becomes one of the best Westerns ever. Great acting and suspenseful plot.
Humphrey Bogart in a black and white movie from 1942 which has something for the guys and something for the gals. Ingrid Bergman and Peter Lorre are wonderful and there are some great performances to watch from Paul Henreid and Claude Rains. Nazi vs Bogart action.