How movie-literate are you?

Film writer and critic, Jim Emerson compiled a list of what he considers the 102 most important films to see, in order to have an informed discussion about movies. It’s kind of an elitest mentality to take towards film-criticism, but it’s also a great list with a lot of different films, demonstrating some important landmarks in film history. They are not his favorites, or a best-of list, but more a “common cultural currency of our time” as it relates to film. Following kottke’s lead, I decided to run through the list and see how “literate” I would be considered on this scale.


Titles with an “*” I’ve seen.

* 2001: A Space Odyssey
The 400 Blows
8 1/2
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
* Alien
* All About Eve
Annie Hall
* Apocalypse Now
* Bambi
* The Battleship Potemkin
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Big Red One
The Bicycle Thief
The Big Sleep
* Blade Runner
* Blowup
* Blue Velvet
* Bonnie and Clyde
Breathless
Bringing Up Baby
Carrie
Casablanca
Un Chien Andalou
Children of Paradise / Les Enfants du Paradis
* Chinatown
* Citizen Kane
* A Clockwork Orange
The Crying Game
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Days of Heaven
* Dirty Harry
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
* Do the Right Thing
La Dolce Vita
* Double Indemnity
* Dr. Strangelove
* Duck Soup
* E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial
Easy Rider
* The Empire Strikes Back
The Exorcist
* Fargo
* Fight Club
Frankenstein
The General
* The Godfather, The Godfather, Part II
* Gone With the Wind
GoodFellas
The Graduate
* Halloween
A Hard Day’s Night
* Intolerance
It’s a Gift
* It’s a Wonderful Life
Jaws
The Lady Eve
* Lawrence of Arabia
* M
* Mad Max 2 / The Road Warrior
* The Maltese Falcon
The Manchurian Candidate
* Metropolis
Modern Times
* Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Nashville
The Night of the Hunter
Night of the Living Dead
North by Northwest
* Nosferatu
On the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the West
Out of the Past
Persona
* Pink Flamingos
* Psycho
* Pulp Fiction
* Rashomon
* Rear Window
* Rebel Without a Cause
Red River
Repulsion
The Rules of the Game
* Scarface
The Scarlet Empress
* Schindler’s List
The Searchers
The Seven Samurai
Singin’ in the Rain
Some Like It Hot
A Star Is Born
* A Streetcar Named Desire
* Sunset Boulevard
* Taxi Driver
The Third Man
Tokyo Story
* Touch of Evil
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Trouble in Paradise
* Vertigo
* West Side Story
* The Wild Bunch
* The Wizard of Oz

Exactly 50 from the list. Not bad. I’ve got quite a few of the others on my Netflix queue, so I’ll be making some more progress. Film classes in college definitely helped tick off a few of the more obscure ones, but there are still some popular ones that I feel ashamed for never having seen in their entirety. Yes, like Jaws, Goodfellas, The Exorcist and Casablanca… I’m working on it.

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