Recently Empire magazine published the latest 100 Greatest Films of All Time after taking votes from readers. Looking over the list there were a lot of the usual suspects in there and while it reflects the Empire readership it didn’t really reflect me. So I have decided up put my money where my mouth is and put together my own list but mine will be a little different.
First and foremost as I am but one man this will be an incredibly subjective list of favourites so you’re going to find much here that doesn’t turn up in other ‘Greatest’ lists. I’m sure there will be films that some of you will be aghast are even on the list at all never mind their placement. To this I would simply say this is my list so tough. The cinephiles amongst you will no doubt think I should see more films and that is almost certainly true. I do want to and I am going to be doing what I can to remedy that in the future.
My selection of films for this list isn’t just about films that are good, indeed there are some films on this list that I’m aware are not generally well regarded, it’s also about the films that I keep coming back to. The films I can rewatch for either comfort, entertainment or just because I enjoy them so darn much. For me the quality of ‘greatness’ is as much about it connecting with me in some way as it is about how well made it is. I’ve watched many a well written, acted and directed film that has ultimately left me unmoved despite the obvious quality of the work. Equally there are films with wobbly scripts, hammy performances and dodgy looking effects that I’ll defend to my last breath.
I have imposed some rules on this that the Empire list doesn’t just to make things more interesting. Firstly I decided that I wouldn’t consider anything that was less than 10 years old. Seeing films that are only 3 or 4 years old on these lists that have yet to stand the test of time tends to bug me. Secondly I am only allowing myself one film from any given franchise. That means I can only have one Star Wars film, one Bond film etc. The only exception I’ll allow for this is films that feature the same character but were part of different branches of a franchise. For instance in addition to one Bond film I could have Never Say Never Again or the 60s Casino Royale as they stand separate from the main franchise (though don’t expect to find either of them on the list).
So I hope you all enjoy the list as I post them in the coming months and explain why I like them so much. In terms of ranking these will be more tranches that strictly ranked, at least until I get to the top 20 or so. I intend this as a bit of fun not some strict, didactic list. There are definitely some surprises in there and if you are familiar with the current Empire list then you’ll see very little crossover. At last count only 15 films on my list also appear on theirs. As ever feel free to let my know why you agree or disagree in the comments or on Twitter and the first few films will be up very soon.