Favorite Movies of All Time: 20-11


Over the past few years I’ve made a concerted effort to watch lots of movies considered to be among the best of all time.  Now, for the first time, I’ve made my own list of favorite movies of all time.  Every other Wednesday throughout 2022, I will be revealing ten movies in my list of 250 Favorite Movies of All Time.

250-241 200-190 150-141 100-91 50-41
240-231 190-181 140-131 90-81 40-31
230-221 180-171 130-121 80-71 30-21
220-211 170-161 120-111 70-61
210-201 160-151 110-101 60-51

 

20

Title: Grave of the Fireflies
Director: Isao Takahata
Cast: Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayano Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, and Akemi Yamaguchi
Year: 1988
When did I first watch this movie?: April 2021
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A heartbreaking story of the cost of war on the most vulnerable people as well as a sweet story of sibling love.


19

Title: 2001: A Space Odyssey
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and Douglas Rain
Year: 1968
When did I first watch this movie?: early 1980s
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Mind-blowing visuals, perfect scoring, limited but pointed dialogue, and a scene where the death of a murderous computer makes you cry are reasons why this is an all time classic.


18

Title: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, and Denholm Elliott
Year: 1981
When did I first watch this movie?: 1981, in the theater
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The memory of watching this movie with my sister every time it returned to $1 second run movie theater alone would make this one of my favorites, but it’s also a great action/adventure/comedy/special effects spectacular.


17

Title: Sunset Boulevard
Director: Billy Wilder
Cast:William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark, Lloyd Gough, and Jack Webb
Year: 1950
When did I first watch this movie?: December 2019
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: “Yep, that’s me. You probably wonder how I got myself into this predicament,” is something you can imagine William Holden’s body floating in a pool saying as he narrates this caustic and funny deconstruction of the Hollywood mythos.


16

Title: Ikiru
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Takashi Shimura, Shinichi Himori, Haruo Tanaka, Minoru Chiaki, Bokuzen Hidari, and Miki Odagiri
Year:1952
When did I first watch this movie?: March 2020
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Kurosawa’s story of a dying bureaucrat trying to make some meaning of his life is a film that deeply appreciates what it means to be human.


15

Title: Donnie Darko
Director: Richard Kelly
Cast: Jake Gyllenhaal, Jena Malone, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Drew Barrymore, Mary McDonnell, Katharine Ross, Patrick Swayze, Noah Wyle, Stu Stone, Daveigh Chase, James Duval, and Seth Rogen
Year: 2001
When did I first watch this movie?: 2004, the director’s cut in the theater
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: I kind of relate to the Catholic school kid in the suburbs in the 1980s aspects of this movie.  Lucky for me I never had to deal with time travel, aircraft disasters, or creepy rabbits.


14

Title: Delicatessen
Director: Marc Caro & Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Cast: Dominique Pinon, Marie-Laure Dougnac, and Jean-Claude Dreyfus
Year: 1991
When did I first watch this movie?: June 2003
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A darkly funny take on post-apocalyptic survival films in the quirky Caro/Jeunet style.


13

Title: Duck Soup
Director: Leo McCarey
Cast: Marx Brothers (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo), Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres and Edgar Kennedy
Year: 1933
When did I first watch this movie?: 1992
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The Marx Brothers funniest and most satirical film.


12

Title: Genghis Blues
Director: Roko Belic
Cast: Paul Pena, Kongar-ol Ondar
Year: 1999
When did I first watch this movie?: 1999, in the theater
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A blind Blues musician from the US discovers the traditional music of Tuva and travels with a team of eccentric people to participate in a throat-singing competition.


11

Title: It’s a Wonderful Life
Director: Frank Capra
Cast:James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell, Henry Travers, Beulah Bondi, Ward Bond, Frank Faylen, and Gloria Grahame
Year: 1946
When did I first watch this movie?: circa 1984
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A movie that can survive the sheer repetition of its multiple holiday season airings back in the 80s and 90s and still be a joy to behold is a great film.