Movie Literate After Watching 102 Films

I first saw this list on Kottke.org, but film critic Jim Emerson started it all with his list of 102 films that a literate film goer had to see, or as he wrote,

“they were the movies you just kind of figure everybody ought to have seen in order to have any sort of informed discussion about movies. They’re the common cultural currency of our time, the basic cinematic texts that everyone should know, at minimum, to be somewhat “movie-literate.”

Here is my list, which I intend to update as often has I knock down each film (movies I’ve seen are noted with this +). Also, at the end I will add films I’ve seen that I believe Emerson missed (updates at the bottom, indented). If you would like to make a similar list, I’m going to do you a favor and give you the list formatted as an unordered list in html: 102 important movies.

  • “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)+
  • “The 400 Blows” (1959)
  • “8 1/2? (1963)
  • “Aguirre, the Wrath of God” (1972)
  • “Alien” (1979)
  • “All About Eve” (1950)
  • “Annie Hall” (1977)+
  • “Apocalypse Now” (1979)+
  • “Bambi” (1942)+
  • “The Battleship Potemkin” (1925)+
  • “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1946)
  • “The Big Red One” (1980)
  • “The Bicycle Thief” (1949)+
  • “The Big Sleep” (1946)
  • “Blade Runner” (1982)
  • “Blowup” (1966)
  • “Blue Velvet” (1986)+
  • “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967)+
  • “Breathless” (1959)
  • “Bringing Up Baby” (1938)
  • “Carrie” (1975)
  • “Casablanca” (1942)+
  • “Un Chien Andalou” (1928)
  • “Children of Paradise” / “Les Enfants du Paradis” (1945)
  • “Chinatown” (1974)+
  • “Citizen Kane” (1941)+
  • “A Clockwork Orange” (1971)
  • “The Crying Game” (1992)+
  • “The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)
  • “Days of Heaven” (1978)
  • “Dirty Harry” (1971)+
  • “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1972)
  • “Do the Right Thing” (1989)+
  • “La Dolce Vita” (1960)+
  • “Double Indemnity” (1944)+
  • “Dr. Strangelove” (1964)
  • “Duck Soup” (1933)+
  • “E.T. — The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)+
  • “Easy Rider” (1969)+
  • “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)+
  • “The Exorcist” (1973)
  • “Fargo” (1995)+
  • “Fight Club” (1999)+
  • “Frankenstein” (1931)
  • “The General” (1927)
  • “The Godfather,” “The Godfather, Part II” (1972, 1974)+
  • “Gone With the Wind” (1939)
  • “GoodFellas” (1990)+
  • “The Graduate” (1967)+
  • “Halloween” (1978)
  • “A Hard Day’s Night” (1964)
  • “Intolerance” (1916)
  • “It’s a Gift” (1934)
  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
  • “Jaws” (1975)+
  • “The Lady Eve” (1941)
  • “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962)
  • “M” (1931)
  • “Mad Max 2? / “The Road Warrior” (1981)+
  • “The Maltese Falcon” (1941)
  • “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962)+
  • “Metropolis” (1926)+
  • “Modern Times” (1936)+
  • “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)
  • “Nashville” (1975)
  • “The Night of the Hunter” (1955)
  • “Night of the Living Dead” (1968)
  • “North by Northwest” (1959)+
  • “Nosferatu” (1922)
  • “On the Waterfront” (1954)+
  • “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)
  • “Out of the Past” (1947)
  • “Persona” (1966)
  • “Pink Flamingos” (1972)
  • “Psycho” (1960)+
  • “Pulp Fiction” (1994)+
  • “Rashomon” (1950)
  • “Rear Window” (1954)
  • “Rebel Without a Cause” (1955)+
  • “Red River” (1948)
  • “Repulsion” (1965)
  • “The Rules of the Game” (1939)
  • “Scarface” (1932)
  • “The Scarlet Empress” (1934)
  • “Schindler’s List” (1993)+
  • “The Searchers” (1956)+
  • “The Seven Samurai” (1954)
  • “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)
  • “Some Like It Hot” (1959)
  • “A Star Is Born” (1954)
  • “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1951)+
  • “Sunset Boulevard” (1950)+
  • “Taxi Driver” (1976)+
  • “The Third Man” (1949)
  • “Tokyo Story” (1953)
  • “Touch of Evil” (1958)
  • “The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” (1948)
  • “Trouble in Paradise” (1932)
  • “Vertigo” (1958)+
  • “West Side Story” (1961)
  • “The Wild Bunch” (1969)+
  • “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)+

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