Best 100 Movies Ever: An Amazing List of the Best Movies, each with a description and a fun fact. Test youself: How many have you seen?
100. Inglourious Basterds (click next for the top 100)
Story: In Nazi-occupied France during World War II, a plan to assassinate Nazi leaders by a group of Jewish U.S. soldiers coincides with a theatre owner’s vengeful plans for the same. Details: Director – Quentin Tarantino, release – 2009, starring Brad Pit, Diane Kruger and Eli Roth .
Did You Know? In a roundtable discussion with Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarantino, Tarantino said that Til Schweiger, being born and raised in Germany, had always refused to put on a Nazi uniform for a film role. The only reason he agreed to for this film was because he got to kill Nazis.
99. Toy Story
Story: A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy’s room. Details: Director – John Lasseter, release – 1995, starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen and Don Rickles.
Did You Know? Billy Crystal was originally offered the chance to voice Buzz Lightyear, but declined. After seeing the finished film, he said the decision was the biggest mistake of his career. Upon learning this, John Lasseter telephoned Billy’s house to offer him the role of Mike Wazowski in Monsters, Inc. (2001). Billy’s wife answered the telephone and said “John Lasseter wants to speak to you.” Billy took the telephone from his wife and said “Yes”.
98. For a Few Dollars More
Story: Two bounty hunters with the same intentions team up to track down a Western outlaw. Details: Director – Sergio Leone, release – 1965, starring Clint Eastwood.
Did You Know? Lee Van Cleef claimed to be faster on the draw than Clint Eastwood. He took three frames of film (one eighth of a second) to draw, cock and fire. Sergio Leone broke many 1960s Hollywood rules with this film, although he did not know any of them at the time. Among them: showing the shooter and the victim in the same shot, a horse being gunned down, marijuana use, and a rape scene.
Story: A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. Details: Director – Akira Kurosawa, release – 1950, starring Tajômaru.
Did You Know? During shooting, the cast approached Kurosawa en masse with the script and asked him, “What does it mean?” The answer Akira Kurosawa gave at that time and also in his biography is that Rashomon (1950) is a reflection of life, and life does not always have clear meanings.
96. L.A. Confidential
Story: As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen – one strait-laced, one brutal, and one sleazy – investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice. Details: Director – Curtis Hanson, release – 1997, starring Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe.
Did You Know? At the time the film takes place no building in Los Angeles was allowed to be taller than city hall, so the cameras were placed at certain points so that any building taller than city hall would not be seen. James Ellroy described Kevin Spacey’s performance as Jack Vincennes “some of the best self-loathing I’ve ever seen on screen”.
95. The Kid
Story: The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy. Details: Director – Charles Chaplin, release – 1921, starring Charlie Chaplin.
Did You Know? For the scene in which the Kid is taken from the Tramp and nearly carted away to a workhouse, Charles Chaplin stated in his autobiography that the young Jackie Coogan was made to cry by his father, who told him that if he would not cry in the scene, he would be sent to an actual workhouse. The main theme from Charles Chaplin’s score is based on a theme from Tchaikovsky’s 6th Symphony.
Story: Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond. Details: Director – Guy Ritchie, release – 2000, starring Benicio Del Toro and Brad Pitt.
Did You Know? Brad Pitt, who was a big fan of Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998), approached director Guy Ritchie and asked for a role in this film. When Ritchie found Pitt couldn’t master a London accent, he gave him the role of Mickey the Gypsy. When Ritchie told Pitt that he would be playing a boxer, Pitt became concerned because he had just finished shooting Fight Club (1999) and did not want to play the same type of role again. Pitt took the role anyway because he wanted to work with Ritchie so badly.
93. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Story: Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial, object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest. Details: Director – Stanley Kubrick, release – 1968, starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood.
Did You Know? In the premier screening of the film, 241 people walked out of the theater, including Rock Hudson who said “Will someone tell me what the hell this is about?” Arthur C. Clarke once said, “If you understand ‘2001’ completely, we failed. We wanted to raise far more questions than we answered.”
92. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Story: King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many very silly obstacles. Details: Directors – Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, release – 1975, starring – Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam.
Did You Know? Funds earned by Pink Floyd’s album “The Dark Side of the Moon” went towards funding The Holy Grail. The band were such fans of the show they would halt recording sessions just to watch Monty Python’s Flying Circus (1969). And still, the famous depiction of galloping horses by using coconut shells (a traditional radio-show sound effect) came about from the purely practical reason that the production simply couldn’t afford real horses.
91. Singin’ in the Rain
Story: A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. Details: Directors – Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, release – 1952, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds.
Did You Know? Only 19 when cast to play the film, Debbie Reynolds lived with her parents and commuted to the set. She had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. and ride three different buses to the studio; sometimes, to avoid the commute, she would just sleep on the set. It’s not wonder that when Kelly insulted Reynolds for not being able to dance, Fred Astaire, who was hanging around the studio, found her crying under a piano. He then helped her with her dancing.
We couldn’t include all 100 best movies on a single page… So they’re split into a few pages.