About seven years ago, when I decided I was really serious about pursuing film as a career, I realized that I needed to start filling some major gaps in the movies I had seen. So, I took a couple of “Greatest Films Ever Made” lists and collated them to discover which films appeared most often. It soon became clear that my starting lists were biased in favor of English-language films and more modern films, so I added in a few lists weighted in favor of foreign films and older films.
Then I took every film that appeared on three or more of the eight lists I was using. And, because I am a geek, I arranged them in chronological order and steadily worked my way through all of them, starting with 1903’s The Great Train Robbery and ending with 1994’s Pulp Fiction. (The list ends in the early 90’s because I put it together in 1999, and it seems to take at least five years for any consensus to start to emerge about the greatness of a given film.)
I’ve occasionally had requests from equally filmgeeky friends to send them the list. So, as a public service, I post it here: my objective, definitive, consensus list of the Greatest Films Ever Made. (OK, not really. What I REALLY have is a list of 138 movies that at least 3 people or organizations with some expertise feel everybody ought to see. I think that’s still worthwhile )