My 25 Essential Films


I have always been interested in lists and over the last two years I have become interested in film, specifically high-quality classic films. That being said, after seeing a good deal of movies I thought I would try my hand at making a list  of the best. This obviously is a monumental task and is always going to be up for debate . For this reason I will give the criteria I used in order to come up with the compilation and then give my list.

I thought of this as a list of the best films which I would give to a friend unfamiliar with cinematic history.

The list was meant to span the decades  and cover as many genres, actors, actresses, and directors as possible. That way someone could grasp a better understanding of the change in film after viewing a couple dozen movies. I also used five other criteria in order to help me decide which to pick. They were:

  • Critical Response
  • Cultural Impact
  • Entertainment Level
  •  Film Making Quality
  • Historical Setting

Without further ado here is my list of 25 films:

Modern Times (1936)
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Gone With the Wind (1939)
Casablanca (1942)
Double Indemnity (1944)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
High Noon (1952)
On the Waterfront (1954)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
Psycho (1960)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The Godfather (1972)
Jaws (1975)
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975)
Rocky (1976)
Star Wars (1977)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Schindler’s List (1993)
The Return of the King (2003)

I have created an alternative list of 25 essential films that keeps some films and adds other significant films.


2 thoughts on “My 25 Essential Films

  1. Pingback: 4 Star Films: Celebrating 10 Years of Blogging! | 4 Star Films

  2. Great list! I’m glad to say I’ve seen most of them — all except Modern Times, Bridge on the River Kwai, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Return of the King. Of these, I especially would like to see Modern Times and River Kwai.

    Liked by 1 person

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