The Greatest Movies I’ve Never Seen

On Wednesday, I pointed to several Top 100 movies lists, and mentioned that I’d like to compile my own list. Sitting down to do so, I almost immediately had the first 50. Getting another 25 wasn’t that hard either, and now I’m somewhere around 75 movies. I could easily get to 100, I think, but I feel like I’d just be padding it out with mediocre films.

Compiling a top 100 list is a humbling experience, because when you start looking around, you see just how many films you haven’t seen. This can be somewhat embarrassing until you realize that most amateur film buffs have a lot of holes in their viewing as well (well, at least, I hope so). That’s one of the things I love about the Filmspotting podcast – they’re not afraid to admit they haven’t seen various classic movies, and they’ve even dedicated portions of certain shows to listing out movies they should have seen (plus, a feature on their old show called “Cinecast Confessions” wherein one of the hosts owns up to not having seen a classic).

So questions are abound. Should I complete the top 100 now, or should I wait until I’ve had a chance to catch up with some of the greats? Either way, I’d like to at least make a list of movies I need to see. There are certainly a lot of so called “classics” that I really don’t have much interest in seeing, but a lot of the movies below have elements that at least make me curious.

For anyone who wants to play along, I created this list at the Lists of Bests website. Come join the fun (or create your own list and let me know!)

I considered adding another section for silent films, a period I’m not terribly familiar with, and also more foreign films (there’s not many on my list), but there’s 20 25 films on the above list, so that should keep me busy for a while. I’m still not sure if I should post my Top 100 list just yet. Even if I do hold off, am I really going to be able to make the judgement call on a film I just watched? It’s tough, as a lot of films seem to get better with repeated viewings…

So that’s 20 25 films, about 10 Anime series and dozens of books that I want to watch/read. That’s a lot of consuming. I should get crackin’. One neat thing that I recently noticed is that Netflix has a Watch Now section where I can watch movies right away, without having to wait for the mail. Only a handful of the films above are available on that service, but it’s a great idea (provided that the quality is there and that the experience is good, which is hardly a given).

Update: Added some foreign films to the list. This brings us to an unweildy 25 films, but I wanted to broaden my horizons a bit…

4 thoughts on “The Greatest Movies I’ve Never Seen”

  1. I am in awe at anyone’s ability to name their top 100 movies. But then, I think I approach it differently than most people. I wouldn’t list all of the movies I’ve seen in order of how much I liked them then arbitrarily decide to post the top 100. That’s because being in the top 100 wouldn’t necessarily count for that much. I doubt I actually like my 100th most “favorite” movie.

    In any case, unless I keep a list of movies I’ve seen, I sometimes can’t even remember the movies I do like. Same for books. This is why I’m now keeping a list of books I’ve read. I have my rental history for the past two years on Netflix, but I probably need to keep a separate list.

    Anyway, I was really surprised that I liked Lawrence of Arabia. I just happened to catch it on TV once – no commercials. I wouldn’t say it’s an entertaining film, but it’s undoubtedly a good piece of cinema, if you know what I mean.

  2. Yeah, it’s difficult to compile the list. If it was just favorite movies, it would be a lot easier, but I’m trying to balance the list so that it contains movies that I love subjectively, but which I could also judge objectively to be good… It’s not that easy.

    I’m actually pretty good with remembering titles, but I couldn’t do my entire list without looking at other lists (on IMDB or the lists of bests website).

  3. I haven’t actually seen most of the movies you’ve listed here either. I remember enjoying the parts of the Treasure of Sierra Madre that I’ve seen. I love me the Humphrey Bogart. I know I’ve seen the Birds but I actually can’t remember much of it. It was a long time ago and I think it was just kinda on in the background while other stuff was happening.

    I can definitely recommend Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. I would go so far as to say it is, in fact, one of my favourite movies. After Hours is good too.

  4. Some are more obscure than I lead on. There are probably a lof of “great movies” that I haven’t seen that aren’t on this list (particularly the foreign films list, which is partly classics and partly just movies I want to see)

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