We are finally here, the Top 10 Films of All Time, at least according to this guy, and completely subject to change, and and completely subject to the personal whims of said guy, etc. etc. Anyway, I hope you have enjoyed the countdown, and will continue to come back to Corndog Chats time and again for new reviews, exciting marathons, and perhaps one day, an updated Top 125!
Enjoy, and thank you so much for following along!
#10 – The General (Buster Keaton & Clyde Bruckman, 1926)
It took me a while to sink my teeth into the cinematic efforts of Charles Chaplin, and perhaps even longer for Buster Keaton (I must admit my knowledge of his filmography remains somewhat shallow). But The General is an astounding accomplishment of both humor and stunts. Keaton’s delivery is perfect and daring at the same time, creating some of the most memorable laughs and stunts I’ve even seen put to celluloid (it was celluloid still back then, right?).
#9 – Once (John Carney, 2007)
This is the type of film you love to share for its sheer wonder, joy and amazement. Winning the Oscar for Best Original Song, it’s the little engine that could, which goes so much further thanks to a raw, realistic relationship between two tender musicians on the streets of Dublin. Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are not actors, but they are real people who feel real things, and the ambiguity of their relationship is the charm and success of this film. Let’s just forget that The Swell Season ever tried to ruin Once‘s perfection.
#8 – Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
Never before or ever since have I seen such a beautifully photographed film as Days of Heaven. There have been some incredible achievements, but this one just may set the bar, and it should be no surprise it comes from my favorite director of all time (as I have already mentioned in this countdown) Terrence Malick. Days of Heaven is the quintessential Malick film, as it covers all the bases of his typical philosophy of nature v. nurture, or good v. evil, and the endless beauty of this world in which we live.
#7 – Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)
There is so much minute delight to be found within Amelie that each viewing uncovers something new and yet equally pleasant and satisfying in the character of Amelie Poulain. Her whimsy is tangible and contagious, even when she is up to no good we view Amelie as likable and charming. Audrey Tautou inhabits the character like she is playing herself.
#6 – Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)
It may seem cliche at this point to include Citizen Kane in a Top 10 list, but quite frankly I don’t care. When I first saw the film, I felt the same way about it’s inclusion in such lists, “Well it certainly wasn’t that good.” But like many other films on this list, the further inspection, the multiple rewatches of the film brought on an unparalleled appreciation for this technical and narrative wonder, a wonder which can only be described as “perfect”.
#5 – Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
For those who have followed my past lists, this entry may come as a surprise. Traditionally recognized as my favorite film of all time, Forrest Gump comes in on this list at #5, and the only explanation I can come up with now that I see it in writing is that I haven’t watched it in a while. I’m not quite sure why this dropped, and perhaps it shouldn’t have, because there is no more all encompassing, genre-crossing, entertaining and all around enjoyable film to watch for me than Forrest Gump. It is a part of my cinematic fabric, and will be forever. It will forever make me shed a tear, always at a different point in the film than the last time I watched it.
#4 – The New World (Terrence Malick, 2005)
I lied. I pride myself on my sincere honesty when writing about movies, but I totally just lied. Days of Heaven is a tremendously beautiful film, but none rivals The New World. A painting from start to finish, with wonderfully natural performances from Qorianka Kilcher and Colin Farrell, The New World flips the script on the Pocahontas story, seeing it from her perspective, discovering a world, a man, a lifestyle altogether different from her own.
#3 – Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952)
A more continually joyous film may not exist. Singin’ in the Rain never disappoints, and never fails to bring me laughter, or at the very least a smile to my face with each sequence. The leading cast of Kelly, Reynolds and O’Connor are a perfect fit for each other, playing off each other in such a trusted, incredible way. It’s a fantastic experience which I highly recommend.
#2 – Almost Famous (Cameron Crowe, 2000)
There are certain high water marks in the history of cinema, and high water marks in one’s personal journey with cinema. Almost Famous is the latter, and that does not detract from the film’s artistic merit, as it is typically well received. But what Patrick Fugit and Cameron Crowe’s William Miller represents is such a personal truth as cannot possibly be denied by this writer.
#1 – It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
It’s melodramatic. It’s overly sentimental schmaltz. You bet it is! These are the reasons I love and adore It’s a Wonderful Life. James Stewart and Donna Reed represent an ideal friendship and an ideal family. No matter how sentimental and schmaltzy the film might be, it gets to the heart of me every time I watch it. As a result I value its insight and message into what this crazy thing we call life might actually be all about. It is inspiring, tear-jerking, and most importantly, it’s a joyous representation of just how fortunate we are to have friends and family in our lives who love us.