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BBC just released its list of the 100 greatest American films of all time after surveying 62 renowned film critics from around the world.  Most of the results are not surprising.  Citizen Kane (1941) being named the greatest film of all time has become something of a cliche.  However, the praise is well deserved.  Besides the “usual suspects,” there a few surprises on the list.  I was delighted to see The Dark Knight (2008), which most people agree is the greatest superhero film of all time.  I was also excited to see Marnie (1964), one of Hitchcock’s underrated masterpieces that is finally getting the recognition it deserves.  It was great to see Ace in the Hole (1951) just make it at #100.  It is a film that I could easily put in my own top 10.  Some choices were disappointing.  There is only one animated film on the list and it is The Lion King (1994), which is vastly overrated.  Are there any films missing from the list that you think deserve recognition?

Here is the complete list:

100. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)
99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)
98. Heaven’s Gate (Michael Cimino, 1980)
97. Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)
96. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)
95. Duck Soup (Leo McCarey, 1933)
94. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002)
93. Mean Streets (Martin Scorsese, 1973)
92. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)
91. ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982)
90. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)
89. In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray, 1950)
88. West Side Story (Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, 1961)
87. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004)
86. The Lion King (Roger Allers and Rob Minkoff, 1994)
85. Night of the Living Dead (George A Romero, 1968)
84. Deliverance (John Boorman, 1972)
83. Bringing Up Baby (Howard Hawks, 1938)
82. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)
81. Thelma & Louise (Ridley Scott, 1991)
80. Meet Me in St Louis (Vincente Minnelli, 1944)
79. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011)
78. Schindler’s List (Steven Spielberg, 1993)
77. Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)
76. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kershner, 1980)
75. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)
74. Forrest Gump (Robert Zemeckis, 1994)
73. Network (Sidney Lumet, 1976)
72. The Shanghai Gesture (Josef von Sternberg, 1941)
71. Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993)
70. The Band Wagon (Vincente Minnelli, 1953)
69. Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1982)
68. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)
67. Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, 1936)
66. Red River (Howard Hawks, 1948)
65. The Right Stuff (Philip Kaufman, 1983)
64. Johnny Guitar (Nicholas Ray, 1954)
63. Love Streams (John Cassavetes, 1984)
62. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)
61. Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
60. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)
59. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Miloš Forman, 1975)
58. The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940)
57. Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen, 1989)
56. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)
55. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)
54. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)
53. Grey Gardens (Albert and David Maysles, Ellen Hovde and Muffie Meyer, 1975)
52. The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969)
51. Touch of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
50. His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks, 1940)
49. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)
48. A Place in the Sun (George Stevens, 1951)
47. Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964)
46. It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946)
45. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (John Ford, 1962)
44. Sherlock Jr (Buster Keaton, 1924)
43. Letter from an Unknown Woman (Max Ophüls, 1948)
42. Dr Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964)
41. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)
40. Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid, 1943)
39. The Birth of a Nation (DW Griffith, 1915)
38. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)
37. Imitation of Life (Douglas Sirk, 1959)
36. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)
35. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)
34. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)
33. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
32. The Lady Eve (Preston Sturges, 1941)
31. A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974)
30. Some Like It Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959)
29. Raging Bull (Martin Scorsese, 1980)
28. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
27. Barry Lyndon (Stanley Kubrick, 1975)
26. Killer of Sheep (Charles Burnett, 1978)
25. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)
24. The Apartment (Billy Wilder, 1960)
23. Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977)
22. Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924)
21. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001)
20. Goodfellas (Martin Scorsese, 1990)
19. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, 1976)
18. City Lights (Charlie Chaplin, 1931)
17. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925)
16. McCabe & Mrs Miller (Robert Altman, 1971)
15. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)
14. Nashville (Robert Altman, 1975)
13. North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959)
12. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)
11. The Magnificent Ambersons (Orson Welles, 1942)
10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

In response to BBC’s list, I came up with my own 100 Greatest American Films of All Time, based on what I have seen.  Is the list without its biases?  Absolutely not!  Don’t chastise me for putting Christopher Nolan’s entire Dark Knight trilogy in there.  What can I say?  I love Batman.  In some ways, lists are pointless.  Opinions are like moods in that they change a lot.  But today, this is what I feel are the 100 greatest American films I have seen.  If I did this list a year from now, I am sure it would be different.  I present them by year of release.  There is simply no sense in attempting the impossible task of ranking masterpieces.

1. Our Hospitality (John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton, 1923)

2. The Iron Horse (John Ford, 1924)

3. The Gold Rush (Charles Chaplin, 1925)

4. The General (Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton, 1926)

5. Sunrise (F.W. Murnau, 1927)

6. The Crowd (King Vidor, 1928)

7. Trouble in Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch, 1932)

8. It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934)

9. Modern Times (Charles Chaplin, 1936)

10. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (Frank Capra, 1936)

11. Swing Time (George Stevens, 1936)

12. The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey, 1937)

13. The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)

14. Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939)

15. The Letter (William Wyler, 1940)

16. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

17. The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941)

18. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)

19. Double Indemnity (Billy Wilder, 1944)

20. Mildred Pierce (Michael Curtiz, 1945)

21. The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946)

22. Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946)

23. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (John Huston, 1948)

24. All About Eve (Joseph L. Makiewicz, 1950)

25. Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)

26. Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock, 1951)

27. A Streetcar Named Desire (Elia Kazan, 1951)

28. Ace in the Hole (Billy Wilder, 1951)

29. The African Queen (John Huston, 1951)

30. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, 1952)

31. Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954)

32. On the Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)

33. The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

34. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)

35. 12 Angry Men (Sidney Lumet, 1957)

36. Sweet Smell of Success (Alexander Mackendrick, 1957)

37. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

38. Rio Bravo (Howard Hawks, 1959)

39. Anatomy of a Murder (Otto Preminger, 1959)

40. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)

41. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962)

42. The Birds (Alfred Hitchcock, 1963)

43. The Graduate (Mike Nichols, 1967)

44. Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968)

45. Rosemary’s Baby (Roman Polanski, 1968)

46. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

47. Midnight Cowboy (John Schlesinger, 1969)

48. Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson, 1970)

49. The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)

50. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)

51. Badlands (Terrence Malick, 1973)

52. Chinatown (Roman Polanski, 1974)

53. The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

54. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)

55. Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

56. Taxi Driver (Martin Scorcese, 1976)

57. 3 Women (Robert Altman, 1977)

58. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Steven Spielberg, 1977)

59. Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977)

60. Halloween (John Carpenter, 1978)

61. Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978)

62. Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979)

63. Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, 1979)

64. The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980)

65. Raging Bull (Martin Scorcese, 1980)

66. The Empire Strikes Back (Irvin Kerhsner, 1980)

67. Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981)

68. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Steven Spielberg, 1984)

69. Blood Simple (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1984)

70. Back to the Future (Robert Zemeckis, 1985)

71. Stand By Me (Rob Reiner, 1986)

72. Aliens (James Cameron, 1986)

73. Blue Velvet (David Lynch, 1986)

74. Do the Right Thing (Spike Lee, 1989)

75. Goodfellas (Martin Scorcese, 1990)

76. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (James Cameron, 1991)

77. My Own Private Idaho (Gus Van Sant, 1991)

78. Aladdin (Ron Clements, John Musker, 1992)

79. The Nightmare Before Christmas (Henry Selick, 1993)

80. The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994)

81. Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)

82. Toy Story (John Lasseter, 1995)

83. Se7en (David Fincher, 1995)

84. Toy Story 2 (John Lasseter, 1999)

85. Memento (Christopher Nolan, 2000)

86. Batman Begins (Christopher Nolan, 2005)

87. The Departed (Martin Scorcese, 2006)

88. Little Miss Sunshine (Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Farris, 2006)

89. Into the Wild (Sean Penn, 2007)

90. There Will Be Blood (Paul Thomas Anderson, 2007)

91. WALL E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

92. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008)

93. Inglorious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino, 2009)

94. Up (Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, 2009)

95. Inception (Christopher Nolan, 2010)

96. Toy Story 3 (Lee Unkrich, 2010)

97. Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell, 2012)

98. The Dark Knight Rises (Christopher Nolan, 2012)

99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013)

100. Boyhood (Richard Linklater, 2014)

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