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Top 100 Films Lists

There have been lists of favourite films or best films for what seems like forever, and ever since the American Film Institute put together their much ballyhooed (and much criticised) list of the hundred greatest American movies, it's become something of a cliché.

The problem is that these lists, by definition, are not absolute. Just because the AFI decreed a particular hundred films the best ever made in America does not make them so, and just because I could argue about their choices doesn't make my choices right either. There is no correct list and never will be.

However, just because these lists can never be definitive doesn't mean that they are worthless. They have a valid and highly important purpose as starting points for cinematic explorers like me to work from. I may not know enough about the thirties or French cinema or silent films to know which titles I should be looking out for first, but I can use official lists as a basis for my explorations. I've been doing this for a while and I'm finding some of them very useful indeed on that front.

There are sites online that dedicate themselves to collecting every single Top 100 list they can find, but that's not my purpose here. I'm not really interested in repetitive lists of the greatest films ever. I'm looking mostly for the greatest films in a given genre, of a given nationality or from a given era. I've found some of these lists and I'm reproducing them here on my site, as the sources often vanish.

I'm always on the lookout for more of these lists. I'd love to find Top 100s dedicated to genres like film noir, martial arts, anime or spaghetti westerns; eras like the 1940s, the 1970s or the pre-codes; and nationalities like Japanese, Indian or Italian. If you know of a good Top 100 list that fits this sort of description, please let me know about it.

In the meantime, I hope you find these lists as useful as I'm finding them. Enjoy.

On this page I've provided an index to the various lists on my pages, followed by links to the sources I've either worked from or at least which still exist. In many instances the original lists are gone, but are archived somewhere else in addition to here. In some instances, that's the Wayback Machine at the Internet Archive.

Categorised Lists


AFI and American Film
Scope Title Source Online Source
American Films 100 Years... 100 Movies American Film Institute American Film Institute
American Films List-o-Mania Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader
American Comedies 100 Years... 100 Laughs American Film Institute American Film Institute
American Thrillers 100 Years... 100 Thrills American Film Institute American Film Institute
American Romances 100 Years... 100 Passions American Film Institute American Film Institute
Inspiring American Films 100 Years... 100 Cheers American Film Institute American Film Institute

National Cinemas
Scope Title Source Online Source
British Films BFI 100 British Film Institute Cinema Realm
Chinese Films Best 100 Chinese Motion Pictures Hong Kong Film Awards Internet Archive (Monkey Peaches)
French Films Best 100 French Films The Times newspaper Internet Archive (Out of Range)
German Films The 100 Most Important German Films Kinemathekverbund Journal of Film Preservation
Mexican Films 100 Best Movies of the Cinema of Mexico SOMOS magazine W-Cinema

Foreign Language Films
Scope Title Source Online Source
Foreign Language Films Top 100 Foreign Films ForeignFilms.com ForeignFilms.com
Foreign Language Films 100 Greatest Foreign Films Movieline Movieline

Slices of Time
Scope Title Source Online Source
Silent Films The Top 100 Silent Era Films SilentEra.com SilentEra.com
1930s Films 100 Great Films of the 1930s Home Theater Forum Internet Archive (Home Theater Forum)
1940s Films 100 Greatest Movies of the '40s Digital Dream Door Digital Dream Door
1950s Films 100 Greatest Movies of the '50s Digital Dream Door Digital Dream Door
1990s Films Top 100 Overlooked Films of the 1990s Online Film Critics Society Online Film Critics Society

Genres
Scope Title Source Online Source
Animated Films Top 100 Animated Features of All Time Online Film Critics Society Online Film Critics Society
B Movies The 100 Best "B Movies" of All Time Jim Vorel Paste Magazine
Children's Films Children's Movies: A Critic's Guide to the Best Films Available on Video and DVD Peter M Nichols FilmSite
Cult Films 100 Greatest Cult Movies Debased.com Internet Archive (Debased.com)
Horror Films Top 100 Horror Movies DarkWeb Internet Archive (DarkWeb)
Independent Films MVIs: The Top 100 American Indie Films GreenCine Internet Archive (GreenCine)
Film Musicals 100 Greatest Musicals Channel 4 Internet Archive (Channel 4)
Science Fiction Films Top 100 SciFi Films of the Past 100 Years Online Film Critics Society Online Film Critics Society
Thrillers Edge of Your Seat: The 100 Greatest Movie Thrillers Douglas Brode Google Books
War Films 100 Greatest War Films Channel 4 Internet Archive (Channel 4)
Film Westerns The Best 100 Westerns Ever Made Cowboys & Indians magazine The Original John Wayne Message Board

Others
Scope Title Source Online Source
Atomic Films Conelrad 100: Atomic Film Conelrad Conelrad
First Films 100 Best First Feature Films Online Film Critics Society Online Film Critics Society
Groundbreaking Films 100 Movies That Shook the World Premiere magazine FilmSite


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