BBC names 100 Greatest U.S. films

Shazzerman

Active Member
I used to get Halliwell's Film Guide practically every year when I was in my early teens. I would mark off all the 4-star films and then tape them on VHS when they popped up on television. I taped All That Money Can Buy one Saturday afternoon, and watched it quite a few times in the coming years. An amazing film, which actually reminds me of Citizen Kane in many ways. I can still hear Herrmann's manic fiddle score in my head.

Say what you like about a superb film like Citizen Kane always landing on the top of these piles, but I honestly cannot think of a less contentious pick for the Best American Film Ever Made. Casablanca maybe; but it just doesn't have the cinematic riches that Kane has.
 

Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
I used to get Halliwell's Film Guide practically every year when I was in my early teens. I would mark off all the 4-star films and then tape them on VHS when they popped up on television. I taped All That Money Can Buy one Saturday afternoon, and watched it quite a few times in the coming years. An amazing film, which actually reminds me of Citizen Kane in many ways. I can still hear Herrmann's manic fiddle score in my head.

Say what you like about a superb film like Citizen Kane always landing on the top of these piles, but I honestly cannot think of a less contentious pick for the Best American Film Ever Made. Casablanca maybe; but it just doesn't have the cinematic riches that Kane has.

If you look at the credits, most of the key technical and creative personnel that worked on Citizen Kane also worked on The Devil and Daniel Webster. Kane had just wrapped shooting at RKO and director William Dieterle grabbed many of the key people from that film to work with him.

You are quite correct when you say that there are echoes of Kane in The Devil and Daniel Webster. I've noticed this too, as some scenes seem like pure Welles in tone. Interesting that two films, both so different from everything else that was around at the time, were shot one immediately after the other at the same studio. There have been rumours over the years that Welles had uncredited "input" into The Devil and Daniel Webster. Looking at the finished result I wouldn't be surprised.
 
Last edited:

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
:eek::eek::eek:

You know, people can come round to your house and confiscate your home cinema equipment if you do things like that.

I watched the Godfather after having watched Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco and the Sopranos and was completely underwhelmed by it. I'm sure if I had watched it back in the day I would have had a different opinion. Its a bit like an adult watching Star Wars for the first time now, they'd probably think it was childish and silly.
 

Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
I watched the Godfather after having watched Goodfellas, Donnie Brasco and the Sopranos and was completely underwhelmed by it. I'm sure if I had watched it back in the day I would have had a different opinion. Its a bit like an adult watching Star Wars for the first time now, they'd probably think it was childish and silly.

What?!?!

That's hardly a valid analogy.

Star Wars
was and is a children's film and a very unsophisticated one at that, compared to some other great children's stories. The Godfather on the other hand is a mature, highly sophisticated, adult work. Its themes embrace timeless, universal, human questions and experiences, intelligently explored and brilliantly executed in cinematic terms, ensuring that it this is a film that will never date or seem "quaint" or unsophisticated in any way.

It is a completely different beast with a completely different agenda from any of the three gangster pieces you mention, and has little in common with them other than the genre they all inhabit; so again, hardly a valid comparison. All are highly accomplished works, but The Godfather (and I'll include Godfather Part II in with it as well) exists on another level from them altogether.

Not only that, but it is one of the greatest examples of the film maker's art that the Hollywood system (or anywhere else for that matter) has ever produced, in virtually every department from writing to direction to cinematography to performance and more. Director Stanley Kubrick stated that The Godfather was possibly the greatest movie ever made, and had without question the best cast ever assembled for a motion picture.

Coppola took what was essentially shoddy source material, a poorly written, trashy potboiler of a novel and elevated it to the status of art, in the process re-defining and simultaneously transcending a genre that Hollywood had all but abandoned and delivered one of the greatest films ever made. Not only that, but he produced one of the rare examples of a film that was, and still is, regarded as a bona fide work of art and was simultaneously an enormous commercial and populist success. An extremely rare and not inconsiderable achievement and the reason that The Godfather will continue to consistently maintain its position over the decades in polls like the one above.
 
Last edited:

raduv1

Distinguished Member
Not a bad list although I've never been convinced by kane tbh . Right now today I believe that Goodfellas is better than any godfather film but it's nice to see The Searchers so high up there. But....but Muhollnd Drive at 21 thats ok as it's a great film but....but what,where is LA Confidential???? It's so much better and leaves a very big gaping hole in this list.
Apocalypse Now so low , I is sad :(.
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
What?!?!

That's hardly a valid analogy.

Star Wars
was and is a children's film and a very unsophisticated one at that, compared to some other great children's stories. The Godfather on the other hand is a mature, highly sophisticated, adult work. Its themes embrace timeless, universal, human questions and experiences, intelligently explored and brilliantly executed in cinematic terms, ensuring that it this is a film that will never date or seem "quaint" or unsophisticated in any way.

It is a completely different beast with a completely different agenda from any of the three gangster pieces you mention, and has little in common with them other than the genre they all inhabit; so again, hardly a valid comparison. All are highly accomplished works, but The Godfather (and I'll include Godfather Part II in with it as well) exists on another level from them altogether.

Not only that, but it is one of the greatest examples of the film maker's art that the Hollywood system (or anywhere else for that matter) has ever produced, in virtually every department from writing to direction to cinematography to performance and more. Director Stanley Kubrick stated that The Godfather was possibly the greatest movie ever made, and had without question the best cast ever assembled for a motion picture.

Coppola took what was essentially shoddy source material, a poorly written, trashy potboiler of a novel and elevated it to the status of art, in the process re-defining and simultaneously transcending a genre that Hollywood had all but abandoned and delivered one of the greatest films ever made. Not only that, but he produced one of the rare examples of a film that was, and still is, regarded as a bona fide work of art and was simultaneously an enormous commercial and populist success. An extremely rare and not inconsiderable achievement and the reason that The Godfather will continue to consistently maintain its position over the decades in polls like the one above.
IMO Goodfellas and Donnie Brasco are on another level to Godfather but life would be boring if everyone liked the same things.
 

raduv1

Distinguished Member
I don't mind the ridicule , yup will say again Goodfellas for me tops Godfather now as it's just more entertaining for me . But I like it that some films can come along to stand along side or upstage the classics of their genre . Goodfellas for me did just that.
 

Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
I don't mind the ridicule , yup will say again Goodfellas for me tops Godfather now as it's just more entertaining for me . But I like it that some films can come along to stand along side or upstage the classics of their genre . Goodfellas for me did just that.

Considering Scorcese's opinion of The Godfather, he'd be the first to pour on the ridicule for that remark! ;)
 

RicksonGracie1972

Distinguished Member
I don't mind the ridicule , yup will say again Goodfellas for me tops Godfather now as it's just more entertaining for me . But I like it that some films can come along to stand along side or upstage the classics of their genre . Goodfellas for me did just that.
And Goodfellas stands up well to multiple watches whereas I have no intention of ever watching the Godfather trilogy again
 

Mr Lime

Distinguished Member
This talk of polls has had me looking at a few. We're all familiar with the Sight and Sound Critics Top 100, but less familiar is their poll (last taken in 2012) of Directors' Top 100 Films. It's really interesting to see what the directors of some of our favourite films love. It's also interesting to see how these lists change radically from the one being discussed in this thread when world cinema comes into the mix.

It's a Top 10 I'd find hard to quibble with (I own nine of them) and it has reminded me once again to check out Tarkovsky's Mirror (at No 9), a film that has been on my "to see" list for way too long. That surely is the real value of these polls, to point us toward films that we've never seen or sometimes never heard of?

Interesting to see The Godfather placed at =No 7 with Vertigo, yet The Godfather Part II, an even greater film than the first, places at No 30. Incidentally the No 30 slot was hotly contested with no less than seven films tying for that position. I was pleased to see that one of the seven was Amarcord. It was great to see this film finally making some headway on to these lists. I would be very hard pressed to select a Top 10 list of my own, but I know that Amarcord, as near to a perfect film as I have seen, would definitely be in my Top 5.

What is even more interesting is seeing what each director voted for. For instance, Woody Allen voted for Amarcord as his No 4 film, which is hardly a surprise as the influence of that film permeates Allen's work, particularly any of his films that include flashbacks to his childhood. His Radio Days in particular is set in the same era as Fellini's film and is practically an American version of Amarcord.

The site in the following link is pretty good, in that not only does it show the critics' list and the directors' list, but it allows several break-downs, so that you can see for example the individual lists for each voter, including their choices that didn't make the lists. You can also look at each film by title and see who voted for it and where it was eventually placed.

Tragic to see, that despite Quentin Tarantino's best efforts, The Bad News Bears didn't place anywhere on the list! How positively "left field" of you Quentin. :confused:

Sight & Sound 2012 directors top 100 films | BFI
 
Last edited:

The latest video from AVForums

Podcast: CES '22 TV Announcement Round-up, Plus, Most Anticipated Movies of 2022 and More...
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom