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Religious Affiliation of the Directors of
the Time Magazine's

All-Time 100 Best Movies
(chosen from all languages, worldwide, from 1923 to 2005)


Presenting the All-Time 100 best films as chosen by Time's movie critics Richard Corliss and Richard Schickel.

Source of complete list of movies: Time Magazine, 2005 (http://www.time.com/time/2005/100movies/the_complete_list.html; viewed 31 October 2005)

Movie Title (year) Director Religious Affiliation Writers Cast
Aguirre: the Wrath of God (1972)Werner HerzogCatholicSc: Werner HerzogKlaus Kinski, Helena Rojo
The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)Satyajit RayHindunovel: Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay
Sc: Satyajit Ray
The Awful Truth (1937)Leo McCareyCatholicplay: Arthur Richman
Sc: Vina Delmar
Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy
Baby Face (1933)Alfred E. Green story: Darryl F. Zanuck
Sc: Gene Markey, Kathryn Scola
Barbara Stanwyck, George Brent
Bande a part (1964)Jean-Luc GodardCalvinist/Huguenot (lapsed); devout MaoistSc: Jean-Luc GodardAnna Karina, Daniele Girard
Barry Lyndon (1975)Stanley KubrickJewishnovel: William Makepeace Thackeray
Sc: Stanley Kubrick
Ryan O'Neal, Marisa Berenson
Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)Rainer Werner Fassbinder Alfred Doblin
Sc: Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Gunter Lamprecht, Elisabeth Trissenaar
Blade Runner (1982)Ridley Scott novel: Philip K. Dick
Sc: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)Arthur Penn Sc: David Newman, Robert Benton, Robert TowneWarren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard, Gene Hackman
Brazil (1985)Terry Gilliam Sc: Terry Gilliam, Tom Stoppard, Charles McKeownJonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)James Whale novel: Mary Shelley
Sc: William Hurlbut, John L. Balderston
Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Valerie Hobson, Elsa Lanchester
Camille (1936)George CukorJewishnovel: Alexandre Dumas
Sc: Zoe Akins, Frances Marion, James Hilton
Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore
Casablanca (1942)Michael CurtizJewishplay: Murray Burnett, Joan Alison (play)
Sc: Julius J. Epstein, Philip G. Epstein, Howard Koch
Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid
Charade (1963)Stanley DonenReform Judaism (lapsed)story: Peter Stone, Marc Behm
Sc: Peter Stone
Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn
Children of Paradise (1945)Marcel Carne Sc: Jacques PrevertArletty, Jean-Louis Barrault
Chinatown (1974)Roman PolanskiJewish Catholic (lapsed)Sc: Robert TowneJack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Chungking Express (1994)Wong Kar Wai Sc: Wong Kar WaiBrigitte Lin, Tony Leung Chiu Wai
Citizen Kane (1941)Orson WellesProtestant ChristianSc: Herman J. Mankiewicz, Orson WellesOrson Welles, Joseph Cotton, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead
City Lights (1931)Charlie ChaplinAnglican; agnosticSc: Charlie ChaplinCharlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill
City of God (2002)Fernando Meirelles, Katia Lund novel: Paulo Lins
Braulio Mantovani
Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino
Closely Watched Trains (1966)Jiri Menzel novel: Bohumil Hrabal
Sc: Bohumil Hrabal, Jiri Menzel
Vaclav Neckar, Josef Somr
The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)Jean RenoirCatholicstory: Jean Castanyer
Sc: Jacques Prevert
Rene Lefevre, Florelle
The Crowd (1928)King VidorChristian ScienceSc: King Vidor, John V.A. WeaverEleanor Boardman, James Murray
Day for Night (1973)Francois TruffautCatholic (nominal)Sc: Jean-Louis Richard, Suzanne SchiffmanJacqueline Bisset, Francois Truffaut, Jean-Pierre Leaud, Valentina Cortese
The Decalogue (1989)Krzysztof KieslowskiCatholic
Sc: Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz
Detour (1945)Edgar G. UlmerJewishnovel: Martin Goldsmith
Sc: Martin Goldsmith, Martin Mooney
Tom Neal, Ann Savage
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)Luis BunuelCatholic; atheistSc: Luis Bunuel, Jean-Claude CarriereFernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Stephane Audran, Jean-Pierre Cassel
Dodsworth (1936)William WylerJewishnovel: Sinclair Lewis
Sc: Sidney Howard
Walter Huston, Ruth Chatterton, Mary Astor
Double Indemnity (1944)Billy WilderJewishnovel: James M. Cain
Sc: Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler
Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Dr. Strangelove:
or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Stanley KubrickJewishnovel: Peter George
Sc: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, Peter George
Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn
Drunken Master II (1994)Chia-Liang Liu
Jackie Chan
?
Buddhist
Sc: Edward Tang, Man-Ming Tong, Kai-Chi YunJackie Chan, Felix Wong
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)Steven SpielbergJudaismSc: Melissa MathisonHenry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore
8 1/2 (1963)Federico FelliniCatholic; astrology; JungianStory: Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano
Sc: Ennio Flaiano, Tullio Pinelli, Federico Fellini, Brunello Rondi
Marcello Mastroianni, Claudia Cardinale, Anouk Aimee
The 400 Blows (1959)Francois TruffautCatholic (nominal)Sc: Francois Truffaut, Marcel MoussyJean-Pierre Leaud, Claire Maurier, Albert Remy
Farewell My Concubine (1993)Kaige Chen novel/Sc: Lillian Lee
Sc: Bik-Wa Lei, Wei Lu
Leslie Cheung, Gong Li
Finding Nemo (2003)Andrew Stanton, Lee Unkrich Sc: Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson, David ReynoldsAlbert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Alexander Gould, Willem Dafoe
The Fly (1986)David CronenbergatheistSc: David Cronenberg, George Langelaan, Charles Edward PogueJeff Goldblum, Geena Davis
The Godfather, Parts I and II (1972, 1974)Francis Ford CoppolaCatholic (non-practicing)novel: Mario Puzo
Sc: Francis Ford Coppola
Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Robert De Niro
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)Sergio Leone Sc: Luciano Vincenzoni, Sergio LeoneClint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach
Goodfellas (1990)Martin ScorseseCatholic (lapsed former seminarian)book: Nicholas Pileggi
Sc: Nicholas Pileggi, Martin Scorsese
Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
A Hard Day's Night (1964)Richard Lester SC: Alun OwenJohn Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr
His Girl Friday (1940)Howard HawksChristian Scienceplay: Ben Hecht, Charles MacArthur
Sc: Charles Lederer
Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Ikiru (1952)Akira KurosawaBuddhist-Shinto cultureSc: Shinobu Hashimoto, Akira Kurosawa, Hideo OguniTakashi Shimura, Shinichi Himori
In A Lonely Place (1950)Nicholas Ray novel: Dorothy B. Hughes
Sc: Edmund H. North, Andrew Solt
Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)Don SiegelJewishnovel: Jack Finney
Daniel Mainwaring, Sam Peckinpah, Richard Collins
Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter
It's A Gift (1934)Norman Z. McLeod N.A.W.C. Fields, Kathleen Howard
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)Frank CapraCatholic; Christian ScienceSc: Philip Van Doren SternJames Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
Kandahar (2001)Mohsen Makhmalbaf Sc: Mohsen MakhmalbafNelofer Pazira, Hassan Tantai
Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)Robert Hamer novel: Roy Horniman
Sc: Robert Hamer, John Dighton
Dennis Price, Valerie Hobson, Joan Greenwood, Alec Guinness
King Kong (1933)Merian C. Cooper
Ernest B. Schoedsack
Protestant
story: Merian C. Cooper, Edgar Wallace
Sc: James Ashmore Creelman, Ruth Rose
Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot
The Lady Eve (1941)Preston Sturges story: Monckton Hoffe
Sc: Preston Sturges
Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda
The Last Command (1928)Josef von SternbergJewishstory: Lajos Biro, Josef von Sternberg
Titles: John F. Goodrich, Herman J. Mankiewicz
Emil Jannings, Evelyn Brent, William Powell
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)David LeanQuakerSc: Robert BoltPeter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins, Omar Sharif
Leolo (1992)Jean-Claude Lauzon Sc: Jean-Claude LauzonGilbert Sicotte, Maxime Collin
The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)Peter Jackson novels: J.R.R. Tolkien
Sc: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Viggo Mortensen, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen
The Man With a Camera (1929)Dziga Vertov Sc: Dziga Vertov
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)John FrankenheimerJewishnovel: Richard Condon
Sc: George Axelrod
Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)Vincente MinnelliCatholicnovel: Sally Benson
Sc: Irving Brecher, Fred F. Finklehoffe
Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien
Metropolis (1927)Fritz LangJewish Catholic
Sc: Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou
Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Brigitte Helm
Miller's Crossing (1990)Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Jewish
Jewish
Sc: Joel Coen, Ethan CoenGabriel Byrne, Marcia Gay Harden, Albert Finney, John Turturro
Mon oncle d'Amerique (1980)Alain Resnais Sc: Jean GruaultGerard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia
Mouchette (1967)Robert BressonJansenist Catholicnovel: Georges Bernanos
Sc: Robert Bresson
Nadine Nortier, Jean-Claude Guilbert
Nayakan (1987)Mani RatnamHinduSc: Rajasri , Mani RatnamKamal Hassan, Saranya, Janagaraj
Ninotchka (1939)Ernst LubitschJewishstory: Melchior Lengyel
Sc: Charles Brackett, Billy Wilder, Walter Reisch
Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas
Notorious (1946)Alfred HitchcockCatholicstory: John Taintor Foote
Sc: Ben Hecht, Alfred Hitchcock, Clifford Odets
Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains
Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938)Leni RiefenstahlLutheran
On the Waterfront (1954)Elia KazanGreek Orthodox (lapsed);
Communist
articles: Malcolm Johnson
Sc: Budd Schulberg
Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Eva Marie Saint
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)Sergio Leone story: Dario Argento, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone
Sc: Sergio Leone, Sergio Donati
Henry Fonda, Claudia Cardinale, Jason Robards, Charles Bronson
Out of the Past (1947)Jacques Tourneur novel: Daniel Mainwaring
Sc: Daniel Mainwaring, Frank Fenton, James M. Cain
Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Persona (1966)Ingmar BergmanLutheran; agnosticSc: Ingmar BergmanBibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Bjornstrand
Pinocchio (1940)Hamilton Luske, Ben Sharpsteen story: Aurelius Battaglia
novel: Carlo Collodi
Sc: William Cottrell, Otto Englander, Erdman Penner, Joseph Sabo, Ted Sears, Webb Smith
Mel Blanc, Christian Rub, Dickie Jones
Psycho (1960)Alfred HitchcockCatholicnovel: Robert Bloch
Sc: Joseph Stefano (screenplay)
Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh
Pulp Fiction (1994)Quentin Tarantino Sc: Quentin Tarantino, Roger AvaryTim Roth, Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta, Uma Thurman
The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)Woody AllenJewish (raised Orthodox); agnosticSc: Woody AllenJeff Daniels, Mia Farrow, Danny Aiello
Pyaasa (1957)Guru DuttHinduSc: Abrar AlviGuru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman
Raging Bull (1980)Martin ScorseseCatholic (lapsed former seminarian)book: Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter and Peter Savage
Sc: Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin
Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Schindler's List (1993)Steven SpielbergJudaismbook: Thomas Keneally
Sc: Steven Zaillian
Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
The Searchers (1956)John FordCatholicSc: Alan LeMay, Frank NugentJohn Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood
Sherlock, Jr. (1924)Buster KeatonCatholic (non-practicing)Sc: Clyde Bruckman, Jean C. Havez, Joseph A. MitchellBuster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Ward Crane
The Shop Around the Corner (1940)Ernst LubitschJewishplay: Miklos LaszloSc: Samson Raphaelson, Ben HechtMargaret Sullavan, James Stewart
Singin' in the Rain (1952)Stanley Donen
Gene Kelly
Reform Judaism (lapsed)
Catholic
Sc: Betty Comden, Adolph GreenGene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
The Singing Detective (1986)Jon Amiel Sc: Dennis PotterMichael Gambon, Patrick Malahide, Joanne Whalley
Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)Ingmar BergmanLutheran; agnosticSc: Ingmar BergmanEva Dahlbeck, Ulla Jacobsson, Harrient Andersson, Margit Carlqvist
Some Like It Hot (1959)Billy WilderJewishstory: Robert Thoeren, Michael Logan
Sc: Billy Wilder, I.A.L. Diamond
Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon
Star Wars (1977)George LucasBuddhist MethodistSc: George LucasMark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guinness
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)Elia KazanGreek Orthodox (lapsed);
Communist
play: Tennessee Williams
Sc: Oscar Saul
Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Sunrise (1927)F.W. Murnau novella: Hermann Sudermann
scenario: Carl Mayer
George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)Alexander Mackendrick novelette: Ernest Lehman
Sc: Clifford Odets, Ernest Lehman
Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
Swing Time (1936)George Stevens Sc: Erwin S. Gelsey, Howard Lindsay, Allan ScottFred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Talk to Her (2002)Pedro AlmodovaratheistSc: Pedro AlmodovarJavier Camara, Dario Grandinetti, Leonor Watling, Rosario Flores
Taxi Driver (1976)Martin ScorseseCatholic (lapsed former seminarian)Sc: Paul SchraderRobert De Niro, Cybill Shepherd, Jodie Foster
Tokyo Story (1953)Yasujiro OzuBuddhist-Shinto cultureSc: Kogo Noda, Yasujiro OzuChishu Ryu, Chieko Higashiyama
A Touch of Zen (1971)King Hu Sc: King Hu, Songling Pu (story)Billy Chan, Ping-Yu Chang
Ugetsu (1953)Kenji Mizoguchi Sc: Matsutaro Kawaguchi, Akinari Ueda, Yoshikata YodaMasayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo, Kinuyo Tanaka, Eitaro Ozawa
Ulysses' Gaze (1995)Theo Angelopoulos Sc: Theo Angelopoulos, Tonino GuerraHarvey Keitel, Maia Morgenstern, Erland Josephson
Umberto D (1952)Vittorio De SicaCatholicSc: Vittorio De Sica, Cesare ZavattiniCarlo Battisti, Maria-Pia Casilio, Lina Gennari
Unforgiven (1992)Clint Eastwoodraised Protestant; agnosticSc: David Webb PeoplesClint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman
White Heat (1949)Raoul Walsh story: Virginia Kellogg
Sc: Ivan Goff, Ben Roberts
James Cagney, Margaret Wycherly, Virginia Mayo
Wings of Desire (1987)Wim Wenders Sc: Wim Wenders, Peter HandkeBruno Ganz, Solveig Dommartin
Yojimbo (1961)Akira KurosawaBuddhist-Shinto cultureSc: Ryuzo Kikushima, Akira KurosawaToshiro Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai

Directors, Writers and Actors with Multiple Listings on TIME's "100 Best Movies" List:
9 people have directed more than one listing on TIME Magazine's list of the 100 best movies released since 1923. (Keep in mind that the writers of this list often attempted to choose just one or two movies to represent a director, and that in doing so they are not necessarly claiming that all of the other movies on the list are better than the movies by that director which are not listed.):

  • Martin Scorsese (3: Goodfellas; Raging Bull; Taxi Driver)
  • Akira Kurosawa (Ikiru; Yojimbo)
  • Billy Wilder (Double Indemnity; Some Like It Hot)
  • Elia Kazan (On the Waterfront; A Streetcar Named Desire)
  • Ernst Lubitsch (Ninotchka; The Shop Around the Corner)
  • Francois Truffaut (Day for Night; The 400 Blows)
  • Ingmar Bergman (Persona; Smiles of a Summer Night)
  • Sergio Leone (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly; Once Upon a Time in the West)
  • Stanley Donen (Charade; Singin' in the Rain)
  • Stanley Kubrick (Barry Lyndon; Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb)
  • Steven Spielberg (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial; Schindler's List)
The following writers wrote the screenplays and/or source material for more than one of the movies in TIME Magazine's Best 100 list. (Not included below are directors who also wrote or co-wrote their films, if all those films are already shown above in the "multiple films by the same director" list.):
  • Ben Hecht (3: His Girl Friday; Notorious; The Shop Around the Corner)
  • Billy Wilder (3: in addition to Double Indemnity and Some Like It Hot, which he also directed, he co-wrote Ninotchka)
  • Clifford Odets (Notorious; Sweet Smell of Success)
  • Daniel Mainwaring (Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Out of the Past)
  • David Webb Peoples (Blade Runner; Unforgiven)
  • Herman J. Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane; The Last Command)
  • Jacques Prevert (Children of Paradise; The Crime of Monsieur Lange)
  • James M. Cain (Double Indemnity; Out of the Past)
  • Paul Schrader (Raging Bull; Taxi Driver)
  • Robert Towne (Bonnie and Clyde; Chinatown)
The following actors have starred in more than one of the movies in TIME Magazine's list of the 100 best movies released since 1923. (For the list of "multiple listings" below, only major roles identified in the TIME Magazine article are tabulated. Some actors may also have appeared in smaller roles in some of these movies.):
  • Robert De Niro (5: The Godfather, Parts I and II; Brazil; Goodfellas; Raging Bull; Taxi Driver)
  • Cary Grant (4: The Awful Truth; Charade; His Girl Friday; Notorious)
  • Marlon Brando (3: The Godfather, Parts I and II; On the Waterfront; A Streetcar Named Desire)
  • Alec Guinness (3: Kind Hearts and Coronets; Lawrence of Arabia; Star Wars)
  • Barbara Stanwyck (3: Baby Face; Double Indemnity; The Lady Eve)
  • Claudia Cardinale (8 1/2; Once Upon a Time in the West)
  • Clint Eastwood (The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Unforgiven, which he also directed)
  • Faye Dunaway (Bonnie and Clyde; Chinatown)
  • Gene Hackman (Bonnie and Clyde; Unforgiven)
  • Greta Garbo (Camille; Ninotchka)
  • Harrison Ford (Blade Runner; Star Wars)
  • Henry Fonda (The Lady Eve; Once Upon a Time in the West)
  • Humphrey Bogart (Casablanca; In A Lonely Place)
  • Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca; Notorious)
  • James Stewart (It's A Wonderful Life; The Shop Around the Corner)
  • Janet Leigh (The Manchurian Candidate; Psycho)
  • Jean-Pierre Leaud (Day for Night; The 400 Blows)
  • Joe Pesci (Goodfellas; Raging Bull)
  • Karl Malden (On the Waterfront; A Streetcar Named Desire)
  • Lionel Barrymore (Camille; It's A Wonderful Life)
  • Ralph Bellamy (The Awful Truth; His Girl Friday)
  • Tony Curtis (Some Like It Hot; Sweet Smell of Success)
  • Valerie Hobson (Bride of Frankenstein; Kind Hearts and Coronets)

Note that some individuals also appeared multiple times on the list because they have been writers or actors for the films they directed, or they have appeared in or contributed to the writing of other "Best 100" films which they themselves did not direct.

Authors on Two Separate Lists
TIME Magazine's list of "100 Best Movies" released since 1923 is a companion to TIME Magazine's list of "100 Best Novels" (written in English) published since 1923. A total of 92 authors are represented on the "Best Novels" list. About 500 directors, writers and starring actors are noted in the "100 Best Movies" list. The names of 3 authors appear on both lists (the 100 Best Novels and 100 Best Movies):

  • J.R.R. Tolkien: author of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, which was adapted to film)
  • Philip K. Dick: author of Ubik on the "100 Best Novels" list; author of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, adapted as Blade Runner on "100 Best Movies" list
  • Raymond Chandler: author of Raymond Chandler on "100 Best Novels" list; screenwriter of Double Indemnity (adapted from James M. Cain's novel) on the "100 Best Movies" list

Notes about how the list was created
Excerpts from: Richard Corliss, "That Old Feeling: Secrets of the All-Time 100" (http://www.time.com/time/columnist/corliss/article/0,9565,1068026,00.html; viewed 31 October 2005):

The idea was to assemble 100 estimable films since TIME began, with the March 3, 1923 issue... Essentially, though, a century of movies from 82 years. That shouldn't be hard: pick a picture for each year, with 18 slots left for honorable mentions.

Not so simple, in fact, for we faced a couple of complications. The first was that two of us were to agree on the selections; and, though my admiration for Schickel is hardly bounded, and he probably doesn't mind me, no two critics will agree on all, or even most, great films. The other is the onus of the list-making process. It's a truism that a list like this takes either an hour (go with your initial inspirations) or a month (weigh every film with Solomonic probity). Our effort clocked in at about four months, off and on. And the clock is still running.

...Our claims to expertise: 1. a combined 80 years... writing about films; 2. even more years -- going back to our movie-mad youths -- as consumers, lovers and analyzers of this art-entertainment-business hybrid; and 3. a magazine, TIME, that has generously underwritten our cinephilia for, respectively, 32 and 25 years. Our employment is our diploma...

There are 101 ways to choose 100 of anything. But I participated only in this century selection, so I'll tell you what I did.

First it's like a game: I'm throwing a party -- who should be on the guest list? My idea was to invite different sorts for a richer mix. Highbrows and no-brows, the solemn and the frivolous, embracing many genres (musical, western) and forms (short films, experimental, documentaries). I want the Marx Brothers to co-exist with a Robert Bresson nano-drama. And Indian family melodramas to rub shoulders with 70s ["adult" films]. An eight-decade, international melange.

Then it's research. I re-viewed many of the films under consideration. I looked at the IMDb's list of the top 250 films, as voted on by the site's members. I dipped once more into Roger Ebert's two volumes called The Great Movies, which contain some very thoughtful journalism on the subject. I also took a long browse through the stacks of that moldy old library of film trivia, my brain. The result was about 120 movies, leaving some wiggle room for negotiation. Richard the First (Schickel) had already compiled a list of 116 favorites. Neither of us knew the other's preferences until we'd finished this initial round. After this double-blind taste test, the serious work began on the All-TIME 100 Movies.

Finally, then, it's like a marriage -- the intimate exchange of opinions and passions, the business of collating, collaborating and compromising. Once, twice, three times 100: Schickel's list, my list, our list...

A scanning of both lists shows that Schickel and Corliss agreed on 31 films that got into the holy hundred: Sherlock Jr., Sunrise, City Lights, King Kong, Bride of Frankenstein, His Girl Friday, Pinocchio, The Lady Eve, Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Double Indemnity, Children of Paradise, Detour, White Heat, Kind Hearts and Coronets, A Streetcar Named Desire, Singin' in the Rain, Ikiru, Ugetsu, Smiles of a Summer Night, Sweet Smell of Success, Yojimbo, The Manchurian Candidate, 8-1/2, Persona, The Godfather and The Godfather Part II, Aguirre the Wrath of God, Chinatown, Taxi Driver, E.T. and Talk to Her. Note that, as we approach the present day, agreement gets rarer. We had 10 coincidental selections in the 1940s, exactly as many as we did in the four-and-a-half decades from 1960 to today. That mirrors a consensus on classic films, especially classics from Hollywood, and a fragmenting of taste ever since.

...Why directors? Listen to the conversation Mark Coatney conducted with Schickel and me, and you'll learn that, among the strategies Richard the First used in preparing his original list, one was to start with the directors he thought the best, then choose his favorite of their films. Further, he wanted to reward peak periods in the careers of great directors. Chaplin, Sternberg, Vidor, Lubitsch, Hawks, De Sica, Kazan, Godard, Scorsese, Allen and Almodovar all are cited for two works within a few years, sometimes consecutive films. Sturges gets three mentions in four years. A director-centric selection is one way to go...

I didn't work that way. For me, in compiling this list, the films were the thing, not their makers. In the Church of Auteurism, I'd be sitting in the back pew, sometimes agreeing with the dogma, sometimes whispering heresies... Well, I do like directors. But they aren't the only artists who make films great...

Of the 33 TIME 100 films before 1950, all but six were from Hollywood. Assessing the so-called golden age, we seem to be very Home Team. Ah, but of those 27 American films, nearly half, 13, were directed by men born abroad: three in England (Chaplin, Hitchcock and James Whale), three in Germany (F.W. Murnau, Wyler and Lubitsch), three in Austria (Sternberg, Wilder and Edgar G. Ulmer are all native Viennese), one each in Hungary (Michael Curtiz), France (Jacques Tourneur) and one in Sicily (Capra).

...we both ignored gender politics. Of the 100, 99 were directed by men, and the only auteuse, if that's a word, is the German Leni Riefenstahl, Hitler's favorite director... The non-Caucasian directors, 11, are all Asian: Japanese, Chinese or Indian...

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Webpage created 31 October 2005. Last modified 2 November 2005.