The 1,000 Greatest Films (Introduction)

The banner image above is from William Friedkin's Sorcerer, the 1,000th ranked greatest film.
INTRODUCTION to the 1,000 Greatest Films
Current Version: January 2018 (13th edition)
Published on January 19, 2018
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The Highest Entrant… Children of Men (2006)

Welcome again to another edition of TSPDT's 1,000 Greatest Films. Film as an art-form continues to flourish (generally-speaking), and hopefully projects like this help us to stop and think, and reflect on some of cinema's finest moments, finest filmmakers, and ultimately, finest films. The 1,000 Greatest Films, as you would expect from the title of this project, receive the most attention on these pages. However, I urge everyone to look beyond them and delve into the provided starting list of over 17,000 films. Your next favourite cinematic experience is more than likely in there somewhere.

As you may have noticed, this year's edition of TSPDT’s 1,000 Greatest Films has arrived sooner than I had scheduled (normally February, but hey, here we are in the middle of January). It seems that I have now somehow chugged out thirteen of these buggers, with no plans of finishing up anytime soon.

I sincerely hope you enjoy this year's effort. The only significant change to the presentation is that I have, for the first time, revealed the exact rankings of films in the 1001 to 2000 range. This should please many, although it does take a little of the mystery away.

As you know, I don't typically have much to say (aside from my Personal Digression below). I prefer for the list to do the talking, and so off we go.

With the addition of over 1,000 more lists during 2017, the net result is a mere 37 changes to the 1,000 Greatest Films listing. Only eight of these make their debut on the list, whereas the other 29 films are re-entries.

The number of best-of/all-time individual lists now tallies 6,016 (from 4,743 critics/filmmakers). The number of miscellaneous lists used (genre-based, country-based, etc.) now sits at 3,801. That’s 9,817 unique lists in total.

In summary, here is the breakdown of individual best-of/all-time ballots used, or if you like, from where I have begged, borrowed and stolen:

Sight & Sound's 1952-2012 polls (1,984 ballots)
Senses of Cinema's 2000-2007 Top Tens (201 ballots)
Kino Muzeum’s 2015 poll (183 ballots)
Rotten Tomatoes' lists from 2003-2017 (166 ballots)
Filmes do Chico 2013 & 2017 (143 ballots) NEW
Nickel Odeon's 1994-1998 polls (136 ballots)
Time Out's 1995 poll (128 ballots)
Cinephilia's 2012 poll (121 ballots)
El Mundo's 1995 poll (100 ballots)
Your Movie Database's (YMDB) Critics Corner 2002-2005 (99 ballots)
Kinema Junpo 1999-2009 (87 ballots)
PBS's Independent Lens 2005-2008 lists (83 ballots)
John Kobal Presents the Top 100 Movies (1988) (81 ballots)
Film-Magazine's (Iran) 2009 poll (81 ballots) NEW
Steadycam's 2007 poll (79 ballots)
Facets’ 2003-2008 polls (76 ballots)
The Cinematheque's Top 10 Project 2005-2009 (74 ballots)
Empire (1989-2017) (74 ballots)
Positif’s 1991 poll (72 ballots)
One-Line Review's 2009 poll (69 ballots)
El Pais' 2009-2010 polls (60 ballots)
Cinematheque Belgique's 1952 poll (53 ballots)
La Cinetek 2014-2017 (52 ballots)
Faróis do Cinema 2010-2015 (50 ballots)
Libre Journal du Cinéma's 2009 poll (50 ballots)
The Village Voice's 1999 poll (49 ballots)
Edições Cinematógrafo’s 1982 poll (48 ballots)
TCM Spain’s 2009 poll (48 ballots)
IndieWire 1996-2009 (47 ballots)
PopCornQ's 1997 poll (45 ballots)
Federazione Italiana Cineforum 2013 poll (44 ballots)
Fifty Filmmakers (2002 book) (42 ballots)
HKCinema’s 2011 poll (42 ballots)
Beijing News’ 2011-2012 polls (38 ballots)
Ventana Indiscreta 2010 & 2013 (38 ballots) NEW
IonCinema!'s Top 10 lists (2009-2017) (34 ballots) UPDATED
Ta Nea’s 2009 poll (33 ballots)
BBC: Calling the Shots 2003-2006 (32 ballots)
Cineticle 2013-2015 (32 ballots) NEW
Dirigido Por’s 1992 poll (32 ballots)
Cinemania’s 2012 poll (31 ballots)
The Skuriels’ 2012 poll (31 ballots)
Sodankylä Ikuisesti: Desert Island Films (1996) (29 ballots)
You Gotta See This (2007) (29 ballots) NEW
Profil’s 2004 poll (28 ballots)
Jonathan Rosenbaum’s 1976 poll (27 ballots)
Film-Mag's 2011 poll (26 ballots)
Newsweek 2002-2009 (25 ballots)
Plus 884 more ballots from other sources.

A Personal Digression
For what it’s worth, here are (in no particular order) some of the best films (new or old) that I saw during the 2017 calendar year: The Smiling Lieutenant (1931, Ernst Lubitsch), The Living World (2003, Eugène Green), I Am Not Your Negro (2016, Raoul Peck), My Little Loves (1974, Jean Eustache), Moonlight (2016, Barry Jenkins), Manchester by the Sea (2016, Kenneth Lonergan), Une Chambre en ville (1982, Jacques Demy), The Smiling Madame Beudet (1923, Germaine Dulac), Twin Peaks: The Return (2017, David Lynch), Twisted Nerve (1968, Roy Boulting), Me and My Gal (1932, Raoul Walsh), Cameraperson (2016, Kirsten Johnson), A Ghost Story (2017, David Lowery), The Son of Joseph (2016, Eugène Green), The Portuguese Nun (2009, Eugène Green), Haut bas fragile (1995, Jacques Rivette), My Life as a Zucchini (2016, Claude Barras), Next of Kin (1984, Atom Egoyan), Stormy Waters (1941, Jean Grémillon), Toni (1935, Jean Renoir), Anatahan (1953, Josef von Sternberg), Personal Shopper (2016, Olivier Assayas), Her Sister's Secret (1946, Edgar G. Ulmer), A Quiet Passion (2016, Terence Davies), Elephant (1989, Alan Clarke), The Love Witch (2016, Anna Biller), It Felt Like a Kiss (2009, Adam Curtis), Private Property (1960, Leslie Stevens), Paterson (2016, Jim Jarmusch), Museum Hours (2012, Jem Cohen), Gunman's Walk (Phil Karlson, 1958), Neighbouring Sounds (2012, Kleber Mendonça Filho), The Bill Douglas Trilogy (1972-1978), Bitter Lake (2015, Adam Curtis), Tower (2016, Keith Maitland), Something Wild (1961, Jack Garfein), and Trans-Europ-Express (1966, Alain Robbe-Grillet).

TSPDT’s Top 10 Greatest Films
1. Citizen Kane (1)
2. Vertigo (2)
3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (3)
4. The Rules of the Game (4)
5. Tokyo Story (5)
6. The Godfather (7)
7. 8½ (6)
8. Sunrise (8)
9. The Searchers (9)
10. The Seven Samurai (10)

Listed below are the biggest winners and losers in this year’s edition:

The Winners – Top Climbers within the 1,000
Twenty Years Later (1984), 765 to 601 (up 164)
Airplane! (1980), 884 to 720 (up 164)
El Sur (1983), 800 to 669 (up 131)
Dirty Harry (1971), 828 to 697 (up 131)
The Bridges of Madison County (1995), 985 to 855 (up 130)

The Winners – Highest Entrants into the 1,000
Children of Men (2006), ranked 627
Superman (1978), ranked 685
Saving Private Ryan (1998), ranked 723
Ghostbusters (1984), ranked 734
When Harry Met Sally... (1989), ranked 742

The Losers – Biggest Fallers within the 1,000
Burnt by the Sun (1994), 748 to 826 (down 78)
Dust in the Wind (1987), 817 to 886 (down 69)
The Misfits (1961), 718 to 785 (down 67)
She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), 720 to 786 (down 66)
Taipei Story (1985), 783 to 847 (down 64)

The Losers – Biggest Fallers from the 1,000
Amour (2012), formerly ranked 739
La Commune (Paris, 1871) (2000), formerly ranked 762
Sideways (2004), formerly ranked 786
Audition (1999), formerly ranked 790
Blazing Saddles (1974), formerly ranked 829

Narrowed down from a starting list of 17,343 films (an increase of 1,348 films from last year), this is quite possibly the most definitive guide to the most-acclaimed movies of all-time. At the very least it is a rather spiffy place for all budding/established film buffs to commence/enhance their cinematic experiences. So what are you waiting for? Start that checklist now!

Thank you to everyone that has contributed lists and/or lent their support towards this venture over the years.

You Can Help… If you have access to any additional film lists from critics and/or filmmakers that you think I may have missed, then of course I’d love to see them. Please send all lists to And, as always, I would love to read any feedback (good, bad, or otherwise) you have on this ongoing project.

Begin browsing the 1,000 Greatest Films.
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