The credits finally roll on the IMDb Top 250

In the voice of Don LaFontaine, please–

“In a world where Japanese movies reign supreme and World War II films fill the mailbox… one woman struggles on her couch to view them all…. That woman is this one… that quest is about to be challenged… and this time, it’s personal….”

I am a complete and utter movie fiend, so I was dismayed by how much I grew to dread the challenge of watching all of the IMDb Top 250 movies.

Frankly, I am glad the closing credits rolled on this project.

I shouldn’t have been surprised that I loved so few of the 55 movies I hadn’t yet seen from the list. I have spent over 30 years relishing movies, great and so-so alike, more if you count my childhood sitting by my father’s side.

Whether spending an afternoon with Buster Keaton or a late night with Marlon Brando, my dad loved the classics, and I loved them right beside him. He would laugh himself silly over more modern movies, too. (I’ll never be able to see Michael Caine sadistically whipping Steve Martin’s legs in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels without hearing my dad’s laughter ringing in my head). He frequently had insomnia and would play an 8-hour tape of James Bond movies throughout the night, the theme song invading the dreams of my childhood as it bled through the bedroom walls.

I had hoped for some more hidden gems on the IMDb list, but it turned out that the chances were pretty good that if there was a movie I would love on the list, I had probably already seen it.

I enjoyed most of the movies enough to give them a viewing, but quite a few of them had me sleepy on the couch, struggling to stay awake. I did watch some while walking on the treadmill, just so you don’t think I devolved into total couch-potatoness.

I give special awards to the following movies.

The “Hidden Gems” Award:

  • City of God
  • Ikiru
  • The Celebration

The “Struggle to Stay Awake” Award:

  • Paths of Glory
  • Das Boot
  • Wild Strawberries
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • Ben-Hur
  • Persona
  • In the Mood for Love
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

The “Couple of Great Scenes” Award:

  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • The Wages of Fear
  • Night of the Hunter

The “Give Me Two Hours of My Life Back” Award:

  • The Thing (Really, how did this one show up on any list?)

What is your favorite or least favorite movie on the list?

Related posts:

#14. 101 things in 1001 days: Watch all of IMDb’s Top 250 Movies (April, 2011 list)

IMDb Top 250 (in April, 2011)

Movies I saw during the challenge:

18. City of God (2002) (I loved it. I had forgotten that I had already seen it, though, and I watched it again. I wrote about it briefly here: 10 movies you’ve never seen, but should.)

20. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) (Long and slow, but great.)

50. Paths of Glory (1957) (I felt like I entirely missed the point of this boring movie. Ugh. And it’s Kubrick.)

63. Das Boot (1981) (Loooooonnnggg! I struggled to stay awake through two DVDs of this one!)

65. The Third Man (1949) (Enjoyed it.)

72. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) (“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.” Enjoyed it.)

73. The Prestige (2006) (Enjoyed it.)

85. All About Eve (1950) (Enjoyed it.)

86. The Great Dictator (1940) (Enjoyed it.)

93. Downfall (2004) (A grim movie about Hitler’s last days.)

102. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) (I wish filibusters were still like this!)

104. The King’s Speech (2010) (Enjoyed it.)

106. Rebecca (1940) (I didn’t like it; I liked the book though: I am not Rebecca.)

125. Touch of Evil (1958) (Long and boring, with some good spots.)

128. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) (Enjoyed it.)

129. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) (It was pretty good.)

130. Wild Strawberries (1957) (I struggled to stay awake through this one.)

143. A Separation (2011) (Enjoyed it, but the ending was maddening.)

152. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) (Another silent movie that I’m sure was innovative for 1927, but didn’t do it for me today. I really shouldn’t have saved all the old silents for the end of my viewing!)

156. The Gold Rush (1925) (A Charlie Chaplin silent; it had its moments, but I was tired of silents by the time I saw it.)

157. The Grapes of Wrath (1940) (Liked the movie; loved the book.)

159. Ben-Hur (1959) (Enjoyed it; long and boring in some parts, but great in others.)

167. The Kid (1921) (A Charlie Chaplin silent movie–enjoyed it.)

168. Ikiru (1952) (Loved! I had pre-judged this movie unfairly in that I had been growing weary of this movie-watching project, and I sat down not thrilled about watching another post-World War II Japanese movie, but it was a delight.)

173. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) (Enjoyed it, and there’s a really cool backstory about Harold Russell.)

174. The Wages of Fear (1953) (Where to begin a little blurb about this strange movie? Subtitled into English and set in South America, the actors spoke whatever language they liked. I heard Spanish, French, Italian, German, and sometimes they would pop into English. It was a tedious, long movie with some pleasurable moments of extreme excitement as men raced across a country with a dangerous load of nitroglycerin, and the ending made me yearn for my movie-watching project to be over.)

175. The Secret in Their Eyes (2009) (Enjoyed it.)

178. The Thing (1982) (Absolutely the worst movie on this list.)

181. How to Train Your Dragon (2010) (It was OK.)

183. Diabolique (1955) (It was OK.)

186. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) (Pretty cool.)

187. Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) (Enjoyed it.)

190. The Night of the Hunter (1955) (Great first half.)

195. The Killing (1956) (Enjoyed it.)

197. The 400 Blows (1959) (Enjoyed it.)

199. The Battle of Algiers (1966) (Interesting.)

202. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)  (Enjoyed it.)

207. Dial M for Murder (1954) (Enjoyed it.)

208. Stalag 17 (1953) (It was OK.)

209. Persona (1966) (I tried to like it; so boring.)

210. Mary and Max (2009) (A treat!)

211. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) (Man, oh man, so boring!)

212. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) (Silent, war… When would this project be over? It was good, though, in a take-your-medicine kind of way.)

213. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) (Pleasantly surprised.)

217. Let the Right One In (2008) (Very creepy!)

227. The Celebration (1998) (I didn’t know what this Danish movie was about going in, and it blew me away. It builds a surprising amount of tension as family secrets are revealed at a dinner party. I put it on my list of “10 more movies you’ve never seen, but should.”)

230. Infernal Affairs (2002) (The Departed is based on it; enjoyed it.)

233. Nights of Cabiria (1957) (Enjoyed it.)

234. Sherlock Jr. (1924) (A fun Buster Keaton silent movie.)

241. Harvey (1950) (Enjoyed it.)

242. Sleuth (1972) (The very last one I viewed–I had to order a used VHS tape to finish this project because it wasn’t available on DVD in the U.S. Enjoyed it.)

247. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003) (Enjoyed it.)

248. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984) (A Japanese animated movie; I did not like this one at all.)

249. In the Mood for Love (2000) (Boring; it put me in the mood for sleep.)

250. King Kong (1933) (Screaming at its finest.)

Movies I saw before the challenge began:

1. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

2. The Godfather (1972) (Love!)

3. The Godfather: Part II (1974) (Love!)

4. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

5. Pulp Fiction (1994) (Love!)

6. Schindler’s List (1993)

7. 12 Angry Men (1957)

8. Inception (2010) (Love!)

9. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) (Love!)

10. The Dark Knight (2008)

11. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

12. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

13. Seven Samurai (1954)

14. Fight Club (1999) (Love!)

15. Goodfellas (1990) (Love!)

16. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

17. Casablanca (1942)

19. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

21. Rear Window (1954)

22. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

23. The Matrix (1999)

24. Psycho (1960)

25. The Usual Suspects (1995) (Love!)

26. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (Love!)

27. Se7en (1995)

28. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

29. Memento (2000) (Love!)

30. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

31. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

32. Toy Story 3 (2010)

33. Forrest Gump (1994)

34. Leon: The Professional (1994)

35. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

36. Apocalypse Now (1979) (Love!)

37. Citizen Kane (1941)

38. American History X (1998)

39. North by Northwest (1959) (Love!)

40. American Beauty (1999) (Love!)

41. Taxi Driver (1976) (Love!)

42. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

43. Saving Private Ryan (1998) (Love!)

44. Alien (1979)

45. Vertigo (1958)

46. Amélie (2001) (Love!)

47. Spirited Away (2001)

48. The Shining (1980) (Love!)

49. WALL·E (2008)

51. The Pianist (2002)

52. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

53. Double Indemnity (1944)

54. City Lights (1931)

55. A Clockwork Orange (1971) (Love!)

56. M (1931)

57. The Lives of Others (2006)

58. The Departed (2006)

59. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) (Love!)

60. Aliens (1986)

61. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

62. Requiem for a Dream (2000) (Love!)

64. Reservoir Dogs (1992) (Love!)

66. L.A. Confidential (1997)

67. Modern Times (1936)

68. Chinatown (1974)

69. Life is Beautiful (1997)

70. Black Swan (2010)

71. Back to the Future (1985)

74. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

75. Raging Bull (1980)

76. Cinema Paradiso (1988)

77. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)

78. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) (Love!)

79. Rashomon (1950)

80. Some Like It Hot (1959)

81. The Green Mile (1999)

82. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

83. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

84. Amadeus (1984) (Love!)

87. Bicycle Thieves (1948)

88. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

89. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

90. Braveheart (1995)

91. Inglourious Basterds (2009)

92. The Apartment (1960)

94. Metropolis (1927)

95. Gladiator (2000)

96. Up (2009)

97. Gran Torino (2008)

98. The Sting (1973)

99. Unforgiven (1992)

100. Oldboy (2003)

101. The Elephant Man (1980)

103. The Maltese Falcon (1941)

105. On the Waterfront (1954)

107. Sin City (2005)

108. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

109. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

110. Die Hard (1988)

111. The Great Escape (1963)

112. Princess Mononoke (1997)

113. Batman Begins (2005)

114. The Seventh Seal (1957)

115. Jaws (1975) (Love!)

116. Blade Runner (1982) (Love!)

117. Hotel Rwanda (2004)

118. Fargo (1996) (Love!)

119. The General (1926)

120. Heat (1995)

121. No Country for Old Men (2007)

122. For a Few Dollars More (1965)

123. Yojimbo (1961)

124. Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

126. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

127. Ran (1985)

131. Snatch. (2000)

132. The Sixth Sense (1999)

133. The Deer Hunter (1978) (Love!)

134. The Big Lebowski (1998)

135. Annie Hall (1977) (Love!)

136. The Lion King (1994)

137. Cool Hand Luke (1967) (Love!)

138. Strangers on a Train (1951)

139. Donnie Darko (2001)

140. It Happened One Night (1934)

141. High Noon (1952)

142. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)

144. District 9 (2009)

145. Platoon (1986)

146. Toy Story (1995)

147. Into the Wild (2007)

148. There Will Be Blood (2007)

149. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

150. Notorious (1946) (Love!)

151. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) (Love!)

153. Gone with the Wind (1939)

154. Trainspotting (1996) (Love!)

155. Scarface (1983)

158. Groundhog Day (1993)

160. The Big Sleep (1946)

161. Avatar (2009) (Love!)

162. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

163. Amores Perros (2000)

164. The Graduate (1967)

165. The Wrestler (2008)

166. Life of Brian (1979)

169. Finding Nemo (2003)

170. The Terminator (1984)

171. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

172. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

176. Casino (1995)

177. Stand by Me (1986)

179. Twelve Monkeys (1995)

180. V for Vendetta (2006)

182. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

184. Gandhi (1982)

185. Ratatouille (2007)

188. The Social Network (2010)

189. (1963)

191. The Princess Bride (1987)

192. Star Trek (2009)

193. Good Will Hunting (1997)

194. The Hustler (1961)

196. Network (1976)

198. La Strada (1954)

200. The Incredibles (2004)

201. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) (Love!)

203. The Exorcist (1973)

204. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) (Love!)

205. In Bruges (2008)

206. The Wild Bunch (1969)

214. Fanny and Alexander (1982)

215. Rocky (1976)

216. Children of Men (2006)

218. Ed Wood (1994)

219. Big Fish (2003)

220. Magnolia (1999) (Love!)

221. Barry Lyndon (1975)

222. Mystic River (2003)

223. Manhattan (1979)

224. The Truman Show (1998)

225. Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

226. Patton (1970)

228. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)

229. Roman Holiday (1953)

231. Howl’s Moving Castle (2004)

232. His Girl Friday (1940)

235. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

236. Letters from Iwo Jima (2006)

237. Duck Soup (1933)

238. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

239. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

240. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

242. Sleuth (1972)

243. Rope (1948)

244. Three Colors: Red (1994)

245. Monsters, Inc. (2001)

246. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Now that I’m done with this project, have you read any good books lately?

#14. 101 things in 1001 days: Watch all of IMDb’s Top 250 Movies

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About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.

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