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Top 50 Movies of All Time as voted for by Midlands Movies readers 50-41

By midlandsmovies, Jun 15 2013 12:20PM

With the votes in and counted, we begin the countdown of the Top 50 movies of all time as voted by readers of the website. In summary we received over 100 top 10s with some of the strangest votes including 2 (!) for White Chicks and one each for the following - Teen Wolf, Kindergarten Cop, Harry & The Hendersons, Freddy Got Fingered, Fast & The Furious 5 & 6, Bio Dome and Batman (1966), sadly all of which (and maybe to no surprise) did not make the final 50. Casino Royale was the closest Bond film which just missed out but votes also went for You Only Live Twice & 2 people voted for Goldfinger as well. Without further pause then, let the Top 50 begin below...

50. The Departed (2006) Dir. Martin Scorsese

Scorsese’s Boston-set Oscar winner, itself a remake of Infernal Affairs, begins our list with a bang with DiCaprio, Damon, Sheen, Wahlberg and a phenomenal Jack Nicholson providing heavyweight acting performances in this crime saga. The ending still packs a wallop (watch it with someone who hasn’t seen it) and the twists and turns of the narrative helped this gangster flick win many fans.

49. Reservoir Dogs (1992) Quentin Tarantino

More gangster goings-on in Tarantino’s debut which comes with his now trademark verbal assaults as we track a group of cons in the aftermath of a botched robbery. The wacky and bloody warehouse sticks us in the middle of the in-fighting as each man tries to figure out what went wrong and who could be the “rat” but it’s the dialogue that stands out from the opening coffee bar through Tim Roth’s back-story to the Mexican standoff. A debut of some magnitude, Tarantino made sure the world took notice of the man who made a heist film without showing the heist. Hot dog!

48. Batman Returns (1992) Dir. Tim Burton

The first film on the list I disagree with (am sure there will be more, ha ha) is Tim Burton’s sequel to his, in my opinion, superior re-imagining of Batman. Gothy and a little frothy, the film fails on being too soundstage-y for me (clearly everything “outside” is inside) but maybe for fans of Burton, he went even further than the previous film with his dark design and quirky characters. Keaton takes even more of a backseat to the film’s many villains with Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny DeVito as Catwoman and The Penguin respectively being the film’s standout centrepieces. Going further into Batman’s psyche and the makeup of duality and people’s backgrounds, I cannot get over the penguin “funeral” march at the end but for many, this is a smashing shadowy film that showcases the director’s unique style.

47. Alien (1979) Dir. Ridley Scott

Scott’s scary space saga began life as the “Starbeast” before wisely being re-titled into the horror classic we know today. With designer HR Giger’s xenomorph stalking the crew of the mining ship Nostromo, the director includes the jumps of your standard horror with the depth of a character piece, all tied up with a new take on familiar sci-fi tropes like androids, hyper-sleep and space exploration. Perfectly directed, the film influenced a slew of imitators and launched a franchise behemoth that he would return to in 2012’s Prometheus. Featuring Alien-rape, the film is a superb blend of scares, screams and spooks in space with excellent special effects and a new heroine in Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley.

46. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)

The highest placed Western (surprisingly not a single vote was given to Unforgiven and many others) is Sergio Leone’s spaghetti epic as we follow Eastwood in the third film of his Dollars Trilogy, as three gunslingers fight for Confederate gold in the American Civil war. Frequent Leone collaborator Ennio Morricone provides an unforgettable soundtrack containing gunfire and whistling (and if legend has it, was designed in places to mimic the sound of crying hyena) whilst fans still love the exaggerated violence and powerful direction that only a European could bring to reinvigorate the classic symbols of the wild old west.

45. No Country for Old Men (2007) Dir. Coen Brothers

Another film I seemingly stand alone in not liking (it features in my top ten overrated films of all time) this Coen Brothers tale however hit the right note for many with its standout acting performance of Javier Bardem as Anton Chigurh, a hit man hired to recover missing money. Taking Cormac McCarthy’s novel of the same name and taking the theme of “retiring” (both actual and metaphorically) support comes in the form of an excellent and jaded Tommy Lee Jones and solid Josh Brolin as stories interweave in what has been described as a neo-western. For many, it’s the pinnacle of the Coen’s career to date with its noir touches and memorable villain all showcased in assured and intelligent direction by the brothers.

44. Inception (2010) Dir. Chris Nolan

One of the films I voted for in my own top ten of all time, Nolan’s Inception was made between his Batman films and showcases an intelligent and mind-bending script that sees Leonardo DiCaprio and his team enter dreams (and dreams within dreams) to plant an idea into the mind of a corporate rival. Essentially a mix of heist film with touches of Bond (the snow scenes especially), Nolan doesn’t insult his audience with easy answers but provides them with a perplexing puzzle and structures his music and editing around the confusing nature of dreams, time and film-making itself. With a cast of Nolan regulars (Michael Caine, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Cillian Murphy and Marion Cotillard) providing support to explain the film’s trickier concepts, Nolan doesn’t forget the big set pieces including bending cityscapes, car chases, explosive shootouts and the most amazing rotating corridor fist fight in this must-see multi-layered movie.

43. Airplane! (1980) Dir. David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker

Joey, do you like movies about gladiators? It has been suggested by some sources there are 2.8 jokes per minute in Airplane. As the film lasts 88 minutes there are around 246 jokes that equals a rate of 1 every 21 seconds! The satirical comedy is seemingly never ending in this parody of 70s disaster flicks and Leslie Nielson saw his once-dramatic acting career take a right-turn as he continued his dead-pan act in three Naked Gun films. An absolute laugh fest from start to finish, some thought this couldn’t make the Top 50, surely? It has and don’t call me Shirley.

42. Wayne’s World (1992) Dir. Penelope Spheeris

No way! Way! Mike Myers leaped from TV’s Saturday Night Live to the big screen in the early 90s with his slacker comedy that was littered with heavy rock, dollops of self knowing and a huge amount of quotable dialogue (“hurl”, “schwing”, “asphinctersayswhat” and many many more). If I’m honest I prefer the sequel but understand that this film was a cultural phenomenon that meant no one would ever listen to Bohemian Rhapsody the same way again! *Bangs head during Brian May riff*

41. Superman: The Movie (1979) Dir. Richard Donner

We finally believed a man could fly in this 70s superhero classic that is all the more poignant this year as we see the release of a rebooted Kal-El in the upcoming Man of Steel. Using state of the art special effects at the time, for many Christopher Reeve IS Superman (a part Sylvester Stallone originally lobbied for) and provides a strong central performance as the bumbling Clark Kent whilst Margot Kidder’s feisty Lois Lane has also yet to be bettered (as seen in the abysmally cast Superman Returns by Bryan Singer). The script was written by none other than Mario “The Godfather” Puzo and the film's legacy was to mainstream the popularity of all of Hollywood's superhero film franchises and by the look of its position, the film is still everything that comic book fans hoped for.


50. The Departed

49. Reservoir Dogs

48. Batman Returns

47. Alien

46. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

45. No Country for Old Men

44. Inception

43. Airplane!

42. Wayne’s World

41. Superman: The Movie

Jun 15 2013 02:31PM by Richard

No Country and Superman were number 11 and 12 on mine. They frequently pop up to the top ten.

Jun 15 2013 02:32PM by Midlands Movies Mike

Thanks Rich. Yeah, it's a shame that people could only have 10 choices but had to limit them somehow.

Jun 16 2013 09:29AM by Marek

If thats numbers 41-50 then I'm very interested in the rest of the list as that is pretty strong (Airplane, Alien etc.).

Jun 16 2013 12:01PM by Martin Winn

No Country For Old Men wouldn't even be in my top 100, vastly overrated. To be honest I don't get the big deal with The Departed either so I'm not surprised to see it this high up. I am surprised that Waynes World, Inception, Alien, Resevoir Dogs and Airplane are only just in the top 50 though, I would have had them higher!

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