100 Films Beyond the Canon

  1. Eyes Wide Shut (1999) .. Stanley Kubrick
  2. Mulholland Dr. (2001) .. David Lynch
  3. The Killing (1956) .. Stanley Kubrick
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) .. Michel Gondry
  5. Shadow of a Doubt (1943) .. Alfred Hitchcock
  6. In the Mood for Love (2000) .. Wong Kar Wai
  7. The Thin Red Line (1998) .. Terrence Malick
  8. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) .. Monte Hellman
  9. F for Fake (1974) .. Orson Welles
  10. Pickup on South Street (1953) .. Samuel Fuller
  11. The King of Comedy (1982) .. Martin Scorsese
  12. Groundhog Day (1993) .. Harold Ramis
  13. Laura (1944) .. Otto Preminger
  14. Cat People (1942) .. Jacques Tourneur
  15. The Long Goodbye (1973) .. Robert Altman
  16. Ace in the Hole (1951) .. Billy Wilder
  17. Suspiria (1977) .. Dario Argento
  18. Eraserhead (1977) .. David Lynch
  19. Punch-Drunk Love (2002) .. Paul Thomas Anderson
  20. Gun Crazy (1950) .. Joseph H. Lewis
  21. The Tenant (1976) .. Roman Polanski
  22. Marnie (1964) .. Alfred Hitchcock
  23. This Is Spinal Tap (1984) .. Rob Reiner
  24. Detour (1945) .. Edgar G. Ulmer
  25. Faust (1926) .. F.W. Murnau
  26. Eyes Without a Face (1960) .. Georges Franju
  27. The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974) .. Werner Herzog
  28. A Hard Day's Night (1964) .. Richard Lester
  29. Miller's Crossing (1990) .. The Coen Brothers
  30. Jackie Brown (1997) .. Quentin Tarantino
  31. Magnolia (1999) .. Paul Thomas Anderson
  32. Memento (2000) .. Christopher Nolan
  33. The Green Ray (1986) .. Eric Rohmer
  34. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) .. Tarr Béla
  35. I Know Where I'm Going! (1945) .. Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger
  36. Faces (1968) .. John Cassavetes
  37. The Army in the Shadows (1969) .. Jean-Pierre Melville
  38. The Innocents (1961) .. Jack Clayton
  39. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) .. Woody Allen
  40. All the President's Men (1976) .. Alan J. Pakula
  41. Ed Wood (1994) .. Tim Burton
  42. Being John Malkovich (1999) .. Spike Jonze
  43. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) .. Leo McCarey
  44. The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz (1955) .. Luis Buñuel
  45. Alice in the Cities (1974) .. Wim Wenders
  46. Killer of Sheep (1977) .. Charles Burnett
  47. A Blonde in Love (1965) .. Milos Forman
  48. I Walked with a Zombie (1943) .. Jacques Tourneur
  49. Stranger Than Paradise (1984) .. Jim Jarmusch
  50. Love and Death (1975) .. Woody Allen
  51. Dead Ringers (1988) .. David Cronenberg
  52. Last Tango in Paris (1972) .. Bernardo Bertolucci
  53. Videodrome (1983) .. David Cronenberg
  54. Breaking the Waves (1996) .. Lars von Trier
  55. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) .. Takahata Isao
  56. Mad Max 2 (1981) .. George Miller
  57. The Big Lebowski (1998) .. The Coen Brothers
  58. Edvard Munch (1974) .. Peter Watkins
  59. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (1960) .. Naruse Mikio
  60. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972) .. Rainer Werner Fassbinder
  61. Beau Travail (1999) .. Claire Denis
  62. Branded to Kill (1967) .. Suzuki Seijun
  63. The Black Cat (1934) .. Edgar G. Ulmer
  64. Theorem (1968) .. Pier Paolo Pasolini
  65. Cure (1997) .. Kurosawa Kiyoshi
  66. The Red Desert (1964) .. Michelangelo Antonioni
  67. Only Angels Have Wings (1939) .. Howard Hawks
  68. Nostalgia (1983) .. Andrei Tarkovsky
  69. Seconds (1966) .. John Frankenheimer
  70. Monsieur Verdoux (1947) .. Charles Chaplin
  71. Le Cercle Rouge (1970) .. Jean-Pierre Melville
  72. Bande à Part (1964) .. Jean-Luc Godard
  73. High and Low (1963) .. Kurosawa Akira
  74. The Lady from Shanghai (1947) .. Orson Welles
  75. Les Diaboliques (1955) .. Henri-Georges Clouzot
  76. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) .. Mike Nichols
  77. The 39 Steps (1935) .. Alfred Hitchcock
  78. The Player (1992) .. Robert Altman
  79. My Neighbour Totoro (1988) .. Miyazaki Hayao
  80. Rope (1948) .. Alfred Hitchcock
  81. Talk to Her (2002) .. Pedro Almodóvar
  82. Before Sunrise (1995) .. Richard Linklater
  83. Lost Highway (1997) .. David Lynch
  84. Halloween (1978) .. John Carpenter
  85. Starship Troopers (1997) .. Paul Verhoeven
  86. An Autumn Afternoon (1962) .. Ozu Yasujiro
  87. La Belle Noiseuse (1991) .. Jacques Rivette
  88. Shock Corridor (1963) .. Samuel Fuller
  89. Written on the Wind (1956) .. Douglas Sirk
  90. 3 Women (1977) .. Robert Altman
  91. The Band Wagon (1953) .. Vincente Minnelli
  92. Scenes from a Marriage (1973) .. Ingmar Bergman
  93. The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) .. Jack Arnold
  94. Night and Fog (1955) .. Alain Resnais
  95. Shoot the Pianist (1960) .. François Truffaut
  96. Point Blank (1967) .. John Boorman
  97. The Big Heat (1953) .. Fritz Lang
  98. Top Hat (1935) .. Mark Sandrich
  99. Walkabout (1971) .. Nicolas Roeg
  100. Stardust Memories (1980) .. Woody Allen


moscarbradley said...

A fairly predictable list but a pretty great one all the same. Congratulations Iain for all the hard work you have put in.

Michał Oleszczyk said...

Congrats, Iain! I am very happy to see Malick's THE THIN RED LINE ranking so high. Also, it's kind of reassuring to know I wasn't the *only* freak to champion Resnais' SMOKING / NO SMOKING!

Good job!

wug said...

Thanks for all the hard work, Iain. Rankings aside, it's a very nice list. I've seen all but three. There are several films on the list I can't stand but I can see why they're loved by others at least. The one real head scratcher is The Incredible Shrinking Man, which is not a bad movie but I don't know what exactly recommends it either. And there it sits next to The Band Wagon, Scenes from a Marriage, Night and Fog, and Shoot the Piano Player, all solid canon films. I do wonder if these latter films along with High and Low fell so low on the list because some people just assumed they wouldn't count as beyond the canon?

Matt said...
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Matt said...

There are many great films here. But as it is the films here are sort of the less talked about films by the most successful and most praised filmmakers. I would have liked to see more from off the beaten path. Such as the films in the 'Further Beyond the Canon' list.

It seems to me if you want to start a real new canon you have to eliminate the most well known filmmakers. I mean Godard, Scorsese, Kubrick, Truffaut and Wilder are all so well known that even their lesser known films still have signs [themes, structures, visual cues] of their other films and therefore the inclusion of their lesser known films doesn't much change our view of film history. Especially if you subscribe to the Auteur theory. Breathless is a landmark film but most anyone can tell that Band of Outsiders is made by the same filmmaker.

I would say films beyond the canon would be covering filmmakers who have no films in the current canon. And therefore opening up whole new filmmaking channels to explore.

Just my 2 cents.

Also note that Rohmer's The Green Ray makes both lists.

Peter said...

Frankly I'm just happy to see the Long Goodbye in the top 20. One of my all time favourites

Unknown said...
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Unknown said...

Thanks Iain for conceiving of and doing the heavy lifting on a real cool project. The results do constitute food for thought about what lies 'beyond' the canon, though for my part (having voted for 'The Killing' and a couple Scoreseses myself) the objection probably lies less with a Kubrick film coming in first than with which Kubrick film. Any misgivings I might have about the predominance of big names is wiped out by the delightful surprise of 'F for Fake' making the top 10, which fills me with warm fuzzies.

Stephanie said...

Happy to see my two favorite films at #1 Eyes Wide Shut and #7 The Thin Red Line not to mention F For Fake, The Killing, Punch-Drunk Love,Magnolia,Lady From Shanghai etc etc etc!

Zombie Algorithm said...

I like to think of myself a huge movie buff. Eyes wide shut as number one is interesting because of the long single shot around the mansion.

But to exclude fight club from this list seems kind of cheap. When yuo have films lik e The Big Labouski and Momento and Eternal Sunshine it seems like it would have fit into this list somewhere. I mean Groundhog Day is number 12. ( best time travel movie ever, which there lacks)

Sad to see Punch-Drunk Love is better then Fight Club.

José Sinclair said...

Great job, Iain! lotta work put into this.. as usual, I see some I love, some I just don't get.. (Shrinking Man, Punch Drunk Love) - but glad to see Hannah, Eternal Sunshine, Fight Club, Being John, Groundhog Day, Memento, others that did make it..

I've done my own "Top Ranked 1000" films based on all the surveys I could find on the net, incl. the "They SHoot Horses" one.. I weighted lists heavier that included more voters.. the results were predictable (Godfather is #1) but also surprising (Star Wars is #4, Kane #5)..

mine is visible at:

I will try to update it annually as the IMDB 250 changes constantly, one list I used since it includes over 100,000 fan voters. on that list, City of God is very high now (12-15) and Memento (25-30)..

Great stuff.. more films to see!!
Lawrence "Jose" Sinclair
Worlds Best Films dude, also
http://1000dvds.blogspot.com (indiv. film reviews, hoping to get to 1000 one day, around 500 now)

perry79605 said...

The fact that "The Big Lebowski" didn't make this list and "Starship Troopers" is even included is a travesty. Interesting list with some good picks, but ... this Dude does not abide.

Big Will said...

Starship Troopers and Mad Max 2? Seriously? No Fight Club or Big Lebowski? Very sad. Im only giving Halloween the benefit of the doubt because is was a genre changing film but in my personal opinion still pretty lame.

Peter said...

I suppose that none of these films are really beyond the canon.

If I were making my list today, I would make a number of changes.

Unknown said...

The Big Lebowski is at #57 for the two knuckleheads that complained it was left off ;o). Great list!!

Remy Auguste Spencer Korea said...

Well, this is a list of someone who understands about cinema.

Of course, you can't please all tastes. For example, I think this list lacks movies from my favorite director, Akira Kurosawa.

Even so, it's impossible to deny your opinion is very well constructed. Nice work here.

Julio said...

Oh my GOD, thank for putting "Eyes Wide Shut" at #1!! That's my favorite film of all time! My God my god, MY GOD, yes! The other gems in the Top 10: "Mulholland Dr.", "The Killing", "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind", and "The Thin Red Line." I think I see more favorites on this list than I see on most canon lists.

Unknown said...

Commendable list. Many of these, while not your typical AFI top 10, are still "Canon"...i wouldn't be surprised to find any of your Hitchcock entires, In the Mood For Love, Memento, or Eternal Sunshine on any "Greatest" list. Perhaps a "New Canon"?

However, on that note, Thank you, THANK YOU for listing these underratted gems:

Jackie Brown!!
Ed Wood!!
Starship Troopers!!

And if I may offer my own...Wonder Boys (dir. Curtis Hanson)..a film that becomes more personal and truthful for me everyday