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16 Great Movies of All Time

Updated on June 27, 2016

List of 16 Great Movies

  1. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  2. All About Eve (1950
  3. The African Queen (1951)
  4. An American in Paris (1951)
  5. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
  6. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
  7. Amarcord (1974)
  8. All the President ‘s Men (1976)
  9. Annie Hall (1977)
  10. Apocalypse Now (1979)
  11. Amadeus (1984)
  12. Blow up (1966)
  13. The Best Year of Our Lives (1946)
  14. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  15. Ben Hur (1957)
  16. Breathless (1983)

Great Movies

Greatness is relative; it depends on individuals. Movies can be labelled as great / best / classic / masterpiece / favourite etc. on the basis of comments of critics, reviewers and fans over a long period of time.

The power of cinema should not be underestimated. Great films have the power to entertain, enchant, inform and move us emotionally and change our perception of things.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Starring: Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone

Supporting actors: Patric Knowles, Claude Rains, Olivia De Havilland

Directed by: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley

Genre: Action, Adventure, Romance

Run time: 1 hour 42 minutes

Studio: Warner Bros.

MPAA Rating: Rated PG for adventure violence

This film is the first technicolored version of the Robin Hood legend. This classic presents Errol Flynn at this swashbuckling best. This good natured, extravagant adventure epic still pack romance, comedy, great sword play action, music and colorful characters. It is winners of three academy awards.

All About Eve (1950)

Directors: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Writers: Joseph L. Mankiewicz, Erich Kästner, Mary Orr

Producers: Darryl F. Zanuck

Actors: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Gary Merrill

Studio: Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation

Run Time: 138 minutes

The behind-the-scenes world of Broadway Theater is the subject of this classic movie. The cynical and witty screenplay features full blooded characters. Its narrative structure continues to inspire back stage dramas. The movie is winner of six Academy awards.

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The African Queen (1951)

Directed by: John Huston

Duration: 105 min

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Thriller, Romance, War

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley

Set in German East Africa at the beginning of the World War I this magnificent comedy tells the tale of an unlikely romance between a hard-drinking middle-aged mail boat skipper and a priggish spinster missionary. The film won Academy Award for best actor for Humphrey Bogart.

An American in Paris (1951)

Directed by: Vincente Minnelli

Duration: 113 min

Genre: Musical, Romance

Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant

This delightful fantasy with its romantic vision of Paris was short entirely on the MGM studio lot. With lavish set and costumes and a superlative cast, it is a superb movie entertainment. One of the most celebrated musicals of 1950s. It is winners of six Academy Awards.

Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Directors: Andrzej Wajda

Writers: Andrzej Wajda, Jerzy Andrzejewski

Actors: Zbigniew Cybulski, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski, Bogumil Kobiela, Ewa Krzyzewska

Studio: Polart

Run Time: 103 minutes

The chief character is a Polish partisan who is unable to understand why the killing must continue after the World War II is over. The film is the clearest expression of Wajda’s fascination with the bitter aftermath of war and the intellectual contradictions war creates.

Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

Directors: Werner Herzog

Writers: Werner Herzog

Producers: Werner Herzog, Daniel Camino, Hans Prescher, Lucki Stipetic

Actors: Klaus Kinski, Ruy Guerra, Helena Rojo, Del Negro, Peter Berling

Studio: Starz / Anchor Bay

Run Time: 93 minutes

The epic historical drama is the story of the expedition of the Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Pizarro in the impenetrable jungles of Peru. In his maid pursuit for riches, Pizarro orders a party to scout ahead of signs of El Derado. Wading through the treacherous waters by a raft, the explorers are besieged by hostile natives, diseases and starvation. Crazed with greed and mad with powers Aguirre takes over the enterprise slaughtering anyone who opposes him. Nature and Aguirre’s unquenchable thirst for glory ultimately render him insane, in charge of nothing but a raft of corpses and chattering monkeys.

Amarcord (1974)

Director: Federico Fellini

Writers: Federico Fellini, Tonino Guerra

Actors: Magali Noël, Bruno Zanin, Pupella Maggio, Armando Brancia, Ciccio Ingrassia

Producer: Franco Cristaldi

Rated: R (Restricted)

Studio: Criterion

Run Time: 123 minutes

The landmark film is based on director Fellini’s reflections of his youth in small town in prewar Italy. The movie is winner of Academy award for best foreign language film.

All the President ‘s Men (1976)

Directed by: Alan J. Pakula

Duration: 138 min

Genre: Drama, Thriller, Biography, History, Mystery

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford, Jack Warden

The water gate scandal – as exposed by Washington Post report Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein meticulously transferred to the screen by Alan Pakula and providing that politics, providing they are sensational enough, can be a critical and box-office success. This film won four Academy Awards.

Annie Hall (1977)

Directed by: Woody Allen

Duration: 93 min

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts

Autobiographical urban romantic comedy by Woody Allen following the up down relationship between a neurotic night club comedian and a young Midwestern singer, who meet, fall in love, quarrel and finally break up. It is winner of four Academy Awards.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola

Duration: 153 min

Genre: Drama, War

Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

This movie is about the realistic account of the physical and psychological horrors of the Vietnam War; and updating of Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness about an army captain who is ordered to hunt down a deranged American officer operating in Cambodia with an army of Guerilla tribesmen. Undeniably brilliant, the film is also claustrophobic and terrifying. This movie is winner of two Academy Awards.

Amadeus (1984)

Directed by: Milos Forman

Duration: 160 min

Genre: Drama, Biography, Music

Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge

One of the most entertaining movies to emerge from Hollywood in the 1980s, Amadeus has beautiful music, colorful costumes, a terrific script based on the original stage play, superb acting performances and a stirring and exciting story. Tom Hulce starred as the immortal Wolfgang Mozart and Murray Abraham as his embittered rival, court composer Antonio Salieri. It is winner of eight Academy Awards.

Blow up (1966)

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni

Writers: Michelangelo Antonioni, Edward Bond, Julio Cortázar, Tonino Guerra

Producers: Carlo Ponti, Pierre Rouve

Actors: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle, Jane Birkin

Studio: Warner Home Video

Run Time: 111 minutes

Antonioni’s break though masterpiece of detection and obsession begins with photographer Thomas taking picture of a romantic couple cavorting in a public park. The photos develop into frightening granny images of an apparent murder of an old man. The mystery remains intact long after the film ends.

The Best Year of Our Lives (1946)

Director: William Wyler

Writers: MacKinlay Kantor, Robert E. Sherwood

Producers: Lester Koenig, Samuel Goldwyn

Actors: Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright, Virginia Mayo

Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)

Run Time: 172 minutes

A landmark classic drama about the three World War II veterans attempting readjustment to peace time life and discovering that they have fallen behind. This movie is one of the most memorable films about the aftermath of World War II. It is winner of seven Academy Awards.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Directed by: David Lean

Duration: 161 min

Genre: Adventure, Drama, History, War

Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins

The exceptional war movie is known for its visual beauty. Set in a Japanese prisoner of war camp in Burma, the story centers around the construction of a railway bridge by British and American POWs and its subsequent destruction by a small commando unit. It is winner of seven Academy Awards.

Ben Hur (1957)

Director: William Wyler.

Starring: Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins, Stephen Boyd, Haya Harareet

This spectacular 15 million dollar epic set in the Roman empire’s province of Judea, starred Charlton Heston as the Jewish prince Judah Ben-Hur, whose childhood friendship with the Roman tribune Messala (Stephen Byod) turns to enmity when Messala destroys Ben Hur family. Sentenced to the galleys Ben Hur rescues a Roman admiral during a sea and is adopted by him. Making his way back to Jerusalem, Ben Hur defeats Messala in a climatic Chariot race and rescues his mother and sister who have become lepers. They are cured by Christ at the moment of the crucifixion. It is winner of eleven Academy Awards, in all-time record.

Breathless (1983)

Directed by: Jim McBride

Duration: 100 min

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, Romance

Starring: Richard Gere, Valérie Kaprisky, Art Metrano

Based on one of the most unusual Japanese legends, a century ago in a remote mountain village in northern Japan, a local custom dictated that when a person reached 70 years old they were taken to Mount Narayama to die. This film is a true masterpiece of Japanese cinema and a Grand Prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival in 1983.


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