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  • Writer's pictureSuzanna Kempner

My Favourite Movies 1930-2015

Last night I couldn't sleep so I found a task so boring I couldn't fail to fall asleep. Unfortunately I ended up finding it really fun and spent almost 3 hours on it. And here it is as a blog post. Now, what I've done here isn't list my top 85 movies or the best movies from these years. I've just picked my favourite movie from each year, starting with 1930. I thought about going earlier but I may end up doing a whole other blog about the silent era (you lucky so-and-sos). If you're furious because I overlooked The Wizard of Oz or think Champions is a load of shit please let me know. I mean...I won't care but I'd like to know. So without further ado, here is my list of my favourite film from each year from 1930 to today (2015's may well change, obviously).

1930 L’Age d'or - check it out, it's a zany masterpiece.

1931 City Lights - definitely Chaplin's best work.

1932 Scarface - vastly superior to Pacino's Scarface.

1933 Duck Soup - probably the best comedy of all time. Literally does not age. Razor sharp satire.

1934 The Gay Divorcee - this really DOES age but it's a total scream.

1935 A Night At The Opera - another dazzling Marx Brothers film, far more lavish and romantic than previous outings but the opera finale is pure anarchy.

1936 Modern Times - just more awesome Chaplin.

1937 Heidi - the only Shirley Temple I can really stomach, watched the shit out of it as a kid.

1938 Block-Heads - my favourite Laurel & Hardy.

1939 Mr Smith Goes To Washington - the only reason I know what a filibuster is.

1940 The Great Dictator - Chaplin smooooothly moved in to talkies and it was glorious.

1941 Citizen Kane - what a boring cow I am, picking Citizen Kane.

1942 Casablanca - another dull choice I'm sure but having revisited it last year, Casablanca is still wonderful. And the exact plot was used for Barb Wire in the 90s, so that's fun.

1943 Lassie Come Home - another film I watched the shit out of as a kid.

1944 Double Indemnity - fucking brilliant, maybe my favourite noir.

1945 Brief Encounter - I make fun of Brief Encounter a lot but it's still fantastic.

1946 It’s A Wonderful Life - how to cry at Christmas: 1) watch It's A Wonderful Life. Done.

1947 Brighton Rock - only saw this recently and it is BLEAK and brilliant.

1948 Oliver Twist - I love the film of the musical but this straight version is awesome. Worth checking out for Alec Guinness' terrifying Fagin alone. Just...ignore the antisemitism (I did).

1949 On The Town - joyous musical fun. And great to make fun of.

1950 Rashomon - guys, I'm so fucking edgy, choosing Rashomon.

1951 A Streetcar Named Desire - go for the hot Brando action, stay for the incredible movie.

1952 Singin’ In The Rain - best movie musical? Maybe.

1953 Peter Pan - not my favourite Disney by a country mile but I love the characterisation of Captain Hook.

1954 On The Waterfront - Brando again, this time at his absolute best.

1955 Marty - I'm pretty sure this movie is massively sexist but so is half this list and it still makes me cry big ol' oops-forgot-to-be-feminist-for-a-second tears.

1956 The Court Jester - I only really saw it in the last couple of years and it eventually cracked me up big time. Danny Kaye is a hurricane.

1957 12 Angry Men - tension!

1958 Vertigo - my favourite Hitchcock and my favourite Herrmann score.

1959 Some Like It Hot - unoriginal choice but one of the smartest comedy scripts of all time.

1960 La Dolce Vita - sexy gorgeous Fellini majesty. Phwooooaaaaarrrr.

1961 West Side Story - forget Step Up, this is the ultimate dance movie.

1962 Lolita - dark, hilarious and creepy adaptation of Vladimir Nabokov's novel. Shits on the 1997 version.

1963 - more sexy fit Italian Fellini phwoooaaarrrr sexy stuff.

1964 Dr Strangelove - BAM! War! Taken down! Kubrick. Eat it.

1965 Darling - so goddamn 60s. Julie Christie is luminous in this big ol' slice of misogyny (which I LOVE!)

1966 A Man For All Seasons - Henry VIII? Thomas More? Cromwell? Sign me up!

1967 The Graduate - I misunderstood the ending as a happy one until I was 21. I get it now.

1968 Rosemary’s Baby - incredibly creepy and the ending will ruin your evening.

1969 Midnight Cowboy - never mind "I'm walkin' here!"....that ending. It'll slay you.

1970 MASH - suck it, war.

1971 The Last Picture Show - I was so close to going with A Clockwork Orange but I chose The Last Picture Show for its raw, quiet, slice-of-lifeness.

1972 Cabaret - not only Liza Minelli at her very best but one of the great dark film musicals.

1973 Last Tango In Paris - I'm not sure why I love this film. It could be seen as a 2-hour apology for rape but the final 15 minutes are breathtaking and the score is beautiful.

1974 The Godfather Part II - I prefer Part II to the original, bite me.

1975 Jaws - the original blockbuster and still the best.

1976 Taxi Driver - Scorsese's finest.

1977 Saturday Night Fever - a reminder that Travolta wasn't always a joke.

1978 The Deer Hunter - get ready to be devastated.

1979 Alien - shits on the rest of the series. Best sci-fi ever made. Freaking terrifying.

1980 Ordinary People/Raging Bull - really couldn't choose between these 2 so it's a dead heat.

1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark - Karen Allen is the best thing about this brilliant adventure movie.

1982 Tootsie - I think Tootsie is my favourite screenplay ever written and would make a delicious musical.

1983 Champions - the true story of a Grand National win against the odds makes me BAWL.

1984 Once Upon A Time In America - soooo loooong and opiumy.

1985 Brazil - it's techincally 1984-meets-Python but it's fucking terrifying.

1986 Hannah and Her Sisters - I don't always love Woody Allen's stuff but I sure love this.

1987 Withnail & I - greatest British film of all time.

1988 Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - I don't need to justify this.

1989 The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover - beautiful, hideous and an amazing score.

1990 Goodfellas - my favourite film of all time. Funny how?

1991 The Commitments - hysterically funny, great performances and epic soundtrack.

1992 Wayne’s World - I don't need to explain myself.

1993 The Age of Innocence - weirdly this is my favourite Daniel Day Lewis performance.

1994 Heavenly Creatures - this should also be a musical.

1995 La Haine - really affecting and you can learn French watching it maybe.

1996 Jerry Maguire - bite me, I love it.

1997 As Good As It Gets - my favourite Jack Nicholson performance.

1998 There’s Something About Mary - this is an exceptional comedy. You don't know shit.

1999 South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut - Sondheim's favourite film musical. That's good enough for me.

2000 Almost Famous - made me wish I'd been around in the 70s to have my life ruined by a band.

2001 The Royal Tenenbaums - the scene where Gwyneth gets off the bus <3 <3 <3

2002 Frida - you'll want to marry Salma Hayek.

2003 A Mighty Wind/Kill Bill Vol 1 - they couldn't be more different but I couldn't choose between them. It's a tie.

2004 Seabiscuit - fuck you if you can't get behind a racehorse biopic.

2005 War Of The Worlds - Spielberg's best since Jurassic Park. I'm the only one who likes it.

2006 The Departed - I don't even mind the rat at the end.

2007 Little Miss Sunshine - real laughs, real tears.

2008 Cloverfield - I don't get the hate for this film, I found it petrifying.

2009 Inglourious Basterds - I couldn't get enough of this movie, it shits all over Django.

2010 The Social Network - stranger than fiction.

2011 The Artist - I resisted The Artist for ages but when I finally saw it I cried big tears.

2012 A Royal Affair - it looks amazing and the story is well juicy. Get on board.

2013 A Field In England - I promise I'm not just being a prentetious wanker. This bizarre little film got right under my skin.

2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel - Ralph Fiennes has never been so funny.

2015 Birdman - punched the air when it won Best Picture.

So there is a pointless list for you. Maybe you'll be tempted to check a few out yourself. Maybe you'll punch me in the face, I don't know.

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