Question of the Day

The American Film Institute once again ranked Citizen Kane as the #1 movie of all time, the same as they did in 1998.

Do you agree? If not, what film would you rate as the #1 film of all time…so far?


Filed under 06_bobby

22 responses to “Question of the Day

  1. I guess I need to rewatch Citizen Kane. I don’t know why it consistently tops every list. I think the lists should be more varied, because I don’t think there can ever be ONE definitive Best Picture of All Time. That said, I cannot fathom how Citizen Kane is objectively superior to THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES or CASABLANCA or BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI or SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN.

  2. Fritz

    My favorite film of all time is Hitchcock’s Vertigo.

  3. Lurker in the Dark

    I wouldn’t say it deserves to be number one, but Shawshank has always left the biggest impact on me.

  4. Oh, I agree. Its not my “favorite” movie, but I do think its clearly the best movie of all time. Brilliantly conceived and executed. That it was directed, written, and acted by a 25 year old is almost unthinkable. A really masterful achievement that deserves its reputation.

  5. That’s easy. Cabin Boy. Hands down.


  6. pidomon

    You know I think Blazing Saddles should be ranked pretty high for no other reason that Mel Brooks could not make that movie today.

  7. mamajane

    Yeah, what Deborah said. πŸ˜‰ About two dozen or so come to mind, “best” is entirely subjective. My personal favorite is “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Gregory Peck gives one of the most powerful understated performances ever, imho.

  8. Well, funny you should ask. I posted about that very thing today.

    BStu has it right. It was light years ahead of its time in technique, and Orson Wells was a savant, to be sure.

    For my pick, I think The Godfather is the best American Film ever made.

  9. beatgrl

    Seven Samurai

  10. pidomon–

    Blazing Saddles is tremendously underrated. As a piece of social commentary, it’s as good as it gets. Part of the credit must go to Richard Pryor, who co-wrote the film and pushed Brooks to include some of the most “offensive” material.

    As for the question at hand, Shawshank deserves to be in the top ten, if only for the twist; I’d still go with The Princess Bride, though. Maybe it doesn’t deserve to top a list of “greatest” films, but it’s the one I can watch most often.

  11. beatgrl

    And also the Holy Grail and Never Cry Wolf and Iron Giant

  12. hk

    My pick for #1 is Spaceballs. I can’t really comment on Citizen Kane’s worthiness since I’ve never seen it. I rarely watch dramas and that sounds like a drama. Technique this, directed that, who cares, just make me laugh.

  13. oddjob

    I’ve never seen Citizen Kane, so I can’t rate it. My favorite is Casablanca.

  14. oddjob

    Blazing Saddles is tremendously underrated.

    It’s twoo! IT’S TWOO!! πŸ˜‰

  15. beatgrl

    I have not looked at the list yet. but I did put Citizen Kane on hold at the library. Mr beatgrl just mentioned The Thin Red Line.

  16. The 1939 “Thief of Bagdad”.

  17. Ginger Yellow

    Citizen Kane doesnt’ deserve it. It’s good, but it’s just not that good. I can think of dozens of better films, and several Orson Welles films that are better.

    I’m going to resist the obvious temptation to nominate The Big Lebowski and go for Some Like It Hot.

  18. Citizen Kane was very inventive w.r.t. a lot of cinematic techniques that we take for granted. Having said that, I don’t even think it’s Orson Welles’ best film, much less than #1 film of all time. For starters, the underlying story is dull, also the characters are unappealing, and the enigma of Rosebud is overrated. There are dozens of films superior to CK: just toss a dart at a list of Kurosawa films, or Hitchcock films, or…

    Of course, “best film” is a bit of a silly description. Trying to order the relative quality of all films is a bit pointless. There is too much apples-to-oranges comparison involved. How does one compare a Capra film with The Godfather or Rosemary’s Baby or Bridge on the River Kwai? I think the most you could do is compare films within a genre or with similar themes.

  19. I admire Citizen Kane more than I like it. Casablanca, The Adventures of Robin Hood, To Have and Have Not — those I love.

    Greatest movie? I keep changing my mind, but I’d short list The Seven Samurai, The Bicycle Thief, Mr Hulot’s Holiday, Singin’ In the Rain, John Huston’s final film The Dead plus plenty of others that I’m forgetting.

  20. Jeff

    I just tried showing Citizen Kane to my class of 10th graders. It is NOT the greatest American film ever; it’s too dated and relies too much on the mores of the time. However, it’s a great tool for teaching certain elements of film: symbolism, the use of tableaux, the use of sound and montage and light…it’s not the greatest American film ever- but you can’t say you’re truly conversant with American film if you haven’t seen it (NOT TRYING TO OFFEND ANYBODY- go see it). Part of the buzz it has always relied on is the whole Hearst/Welles battle.

    Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein are two of the funniest films ever made. Can you watch them without laughing? I can’t, not even after dozens of viewings. Next to them, Some Like It Hot seems like an episode of Bewitched.

    I’m going to look at showing my Summer class Shawshank Redemption. I’ll have to check the language and figure out a solid lesson plan! It’s just such a great movie. Too new to be the greatest anything- but damn, it’s pretty great.

  21. “Citizen Kane” is somewhat dated, but it’s still a masterpiece. Same with one of my favorites, “On the Waterfront.” But right now, to me, the #1 has to be “The Manchurian Candidate” (the original, obviously).

    I could also live with “To Kill a Mockingbird,” or “Seven Samurai.” I always liked “Red River” better than “The Searchers,” and “High Noon” better than both of them. And where is “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”?

    But some of the stuff on this list, the AFI list? Sheesh. Don’t think so. The first thirty minutes of “Saving Private Ryan,” for example, are amazing, but then the whole thing falls apart.

  22. “Blazing Saddles is tremendously underrated.”

    It’s twoo! IT’S TWOO!! πŸ˜‰

    Apparently they cut out the line that was supposed to go after that:

    “I hate to disappoint you, Ma’am, but you’re holding my arm…”

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