The 100 Greatest American Films Ranked by The BBC

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The BBC has released a list ranking the top 100 American films, the list comes from 62 international film critics which should give the list some levity. America is a powerhouse when it comes to exporting films, Hollywood itself is a name that people from all corners of the globe recognize, and I’m sure at least two-thirds of your favourite films or TV shows are produced in America. However, quantity does not equal quality. In recent years American cinema has been constantly criticised for lazy writing and excessive reboots, and instead people now turn to TV for great story-telling and acting. TV is currently in what many people would call the second Golden Age of TV.

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This is certainly referenced here as only 6% of the films listed have been made from 2000 onwards; 99. 12 Years a Slave (Steve McQueen, 2013), 96. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008), 94. 25th Hour (Spike Lee, 2002), 87. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004), 79. The Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, 2011), 21. Mulholland Drive (David Lynch, 2001).

The highest ranking film from the 21st century comes in at 21, yet we don’t find another film from the 21st century until 79. The most recent film in the list is from 2013, and that’s so close to the end of the list it could have easily not been ranked. What does this say about modern cinema? Modern American cinema at least. Is Hollywood truly running out of ideas?

The Top 10 are;

10. The Godfather Part II (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974)
9. Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942)
8. Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960)
7. Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, 1952)
6. Sunrise (FW Murnau, 1927)
5. The Searchers (John Ford, 1956)
4. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968)
3. Vertigo (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)
2. The Godfather (Francis Ford Coppola, 1972)
1. Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941)

You can find the rest of the list by following this link to the BBC’s culture page.

About The Author

Lewis McGregor is an aspiring filmmaker, photographer and online content creator from Wales.