Interested in writing your own film? Maybe you want to broaden your cultural and artistic tastes so you have something to talk about at parties? The following ten films have been voted to be the top ten films ever written. So update your film club membership and book off some Friday nights cause you've got some homework to do!
#1 – Casablanca
“Of all the gin joints in the world, she has to walk into this,” followed by "Here's looking at you, kid." Probably some of the most iconic lines ever spoken by Humphery Bogart, Casablanca follows the lives of expats living in Morocco at the beginning of World War II. Based on the play Everybody Comes to Rick's by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison, the movie is seen as, quite possibly, the best work of cinematic history, aside from that of Citizen Kane below.
#2 – The Godfather
Even I'm surprised that The Godfather comes in at #2 on the WGA's list, but it's a tough choice. Mention the words the Godfather and you'll hear just about everybody's attempt at Marlon Brando's iconic phrase “I'll make him an offer he can't refuse.” Wonderful scripted, beautifully shot, and a story that thrills, The Godfather will remain homework and inspiration for generations of filmmakers to come.
#3 – Chinatown
Most folks watch this film in film school, but even if you've never been to film school you need to see this film. The story is simply messed up, but not in the modern gross-out or experimental way. This story, dealing with father-daughter incest, centres around the idea that no one can get away with murder... unless of course you're rich enough. Starring Jack Nicholson in one of the roles that launched his career, you'll watch the film and won't help feel sorry for the guy who's just trying to do things right.
#4 – Citizen Kane
Renowned to be the best movie ever made, it still sits at #4 on the WGA's Top 101 list. “Rosebud,” you think, should be higher on the list than that. The opening shot alone is worthy of an Oscar. Orson Welles shows us the importance of having a history and holding on to something in your past throughout your troubles. Black and white with sound and kind of lengthy, the film can be studied and interpreted, and then just used as inspiration to sit down and write your own movie.
#5 – All About Eve
A gripping movie about love, betrayal and the reach for success at any cost, All About Eve stars Anne Baxter as an ambitious young actrees, Eve Harrington, who insinuates herself into famous actress, Margo Channing's (played by Bette Davis) circle of friends. At first just a star-struck fan, Eve becomes much more and slowly crawls her way to the top. The story begins with an award show at which Eve is receiving much praise. But in the audience are the people she has betrayed and manipulated to get where she is. Theatre critic, Addison DeWitt (George Sanders), recounts Eve's story. A good movie to watch, and learn from, if you're intending to make the move to Hollywood.
#6 – Annie Hall
Woddy Allen's hilarious, and probably best, film about relationships starring himself and Diane Keaton going through some troubled times. I can't say much more about the movie without giving away the scenes you absolutely have to see. You'll know which scenes garnered the most attention for this film when you watch. And, as many of the films from before the 70s, it's not that long clocking in at just over 90 minutes.
#7 – Sunset Blvd.
Another black and white film that you'd think couldn't be that twisted. Well, it's starts off with a murder and then backtracks to tell you how it all came to be. Written in that fast-paced dialogue of the 1940s films, Sunset Blvd. stars William Holden and Gloria Swanson as a writer and a washed-up actress, respectively, who are determined to make a mark on Hollywood once again. But, as you'll see, some folks are always more determined than others.
#8 - Network
"I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!" Iconic lines spoken by Howard Beale (played by Peter Finch) after he's been given his job back and given his own TV show to rant about whatever he chooses. After being let go from the network because of poor ratings, Howard Beale loses his temper and goes on a rant live on air. The subsequent surge in ratings saves his job. The movies tells the story of Mr. Beale, his rants, and how the network take advantage of the newscaster's anger.
#9 – Some Like It Hot
A hilarious movie about two musicians who witness a mob hit and must flee for their lives. Knowing nothing else expect how to play the sax and bass, Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) join an all-girls bands leaving town that day. After an epic train ride with people bursting from the upper berth, they arrive in Florida and meet Sugar Kane Kowalczyk (Marilyn Monroe). As Joe tries to woo Sugar Kane, Jerry flirts with a persistent millionaire. Comedy ensues as they soon find out that they can't really escape the mob after all.
#10 – The Godfather II
The sequel to the brilliant original film, Coppola and Puzo gather the original cast, minus Brando, to create yet another masterpiece, which some folks believe beats the original. Elaborating on the Corleone's family history and picking up a few years later than the first film, The Godfather II doesn't need to be studied to be appreciated, to see for the first time will amaze you all the same.