What are the 100 best American movies ever made? It's a hard question to answer.
So naturally, we tried.
This is my own personal list, informed by more than 25 years as a movie critic. I've seen them all: the good, the bad and the great — and these, the 100 greatest of all time. In my opinion.
I have limited the list to American movies — films that were shot for an American studio or distributor with a generally American cast and crew, led by a director who, at the time, called America home. Almost all of these films were also shot on American soil, though a couple were filmed on location elsewhere.
And before you ask, no, "The Shawshank Redemption" is not on the list. It's a very good movie. But one of the 100 best? Not to me.
— Daniel Neman
100-91: Best American movies of all time
100. Groundhog Day. Harold Ramis, 1993. Bill Murray is the heartless weatherman condemned to spend eternity living the same day over again until he can change his ways and gain the hard-won love of Andie MacDowell. The fun comes from his eventual ability to anticipate everything that is going to happen, and act accordingly.
99. Groundhog Day. Harold Ramis, 1993. OK, that's a joke. All the rest will be real.
98. Trouble in Paradise. Ernst Lubitsch, 1932. An overlooked classic. Never has being a jewel thief seemed so charming, so debonair, such an entree to romance. Herbert Marshall and Miriam Hopkins fall in love over their shared interest in larceny, but trouble enters paradise in the form of Kay Francis, the owner of many tempting jewels, who captures Marshall's eye and a piece of his heart.
97. Beauty and the Beast. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, 1991. The French version was already a classic when Disney added their magic animated touch to the story. It is with this film that the studio found the formula that works to this day, emphasizing excellent songs and lively, personable supporting characters.
96. Beasts of the Southern Wild. Benh Zeitlin, 2012. This fiercely ambitious picture covers everything from climate change and the melting ice caps to the knowledge of a father that he won't always be there for his young daughter. With a mixture of worldly knowledge and naivete, the film stuns in both its visual elements and the performance of its young star, Quvenzhané Wallace, who was just 5 when filming began.
95. Rocky. John G. Avildsen, 1976. Cynics may call it corny, but this is a remarkably effective tale of an underdog overcoming every conceivable odd to achieve his own version of success. Sylvester Stallone was nominated for Academy Awards for both his acting and his script, and many of the scenes have become iconic. Forty years later, people still run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and wave their arms in triumph.
94. GoodFellas. Martin Scorsese, 1990. Perhaps Scorsese's best-made film is an insightful exploration of life in the Mafia, what it takes to become part of it and what it takes to leave. Ray Liotta and Robert DeNiro are the stars, and they are great, but I'll bet the actor you're thinking of right now is Joe Pesci.
93. Manhattan. Woody Allen, 1979. What should be a simple tale of a man who takes his love for one woman for granted, decides to date another and then regrets his decision is complicated by the fact that the first woman is in high school. Gorgeous photography, an unforgettable opening sequence, excellent acting all around and Allen's most mature humor assure that this comedy will haunt your thoughts.
92. Die Hard. John McTiernan, 1988. It’s the acting that makes this fine-tuned action film, with Bruce Willis in top form as a tough cop trying single-handedly to stop a group of well-equipped terrorists, and Alan Rickman as a clever and delightfully despicable villain.
91. Patton. Franklin J. Schaffner, 1970. Why does this movie succeed so well? It is because director Schaffner thought he was making a film that honored the controversial WWII general George S. Patton, and star George C. Scott thought he was making a film demonizing him.
90-81: Best American movies of all time
90. Paths of Glory, Stanley Kubrick. Somehow, this stellar anti-war film is underappreciated. Kirk Douglas is at his very best as a World War I colonel who stands up for his troops after they are charged with cowardice for failing to undertake an impossible, suicidal charge.
89. A Place in the Sun, George Stevens. 1951. Poor Montgomery Clift falls first for the equally poor Shelley Winters and then the wealthy, beautiful Elizabeth Taylor. Add an unplanned pregnancy, and you just know this is not going to end well for anyone. Based on Theodore Dreiser's novel "An American Tragedy."
88. The Sweet Smell of Success, Alexander Mackendrick. 1957. Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis are great as a powerful gossip columnist very much in the mode of Walter Winchell and the do-anything press agent he hires to stop the marriage of the columnist's young sister. It's tragedy writ on celluloid, with larger-than-life performances and a truly harrowing script.
87. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Mike Nichols. 1966. If you look at it right, this is the greatest love story every told. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor are a married couple with every reason in the world to break up except that, underneath all their vicious hatred, they love each other. You don't have to examine it too closely to suspect the movie was uncomfortably close to their actual relationship.
86. The Song of Bernadette, Henry King. 1943. The presumably true story of St. Bernadette of Lourdes packs an emotional wallop. Jennifer Jones is wonderful as the innocent young teenager who holds fast to her story of seeing a beautiful lady (she never specifically claimed it was the Virgin Mary) in a grotto. The townspeople's reaction, and hers to them, changes all of their lives.
85. Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg. 1998. After nearly 20 years, it is still some of most intense war footage ever shot. Even if the war scenes were less devastating, the film would still score on the basis of its story of a group of soldiers who give their lives so that one they don't even know may live.
84. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg. 1977. This captivating story of an alien invasion offers something that most others do not: Hope. Also, a rapturous story and Spielberg’s typically exceptional direction.
83. The 25th Hour, Spike Lee. 2002. It’s a rare movie these days that hinge entirely on the question of morality, but Spike Lee’s drama is a masterful example. Edward Norton is even better than he usually is (which is saying something) as the conflicted convict.
82. The Exorcist, William Friedkin. 1972. This film brought horror to a new level, the level of a high-quality drama. An exceptional cast (Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Jason Miller and 14-year Linda Blair) makes this one shine.
81. Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola. 1979. Despite a weak, unfocused final act, this hallucinatory look at the Vietnam War is genius on film. Martin Sheen is haunting as an Army assassin sent to kill a colonel (Marlon Brando) who has gone horribly rogue.
80-71: Best American movies of all time
80. The Conversation. Francis Ford Coppola, 1974. It isn’t paranoia if they really are out to get you. The year we learned about the Watergate tapes is the year this masterpiece came out, with Gene Hackman a revelation as a nerdy wiretap specialist who is heartbreakingly hoist on his own reel-to-reel petard.
79. Raising Arizona. Joel (and Ethan) Coen, 1987. It’s impressive how tightly this wild comedy is constructed. Nicolas Cage is a career criminal and Holly Hunter is a cop, and as a married couple they decide to kidnap the baby they cannot conceive. It’s side-splitting.
78. Laura. Otto Preminger, 1944. Even if it didn’t have one of the great twists in all cinema, this would still be a stunning film. Dana Andrews is a detective investigating the murder of Gene Tierney, and he improbably finds himself falling in love with the memory of her. Clifton Webb is delicious as the hatefully cynical critic.
77. Tootsie. Sidney Pollack, 1982. Dustin Hoffman dresses in drag to snag an acting role and learns all about what it means to be a woman. You can’t argue with the supporting cast, especially Bill Murray as his quintessentially Bill Murrayesque roommate.
76. All the President’s Men. Alan J. Pakula, 1976. In the Bicentennial year came this riveting look at how newspaper reporters helped expose a corrupt presidency. Even though you know what is going to happen, the picture keeps you breathless.
75. The Princess Bride. Rob Reiner, 1987. Writer William Goldman set out to write a fairy tale with all the boring parts left out, and he succeeded magnificently. Director Rob Reiner manages the difficult balance of producing tongue-in-cheek action with a straight face.
74. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. William Cottrell and David Hand, 1937. The first animated feature still shines brightly with excellently conceived supporting characters (dwarves and a witch) and spectacular animation. The handful of songs are great, too.
73. The Sound of Music. Robert Wise, 1965. Music beats the Nazis in this true(ish) story of a singing Austrian family that is threatened by Germany’s invasion. Julie Andrews – so lovely, such a talented singer – stars as the former nun-turned-governess who wins the heart of her many young charges and their father.
72. Pulp Fiction. Quentin Tarantino, 1994. Tarantino’s genius is his ability to cull moments and themes from generally obscure films and mix them together in fascinating ways. This is his best, occupying its own alternative universe that is great fun to visit.
71. Vertigo. Alfred Hitchcock, 1958. Jimmy Stewart becomes obsessed with Kim Novak, and after her death he becomes even more obsessed with her lookalike. Because this is a Hitchcock movie, all is not what it seems.
70-61: Best American movies of all time
70. Our Hospitality. Buster Keaton and Jack Blystone, 1924. Though it is not as well known as many other Keaton comedies, this silent picture is one of the best. Based on the famously feuding Hatfields and McCoys, it tells of the forbidden love between the son of one family and the daughter of the other.
69. Scarface. Howard Hawks, 1932. The gangster movie’s gangster movie. Paul Muni plays a barely disguised Al Capone, who had just been sent to jail when the film came out, in a terrifying (but also kind of alluring) story of the wages of sin.
68. Red River. Howard Hawks, 1948. The ultimate cattle-drive story benefits from exceptional performances by John Wayne and Montgomery Clift as a surrogate father and son whose bullheadedness threatens to become deadly.
67. Back to the Future. Robert Zemeckis, 1985. Time travel movies are always fun, but none is as fun as this one. Michael J. Fox goes back in time to arrange his parents’ meeting, but things go wrong when his eventual mother thinks he’s cute. He also invents rock ‘n’ roll.
66. In the Heat of the Night. Norman Jewison, 1967. A lot of films attempted to address the issue of race during the Civil Rights era, but this was the best. Sidney Poitier is a tower of strength as a Philadelphia cop who reluctantly teams with racist sheriff Rod Steiger to solve a murder.
65. To Kill a Mockingbird. Robert Mulligan, 1962. “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.” Gets me every time.
64. Annie Hall. Woody Allen, 1977. New York nebbish falls for California goddess, but their mutual insecurities eventually drive them apart. The characters seem so real and so funny, because they are only slightly fictionalized versions of Allen and lead actress Diane Keaton.
63. Modern Times. Charlie Chaplin, 1936. Chaplin’s blistering satire of the era is also one of his funniest works. From the opening sequence, in which his tramp is abused by machines, to the final walk into the sunrise, the film is insightful and uproarious.
62. The Silence of the Lambs. Jonathan Demme, 1991. Anthony Hopkins is the obvious standout here as a true psychopathic murderer who gives his expert advice to a young FBI Academy student, but watch Jodie Foster in her scenes of utter terror. The acting is a thing of beauty.
61. Freaks. Tod Browning, 1932. The genius of this horror film is that it makes sideshow freaks the heroes, beset by hateful normal people. Fail to recognize their humanity at your own risk.
60-51: Best American movies of all time
60. My Favorite Wife. Garson Kanin, 1940. After his wife is declared dead seven years after a shipwreck, Cary Grant is ready to marry his new love. Naturally, that is when Wife No. 1, Irene Dunn, returns after surviving on a desert island with handsome Randolph Scott. And the jokes are as funny as the situation.
59. High Noon. Fred Zinnemann, 1952. When is a Western not a Western? When it’s an analogy about McCarthyism. This taut, intense picture works perfectly on both levels, driven by Gary Cooper’s firm-jawed performance as the taciturn sheriff intent on doing the right thing despite widespread indifference.
58. Cabaret. Bob Fosse, 1972. This unforgettable musical about German decadence between the wars is informed by our knowledge of what is to come. The songs are especially notable and, for all their humor, utterly chilling.
57. Citizen Kane. Orson Welles, 1941. It’s the most sustained expression of technical perfection ever committed to film. So why isn’t it higher on this list? It’s emotionally cold. Dauntingly brilliant, but cold. Still, you can’t fault a single frame.
56. Schindler’s List. Steven Spielberg, 1993. The definitive movie about the Holocaust is the most powerful of Spielberg’s storied career. The way it tells its important and previously little-known true story makes you feel as if you are living it.
55. Chinatown. Roman Polanski, 1974. Polanski updated the film noir with glorious color but kept the genre's cynical plot and atmosphere of corruption. With Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in career-defining roles.
54. The Sixth Sense. M. Knight Shyamalan, 1999. It’s not just that this picture sports one of the best plot twists of all time, the rest of the film is top-notch, too. Even with Bruce Willis and Toni Colette, the performance that stands out is that of young Haley Joel Osment.
53. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. George Roy Hill, 1969. At the time, this was a very modern take on a Western. The heroes are lovable criminals taking on the establishment by robbing banks. With Paul Newman, Robert Redford and Katharine Ross, there is an awful lot of beauty on the screen at one time.
52. Toy Story. John Lasseter, 1995. The first computer-animated picture is still the best — it’s a combination of an irresistible story, bold characterizations (even of the smallest characters), wonderful voices and unbeatable animation.
51. Psycho. Alfred Hitchcock, 1961. “Mother…isn’t quite herself today.” That line still cracks me up.
50-41: Best American movies of all time
50. Bringing Up Baby. Howard Hawks, 1938. Dizzy Katharine Hepburn decides she loves paleontologist Cary Grant and goes all out to land him, including using a pet leopard named Baby. And that’s not the only leopard in the film.
49. It Happened One Night. Frank Capra, 1934. This iconic work was the first (and still one of only three) to win all of the major Oscars for the year. Put runaway heiress Claudette Colbert and newspaper reporter Clark Gable on a bus, and magic happens.
48. Do the Right Thing. Spike Lee, 1989. Spike Lee is a true student and lover of film. In this breakout picture, he re-creates the simmering social tensions on a hot, hot day that eventually explode into a cathartic and violent eruption.
47. The Gold Rush. Charlie Chaplin, 1925. Chaplin manages to create a seemingly endless series of hilarious gags out of deprivation in the frozen north. The hunger-based jokes alone are enough to make this movie one of the best.
46. King Kong. Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack, 1933. You know the story, but if you haven’t seen it lately you may forget how effective this version still is. The King goes ape over Fay Wray, and eventually sacrifices his furry self for her.
45. The Adventures of Robin Hood. Michael Curtiz, 1938. This is the pinnacle of all swashbuckling flicks, with Errol Flynn at his most dashing, Basil Rathbone at his most deliciously loathsome and Olivia de Havilland at her most charming. It’s just a flat-out romp.
44. Rebecca. Alfred Hitchcock, 1940. Joan Fontaine disappears into the role as the second wife of Laurence Olivier, who disappears into the memory of the first. Judith Anderson is deliriously wicked as the dead wife’s most loyal housekeeper.
43. Stormy Weather. Andrew L. Stone, 1943. The story is nothing special — it's a fictionalized version of the life of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson — but oh, that music, singing and dancing. Lena Horne sings the title song, with at-their-peak performances by Robinson, Cab Calloway, Fats Waller and others. The Nicholas Brothers' jaw-dropping dance number was thought by Fred Astaire to be the best dance ever filmed. He was right.
42. The Graduate. Mike Nichols, 1967. This film not only captured the spirit of its time, it helped create and perpetuate it. Dustin Hoffman is lost and drifting after graduation from college and, in the midst of his anti-establishment urges, falls in love with the daughter of the married, middle-aged woman (the wonderful Anne Bancroft) with whom he is having an affair.
41. Double Indemnity. Billy Wilder, 1944. Call it the ultimate film noir. Fred MacMurray is a decent guy until his eye is turned by Barbara Stanwyck — and her ankle bracelet — and he is duped into a plot to murder her husband. Edward G. Robinson is great as an insurance man who feels something wrong about the case in his gut.
40-31: Best American movies of all time
40. His Girl Friday. Howard Hawks, 1940. It's not just what Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell say, it's how they say it. A newspaper editor and his ex-wife reporter step on each other's lines as only true lovers can in this updated version of the classic play "The Front Page."
39. Amadeus. Milos Forman, 1984. With glorious music and gorgeous costumes, this smart drama asks a profound philosophical question: Why does God overlook his servant while bestowing talent upon an apparent simpleton?
38. Taxi Driver. Martin Scorsese, 1976. Robert De Niro solidified his reputation as a top actor with his searing portrayal as an increasingly unhinged cabbie. The film also solidified the reputation of its director, Scorsese.
37. Greed. Erich von Stroheim, 1924. The existing print isn't quite von Stroheim's full vision, but it is extraordinary nonetheless. In this silent drama, the great Zasu Pitts wins the lottery and the greed that follows her windfall ruins the lives of three people. The final scene in Death Valley is an absolute stunner.
36. Fargo. Joel (and Ethan) Coen, 1996. A deeply black — but hilarious — comedy about a sheriff (Frances McDormand) investigating a series of murders in small-town Minnesota. The murderers are not encumbered by competence, while the townspeople would likely call the sheriff "sharp as a tack."
35. Some Like it Hot. Billy Wilder, 1959. Some call this a perfect comedy. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre and spend the rest of the movie on the run from mobsters by dressing in drag and playing in an all-woman band with the likes of Marilyn Monroe, in her best role.
34. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. Frank Capra, 1939. The ultimate American movie and a triumph of naïveté over cynicism. Jimmy Stewart is the young, new senator whose gee-whiz patriotism wins over both the corrupt Claude Rains and the worldly Jean Arthur.
33. Top Hat. Mark Sandrich, 1935. It's not just that the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers dances are spectacular, which they are, this is also the funniest of all the dance musicals. The songs are by Irving Berlin and include "Cheek to Cheek," "Isn't It a Lovely Day (to be Caught in the Rain)?" and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails."
32. Stagecoach. John Ford, 1939. There were Westerns before "Stagecoach," but every Western after it was influenced by it. A young John Wayne is the white-hatted prisoner who first fights a band of Indians and then outlaws while winning the heart of the fallen Claire Trevor, who has the requisite heart of gold.
31. Young Frankenstein. Mel Brooks, 1974. Just about every joke — and there are a lot of jokes — works in this inspired parody of "Frankenstein" and the horror movies made by Universal Pictures in the 1930s.
30-21: Best American movies of all time
30. Ninotchka. Ernst Lubitsch, 1939. Greta Garbo is at her loveliest (and funniest) as a humorless, hard-line Soviet emissary who unwillingly succumbs to the capitalist charms of Melvyn Douglas and Paris in the spring. Every frame is a delight.
29. Duck Soup. Leo McCarey, 1933. The Marx Brothers are at their most anarchic in this pointed but hilarious send-up of government, politics and war. How can you not love a picture in which the main character is named Rufus T. Firefly?
28. The Maltese Falcon. John Huston, 1941. This is probably the ultimate detective movie, the detective movie other detective movies want to be when they grow up. Humphrey Bogart plays Sam Spade, whose dogged pursuit of his partner's murderer leads him to something much bigger.
27. Lost in Translation. Sofia Coppola, 2003. A world-weary young woman whose marriage is crumbling meets a world-weary older movie star, and the two help prop up each other as they attempt to navigate the unfamiliar world and culture of Tokyo. Theirs is a story of never-to-be-requited love.
26. Jaws. Steven Spielberg, 1975. It's easy to see why this was the first mega-blockbuster — it's an elemental story of man vs. nature, and nature has a lot of very sharp teeth. Spielberg tapped into many of our deepest fears, and few people have ever felt entirely safe in the ocean ever since.
25. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Steven Spielberg, 1981. Spielberg took every thrilling moment from 1940s action films and made them even better. With his tongue planted ever so firmly in his cheek, Harrison Ford stars as the dashing archaeologist hero.
24. Rear Window. Alfred Hitchcock, 1954. Want to see an audience jump? Show them the scene where Grace Kelly is searching through Raymond Burr's apartment and we suddenly see Burr turn a corner and walk back toward it. Jimmy Stewart stars as the laid-up photographer-cum-voyeur who suspects a neighbor is a murderer.
23. The Birth of a Nation. D.W. Griffith, 1915. Yes, it may be the most racist movie ever made. But it is also one of the most technically best, and its innovations changed movies forever. The radiant Lillian Gish brings a light to this story of the Civil War and its aftermath. It's a masterpiece. Hateful, yes. But a masterpiece.
22. An Affair to Remember. Leo McCarey, 1957. This is the film everyone cries over in "Sleepless in Seattle." The first half is more of a romantic comedy, as playboy Cary Grant and singer Deborah Kerr fall for each other on a ship. The second half is all drama, as their love is tested by circumstance.
21. The African Queen. John Huston, 1951. Prim and proper Katharine Hepburn has to share a boat with sloppy, boozing Humphrey Bogart, and the result is movie magic. It helps to have a brilliant, witty script.
20-11: Best American movies of all time
20. Roman Holiday. William Wyler, 1953. It's a fairy tale about a commoner who falls in love with a princess, but the commoner is a newspaper reporter played by Gregory Peck and the princess is Audrey Hepburn, who has never been lovelier.
19. The Lady Eve. Preston Sturges, 1941. Barbara Stanwyck is at the top of her considerable game as the worldy card sharp who sets out to scam poor befuddled millionaire Henry Fonda, and winds up falling in love with him.
18. Meet Me in St. Louis. Vincente Minelli, 1944. It's pure froth, but what froth it is. Think about this: "The Trolley Song" is only the third best original song in the show.
17. Only Angels Have Wings. Howard Hawks, 1939. Tough men doing a tough job in the face of danger — and also in the face of Jean Arthur, who gives Cary Grant something to live for. Hawks' storytelling is subtle, but powerfully moving. The final scene is one of those great moments of cinema.
16. Notorious. Alfred Hitchcock, 1946. Ingrid Bergman is in love with Cary Grant, but marries the loathsome Claude Rains to spy on his evil Nazi plans. It's romance mixed with thrills, and a wine-bottle full of Hitchcock's best suspense.
15. Star Wars. George Lucas, 1977. It's just about as much fun as you can have watching a movie. Basically, it's a Western set in outer space, with narrative elements from Akira Kurosawa. The now-iconic characters are impossible to watch without a smile on your face.
14. Sunset Boulevard. Billy Wilder, 1950. Former silent star Gloria Swanson is magnificent as a former silent star with a tenuous grip on reality. As her young screenwriter lover, William Holden's fate is known from the opening scene — he lies dead in a swimming pool.
13. City Lights. Charlie Chaplin, 1931. Charlie Chaplin mixes heart-tugging sentiment with wild hilarity in his best film. He plays a tramp, of course, who wins the heart of a blind woman. The boxing scene is one of the very funniest ever committed to film.
12. The Godfather, Part II. Francis Ford Coppola, 1974. The prequel/sequel to Copppola's 1972 masterpiece shows a crime family's beginning and its maturity into a murderous business. Al Pacino's ice-cold, utter heartlessness makes him one of the cinema's most nuanced villains.
11. Gone with the Wind. Victor Fleming, 1939. The grandest of all grand epics features unforgettable characters making their way through an unforgettable time. Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable are, well, unforgettable, as the passionate lovers whose intransigent personalities draw them together and pull them apart.
10-1: Best American movies of all time
10. All About Eve. Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1950. This clear-eyed and deliciously knowing look at actors and the theater boasts what is arguably the best (and most quotable) script every written. Bette Davis' character of Margo Channing is one of the crowning glories of film.
9. North by Northwest. Alfred Hitchcock, 1959. This is Hitchcock at perhaps his most Hitchcockian, mixing terrific humor with equally terrific suspense, plus an unusually engaging love story between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.
8. The General. Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton, 1926. No other film provokes such giddy laughter from the first silent frame to the last, with nearly every gag now considered a classic. And it's even based on a true story, sort of.
7. Singin' in the Rain. Gene Kelly, Stanley Donan, 1952. It's everything a musical should be, and so much more. Great songs, great dances, great jokes, a surprisingly fascinating look at the transition from silent films to sound, plus Jean Hagen's truly inimitable (and put-on) voice.
6. The Best Years of Our Lives. William Wyler, 1946. There is so much to admire about this story of three men having trouble readjusting to civilian life after World War II, from the heartfelt performances to the exceptional photography, and also this: perhaps the cinema's best kiss.
5. It's a Wonderful Life. Frank Capra, 1946. If this film doesn't tug at your heart, you don't have a heart to tug. Who knew sentiment could run so deep?
4. The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola, 1972. Some have called it the most American movie ever made, where the family business is crime. Al Pacino's performance as the war hero-turned-Mafioso may be the finest ever brought to film.
3. The Philadelphia Story. George Cukor, 1940. The script's elegant wit never ceases when an unhappily divorced Cary Grant crashes the wedding of ex-wife Katharine Hepburn. Jimmy Stewart comes along for the wild ride.
2. The Wizard of Oz. Victor Fleming, 1939. The ultimate expression of fantasy, with classic songs, hilarious performances, wizards, witches and Munchkins — and Toto, too.
1. Casablanca. Michael Curtiz, 1942. As close to cinematic perfection as mankind has ever come. The peerless cast gives impeccable readings of an endlessly diverting script in an irresistible story of love and duty. If you've never seen it, what are you waiting for?