Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#27 – Nosferatu
Why is it here:
Note: Remember that the first 80 are in no particular order.
I’ve seen this film a dozen times and every time I see it it feels different. There are so many versions of this that it’s entirely possible I’ve seen several variations but more than that it’s as if this movie is a living thing. A living, scary thing. At times it’s almost comical to watch but there’s something about the way this movie was made and how time has treated it that makes it so effective. I don’t think there’s a scarier personification of evil than what FW Murnau and Max Schreck created. Some of the moments here are just so iconic and staggering. It’s not an easy watch, it’s slow at times and imperfect as the whole German Expressionism movement often was but it’s creepy as hell and the use of shadow and light created a very high standard for the genre. And it beat Dracula to the punch by a decade! And is a far better film! And it boasts a still unmatched vampire! Crazy stuff.
Moments to savor:
Any shot with Max Schreck in it.
Low, but what a great background movie to play with the sound down. So many images that have stood the test of time.
How the hell wasn’t Shadow of the Vampire better? That could have been a classic in its own right.