Recommendations required - top ten films (no wait - come back!)


Darned cockwombles.

Inspired by this rather excellent compendium of top ten horror films (even Time Out has good ideas sometimes), and also the BFI directors' and critics' top tens, I'd be interested to hear Dissensians' own responses to either question - top ten overall or top ten horror.
My own (general list excluding horror, but the top three or four from the horror list would make the overall top ten):

Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) (Tobe Hooper)
Twin Peaks - Fire, Walk With Me (David Lynch)
The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy)
Alien (Ridley Scott)
Don't Look Now (Nic Roeg)
Hallowe'en (John Carpenter)
Martyrs (Pascal Laugier)
[Rec] (2, if I have to choose) (Jaume Balagueró, Paco Plaza)
The Tenant (Roman Polanski)
Audition (Takashi Miike)

Honourable mention for Paranormal Activity (1-3) for sheer scariness. And Kill List is there or thereabouts.

Sue, Lost in Manhattan (Amos Kollek)
Heathers (Michael Lehmann)
The Graduate (Mike Nichols)
The Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola)
The Last Wave (early Peter Weir is generally amazing)
Hidden (Michael Haneke)
Ordinary People (Robert Redford) (Donald Sutherland for me may have the best CV of any actor)
Mulholland Drive (David Lynch)
Mysterious Skin (Gregg Araki)
Five Easy Pieces (Bob Rafelson) (or in fact, The Lowdown [Jamie Thraves], which is heavily inspired by FEP)

OK, one David Lynch film in each category shows I'm not clear about the demarcation between horror and everything else, so this is wildly my top ten general films will doubtless be edited within the hour.
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Beast of Burden
I'll have a go.


Black Sabbath (Mario Bava)
Profondo Rosso (Dario Argento)
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock)
The Exorcist (William Friedkin)
Cannibal Holocaust (Ruggero Deodato)
Blood and Black Lace (Mario Bava)
The Wickerman (Robin Hardy)
The House with Laughing Windows (Pupi Avati)
Don’t Torture a Duckling (Lucio Fulci)
Threads (Mick Jackson)


Touch of Evil (Orson Welles)
Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock)
Charade (Stanley Donen)
The Great Silence (Sergio Corbucci)
Duel (Steven Spielberg)
In a Lonely Place (Nicholas Ray)
Local Hero (Bill Forsyth)
La Mala Ordina (Fernando di Leo)
Battle of Algiers (Gillo Pontecorvo)
Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman)
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Darned cockwombles.
Note to self: remember to watch Threads when in a reasonably balanced mood.

Will give In a Lonely Place a whirl - I saw Bigger than Life a while back and it was mental.


Beast of Burden
Hooray for cannibal holocaust, but no TCM or Shining? Would have thought Argento might've made it as well.


Darned cockwombles.
Profondo Rosso made Craner's list, and TCM made mine...I was thinking about including Suspiria, but it fell at about number 12. The Shining is genius, you're right - would make most people's top tens, I'd wager.


Beast of Burden
Suspiria, Inferno, Bird with the Crystal Plumage and Tenebrae all nudged the Ten, as did a number of other Bavas and Fulcis, which is probably no surprise to anybody who knows my taste. I have no use for The Shining, though.


Well-known member
I'll creep out of the shadows for this, but doubt im making any revelations for anyone :D,


The Shining
Evil Dead
Dont Look Now
The Tenant
The Thing
Rocky Horror Picture Show (a big childhood film, I think I was lucky to come out of that ok tbh)


The Big Lebowski
Dark City
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Total Recall


Beast of Burden
Profondo Rosso made Craner's list, and TCM made mine...I was thinking about including Suspiria, but it fell at about number 12. The Shining is genius, you're right - would make most people's top tens, I'd wager.

Duh, yes, sorry. Was referring to Craner but blanked on Profundo Rosso for some reason.


Well-known member
my lovefilm account is drowning in rental lists made up of lists like these.

my general list is highly subjective and would prob be something like this (though its always changing) -

wild at heart (david lynch)
the man without a past (aki kaurismaki)
bone (larry cohen)
that obscure object of desire (luis bunuel)
padatik (mrinal sen)
enter the void (gaspar noe)
roman holiday (william wyler)/singing in the rain (stanley donen) (i cant decide)
camera buff (krzysztof kieslowski)
white meadows (mahmoud rasolof)
le mepris (jean luc godard)/scenes from a marriage (ingmar bergman)

horror -
scream (wes craven)
alien (ridley scott)
halloween/the thing (john carpenter)
evil dead (sam raimi - lower budget/indie horror is the best, part of the reason the remake just didnt do it, though i cant seem to help watching crappy remakes)
dead and buried
night of the living dead/dawn of the dead (romero)
captain cronos - vampire hunter (campy, funny, and a bit scary, really good hammer horror)
the blair witch project/rec 2 (the sequel really IS better)
an american werewolf in london (john landis)
psycho (hitchcock)
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Darned cockwombles.
Scenes From a Marriage is incredible - good call. Would be in my top ten possibly if I'd remembered it.

Love and Death too. How did I forget that?
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Well-known member
its amazing yeah.

id also have added day of wrath by carl dreyer. of more recent films, hunger (steve mcqueen) really killed me. fassbender was incredible. am dying to see his new one about slavery.


Darned cockwombles.
Have to say I loathed Shame (incredible I Want Your Love scene aside, and I kinda liked Carey Mulligan too), so gone off McQueen.

Fassbender make me think I left Fish Tank out of my top ten.

Best short film suggests itself now I'm thinking of British directors - Lynne Ramsay odds on in the super-short (under 20 mins) category for 'Gasman'.

La Jetee of course for the 30 minute mid-length - hard to think of many other artistic artefacts so perfectly formed.
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Beast of Burden
I look at horror movie lists of other people and realise that I don't really like horror movies all that much, and yet there are a lot of (mostly Italian) horror movies among my favorite films. Strange.

I think you can be more discerning and objective when compiling genre lists than a general list which is usually a dissatisfying mish-mash of films you admire and films you love and is therefore almost meaningless.


Well-known member
i like the lynne ramsay short 'swimmer' (about the sexual awakening of a teenage boy).

i loved shame too, even though it did sometime overdo it with the sexual angst/self-loathing. so mcqueen is 2 for 2 in my book.

btw we should have a 'i prefer the crappy period' thread for film directors like there was in the music forum. midnight in paris>>manhattan.
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Beast of Burden
Sorry, I'm not trying to be a cock. But, for example, I think Battle of Algiers is a monumental film. The more I think about it the more I admire it. But do I ever sit down to re-watch the fucker? No. It's not one of my favorite films, but I think it is one of the best films I have ever seen.

As you were.


Darned cockwombles.
I was agreeing!:cool: There are lots of films that I wouldn't watch for a second time but think are monumental. BoA is a good example. In my top ten, I've mostly gone for those that I can rewatch, and wholeheartedly love. I find that often the films I admire but don't love lack a human dimension or sufficient character development. Or maybe simply, humour.

Then again, I would say I neither admire nor love a lot of films considered classic in the Sight and Sound type lists. *

Surprised no-one has gone for Scorsese. I'm not a big fan at all, but Goodfellas (and The Departed, for that matter) is endlessly rewatchable.

* And thinking more about this, maybe cold 'admiration' is a way to prevent oneself from realising that one doesn't really think these things are all that good. Taking 'Breaking the Waves' for example - I thought I loved it, but couldn't get through the second viewing. I was bored. And just maybe that's because it isn't very good - that it's all surface and no real content, just misery porn, and for a long while I fell for that.

More thoughts on films I love: Glengarry Glen Ross is mighty fine. And Black Swan blew my head off at the cinema...
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