Yesterday, Yahoo Movies released their list of 100 Movies to See Before You Die. They are careful to make the point that their criteria went beyond the entertainment value, commercial success, or awards earned by each movie to assess the cultural and historical importance of each movie.
They avoided the most common trap of focusing too much on recent movies. With 76 of the films made before 1980, they acknowledge what we already knew: they don't make them like they used to.
Naturally, no two people will ever agree on such a list. They were not far off on a lot of their picks, but some titles just don't belong there, and other very deserving films are omitted.
These are some of the titles from their list which I agree with completely:
Lawrence of Arabia
But these films don't merit inclusion:
Do the Right Thing
Enter the Dragon
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
National Lampoon's Animal House
When Harry Met Sally
Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown
But where was "North by Northwest", Hitchcock's film which set the bar for the mystery adventure comedy?
And why was "A Witness for the Prosecution", one of the all-time great courtroom drama mysteries, not included.
"Laura" is a definitive film in the hardboiled detective genre.
Other films which deserve inclusion more than those listed above are:
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Big Sleep
Dial "M" for Murder