Widgets Magazine
Carlos Valladares’ favorite movies
Catherine Deneuve in Jacques Demy's 'The Umbrellas of Cherbourg' (1964). (Courtesy of Janus Films)

Carlos Valladares’ favorite movies

It’s a question I get all the time: “So what are your favorite movies?” Here, finally, is an answer.

My idea was that the list could be some neat number, like 100. Turns out that, for me, such a reduction is nigh-impossible. Instead, I’ve opted to go through my film diary and pick out which films have pierced me the most. These are the films which line my DNA. The films I often return to. The films that consume my thoughts. The films I’d swear and die by.

I’ve listed my favorites chronologically, by year. The films in bold and astericked are the cream of the crop. My immediate favorites include “A Hard Day’s Night,” “PlayTime,” “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,” “The Young Girls of Rochefort,” “Nashville,” and “Edvard Munch.”

  1. A Trip Down Market Street Before the Fire (1906)
  2. Les Vampires (1915)
  3. Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
  4. Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
  5. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)
  6. 7th Heaven (1927)
  7. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
  8. The Circus (1928)
  9. The Man with a Movie Camera (1929)
  10. City Lights (1931) *
  11. M (1931)
  12. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  13. Broken Lullaby (1932)
  14. I Was Born, But… (1932)
  15. The Music Box (1932)
  16. I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang! (1932)
  17. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
  18. Footlight Parade (1933)
  19. Duck Soup (1933)
  20. Design for Living (1933)
  21. Hard to Handle (1933)
  22. You’re Telling Me! (1934)
  23. L’Atalante (1934)
  24. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)
  25. Man on the Flying Trapeze (1935)
  26. The Devil is a Woman (1935)
  27. Partie de Campagne [“A Day in the Country”] (1936)
  28. The Awful Truth (1937)
  29. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)
  30. Porky in Wackyland (1937)
  31. Angel (1937)
  32. Bringing Up Baby (1938) *
  33. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  34. La Règle du Jeu [“The Rules of the Game”] (1939)
  35. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
  36. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  37. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
  38. Christmas in July (1940)
  39. The Great Dictator (1940)
  40. His Girl Friday (1940)
  41. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
  42. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  43. To Be Or Not To Be (1942) *
  44. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  45. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
  46. I Walked with a Zombie (1943)
  47. The Curse of the Cat People (1944)
  48. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
  49. The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)
  50. The Clock (1945) *
  51. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) *
  52. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
  53. Notorious! (1946)
  54. The Big Sleep (1946)
  55. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
  56. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
  57. The Heiress (1949)
  58. Jour de Fête (1949)
  59. The Red Shoes (1949)
  60. The Breaking Point (1950)
  61. The River (1951)
  62. On Dangerous Ground (1951)
  63. Ikiru (1952) *
  64. Limelight (1952)
  65. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  66. The Road Runner, Bugs Bunny, and Daffy Duck shorts of Chuck Jones, especially the “Hunting Trilogy”(1944-1963) *
  67. Tokyo monogatari [“Tokyo Story”] (1953) *
  68. Les Vacances de Monsieur Hulot [“Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday”] (1953) *
  69. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
  70. Pickup on South Street! (1953)
  71. Le salaire de la peur [“The Wages of Fear”] (1953)
  72. Roman Holiday (1953)
  73. Sansho dayu [“Sansho the Bailiff”] (1954) *
  74. Seven Samurai (1954)
  75. Rear Window (1954)
  76. Johnny Guitar (1954)
  77. Nuit et brouillard [“Night and Fog”] (1955)
  78. Pather Panchali [“Song of the Little Road”] (1955) *
  79. Ordet [“The Word”] (1955)
  80. Summertime (1955)
  81. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  82. Lust for Life (1956)
  83. The Girl Can’t Help It (1956)
  84. Tokyo boshoku [“Tokyo Twilight”] (1957)
  85. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
  86. Mon Oncle (1958)
  87. Gigi (1958)
  88. Some Came Running (1958)
  89. Vertigo (1958)
  90. Imitation of Life (1959) *
  91. Les Quatre Cents Coups [“The 400 Blows”] (1959)
  92. Rio Bravo (1959)
  93. Shadows (1959)
  94. The Apartment (1960) *
  95. Tirez sur le Pianiste [“Shoot the Piano Player”] (1960)
  96. Akibiyori [Late Autumn] (1960)
  97. Peeping Tom (1960)
  98. Meghe Dhaka Tara [“The Cloud-Capped Star”] (1960)
  99. Bells are Ringing (1960)
  100. Psycho (1960)
  101. Lola (1961)
  102. The Exiles (1961)
  103. The End of Summer (1961)
  104. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
  105. The Errand Boy (1961)
  106. An Autumn Afternoon (1962) *
  107. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
  108. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
  109. Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962)
  110. Hatari! (1962)
  111. La Jetée [“The Jetty”] (1962)
  112. El angel exterminador [“The Exterminating Angel”] (1962)
  113. Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
  114. 2 Weeks in Another Town (1962)
  115. The Birds (1963) *
  116. Le Mépris [“Contempt”] (1963)
  117. The House is Black (1963)
  118. Muriel, ou Le Temps d’un retour [“Muriel, or The Time of Return”] (1963)
  119. Mahanagar [“The Big City”] (1963)
  120. Tengoku to Jigoku [High and Low] (1963)
  121. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)
  122. A Hard Day’s Night (1964) * 
  123. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg [“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg”] (1964) *
  124. Nothing But a Man (1964)
  125. Mary Poppins (1964)
  126. Kiss Me, Stupid (1964)
  127. The Naked Kiss (1964)
  128. Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
  129. The Shop on Main Street (1965)
  130. Le Bonheur [“Happiness”] (1965)
  131. Help! (1965)
  132. The Knack…and How to Get It (1965)
  133. Tokyo Olympiad (1965)
  134. Repulsion (1965)
  135. Au hasard Balthazar (1966) *
  136. Sedmikrásky [“Daisies”] (1966)
  137. Chelsea Girls (1966)
  138. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
  139. La noire de… [“Black Girl”] (1966)
  140. Playtime (1967) *
  141. Les Demoiselles de Rochefort [“The Young Girls of Rochefort”] (1967) *
  142. A Countess from Hong Kong (1967)
  143. How I Won the War (1967)
  144. Weekend (1967)
  145. The Graduate (1967)
  146. Point Blank (1967)
  147. Monterey Pop/Shake! Otis at Monterey/Jimi Plays Monterey (1967)
  148. Petulia (1968) *
  149. Faces (1968)
  150. The Swimmer (1968)
  151. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  152. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  153. The Party (1968)
  154. Model Shop (1969)
  155. Z (1969)
  156. L’armée des ombres [“Army of Shadows”] (1969)
  157. Wanda (1970)
  158. Woodstock (1970)
  159. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970)
  160. Out 1: Noli me tangere (1971) *
  161. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971) *
  162. Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
  163. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  164. Minamata: The Victims and Their World (1971)
  165. Land des Schweigens und der Dunkelheit [“The Land of Silence and Darkness”] (1971)
  166. A Touch of Zen (1971)
  167. A New Leaf (1971)
  168. The Heartbreak Kid (1972) *
  169. Avanti! (1972)
  170. Cabaret (1972)
  171. The Spook Who Sat by the Door (1973)
  172. F For Fake (1973)
  173. A Woman Under the Influence (1974) *
  174. Edvard Munch (1974) *
  175. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
  176. Angst essen Seele auf [“Ali: Fear Eats the Soul”] (1974)
  177. Le Fantôme de la liberté [“The Phantom of Liberty”] (1974)
  178. Phantom of the Paradise (1974)
  179. Nashville (1975) *
  180. Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975) *
  181. Barry Lyndon (1975) *
  182. Welfare (1975)
  183. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
  184. Tommy (1975)
  185. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
  186. Salò, o le 120 giornate di Sodoma [“Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom”] (1975)
  187. Robin and Marian (1976)
  188. Canoa: Memoria de un Hecho Vergonzoso [“Canoa: A Shameful Memory”] (1976)
  189. The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976/1978)
  190. Mikey and Nicky (1976)
  191. Carrie (1976)
  192. Family Plot (1976)
  193. Killer of Sheep (1977) *
  194. Eraserhead (1977)
  195. Opening Night (1977)
  196. Hausu [“House”] (1977)
  197. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  198. Ese oscuro objeto del deseo [“That Obscure Object of Desire”] (1977)
  199. Dawn of the Dead (1978)
  200. Bush Mama (1979)
  201. Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
  202. Monty Python’s Life of Brian (1979)
  203. Real Life (1979)
  204. All That Jazz (1979)
  205. The Big Red One (1980)
  206. The Shining (1980)
  207. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
  208. Blow Out (1981) *
  209. Modern Romance (1981)
  210. White Dog (1982)
  211. The King of Comedy (1982)
  212. L’argent [”Money”] (1983)
  213. Love Streams (1984) *
  214. Stop Making Sense (1984)
  215. Shoah (1985) *
  216. Lost in America (1985)
  217. The Color Purple (1985)
  218. Castle in the Sky (1986)
  219. Au revoir, les enfants (1987)
  220. Hotaru no Haka [Grave of the Fireflies] (1988) *
  221. Tonari no Totoro [My Neighbor Totoro] (1988)
  222. Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988)
  223. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988)
  224. Do the Right Thing (1989) *
  225. Majo no Takkyūbin [Kiki’s Delivery Service] (1989)
  226. Histoire(s) du Cinéma (1989-1997)
  227. To Sleep with Anger (1990)
  228. Close-Up (1990)
  229. Omoide Poro Poro [Only Yesterday] (1991) *
  230. Gu ling jie shao nian sha ren shi jian [A Brighter Summer Day] (1991)
  231. Daughters of the Dust (1991)
  232. Defending Your Life (1991)
  233. The Long Day Closes (1992)
  234. Porco Rosso [”The Crimson Pig”] (1992)
  235. Side/Walk/Shuffle (1992)
  236. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992)
  237. Short Cuts (1993)
  238. Groundhog Day (1993)
  239. Chungking Express (1994)
  240. Hoop Dreams (1994)
  241. Haut, bas, fragile [“Up, Down, Fragile”] (1995)
  242. Do lok tin si [Fallen Angels] (1995)
  243. Jackie Brown (1997)
  244. Dil Se… [“From the Heart”] (1998)
  245. Beloved (1998)
  246. Babe: Pig in the City (1998)
  247. The Hole (1998)
  248. The Last Days of Disco (1998)
  249. My Neighbors the Yamadas (1999)
  250. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  251. Faa yeung nin wa [In the Mood for Love] (2000) *
  252. La Commune — Paris, 1871 (2000)
  253. The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)
  254. Domestic Violence (2000)
  255. La Ciénaga [“The Swamp”] (2000)
  256. Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi [Spirited Away] (2001) *
  257. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
  258. Mulholland Drive (2001)
  259. Monster’s Inc. (2001)
  260. School of Rock (2003)
  261. Los Angeles Plays Itself (2003)
  262. Looney Tunes: Back in Action (2003)
  263. Moolaadé [“magical protection”] (2004)
  264. Before Sunset (2004)
  265. La niña santa [“The Holy Girl”] (2004)
  266. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
  267. National Treasure (2004)
  268. Inland Empire (2006)
  269. The Darjeeling Limited (2007)
  270. Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea (2008)
  271. Wendy and Lucy (2008)
  272. Bernie (2011)
  273. Silver Linings Playbook (2012) *
  274. Stories We Tell (2012)
  275. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
  276. To the Wonder (2013)
  277. Kaguya-hime no Monogatari [The Tale of the Princess Kaguya] (2013) *
  278. Kaze Tachinu [The Wind Rises] (2013)
  279. American Hustle (2013)
  280. Boyhood (2014) *

And, separately, my favorite films that have been released during my time at Stanford. “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” and “Leave No Trace” have not been released widely, though they surely would be on this list.

  1. Gone Girl (2014)
  2. Olive Kitteridge (2014)
  3. Inherent Vice (2014)
  4. Güeros (2014)
  5. The LEGO Movie (2014)
  6. In Jackson Heights (2015) *
  7. Joy (2015) *
  8. Tangerine (2015)
  9. Knight of Cups (2015)
  10. Mistress America (2015)
  11. Certain Women (2016) *
  12. Paterson (2016) *
  13. Silence (2016)
  14. La Tortue Rouge [”The Red Turtle”] (2016)
  15. A Quiet Passion (2016)
  16. La La Land (2016)
  17. Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) *
  18. Lady Bird (2017) *
  19. Zama (2017)
  20. You Were Never Really Here (2017)

Update: Adding “The Misfits” (1961), “The Nutty Professor” (1963), “Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973), “Losing Ground” (1982), “Ishtar” (1987), “Old Joy” (2006), and “Wall-E” (2008).

Contact Carlos Valladares at cvalladares0896 ‘at’ gmail.com

About Carlos Valladares

Carlos Valladares' 18 is double-majoring in Film and American Studies. He loves the Beatles and jazz, dogs and dance. Were he stranded on a desert island, he'd be sure to take some food—and also, copies of "A Hard Day's Night," "The Young Girls of Rochefort," "Nashville," "Killer of Sheep," and anything by Studio Ghibli. You can follow his film writings at http://letterboxd.com/cvall96/. He was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles.