Ok, so after yesterdays’ list of book-to-film adaptations, here’s another long list of movies. This time, it’s Jim Emerson’s 101 Essential Films. Emerson writes:
This isn’t like Roger Ebert’s “Great Movies” series. It’s not my idea of The Best Movies Ever Made (that would be a different list, though there’s some overlap here), or that they were my favorites or the most important or influential films, but that they were the movies you just kind of figure everybody ought to have seen in order to have any sort of informed discussion about movies. They’re the common cultural currency of our time, the basic cinematic texts that everyone should know, at minimum, to be somewhat “movie-literate.”
So, I looked up the list and here it is, with only a couple changes. (I added “Fight Club” because it’s essential and it hadn’t been released at the time I made the list.) I remember I tried to represent key examples of all important genres, movie stars, directors, historical movements, and so on — like an overview of the 20th century in 101 movies. Yes, there are many more I’d like to add, but remember, this is only a primer. How many have you seen?