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In February 2004, I participated in the top 250 films meme, which involved copying the list of the IMDB's top 250 films (as voted by users) and highlighting those I'd actually seen. Almost two years later, I repeated the exercise last December. Time to do so again. Note that the top 250 changes rapidly and the following list is today's (24/12/06), quite different to those of February 2004 and December 2005.

1 The Godfather (1972)
2 The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
3 The Godfather: Part II (1974)
4 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
5 Buono, il brutto, il cattivo, Il (Good, the Bad and the Ugly, The) (1966)
6 Casablanca (1942)
7 Schindler's List (1993)
8 Pulp Fiction (1994)
9 Shichinin no samurai (Seven Samurai) (1954)
10 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
11 Star Wars (1977)
12 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
13 Rear Window (1954)
14 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
15 12 Angry Men (1957)
16 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
17 The Usual Suspects (1995)
18 Cidade de Deus (City Of God) (2002)
19 Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
20 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
21 Psycho (1960)
22 Goodfellas (1990)
23 Citizen Kane (1941)
24 C'era una volta il West (Once Upon a Time in the West) (1968)
25 North by Northwest (1959)
26 Memento (2000)
27 The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
28 Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
29 It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
30 Sunset Blvd. (1950)
31 Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain, Le (Amélie) (2001)
32 Fight Club (1999)
33 American Beauty (1999)
34 The Matrix (1999)
35 Vertigo (1958)
36 Apocalypse Now (1979)
37 Taxi Driver (1976)
38 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39 Se7en (1995)
40 Paths of Glory (1957)
41 Léon (1994)
42 To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
43 Chinatown (1974)
44 American History X (1998)
45 Untergang, Der (Downfall) (2004)
46 The Third Man (1949)
47 The Pianist (2002)
48 Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
49 M (1931)
50 The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
51 Sen to Chihiro no kamikakushi (Spirited Away) (2001)
52 The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
53 Boot, Das (1981)
54 L.A. Confidential (1997)
55 Alien (1979)
56 The Maltese Falcon (1941)
57 A Clockwork Orange (1971)
58 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
59 Hotel Rwanda (2004)
60 Metropolis (1927)
61 Double Indemnity (1944)
62 The Shining (1980)
63 Reservoir Dogs (1992)
64 Saving Private Ryan (1998)
65 Rashômon (1950)
66 Singin' in the Rain (1952)
67 Sin City (2005)
68 Raging Bull (1980)
69 Modern Times (1936)
70 The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
71 Aliens (1986)
72 Rebecca (1940)
73 The Great Escape (1963)
74 Some Like It Hot (1959)
75 All About Eve (1950)
76 Touch of Evil (1958)
77 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
78 Million Dollar Baby (2004)
79 Amadeus (1984)
80 The Departed (2006)
81 Sjunde inseglet, Det (Seventh Seal, The) (1957)
82 Vita è bella, La (Life Is Beautiful) (1997)
83 Jaws (1975)
84 The Sting (1973)
85 Forrest Gump (1994)
86 Strangers on a Train (1951)
87 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
88 Batman Begins (2005)
89 On the Waterfront (1954)
90 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
91 Braveheart (1995)
92 Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
93 The Elephant Man (1980)
94 Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
95 Blade Runner (1982)
96 The Incredibles (2004)
97 Full Metal Jacket (1987)
98 The Apartment (1960)
99 The Big Sleep (1946)
100 City Lights (1931)

101 High Noon (1952)
102 Notorious (1946)
103 Donnie Darko (2001)
104 Nuovo cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso) (1989)
105 Fargo (1996)
106 Ran (1985)
107 Crash (2004)
108 Finding Nemo (2003)
109 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
110 The Great Dictator (1940)
111 Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
112 Cool Hand Luke (1967)
113 Mononoke-hime (Princess Mononoke) (1997)
114 The Sixth Sense (1999)
115 Salaire de la peur, Le (The Wages of Fear) (1953)
116 V for Vendetta (2005)
117 Unforgiven (1992)
118 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
119 Ben-Hur (1959)
120 Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
121 Annie Hall (1977)
122 Back to the Future (1985)
123 Oldboy (2003)
124 The Killing (1956)
125 Wo hu cang long (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) (2000)
126 Yojimbo (1961)
127 Life of Brian (1979)
128 The Green Mile (1999)
129 The Princess Bride (1987)
130 The Deer Hunter (1978)
131 Platoon (1986)
132 The Graduate (1967)
133 It Happened One Night (1934)
134 Notti di Cabiria, Le (Nights of Cabiria) (1957)
135 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
136 Per qualche dollaro in più (For a Few Dollars More) (1965)
137 Gladiator (2000)
138 Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
139 The African Queen (1951)
140 Gandhi (1982)
141 Ladri di biciclette (Bicycle Thief, The) (1948)
142 Amores perros (Love's a Bitch) (2000)
143 Toy Story 2 (1999)
144 The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
145 Diaboliques, Les (1955)
146 Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
147 8½ (1963)
148 Lola rennt (Run Lola Run) (1998)
149 Battaglia di Algeri, La (The Battle of Algiers) (1966)
150 Brief Encounter (1945)
151 The Night of the Hunter (1955)
152 The Wild Bunch (1969)
153 Stand by Me (1986)
154 The Conversation (1974)
155 Die Hard (1988)
156 The General (1927)
157 Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) (1957)
158 Harvey (1950)
159 Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
160 Duck Soup (1933)
161 Nosferatu, eine Symphonie des Grauens (Nosferatu) (1922)
162 Patton (1970)
163 Glory (1989)
164 The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
165 Kabinett des Doktor Caligari, Das (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) (1920)
166 Gone with the Wind (1939)
167 Spartacus (1960)
168 Ying xiong (Hero) (2002)
169 Groundhog Day (1993)
170 Toy Story (1995)
171 The Gold Rush (1925)
172 Finding Neverland (2004)
173 Trainspotting (1996)
174 Belle et la bête, La (Beauty and the Beast) (1946)
175 Magnolia (1999)

176 The Exorcist (1973)
177 The Philadelphia Story (1940)
178 The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
179 A Christmas Story (1983)
180 The Big Lebowski (1998)
181 Mystic River (2003)
182 Shrek (2001)
183 Heat (1995)
184 Twelve Monkeys (1995)
185 Cinderella Man (2005)
186 Big Fish (2003)
187 King Kong (1933)
188 Before Sunset (2004)
189 Ed Wood (1994)
190 The Hustler (1961)
191 Judgment at Nuremberg (1961)
192 The Lady Vanishes (1938)
193 The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
194 The Terminator (1984)
195 Snatch. (2000)
196 Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005)
197 Out of the Past (1947)
198 Walk the Line (2005)
199 Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
200 In the Heat of the Night (1967)
201 Hotaru no haka (Grave of the Fireflies) (1988)
202 Sleuth (1972)
203 Stalag 17 (1953)
204 Young Frankenstein (1974)
205 Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
206 Du rififi chez les hommes (Rififi) (1955)
207 The Thing (1982)
208 Hable con ella (Talk To Her) (2002)
209 Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
210 The Straight Story (1999)
211 Rosemary's Baby (1968)
212 Manhattan (1979)
213 Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
214 Sling Blade (1996)
215 Frankenstein (1931)
216 Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
217 Quatre cents coups, Les (400 Blows, The) (1959)
218 Monsters, Inc. (2001)
219 Tengoku to jigoku (The Ransom) (1963)
220 Scarface (1983)
221 Kumonosu jô (Throne of Blood) (1957)
222 Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
223 The Prestige (2006)
224 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
225 Idi i smotri (Come and See) (1985)
226 All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
227 Roman Holiday (1953)
228 The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
229 The Searchers (1956)
230 The Lost Weekend (1945)
231 Doctor Zhivago (1965)
232 Bringing Up Baby (1938)
233 Haine, La (1995)
234 Himmel über Berlin, Der (Wings of Desire) (1987)
235 Brazil (1985)
236 A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
237 The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
238 Planet of the Apes (1968)
239 Laberinto del Fauno, El (Pan's Labyrinth) (2006)
240 Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
241 In Cold Blood (1967)
242 Harold and Maude (1971)
243 Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes (Aguirre: The Wrath of God) (1972)
244 All the President's Men (1976)
245 Festen (Dogme 1/ Celebration, The) (1998)
246 The Insider (1999)
247 Sherlock Jr. (1924)
248 Great Expectations (1946)
249 Kakushi-toride no san-akunin (The Hidden Fortress) (1958)
250 À bout de souffle (Breathless) (1960)

In Feb. '04, I'd seen 102 of the 250, and 109 of the updated list in 2005. At the end of 2006, it's 129/250 (over half, at last), which can be divided as 70 from the top 100 and 59 from the remaining 150.
As one would expect, the lower rankings are more volatile than the 'core' top 100 which changes little year-to-year. Of the 2004 and 2005 lists, I've now seen 68 (17 more) and 69 (10 more) of their top 100s, but 70 (21 more) and 67 (17 more) of their lower ranges; overall, that's 138/250 and 136/250 respectively.

As I said in 2004, a list of films others rate highly is of limited relevance to me, but I do respect the opinions of others and treat the list as at least a guide to my future viewing, so I've added as many as possible of my omissions from the top hundred to my Amazon Rental list. A year after discovering that Amazon didn't offer several highly-rated films for rental, I'm glad to say that's changed, and all but the Chaplin ones are now in my queue.
I suspect I might reconsider doing that, as it means I'll be renting films I don't expect to enjoy (e.g. 'It's a Wonderful Life', 'Singin' In The Rain' and 'Some Like It Hot'), simply to tick them off a list, which strikes me as pointless. It's about enjoying films and broadening my knowledge, not engaging in trainspotter-type completism.

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