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Welcome to the all-new JAMESGUNN.com.  Most all of my blogs will now be posted here before anywhere else, and it will also feature regular mini-blogs exclusive to this site.  SIGN UP for a free membership and you can post below and I’ll answer all and any questions in the new forum!  


SO – what better way to kick things off than with one of my gigantic, OCD-driven lists?  And as opposed to railing on life as I did in my last blog of OVERRATED THINGS, I thought I’d celebrate some of the movies I love most in the world.

Like with any of my list of "Favorites", this list changes from day to day depending on my mood and situation.  It could easily be quite different next week.  But one thing is certain: I love all 50 of these films and think you’ll like most of them as well…

Let’s go!



1.    ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST (1968), written by Sergio Donati and Sergio Leone, directed by Sergio Leone
2.    ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004), written by Charlie Kaufman, directed by Michael Gondry
3.    TOGETHER (2000), written and directed by Lukas Moodysson
4.    BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (1969), written by Paul Mazursky and Larry Tucker, directed by Paul Mazursky
5.    THE CONVERSATION (1974), written and directed by Francis Ford Coppola
6.    TAXI DRIVER (1976), written by Paul Schrader, directed by Martin Scorsese
7.    GROUNDHOG DAY (1993), written by Danny Rubin and Harold Ramis, directed by Harold Ramis
8.    THE GODFATHER II (1974), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, directed by Francis Ford Coppola
9.    ROSEMARY’S BABY (1968), written and directed by Roman Polanski
10.    THE WANDERERS (1979), written by Philip Kaufman and Rose Kaufman, directed by Philip Kaufman
11.    AFTER HOURS (1985), written by Joseph Minion, directed by Martin Scorsese
12.    HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944), written and directed by Preston Sturges
13.    THE WILD BUNCH (1969), written by Walon Green, Sam Peckinpah, and Roy N. Sickner, directed by Sam Peckinpah
14.    THE LONG GOODBYE (1973), written by Leigh Brackett, directed by Robert Altman
15.    TOUCH OF EVIL (1958), written and directed by Orson Wells
16.    JAWS (1975), written by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb, directed by Steven Spielberg
17.    THE GODFATHER (1972), written by Mario Puzo and Francis Ford Coppola, directed by Francis Ford Coppola
18.    UNITED 93 (2006), written and directed by Paul Greengrass
19.    AUDITION (1999), written by Daisuke Tengan, directed by Takashi Miike
20.    BABE (1995), written by George Miller and Chris Noonan, directed by Chris Noonan
21.    GALAXY QUEST (1999), written by David Howard and Robert Gordon, directed by Dean Parisot
22.    BARRY LYNDON (1975), written and directed by Stanley Kubrick
23.    POINT BLANK (1967), written by Alexander Jacobs, David Newhouse, and Rafe Newhouse, directed by John Boorman
24.    BABY DOLL (1956), written by Tenessee Williams, directed by Elia Kazan
25.    THE THING (1982), written by Bill Lancaster, directed by John Carpenter
26.    KILL BILL VOLUMES 1 & 2 (2004), written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
27.    FUCKING AMAL (AKA SHOW ME LOVE) (1998), written and directed by Lukas Moodysson
28.    DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993), written and directed by Richard Linklater
29.    BLOW OUT (1981), written and directed by Brian Depalma
30.    THE BROOD (1979), written and directed by David Cronenberg
31.    CITY OF GOD (2002), written by Braulio Mantovani, directed by Fernando Meirelles with Katia Lund
32.    DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975), written by Frank Pierson, directed by Sidney Lumet
33.    JACKIE BROWN (1997), written and directed by Quentin Tarantino
34.    TOOTSIE (1982), written by Murray Schisgal and Larry Gelbart, directed by Sydney Pollack
35.    VERTIGO (1958), written by Alec Coppel and Samuel Taylor, directed by Alfred Hitchcock
36.    ANNIE HALL (1977), written by Woody Allen and Marshall Brickman, directed by Woodey Allen
37.    MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL (1975), written by Graham Chapman and John Cleese and Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones and Michael Palin, directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones
38.    ROOM AT THE TOP (1959), written by Neil Paterson, directed by Jack Clayton
39.    Y TU MAMA ET TAMBIEN (2001), written by Alfonso Cuaron and Carlos Cuaron, directed by Alfonso Cuaron
40.    BOTTLE ROCKET (1996), written by Owen Wilson and Wes Anderson, directed by Wes Anderson
41.    HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH (2001), written by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, directed by John Cameron Mitchell
42.    NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (1955), written by James Agee, directed by Charles Laughton
43.    KUNG FU HUSTLE (2004), written by Stephen Chow, Xin Huo, Chan Man Keung, and Kan-Cheung Tsang, directed by Stephen Chow
44.    CHINATOWN (1974), written by Robert Towne, directed by Roman Polanski
45.    A TALE OF TWO SISTERS (2003), written and directed by Ji-woon Kim
46.    THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (1964), written and directed by Jacques Demy
47.    SULLIVAN’S TRAVELS (1941), written and directed by Preston Sturges
48.    THE 400 BLOWS (1959), written by Francois Truffaut and Marcel Moussy, directed by Francois Truffaut
49.    CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS (1989), written and directed by Woody Allen
50.    GET CARTER (1971), written and directed by Mike Hodges

Oh!  And one more thing.  Be sure to tune into Spike.com/pgporn this upcoming Tuesday, March 17, for the new episode of PG PORN: HELPFUL BUS.  The episode stars CRAIG ROBINSON from The Office, Pineapple Express, and Knocked Up, my brother Sean Gunn from The Gilmore Girls, adult starlets Bree Olson and Marie Love, VH1 SCREAM QUEEN Sarah Agor, SPARKY & MIKAELA’S Mikaela Hoover, and more!  As with all of our non-sexual pornography, there will be absolutely ZERO FUCKING WHATSOEVER! 


Here’s Craig, Bree, and Sean in the first HELPFUL BUS photo ever:



See you soon,


© 2009, James Gunn. All rights reserved.

Category: LISTS

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

  • Matija

    My number one is Super. Matija

  • Pingback: 15 MOVIES THAT STUCK WITH ME | James Gunn - Official Website for James Gunn()

  • sooo_yeah

    you love Kung Fu hustle too?! <3 LOL! to be honest I’m actually severly afraid to see “The Thing” I’ve seen clips and stuff and it reminds me too much of my childhood nightmares (and some adulthood ones too) seriously, when,and if, I have nightmares they go full force. but who knows, I love getting the shit scared out of me anyway. :D

  • hennyjen

    I love your lists – they’re little gems that serve as recommendations for things I need to see/check out.

    Eternal Sunshine is high on my list as well. But of course, I’m a little biased because I love just about anything Kate Winslet is in. Then again, you can’t go wrong with characters named Joel and Clementine.

  • Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind would be my number one for sure, that movie is so powerful– it takes you through every emotion possible.

    A recent one that would make my top 10 (5?) would be In Bruges, even though the metaphor is very heavy handed in the ending, I still love love love that movie.

  • bobdehn

    Seen about 75% of the list, and agree with just about all of them I’ve seen. Definitely agree with Once Upon A Time In The West. Henry Fonda killing a kid in the first few minutes? Talk about startling!

    “What should we do with this one, Frank?”
    “Well, now that you’ve called me by name….”

  • TINA

    Lets not forget about Strange Land and They. Then of course there is Serenity. [img][/img]

  • Kauritree

    That’s quite a diverse list you have there James. You are a man of all seasons.

  • Pingback: Jesse’s 50 Favorite Movies : I Smell Like Coffee and Awesome!()

  • I love your list. I just watched Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless mind. I fucking loved it. I watched a Movie called The Nines with Ryan “I’d Do him” Reynolds which was also good, but not as good as Eternal…

  • Lefreke – Yes, I’m surprised your the first one to comment on that. The truth is I love lots of different films, not just horror films. And, as far as genres go, I love Westerns as much as anything else. That said, I do have five horror films, which is 10% – a good deal larger than the percentage of actual horror films to other movies.

    As for movies Slither pays homage to, The Thing and The Brood are here. Basketcase and Night of the Living Dead almost made it – they’d be in my top 100. Shivers and many other Cronenberg films might be as well.

  • lefreke

    I’m a little shocked that when I took count there were only 5 horror films in your list, and that’s only if you count the Brood as horror and not just weird (or Cronenberg, since that’s kinda it’s own genre). I wouldn’t expect you to geek out because of horror, but ‘Slither’ was such a lovefest of that genre it would seem you would have some of the movies it paid honor to in your list.

  • The fact that Galaxy Quest made the list affirms my belief that you are fuckin’ awesome. I’ve actually seen quite a few of these (21/50) for a change…the rest, I’ll have to check out.

  • Also guys – I put up a list of 100 or so additional films I considered for my list of top 50 favorite on my message board in “James Gunn Forum Space” http://www.jamesgunn.com/forum

  • Tracy! – Yes, these are in order. Rosemary’s Baby is only my favorite horror film, not my favorite film. Vertigo is an incredible film! Stylized, intense, and amazingly taut. I also love The Birds, Rear Window, NXNW, Marnie, and a couple other Hitchcock films.

  • Tracy!

    Is this in order cause I would have bet my Arrested Development DVDs that Rosemary would be first. Anyways I was curious as to why you have Vertigo on here? I saw it a couple weeks ago & didn’t really dig it, maybe I gotta see it again. Also I love how most of these are written and directed by the same person, I remember reading that you liked movies more when it’s like that.

  • The Critic Wannabe

    I love Blow Out so much that it made me search out Michelangelo Antonioni’s BlowUp. I think they’re brilliant companion pieces.
    But while Alfred Hitchcock may be my favorite director, I still don’t really care for Vertigo. Although I am man enough to admit that I must be missing SOMETHING because everyone else seems to love it.

  • Excellent timing! After next Tuesday I’ll have a week and a half where I don’t have classes and homework (still have work and spending time with my son, of course, but fewer things on my to do list mean more potential movie-watching time…) and i’ve only seen about 15 of these. Your site looks gorgeous, by the way. xo

  • DrunkyBear

    My only beef with this list is Kung Fu Hustle. I wanted so badly to love it (and there were parts that fully entertained me) but I was very disappointed. Thrilled that you included Hedwig (so completely underrated in my opinion), The Thing, Baby Doll, and Eternal Sunshine! I love your lists so please keep ’em coming!

  • I love the new website!
    It’s awesome.
    And I love your list of films and I love watching them with you.

    (What I really wanted to write in my comment was that Bree Olson and Bree Olson’s ass look SO much better in this photo than they did in person, but then I decided against it.)

  • Godfather I is an amazing movie. But the stuff in the middle where Michael goes to Italy and get married stops it from being as perfect as II is throughout. II is more interesting as well in terms of narrative style.

    SLiTHER is definitely one of my favorite movies — in fact, my favorite! But I’m leaving my own films off this list as I react to them in a much different way.

  • ccshoes

    Why The Godfather II above The Godfather? Is there something specific that you can point to, or is it just the feel of it? Galaxy Quest is really such a solid movie, I’m impressed. I honestly would have Slither on my top 50, but I guess that would be weird for yours.

  • SeanGunn – A number of documentaries (Salesman, Thin Blue Line, Titicutt Follies) were ALMOST in the top 50. In the end I just decided to avoid them, as I really do have a difficult time comparing a documentary to a fictional film. Short answer: I left them off the list.

    BrianShoopman: Yes, this is a list of my favorites, not the greatest movies of all time. I would certainly included films like CITIZEN KANE and CITY LIGHTS in a greatest films list because they’re incredible films that hold up and are also extremely influential. However, the films to this list are all more important to me personally.

  • Nice list! I love it when people can acknowledge the greatness of both hoity toity films like Barry Lyndon as well as guilty pleasures like Babe and the Holy Grail. I’m surprised that I liked Galaxy Quest but it was pretty damn good. Love the new site.

  • Marc-OS

    I had to check IMDB to make sure you were talking about the same Galaxy Quest I was thinking of. I love that movie, it’s an under-rated gem.

  • Well I did notice something in James’ wording-perhaps it’s significant, perhaps not-but he entitled this list “MY 50 FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME” and avoided the term GREATEST or any similar grandiose labels.

    Personally, I think there are a number of solid choices up there and I’m not judging his choices-that’s not why I was making the distinction. It’s just I know in my case, and I’m certain in that of many others, that if I sat down and made a list of films that I thought were great films versus films that were my favorites the lists would be similar but hardly identical. I have my group of guilty pleasures that I love and enjoy, but realize would not belong on a list of films that warrant an elevated status due to artistic and technical merits blah blah blah.

    So, yeah, I guess all this is a roundabout way of asking the question whether you’re intending the list, fluid though it may be, to somewhat reflect examples of celluloid greatness or are you just saying your list reflects a little of both, great film making and a fun time at the movies? (Maybe I’m “over thinking” the issue and this is a crap question lol If so, sorry.)

  • wittprincess13

    I think Hedwig is a completely underrated film and I am glad it made your list. I also saw a live performance of the show that was probably the single best piece of theatre I have witnessed.

  • Funny thing. Of all these years, I’ve never seen The Godfather films. Not sure why. I saw Part III only because I worked in a movie theater at the time and I was forced to see it over and over and over and over again. But for some reason I just never saw the first two. Probably because they were always on TV and cable ALL the time, I figured I’d catch ’em one day. Never did.

    Can’t say I’m a Tarantino fan though. And it doesn’t seem like I ever will be. Although I did love Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch, didn’t like Tarantino’s Jackie Brown.

    Chinatown? Yeah, I guess Syd Field loves that movie too. I just thought it was okay. Although the William Mulholland and the Owens Valley conspiracy is interesting on its own, but not really in a fictionalized portrayal of it.

    Touch of Evil was just so much better even though the NRA dude plays a Mexican. Yes, I’m comparing the two.

  • SeanGunn

    Wow, I’m pretty amazed at this list. I count approximately 20 that would also likely be in my top 50, and another 15 that would probably make my top 150. Most of the rest I haven’t seen. Not a single movie on here I’ve seen and don’t like very much or love. Did you not count documentaries, or did none make the list? I’d have at least 5…

  • sharding

    I think you forgot Say Anything.

  • Joseph

    Great, great list. I see “Once Upon a Time in the West” and “Eternal Sunshine” are still duking it out for the top spot. It’s awesome to see Mazursky represented, especially so high up on your list.

    This list makes me want to rewatch a shitload of movies. And add some to my netflix that I’m embarrassed about not seeing yet.

  • This list gets me to thinking –

    I really like watching the PG Porn short movies so much!

    Then I think, “I wonder if James Gunn would like watching my short movie, LAST CALL much?

    Then with great relief I see that you actually LIKE The Long Kiss Goodnight.

    Whew! Well if you like THAT…

    So here is the link to my latest Blago (at myspace) and my short, LAST CALL

  • Just Linda

    Ah, Hedwig. I knew we were destined to be friends.

  • Great List!!!!! There are still some on here that I need to see but never got the chance…

  • gunncollector

    where is Ben- Hur? and im glad im not the only Wanderers fan!!!!!! cant wait 4 the pg porn dvd. should have really good extras. when will Lloyd be in an episode?

  • Johnpavlich – I LIKE Long Kiss Goodnight.

  • Tee Spreck

    So very many movies that I’ve never seen. My “Film Buff” certificate is being revoked as we speak, but through the power of Netflix I will strive to re-earn it. My Queue thanks you.

  • johnpavlich

    After Hours and The Thing are two of my faves! Pretty solid list, although Jackie Brown and Y Tu Mama Et Tambien I never saw the greatness. Talk about “overrated”. But hey, it’s your list. Who am I to judge? I mean, I like Renny Harlin movies (I don’t know how or why, but that man takes movies I would hate on paper and makes them fun and entertaining, except for The Long Kiss Goodnight. Shane Black just flat-out rules).

  • Ahhh such good films on this list. Especially Point Blank (even though I was just laid off, I was close to buying the cool as hell new poster made for the Alamo Drafthouse at Mondo Tees…sigh).

    But yeah, glad to see someone else love Groundhog Day and The Wanderers as much as I do.

  • NOTE: NOT the Stallone GET CARTER, the Michael Caine GET CARTER.

    AND We WILL probably be seeing PG PORN on DVD, but not in the immediate future.

  • Hell of a good list. Do you think we’ll be seeing PG Porn on DVD anytime soon?

  • Kenfisk

    Get Carter? Really? I guess I’ll have to watch it again.