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Top Three Best Movies Ever.

The ‘iModeler at the Movies’ Group Build has already been a greater success than I could have hoped. Inspired by Aleksander I have added this adjunct; what are your top three movies – ever?

My hopes are that we can inspire some more excellent projects and connect members with some fantastic movies. I’ve already seen posts thanking iModelers for getting them to watch new (or forgotten) films.

So, let’s start with Aleksander’s top three;

1. Brazil – Terry Gilliam – 1985

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey – Stanley Kubrick – 1968

3. Dead Man – Jim Jarmusch – 1995


77 responses to Top Three Best Movies Ever.

  1. Top three I never miss (no matter HOW many times I’ve seen ’em) :
    1) Bullitt
    2) Patton
    3) Goodfellas

  2. Thanks, Craig;


  3. I got a few:
    The Sand Pebbles
    2001 A Space Odyssey

    • Robert, I don’t know Wizards, but I will check into it. The Sand Pebbles made an impression though. One day at work I ran into a forlorn looking building maintenance HVAC mechanic. I asked what was wrong and he told me at length. I knew naught about boilers, but the floor was mine. I had to say something. So I asked, Did you check the may stim stop wowel?

      Unrelated, but also pre-retirement:

      And after the consultants had finished their work with the reorganization well under way, many days as I walked the hallways I foud myself parroting Jake Holman’s last words, “ What hpppened here; what the hell happened here?”

      Thanks for including the Sand Pebbles.


  4. Thanks, Robert. Here are some posters for you my friend;


  5. Here are my top three
    (In no particular order)

    1/ Tora Tora Tora.
    2/ The Lady Killers (1955).
    3/ The Great Escape.

    • Great choices, Julian…

  6. I think my three would be – this week – (bearing in mind these are ‘favourites’ rather than technical ‘best’.

    Number three…

    Kelly’s Heroes. Brian Hutton, 1970.

    Number two…

    Blade Runner. Ridley Scott, 1982.

    Number one…

    Jaws. Stephen Spielberg, 1975.

  7. Difficult to selct. I chose some older ones:
    Metropolis (Fritz Lang)
    The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin)
    Fahrenheit 451

    • Hans, in many ways older is better with movies; I love your choices;

  8. I wanna say there are only three movies. Period. The Holy Trilogy of Star Wars, ESB AND ROTJ. Not sure what my top three ACTUALLY are, but E.T. , The Empire Strikes Back and Edward Scissorhands could make the cut for sci-fi. Animal House, Christmas Vacation and UHF for comedy. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws and Kill Bill for action.

  9. Josh, you are making this hard work, but here we are;


  10. Well, I can say “yes” to everyone’s choices, good to see the iModeler group is comprised of intelligent, cultured people. I’ll try here to list movies that aren’t on all the other lists.

    I’ll always plop down and watch these when they’re on:

    Casablanca (I can recite it)
    Singin’ In The Rain
    North By Northwest
    The Bridges At Toko-Ri
    Twelve O’Clock High
    The Battle of Britain
    The Spirit of St. Louis
    The Enemy Below
    Flight of the Phoenix (the original)
    Godfather Parts I and II

    I’ll stop here, having thoroughly trashed “the rule of 3” 🙂

  11. 1. Saving Private Ryan
    2. Schindler’s list
    3. Black Hawk Down
    My two cents!

    • Bogdan, thanks for contributing. Great choices that confirm the intelligence and taste of iModelers…


  12. Tom, there’s a lot of good and deep and creative thinkers on this site and if movie taste was an IQ indicator iModelers would be swimming in the deep end of the gene pool.



  13. Veeery tricky, but here it goes:

    Sleepy Hollow – because of the atmosphere and the painting-like visuals
    The Third Man – because I grew up across the street from the guy who played the title theme
    Fargo – because Frances McDormand

  14. Agreed, Boris, very tricky. But here you are for posters…


  15. You’ve made it hard for yourself, David – but you’re batting a thousand, so far.

    I have somewhat odd tastes sometimes, but here goes:
    (Also in no particular order)

    Second-Hand Lions (The fishing scene is hilarious!)
    Gettysburg (originally a TV movie series 0f 3 installments, I believe, but I have the Blu-Ray in which it’s all together.)

    I really like The Music Man, but that is more than allowed and besides, I like it ALMOST as much as the others … but not quite.

    And then there’s Star Wars (Episode 4) … and The Wrath of Khan … and Saving Private Ryan …

    Gee – that about covers MY three! LoL!

    • Well, Jeff, I’m keeping in the innings (stateside readers can ‘google’ that one) and not out yet. Great to hear from you my Indi friend.


  16. wow this is a tough one to narrow down…

    Apocalypse Now is my #1, the rest are tough
    but I’ll go with
    Saving Private Ryan
    Sorcerer (good like finding that one… 🙂 )

    • Paul, ‘Apocalypse’ is a definite iModeler favourite, with ‘Ryan’ a good second; ‘Sorcerer’ is a little left field (mmm…Field of Dreams is great) and a brilliant study in pure tension and stress.


  17. My picks:

    Monty Python and the Holy Grail
    The War Lover
    The Cowboys (John Wayne)
    Once Upon A Time In The West

  18. Oh boy, for intelligent people you guys have a lot of difficulty counting to three…

    • David I don’t have any trouble counting to 3 — 1,2,5,4,3, see easy,—
      some favourites in no order,—
      Dr Strangelove —-
      The thing —-
      Alien, all of them —-
      Avatar —-
      Jaberwocky —-
      and many more !!!

      • Hi Alan,

        I have been a big fan of Dr. Strangelove for many years. We own the DVD, but I had to peek in on the telly last night when it was on. To my surprise, I noticed something I had not been aware of previously. Just after the navigator informs Major Kong that they will not be able to reach the primary target, he asks for a target of opportunity. The view shifts to the B-52 flying low and casting a shadow . . . . of a B-17! I had to go back and run it again to make sure but there’s no mistaking the round tail and the straight wings. It makes me wonder what else Kubrick sneaked in there.


  19. Jaime, fantastic picks…just don’t get me started on westerns – could pick three best
    Movies just from that genre.


    • Could also add “Rooster Cogburn” and “The Shootist” to the John Wayne list as well. I won’t mention the spaghetti westerns with Clint Eastwood….

      “The Battle of Britain” came out when I was 11 years old. I made my dad take me to see it at the drive in theater near my home. The Luftwaffe March blaring full volume on that tinny speaker while Kesselring was driving between rows of parked He-111’s just blew me away.

      • Jaime, during the summer of 1970 I worked at the Hotel Gasthof Turmwirt in Oberammergau, Germany. I decided to spend a week in London for “vacation” before I went back home and back to college. Battle of Britain was fairly new and I decided to see the movie at the cinema. It was particularly memorable watching that movie in London – especially for one too young to have lived through it, not to mention being American! One REALLY memorable thing was when I realised that to get to the cinema, I had ridden the “Tube” to get there and had gotten ON the subway train at the same station that is shown in the movie!! (Not sure exactly WHICH station right now – Charing Cross, perhaps? I’ve slept since then … ) It’s still a favourite movie of mine!

  20. Good lists all around. I follow Adam Savage’s statement. Every movie fan has at least 30 films on their top 10 list.

    Pulling from the top of my head:
    -The World’s End
    -High Fidelity

    • What a night in these three would make. A day modeling, hit the sofa, curry, beer, lights, camera…


  21. Geesh!! Nobody mentioned ‘Gone with the Wind’.
    The Searchers.
    Lawrence of Arabia.

    • Bowman, a man for the epics! Beautiful choices!


  22. three is too little!! 3 from each genre would make it an easier task for us all 🙂 fun stuff and some great poster images @david leigh-smith

  23. Wow, quite difficult… but probably

    Saving Private Ryan
    Twelve O’clock High

  24. I’m with Paul on this one. I can’t think of only 3 best films, all genres included. I’d need at least a 10 best movies list!
    I suppose I’d have to leave quite a few aside (and unfairly) if I only listed 3. A main reason is that as time goes by, and as I watch more films (old or new), my preferences may change, but I still love the old best ones.

    For instance many years ago, and during quite a long time, my favorite would be Lawrence of Arabia. But even if still is one of my favorites, the list has become bigger, with others at the same top level as Lawrence. Avatar would currently be one of my favorites ever (mainly because of the story, which for me is the perfect example of how mean & destructive humans can be!). But I also love all the Lord of the Rings series (because I’ve read the books many years ago, and for me it’s one of the best stories depicting the eternal fight between Good & Evil, and I think Peter Jackson did an excellent job putting into film the characters and the feelings I got from the books).
    But where would I put Blade Runner (the 1st one), for instance? Or Casablanca? Or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest? Or 2001? Or Blood Diamond? Or the Matrix series? Or Tombstone? Or Paul (one of the very rare comedies I really have a good laugh each time I watch it; I’m not that much a comedy genre kind of guy, I must admit, nor musicals) ?
    Or… so many others, some already mentioned by other iModelers here, others maybe not?…

    Sorry, can’t do much better than this, David 🙁

    If you start a “the 10 best, each genre” then I’m in… 🙂 (Notice that there are genres for which I wouldn’t have ten to list, in some cases not even 1 or 2!)



  25. Excellent thread,

    1. The 10 Commandments, this I know word for word.. Charlton Heston-1956

    2. Its a Wonderful Life-this one as well, Jimmy Stewart, 1946

    3. a toss up- The Longest Day-John Wayne among so many greats in this movie. 1962

    4. Close Encounters of the Third Kind-Richard Dreyfuss 1977

    sorry to be a sentimental softy….

  26. Oh boy,
    The Gallant Hours
    Le Mans
    Where Eagles Dare

    3 attached images. Click to enlarge.

  27. Man this is a hard question………… I like a lot of movies. Comedies, Westerns, Action / Adventure, Science Fiction, Drama, Historical ……………. the list goes on.

    1. Saving Private Ryan………. our family went through a very similar story during WW2
    2. The Great Waldo Pepper……………. lots of flying and biplanes !!!
    3. Unforgiven……………… who doesn’t like Clint Eastwood movies ????? (I’m not talking about the Bridges of Madison County movie……….. it doesn’t count.)

    This is my choice today.

    Tomorrow it could be Jurassic Park (the original), Midway and Jaws…………. 🙂

    The day after that it could be
    1. We Were Soldiers
    2. Fury
    3. Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail
    4. Flags of our Fathers
    5. Letters From Iwo Jima

  28. Lawrence of Arabia
    Band of Brothers Episode 2

    Comic Relief: Nacho Libre

  29. After watching ‘Day of Days’ you’d need some comic relief, David! Thanks my friend…


  30. I’d love to stay within the rules but I have to do two lists of six or I will spend all week debating with myself:

    Wars films.
    Das Boot
    Apocalyse Now
    Battle of Britain
    A Bridge Too Far

    Der Himmel Uber Berlin
    Blues Brothers
    The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
    Seven Samurai
    Django Unchained

    But how I left out Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams, Goodfellas or Inglorious Bastards is beyond me.

    Finally, Sci-fi doesn’t always float my boat but I literally jumped up and down cheering when the Beastie Boys blew away the opposition in Star Trek: Beyond.

    Sorry I had to edit – here’s three I saw once and couldn’t watch again that are incredible too:

    Schindler’s List
    La Vita e Bella

  31. Hi Louis. Yep, three IS a tough ask and they’d change every day for me. But for a little inspiration for the Group Build it’s working a treat. I’ve also picked up a few titles I need to catch up on. Thanks for the support, Louis.


  32. @kalamazoo

    Thanks Allan. With arithmetic like that you’ll go far…on iModeler, anyway. What an eclectic bunch, betraying a dark but humorous mind.

  33. David,

    Great thread! As if you were reading my mind…;)

    Idea of film has a different meaning for everyone and it is very nice to see how peoples mind work from time to time. Also to get reminded of some great movies…

    My top three choices are already listed in the beginning, but if I may challenge your poster-finding skills and perhaps inspire some late night movie watching, here are some highly recommended choices for the path less-traveled (in no particular order):

    „Π“ (Pi), Darren Aranofsky, 1998
    “The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology”, Slavoj Žižek, 2012 (very funny and insightful and yes, it’s a documentary!)
    “Naked Lunch”, David Cronenberg, 1991/1992
    “Motorcicle Diaries”, Walter Salles, 2004
    „El Topo“, Alejandro Jodorowsky, 1970
    „Children of Men“, Alfonso Cuarón, 2006
    “Lost Highway”, David Lynch, 1997
    “Lisbon Story”, Wim Wenders, 1994
    “A Pure Formality”, Giuseppe Tornatore, 1994
    “Lessons of Darkness”, Werner Herzog, 1992 (yes, it’s another documentary!)

    Shall I go on?

  34. As you were the inspiration for the thread, I’ll accept your challenge. It’s been a really fascinating insight into my fellow iModelers tastes. That you like Herzog, Cronenberg and Lynch…well, I’ll say I am not too surprised. Great, and demanding, choices, Aleks…


  35. Cheers David! Very cool posters by the way. :)

    I will spare you the trouble, but I could do a lists by the directors. There is not enough place in a “top ten” for all the excellent cinema… Hell, I could do a list only on Herzog/Kinski collaboration – how they managed not to kill each other during the filming.

    There is a funny anecdote, where Kinski, in one of his notorious fits, wanted to leave the set and Herzog told him in earnest: “I have a gun and 6 bullets; five are for you one is for me!” It was in the middle of Amazon jungle while making “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”. Ah those were the days… If one wanted to shoot a film about a lunatic dragging a ship across the mountain, one would assemble a crew, find a ship and drag it across the mountain! As opposed to paying the best CGI geek in town…

    1 attached image. Click to enlarge.

  36. Considering at one time my collection of movies was well over 300 titles in Blu-ray/DVDs, it would be impossible to cull it down to my 3 favorites. Much less even 10 favorites. With the ability to download and watch Movies and Shows through Amazon Prime, we have reduced our collection to a much more manageable size (100 +/-). These three remained and are watched at least once a year.

    In no particular order:

    What Dreams May Come
    1998 American fantasy drama film, starring Robin Williams and Cuba Gooding Jr. It won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects and the Art Directors Guild Award for Excellence in Production Design and was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction.

    A Beautiful Mind
    2001 American biographical drama film based on the life of John Nash, a Nobel Laureate in Economics. The film was directed by Ron Howard, from a screenplay written by Akiva Goldsman. Staring Russell Crowe, along with Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Adam Goldberg, Judd Hirsch, Josh Lucas, Anthony Rapp, and Christopher Plummer. The film won four Academy Awards, for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress. It was also nominated for Best Actor, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup and Best Original Score.

    The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (this one probably gets watched more than twice a year)
    2013 American adventure comedy-drama film directed, co-produced by and starring Ben Stiller and written by Steve Conrad. The film also stars Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, and Sean Penn.

  37. David (@dirtylittlefokker)

    Thanks for the compliment 😉

    I’d see it more like an accurate analysis, hence true 🙂

    You know I could go on and on with my list of favorites…

    When I was 19-20, during my 1st year at Law School, with a friend and fellow student on the same course, we used to go almost every single day to watch “cycles” of films, either all those from a particular Director, or a particular time period, or a particular genre, or a particular “school”-

    So I obviously watched all Fellini’s films (hard to say, but “Rome” was one of my favorites, but so was “8 1/2”), as well as all Italian “school” of that same time period, called Italian Neo-Realism, such as Pier Paolo Pasolini, the Taviani brothers, Rosselini, Vittorio de Sica, etc…

    I watched all films by Swedish Director Ingmar Bergman, all American classics (by films and Directors), all films made by Arrabal and Jodorowsky, Herzog and Wenders, and so many others … you name it… I’ll probably have watched them at least once…

    Many of those films have had a profound effect on my way of thinking, of living, of feeling, in some cases some “afer effects” may last until I’ll be gone.
    Many of those that I really appreciated then, I wouldn’t be able to watch them now (I would fall asleep on a Ingmar Bergman film, I wouldn’t feel comfortable watching some scenes of Arrabal films, etc), but I guess I’ve learned something from them all.

    Maybe I’ll be a film Director on my next reincarnation, so they served their purpose on this lifetime 🙂



  38. Peter, help me here…irony?

    Down Perisope…”now, I know having a woman on board will make things hard on us all but I’m sure we can handle ourselves…”. Jeff B and Craig A – you can stop smirking at the back of the class.

    This from the genius that was Frasier Crane. Oh, boy.

  39. Here’s two that are off the beaten path………

    A Boy and His Dog
    1975 American science fiction comedy thriller film produced, written (with Alvy Moore), and directed by L. Q. Jones, starring Don Johnson, Susanne Benton, Ron Feinberg, and Jason Robards. The film concerns a teenage boy (Vic) and his telepathic dog (Blood), who work together as a team in order to survive in the dangerous post-apocalyptic wasteland of the Southwestern United States.

    Cherry 2000
    1987 American science fiction film starring Melanie Griffith and David Andrews.
    The film is noted for its eclectic mix of genres and themes, including elements of satire and social commentary alongside more conventional cyberpunk and Western aesthetics. This difficulty in marketing the film led to it being released direct-to-video in November 1987. Though largely overlooked by critics due to the lack of theatrical showings, it has since garnered a cult following due to repeat showings on cable.

  40. David @dirtylittlefokker, I fear I must add one more. SWMBO chided me for leaving out the most important movie in our collection. So to keep the misses happy, I must respond with……………….As You Wish!

    • James, I’m glad you added this one. I struggled deciding what to do with TPB . It really is one of our favorites. I find the people I appreciate most can trade script lines without thinking. Now, I can show the wife it is already in here and go with another favorite.

      Remember, never get involved in a land war in Asia.

      RUSS (no, it really is Russ)

      • Russ @russjurco, It really is a great movie. Notable performances by some top notch actors that would be viewed as not their norm. Who knew that Andre the Giant could pull it off? It’s a jewel that we always like to watch and recite all the lines. I’ve found that responding to the wife with “As You Wish…” seems to help make her not notice the next model that arrives in the mail. 😉

  41. “inconceivable!”

  42. I agree with everyone struggling with limiting the choice to three movies. Here are three that always impact me when I watch them.

    1) Local Hero (1983)
    2) The Dish (2000)
    3) Tender Mercies (1983)

    I live in Illinois. Our state motto used to be: You put me in a happy state. The Dish and Local Hero always put me in a happy state. Tender Mercies? Dire Straits had a song that said, “Sometimes you’re a Louisville Slugger, sometimes you’re the ball.” I feel like the ball after wathing Tender Mercies, and the Louisville Slugger got all of me. Still I watch it every time I see that it is on.

    Those are my three. If you haven’t already seen them, give them a look. That said, we loaned Local Hero to some good friends. Weeks later they told us they had never seen a worse movie. We told them they were wrong and pointed to the DVD sleeve claiming the film is “Enchanting” as proof.


  43. Only seen ‘Local Hero’ from that trio, Russ. Have to make some time for the others!

  44. David @dirtylittlefokker, I cannot belief these haven’t shown up, or did I miss them?

  45. No, you are first in with these movies. I’m surprised by how few war movies we are collecting in all honesty. You have to go back a few posts to find any. Interesting…

  46. I was channel surfing a few days ago, something I seldom get to do, and stumbled into “The Guns Of Navarone”! Haven’t seen that one in ages…

    War movies, you say?

    “Run Silent, Run Deep”.
    “All Quiet On The Western Front”
    “Hell Boats”
    “Sink The Bismarck!”

    I think I’m showing my age….

  47. Quality never gets old, Jamie. While ‘channel surfing’ a few days ago I ended up watching ‘Where Eagles Dare’ – it was a fantastic couple of hours.

    Thanks, Jaime, hopefully we can get some folks inspired to watch some of these timeless movies.

  48. Just watched this on TV; never heard of it before and was blown away by how good it was. And it has a Mosquito!

  49. Better late than never:
    Three movies I will always watch regardless of already multiple viewings

    Ben Hur (1959)
    Cross of Iron

    There are probably 10 or 100 others in that category but these 3 were the first that came to mind and I don’t think they made anyone else’s list.

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