Quentin Tarantino Picks the 12 Best Films of All Time; Watch Two of His Favorites Free Online

Every decade, when the British Film Insti­tute (BFI) announces the out­come of its Sight & Sound Poll of the Great­est Films of All Time, cinephiles lis­ten; no less a seri­ous movie per­son than Roger Ebert called it, among the count­less polls of great movies, “the only one most seri­ous movie peo­ple take seri­ous­ly.” When the BFI con­ducts the poll, it divides those polled into two groups: one for crit­ics like Ebert, and one for direc­tors like, say, Quentin Taran­ti­no, whose thor­ough knowl­edge of cin­e­ma and absolute seri­ous­ness as a movie per­son almost makes him a crit­ic as well, albeit one who does his crit­i­cism in the form of movies.

In the 2002 poll, Taran­ti­no named these as the great­est films of all time:

You can watch two of Taran­ti­no’s 2002 picks, the for­mal­ly exper­i­men­tal caper com­e­dy Hi Did­dle Did­dle as well as His Girl Fri­day, the cap­stone of the screw­ball com­e­dy sub­genre, for free online. Once you’ve enjoyed the both of them, why not have a look at Taran­ti­no’s selec­tions a decade on, for the 2012 Sight & Sound direc­tors poll, to com­pare and con­trast, with the new titles bold­ed:

Taran­ti­no’s 2012 selec­tions reveal a clear increase in appre­ci­a­tion, or at least will­ing­ness to vote his appre­ci­a­tion, for high-pro­file pic­tures of the 1970s — Apoc­a­lypse NowJawsTaxi Dri­verThe Bad News Bears — a decade whose cin­e­ma to which the direc­tor has made no lack of homage. We’ll have to wait six more years, until the 2022 poll, to get a full sense of how Taran­ti­no’s idea of the canon has changed. Will the grim, satir­i­cal, and lurid films of the 70s con­sume most of his list by then? Will he favor a dif­fer­ent era of film his­to­ry entire­ly? I’d only put mon­ey on one thing for sure about the pref­er­ence of this film­mak­er who loves dia­logue even more than vio­lence: His Girl Fri­day isn’t going any­where.

You can find His Girl Fri­day and Hi Did­dle Did­dle on our list, 4,000+ Free Movies Online: Great Clas­sics, Indies, Noir, West­erns, Doc­u­men­taries & More.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

Quentin Tarantino’s 10 Favorite Films of 2013

Quentin Tarantino’s Top 20 Grindhouse/Exploitation Flicks: Night of the Liv­ing Dead, Hal­loween & More

Quentin Taran­ti­no Lists His 20 Favorite Spaghet­ti West­erns, Start­ing with The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

Quentin Taran­ti­no Lists the 12 Great­est Films of All Time: From Taxi Dri­ver to The Bad News Bears

Quentin Tarantino’s Hand­writ­ten List of the 11 “Great­est Movies”

Quentin Taran­ti­no Lists His Favorite Films Since 1992

Watch His Girl Fri­day, Howard Hawks’ Clas­sic Screw­ball Com­e­dy Star­ring Cary Grant, Free Online

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer, the video series The City in Cin­e­ma, the crowd­fund­ed jour­nal­ism project Where Is the City of the Future?, and the Los Ange­les Review of Books’ Korea Blog. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (9) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (9)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
  • Kinders says:

    Taxi Dri­ver is in both lists :)

  • C. Herzl says:

    For some­one with a “thor­ough knowl­edge of cin­e­ma”, Taran­ti­no’s lists sound a bit US-cen­tric. And Jaws??? C’mon… Why not Cock­tail?

  • Chet Torrance says:

    As if Taran­ti­no’s list of films had any sig­nif­i­cance beyond the pop­corn sales. Reser­voir Dogs was sim­ply decent and deriv­i­tive. All else — Drek. Max Schreck.

  • William says:

    7 of 12 are in both lists.

  • keith says:

    I saw Rolling Thun­der twice and thought it was great. William Devane (one of my favorite actors) and Tom­my Lee Jones. I won’t give away the plot, but it you like 70s action/revence films and guys like Peck­in­pah, you’ll like this film.

  • Subhradeep Paul says:

    As though Taran­ti­no’s run­down of movies had any cen­tral­i­ty past the pop­corn deals. Store Dogs was basi­cal­ly bet­ter than aver­age and deriv­i­tive. All else – Drek. Max Schreck.

  • Jeremy says:

    Wow, that’s almost exact­ly what Chet Tor­rance said. It’s almost like one of you is a bot. (or both of you)

  • Dame L Rivero says:

    Now that’s hilar­i­ous, and 100% true. Almost the same com­ments, line for line!!

  • Laurence Goldman says:

    There’s big dif­fer­ence between one’s favorite films and the best films of all time. Pre­ston Sturges entire oeu­vre is bet­ter than “His Girl Fri­day” IMHO. But come on” All of OZU, all of Hitch­cock, all of Renoir, Rosselli­ni, Felli­ni,… Come on. Ray, the French New Wave… Come on . “Breath­less not in there? All of John Ford… Come on. There are HUNDREDS of films bet­ter than Quentin’s list. I like Quentin’s own films bet­ter for the most part. Has any­one seen Kon Ichikawa’s “Tokyo Olympiad” or “alone Across the Pacif­ic”? My God. As if pulp eye can­dy can be ele­vat­ed to mas­ter­piece sta­tus.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.