Greatest Movies Through 1960

Best Movies Compiled From Many Sources

* Book: The Great Movies by William Bayer

Click to Amazon

Click to Amazon

This book asks just HOW one goes about choosing Great Movies.  It sets 12 categories or genres and choose the FIVE best in each genre.  That allows movies to be compared with comparable movies rather than comparing a musical with a thriller (called “Intrigue & Suspense” in this book).  Since this book was written in 1973, most of the movies already were within my criteria of having been released through 1960.

I discovered this book after I had compiled my list of the Top 200 Old Movies, so it was not one of the 37 lists that I used (however, I plan on including it if I do a second revision in the future).

Here is the list of movies in the book, noting the genre for each movie as well.

  • 400 Blows (The Concerned Cinema)
  • All About Eve (Films About Films)
  • Bad And The Beautiful*
  • Bicycle Thieves (The Concerned Cinema)
  • Big Sleep (Intrigue & Suspense)
  • Bridge On The River Kwai (War)
  • Casablanca (Adventure)
  • Children Of Paradise (Period Films)
  • Citizen Kane (Manners, Morals & Society)
  • City Lights (Comedies)
  • Duck Soup (Comedies)
  • From Here To Eternity (War)
  • General (Comedies)
  • Gone With The Wind (Period Films)
  • Grand Illusion (War)
  • Henry V (Period Films)
  • Hiroshima, Mon Amour (The Concerned Cinema)*
  • La Dolce Vita (Manners, Morals & Society)
  • La Strada (Cinema of Personal Expression)
  • M (Intrigue & Suspense)
  • Magnificent Ambersons (Period Films)
  • Metropolis (Fantasy & Horror)
  • On The Waterfront (The Concerned Cinema)
  • Only Angels Have Wings (Adventure)*
  • Paths Of Glory (War)
  • Psycho (Fantasy & Horror)
  • Rear Window (Intrigue & Suspense)
  • Red River (Western)
  • Rules Of The Game (Manners, Morals & Society)
  • Searchers (Western)
  • Seven Samurai (Adventure)
  • Shane (Western)
  • Singin’ In The Rain (Musicals)
  • Stagecoach (Western)
  • Sunset Boulevard (Films About Films)
  • Third Man (Intrigue & Suspense)
  • Top Hat (Musicals)
  • Touch Of Evil (Intrigue & Suspense)
  • Treasure Of The Sierra Madre (Adventure)
  • Wizard of Oz (Musicals)

* movies not in my Top 200 Movies list

The full list is online and the book itself is available from Amazon and from the Madison Public Library