For movie buffs and lovers, here’s a few of my ratings for the “Best” all-time movies,  (broken down into genre),  plus actors and directors. Tell me your opinions.

Best movie of all time, Drama:

  1. Godfather
  2. Schindler’s List
  3. Titanic
  4. Dances With Wolves
  5. Shawshank Redemption

Best movie all-time; Comedy

  1. Some Like it Hot
  2. My Cousin Vinnie
  3. Young Frankenstein
  4. Blazing Saddles
  5. Liar Liar

Best Movie all-time: Musical

  1. Grease
  2. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  3. My Fair Lady
  4. Chicago
  5. Phantom of the Opera

Best actor, all-time:

  1. Daniel Day Lewis
  2. Robert DeNiro
  3. Jack Nicholson
  4. James Earl Jones
  5. Al Pacino

Best Actress, All-time

  1. Meryl Streep
  2. Bette Davis
  3. Ingrid Bergman
  4. Halle Berry
  5. Jody Foster

  Best Director, All-time  

  1. Steven Spielberg
  2. Clint Eastwood
  3. Cecil B. DeMille
  4. Alfred Hitchcock
  5. Francis Ford Coppola




  1. Michael Conner July 5, 2018 at 3:49 pm #

    Marshall, I mostly agree. Perhaps Les Miz could work its way into the musicals. Streep and DeNiro should stick with acting. Vinnie STILL makes me laugh, but Blazing Saddles might cause problems uncensored. I “wonder’ if anyone’s seen “That Thing You Do” by Tom Hanks. Can’t argue with directors.

  2. Helen Bennett July 5, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

    I agree with you on Best Movie Comedy: Some Like it Hot, and Best Actor, Daniel Day-Lewis. Glad you included Ingrid Bergman among best actresses. My Best Musical is An American in Paris, Best American Drama is It’s a Wonderful Life, and Best Western (a category you omitted) is High Noon.

  3. Charlie Greene July 5, 2018 at 4:09 pm #

    Drama – Casablanca
    Comedy – Animal House
    Musical – Singing in the Rain
    Actor – Humphrey Bogart
    Actress – Merrill Streep
    Director – Clint Eastwood

    • Charlie July 5, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

      Ditto on High Noon Helen.
      Shane is my second western

    • Charlie July 5, 2018 at 6:26 pm #

      Ditto on High Noon Helen.
      Shane is my second western

  4. Charlie Greene July 5, 2018 at 4:24 pm #








  5. Donald July 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

    Here are my top five dramas:

    1. The Godfather’
    2. Saving Private Ryan (1st 30 minutes are the best war scenes ever recorded)
    3. Casablanca
    4. 12 Angry Men
    5. Forrest Gump

  6. Russ Johns July 5, 2018 at 5:01 pm #

    Drama – Casablanca
    Comedy – My Cousin Vinny
    Musical – Music Man
    Western – Magnificent Seven
    War – Guns of Navarrone
    actor – Tom Hanks
    actress – Francis McDormand
    Director – Ron Howard

  7. JustMe July 5, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

    I have way too many thoughts about the categories you discussed, so will just mention one particular thing –
    My husband and I both think Merrill Streep is way over-rated as an actress. She has absolutely no originality at all, appearing the same in whatever movie she’s in. It’s as if she’s playing the same character over and over, movie after movie. That would be ok if she was at least interesting to watch, but she isn’t. She’s just plain boring.

  8. Jkr July 5, 2018 at 5:39 pm #

    Good actors, but DeNiro and Pacino generally play DeNiro and Pacino. Sort of like JustMe describes Streep.

    Some other categories worth listing:
    Teaching Moments. For example, Burn Baby Burn was a sleeper drama which ends with a morall vs ethical dilemma that is a great teaching experience. Two others which were great material for teaching were Freedom Writers and Take The Lead.

  9. Sharon Coffman July 5, 2018 at 6:25 pm #

    This list, of course, is of American movies. If we include “best ever,” we have to include Kurosawa, Fellini, Bergman, and Truffaut as directors and their films.

    Best American movie of all time: Toss up between Godfather and Godfather 2. (BTW, I’m one of those who don’t think Titanic was all that great. I thought, for example, Forrest Gump was much better. Or Apocalypse Now, or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.)

    Best comedy of all time: Young Frankenstein by far. Groundhog Day deserves a top-five spot, in my estimation, as well as Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

    Best musical: Singing in the Rain, which also deserves a spot on Best Movie of All Time. By far.

    Best actor: Without a doubt, Daniel Day Lewis. He transforms, he becomes. He’s riveting to watch in anything. De Niro and Pacino play themselves.

    Best actress: Ingrid Bergman, followed by Frances McDormand.

    Best director: Coppola. To have directed both The Godfather 1 and 2, equally as good, is the work of a master. Spielberg next. John Huston (can’t forget him), Kubrick (2001: A Space Odyssey is a classic)

  10. Les Le Gear July 5, 2018 at 8:35 pm #

    Best movie is The Third Man.

  11. Bob James July 5, 2018 at 11:46 pm #


    Nice change of pace for your column. You are a more astute critic of the movie scene by far than am I and you have seen a great deal more movies than I. Nevertheless, I welcome the opportunity to present “my best choices” based strictly on the emotional impact the movie and actors had on me at the time I saw the movie.

    Best Picture: Gone With the Wind
    Saw it for the first time in 1955. It blew me away. Tremendous emotional impact.
    The Deer Hunter is a close 2nd for me.

    Best Comedy: Animal House
    Great cast but John Belushi stole the show. I laugh just thinking about this movie.

    Best Musical(s): My Fair Lady, Oklahoma, Carousel and Singing in the Rain
    Impossible for me to pick a #1 out of this group; love them all.

    Best Western: Shane
    High Noon is a close 2nd (Did you forget this category?)

    Best Actor: James Cagney
    He did it all and was absolutely stunning no matter the role type he was playing.

    Best Actress: Bette Davis
    An acting force of nature. No one else is even close

    Best Director: Cecil B. DeMille

  12. Lee Martines July 6, 2018 at 3:40 am #

    As a child, I probably attended the movies a couple times a week, but as I grew older it became considerably less frequent. Even with the proliferation of movies on tape, CD’s and TV, there have been few movies that I have watched in the past 30-40 years. Consequently my choices will be rather ancient. I remember being moved watching a 1961 court drama “Judgment at Nuremberg” that featured an all-star cast. One of my favorite musicals was 1963’s “West Side Story”. Some others were “Singin’ in the Rain”, “7 Brides for 7 Brothers”, “Carousel”, and “White Christmas” (I had a childhood crush on Vera-Ellen). My favorite action movies are “The Magnificent Seven”, “The Great Escape” starring Mr. Cool, Steve McQueen, “Stalag 17”, and most of the James Bond movies, especially those starring Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Some favorite comedy movies are “Airplane”, “Some Like it Hot”, “Blazing Saddles”, “Animal House”, “National Lampoon’s Vacation”, and “The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!”. I don’t often think of best actor or actress, because their performance is sometimes limited or enhanced by the script and/or the directot, but one actor that has akways impressed me is Anthony Hopkins. On the other hand, one that I believe to be grossly overrated is Will Ferrell.

  13. Darrell P. July 6, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    Here’s my list:
    Best Drama: Best Comedy: Best Director:
    Casablanca Young Frankenstein John Ford (6 Oscars; The Grapes of Wrath; The informers, How Green
    was my Valley, The Quiet Man, 1941, The
    Schindler’s List Moonstruck Battle of Midway)…no other director won more than 3 & Spielberg won only one)

    Million Dollar Baby Tootsie Clint Eastwood

    Titanic Fred Zinnemann


    We Were Soldiers

    Gran Torino

    Best Actor: Best Actress: Best Western:

    Daniel Day Lewis Cate Blanchett Unforgiven

    Anthony Hopkins Jody Foster The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    Jack Nicholson Kate Winslet Tombstone

    Al Pacino Cher Open Range

    Denzel Washington

    Favorite Movie Quotes:

    “ Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine.” (Humphrey Bogart/Casablanca/1942)

    “Are you still seeing that shrink? Well, I say f*** therapy. And what is that stuff you take? Zanax? Well, I say f*** that too. You need to get your joint worked on, Miles.” (Thomas Hayden Church/Sideways/2004)

    “Ever notice how ya come across somebody once in a while you shouldn’t have f***ed with? That’s me.” (Clint Eastwood/Gran Torino/2008)

    “Impatient boys sometimes miss dessert.” (Shirley MacLaine/Terms of Endearment/1983)

    “I never had friends later on like the ones I had when I was twelve.” (Richard Dreyfuss/Stand By Me/1986)

    “Man it’s hot. It’s like Africa hot. Tarzan couldn’t take this kind of hot.” (Matthew Broderick/Biloxi Blues/ 1988)

    “You know how to whistle don’t you Steve? You just put your lips together & blow.” (Lauren Bacall/To Have & Have Not/1944)

    “You know how a woman gets a man excited? She shows up. That’s it.” (Harrison Ford/Six Days, Seven Nights/1998)

  14. Anne Bonner July 6, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Hi Marshall – I didn’t agree with any of your movies – but must reply that GONE WITH THE WIND was absolutely the greatest movie ever produced!!!!

  15. Frank C. July 6, 2018 at 9:29 am #

    Best Actress, All-time?

    Meryl Streep
    Bette Davis
    Ingrid Bergman
    Halle Berry
    Jody Foster

    4. should be Katherine Hepburn

  16. Anon. July 6, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    What about

    Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf
    Being There
    Dr Strangelove

    Richard Burton
    Peter Sellers

  17. Frank C. July 6, 2018 at 9:38 am #

    Best actor, all-time:

    Daniel Day Lewis
    Robert DeNiro
    Jack Nicholson
    James Earl Jones
    Al Pacino

    My picks:

    1. Richard Burton
    2. Dustin Hoffman
    3. Michael Caine
    4. Jack Nicholson
    5. Denzel Washington

  18. Gus V. July 8, 2018 at 6:13 am #

    We live in the Space Coast and have no Sci Fi category? Most of my life I have read non-fiction, but I have had some interest in sci fi books, movies and TV shows. As for sci fi books, I have a taste for some of the classics, such as:

    1. War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells
    2. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick
    3. 1984 by George Orwell
    4. I Robot by Isaac Asimov
    5. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea by Jules Verne

  19. Marion Coste July 28, 2018 at 10:41 am #

    Love all these suggestions! But — I can’t believe no one has mentioned A Fish Called Wanda for the comedy list!

    For Sci Fi – Soylent Green, Planet of the Apes

    I’d go see any movie with Billy Bob Thornton, strange as he is. Same for John Malkovich.

    Best actor: Sean Penn, Johnny Depp ( if you disregard Pirates of the Caribbean series)