46 before

1 favourite film from each year I've been alive going BACKWARDS from the year of my birth ...

  • The Vampire Lovers

    The Vampire Lovers

    There's a whole lot to pick from in 1970, but for me this is one of the most memorable and culturally significant. This is the moment when Hammer horror and, in a way, modern horror came of age. This is the moment when horror got dirty ;)

  • Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy

    No contest. I've always loved this film. Jon Voigt's innocence (ha! how those days have gone!) and Dustin Hoffman's tragic world-weariness. And that heartbreaking, yet oddly upbeat ending ...

  • Where Eagles Dare

    Where Eagles Dare

    Sure, 2001 came out this year as well, but I'll always choose Where Eagles Dare for the sheer audacious fun of the whole thing.

  • Quatermass and the Pit

    Quatermass and the Pit

    1967 had some truly iconic films - The Graduate, Bonnie & Clyde, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?, The Dirty Dozen, In The Heat Of The Night - all of which deserve to be in this spot. But this, again, is the most fun of all of them. A London setting, a brooding sense of menace, and a suitably cataclysmic finale.

  • Manos: The Hands of Fate

    Manos: The Hands of Fate

    Sure, this is probably the worst film ever made. But it's also probably the best ...

  • The Ipcress File

    The Ipcress File

    No contest. A perfect riposte to the artificial glamour of the Bond movies, and the role that saw Michael Caine defining the style of a generation.

  • Goldfinger


    Yes, Dr Strangelove. Yes, Mary Poppins. Yes, My Fair Lady. But this is the film that defined Bond. It's also the film where Bond proves strangely useless, which is part of its charm.

  • The Haunting

    The Haunting

    Best. Horror. Movie. Ever.

  • Cape Fear

    Cape Fear

    Forget the Scorsese remake, this one is proper creepy. I've never been much of a Robert Mitchum fan, but he owns this movie. I've seen very few other films where the sense of threat is so well crafted.

  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire

    The Day the Earth Caught Fire

    Was tempted by Guns Of Navarone, and wishing I'd seen Yojimbo ... I saw this film a long time ago and remember being struck that they never once backed away from it being a film about the end of the world. Possibly one of the first times I realised that 'old fashioned' sci-fi movies could also be pretty gritty.

  • Psycho


    Incredible year! Spartacus, The Magnificent Seven, The Apartment, Peeping Tom. Any other year one of those might have made it in, but you just can't put Psycho in second place. Except for that Clay guy, who did ...

  • North by Northwest

    North by Northwest

    I would love to be putting Some Like It Hot in the top spot because it's soooo good, but North By Northwest has been a favourite of mine for such a long time.

  • A Night to Remember

    A Night to Remember

    It was a tough call between this and Vertigo. However, at the end of the day Vertigo can be a bit stodgy while this one is utterly gripping in its simple approach.

  • Night of the Demon

    Night of the Demon

    I almost went with 12 Angry Men, which is simply superb. BUT this is probably one of my top ten favourite films of all time, so get to the back of the bus, 12 Angry Men!

  • Forbidden Planet

    Forbidden Planet

    Another year with so many historic movies, but if I have to pick just one ...

  • The Night of the Hunter

    The Night of the Hunter

    I may have only seen this once, but I have never forgotten the experience. Incredible. I kinda wish this film had come out in a different year, so I could put Kiss Me Deadly here, but I guess you really can't have it all...

  • Rear Window

    Rear Window

    I would love to put Seven Samurai here - it's long, but it manages to be as gripping as any modern blockbuster for its massive running time. However, Rear Window is the film I'd choose to sit down and enjoy every other day of the week.

  • The Wages of Fear

    The Wages of Fear

    Another film I've only seen once, and many years ago. But, hot damn is it good. Watching someone driving a truck has never been so terrifying.

  • Singin' in the Rain

    Singin' in the Rain

    I was introduced to this (as with many films appearing on this list) while studying film at university. It didn't take me long to understand why people love it, and I've continued to love it since that first viewing.

  • The Day the Earth Stood Still

    The Day the Earth Stood Still

    Another fantastic year. I came very close to choosing Strangers on a Train - I'll never forget that fairground scene! - but this one had quite an impact on me when I finally got around to seeing it, so in it goes.

  • All About Eve

    All About Eve

    I went to a screening of All About Eve to promote its first release on DVD - they even had Barry Norman there to introduce it. I'd never seen it before and spent two hours enthralled by the dialogue, the performances, and the backstabbing. It instantly became one of my favourite films ever. If you've never seen it before, then treat yo'self.

  • Kind Hearts and Coronets

    Kind Hearts and Coronets

    Have not seen The Third Man (!), otherwise it would probably be here. When I was in school our teacher would, for some reason, always play us this film on the last day of term. It became this odd ritual (me and my friends would often sneak out the back of the hall and go and chill in the sports fields, before sneaking back in before the end of the film). Some years later I watched the film properly and thoroughly enjoyed - I didn't even sneak out the back once!

  • Bicycle Thieves

    Bicycle Thieves

    It was touch and go whether Rope was going to claim this spot, but The Bicycle Thieves is a remarkable piece of cinema. A seemingly simple tale of a man trying to track down his stolen bicycle, but my word does it smack you in the gut.

  • Monsieur Verdoux

    Monsieur Verdoux

    Charlie Chaplin as a serial killer? Hell yes.

  • The Big Sleep

    The Big Sleep

    What a huge year! It's A Wonderful Life, Gilda, The Postman Always Rings Twice, The Killers, Duel In The Sun, Great Expectations. The Big Sleep is another movie I was introduced to in film studies. Legit classic.

  • Dead of Night

    Dead of Night

    I watched this anthology chiller again not that long ago. Sure, some of the stories hold up better than the others, but there's a persistent chill to the proceedings that makes you want to watch this one a cold night, but with a roaring fire and a thick blanket close to hand.

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    Both Arsenic and Old Lace and House of Frankenstein (yes, I love those old Universal monster movies) nearly made it here. But this is an unforgettable noir thriller ... which I really must queue up for a rewatch.

  • Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

    Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man

    It's certainly not the best film of the year, but it's one I've loved for a long, long time. This it the movie where Bela Lugosi took on the role of Frankenstein's monster, but then had half of his performance chopped out. In this movie the monster is meant to be blind, which is why Lugosi plays it with his arms constantly outstretched. He was greatly ridiculed for this performance, even though it was in keeping with the character as written. However, I tend to feel that Lugosi got the last laugh, as it was this performance of the monster, with its iconic zombie shuffle, that's the one that kids ended up mimicking in the playgrounds.

  • Casablanca


    A film that's worth every bit of the adoration it receives.

  • The Wolf Man

    The Wolf Man

    Had I seen them, I would likely have put either Citizen Kane or The Maltese Falcon here. However, this is easily one of Universal's best horror movies so I feel no shame in slotting it right in there.

  • Fantasia


    Ok, Fantasia really isn't one of my favourite films, BUT out of the other films released in 1940 it's the one that's the most significant to me. I remember my mother taking me, at a very young age, to see it during one of its 1970s reissues. It was one of the most amazing things I'd seen at the time.

  • The Wizard of Oz

    The Wizard of Oz

    Not quite an all time favourite, but probably the most memorable film for me out of 1939's options.

  • Bringing Up Baby

    Bringing Up Baby

    Superb. This was an easy choice.

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

    This might be the only film I've actually watched from 1937

  • Dracula's Daughter

    Dracula's Daughter

    Slim pickings, but this superior sequel to Dracula fits nicely in the slot.

  • The Bride of Frankenstein

    The Bride of Frankenstein

    An easy choice. A fantastic film. Funny, smart, scary. And I could watch the final few minutes a thousand times and never get tired of it.

  • The Thin Man

    The Thin Man

    I'm cheating here. I've not seen any films from 1934, but my wife is a big fan of this one.

  • King Kong

    King Kong

    The original and still the best. I remember seeing this as a child (NOT during it's original release thank you very much) and being absolutely stunned by the ending - but then going to bed absolutely terrified that Kong was going to appear at my window.

  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

    I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang

    Some great films this year, including Freaks, White Zombie, The Mummy. This, however, is one I saw when I was really young and have never forgotten it, especially the final scene when Paul Muni's face disappears into the shadows.

  • Frankenstein


    The same year that Dracula was released, but this is by far the better film.

  • Animal Crackers

    Animal Crackers

    I have literally seen no films from 1930, but if I was to pick just one film to sit down and enjoy for the first time, it would be this one.

  • Pandora's Box

    Pandora's Box

    Ah, Louise Brooks. What an incredible icon. Back in my Uni days I went to see a screening of this with a live orchestra (not one of those dumb dead ones) providing the soundtrack. Amazing.

  • The Circus

    The Circus

    Another cheat. I've not seen any films from 1928, but out of what's on offer I'm pretty certain I'd enjoy this one the most.

  • Metropolis


    Still not sure if I've ever seen this in its proper version, but it's one of the most important silent movies ever made, so in it goes.

  • The General

    The General

    Again, I've not seen anything from this year, but this would be my top pick to sit down and enjoy.

  • Battleship Potemkin

    Battleship Potemkin

    Saw this once in university. Incredible. Every time I see The Untouchables, with that amazing shoot out on the train station steps, I want to go back here and see the original inspiration.

  • Girl Shy

    Girl Shy

    Big fan of Harold Lloyd. I don't recall if I've seen this or not, but it would easily be my top pick from this year.