Alamo Drafthouse Unveils Their List Of 100 Essential Movies

Unlike the oft-searched for Fountain of Youth, which was never found, the awesome team behind the Alamo Drafthouse have figured out the Apex of Internet Masochism by releasing massive list of the "100 Essential Favorite Movies, chosen by Alamo Drafthouse Cinema," and it is filled with a pretty amazing assortment of films both classic and cult, both expected and not. And most importantly, they’re all worth your time, unlike some lists that are generally informed by unyielding respect to important films that just don’t grab the masses.

Because I know you’re wondering, yes, Big Trouble in Little China and Escape From New York are both on there.

Essentially, the majority of this list is comprised of things that one would want to have watched in order to attain some imaginary level of "coolness" to some time-traveler from the post-cinema future. (The horror!) You can definitely find Back to the Future on the list, and if all you want to do is skip forward in time a few million years, then toss up a bone and look no further than 2001: A Space Odyssey. From the holy grailiest of all the Monty Python films to The Godfather and The Godfather II, this list really does have it all. Except for The Godfather III, of course. On what other list will you find both The Princess Bride and The Terror of Dr. Mabuse? Or Leon: The Professional with UHF? And what’s up with just having The Lord of the Rings stand as one instead of three?

Those are the kinds of conversations this list is meant to inspire. On the site, Drafthouse programmer Sarah Pitre playfully compares creating this list to naming her favorite child, knowing that the rest of her kids will be killed, because that’s the kind of screw-the-world attitude going into these picks. Each of the six participants chose their own 100 favorite movies, and the list was figured out accordingly. Incidentally, Pitre is the reason why the mostly hilarious but not quite essential Tommy Boy is on there, but she’s also the only person who chose Clue, which didn’t make the list. Ugh.

This list, which also contains Ninotchka and Evil Dead 2, is of course just as interesting for what’s on it as for what is left off. And while anyone could make their case for any film they desire, it’s most interesting how the alphabetical list jumps from A Christmas Story to City Lights without so much as a whisper of Citizen Kane, often thought to be the greatest film ever made. Could it be that the Drafthouse squad has fallen under the sway of Sight and Sound, who famously dethroned Citizen Kane last year and made room for Vertigo in their once-a-decade survey? After all, Vertigo is on the list, right next to Les Vampires and Waiting for Guffman.

The full list, which you can find here, should get you started on watching some things you might never have caught up on. Let us know in the comments what some of your favorites are, and what you think they missed out on.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.