Ray makes it to top 99 films of all time by NRI

NEW DELHI: Satyajit Ray‘s Pather Panchali and Aparajito have found a place in a new book by an American-based Indian journalist on 99 Remarkable Films of the World.
Citizen Kane, created more than 66 years ago, still holds its number one position in the world of movies.

The forthcoming book on world cinema, 99 Remarkable Films of the World, by journalist Rajan Zed of Nevada (United States), rates Citizen Kane (1941) as number one among films of the world made so far. Orson Welles was only 25 years old when he directed, starred and co-wrote his first film about real-life newspaper magnate, William Randolph Hearst.

The other films in the top ten rankings are Gene Kelley’s Singin‘ in the Rain (1952), Casablanca (1942) by Michael Curtiz starring Humphrey Bogart with Ingrid Bergman, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather (1972) with Marlon Brando and Al Pacino, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) by Stanley Kubrick, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) by David Lean, Vertigo (1958) by Alfred Hitchcock, La Regle du Jeu (The Rules of the Game) made in 1939 by Jean Renoir, Gone with the Wind (1939) by Victor Fleming, and Some Like It Hot (1959) by Billy Wilder starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

"Compressing about 150,000 feature films into a list of 99 was a gigantic and agonizing exercise and cuts were torturous and painful. It broke my heart to see some great films vanish off the list. Ranking always generates argumentation but there is an eternal allurement to rank and rate," Zed said in an interview. "No one will agree with this film list in totality and no such list is ideal, but I strongly feel I came closer to whatever can be accomplished within these constraints," Zed adds.

Director Steven Spielberg has the highest number (five) of films listed, although his top film, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982), appears at number 25. He is followed by Francis Ford Coppola, Billy Wilder, John Ford, Martin Scorsese, Charles Chaplin, and Frank Capra—with three movies each.

Robert De Niro tops the list as leading actor appearing in four films, although his top film Raging Bull (1980) appears at number 15. Next to him with three movies each are Humphrey Bogart, James Stewart, and Charles Chaplin. Among female leading actors, Katherine Hepburn is the topmost with two movies in the list.

No film from 2000s could make this list, and the newest film listed is Fargo (1996) at number 54, while the oldest listed is The Birth of a Nation (1915) at number 87. The top decade during the last century was 1950s from which 23 films are listed, while 1910s was the lowest with just one film.

The year 1939 was the golden year for filmmaking, which brought five films on this list.

While no film showed up in the list from 1983 to 1988, consecutive years 1957, 1958, and 1959 brought three films each to the list.

"Drama" as genre far outnumbered any other category with 45 entries, while "comedy" trailed behind at number two with just 14 films listed, and "thriller" was number three with only eight films. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) is the only animation film listed at number 72, while The Bride of Frankenstein (1935), only horror film to appear on the list, is at number 85.

United States of America brought the highest number (71) of films to the list; with France showing a poor second with seven and Great Britain third with six films. Other countries that made it to the list are Japan, Italy, the erstwhile Soviet Union, Sweden, India, Poland, and Germany. Three films listed were collaborations between two countries. Ingmar Bergman was the director of both the Swedish movies listed. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Great Britain) is the topmost non-USA movie on the list at number five.

About 221 minutes in duration, Lawrence of Arabia is the longest film on the list, followed by Gone with the Wind and Some Like It Hot at 220 minutes each. Duck Soup (1933) is the shortest film listed at 68 minutes, while 75 minute long Battleship Potemkin (1925) is second from the bottom in length.

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