Tomorrow I will begin posting a list of films, by year, considered to be the greatest ever made. There are many, many films that at one time or another have been called great. My list is intended to be a reasonable summary of the critical consensus.
The breakdown will be as follows,
1911: 2 films
1912-1923: 5 films for each year
1924-26: 12 films for each year
1927-Present: 24 films for each year
I've come up with these numbers from hours of going through the many books and websites that list great films. Of course, with the earlier years the films listed must be taken with a grain of salt, and with the later years you could easily come up with a hundred or more films considered great if you really wanted to.
The point of this list is to create a general starting point. I think that taking each list of 24, almost everyone will find at least 5 films that were on their own individual top ten lists for the year. Expanding beyond 24 would do little to capture the individuality of any one film lover's top ten. Again, this is a starting point for films which seem to resonate with the majority.
In addition, I will be noting the films on the list that I have not yet seen (they will be indicated with a *), plus I will rate the ones I have seen (using Leonard Maltin's BOMB and * 1/2 to **** star rating). If a film is listed without a * and without a rating it means I've seen the movie but wish to re-evaluate it before assigning it a rating.
Lastly, this is my attempt to create my own greatest films of all time list by noting 6 films for each year I consider to be bona fide masterpieces (there really aren't 10 a year), which will create a list of approximately 500 films (books that list 1,000 films seem far too generous to me). For the 1910s I will list 6 for the decade and for the 1920s I'll list 24. The roll out on these lists will be a bit slow, but I want to take the time necessary to make them good. Additionally, I consider these "living" lists and as time goes by a film here and there may be added or subtracted (however I expect this to be a very rare occurrence, especially with the older titles). Note: I am only including feature films (shorts, serials, and TV movies will not be included). I will list the films by their English-language titles (unless their foreign titles are the most well-known to English speakers).