In his spare time, a man in Austin, Texas, Brad Bourland, has been assembling a comprehensive list of ‘The Best, Most Important and the Most Beloved English Language Films of the 20th Century' since sound movies began through 1999.
Bourland, a grocery clerk, has spent the last decade on this epic pastime compiling 9,331 films in the list from 1927 to 1999. He has logged 1,600 hours in seven libraries in three states, and another 4,000 hours on computers, and reading books.
Unlike other such lists, like the AFI's Top 10 and 100, this list is ranked with a complicated process that takes into consideration professional reviews and popularity to arrive at a consensus.
Though differing from his personal opinion, such as the ranking of Being John Malkovich, Bourand insists the order isn't as important as being listed.
The Top 500 were watched 10 times to be sure they deserved the ranking and the order to the bottom 500 is "subjective," he told website Salon.
His goal is to make sure the best films aren't forgotten and what began as a list of 200 has grown. A big film fan, he has watched more than 7,000 titles and studied thousands of books and material to learn what makes a great motion picture.
In an effort to set limits, he did not include silent films, documentaries, animated films and foreign language films in the list, though there are obscure films that made the list.
Bourland is now taking suggestions for the remaining films to reach the 10,000 mark. Here is a sampling of his Best 10,000 films of the 20th century:
No. 4 The Wizard of Oz
No. 32 The Sound of Music
No. 81 Mutiny on the Bounty
No. 502 Being John Malkovich
No. 1,057 Starman (his favorite)
No. 9133 Plan 9 From Outer Space
The list is posted as an MS document on his website: