Part 1: HHS Cinema Club Selects Top 50 Movies of All Time

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By: Daniel Buser

Have you ever found yourself wanting to watch a movie but not knowing what to watch? This list may be able to help you out.  

Hershey High School’s Cinema Club presents the top 50 movies of all time. HHS Cinema Club’s goal is to enjoy and inform others of the wide range of films to be enjoyed. Therefore, this club had decided to gather a list of the 50 greatest movies of all time. The members–including myself–set about the task by first selecting 50 movies and then fiercely arguing and debating the ranking of the films. The full list will be published over the course of three articles, and it starts with numbers 50 to 30.  

  1. “Hero” directed by Yimou Zhang

Hero is a beautifully filmed martial arts action film. It features several outstanding action set pieces and a story with enough twists and turns that manage to keep you invested the whole way through.

  1. “Reservoir Dogs” directed by Quentin Tarantino

    Image courtesy of Miramax

    Image courtesy of Miramax

Director Tarantino came bursting onto the scene with his debut film, Reservoir Dogs. It features several great performances, an excellent soundtrack, and numerous pop culture references and iconic moments.

  1. The Wolf of Wall Street” directed by Martin Scorsese

Has any other movie ever made a criminal’s life look so desirable? The simple answer is no. Leonardo DiCaprio gives a phenomenal performance as Jordan Belfort, a real life criminal stockbroker. The movie has its foot on the gas the whole way through and never slows down.

  1. “Dr. No” directed by Terence Young

The movie that launched Hollywood’s longest running franchise is truly a masterpiece. Sean Connery in his career-defining role as James Bond brings all of the class and coolness possible to his take on the secret agent in an adventure filled with genre defining moments.

  1. Bridge On the River Kwai” directed by David Lean

David Lean became famous for his sweeping historical epics and Bridge On The River Kwai is no exception. Iconic performances and fantastic dramatic set pieces ensure a memorable movie experience.

  1. “Dr. Strangelove” directed by Stanley Kubrick

Dr. Strangelove is propelled to greatness by an outstanding performance by Peter Sellers playing three different characters. Kubrick intelligently plays on people’s fears of a nuclear holocaust in one of the best satires ever made.

  1. “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly” directed by Sergio Leone

Clint Eastwood, in the role that would define his career for years to come, plays the man with no name in the pinnacle of Leone’s spaghetti westerns.

  1. “When Harry Met Sally” directed by Rob Reiner

It is rare that one scene can propel a film from good to an all time great. However this is the case of a single scene in a small diner where Meg Ryan’s character, Sally, explains “how to fake it” to Billy Crystal’s character, Harry, in a scene of pure Hollywood gold.  

  1. “Patton” directed by Franklin J. Schaffner

George C. Scott plays the eccentric American General in a film that would set the mold for the war film genre for years to come. With fantastic performances and memorable set pieces, Patton has strolled its way into the history books.  

  1. No Country for Old Men” directed by Ethan and Joel Coen

The Coen brothers signature style of beautiful shots, gruesome violence, and such dark humor shine through in this character-driven cat and mouse chase. It also features an outstanding turn from Javier Bardem and great supporting performances from Tommy Lee Jones and Josh Brolin.

42. “Mad Max: Fury Road” directed by George Miller

While it only came out last year, Fury Road wrote its way into the history books with the most pure adrenaline filled car chase in cinema history.

  1. Fight Club” directed by David Fincher

Tyler Durden once said “The first rule of fight club is you do not talk about fight club.” With a fantastic performance from Edward Norton and Brad Pitt playing the coolest character ever, it’d be hard-pressed to find someone who isn’t talking about Fight Club.

  1. “Blade Runner” directed by Ridley Scott

What is it to be human? That is the question that Blade Runner dares to ask. One of the greatest sci-fi films of all time it explores its dark themes thoughtfully and delicately all of which is carried by a fantastic performance by Harrison Ford.   

  1. “Toy Story 3” directed by Lee Unkrich

The perfect trilogy. When Toy Story 3 began production, people were worried that Pixar would ruin a previous perfect two films. Not only did Toy Story 3 dismiss those rumors, but it gave the most emotional moments in the whole series, therefore securing Toy Story’s spot in cinema history.

  1. “The Sound of Music” directed by Robert Wise

The list would have been incomplete without a Robert Wise musical, and what better than the iconic story of the Von Trapp family singers and their daring escape from the Nazis.

  1. The African Queen” directed by John Huston
    Image courtesy of Sam Spiegel

    Image courtesy of Sam Spiegel


Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn are at the height of their powers in this 1951 classic that sees a river boat captain who escorts an African missionary on an adventure to destroy a german boat.

  1. “Silence of the Lambs” directed by Jonathan Demme

A truly horrific look into the mind of a psychopath. Silence of the Lambs is filled with iconic moments and a performance from Anthony Hopkins that would come to define his career.       

  1. Image courtesy of Warner Bros

    Image courtesy of Warner Bros

    “The Dark Knight” directed by Christopher Nolan      

While Heath Ledger’s death was a tragedy, he went out with a bang. Batman’s struggle with his arch nemesis had never seemed so personal or have such high stakes until Ledger’s joker made it to the screen. In the age of superhero movies, The Dark Knight remains the one to beat.

  1. “LA Confidential” directed by Curtis Hanson

A nearly perfect movie in almost every way, LA Confidential is driven by outstanding performances. It follows the story of three cops trying to solve a shooting and the rabbit hole it leads them down.

  1. Ben Hur” directed by William Wyler

This movie is an epic in every sense of the word. The chariot scene alone would land Ben Hur a spot on this list but there is so much more to the classic epic: the score, the cinematography, and the direction were all ahead of their time.  

  1. “Up” directed by Pete Docter

Up is a beautiful film. It tells a moving love story in just five minutes than most movies can in there entire run time. It’s adventurous, unique, funny, and heartfelt. Pixar’s goal of making movies for both kids and adults not only succeeded but far surpassed this expectation by making one of the best movies ever for an audience of any age.

Stay tuned for the part 2 of HHS Cinema Club’s top 50 movies of all time.