“You Call Yourself a Film Buff?” Movies I Still Haven’t Seen [Updated 10/3]

I confess: there are many classic, must-see (but I haven’t yet) films I have never seen, and yet I call myself a “film buff.” Call me hypocritical, but at least I’m willing to publicize this shortcoming. I decided that this post will act as my accountability to fellow movie bloggers, readers, and friends out there, to encourage me to dust off movie by movie until I’ve seen each of these.

I got the idea to make this list from Mettel Ray, who was inspired by Film Flare to make a “Shame List” (or list of movies she hasn’t seen but wants to) of her own. I have decided to narrow my list down to twenty movies, to make it more or less achievable for myself. After I watch one of these movies and cross it off the list, I’ll review it on AEOS, titling the review with a title that has “Shame List” and its number on the list. [Recent update: I made to this post includes recommended films friends have offered in the comment section that I included on the list with their names!] In order from earliest to latest, here is my “shame list” of movies I’ve never seen, but plan to watch over the next several months:

  1. Frankenstein (1931)
  2. Gone with the Wind (1939) – recommended by Mark B.
  3. His Girl Friday (1940)
  4. Citizen Kane (1941)
  5. Casablanca (1942)
  6. The Red Shoes (1948) – recommended by Matt R.
  7. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
  8. Roman Holiday (1953) Review here.
  9. 12 Angry Men (1957) – recommended by Mark B.
  10. North by Northwest (1959)
  11. Some Like It Hot (1959)
  12. The 400 Blows (1959) – recommended by Matt R.
  13. The Apartment (1960) – recommended by Jaina M.
  14. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
  15. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  16. The French Connection (1971) – recommended by Jaina M.
  17. Solaris (1972) – recommended by Matt R.
  18. The Godfather (1972)
  19. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  20. The Conversation (1974) – recommended by Jaina M.
  21. Annie Hall (1977) Review here.
  22. Manhattan (1979)
  23. Apocalypse Now (1979) – recommended by Matt R.
  24. The Warriors (1979) – recommended by Jaina M.
  25. The Shining (1980) Review here.
  26. Blade Runner (1982)
  27. Amadeus (1984) – recommended by Jenn G.
  28. Schindler’s List (1993)
  29. Eyes Wide Shut (1999)
  30. American Beauty (1999)
  31. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

I added several of Stanley Kubrick’s films, because unfortunately, I haven’t seen many of his. I know Christopher Nolan was highly influenced by Kubrick’s work, and being a big fan of Nolan’s films, I can’t help but want to see what inspired Nolan’s filmmaking style. Most of the list’s additions are considered classics, and that’s always a genre that I’ve strayed from due to lack of opportunity, time, or interest. I know there are a great many classics out there, and with streaming services like Netflix at my disposal, the only thing truly holding me back has been time.

Image found via Google Images.

I normally turn the end of a post over to everyone else, asking a question or two. I’m hoping to gain more feedback than normal, just because I’m really wanting to know . . .

For those of you who have seen any of these movies, would you recommend it as a must-see film? What classics or must-seen movies would you recommend I view (if they don’t make it on the list)? Which movie(s) would be on your “shame list”? Please join the discussion below, because I would love to know your thoughts.

68 thoughts on ““You Call Yourself a Film Buff?” Movies I Still Haven’t Seen [Updated 10/3]

  1. I think you need to take a trip to Denver… we can get a good portion of that list knocked out with my collection! And 20 is easy – Talk to Mr. Phelps about our James Bond (Eon Films) marathon that we did before I moved back to Colorado! LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey there! Thanks for the comment. I know who this is, but since you opted to be anonymous, I’ll respect that ;-).

      Haha, oh yeah? Matt told me he watched a LOT of movies with you, particularly all the James Bond films as well as all (or most?) of Quentin Tarantino’s films at the time. I would LOVE to join you to watch all of these!!


  2. I think even during my little blogging hiatus I’m going to be tossing up my own version of this post, it’s such a good idea, even though I expect to lose some friends when I announce the movies I haven’t seen! Lol.

    And as for you, tsk-tsk. Shame. Shame on you. Hahah! Just kidding. I haven’t seen 75% of the things on your list, either. We’re pretty much in the same boat here

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, Tom! So glad to know someone is in the boat with me. If there’s one or two movies on the list you’re really itching to see, let me know: we could always do a joint-post together, or we could each guest post for each other’s sites if you’re interested! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very, very interesting. It’s funny, my favorite film of all time is on the list (Casablanca). My favorite musical of all time is there (Singin in the Rain). You have some great films still ahead of you.

    Other essentials: Schindlers List, Citizen Kane, and The Godfather.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, yeah, I am definitely sad to have not seen Casablanca yet, but I’ve been told my multiple people that I NEED to see it, that it’s one of the best movies ever. Thanks for the encouragement, Keith. I will certainly keep your picks in mind when choosing which one to see next!


  4. Ha..ha.. don’t feel bad Kris! I’ve actually only seen 10 films from your list. Haven’t seen Taxi Driver, Citizen Kane, 2001 Space Odyssey, The Shining, etc. I still might see Citizen Kane & 2001 but not really that interested in dark films like Taxi Driver & The Shining. Oh and I definitely don’t care to see A Clockwork Orange. Casablanca is wonderful tho. I got to see that on the big screen as part of TCM re-release and I adore that film!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha, 10 isn’t bad at all! I’ve seen 2001 Space Odyssey, but I don’t think I ever appreciated it as much as a lot of people do. I can understand that (with the dark films). I’ve been wanting to see The Shining, even though I know I will be terrified when I watch it. I actually have no idea what A Clockwork Orange is about! Ooo, you have joined the ranks of those who have recommended Casablanca to me. I think it’s the second one on the list I’m going to view after Roman Holiday, since I just picked up a copy of that one recently. Sounds like it must have been amazing to see on the big screen!


  5. Hey Kristin, great list! You’ve got a lot of essentials on here, but the Godfather films are basically cinematic perfection, a great example of a perfect collaboration between Director, Cinematographer (Gordon Willis makes these movies!), Editor, etc. Another Coppola movie, if you haven’t seen it, that you should put on the list is Apocalypse Now.

    I love the black and white cinematography of Manhattan, The Shining is the most terrifying film ever made, and Blade Runner is probably my favorite film of all time. Oh, and His Girl Friday has the fastest dialogue in any movie I’ve ever seen. Basically, this is a great list!

    I could have lots of suggestions of other great films, but three more I would add: The Red Shoes by Powell and Pressburger (gorgeous Technicolor film), Andrei Tarkovsky’s Solaris, Francois Truffaut’s The 400 Blows.

    Now for my shame list:

    1. Schindler’s List
    2. Seven Samurai (or hardly any Kurosowa, for that matter)
    3. City of God
    4. Jaws
    5. Tokyo Story
    6. 8 1/2
    7. Amelie
    8. Oldboy
    9. Lawrence of Arabia
    10. Metropolis
    11. The Big Lebowski
    12. Cool Hand Luke
    13. The Maltese Falcon
    14. Annie Hall
    15. The Wages of Fear
    16. Persona
    17. Network
    18. Fanny and Alexander
    19. The Graduate
    20. The Three Colors Trilogy
    21. Battleship Potemkin
    22. Breathless (I haven’t seen anything by Godard)
    23. Singing in the Rain
    24. The Earrings of Madame de
    25. A Clockwork Orange

    That was fun, great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, had a lot of fun reading this comment – thanks for stopping by and leaving it. This reminds me that I NEED to have you write a post for the site again now that it’s back up and running. If you’re interested, email me at alleyesonscreen@gmail.com or message me on FB. I know you just had a little one recently (congrats!!), so I understand if you’re busy. ANYWAYS . . .

      I’ve heard that about the Godfather films. I’m looking forward to finally crossing those off my list. Thanks for the recommendations – I’ll add them to the list for me to see!

      Great Shame List – so glad you added it. The only ones I’ve seen on your list are Amelie and The Graduate. I loved the former, and didn’t really care so much for The Graduate. Hope you get to cross a few off your list in your down time. Thanks so much for commenting, Matt!


  6. The only ones from your list that I’ve seen are ‘Singin’ in the Rain’, ‘Dr. Strangelove’, ‘Casablanca’, and ‘Citizen Kane’. They’re all worth seeing, although none are really favorites of mine.

    I’d have too many films on my shame list as I don’t really watch R-rated films, for the most part, and most film masterpieces tend to be rated R.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Great post! I had a shame/bucket list of movies to watch this year but school got in the way for most of it. I would like to finish the remaining few I have left like Shawshank Redemption and Schindler’s List – those are two I’ve been wanting to see forever. Some movies I haven’t seen yet are on your list too like Casablanca, Dr. Strangelove, and North by Northwest. You’re not alone! My Netflix queue has like 200 movies I’d like to watch but I’m not sure how many of them are actually classics I need to see; mostly B-dramas and thrillers. Movies often feel like To Read lists for books; the more you have seen, the more you need to watch. Sometimes I feel like my Proud to be a Movie Buff card should be revoked! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Katy!! Yeah, but I have to give you credit since school is a good excuse ;-). I love Shawshank Redemption, so I hope when you see it, you enjoy it. Schindler’s List is one of those movies I caught bits of, but never watched in full. It’s definitely encouraging to hear that I’m not alone in having not seen many of these “must-see” movies! Wow, sounds like your Netflix queue is very similar to mine, haha. It’s so true how that works – I find that I’m always playing catch-up with reading too. I imagine that’s a better place to be in than having no social life and never needing to play catch-up, haha. Lol! I guess we’ll just spend most of the rest of our lives playing catch-up to prove ourselves worthy of that card! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂


  8. Yeah, that list is jam packed with quality. You’ll have a great time going through it. Most of those, as I recall, were in Ebert’s first edition of “The Great Movies.” That’s what I used as my manual years ago when I finally took the serious classics plunge.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Really? I think I need to get my hands of that book. I’ve been looking at several of his for a while, including that one. I also noticed you’ve been reviewing classics for a bit. That’s a great recommendation – thank you for mentioning it! I’ll always be playing catch-up, but it seems like it will be fun at least.


      • LOVE Singin’ In The Rain, North By Northwest, The Godfather (I and II), Schindler’s List, Eyes Wide Shut, American Beauty and Annie Hall (just re-watched it the other day and I freaked out because Woody and Diane in that film = me and my boyfriend).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooo, thank you! I appreciate you including the specifics. I’m wanting to watch some of the movies people have mentioned were their favorites. I have been WANTING to see Annie Hall for a while now, so that might be one of the next ones I see! Thanks, Fernando!!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jaina! Haha, 76 films? I think you could do it in a couple years, no doubt. I’ve seen only handful of ones on yours – looks like we share some on our lists.

      I’d love to watch more Hitchcock! It’s just such a time-consuming (and totally worth it) process. Any particular films you’d recommend I should add to my list?


  9. Nice list!

    I’m actually surprised at myself to have seen some of these, Apocalypse Now was my recent viewing and it was interesting to say at least. I recommend doing some reading about the production prior to watching it, it sort of pushes you towards admiring it even more because of how much it took to actually get this movie done.

    I liek that you have nothing passed 1999 in the list.. sort of makes it special. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks!

      That’s awesome! Apocalypse Now was a recent addition since a friend recommended it. Makes a lot of sense – not a bad idea at all!

      Haha, yes, I’d like to focus on some earlier movies since I’ve seen a lot more films from the 2000s and 2010s.

      Thanks for stopping by!


      • Yeah Clockwork Orange was originally X rated I believe. But I’ve never seen it because it is the plot is about a gang of dystopian Brits who murder and rape people for fun. I guess it’s supposed to be very stylized with cool art direction but it sounds like you are careful about content so just know what you are getting into.

        Liked by 2 people

            • I think it’s too bad. For me, I often just like to fastforward through scenes that are like that just because I had to not give a movie a chance because the filmmaker decided to add something in it I REALLY don’t care to see. But I definitely understand not seeing things for content issue – it makes a lot of sense, and I definitely respect that choice.

              Liked by 1 person

              • I did that with some of the scenes in the Godfather movies, fast forwarded so I could still enjoy it. Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street had 508 swears! A movie like Silver Linings Playbook had 96. That puts it in perspective!

                Liked by 1 person

                • Yeah, I’m not even sure if I’ll ever check out Wolf of Wall Street just because of the language. Silver Linings Playbook has more than I prefer, but I just really loved the story and the characters, so I tried to enjoy it despite the language. Definitely puts things in perspective, no doubt!

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • Same page for me. I don’t mind some but silver linings was about my limit but at least I felt like the language fit those characters so it didnt seem as excessive. 508 is nuts!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    • Good point! There are certain movies I feel like I can be a little more lenient towards, like Saving Private Ryan. When it’s a war movie or a movie about really messed up characters, it often fits the bill. What I can’t stand is when there’s an obnoxious amount of language in the film just because. Some people might drop a few bombs here and there, but the majority of people, I believe, do not swear every other word (I’m sure there’s a few exceptions, but still). And I really get annoyed when movies portray most of its characters as people who swear that often. It takes away from the film experience, for me.

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I agree completely. I feel like a lot of indy films throw in f bombs to give them some kind of hipster cred. For example the movie Ruby Sparks was charming and did not need the profanity at all. Sigh…Comedies of late have also seemed to think it is inherently funnier to have a woman being vulgar and disgusting which I dont get. Talk about a cliche

                      Liked by 1 person

                    • I’m with you! I don’t think it makes the movie any funnier. For me, if someone wants to make a swear word funny, a character using it ONCE in the film instead of multiple times would accomplish what the filmmaker is going for. Adding it in at unnecessary times doesn’t make it any more credible or funny. Glad to share this conversation with someone who understands and agrees! 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh and I wouldn’t pay any attention the ratings. They are hogwash. I use screenit.com and other parental review sites to get a true idea on content on all films pg13, R whatever

    Liked by 1 person

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