Focus Features

Ed Gonzalez: Top 10s

Ed Gonzalez: Top 10s


Comments Comments (0)

This Top 10 project began as a rolling engagement on the previous incarnation of Slant Magazine’s blog in late 2005. Now the lists are collected here. All films prior to 2001—the year I started ranking films on Slant based on their U.S. theatrical release dates—will go by their IMDB year. Titles in my Honorable Mention sections have been limited to 10, and the titles listed under Blind Spots are just that: films that have eluded me over the years for whatever reason. This latter section exists, without embarrassment, for two reasons: perspective (for you) and incentive (for me). Crazy as this may sound, I’ve been seeing close to 800 films per year since 2000; since 60% of those are oldies, these lists are bound to change rather regularly. The latest 20 films I’ve seen, not including any titles scheduled to be released during the current calendar year, are listed below. Any titles bumped from the Honorable Mention section to make room for a film, or any titles that are no longer “blind” but fail to make the list for their respective year, will disappear from this page without fanfare. I reserve the right to change any of these lists whenever I want, including lists from 2001 to the present. (Also look for lists from the 1910s to be broken up into individual years in the near future, which is to say when I’ve seen at least 10 films from each year.) You can follow my occasional ramblings on my Twitter feed. If you find errors on this page, feel free to shoot me a tweet, email me at, or make a comment below, where you can also shoot the shit. Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to reply to all comments, especially if they include requests for my thoughts on certain films.

Latest Seen: Incredibles 2 (Brad Bird, 2018), Mission: Impossible - Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie, 2018), Of Fathers and Sons (Talal Derki, 2017), Boy Erased (Joel Edgerton, 2018), Green Book (Peter Farrelly, 2018), The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos, 2018), Roma (Alfonso Cuarón, 2018), Vice (Adam McKay, 2018), The Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery, 2018), Jeannette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc (Bruno Dumont, 2017), Araby (João Dumans and Affonso Uchoa, 2017), Of Fathers and Sons (Talal Derki, 2017), At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel, 2018), If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins, 2018), Beautiful Boy (Felix van Groeningen, 2018), First Man (Damien Chazelle, 2018)


1. Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915)
2. Broken Blossoms (D.W. Griffith, 1919)
3. Victory (Maurice Tourneur, 1919)
4. The Birth of a Nation (D.W. Griffith, 1915)
5. Sir Arne’s Treasure (Marutiz Stiller, 1919)
6. The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918)
7. J’Accuse! (Abel Gance, 1919)
8. The Blue Bird (Maurice Tourneur, 1918)
9. Der Golem (Henrik Galeen & Paul Wegener, 1915)
10. Blind Husbands (Erich von Stroheim, 1919)

Honorable Mention: A Man There Was (Victor Sjöström), Snow White (J. Searle Dawley, 1916), Fantomas (Louis Feuillade, 1913), The Eyes of the Mummy (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918), Praesidenten (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1919), Hell’s Hinges (Charles Swickard, 1916), The Student of Prague (Stellan Rye & Paul Wegener), Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916), Carmen (Ernst Lubitsch, 1918)

Blind Spots: Margaret Day (Victor Sjöström), A Florida Enchantment (Sidney Drew), In the Land of the Headhunters (Edward S. Curtis), Always Tell Your Wife (Leedham Bantock), The Wishing Ring (Maurice Tourneur), Cinderella (James Kirkwood), War Be Damned (Alfred Machin), The Cheat (Cecil B. DeMille), The Nigger (Edgar Lewis), Regeneration (Raoul Walsh), A Fool There Was (Frank Powell), Alias Jimmy Valentine (Maurice Tourneur), 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (Stuart Paton), Judex (Louis Feuillade), A Life for a Life (Yevgeni Bauer), Where Are My Children? (Phillips Smalley & Lois Weber), Civilization (Reginald Barker, Thomas H. Ince & Raymond B. West), Gretchen the Greehorn (Chester M. Franklin & Sidney Franklin), Blind Justice (Benjamin Christensen), The Merry Jail (Ernst Lubitsch), Straight Shooting (John Ford), The Fighting Gringo (John Ford), The Secret Man (John Ford), A Marked Man (John Ford), Bucking Broadway (John Ford), Joan the Woman (Cecil B. DeMille), The Little Princess (Marshall Neilan), The Poor Little Rich Girl (Maurice Tourneur), Tillie Wakes Up (Harry Davenport), Tom Sawyer (William Desmond Taylor), The Little American (Cecil B. DeMille & Joseph Levering), Shoulder Arms (Charlie Chaplin), Stella Maris (Marshall Neilan), Hearts of the World (D.W. Griffith), Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (Marshall Neilan), Mickey (F. Richard Jones & James Young), Tarzan of the Apes (Scott Sidney), Shifting Sands (Albert Parker), Marriage a la Mode (Mauritz Stiller), South (Frank Hurley), Daddy Long Legs (Marshall Neilan), The Doll (Ernst Lubitsch), Back to God’s Country (David Hartford), True Heart Susie (D.W. Griffith), Different from the Others (Richard Oswald), Eerie Tales (Richard Oswald), The Delicious Little Devil (Robert Z. Leonard), The Sentimental Bloke (Raymond Longford), When the Clouds Roll By (Victor Fleming & Theodore Reed), Harakiri (Fritz Lang), A Romance of Happy Valley (D.W. Griffith), Meyer from Berlin (Ernst Lubitsch), The Girl Who Stayed at Home (D.W. Griffith), The Greatest Question (D.W. Griffith), The Mother and the Law (D.W. Griffith), Madame DuBarry (Ernst Lubitsch), Don’t Change Your Husband (Cecil B. DeMille), Male and Female (Cecil B. DeMille)


1. Monastery of Sendomir (Victor Sjöström)
2. The Penalty (Wallace Worsley)
3. The Parson’s Widow (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
4. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene)
5. Way Down East (D.W. Griffith)
6. The Last of the Mohicans (Clarence Brown and Maurice Tourneur)
7. Der Golem (Carl Boese and Paul Wegener)
8. I Don’t Want to Be a Man (Ernst Lubitsch)
9. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (John S. Robertson)
10. Kohlhiesel’s Daughters (Ernst Lubitsch)

Honorable Mention: Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller), Romeo and Juliet in the Snow (Ernst Lubitsch), The Toll Gate (Lambert Hillyer), The Saphead (Herbert Blaché), The Flapper (Alan Crosland), Genuine: A Tale of a Vampire (Robert Wiene), The Mark of Zorro (Fred Niblo), One Arabian Night (Ernst Lubitsch), Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux), The Wandering Image (Fritz Lang)

Blind Spots: Sex (Fred Niblo), Lost Atlantis (Jacques Feyder), Why Change Your Wife? (Cecil B. DeMille), Something New (Nell Shipman and Bert Van Tuyle), The Symbol of the Unconquered (Oscar Micheaux)


1. The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström)
2. Destiny (Fritz Lang)
3. Seven Years Bad Luck (Max Linder)
4. Orphans of the Storm (D.W. Griffith)
4. The Kid (Charlie Chaplin)
5. The Ace of Hearts (Wallace Worsley)
6. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Rex Ignram)
7. Leaves from Satan’s Book (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
8. A Sailor-Made Man (Fred C. Newmeyer)
9. Johan (Mauritz Stiller)

Honorable Mention: Tol’able David (Henry King), Camille (Ray C. Smallwood), The Haunted Castle (F.W. Murnau), Janosik (Jaroslav Siakel), Little Lord Fauntleroy (Alfred E. Green & Jack Pickford), The Wildcat (Ernst Lubitsch), The Three Musketeers (Fred Niblo), The Sheik (George Melford)

Blind Spots: The Affairs of Anatol (Cecil B. DeMille), The Indian Tomb (Joe May), The Love Light (Frances Marion), The Conquering Power (Rex Ingram), My Boy (Albert Austin & Victor Heerman), Eldorado (Marcel L’Herbier), Leap Year (Roscoe ’Fatty’ Arbuckle & James Cruze), The Blot (Phillips Smalley & Lois Weber), The Dark Road (F.W. Murnau), Hamlet (Sven Gade & Heinz Schall), Too Wise Wives (Lois Weber), Backstairs (Leopold Jessner & Paul Leni), Love Never Dies (King Vidor), The Adventures of Tarzan (Robert F. Hill & Scott Sidney), Dream Street (D.W. Griffith), The Nut (Theodore Reed), Miss Lulu Bett (William C. de Mille), Shattered (Lupu Pick), Jackie (John Ford), Peck’s Bad Boy (Sam Wood), Through the Back Door (Alfred E. Green & Jack Pickford), La Terre (André Antoine), Appearances (Donald Crisp), Dangerous Lies (Paul Powell), The Bonnie Brier Bush (Donald Crisp)


1. Nosferatu (F.W. Murnau)
2. Foolish Wives (Erich Von Stroheim)
3. Haxan (Benjamin Christensen)
4. Nanook of the North (Robert Flaherty)
5. Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (Fritz Lang)
6. The Toll of the Sea (Chester M. Franklin)
7. Oliver Twist (Frank Lloyd)
8. Dr. Jack (Fred C. Newmeyer)
9. Burning Soil (F.W. Murnau)
10. Grandma’s Boy (Fred C. Newmeyer)

Honorable Mention: Robin Hood (Allan Dwan), The Smiling Madame Beudet (Germaine Dulac), Beyond the Rocks (Sam Wood), Blood and Sand (Fred Niblo), Down to the Sea in Ships (Elmer Clifton), Once Upon a Time (Carl Theodor Dreyer), Shadows (Tom Forman), Phantom (F.W. Murnau)

Blind Spots: Tess of the Storm Country (John S. Robertson), The Prisoner of Zenda (Rex Ingram), When Knighthood Was in Flower (Robert G. Vignola), Beauty’s Worth (Robert G. Vignola), Lorna Doone (Maurice Tourneur), Othello (Dimitri Buchowetzki), Moran of the Lady Letty (George Melford), Crainquebille (Jacques Feyder), The Three Must-Get-Theres (Max Linder), Manslaughter (Cecil B. DeMille), The Young Rajah (Phil Rosen), The Primitive Lover (Sidney Franklin)


1. Safety Last! (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor)
2. The Faithful Heart (Jean Epstein)
3. La Roue (Abel Gance)
4. Crime and Punishment (Robert Wiene)
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Wallace Worsley)
6. The Pilgrim (Charlie Chaplin)
7. Why Worry? (Fred C. Newmeyer & Sam Taylor)
8. Souls for Sale (Rupert Hughes)
9. Our Hospitality (John G. Blystone & Buster Keaton)
10. A Woman of Paris (Charlie Chaplin)

Honorable Mention: Three Ages (Buster Keaton), The Ten Commandments (Cecil B. DeMille), Warning Shadows (Arthur Robison), The Extra Girl (F. Richard Jones), White Tiger (Tod Browning)

Blind Spots: Salome (Charles Bryant), Scaramouche (Rex Ingram), Souls for Sale (Rupert Hughes), Little Old New York (Sidney Olcott), The Covered Wagon (James Cruze), The Net (J. Gordon Edwards), The Shock (Lambert Hillyer), Fire on Board (Victor Sjöström), Merry-Go-Round (Rupert Julian), The White Rose (D.W. Griffith), The White Sister (Henry King), The Treasure (G.W. Pabst), Adam’s Rib (Cecil B. DeMille), The Red Inn (Jean Epstein), Woman to Woman (Graham Cutts), Anna Christie (John Griffith Wray), Gunnar Hede’s Saga (Mauritz Stiller)


1. Greed (Erich von Stroheim)
2. Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton)
3. Kinoglaz (Dziga Vertov)
4. The Last Laugh (F.W. Murnau)
5. He Who Gets Slapped (Victor Sjöström)
6. The Hands of Orlac (Robert Wiene)
7. Die Nibelungen (Fritz Lang)
8. Waxworks (Paul Leni)
9. The Thief of Bagdad (Raoul Walsh)
10. Michael (Carl Theodor Dreyer)

Honorable Mention: The Marriage Circle (Ernst Lubitsch), The Saga of Gosta Berling (Mauritz Stiller), The Navigator (Donald Crisp and Buster Keaton), The Chechahcos (Lewis S. Moomaw)

Blind Spots: Girl Shy (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor), Aelita (Yakov Protazanov), The Iron Horse (John Ford), Hot Water (Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor), Peter Pan (Herbert Brenon), The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Lev Kuleshov), The Red Lily (Fred Niblo), America (D.W. Griffith), Manhandled (Allan Dwan), The Sea Hawk (Frank Lloyd), The New Enchantment (Marcel L’Herbier), The Beautiful Rebel (E. Mason Hopper), Finances of the Grand Duke (F.W. Murnau), Isn’t Life Wonderful (D.W. Griffith), Forbidden Paradise (Ernst Lubitsch), Beau Brummel (Harry Beaumont), Helen’s Babies (William A. Seiter), Romola (Henry King), Monsieur Beaucaire (Sidney Olcott), The Cigarette Girl from Moscow (Yuri Zhelyabuzhsky), Open All Night (Paul Bern), Helen of Troy (Manfred Noa), Captain January (Edward F. Cline), Dorothy Vernon of Haddon Hall (Marshall Neilan), The Enchanted Cottage (John S. Robertson), The Age of Innocence (Wesley Ruggles), The Prude’s Fall (Graham Cutts), Backbiters (Albert Dieudonné and Jean Renoir), Name the Man (Victor Sjöström)


1. Go West (Buster Keaton)
2.Battleship Potemkin (Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein)
3. Strike (Sergei Eisenstein)
4. The Freshman (Fred C. Newmayer & Sam Taylor)
5. Lazybones (Frank Borzage)
6. Seven Chances (Buster Keaton)
7. The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin)
8. Joyless Street (G.W. Pabst)
9. Sally of the Sawdust (D.W. Griffith)
10. Grass (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack)

Honorable Mention: The Unholy Three (Tod Browning), The Merry Widow (Erich Von Stroheim), The Big Parade (King Vidor), Whirlpool of Fate (Jean Renoir), Lady Windermere’s Fan (Ernst Lubitsch), The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian), Master of the House (Carl Theodor Dreyer), The Lost World (Harry O. Hoyt), The Pleasure Garden (Alfred Hitchcock), The Plastic Age (Wesley Ruggles)

Blind Spots: Verité (Ewald André Dupont), Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (Fred Niblo), The Lost World (Harry O. Hoyt), The Eagle (Clarence Brown), The Rag Man (Edward F. Cline), The Monster (Roland West), Braveheart (Alan Hale), The Vanishing American (George B. Seitz), Cirano di Bergerac (Augusto Genina), Zander the Great (George W. Hill), Smouldering Fires (Clarence Brown)


1. A Page of Madness (Teinosuke Kinugasa)
2. Faust (F.W. Murnau)
3. The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Lotte Reiniger)
4. The Scarlet Letter (Victor Sjöström)
5. Tartuffe (F.W. Murnau)
6. Mother (Vsevolod Pudovkin)
7. Moana (Robert J. Flaherty)
8. The Battling Butler (Buster Keaton)
9. Nana (Jean Renoir)
10. The Black Pirate (Albert Parker)

Honorable Mention: Secrets of the Soul (G.W. Pabst), Flesh and the Devil (Clarence Brown), The Temptress (Fred Niblo), The Show Off (Malcolm St. Clair), Three Bad Men (John Ford)

Blind Spots: La Boheme (King Vidor), For Heaven’s Sake (Sam Taylor), The Strong Man (Frank Capra), So’s Your Old Man (Gregory La Cava), So This is Paris (Ernst Lubitsch), The Black Pirate (Albert Parker), Son of the Sheik (George Fitzmaurice), Sparrows (William Beaudine), Tell It to the Marines (George W.Hill), Don Juan (Alan Crosland), Torrent Monta Bell), The Holy Mountain (Arnold Fanck), Carmen (Jacques Feyder), Brown of Harvard (Jack Conway), The Bat (Roland West), The Boob (William A. Wellman), Nana (Jean Renoir), Exit Smiling (Sam Taylor), The Blackbird (Tod Browning), The Student of Prague (Henrik Galeen), What Price Glory (Raoul Walsh), Beau Geste (Herbert Brenon), Mantrap (Victor Fleming), By the Law (Lev Kuleshov)


1. Sunrise (F.W. Murnau)
2. Seventh Heaven (Frank Borzage)
3. Hindle Wakes (Maurice Elvey)
4. The Unknown (Tod Browning)
5. The General (Clyde Bruckman & Buster Keaton)
6. October (Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein)
7. The Lodger (Alfred Hitchcock)
8. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Walter Ruttmann)
9. The Love of Jeanne Ney (G.W. Pabst)
10. Napoleon (Abel Gance)

Honorable Mention: Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness (Merian C. Cooper & Ernest B. Schoedsack), Metropolis (Fritz Lang), College (James W. Horne), Downhill (Alfred Hitchcock), The Kid Brother (J.A. Howe & Ted Wilde), The Cat and the Canary (Paul Leni), The Ring (Alfred Hitchcock), The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (Ernst Lubitsch), The Beloved Rogue (Alan Crosland), The Girl With the Hat Box (Boris Barnet)

Blind Spots: It (Clarence G. Badger), The King of Kings (Cecil B. DeMille), My Best Girl (Sam Taylor), The End of St. Petersberg (Vsevolod Pudovkin & Mikhail Doller), Love (Edmund Goulding), Underworld (Josef von Sternberg), Two Arabian Nights (Lewis Milestone), The Love of Sunya (Albert Parker), Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harry A. Pollard)


1. The Crowd (King Vidor)
2. The Fall of the House of Usher (Jean Epstein)
3. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer)
4. The Cameraman (Edward Sedgwick)
5. The Wind (Victor Sjöström)
6. Lonesome (Pál Fejös)
7. Arsenal (Aleksandr Dovzhenko)
8. The Docks of New York (Josef Von Sternberg)
9. Show People (King Vidor)
10. Sadie Thompson (Raoul Walsh)

Honorable Mention: Street Angel (Frank Borzage), The Last Command (Josef Von Sternberg), Laugh, Clown, Laugh (Herbert Brenon), West of Zanzibar (Tod Browning), The Wedding March (Erich von Stroheim), The Circus (Charlie Chaplin), Beggars of Life (William A. Wellman), Storm Over Asia (Vsevolod Pudovkin), Steamboat Bill Jr. (Charles Reisner), and The Man Who Laughs (Paul Leni)

Blind Spots: The Farmer’s Wife (Alfred Hitchcock), Noah’s Ark (Michael Curtiz), Sex in Chains (William Dieterle), White Shadows in the South Seas (W.S. Van Dyke), Four Sons (John Ford), Across to Singapore (William Nigh), The Battle of the Sexes (D.W. Griffith), Hangman’s House (John Ford), The Divine Woman (Victor Sjöström), The Matinee Idol (Frank Capra), West Point (Edward Sedgwick), The Garden of Eden (Lewis Milestone), White Shadows in the South Seas (W.S. Van Dyke)


1. The Man With the Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov)
2. Diary of a Lost Girl (G.W. Pabst)
3. Pandora’s Box (G.W. Pabst)
4. The General Line (Grigori Aleksandrov & Sergei Eisenstein)
5. Asphalt (Joe May)
6. Coconauts (Robert Florey & Joseph Stantley)
7. Piccadilly (E.W. Dupont)
8. The Love Parade (Ernst Lubitsch)
9. Spite Marriage (Edward Sedgwick & Buster Keaton)
9. Blackmail (Alred Hitchcock)

Honorable Mention: Queen Kelly (Erich von Stroheim), Hallelujah (King Vidor), Applause (Rouben Mamoulian), The Woman in the Moon (Fritz Lang), The Hollywood Revue of 1929 (Charles Reisner), The Manxman (Alfred Hitchcock), The Great Gabbo (James Cruze & Erich von Stroheim), Our Modern Maidens (Jack Conway).

Blind Spots: Dans La Nuit (Charles Vanel), Eternal Love (Ernst Lubitsch), The Iron Mask (Allan Dwan), The Kiss (Jacques Feyder), The Virginian (Victor Fleming), Bulldog Drummond (F. Richard Jones), White Hell of Pitz Palu (Arnold Fanck & G.W. Pabst), The Wild Party (Dorothy Arzner), Dynamite (Cecil B. DeMille), The Mysterious Island (Lucien Hubbard, Benjamin Christensen & Maurice Tourneur), Their Own Desire (E. Mason Hopper), The Thirteenth Chair (Tod Browning), Wild Orchids (Sidney Franklin), Welcome Danger (Clyde Bruckman & Malcolm St. Clair), Untamed (Jack Conway), The Single Standard (John S. Robertson), Rio Rita (Luther Reed), The Canary Murder Case (Malcolm St. Clair & Frank Tuttle)


1 2 3 4 5
> Last »