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By: Jess Canty

So I didn't go to film school - as you all know I went to theater school. But one thing that theater school definitely taught me was that in order to understand what the best plays are, you have to read all the best plays. Luckily I had four years and great professors telling me what those were.

So I would assume that the same applies to Film and TV - want to know what is "good" and "great?" You better be watching (and reading the screenplays and teleplays) of the best of the best.

So how do we know what is the best of the best? Well lucky for you, your manager Jess - apologies for referencing myself in the 3rd person - is a SUPER NERD. And she just spent the better half of her Saturday morning trying to find the most democratic way to answer that question. So... I took the following lists and combined them:

  • George Lucas' Top 300 Films of All Time (In terms of Adjusted Box Office through 2005)

  • AFI's 100 Years 100 Movies

  • WGA's 101 Best Screenplays

  • DGA's 80 Best Directed Films

  • THR's Top 100 Movies (as rated by industry professionals) *Obviously these lists do not include the huge successes of the last 14 years because most of these lists were created about 10 years ago or only have data through 2005. So chill out Marvel fans :)

Then I combined all of these lists and counted which films appeared on all 5 lists (and four, three, two and only one list).

The result was the 15 best-loved and most lucrative films of all time across all of these lists. If you desire to be a film actor and you haven't seen every film on this list AND read its screenplay then it is time to get watching, downloading and reading!

These are in order of where they appear on the Top 300 Grossing Films:

Gone with the Wind Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Raiders of the Lost Ark The Graduate The Godfather Forrest Gump The Bridge on the River Kwai Rocky One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Lawrence of Arabia Jaws Psycho Apocalypse Now The Silence of the Lambs

Click here for the full breakdown of all of the films that appear across all lists - and how many lists they appear on - in case you want to do more homework.

Next week... Top TV.

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