We can well assume the amount of admirers Hollywood has from the number of remakes this industry inspires. As renowned author Charles Caleb Colton quoted “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”, there is no doubt that time and again the imitation of Hollywood films has cemented its fame. This industry has seen the rise of numerous talented actors and the creative outburst of several exceptional directors. These movies have varying storyline and one cannot term any Hollywood flick as stereotypical. There is a flood of Hollywood movies which one must watch during their lifetime to get a different view of things in general and life in particular. These films bring in innovative concepts — sometimes lifelike and sometimes transcending reality and rationale. Be it a sci-fi, a thriller, a rom-com, or an epic movie, Hollywood has all the essence assorted in one platter. Many times these are inspired from true life incidents and they motivate their audience in the best possible way. When it is Hollywood, we are ought to face dilemma in picking the must see movies of all time, but some of them did make a mark so distinct that they need a mention in this list.
1. The Godfather
The Godfather is one such movie which all movie lovers will unanimously agree a must watch. It’s an adaptation of a novel by Mario Puzo, and the story revolves around the Corleone family. Don Vito Corleone portrayed by renowned actor Marlon Brando is a leading gangster and exercises deep influence on the underworld. He retires by lending his powers to his youngest son Michael, played by superlative performer Al Pacino. Michael, who is hesitant in joining the world of crime is gradually drawn into its clutches and emerges as a callous mafia.
2. Schindler’s List
This Steven Spielberg movie recounts the story of a German businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who sees business prospects during the World War II, and subsequently reaches Krakow. He establishes a factory where the workers constitute of Jewish refugees. The time when Hitler’s army began executing Jewish people, Schindler stood beside his employees and managed to save them. Released in 1993, this movie puts humanity first and mars all bias based on caste and creed.
3. The Good The Bad &he Ugly
The story dates back to the Civil War, during which Joe (Clint Eastwood) and Tuco (Eli Wallach) team up under strange circumstances to hunt for a hidden treasure in which they are countered by another. This movie garnered more than $25 million at the box office and also gained immense critical appreciation.
4. The Shawshank Redemption
Shawshank is the prison where Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) lands after being wrongly accused of dual murders. There he meets Red (Morgan Freeman) and the two eventually, share a bond. Based on a novella by Stephen King, this film tells the story of these two men who finally escape from the prison after several years.
5. Pulp Fiction
One of the many gems from the astute director Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction is weaved around four diverse stories bringing them together. The film has a satirical tone and is packed with irony, narrating the stories of two hitmen (John Travolta & Samuel L. Jackson), their leader and his wife, a boxer along with two outlaws.
6. Good Will Hunting
Will Hunting portrayed by Matt Damon works as a janitor at MIT, but has exceptional mathematical talents. At one occasion when he cracks a challenging math problem, his genius is discovered by Professor Gerald Lambeau (Stellan Skarsgard). He then determines to help this lost soul and puts him under the care of Robin Williams who plays the character of Sean Maguire, a psychotherapist.
7. Forrest Gump
This rom-com features Tom Hanks as a dimwitted person but circumstances lead him to be instrumental in many major happenings in the US. With his simplicity and positive thinking he achieved many milestones except his love Jenny (Robin Wright). The film is inspired from author Winston Groom’s novel but differs in many aspects.
8. The King’s Speech
The Prince of England (Colin Firth) stutters and when the time comes for him to ascend the throne, his speech is eagerly awaited. His wife Elizabeth (Helena Bonham Carter) wants her husband to speak without any difficulty and for that purpose she appoints Lionel Logue (Geoffrey Rush), who trains him in this regard. The speech which he delivers deserves a standing ovation and tells us how we too can fight our shortcomings with practice.
9. Cast Away
Tom Hanks plays a highly professional FedEx executive Chuck Noland, who meets with a plane crash. He survives the crash only to arrive at an uninhabited island where his way of life takes a huge turn. Months turn into years as he adapts himself to life in the island.
This historical film stars Russell Crowe in the title role who is removed from his position of the general by a corrupt successor of the Roman empire. To avenge the death of his family members and the injustice meted out to him, he assumes the role of a gladiator.
11. Rain Man
Upon learning about the demise of his alienated father and the fortune he had left behind, Charlie Babbitt (Tom Cruise) visits Cincinnati. There he finds his brother Raymond about whom he was unaware. Raymond is autistic and his father’s wealth were bestowed to the organization were Raymond stayed. Charlie brings his brother out of the institution and takes him back with himself to LA. The journeys of these brothers and how it affects their lives is what constitutes the storyline.
12. American Beauty
After spending his life in a monotonous job, Lester Burnham decides to venture into something new. He quits his job to lead the life of a teenager and is attracted towards his daughter’s friend Angela (Mena Suvari). This movie is deemed as a satirical overview of the concept of beauty and contentment that American working-class holds.
The protagonist of the film Rocky Balboa is probably one of the best known characters played by Sylvester Stallone. Rocky is the first movie of this series and with this begins the story of Rocky Balboa who overcomes all hindrances in his life with conviction. In this film he is a random choice to compete with boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) as his opponent was unable to participate because of injury. He underwent rigorous training under Mickey Goldmill and on the day of final match surprised all by earning the champion’s title. This movie inspires us to the core and beckons us to get up and conquer the world.
14. Great Debaters
An article published in the quarterly magazine American Legacy in 1997, inspired this film which was made after a decade. The article was about the debate team of Wiley College, one of the first black colleges established to the west of the Mississippi River. The film depicts the story of how Professor Melvin B. Tolson trains his students from the Wiley College in debating who eventually compete with the elite Harvard University.
15. Blood Diamond
Set in the backdrop of the Sierra Leone Civil War, the film relates the story of victims of the war and also the trade of blood diamonds. Blood diamond stands for the diamonds which are found in mines located in war zones. Leonardo DiCaprio’s acting in the movie received much acclamation along with his fellow actor Djimon Hounsou.
16. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
A path-breaking movie, ET, is one of Spielberg’s best known movies and it preceded Jurassic Park as the highest-grossing film of all time. The film beautifully displays the bond shared between a human Elliott (Henry Thomas) and an alien who the young boy names ET. The young brigade helps to keep ET’s identity a secret until they are able to send him back to his planet. However, ET’s ill health brings him to the notice of the government and thus, all the drama begins.
17. Star Wars
The ever continuing war between the good and the evil is depicted in this film, but this time it is not on earth. As the movie describes, the battleground is far, far away, a place created by the American filmmaker George Lucas. This is one of the best known films set in space and the series which began in 1977 continued till 2005, releasing six films in total.
18. Gone With the Wind
An adaptation of award winning novel by the same name, Gone With the Wind is a superb movie which shows America during the time of the American Civil War and Reconstruction era which followed. The situation is viewed through the eyes of the leading characters portrayed by Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland and Leslie Howard.
19. To Kill A Mockingbird
Based on author Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, brings to the surface the discrimination which the black face. This film received much acclamation commercially as well as critically, becoming one of the must see movies of all time. It earned a place in the National Film Registry and also on the list compiled by the American film Institute on its 10th anniversary.
20. Annie Hall
Actor-director Woody Allen plays the role of a comedian named Alvy Singer who sets out to tell his life story to his audience. He begins with childhood moving on to his adulthood and finally, introducing the character of Annie Hall (Diane Keaton). He talks about the love which he and Annie shared and ponders the failure of their relationship. The film distinctively displayed New York and LA, and vividly manifested the concepts of modernism and psychoanalysis.
21. Hachi : A Dog’s Tale
Hachi’s tale is sure to bring tears to your eyes seeing the love this dog has for his master. Based on a true story, this movie narrates the heart touching story of Hachiko and his master played by actor Richard Gere. The accidental meeting between Professor Parker Wilson (Richard Gere) and Hachiko turned into a lifelong bond and till his last breath. The dog remained faithful to his deceased master, awaiting his return at the station where he had last seen him.
22. Reservoir Dogs
This film was the first gem from the imaginative genius of director Quentin Tarantino. This thriller narrates the story in and around a diamond heist wherein a team of thieves collaborate to execute the plan. The actual drama begins when it is found that one among them is an informer of the police. The film gained immense popularity and the Empire magazine even named it as the ‘Greatest Independent Film of all Time’.
23. The Silence Of The Lambs
This film released in 1991, was based on a book by Thomas Harris, by the same name. The leading characters are Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) and Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Antony Hopkins). This thriller masterfully combines crime and horror to create a thrilling atmosphere. Jack Crawford works for the Bureau of Behavioral Science Unit and Clarice is a student at FBI academy. Clarice is asked by Crawford to interview Lecter who was a psychiatrist and try and get some information regarding a serial killer. Lecter who himself is imprisoned on murder accusations, initially denies to help, but later, shares the information with Clarice.
24. The Last Samurai
The 2003 release, starring Tom Cruise in the leading role as a retired army officer of the 7th Cavalry Regiment, is appointed to train the Japanese army the art of warfare. The Japanese Emperor wishes to westernize his army and let go off the Samurai warrior class. In Japan, Captain Nathan Algren (Tom Cruise) is captured by the Samurais and during his stay gets affected by the Samurai tradition.
25. The Graduate
The Graduate tells the story of Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman) who is clueless as to what to do after graduation. He arrives home after completing his graduation and is lured by an older woman Mrs. Robbinson (Anne Bancroft) who is a family friend. The story takes a steep turn when Benjamin falls for the daughter of Mrs. Robinson, Elaine (Katherine Ross).
Two officers David Mills (Tom Cruise) and William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) get into investigating a murder case. While investigating, they realize that it’s a case of serial killing and the murderer kills people based on the seven sins. This psycho-thriller received huge opening at the box office and cemented David Fincher’s fame as a director.
27. Citizen Kane
The protagonist of the movie is publishing mogul Charles Foster Kane portrayed by Orson Welles. The story revolves around the meaning of last words uttered by Kane and a journalist is hired to decode those words. This reporter’s investigation unveils some striking facts about Kane’s life.
The fear of the shark prevails in the town of Amity Island after it devours a woman. The head of the police department Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) decides to shut the beaches for the tourists, but the Mayor of the town does not wish the same. The Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) anticipates huge loses if revenue from tourism is hampered, and thus along with his associates Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Quint (Robert Shaw) takes up the task of killing the giant.
29. 12 Angry Men
A teenage boy is accused of a murder and the trial for that case involves twelve men of the jury who at first draw the same conclusion about the case. However, one of member of the jury becomes doubtful about the case and soon crops different arguments for and against one another’s propositions.
30. Dead Poets Society
Robin Williams plays an English teacher John Keating, whose arrival at the all-boys school brings about quite a few changes. He is an unconventional teacher and initially faces lot of opposition from the school authorities and parents of the students. Gradually, with his method of teaching he helps students such as Todd Anderson (Ethan Hawke) and Neil Perry (Robert Sean Leonard) to break the shackles and realize their dreams.
31. Fight Club
Edward Norton leads a usual life but soon this routine life takes a toll on him and he suffers from sleeping disorder. While dealing with his bored life, he one day meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) who is a salesman and lives a carefree life. They get acquainted with each other and begin an underground fight club where people tired of their typical life can come and engage in fights. Everything was going fine until one day Norton discovers something unusual which changes his life forever.
32. Clockwork Orange
An anti-social element Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is arrested for putting the Cat Lady to death. During his stay in the jail he engages in behavioral development therapy and becomes an improved self. However, his past deeds become a curse as he is victimized by the people he harmed.
33. The Usual Suspects
The story follows a con man Roger Kint (Kevin Spacey) who is interrogated by the police. He is one of the survivors of the ship massacre and tells how he and his comrades were hired by an enigmatic boss Keyser Soze for the diamond heist. His story takes some unusual twists making it one of the most intriguing stories ever.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) robs her employer in order to elope with her lover. On her way, she enters a motel where she encountered the owner Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and learns about him. The fast paced storyline builds into a well-knit horror thriller sure to send shivers down your spine.
35. Shutter Island
The search for a murderess from the asylum brings US Marshall Teddy Daniels to the island to investigate the case. As the story develops we find Teddy preparing to face his own deep fears in order to survive.
36. Saving Private Ryan
This Spielberg movie is one of the best known war movies of all times. Starring Tom Hanks and Matt Damon in lead roles, this movie brings in the cruel images of war amidst which the soldiers discover themselves.
37. Enemy At The Gates
This war movie was set in and around the Battle of Stalingrad. With the war begins the conflict between the Russian marksman Vassili (Jude Law) and the marksman hired by the Nazi, Ed Harris, to kill Vassili, on whom Russia rests its hopes.
38. The Patriot
One of the most remarkable characters played by top-notch actor Mel Gibson, The Patriot has become one of the must watch movies of Hollywood. This story narrates how Benjamin Martin participated in the American Revolution to save his land from the British. He and his son together march forward and engage in one of the most absorbing battles, bearing evidence of their patriotism.
39. A Beautiful Mind
Weaved around the life of Nobel Laureate John Nash, this film is based on the literary piece by Sylvia Nasar. Russell Crowe acted as John Nash whose life is confronted with various elements leading him to discover himself.
40. The Passion Of The Christ
A directorial venture by Mel Gibson, this biblical film is based on the concluding 12 hours of the life of Christ before being brutally crucified. The crown of thorns, the dragging of the cross by Jesus, the nailing of Christ to the cross, has been brought to life, depicting the story told in the New Testament.
41. Groundhog Day
Phil Connors portrayed by Bill Murray is a TV personality who goes to cover the Groundhog Day is somehow trapped in a time warp and is bound to live this day over and over again. How he sets things right and gets out of the time warp constitutes the story.
42. The Hurt Locker
Members of a bomb diffusing squad are stationed at Baghdad where they are faced with challenging situations. These situations are full of peril and may even claim their lives.
43. Raging Bull
Raging Bull narrates the story of a middleweight boxer who rises to the top with his conviction and practice. However, his aggressive nature hampers his personal life to a great extent.
44. Brokeback Mountain
Two cowboy Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger) and Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal) realize their love for each other but being an unconventional relationship they choose to keep it under the veils. Even though Ennis marries Alma (Michelle Williams) and Jack weds a rider played by Anne Hathaway, the two keep up their affair which blossomed on the Brokeback Mountain.
45. Die Hard
A member of the New York Police Department, John McClane sets to visits his alienated wife and daughters. They meet on the day of Christmas at a party but soon this overwhelming situation turns gloomy when these people are attacked by terrorists. McClane is the only person who can save the hostages and his family from this attack.
46. Taxi Driver
A person with sleeping impediment, Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes up the job of taxi driver in NYC. As he roams through the streets of the city, he becomes self-obliged to rid the city of the moral mess and in this pursuit he plans to execute a candidate for Presidential election and also saves a 12-year-old prostitute named Iris (Jodie Foster).
47. Scent Of A Woman
Starring Al Pacino as blind retired Lt. Col. Frank, this film is another example of his brilliant acting skills. A schoolboy played by Chris O’Donnell volunteers to assist Frank against a fee, unaware of the intricacies this association will bring.
48. Dog Day Afternoon
Sonny Wortzik’s (Al Pacino) love needs a surgery and to arrange for it he gets involved in a bank robbery. However, the theft went wrong and people were taken captive and intervention of the media made the situation worse.
49. The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button
The case of Benjamin Button (Brad Pitt) is indeed curios as he is born as an old man and ages in reverse order. He meets Daisy (Cate Blanchett) as a child and developed a special bond with her. From the time of his birth, Button’s life is packed with adventures but the only constant in his life is his love for Daisy, with whom he grows old, rather grows young, finally resting in her arms as an infant.
50. Lawrence of Arabia
David Lean’s remarkable creation Lawrence of Arabia is definitely one of the finest cinematic works of all time. A capable British officer T. E. Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) leads the Arabian army against the Turks in a magnanimous way but in the end faces a tug of war between two different authorities.