These are what I think should be consider for the greatest movie of all time. Now, this isn't necessarily my favorite movies of all time(though they both rank up there), this is objectively what I feel embodies the greatest aspects about films. Both of these two movies are truly masterful in their execution and they are both made by masters of filmmaking. Either is deserving of the title "Greatest Movie Ever". You'll probably find a lot of similarities between the two along with some very key differences. So without further ado...
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly(1966)
Sergio Leone's spaghetti western masterpiece. Leone was way ahead of his time with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Set during the American Civil War, it tells the story of three gunslingers after Confederate gold and each man is for himself. It's a story that is rooted very heavily in the life of the American south west during this time period. Clint Eastwood reprises his role from the two previous "Dollars" movies as The Man with No Name or nicknamed Blondie in this movie, he's The Good. Lee Van Cleef plays Angel Eyes, the cold blooded mercernary who always sees a job through, he's The Bad. And finally, Eli Wallach plays Tuco, a quick talking bandit who's words are louder than his gun, he stands as The Ugly. All three main characters are superb. Clint is well known for his westerns and this is his greatest work, the subtle facial expressions he has, the way he moves around the scene and that iconic squint. Eli Wallach is great as Tuco, he's such a despicable character yet you can't help but root for him. And Lee Van Cleef absolutely grabs your attention as Angel Eyes, he's a great menacing character, he has the kind of eyes that just pierce into your soul.
But it's not just the characters that are the star of the show, it's the cinematography and music as well. The cinematograpy is absolutely stunning. It really gives the movie it's epic scale. It's one of Leone's trademarks to have wide swapping shots of landscapes then extreme close up of the characters. It works so well especially towards the climax of the film. And what can be said of Ennio Morricone's score that hasn't already been said: it's flawless in every single way. Morricone's musical score adds so much to the film's nature, I mean just listen to THIS or how about THIS? It's really when you look at the quality of the cinematography and score, that you realize this is true treat for the eyes and ears.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly is an audio-visual masterpiece. Leone's method of filmmaking is so unique to this day that still nothing is close to the level of craft this movie was filmed from. Leon's filmmaking would even go on to influence another of my favorite directors, Quentin Tarantino. This movie is a legend and gives true meaning to the word "epic".
2001: A Space Odyssey(1968 )
A science fiction cla.ssic? The ultimate trip? What the hell did I just watch? Stanley Kubrick made movies like no one else. The Shining's a horror movie, Full Metal Jacket's a war movie but they're all completely different from any other movie in their genre. 2001: A Space Odyssey is arguable the greatest accomplishment in special effects and science fiction movie history. Made in 1968, the scenes of space and the space ships are just as realistic as the most advanced CGI today, even more so because they don't have that fake CG look to them. I only saw this movie for the first time around last Christmas and besides being bewildered, I was utterly impressed at how good the special effects looked. This is honestly probably the most realistic movie that portrays space accurately. During the space scenes, no sound is heard at all beyond the cla.ssical music score, the lighting is very accurate for it's time keeping in mind that we hadn't even landed on the moon at the time this movie was being made. The movie just as a "feel" or atmosphere to it like no other. It's really hard to describe 2001, it's like trying to describe the color "green", you just have to see it for yourself.
The movie starts with the Dawn of Man and then jump cuts to the year 2001 where humans have colonized the moon and avidly exploring the wonders of space. The movie is very much open to interpretation which only adds to wonderment and totally makes me understand why people swear by this movie like the Bible. It has a lot of themes in it, the main one I find being evolution. It starts with humankind's ancestors then jumps to when we've finally started exploring space and then it goes "beyond the infinite". I won't ruin anything for anyone but suffice to say that the last 20 minutes or so will blow your mind, I guarantee it. The reason this movie is such a superb contender for "Greatest Movie of All Time" is because it, as well as The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, combines the music with the picture so well and also makes you think about humans as a species, our past and wait lay before us.
At this point, 2001 has become such as huge part of pop culture it's likely you know something about it, whether it's the opening of the movie to Richard Strauss's "Also Sprach Zaranthustra" or the AI system known as HAL or the "Stargate" sequence near the end of the film, one of the most bizzare moments in cinematic history. This movie solidified Kubrick for me as one of the most important people in movie making and indeed, the 20th century. It's an extrememly important film and one that no one, film buff or not, should miss out on.
So those are the two movies that I feel as are most deserving of the title "Greatest Movie of All Time". The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and 2001: A Space Odyssey. Both considered cla.ssics and "epics" of their respective genres. Both made by masters of the art form and both influenced a generation of film makers. And both are extrememly unique and unlike any other movie experience you'll ever have, so please, appreciate films at their finest and watch both of these movies. :)