Kubrick – Best: 2001, Worst: Killer’s Kiss
Wes Anderson – Best: The Royal Tenenbaums, Worst: The Life Aquatic
David Fincher – Best: The Social Network, Worst: Panic Room
Paul Thomas Anderson – Best: Punch Drunk Love, Worst: Hard 8
Fellini – Best: La Dolce Vita, Worst: Rome
Great list. Lots to debate about there too. I just want to add, parenthetically, that had RKO left Woman on the Beach alone, it might not stand as Renoir’s worst. I really regret that his version is lost forever.
Thanks. My runner up for Renoir was Elena and Her Men, which suffered from similar interference. Sometimes, it really isn’t the director’s fault.
I rather like Elena and Her Men. I guess I would choose Madame Bovary, of which I’ve only seen part of a bad print, or The Golden Coach, or The Elusive Corporal maybe. It’s kind of hard for me to choose bad Renoir.
That’s true. He’s actually my favorite director and honestly, his worst is better than most directors will achieve.
I agree. And he’s my favorite too.
Best (only my fav, not necessary THE BEST)
Stanley Kubrick: A clockwork orange
Michael Haneke: The piano teacher
Quentin Tarantino: Jackie Brown
Robert Bresson: Au hasard Balthazar
Roman Polanski: The Tenant
Sergio Leone: Once upon a time in America
David Lynch: Mulholland Dr.
Satyajit Ray: Aparajito
Martin Scorsese: Taxi Driver
Zhang Yimou: Not one less
Woody Allen: Annie Hall
dr. strangelove? really? REALLY?
It’s a smart satire, but didn’t laugh AT ALL.
my personal fav directors:
cassavetes – faces or a woman under the influences
lynch – blue velvet or mulholland
solondz – welcome to the dollhouse
haneke – piano teacher, white ribbon or cache
claire denis – beau travail
kubrick – shining, clockwork or strangelove
cronenberg – naked lunch or dead ringers
tarkovsky – solaris or the mirror
bresson – L’argent or pickpocket
von trier – breaking the waves
jarmusch – down by law or mystery train
cassavetes – big trouble
lynch – dune (of course)
solondz – life during wartime
haneke – nothing yet…
denis – chocolat (although this movie isnt “bad” at all. its just the worst outta her filmography)
kubrick – killer’s kiss
cronenberg – anything before shivers
tarkovsky – ivan’s childhood (still pretty good tho)
bresson – The Ladies of the Bois de Boulogne (pretty “meh”)
von trier – epidemic (that movie felt like watching a student film where half the cast didnt even know the cameras were rolling while the other half of the cast were in on some inside joke)
jarmusch – limits of control
Ford: Best- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance ( or My Darling Clementine, or The Searchers)
Worst – Tobacco Road
Fuller: Best – The Big Red One (or The Naked Kiss)
Worst – Merrill’s Marauders
Capra: Best – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Worst- A Hole In The Head
Tourneur: Best- Stars In My Crown (or Out of The Past)
Worst- A Comedy of Terrors
Walsh: Best- They Died With Their Boots On (or White Heat)
Worst: The Lawless Breed
Hitchcock: Best – Psycho (or Notorious)
Worst – The Man Who Knew Too Much
BTW, those of you who refer to Killer’s Kiss as ‘decent’ are being waaaayyy to kind. That was one of the most unintentionally painful cinematic experiences I’ve ever endured. The only nice thing you can say about it is that is was well photographed (although not interestingly so).
Jean Renoir has no worst film.
Not to argue with you, but I found The Doctor’s Horrible Experiment disagreeable. Even if Jean-Luc Godard thought it was one of “the best films since the Resistance,” I couldn’t really tolerate it after awhile through duration.
The Doctor’s Horrible Experiment is likely not going to please everyone, at least not the first time. Initially, I thought it was severely lacking, even though it was produced for television. But obviously Godard, as well as Orson Welles, spoke highly of it, and I think it’s better now than I did the first time I saw it.
Note: I actually like all of the following “worst” films quite a bit. I suspect there are worse films by each of these directors that I just haven’t seen yet (except Tarkovsky – I’ve seen all his films)…
Welles – BEST: Citizen Kane – WORST: F for Fake (still excellent though)
Tarkovsky – BEST: Nostalghia – WORST: Ivan’s Childhood (still excellent)
Bergman – BEST: Persona – WORST: Winter Light (still excellent)
Lang – BEST: Metropolis – WORST: The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (still good)
Hitchcock – BEST: North by Northwest – WORST: 39 Steps (still excellent)
Lynch – BEST: Inland Empire – WORST: Straight Story (still quite good)
Angelopoulos – BEST: The Traveling Players – WORST: Ulysses’ Gaze (still amazing)
Kubrick – BEST: 2001: A Space Odyssey – WORST: Barry Lyndon (still good)
Best: Taxi Driver
Worst: New York, New York
Best: The Thin Red Line
Worst: The New World
Best: Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo.
Worst: Giù la testa
Best: Pulp Fiction
Worst: Jackie Brown
Best: Fight Club
Worst: The Social Network
Jackie Brown and The Social Network are worsts when Death Proof and Alien 3/Panic Room exist? Does not compute.
Best: Apocalypse Now
Worst: The Color of Money
Best: Mean Streets
Worst: Death Proof (I actually don’t mind this movie too much)
Best: Reservoir Dogs
Best: The Wrestler
Best: Blow Out/Carrie
Worst: Black Dahlia
Best: Point Break
Worst: Exorcist 2: The Heretic
Worst: Torn Curtain
Best: The Killer/A Better Tomorrow
Best: The Ice Storm
Worst: Hulk/Taking Woodstock
Best: Annie Hall
Worst: Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Worst: Silver City
Best: Sunshine State/Matewan
Just by looking at others’ rankings on this, I feel compelled to add my own for comparative purposes. Mind you this is based mostly on what I’ve seen.
Kubrick Best – Spartacus (he has many, but this is my favorite), Worst – Barry Lyndon (not terrible, no, but not my bag)
Scorsese Best – Taxi Driver (ibid explanation on Kubrick), Worst – After Hours (certainly him trying too hard to be commercial)
Schrader Best – Light Sleeper, Worst – Touch (it is not terrible either, but it is not necessarily his among his stronger efforts)
Bergman Best – Through a Glass Darkly (the one that won me over to loving Bergman), Worst – The Serpent’s Egg (once this place was held by The Virgin Spring, which even Bergman himself regarded as a poor imitation of Kurosawa’s sensibilities)
Renoir Best – La bete humaine (he has many, this is the one I identify with the most), Worst – The Doctor’s Horrible Experiment (I tend to call it “The Director’s Horrible Experiment”, but who knows, like M. MARECHAL said, I could change my stance)
Polanski Best – Death and the Maiden (another case of personal favorites), Worst – Frantic (as much as it pissed Polanski off to hear it, Harrison Ford was right in regarding the film as being nearly bored to death)
Lumet Best – Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Worst – Power (for some reason, after seeing him in American Gigolo, I thought Richard Gere would help to really add an interesting dimension to a lot of director’s films – this is not the case here)
Stone Best – Platoon (among others, especially of the Vietnam War films he’s done, this is really tragic and tragedy tends to be my main attraction in narratives), Worst – Siezure! (say what one will about Alexander or World Trade Center or even the Wall Street sequel, there’s perhaps nothing worst than this early effort, which judging by what he was working with, one cannot really pin too much blame on the young filmmaker in progress)
Roeg Best – The Man Who Fell to Earth, Worst – Puffball: The Devil’s Eyeball (for what I’ve seen from Performance to Walkabout, Don’t Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth, it is amazing how terrible one film could be – not in light of those alone, but in and of itself)
Anger Best – Rabbit’s Moon, Worst – Anger Sees Red (Anger cruising? Or merely a lack of inspiration?)
Cassavetes Best – The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (a favorite among others), Worst – A Child is Waiting (not terrible, not bad, but too conventionally formalized to be admired from Cassavetes)
—> Schrader Best – Light Sleeper, Worst – Touch (it is not terrible either, but it is not necessarily his among his stronger efforts)
If you think Schrader’s worst film is ‘not terrible’, you probably haven’t seen Witch Hunt. :-)
Never understood the love for Spartacus. Especially when compared to Kubrick’s other films.
Let me stand up for Spartacus. A fave Kubrick (next only to his masterpece Lolita). This was Kubrick’s heyday.
Carl Th. Dreyer
Best = The Passion of Joan of Arc
Worst = Michael (Not bad, and Dreyer probably made worse silents, but the worst of the Dreyers I’ve seen.)
Best = Winter Light
Worst = The Serpent’s Egg (I never would have thought that Bergman could make a movie this bad.)
Gus Van Sant
Best = Gerry
Worst = Good Will Hunting (Psycho is probably worse, but I haven’t seen it, so I’ll reserve judgment.)
Best = Inglourious Basterds
Worst = Death Proof (The driving scenes at the end are top notch, but the first hour displays all of the worst aspects of Tarantino’s dialogue writing.)
Best = A Serious Man
Worst = Intolerable Cruelty (Not even sure this totally counts as a “Coen Brothers” film, since they were basically directors/screenwriters-for-hire on that project, but it didn’t do much for me.)
Best = Aguirre, The Wrath of God
Worst = Rescue Dawn (Invincible is less focused, but it at least has some indelible images, which are sadly lacking in RD)
Best = Taxi Driver
Worst = Shutter Island (I don’t understand @Charles Deckert calling out After Hours—which I love—as “too commercial” when Scorsese has recently tended toward far more commercial projects, including ever movie he’s made since Gangs of New York—though I quite like some of those as well. And After Hours isn’t even a particularly commercial film, what with its dark humor and suicides and Griffin Dunnes and all.)
Best = Dead Ringers
Worst = The Brood (Not a bad film but a bit less interesting than the rest of his work)
Best = City Lights
Worst = Limelight
Best = A Clockwork Orange
Worst = 2001
Best = Tess
Worst = The Tenant
Best = No Country For Old Men
Worst = The Big Lebowski
Best = Goodfellas
Worst = Taxi Driver
Best = Pulp Fiction
Worst = Jackie Brown (though I still very much like it)
Best = Rear Window
Worst = Vertigo
Best = The New World
Worst = The Thin Red Line
Paul Thomas Anderson
Best = Boogie Nights
Worst = Magnolia
Best = Moonrise Kingdom
Worst = The Royal Tenenbaums
Best: Fanny & Alexander
Worst: The Magicician
That said, I think The Magician is a very good film. I am yet to look through his early shit films.
Best: The Mirror
Worst: The Sacrifice
That said, I think The Sacrifice is a great film.
That said, Pickpocket is also a great film.
… I don’t think I’m doing this right.
Best: The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)
Best: Assault on Precinct 13 (1976)
Worst: The Ward
Worst: Space Truckers
Best: The French Connection
Best: La Jetee
Worst: Overnight (The term “worst” is a little harsh for this one)
Best: The Masque of the Red Death, 1964
I’d like to change my stance on Kubrick:
Best: Spartacus (for explanation see prior post well above)
Worst: Fear and Desire (I’ve found better respect for Barry Lyndon, and even though I don’t regard Fear and Desire anything he should’ve been ashamed of, it’s still not him in form yet)
@ FLIP TROTSKY
You’re right, I haven’t seen Witch Hunt.