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Quentin Tarantino once named the 80 coolest films of all time

Quentin Tarantino has built his vision on the foundations of the cinematic artifice, an obsession that has led many to the conclusion that his artistic frameworks have an inherent quality of ‘cool’. In fact, it is this precise but elusive quality that Tarantino has amplified through his use of arthouse action sequences and groovy music in his films.

This specific quality also gestated in Tarantino’s mind for years, ever since he was introduced to the world of horror films and westerns and exploitation flicks. That’s exactly why the celebrated filmmaker gave examples of all these genres and much more while selecting some of the coolest cinematic masterpieces that have ever been produced.

Raging from Martin Scorsese’s New Hollywood staple Taxi Driver to Jules Dassin’s immortal heist film Rififi, Tarantino managed to fit a lot of diversity into this meticulously crafted list of 80 gems that should be essential viewing for film students and cinephiles alike. Tarantino probably thought of them in the same manner while working at the video archive store in his neighbourhood, discovering unforgettable masterpieces.

To those who are familiar with Tarantino’s cinematic style, this list will not come as a surprise at all since it contains works by his primary source of inspiration – Sergio Leone. Tarantino also paid a tribute to his love for Hong Kong cinema by citing John Woo’s The Killer, also urging audiences to experience more blaxploitation films such as Shaft.

Multiple works of several filmmakers such as Stanley Kubrick and Sergio Leone are mentioned in the list but the director who stands out is Jean-Luc Godard. In many ways, the French New Wave defined the ‘cinematic cool’ and Tarantino absorbed it all when he was young.

“To me, Godard did to movies what Bob Dylan did to music: they both revolutionised their forms,” Tarantino once explained. “Godard is the one who taught me the fun and the freedom and the joy of breaking rules…and just fucking around with the entire medium.”

Check out the full list below.

Quentin Tarantino 80 coolest films:

  • Rio Bravo (1959, Howard Hawks)
  • Taxi Driver (1976, Martin Scorsese)
  • Blow Out (1981, Brian De Palma)
  • One-Eyed Jacks (1961, Brando)
  • Breathless (1983, James McBride)
  • His Girl Friday (1940, Hawks)
  • Rolling Thunder (1977, Flynn)
  • Badlands (1973, Malick)
  • Casualties of War (1989, De Palma)
  • Used Cars (1980, Zemeckis)
  • It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (1963, Kramer)
  • The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean (1972, Huston)
  • Where Eagles Dare (1969, Hutton)
  • The Dirty Dozen (1967, Aldrich)
  • Bringing Up Baby (1938, Hawks)
  • The Killer (1989, Woo)
  • The Driver (1978, Hill)
  • Blood Simple (1984, Coen)
  • The Long Good Friday (1980, Mackenzie)
  • Mona Lisa (1986, Neil Jordan)
  • The Hit (1984, Frears)
  • The Killers (1964, Siegel)
  • Comfort and Joy (1984, Forsyth)
  • Local Hero (1983, Forsyth)
  • Vivre sa vie (1962, Godard)
  • A Bout de Souffle (1964, Godard)
  • Bande A Part (1964, Godard)
  • Pierrot Le Fou (1968, Godard)
  • Shaft (1971, Parks)
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966, Leone)
  • The Killing (1956, Kubrick)
  • The Asphalt Jungle (1950, Huston)
  • Rififi (1955, Dassin)
  • The Taking of Pelham 123 (1974, Sargent)
  • City on Fire (1989, Lam)
  • Kiss Me Deadly (1955, Aldrich)
  • Pope of Greenwich Village (1984, Rosenberg)
  • A Clockwork Orange (1971, Kubrick)
  • Fandango (1985, Reynolds)
  • Days of Thunder (1990, Tony Scott)
  • Night Call Nurses (1972, Corman)
  • Jules et Jim (1962, Truffaut)
  • A Girl in Every Port (1928, Hawks)
  • The Guns of Navarone (1961, J.Lee Thomson)
  • Dead Poets Society (1989, Weir)
  • Frogs (1972, McCowan)
  • Willard (1971, Mann)
  • Night of the Lepus (1972, Claxton)
  • Dark Passage (1947, Delmer Daves)
  • The Last Boy Scout (1991, Tony Scott)
  • Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom (1984, Spielberg)
  • Year of the Dragon (1985, Cimino)
  • Scarface (1984, De Palma)
  • Topkapi (1964, Dassin)
  • The Thomas Crown Affair (1968, Jewison)
  • Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Leone)
  • Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948, Barton)
  • Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy (1955, Lamont)
  • Hi Mom! (1970, De Palma)
  • Back Street (1961, David Miller)
  • Maniac Cop Two (1990, Lusting)
  • Intruder (1989, Spiegel)
  • The Vigilante: Fighting Hero of the West (1947, Fox)
  • Perfect (1985, Bridges)
  • Mad Love (1935, Freund)
  • The Trip (1967, Corman)
  • The Last Seduction (1994, Dahl)
  • Ed Wood (1994, Burton)
  • Salvador (1986, Oliver Stone)
  • For a Few Dollars More (1965, Leone)
  • Le Doulos (1962, Melville)
  • They Live by Night (1949, Ray)
  • The Long Goodbye (1973, Altman)
  • Coffy (1973, Hill)
  • Magnificent Obsession (1954, Sirk)
  • The Savage Seven (1968, Rush)
  • The Thing (1982, Carpenter)
  • Caged Heat (1974, Demme)
  • Silver Bullet (1985, Attias)
  • Kansas City Confidential (1952, Karlson)

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