Monday, October 10, 2011

Top Ranked Films of Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski was born in France in 1933 of Polish parents. Even though he only had 5 films make the top 1000, he still is ranked 17th in overall points, as he had four films in the top 200. He's probably better known for his personal life, which is a shame, he's still a top director in the pantheon of cinema.

These are all the films of Polanski’s films that made the top 1000 in our 2011 update of the Top Ranked 1000 Films on the Net, all polls.

1. Chinatown (1974) #5
2. Repulsion (1965) #139
3. Pianist, The (2002) #142
4. Rosemary's Baby (1968) #164
5. Frantic (1988) #725

These made polls but came up short of the top 1000
6. The Tenant (1976) #1041
7. The Ghost Writer (2010) #1407
8. Cul-De-Sac (2008) #1472
9. Knife in the Water (1962) #1603

Where the heck is Tess (1979)? That would be at the top of my list of Polanski films, see my list below. It's a beautifully filmed classic, from a major 19th century novel, which is all too rare in films, and starred the breathtaking Nastassa Kinski, daughter of madman actor Klaus Kinski. Knife in the Water is a visually stunning film of interior landscapes reminiscent of early Antonioni films, though probably a bit slow for most modern audiences.

Really, Rosemary’s Baby is vastly overrated at 164th, isn’t it? I think The Ghost Writer is underrated at 1407, it’s top 1000 worthy in my opinion – it may seem a bit best-sellerish, but it’s also an understated mystery thriller in the vein of a John le Carre novel, and for once Pierce Brosnan wasn’t a repellant snob.

I think Chinatown at #5 all-time is probably the most over-ranked film in the top 1000, certainly real 40’s film noir classics, like Out of the Past and Double Indemnity, are much better films overall and without the excesses or lack of pace of Chinatown – excellent screenplay, but face it, the film drags a bit. I recently moved it out of my top 100 after re-watching it, it’s now down around 200 or so. Same with the Pianist, an amazing true story but a long, poorly-paced film.

A little piece of trivia: Polanski played the hired thugf that sliced Nicholson's nose with a knife in Chinatown.

My choices in order:
1- Tess
2- Chinatown
3- The Ghost Writer
4- Repulsion
5- Knife in the Water

See the full list of top ranked 100 directors here: Top Ranked 100 Directors, 2011 Edition

1 comment:

Stephen Mitchell said...

I would rank Chinatown over everything else. The Ghost Writer (aka The Ghost) would be the second DVD I'd take with me on a trip. Then Cul-De-Sac for its quirky characters and finally Rosemary's Baby.

I enjoyed the others but for me they didn't warrant repeat viewings.