Ranking the Films of Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone is my second favorite director of all-time (following Stanley Kubrick). Like Kubrick , I don’t think that he was capable of a bad film. When watching a Leone film, at least for me, I am not just watching a movie, I am living an experience. Here, I have ranked the motion pictures he directed.

1. The Good, The Bad & The Ugly (Dollars Trilogy, Part III)
2. Once Upon A Time In the West
3. Duck, You Sucker! (a.k.a. A Fistful of Dynamite)
4. For A Few Dollars More (Dollars Trilogy, Part II)
5. A Fistful of Dollars (Dollars Trilogy, Part I)
6. My Name Is Nobody
7. Once Upon A Time In America
8. A Genius, Two Partners & A Dupe
9. The Colussus of Rhodes
10. The Last Days of Pompeii

Top 100 Classic Film-Noir Pictures of All-Time

Over the past month, I have celebrated Noirvember here at Cinespiria. While film-noir is a style that I have always enjoyed and many of the classics have been favorites of mine for decades, I have never delved as deep into it as I have over the past month. I have found new favorites and discovered classics that slipped under my radar. In some way, I wanted a big send off so I thought that a power ranking would be a good way to do that.

Granted, this is just my opinion and there are some things that others might question as being true noir. I have included some of those Val Lewton horror pictures because at their core, the ones listed are very much film-noir.

There are no movies after the 1950s listed because I wanted to make this exclusive to classic noir that came out during the two decade span of the style’s height in popularity. I have, however, included Frtiz Lang’s 1931 film M because even though it predates film-noir by a decade, after seeing it, I can’t not consider it noir.

Anyway, these are my top one hundred film-noir motion pictures of the classic era.

1. M
2. Gun Crazy
3. The Third Man
4. Sunset Boulevard
5. In A Lonely Place
6. He Walked by Night
7. Raw Deal
8. Double Indemnity
9. The Killing
10. Touch of Evil
11. The Maltese Falcon
12. The Big Heat
13. Criss Cross
14. The Stranger
15. Scarlet Street
16. The Asphalt Jungle
17. Laura
18. Cat People
19. The Big Sleep
20. The Window
21. Detour
22. Strangers On a Train
23. Sweet Smell of Success
24. Nightmare Alley
25. D.O.A.
26. Out of the Past
27. Side Street
28. White Heat
29. The Set-Up
30. The Prowler
31. Murder, My Sweet
32. Night and the City
33. The Lady From Shanghai
34. The Killers
35. Stranger On the Third Floor
36. Key Largo
37. Leave Her to Heaven
38. The Woman In the Window
39. Kansas City Confidential
40. Brute Force
41. Ace In the Hole
42. Dark Passage
43. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
44. On Dangerous Ground
45. Notorious
46. The Big Clock
47. Mildred Pierce
48. Shadow of a Doubt
49. Possessed
50. Lured
51. Thieves’ Highway
52. Act of Violence
53. 711 Ocean Drive
54. Black Angel
55. The Naked City
56. Dead Reckoning
57. Kiss Me Deadly
58. Gilda
59. They Live by Night
60. The Seventh Victim
61. Champion
62. Moonrise
63. Lady In the Lake
64. Pickup On South Street
65. Rope
66. Phantom Lady
67. Odds Against Tomorrow
68. T-Men
69. Born to Kill
70. The Blue Dahlia
71. The Spiral Staircase
72. Crossfire
73. The Leopard Man
74. Scandal Sheet
75. Border Incident
76. Shield For Murder
77. Force of Evil
78. The Postman Always Rings Twice
79. Fallen Angel
80. Deadline at Dawn
81. Journey Into Fear
82. 99 River Street
83. The Big Combo
84. Framed
85. Shockproof
86. Smash-Up – The Story of a Woman
87. Where Danger Lives
88. Tension
89. The Breaking Point
90. They Won’t Believe Me
91. Tomorrow Is Another Day
92. The Blue Gardenia
93. Pushover
94. The Threat
95. City That Never Sleeps
96. This Gun For Hire
97. Pitfall
98. Fear In the Night
99. The Glass Key
100. The Brasher Doubloon

Ranking Every Episode of Batman: The Animated Series

*Written in 2014.

I recently reviewed Batman: The Animated Series. So I figured that I would rank every single episode of the series, as I just got done revisiting it and took a shit load of notes.

In this list I am including Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman & Robin and The New Batman Adventures, as all three were really the same show with just some slight changes. Additionally, the creative teams on all of these variants of the show were comprised of the same primary people.

I will list these by episode name with the season number, episode number and the villain featured. Two-parters are ranked as one episode.

If you disagree or are puzzled with my picks, feel free to discuss in the comments.

1. “Heart of Ice” (Season 1, Episode 14 – Mr Freeze & Ferris Boyle)
2. “Mad As a Hatter” (Season 1, Episode 27 – The Mad Hatter)
3. “House & Garden” (Season 2, Episode 5 – Poison Ivy)
4. “Mad Love” (Season 3, Episode 21 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
5. “Growing Pains” (Season 3, Episode 8 – Clayface)
6. “Sideshow” (Season 2, Episode 1 – Killer Croc)
7. “What Is Reality?” (Season 1, Episode 48 – The Riddler)
8. “Sins of the Father” (Season 3, Episode 2 – Two-Face)
9. “Never Fear” (Season 3, Episode 6 – The Scarecrow)
10. “Batgirl Returns” (Season 2, Episode 20 – Catwoman & Roland Daggett)
11. “Deep Freeze” (Season 2, Episode 19 – Mr. Freeze & Grant Walker)
12.  “Feat of Clay: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 20 & 21 – Clayface & Ronald Daggett)
13. “Heart of Steel: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 38 & 39 – H.A.R.D.A.C.)
14. “Birds of a Feather” (Season 1, Episode 47 – The Penguin)
15. “The Demon Within” (Season 3, Episode 18 – Klarion the Witch Boy)
16. “Cold Comfort” (Season 3, Episode 3 – Mr. Freeze)
17. “Two-Face: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 10 & 11 – Two-Face & Rupert Thorne)
18. “Beware the Gray Ghost” (Season 1, Episode 18 – The Mad Bomber)
19. “Old Wounds” (Season 3, Episode 17 – The Joker)
20. “On Leather Wings” (Season 1, Episode 1 – Man-Bat)
21. “Over the Edge” (Season 3, Episode 12 – The Scarecrow & Bane)
22. “Double Talk” (Season 3, Episode 4 – The Ventriloquist)
23. “Judgment Day” (Season 3, Episode 24 – The Judge, Two-Face, Killer Croc, The Riddler & The Penguin)
24. “If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Rich?” (Season 1, Episode 40 – The Riddler & Daniel Mockridge)
25. “Harlequinade” (Season 2, Episode 7 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
26. “The Demon’s Quest: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 60 & 61 – Ra’s al Ghul)
27. “Beware the Creeper” (Season 3, Episode 23 – The Creeper, The Joker & Harley Quinn)
28. “Joker’s Favor” (Season 1, Episode 22 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
29. “Robin’s Reckoning: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 32 & 33 – Tony Zucco)
30. “Avatar” (Season 2, Episode 4 – Ra’s al Ghul)
31. “Tyger, Tyger” (Season 1, Episode 42 – Emile Dorian)
32. “Harley and Ivy” (Season 1, Episode 56 – The Joker, Harley Quinn & Poison Ivy)
33. “Legends of the Dark Knight” (Season 3, Episode 19 – The Joker, the Mutants & Firefly)
34. “Torch Song” (Season 3, Episode 10 – Firefly)
35. “Read My Lips” (Season 1, Episode 64 – The Ventriloquist)
36. “Time Out of Joint” (Season 2, Episode 8 – The Clock King)
37. “Mean Seasons” (Season 3, Episode 13 – Calendar Girl)
38. “Harley’s Holiday” (Season 2, Episode 16 – Harley Quinn & Boxy Bennett)
39. “Shadow of the Bat: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 57 & 58 – Two-Face, Rupert Thorne & Gil Mason)
40. “The Last Laugh” (Season 1, Episode 4 – The Joker)
41. “Catwalk” (Season 2, Episode 9 – Catwoman & The Ventriloquist)
42. “Baby-Doll” (Season 2, Episode 11 – Baby-Doll)
43. “Vendetta” (Season 1, Episode 23 – Killer Croc)
44. “The Laughing Fish” (Season 1, Episode 34 – The Joker & Harley Quinn)
45. “Pretty Poison” (Season 1, Episode 5 – Poison Ivy)
46. “The Man Who Killed Batman” (Season 1, Episode 51 – The Joker, Harley Quinn & Rupert Thorne)
47. “Cult of the Cat” (Season 3, Episode 15 – Catwoman & Thomas Blake)
48. “The Worry Men” (Season 1, Episode 65 – The Mad Hatter)
49. “Joker’s Millions” (Season 3, Episode 7 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Penguin & Poison Ivy)
50. “Animal Act” (Season 3, Episode 16 – The Mad Hatter)
51. “Showdown” (Season 2, Episode 13 – Ra’s al Ghul)
52. “Almost Got ‘Im” (Season 1, Episode 46 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Two-Face, Poison Ivy, Killer Croc and The Penguin)
53. “Terror In the Sky” (Season 1, Episode 45 – She-Bat)
54. “Trial” (Season 2, Episode 3 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Killer Croc, The Mad Hatter, Poison Ivy, The Riddler, The Scarecrow, Two-Face & The Ventriloquist)
55. “A Bullet for Bullock” (Season 2, Episode 2 – Vinnie the Shark)
56. “Love is a Croc” (Season 3, Episode 9 – Baby-Doll & Killer Croc)
57. “Riddler’s Reform” (Season 2, Episode 14 – The Riddler)
58. “His Silicon Soul” (Season 1, Episode 62 – H.A.R.D.A.C. & Duplicate Batman)
59. “Joker’s Wild” (Season 1, Episode 41 – The Joker & Cameron Kaiser)
60. “Mudslide” (Season 1, Episode 52 – Clayface)
61. “Be A Clown” (Season 1, Episode 9 – The Joker)
62. “Christmas With the Joker” (Season 1, Episode 2 – The Joker)
63. “Perchance to Dream” (Season 1, Episode 30 – The Mad Hatter)
64. “The Strange Secret of Bruce Wayne” (Season 1, Episode 37 – Hugo Strange, The Joker, Two-Face & The Penguin)
65. “The Mechanic” (Season 1, Episode 55 – The Penguin)
66. “Holiday Knights” (Season 3, Episode 1 – The Joker, Harley Quinn, Clayface and Poison Ivy)
67. “Dreams In Darkness” (Season 1, Episode 28 – The Scarecrow)
68. “The Clock King” (Season 1, Episode 25 – The Clock King)
69. “Blind As a Bat” (Season 1, Episode 59 – The Penguin)
70. “Bane” (Season 2, Episode 10 – Bane, Killer Croc & Rupert Thorne)
71. “Girls Night Out” (Season 3, Episode 20 – Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Livewire & The Penguin)
72. “Zatanna” (Season 1, Episode 54 – Montague Kane)
73. “I’ve Got My Batman in My Basement” (Season 1, Episode 13 – The Penguin)
74. “Fear of Victory” (Season 1, Episode 24 – The Scarecrow)
75. “See No Evil” (Season 1, Episode 17 – Lloyd Ventrix)
76. “Nothing to Fear” (Season 1, Episode 3 – The Scarecrow)
77. “Eternal Youth” (Season 1, Episode 29 – Poison Ivy)
78. “You Scratch My Back” (Season 3, Episode 5 – Catwoman)
79. “Off Balance” (Season 1, Episode 50 – Count Vertigo)
80. “Make ‘Em Laugh” (Season 2, Episode 18 – The Joker & The Mad Hatter)
81. The Ultimate Thrill” (Season 3, Episode 11 – The Penguin & Roxy Rocket)
82. “Appointment In Crime Alley” (Season 1, Episode 26 – Roland Daggett)
83. “Cat Scratch Fever” (Season 1, Episode 36 – Catwoman, Roland Daggett & Professor Milo)
84. “The Cape and the Cowl Conspiracy” (Season 1, Episode 31 – Josiah Wormwood)
85. “Lock-Up” (Season 2, Episode 17 – Lock-Up)
86. “Second Chance” (Season 2, Episode 15 – Two-Face, The Penguin & Rupert Thorne)
87. “Chemistry” (Season 3, Episode 22 – Poison Ivy)
88. “The Cat and the Claw: Parts 1 & 2” (Season 1, Episodes 15 & 16 – Catwoman & Red Claw)
89. “Night of the Ninja” (Season 1, Episode 35 – Kyodai Ken)
90. “I Am the Night” (Season 1, Episode 49 – The Jazzman)
91. “Moon of the Wolf” (Season 1, Episode 43 – Professor Milo & The Werewolf)
92. “Paging the Crime Doctor” (Season 1, Episode 53 – Rupert Thorne)
93. “It’s Never Too Late” (Season 1, Episode 12 – Rupert Thorne & Arnold Stromwell)
94. “The Terrible Trio” (Season 2, Episode 6 – The Terrible Trio)
95. “Day of the Samurai” (Season 1, Episode 44 – Kyodai Ken)
96. “The Lion and the Unicorn” (Season 2, Episode 12 – Red Claw)
97. “Prophecy of Doom” (Season 1, Episode 19 – Nostromos)
98. “P.O.V.” (Season 1, Episode 7 – A drug lord)
99. “Fire From Olympus” (Season 1, Episode 63 – Maxie Zeus)
100. “The Underdwellers” (Season 1, Episode 6 – Sewer King)
101. “Critters” (Season 3, Episode 14 – Farmer Brown)
102. “The Forgotten” (Season 1, Episode 8 – Boss Biggis)

Top 25 Men In Classic Film-Noir

As I recently honored the women of film-noir, I wanted to do the same for the men. This is a list of who I feel is the best of the best.

This isn’t specifically about male leads, it is a list compromising all of the men who contributed to the noir style in front of the camera. Some of these men were private dicks, detectives, forces of evil or just regular Joes. Many of them were most or all of these character types.

These are my top twenty-five men that starred in film-noir during the classic era of the 1940s and 1950s.

1. Humphrey Bogart
2. Edward G. Robinson
3. Robert Mitchum
4. Alan Ladd
5. Peter Lorre
6. James Cagney
7. Van Heflin
8. Burt Lancaster
9. Orson Welles
10. John Garfield
11. Robert Ryan
12. Dick Powell
13. Glenn Ford
14. Raymond Burr
15. Dana Andrews
16. George Raft
17. Kirk Douglas
18. Dennis O’Keefe
19. Joseph Cotton
20. Dan Duryea
21. Fred MacMurray
22. Tom Neal
23. Richard Basehart
24. Farley Granger
25. Jack Palance

Top 25 Women In Classic Film-Noir

One thing I love about film-noir is the women. I wanted to honor them with a list of who I feel is the best of the best.

This isn’t specifically about femme fatales, it is a list compromising all of the women who contributed to the noir style in front of the camera. Not every woman associated with noir pictures was devious or evil. There were many virtuous and strong women that were the flip side of the coin. There were also women who were victimized by the femme fatales or their shady men.

These are my top twenty-five women that starred in film-noir during the classic era of the 1940s and 1950s.

1. Barbara Stanwyck
2. Gene Tierney
3. Lauren Bacall
4. Lizabeth Scott
5. Gloria Grahame
6. Ida Lupino
7. Ava Gardner
8. Joan Bennett
9. Rita Hayworth
10. Ann Savage
11. Linda Darnell
12. Gloria Swanson
13. Mary Astor
14. Jane Greer
15. Ann Blyth
16. Gaby Rogers
17. Lana Turner
18. Hedy Lamarr
19. Cathy O’Donnell
20. Jean Brooks
21. Joan Crawford
22. Ann Doran
23. Kim Novak
24. Cloris Leachman
25. Lynn Baggett

My 25 Favorite Horror Stories

Here’s another list inspired by Halloween being just around the corner.

I’ve read a lot of horror fiction over the years. As a kid, I was enamored by the works of Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and the early Stephen King stories. I was also blown away by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Then the discovery of Anne Rice in my teen years (before modern vampires became completely overly romanticized rip-offs of her characters) was a refreshing find.

Here are the horror books and stories that effected me most over the years.

1. “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley
2. “The Pit & the Pendulum” by Edgar Allan Poe
3. “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward” by H.P. Lovecraft
4. “The Picture of Dorian Gray” by Oscar Wilde
5. “Dracula” by Bram Stoker
6. “Scary Stories To Tell In the Dark (series)” by Alvin Schwartz
7. “The Invisible Man” by H.G. Wells
8. “The Cask of Amontillado” by Edgar Allan Poe
9. “Call of Cthulhu” by H.P. Lovecraft
10. “The Hellbound Heart” by Clive Barker
11. “The Shining” by Stephen King
12. “Memnoch the Devil” by Anne Rice
13. “American Psycho” by Brett Easton Ellis
14. “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde” by Robert Louis Stevenson
15. “The Fall of the House of Usher” by Edgar Allan Poe
16. “A Dirty Job” by Christopher Moore
17. “The Vampire Lestat” by Anne Rice
18. “The Dunwich Horror” by H.P. Lovecraft
19. “It” by Stephen King
20. “The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris
21. “The Witching Hour” by Anne Rice
22. “Salem’s Lot” by Stephen King
23. “Night of the Living Trekkies” by Kevin David Anderson and Sam Stall
24. “The Somnambulist” by Jonathan Barnes
25. “Books of Blood (series)” by Clive Barker

My 25 Favorite Horror Video Games

Keeping up with the Darktober theme of most of my posts this month, I wanted to do a list for my favorite horror themed video games.

Video games have been a big part of my life, as I was born in 1978 and the 1980s through 1990s were spent button-mashing in front of a tube television about six inches away from my face.

Being that I was always a big horror movie fan, I obviously loved horror video games as well.

Here are my twenty-five favorite horror games of all-time.

1. Silent Hill 2: Restless Dreams (XBOX)
2. Doom (PC)
3. Ghosts & Goblins (NES)
4. BioShock 2 (PS3)
5. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (PS1)
6. Contra (NES)
7. Killing Time (3DO)
8. Siren: Blood Curse (PS3)
9. Manhunt (PS2)
10. Fatal Frame II: Crimson Butterfly (PS2)
11. Nightmare Creatures (PS1)
12. Friday the 13th (NES)
13. Resident Evil (PS1)
14. Dead Space (PS3)
15. Parasite Eve (PS1)
16. Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth (XBOX)
17. Alien vs. Predator (JAG)
18. Devil May Cry (PS2)
19. Vampire: The Masquerade (PC)
20. American McGee’s Alice (PC)
21. Clock Tower (PS1)
22. Splatterhouse 2 (GEN)
23. Dead Rising 2 (PS3)
24. System Shock 2 (PC)
25. The Thing (PS2)