Skip to content


My Wife’s Top 10 Favorite Films of All Time

05 June 2012 | Film Lists | by David Zou

My wife Doris recently listed her top 10 favorite films of all time on her Chinese blog,I decided to do a copy here after asking for her permission(yes,even she’s my wife).I do this for 2 reasons:

1.I’m proud of this list,I’m proud of the fact that she already saw half of it before we met,and I’m also proud that she was influenced by me of seeing the other half.

2.When I read reviews or essays on classic cinema,most of the time,they are from men’s views,but her way of perceiving and writing her top 10 is quite new and refreshing for me,and surely so for you,my dear readers.

Let’s see what Doris chooses here(in no particular order of preference):

1.Alphaville dir. Jean Luc Gordard


Her short comments: The future tech world in the film,if well put,is The Besieged City of Qian Zhongshu,if horribly put,is The Castle of Franz Kafka.

Additional background: Doris has no affection toward Gordard’s works,but I know she likes films of profound meanings,so I asked her to watch this one together with me,it did not let her down.


2.Zelig dir. Woody Allen


Her short comments: When ordinary people are seeking their dream jobs like flies without heads,they don’t realize they are already drained away like quicksand.

Additional background: She watched almost every Woody Allen film,so when she recommended this to me,I knew I will have a good treat,it became my fave Allen film too.


3.Rashomon dir. Akira Kurosawa


Her short comments: I love Ryūnosuke Akutagawa(the writer of the story this film is based on),I love In a Grove(the story),I love Kurosawa,and I love Lin Shaohua(the translator of the Chinese version).

Additional background: Doris is a huge Kurosawa fan,I knew there would be one on the list.I would rank it in my top 3 Kurosawa.


4. Lisbon Story dir. Wim Wenders

lisbon story

Her short comments: Casual but true.

Additional background: I’m surprised he did not choose Paris,Texas or Wings of Desire,when I asked her about this,she did not give me a particular reason,she said she just love this one than the other two.I need to find it out myself.


5. Nights of Cabiria dir. Fedelico Fellini

nights of cabiria

Her short comments: If Beatles saw this,they might sing “All You Need is Love” again;if REM saw this,they might sing “Everybody Hurts”.

Additional background: On this one we have a kind of privity,we both love La Strada and Nights of Cabiria the most among all Fellini films,and our fave comes down to Cabiria.


6.Harakiri dir. Masaki Kobayashi


Her short comments: The examination on humanity is as clear as “dismembering an ox as skillfully as a butcher(an old Chinese saying)”

Additional background: Though choosing it here,Doris still thought it is too dark,so this is the only one in the list she would not watch again.


7.Mon Oncle dir. Jacques Tati


Her short comments: The happiness of middle class people is in the fish-shaped fountain,but they switched it off themselves.

Additional background: I was a huge fan of Playtime after watching it,but Doris insist Mon Oncle is better than Playtime,I watched it,and agreed with her.


8.Barry Lyndon dir. Stanley Kubrick


Her short comments: Even rich middle-age men used to belief in love,lock his shyness in a diary,and dare to duel with his life for his lover,but who can fool the passage of time?

Additional background: I couldn’t imagine the woman I love does not like a Kubrick film,and it nearly happens! She did not give a damn about Kubrick before,but after being showed this one,she was blown away by it.


9.Elevator to the Gallows dir. Louis Malles

elevator to the gallows2

Her short comments: Woman,with her eager for love,bloom at  the beginning,wither at the end.

Additional background: Doris loves suspense film,I’m surprised this film beats all Hitchcock films she has seen.


10.Pink Floyd The Wall dir.Alan Parker

Pink Floyd The Wall

Her short comments: The music is just irresistible.

Additional background: Not surprised at all,Pink Floyd is her favorite band.


Well,what do you guys think of the list? 





Other Brilliant Movie Posts On The Web

Like Our Facebook Page and Get Daily Updates
  • Wow… you’re wife has great taste. Is The Wall her favorite album? That’s mine although I also lean towards the Syd Barrett era of the band as I feel like all of their 70s work (w/ the exception of Meddle and Obscured by Clouds) has been overplayed and over-explained. I also don’t have a high opinion on their work in the 80s and 90s though I did like The Final Cut.

    • Thanks Steven for saying so,I do not remember names in music as I do in films,but yeah,I think The Wall is one of her fave albums.I was not a fan of them before I met her,but then hugely influenced by her,two of my fave songs are Wish You Were Here and Echoes,these are the songs I can remember the names.I do enjoy their epic,operatic style.

  • She has impeccable taste! This list is impressively varied and also obviously highly personal – the way all such lists should be.

    • Thanks Mike,I just noticed how varied the genres are here,I’m proud of her!!

  • Darren Day

    That is an amazing list! Great variety and amazing taste. I adore Lisbon Story. 🙂