Ahmed Jamal


Voted for

Seven Samurai1954Akira Kurosawa
The Godfather1972Francis Ford Coppola
Shane1952George Stevens
La strada1954Federico Fellini
Pather Panchali1955Satyajit Ray
Some Like It Hot1959Billy Wilder
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb1963Stanley Kubrick
On the Waterfront1954Elia Kazan
La Grande Illusion1937Jean Renoir
Psycho1960Alfred Hitchcock


Seven Samurai

1954 Japan

The first time I truly discovered cinema was when I saw Seven Samurai. It has left a lasting impression and no matter how many times I see it there is something new to discover in terms of editing and movement within the action sequences.

The Godfather

1972 USA

Like many people, I have seen the Godfather Pt 1 more times than I can count. Apart from everything else that’s great in this film (direction, lighting, brilliant performances, memorable dialogue, art direction), the casting is just perfect.


1952 USA

A story of hero-worship, of suppressed desires and conflicting loyalties, arousing a complex set of emotions in the viewer as a former gunfighter experiences and begins to covet a family life but is confronted once again by men of violence.The final shoot-out in the bar has rarely been equalled in a Western.

La strada

1954 Italy

Anthony Quinn as Zampano a brutish circus strongman and Giulietta Masina as Gelsomina his loyal companion, an angelic and simple girl he has acquired from her mother, are one of cinema’s most memorable double act in this much more than a road movie. La Strada will charm audiences for a long time to come.

Pather Panchali

1955 India

The first part of this humanist trilogy by Satyajit Ray put him on par with the greatest filmmakers in the world. A source of inspiration for any filmmaker but especially for those with any

connection to South Asia. Made on a minuscule budget with mostly amateur actors and a musical score by Ravi Shankar, the compassion and empathy of the filmmaker for the human condition is evident in every shot of this beautiful and poetic film.

Some Like It Hot

1959 USA

One can make a list of the ten greatest films mostly made up of those directed by Billy Wilder. ‘Some Like It Hot’ remains one of the greatest comedies of all time; and long before it was fashionable it stood up for diversity in all its forms.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

1963 United Kingdom, USA

In Dr Strangelove, you laugh at the most frightening situations imaginable - the madness of a nuclear conflict. Gil Taylor’s brilliant black-and-white cinematography and Vera Lyn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again” at the end are pure genius. In that final moment words, music and image have an emotional impact as in no other art form.

On the Waterfront

1954 USA

A story of conflicting and shifting loyalties and betrayal, it induces a complex set of emotions when you watch it, and once seen never forgotten. Brando gives one of the greatest performance in cinematic history and it is undoubtedly one of the greatest films of all time despite criticism of Kazan’s motive for making it.

La Grande Illusion

1937 France

La Grande Illusion is an anti-war film about human decency and bonding between people of different

national identities. As Europe teeters towards war once again, La Grande Illusion reminds us of the importance of the commonalities of the human condition above and beyond the divisions of ethnicities and nationalisms. A film for all times.


1960 USA

The full impact of the horror comes from the almost immersive experience of being attacked yourself as the viewer. With Psycho, Hitchcock permanently ripped open the underbelly of American life revealing a deeply disturbing subterranean disorder in people and politics, concealed by a social veneer as flimsy as a shower curtain.

Further remarks

Wish I had more time to work on this. I have kept my comments short and was not able to elaborate.