The Shame List

shame list

“You haven’t seen that film?!” – Normally I’m the person to be incredulously asking this question, but not always. I’ve seen a lot of cinema in my time, but occasionally there will be super well-known films that I’ve missed out on for some reason, but have always meant to see at some point in time.

When I saw this excellent post over at Mettel Ray (inspired by this post at Film Flare) listing a number of films that are on her watchlist, which technically could be called her ‘shame list’, I was really inspired. I thought this kind of list would be a great way to shame myself into actually getting around to seeing some great films.

Below is a list of the films about which I actually do feel a fair amount of shame, because I haven’t seen them yet and I probably should have. I’ve limited it to 20 films because otherwise the shame would be overwhelming, and they’re in random order because I feel equally bad about not watching all of them.



Wild At Heart (1990, dir. David Lynch)

The Artist (2011, dir. Michel Hazanavicius)

Magnolia (1999, dir. P.T. Anderson)

Boogie Nights (1997, dir. P.T. Anderson)

First Blood (1982, dir. Ted Kotcheff)


Shame (2010, dir. Steve McQueen) (ironically)

Cinema Paradiso (1988, dir. Giuseppe Tornatore)

Battleship Potemkin (1925, dir. Sergei M. Eisenstein)

Bonnie & Clyde (1967, dir. Arthur Penn)

The Maltese Falcon (1941, dir. John Huston)


Chinatown (1974, dir. Roman Polanski)

The Tenant (1976, dir. Roman Polanski)

Stalker (1979, dir. Andrei Tarkovsky)

The Terminator (1984, dir. James Cameron)

Frozen (2013, dir. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)


The Blues Brothers (1980, dir. John Landis)

Marathon Man (1976, dir. John Schlesinger)

The Night of the Hunter (1955, dir. Charles Laughton)

The Conversation (1974, dir. Francis Ford Coppola)

A Woman Under the Influence (1974, John Cassavetes)


Well, that’s it. What’s on your shame list?


  1. Nice idea. A few of those would be on my list too. I have loads of obvious gaps – Dr Strangelove, Casablanca, Gone With The Wind, The Seventh Seal, Metropolis, Zero Dark Thirty, The Breakfast Club, Seven Samurai and Kramer vs Kramer are films I ought to watch but have never got round to, off the top of my head. Maybe one month I should just line them up and go through them. I really shouldn’t be writing a film blog!!!

    1. I think that sounds like a fun idea! And that’s the best thing about writing a film blog, being able to identify these gaps, to finally get to watch them and to share your opinions of them! πŸ˜€

  2. Interesting idea, and an interesting list. I haven’t seen all of these either, and to be honest, a lot of the ones I have, I wasn’t actually keen on! They are Blues Brothers, Magnolia and Wild at Heart. My boyfriend thinks it’s mad I’ve never seen The Godfather films or Apocalypse Now, but I’ sure there are plenty of other that I should watch, but have for some reason, eluded me. This could be a fun little project.

    1. Thanks Laura! πŸ™‚ I have to say, you definitely have to see the Godfather trilogy at some point, I absolutely love those films. Even the last one which most people ardently dislike. It’s good stuff!

      1. I’m sure my boyfriend will successfully twist my arm one day, but all 3 seems a bit overwhelming!

  3. I’ve seen about half of those. Chinatown and Bonnie and Clyde are the highest profile ones I need to get round to watching. On mine would be Unforgiven, The Elephant Man, Scarface, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Hustler. Great idea for a post Anna πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks Alex! πŸ™‚ You must watch The Elephant Man! Absolutely love that film, one of Lynch’s best for sure.

      1. I know. It has been bugging me.

  4. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    A small quiz for you this morning to accompany your coffee – are there some films that your friends raved about but you sort of nodded and half heartedly assured them you would get round to it?? For some strange reason I have Zombie and Vampire fans amongst my friends and have to admit to not being very keen. However, finally watched World WarZ with Brad Pitt and loved every scary moment of it….would actually like to see the sequel…don’t tell them I said that… What are your shameful cinema secrets..

  5. Stalker ad a woman under the influence are worth it,you have to see those two

    1. I think now that I’ve put my list of shame out there, I have no more excuses to not watch these!

  6. that is my list, although I have seen some of the stuff on it yet haven’t taken it off yet. or are half way through some of it. It’s LONG, enjoy

    1. Oh man, so many good films on your list. Bookmarking that link for future film-watching purposes!

  7. There’s always going to be those out there that became iconic or grew a cult following but you were busy with life when it came out and it slipped away. There are several on your list I have not seen and many I have. Let’s see. What would be mine? Kubrick’s Path of Glory, Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, and The French Connection. Very ashamed!

    1. Out of those three, I’ve only seen Mulholland Drive, but I must see those others as well! Definitely good to catch up with those great films that somehow slipped past!

  8. Interesting list, I would say The Terminator and First Blood are must, but that’s coming from a man who loves action and sci-fi films. I’m not sure I would say of mine as I am totally ashamed of how many films I haven’t seen in my life, but to give you an example here are some: The Godfather 1, 2 & 3, Indiana Jones 2 and 3 and Blade Runner just to name a few.

    1. Oh gosh, you definitely must see the Godfathers! Love those films! I’m not normally an action film kind of lady but every now and then they’re a good time.

  9. Oh wow – please watch these soon, Anna! Some absolute greats on here. πŸ™‚ I’m older than everyone in the world so my shame list is much smaller but that’s kind of why I’m doing the IMDB top 250 thing – to make sure I see all the movies considered the best. Of your list, I highly recommend Cinema Paradiso as, obviously, I named my blog after it. πŸ™‚ Also – The Terminator!!! And The Artist. And Chinatown. And both Frozen and Shame are good recent ones. Good luck! You’ll enjoy these. πŸ™‚

    1. Yes, every time I think of Cinema Paradiso I keep calling it Cinema Parrot Disco instead! Haha! Can’t wait to start actually crossing these films off the list.

  10. Nice list. My shame list is long and my friends won’t let me hear the end of it, even though I’m a film major. The Harry Potter films, the Nolan Batman trilogy, nearly every Marvel/DC film since 2000, Planet of the Apes (original), Barry Lyndon, Rushmore, Pacific Rim, just to name a few.

    1. That is a good list of films! I hope you end up watching the Harry Potter films one day, I love those ones!

  11. Great idea for a post! Reading all these comments I have to say I feel a bit calmer now that I realize I’m not the only one carrying the burden of a shame list. Mine includes “Nightmare On Elm Street” (all of them!), ” Moulin Rouge!”, “12 Angry Men”, “The Master”, “The Dark Night”, and my most shameful one is “The Godfather” saga that I saw only in bits and never really in one sit. Can’t believe I’m sharing this…

    1. I seems like lots of people missed out on seeing the Godfather trilogy! I love those films, you should definitely see them at some point in time. I really do think we all have a secret shame list and the more open we are about it, the more excited we can be about finally getting around to watching some amazing cinema!

      1. Absolutely true! It’s good to have insightful bloggers to recommend you some great stuff you missed on. It only challenges me to keep watching films πŸ™‚

  12. Ironically you haven’r seen Shame? XD I haven’t seen half of your list too.. (to add to several hundreds other film i havent yet i want to see)

    1. Haha, it did seem really ironic! My list of films to watch is several hundred films long as well. One day we’ll get through it!

  13. Oh you are in for a treat. So many great films here, especially Shame. My shame list is basically my watchlist – for every movie I manage to see, I add 3 others. It’s neverending

    1. It totally is neverending! Especially after reading great reviews all the time. The struggles of film blogging!!

  14. LOVE this concept. I have a shame list a mile long, which also includes Steve McQueen’s “Shame”! haha. If you’d like to prioritize, make sure you watch The Artist soon — I loved it! I really enjoyed Battleship Potemkin as well, but then again I’m obsessed with Russia… I didn’t like Cinema Paradiso that much. It was very sweet, but kind of long-winded.
    Others on my shame list: North by Northwest, Full Metal Jacket, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, The Godfather, etc etc. I have a massive list on Pinterest as well:

    1. I think I’m going to have to rearrange these in order of priority to get through them! Holy shiz, you have to see the Godfather trilogy! North By Northwest is also a work of genius. Some people think it’s a bit slow but I love it! And now I’m bookmarking that link for future film-watching inspiration! πŸ˜€

  15. You should definitely watch Stalker as soon as possible – it’s a masterpiece and one of my favourite films of all time. Chinatown and Bonnie & Clyde also deserve a watch, but you’re not missing much by not seeing Frozen πŸ˜‰ my shame list includes all Star Wars movies, Ridley Scott’s Alien, Jaws and other American blockbusters… although I can’t say I’m really ashamed I haven’t seen them yet. I’m more ashamed because I still haven’t found time to watch Bela Tarr’s Satantango and Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai.

    1. Cannot wait to watch Stalker after loving Solaris so much. I’m really excited to watch more of Tarkovsky. And Seven Samurai is amazing, you should definitely watch it soon!

  16. This is something I grapple with a lot too. I am often embarrassed when talking with people who know how much of a cinephile I am, when they want to talk about a classic I have not seen. I have huge, huge gaps in the films I have seen. There are just so many freaking films though.

    1. You’re definitely not alone in feeling that embarrassment! I’ve been there too. There really are just too many amazing films to see!

  17. Top of my shame list is E.T!

    1. A childhood classic! Love that film.

  18. My own personal shame list includes the entire Harry Potter franchise and Top Gun. Of your list I’ve seen half and enjoyed all of them. Good luck getting through this.

    1. Thanks Wendell! πŸ™‚ Top Gun is a classic for sure!

  19. Shame is on my list, too.

    1. How ironic that Shame is on the shame list! πŸ˜€

  20. Shame, shame on you!!! πŸ˜€

    Hahah. Its funny, I”m about to put up my own version of this in a week or two. I can’t wait to see what people think of me then. πŸ˜‰

    1. Haha, I’m so ashamed! Can’t wait to see what’s on your shame list Tom! πŸ˜€

      1. oh, some pretty shameful stuff, that’s all sure!!!

  21. Haha.. I giggled when I saw Shame on your Shame list.. hah, it’s good, really good and I mean, naked Fassy never goes out of fashion!

    I haven’t seen most of the movies here which just caused my heart to sink even lower into the shame-hole but you know, we can’t watch EVERY movie out there in our lifetime.. so, we do have to make our choices.

    1. Haha! I do love a bit of Fassbender, so I’m really looking forward to seeing Shame! πŸ˜€

  22. Some of these films are on my list too although some I won’t watch as they don’t appeal to me! :-\

    My list would feature most of Woody Allen’s “classics” along with the big westerns and melodramas of the day as well as those cult films everyone creams themselves over. Too many modern Hollywood films hold little appeal to me or I can’t stand their stars! πŸ˜›

    1. I kind of adore Woody Allen’s films so I’d definitely suggest visiting his classics! Agreed on Hollywood films though, there are some actors that are all over the place at the moment that I just can’t stand!

  23. […] films that have languished on my watch list for far too long, some of which were referenced in my Shame List post, and I’ll be reviewing one of them per […]

  24. […] film that was on my blindspot list (and shame list, ironically) for too long, Shame (2011) is a confronting and emotionally raw masterpiece by […]

  25. […] genoeg films die ik nog niet heb gezien maar ik eigenlijk wel moet hebben gezien. GeΓ―nspireerd door Film Gimoire, Mettel RayΒ  en Film Flare heb ik mijn Shame lijst gemaakt. In willekeurige volgorde is dit mijn […]

  26. […] door Film Gimoire, Mettel RayΒ  en Film Flare heb ik mijn Shame lijst gemaakt. In willekeurige volgorde is dit mijn […]

What do you think? Leave a comment here!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: