You're probably used to using a Zagat guide to find a good restaurant or a cool place to shop, but I bet you haven't yet used it to locate a good movie to watch. This year Zagat Survey has released what they consider to be the definitive World's Best Movies guide featuring the top 1,000 films of all time based on the input of 20,773 moviegoers who voted through their site. As with their other guides, each film has been rated on Zagat's 30-point scale based on four separate categories: Overall Quality, Acting, Story and Production Values.

Somewhat surprisingly (especially since a lot of younger film fanatics seem to ignore films created prior to 1970), the top 20 films featured in their Overall Quality category predominantly come from the 1970s, 1960s, and earlier, with only two films from the past 10 years ('Finding Nemo', 'The Pianist'), two from the 1990s ('Shawshank Redemption', 'Schindler's List') and none from the 1980s (uh, 'Last American Virgin', anyone??). Francis Ford Coppola's memorable one-two gangster punch once again found itself at the top, with both 'The Godfather' and 'The Godfather Part II' placing first and second, respectively. Other films that populate the top ten include 'Casablanca' (3), 'Star Wars' (7), 'The Wizard of Oz' (8) and 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (6).

In terms of favorite actors and actresses, Cary Grant won for the actors, with Johnny Depp and George Clooney falling closely behind, while Meryl Streep took favorite leading lady, followed by Sandra Bullock and Katharine Hepburn. Not all that surprisingly, Steven Spielberg took best all-time director honors, despite the fact that only one of his films is listed among the top 20 of all time ('Schindler's List' at number four).

Check out a more thorough rundown of all the winners via the official press release below.


I Coulda Been a Contender: The top 20 films based on Overall Quality (with year of release) include:

1) The Godfather (1972)
2) The Godfather Part II (1974)
3) Casablanca (1942)
4) Schindler's List (1993)
5) Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6) To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
7) Star Wars (1977)
8) The Wizard of Oz (1939)
9) Lady Eve (1941)
10) Singin' in the Rain (1952)
11) Rear Window (1954)
12) It Happened One Night (1934)
13) Citizen Kane (1941)
14) Shawshank Redemption (1994)
15) All About Eve (1950)
16) The Pianist (2002)
17) African Queen (1951)
18) Third Man (1949)
19) Finding Nemo (2003)
20) Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Go Ahead, Make My Day: Here are the top films in each genre category. To eliminate duplications, we've listed the number 2 winners on those categories marked by asterisks:

GENRE
Action/Adventure: Lawrence of Arabia
Americana: To Kill a Mockingbird
Animated: Finding Nemo
Biography: Man for All Seasons*
Children/Family: Wizard of Oz
Comedy: Some Like It Hot
Crime: The Godfather
Cult: Star Wars
Drama: The Godfather, Part II*
Dramedy: All About Eve
Epic: Bridge on the River Kwai*
Fantasy: Lord of the Rings/Return*
Film Noir: Third Man
Horror: The Exorcist
Musical: Singin' in the Rain*
Romance: Casablanca
Sci-Fi: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial*
Thriller: Rear Window
War: Schindler's List
Western: High Noon

Rosebud: Here are the top films by director, with Overall Ratings of 28 or better:

DIRECTOR
Frank Capra: It Happened One Night
Charlie Chaplin: City Lights
Francis Ford Coppola: The Godfather
Michael Curtiz: Casablanca
Stanley Donen: Singin' in the Rain
Victor Fleming: Wizard of Oz
John Ford: Grapes of Wrath
Alfred Hitchcock: Rear Window
John Huston: African Queen
Peter Jackson: Lord of the Rings/Return
Elia Kazan: On the Waterfront
Stanley Kubrick: Dr. Strangelove
Akira Kurosawa: Seven Samurai
David Lean: Lawrence of Arabia
George Lucas: Star Wars
Sidney Lumet: 12 Angry Men
Joseph L. Mankiewicz: All About Eve
Roman Polanski: The Pianist
Steven Spielberg: Schindler's List
Preston Sturges: Lady Eve
Orson Welles: Citizen Kane
Billy Wilder: Some Like it Hot
Robert Wise: Sound of Music
William Wyler: Best Years/Our Lives
Fred Zinnemann: Man for All Seasons

Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By': Here are the best movies from each of the last 9 decades:

DECADES
1920s: The General
1930s: Wizard of Oz
1940s: Casablanca
1950s: Singin' in the Rain
1960s: Lawrence of Arabia
1970s: The Godfather
1980s: Raiders of the Lost Ark
1990s: Schindler's List
2000s: The Pianist

All Right, Mr. Demille, I'm Ready for My Close-Up: Surveyors named Cary Grant as their all-time favorite actor, with Johnny Depp and George Clooney coming in second and third, respectively. Meryl Streep is not only the most Oscar-nominated actress in history, but she's also surveyors' favorite leading lady. Following Streep are Sandra Bullock and Katharine Hepburn. The all-time favorite director is Steven Spielberg, followed in order by Martin Scorsese and Alfred Hitchcock.

Fasten Your Seatbelts: For the film fanatics who prefer staying at home, 37% say they now watch movies on a portable device such as a laptop, portable DVD player or on the iPad or iPod Touch. Furthermore, 35% rent movies online that arrive in the mail, 21% watch movies that are on or recorded from TV, 12% rent a movie at a store and 12% go out and buy a movie.

May the Force Be With You: The 3-D film has reemerged this year, with blockbusters including Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland and James Cameron's Avatar. Surveyors have responded favorably to this enhanced experience, with 54% agreeing that a movie in 3-D is fun occasionally and 9% wish more were offered. However, 65% say they're not interested in having 3-D technology at home.

Not in Kansas Anymore: The guide also includes top foreign language films. Japan's acclaimed and influential Seven Samurai came out on top. Another Japanese film, Rashomon, came in second, while the top five are rounded out by Germany's 2007 drama Lives of Others, the French film Children of Paradise and the 1940s, pre-Disney version of Beauty and the Beast.

Here's Looking at You, Kid: The World's Best Movies guide ($14.95) was edited by Curt Gathje and coordinated by Larry Cohn. The guidebook breaks top lists out by genre, actor, director and other special features. For information on all of Zagat's products, please visit http://www.zagat.com. Be sure to follow Zagat on Facebook and Twitter @ZagatBuzz for daily news and updates.
CATEGORIES Movies, Cinematical