Essential Filmsby palmer1_drums | created - 27 Jan 2011 | updated - 23 Apr 2015 | Public
Here's a list of the greatest films that everyone should see!
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Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History
The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.
Votes: 11,888 | Gross: $2.18M
3. Cabiria (1914)
Not Rated | 148 min | Adventure, Drama, History
Three centuries before Christus. Young Cabiria is kidnapped by some pirates during one eruption of the Etna. She is sold as a slave in Carthage, and as she is just going to be sacrificed to... See full summary »
6. The Sheik (1921)
Unrated | 86 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A charming Arabian sheik becomes infatuated with an adventurous, modern-thinking Englishwoman and abducts her to his home in the Saharan desert.
8. The Last Laugh (1924)
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama
An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.
Votes: 10,257 | Gross: $0.09M
9. The Hands of Orlac (1924)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery
A world-famous pianist loses both hands in an accident. When new hands are grafted on, he doesn't know they once belonged to a murderer.
11. Greed (1924)
Not Rated | 140 min | Drama, Thriller, Western
The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.
Votes: 7,721 | Gross: $0.16M
12. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History
In the midst of the Russian Revolution of 1905, the crew of the battleship Potemkin mutiny against the brutal, tyrannical regime of the vessel's officers. The resulting street demonstration in Odessa brings on a police massacre.
Votes: 44,894 | Gross: $0.05M
13. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)
Not Rated | 93 min | Horror
A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.
Votes: 13,785 | Gross: $0.72M
15. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.
Votes: 6,492 | Gross: $12.45M
16. The General (1926)
Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
18. Metropolis (1927)
Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi
In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.
Votes: 128,204 | Gross: $0.03M
20. Sunrise (1927)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, Romance
An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.
21. The King of Kings (1927)
Not Rated | 155 min | Biography, Drama, History
Jesus Christ faces religious and political oppression during his ministry and in the days before his death and resurrection.
24. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History
In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.
Votes: 32,100 | Gross: $0.02M
25. Pandora's Box (1929)
Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance
The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.
Votes: 8,210 | Gross: $0.01M
26. Hallelujah (1929)
Passed | 109 min | Drama, Musical
In a juke joint, sharecropper Zeke falls for a beautiful dancer, Chick, but she's only setting him up for a rigged craps game. He loses $100, the money he got for the sale of his family's ... See full summary »
31. I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Wrongly convicted James Allen serves in the intolerable conditions of a southern chain gang, which later comes back to haunt him.
32. Freaks (1932)
Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror
A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.
33. Grand Hotel (I) (1932)
Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance
A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.
Votes: 14,477 | Gross: $1.24M
34. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)
Not Rated | 122 min | Crime
A new crime wave grips the city and all clues seem to lead to the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, even though he has been imprisoned in a mental asylum for nearly a decade.
35. King Kong (1933)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
Votes: 69,990 | Gross: $10.00M
37. The 39 Steps (1935)
Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller
A man in London tries to help a counterespionage agent. But when the agent is killed and the man stands accused, he must go on the run to both save himself and also stop a spy ring which is trying to steal top secret information.
39. Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Not Rated | 132 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama
A tyrannical ship captain decides to exact revenge on his abused crew after they form a mutiny against him, but the sailor he targets had no hand in it.
42. La Grande Illusion (1937)
Not Rated | 113 min | Drama, War
During the First World War, two French soldiers are captured and imprisoned in a German P.O.W. camp. Several escape attempts follow until they are sent to a seemingly impenetrable fortress which seems impossible to escape from.
Votes: 29,318 | Gross: $0.17M
43. The Hurricane (1937)
Approved | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance
A Polynesian sailor -- unjustly imprisoned after defending himself against a colonial bully -- is relentlessly persecuted by his island's martinet French governor.
44. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
Not Rated | 96 min | Mystery, Thriller
While traveling in continental Europe, a rich young playgirl realizes that an elderly lady seems to have disappeared from the train.
45. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby.
46. The Four Feathers (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A timid British Army officer has quit and burns his last day summons to a war in Egypt. Calling him a coward, his girl friend and 3 officer friends give him a white feather. In redemption, he shadows his friends in war to save their lives.
47. Stagecoach (1939)
Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Western
A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.
48. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 325,351 | Gross: $22.20M
49. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Comedy, Drama
A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down.
Votes: 87,104 | Gross: $9.60M
50. Gone with the Wind (1939)
G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 242,028 | Gross: $198.68M
53. Ninotchka (1939)
Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Romance
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.
Votes: 15,952 | Gross: $1.19M
55. The Thief of Bagdad (1940)
Not Rated | 106 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
After being tricked and cast out of Bagdad by the evil Jaffar, King Ahmad joins forces with a thief named Abu to reclaim his throne, the city, and the Princess he loves.
56. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Passed | 129 min | Drama, History
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
60. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Not Rated | 100 min | Film-Noir, Mystery
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette.
61. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family
At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.
63. The Lady Eve (1941)
Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A trio of classy card sharks targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.
66. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
Not Rated | 163 min | Drama, Romance, War
From the Boer War through World War II, a soldier rises through the ranks in the British military.
67. The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Western
When a posse captures three men suspected of killing a local farmer, they become strongly divided over whether or not to lynch the men.
70. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family
In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.
Votes: 16,823 | Gross: $7.57M
71. Double Indemnity (1944)
Not Rated | 107 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions.
Votes: 112,401 | Gross: $5.72M
73. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)
Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History
During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.
74. To Have and Have Not (1944)
Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance
During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.
77. Rome, Open City (1945)
Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War
During the Nazi occupation of Rome in 1944, the Resistance leader, Giorgio Manfredi, is chased by the Nazis as he seeks refuge and a way to escape.
78. Notorious (1946)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them?
Votes: 80,251 | Gross: $10.46M
79. The Big Sleep (1946)
Not Rated | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.
80. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.
Votes: 320,558 | Gross: $7.27M
81. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
Not Rated | 113 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband. Once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.
Votes: 15,553 | Gross: $8.33M
84. Black Narcissus (1947)
Not Rated | 101 min | Drama
After opening a convent in the Himalayas, five nuns encounter conflict and tension - both with the natives and also within their own group - as they attempt to adapt to their remote, exotic surroundings.
85. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)
Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.
Votes: 21,497 | Gross: $0.01M
87. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains.
Votes: 90,210 | Gross: $5.01M
90. The Third Man (1949)
93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.
Votes: 129,113 | Gross: $0.45M
92. Strangers on a Train (1951)
PG | 101 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
A psychotic socialite confronts a pro tennis star with a theory on how two complete strangers can get away with murder - a theory that he plans to implement.
Votes: 107,645 | Gross: $7.63M
93. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
PG | 122 min | Drama
Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.
Votes: 85,821 | Gross: $8.00M
94. The African Queen (1951)
PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.
Votes: 63,036 | Gross: $0.54M