25 must see films released before 1960

No movies selected by the American Film Institute for their "100 greatest films of all time" are included in this list, nor are any Alfred Hitchcock films. These are already well known "must see" films.
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1.
The Killing (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Crooks plan and execute a daring race-track robbery. (85 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Under-appreciated Kubrick film that will be re-released by criterion this fall. ” - colb
 
2.
The Killers (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Hit men kill an unresisting victim, and investigator Reardon uncovers his past involvement with beautiful, deadly Kitty Collins. (97 mins.)
Director: Robert Siodmak
“ Great criterion package starring Burt Lancaster ” - colb
 
3.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A major heist goes off as planned, until bad luck and double crosses cause everything to unravel. (112 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
4.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
5.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he'd stolen in a robbery. (92 mins.)
 
6.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
7.
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A veteran British barrister must defend his client in a murder trial that has surprise after surprise. (116 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
8.
Scarface (1932)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall. (93 mins.)
 
9.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
10.
Murder, My Sweet (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
After being hired to find an ex-con's former girlfriend, Philip Marlowe is drawn into a deeply complex web of mystery and deceit. (95 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
 
11.
Laura (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating. (88 mins.)
Director: Otto Preminger
 
12.
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. (97 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
13.
Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The effete son of a cantankerous riverboat captain comes to join his father's crew. (70 mins.)
 
14.
Kiss of Death (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
With his law-breaking lifestyle in the past, an ex-con, along with his family, attempt to start a new life, knowing a betrayed someone from the past is bound to see otherwise. (99 mins.)
Director: Henry Hathaway
 
15.
Out of the Past (1947)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames. (97 mins.)
 
16.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
While on the telephone, an invalid woman overhears what she thinks is a murder plot and attempts to prevent it. (89 mins.)
Director: Anatole Litvak
 
17.
White Heat (1949)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn. (114 mins.)
Director: Raoul Walsh
 
18.
The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A meek bank clerk who oversees the shipment of bullion joins with an eccentric neighbor to steal gold bars and smuggle them out of the country as miniature Eiffel Towers. (78 mins.)
 
19.
The Thing from Another World (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Scientists and American Air Force officials fend off a bloodthirsty alien organism while at a remote arctic outpost. (87 mins.)
Director: Christian Nyby
 
20.
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An unscrupulous movie producer uses an actress, a director and a writer to achieve success. (118 mins.)
 
21.
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
When a U.S. Naval captain shows signs of mental instability that jeopardizes the ship, the first officer relieves him of command and faces court martial for mutiny. (124 mins.)
Director: Edward Dmytryk
 
22.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A doomed female hitchhiker pulls Mike Hammer into a deadly whirlpool of intrigue, revolving around a mysterious "great whatsit." (106 mins.)
Director: Robert Aldrich
 
23.
Paths of Glory (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them. (88 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
 
24.
Key Largo (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
25.
The Bad Seed (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A housewife suspects that her seemingly perfect eight year-old daughter is a heartless killer. (129 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy