A Year of Essential Cinema

by ric-burke1 | created - 19 Apr 2012 | updated - 09 Feb 2013 | Public

I've decided 2012 is the year in which I finally make a concerted effort to see those films I've always been meaning to watch.

Inspired by the superb 'The Story of Film' series, I will watch the films chronologically, starting from the birth of cinema, through the silent era, to the talkies, the genre flicks of the golden age of Hollywood, the rise of world cinema with the new waves spreading across the globe, the movie brats of the 70's, boom of independent film-making and the digital revolution.

Each month I will choose 20 films from a time period before moving on to the next month with a host of new films. Films will be added as I watch them.

January: 1895 - 1927 February: 1928 - 1936 March: 1937 - 1946 April: 1947 - 1954 May: 1955 - 1962 June: 1963 - 1967 July: 1968 - 1972 August: 1973 - 1979 September: 1980 - 1987 October: 1988 - 1995 November: 1996 - 2002 December: 2003 - Present

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1. Tables Turned on the Gardener (1895)

1 min | Comedy, Short

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A gardener is watering his flowers, when a mischievous boy sneaks up behind his back, and puts a foot on the water hose. The gardener is surprised, and looks into the nozzle to find out why... See full summary »

Director: Louis Lumière | Stars: François Clerc, Benoît Duval

Votes: 3,481

A boy stepping on a hose, man looks into hose, boy steps of hose, man gets wet. At just 1 minute of film we have the foundations on which to build an entire industry.

2. The Arrival of a Train (1896)

Not Rated | 1 min | Documentary, Short

7.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A train arrives at La Ciotat station.

Directors: Auguste Lumière, Louis Lumière

Votes: 7,947

I’m haunted by an image. An image I believe sums up my love for cinema. It’s not even a coherent or a well considered image, it doesn’t hold any significant meaning or some hidden depth, we’re not talking about a classic motif or something subtle, it has no other substance than what it is but it’s there all the time, constantly hanging about in my subconscious. Sometimes the image conjures up out of nowhere, sometimes when I’m at work, or on the bus or in a busy , crowded room but none more than when I’m thinking about cinema. It’s there when Chishu Ryu lets the apple skin slip from his grip in Late Spring, when the camera towers above the station of Sweetwater in Once Upon a Time in the West, when we float over a crowd of umbrellas and smoking patrons of a cinema house, before settling on two women crying watching ‘A Many Splendour Thing’ in Distant Voices, Still Lives. When Chaplin is recognised by the blind girl, the close up of Sylvia Bataille in the midst of love making in Partie de champagne, the sight of an inconsolable Jeremie Renier at the end of L’Enfant and when John Goodman says ‘eight year olds dude’. The image? Brad Pitt dressed as a Renaissance vampire sitting in the dark in a Paris cafe watching a train hurtling towards him.

3. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 34,473

Where have all the magic-makers, the charlatans, the image conjurers, the impressionists and the dreamers gone? Have any matched the simple beauty of George Melies?

4. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Not Rated | 197 min | Drama, History

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, F.A. Turner

Votes: 11,832 | Gross: $2.18M

The first of three D.W Griffith and I can tell it's not going to be that much fun, why be subtle when smashing your audience in the face with a breeze block will suffice? Ambitious, messy, naive and wild, a Griffith masterclass in the grandiose art of story telling.

5. Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (1919)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp, Arthur Howard

Votes: 7,876

An easier watch but no less melodramatic, the acting is what it is for 1919 but you can't help falling in love with Gish despite the tendency to OTT it.

6. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 45,022

7. Way Down East (1920)

Not Rated | 145 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau, Lowell Sherman

Votes: 4,207 | Gross: $4.50M

8. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Votes: 7,763

9. Der müde Tod (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 3,986 | Gross: $0.01M

10. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 81,573 | Gross: $5.45M

11. Nanook of the North (1922)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty | Stars: Allakariallak, Nyla, Cunayou, Allegoo

Votes: 8,782

12. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 75,054

13. Our Hospitality (1923)

Not Rated | 65 min | Comedy, Romance, Thriller

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Joe Roberts

Votes: 8,157

14. Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | 70 min | Comedy, Thriller

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

When a store clerk organizes a publicity stunt, in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building, circumstances force him to make the perilous climb himself.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor | Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother, Noah Young

Votes: 14,689 | Gross: $0.62M

15. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 10,171 | Gross: $0.09M

16. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 66 min | Drama, History

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 44,552 | Gross: $0.05M

17. Stachka (1925)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A group of oppressed factory workers go on strike in pre-revolutionary Russia.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Maksim Shtraukh, Mikhail Gomorov, I. Ivanov

Votes: 5,626

18. The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill | Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell

Votes: 5,331 | Gross: $11.00M

19. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
98 Metascore

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.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 127,213 | Gross: $0.03M

20. Napoleon (1927)

240 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky

Votes: 5,868

21. The Cameraman (1928)

Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Romance, Family

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Hopelessly in love with a woman working at MGM Studios, a clumsy man attempts to become a motion picture cameraman to be close to the object of his desire.

Directors: Edward Sedgwick, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marceline Day, Harold Goodwin, Sidney Bracey

Votes: 8,441

22. The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Votes: 6,244

23. The Wind (1928)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Western

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A frail young woman from the east moves in with her cousin in the west, where she causes tension within the family and is slowly driven mad.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Lillian Gish, Lars Hanson, Montagu Love, Dorothy Cumming

Votes: 5,162

24. Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

Not Rated | 68 min | Documentary, Music

8.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A man travels around a city with a camera slung over his shoulder, documenting urban life with dazzling invention.

Director: Dziga Vertov | Star: Mikhail Kaufman

Votes: 17,812

25. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 8,170 | Gross: $0.01M

26. Zemlya (1930)

Unrated | 75 min | Drama

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming.

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko | Stars: Stepan Shkurat, Semyon Svashenko, Yuliya Solntseva, Yelena Maksimova

Votes: 3,896

27. L'Age d'Or (1930)

63 min | Comedy, Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A surrealist tale of a man and a woman passionately in love with one another, but their attempts to consummate that passion are constantly thwarted by their families, the Church, and bourgeois society.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Gaston Modot, Lya Lys, Caridad de Laberdesque, Max Ernst

Votes: 10,490 | Gross: $0.03M

28. Frankenstein (1931)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

An obsessed scientist assembles a living being from parts of exhumed corpses.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Colin Clive, Mae Clarke, Boris Karloff, John Boles

Votes: 54,090 | Gross: $12.00M

29. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 126,918 | Gross: $0.02M

30. Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)

TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Adventure

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

On the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, a young couple's love is threatened when the tribal chief declares the girl a sacred virgin.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Anne Chevalier, Matahi, Hitu, Bill Bambridge

Votes: 3,908

31. Love Me Tonight (1932)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 3,016

32. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 35,524

33. Vampyr (1932)

Not Rated | 75 min | Fantasy, Horror

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A drifter obsessed with the supernatural stumbles upon an inn where a severely ill adolescent girl is slowly becoming a vampire.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Julian West, Maurice Schutz, Rena Mandel, Sybille Schmitz

Votes: 12,489

34. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 3,782

35. King Kong (1933)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Directors: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack | Stars: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong, Bruce Cabot, Frank Reicher

Votes: 69,699 | Gross: $10.00M

36. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon, Gilles Margaritis

Votes: 11,694

37. A Night at the Opera (1935)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.

Directors: Sam Wood, Edmund Goulding | Stars: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Kitty Carlisle

Votes: 26,898

38. The 39 Steps (1935)

Not Rated | 86 min | Mystery, Thriller

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 43,597

39. Modern Times (1936)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
96 Metascore

The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Henry Bergman, Tiny Sandford

Votes: 166,705 | Gross: $0.16M

40. A Day in the Country (1936)

Not Rated | 40 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The family of a Parisian shop-owner spends a day in the country. The daughter falls in love to a man at the inn, where they spend the day.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Sylvia Bataille, Jane Marken, Georges D'Arnoux, André Gabriello

Votes: 4,614

41. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 5,669

42. Alexander Nevsky (1938)

Not Rated | 112 min | Action, Biography, Drama

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The story of how a great Russian prince led a ragtag army to battle an invading force of Teutonic Knights.

Directors: Sergei M. Eisenstein, Dmitriy Vasilev | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Nikolai Okhlopkov, Andrei Abrikosov, Dmitriy Orlov

Votes: 8,918

43. Stagecoach (1939)

Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Western

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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.

Director: John Ford | Stars: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Andy Devine, John Carradine

Votes: 34,636

44. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,444

45. The Great Dictator (1940)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, War

8.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Dictator Adenoid Hynkel tries to expand his empire while a poor Jewish barber tries to avoid persecution from Hynkel's regime.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie, Reginald Gardiner

Votes: 159,333

46. The Shop Around the Corner (1940)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan, Joseph Schildkraut

Votes: 22,500

47. Rebecca (1940)

Not Rated | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A self-conscious bride is tormented by the memory of her husband's dead first wife.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, George Sanders, Judith Anderson

Votes: 98,607

48. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest

Votes: 20,168

49. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

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.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 17,523

50. To Be or Not to Be (1942)

Not Rated | 99 min | Comedy, War

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack, Felix Bressart

Votes: 21,270

51. Day of Wrath (1943)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam, Kirsten Andreasen

Votes: 7,529

52. Ossessione (1943)

TV-14 | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Gino, a drifter, begins an affair with inn-owner Giovanna as they plan to get rid of her older husband.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Clara Calamai, Massimo Girotti, Dhia Cristiani, Elio Marcuzzo

Votes: 5,516

53. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)

14 min | Short

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A woman returning home falls asleep and has vivid dreams that may or may not be happening in reality. Through repetitive images and complete mismatching of the objective view of time and space, her dark inner desires play out on-screen.

Directors: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid | Stars: Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Votes: 8,154

54. To Have and Have Not (1944)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

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.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran

Votes: 25,778

55. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1945)

Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

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.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov

Votes: 7,549

56. A Canterbury Tale (1944)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Drama, Mystery

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three modern day pilgrims investigate a bizarre crime in a small town on the way to Canterbury.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Eric Portman, Sheila Sim, Dennis Price, John Sweet

Votes: 4,122

57. Rome, Open City (1945)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Thriller, War

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

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.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Anna Magnani, Aldo Fabrizi, Marcello Pagliero, Vito Annichiarico

Votes: 18,530

58. Children of Paradise (1945)

Not Rated | 189 min | Drama, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The theatrical life of a beautiful courtesan and the four men who love her.

Director: Marcel Carné | Stars: Arletty, Jean-Louis Barrault, Pierre Brasseur, Pierre Renoir

Votes: 15,691

59. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 45,564 | Gross: $23.65M

60. Paisan (1946)

Not Rated | 120 min | Drama, War

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The language barrier has tragic consequences in a series of unrelated stories set during the Italian Campaign of WWII.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Carmela Sazio, Joseph Garland Moore Jr., William Tubbs, Robert Van Loon

Votes: 5,642

61. The Lady from Shanghai (1947)

Not Rated | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Fascinated by gorgeous Mrs. Bannister, seaman Michael O'Hara joins a bizarre yachting cruise, and ends up mired in a complex murder plot.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Orson Welles, Everett Sloane, Glenn Anders

Votes: 21,383 | Gross: $0.01M

62. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis

Votes: 12,905 | Gross: $0.33M

63. Red River (1948)

Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Directors: Howard Hawks, Arthur Rosson | Stars: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Joanne Dru, Walter Brennan

Votes: 23,522

64. Late Spring (1949)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Noriko is twenty-seven years old and still living with her widowed father. Everybody tries to talk her into marrying, but Noriko wants to stay at home caring for her father.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Chishû Ryû, Setsuko Hara, Yumeji Tsukioka, Haruko Sugimura

Votes: 10,532

65. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    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.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 22,684

66. Winchester '73 (1950)

Approved | 92 min | Action, Drama, Western

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally

Votes: 13,859

67. The Young and the Damned (1950)

Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others...

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Alfonso Mejía, Roberto Cobo, Estela Inda, Miguel Inclán

Votes: 14,704

68. Gun Crazy (1950)

Passed | 87 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A well meaning crack shot husband is pressured by his beautiful marksman wife to go on an interstate robbery spree, where he finds out just how depraved and deadly she really is.

Director: Joseph H. Lewis | Stars: John Dall, Peggy Cummins, Berry Kroeger, Morris Carnovsky

Votes: 9,076

69. Orpheus (1950)

Not Rated | 95 min | Fantasy, Drama, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A poet in love with Death follows his unhappy wife into the underworld.

Director: Jean Cocteau | Stars: Jean Marais, François Périer, María Casares, Marie Déa

Votes: 8,297

70. Miracle in Milan (1951)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An open hearted and unrelentingly energetic orphan struggles to make the best out of his life on the street.

Director: Vittorio De Sica | Stars: Emma Gramatica, Francesco Golisano, Paolo Stoppa, Guglielmo Barnabò

Votes: 4,821

71. The River (1951)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Romance

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three adolescent girls growing up in Bengal, India, learn their lessons in life after falling for an older American soldier.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Patricia Walters, Nora Swinburne, Esmond Knight, Arthur Shields

Votes: 4,615

72. The Life of Oharu (1952)

Not Rated | 133 min | Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows a woman's fight and survival amid the vicissitudes of life and the cruelty of the society.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Kinuyo Tanaka, Tsukie Matsuura, Ichirô Sugai, Toshirô Mifune

Votes: 4,740

73. Le Plaisir (1952)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Three separate stories about the same thing: pleasure.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Simone Simon, Claude Dauphin

Votes: 3,339

74. Casque d'Or (1952)

Not Rated | 94 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

In an open-air dance hall, the members of Leca's gang are relaxing with their ladies. One of them, Marie, aka "Casque d'Or" (Golden Helmet) meets Manda, a carpenter. Her man Roland belongs ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussières

Votes: 3,897

75. Shane (1953)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Western

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Van Heflin, Brandon De Wilde

Votes: 31,023 | Gross: $20.00M

76. I Vitelloni (1953)

Not Rated | 104 min | Comedy, Drama

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
87 Metascore

A character study of five young men at crucial turning points in their lives in a small town in Italy.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Alberto Sordi, Franco Fabrizi, Franco Interlenghi, Leopoldo Trieste

Votes: 11,744 | Gross: $0.10M

77. On the Waterfront (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
88 Metascore

An ex-prize fighter turned longshoreman struggles to stand up to his corrupt union bosses.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Marlon Brando, Karl Malden, Lee J. Cobb, Rod Steiger

Votes: 114,193 | Gross: $9.60M

78. Journey to Italy (1954)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
100 Metascore

An unhappily married couple attempts to find direction and insight while vacationing in Naples.

Director: Roberto Rossellini | Stars: Ingrid Bergman, George Sanders, Maria Mauban, Anna Proclemer

Votes: 6,558

79. La Strada (1954)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A care-free girl is sold to a traveling entertainer, consequently enduring physical and emotional pain along the way.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Anthony Quinn, Giulietta Masina, Richard Basehart, Aldo Silvani

Votes: 49,958

80. Senso (1954)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama, History, Romance

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A troubled and neurotic Italian Countess betrays her entire country for a self-destructive love affair with an Austrian Lieutenant.

Director: Luchino Visconti | Stars: Farley Granger, Alida Valli, Massimo Girotti, Heinz Moog

Votes: 4,801

81. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
87 Metascore

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 70,395

82. Ukigumo (1955)

123 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tragic social drama set in post war Japan and concerns a lonely woman trying to find purpose and stability in a devastated Tokyo.

Director: Mikio Naruse | Stars: Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Mariko Okada, Isao Yamagata

Votes: 1,796

83. Ordet (1955)

Not Rated | 126 min | Drama, Fantasy

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with each other, and the rest of the town.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye, Hanne Aagesen

Votes: 11,065

84. Written on the Wind (1956)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

7.5
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Alcoholic playboy Kyle Hadley marries the woman secretly loved by his poor but hard-working best friend, who in turn is pursued by Kyle's nymphomaniac sister.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Rock Hudson, Lauren Bacall, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone

Votes: 8,245

85. The Red Balloon (1956)

Approved | 34 min | Short, Comedy, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A red balloon with a life of its own follows a little boy around the streets of Paris.

Director: Albert Lamorisse | Stars: Pascal Lamorisse, Sabine Lamorisse, Georges Sellier, Vladimir Popov

Votes: 13,844

86. Forbidden Planet (1956)

G | 98 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.7
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen, Warren Stevens

Votes: 38,098 | Gross: $3.00M

87. Wild Strawberries (1957)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Romance

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

After living a life marked by coldness, an aging professor is forced to confront the emptiness of his existence.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Bibi Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 72,076

88. The Nights of Cabiria (1957)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A waifish prostitute wanders the streets of Rome looking for true love but finds only heartbreak.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Giulietta Masina, François Périer, Franca Marzi, Dorian Gray

Votes: 31,186 | Gross: $0.75M

89. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, Romance, War

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

During the German occupation noble, bourgeois and worker's partisan groups lived in peace with another. On the first day of freedom they start to fight each other. In these fights is weaved a most tender love story.

Director: Andrzej Wajda | Stars: Zbigniew Cybulski, Ewa Krzyzewska, Waclaw Zastrzezynski, Adam Pawlikowski

Votes: 8,295

90. Mon Oncle (1958)

Not Rated | 117 min | Comedy

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Monsieur Hulot visits the technology-driven world of his sister, brother-in-law, and nephew, but he can't quite fit into the surroundings.

Director: Jacques Tati | Stars: Jacques Tati, Jean-Pierre Zola, Adrienne Servantie, Lucien Frégis

Votes: 15,167

91. Shadows (1959)

PG | 87 min | Drama, Romance

7.4
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Ben Carruthers, Lelia Goldoni, Hugh Hurd, Anthony Ray

Votes: 8,077

92. Pickpocket (1959)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama

7.8
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Michel is released from jail after serving a sentence for thievery. His mother dies and he resorts to pickpocketing as a means of survival.

Director: Robert Bresson | Stars: Martin LaSalle, Marika Green, Jean Pélégri, Dolly Scal

Votes: 15,326

93. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

8.0
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 22,307 | Gross: $0.09M

94. Black Sunday (1960)

Not Rated | 87 min | Horror

7.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A vengeful witch and her fiendish servant return from the grave and begin a bloody campaign to possess the body of the witch's beautiful look-alike descendant. Only the girl's brother and a handsome doctor stand in her way.

Director: Mario Bava | Stars: Barbara Steele, John Richardson, Andrea Checchi, Ivo Garrani

Votes: 10,901

95. Shoot the Piano Player (1960)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

7.6
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Charlie Kohler is a piano player in a bar. The waitress Lena is in love with him. One of Charlie's brother, Chico, a crook, takes refuge in the bar because he is chased by two gangsters, ... See full summary »

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Charles Aznavour, Marie Dubois, Nicole Berger, Michèle Mercier

Votes: 14,254

96. La Dolce Vita (1960)

Not Rated | 174 min | Comedy, Drama

8.1
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
93 Metascore

A series of stories following a week in the life of a philandering paparazzo journalist living in Rome.

Director: Federico Fellini | Stars: Marcello Mastroianni, Anita Ekberg, Anouk Aimée, Yvonne Furneaux

Votes: 54,341 | Gross: $19.52M

97. Viridiana (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Comedy, Drama

8.2
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Silvia Pinal, Francisco Rabal, Fernando Rey, José Calvo

Votes: 18,113

98. La Jetée (1962)

Not Rated | 28 min | Short, Drama, Romance

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

The story of a man forced to explore his memories in the wake of World War III's devastation, told through still images.

Director: Chris Marker | Stars: Étienne Becker, Jean Négroni, Hélène Chatelain, Davos Hanich

Votes: 23,873

99. Jules and Jim (1962)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

7.9
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

Decades of a love triangle concerning two friends and an impulsive woman.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner, Henri Serre, Vanna Urbino

Votes: 30,646

100. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

PG | 216 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

8.3
Rate this
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
100 Metascore

The story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks.

Director: David Lean | Stars: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn, Jack Hawkins

Votes: 217,342 | Gross: $44.82M