Significant Films Through History

UNDER CONSTRUCTION
There are big gaps that still need to be filled. I welcome all comments or suggestions in order to help improve and expand this list.

Films that I feel for various reasons have some sort of significance and should be noted. I like these films in vary degrees and some I still have yet to see myself (I still have a lot of watching to do).

Hopefully this will help people as they attempt to explore cinema, however it is largely a starting point. Hopefully from looking at the films listed here you will explore more films in a similar style or genre or by the same director. I hope all sorts of film fans will gain from the titles listed here.
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1.
Employees Leaving the Lumière Factory (1895 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A man opens the big gates to the Lumière factory. Through the gateway and a smaller doorway beside it... (1 mins.)
Director: Louis Lumière
 
2.
The Arrival of a Train (1896 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A group of people are standing in a straight line along the platform of a railway station, waiting for a train... (1 mins.)
 
3.
A Trip to the Moon (1902 Short Film)
    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. (13 mins.)
 
4.
Suspense (1913 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
An isolated house in deserted area is too remote for a servant, who leaves a note, quietly exits the back door... (10 mins.)
 
5.
The Birth of a Nation (1915)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. (165 mins.)
Director: D.W. Griffith
 
6.
The Kid (1921)
    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. (68 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
7.
Nosferatu (1922)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
 
8.
Battleship Potemkin (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A dramatized account of a great Russian naval mutiny and a resulting street demonstration which brought on a police massacre. (75 mins.)
Director: S.M. Eisenstein
 
9.
The General (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines. (67 mins.)
 
10.
The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A handsome prince rides a flying horse to far-away lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess. (81 mins.)
Director: Lotte Reiniger
 
11.
Metropolis (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (153 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
12.
Wings (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I. (144 mins.)
“ First Best Picture winner at the Oscars (known then as Outstanding Picture). ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
13.
Sunrise (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
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. (94 mins.)
Director: F.W. Murnau
“ Won the award for 'Unique and Artistic Production' at the first Oscars, an award never to be used again. ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
14.
The Jazz Singer (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer. (88 mins.)
Director: Alan Crosland
“ The film that shook Hollywood. Its success kickstarted the American film industry's shift to sound cinema. ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
15.
Napoleon (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A film about the French Field Marshal's youth and early military career. (240 mins.)
Director: Abel Gance
 
16.
The Crowd (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls. (98 mins.)
Director: King Vidor
 
17.
The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A chronicle of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc on charges of heresy, and the efforts of her ecclesiastical jurists to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions. (110 mins.)
Director: Carl Th. Dreyer
“ I would argue that this film is the pinnacle of silent cinema, as well as being one of the greatest films of all time. Falconetti gives one of the best performances committed to film. ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
18.
Man with a Movie Camera (1929 Documentary)
    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. (68 mins.)
Director: Dziga Vertov
 
19.
Un Chien Andalou (1929 Short Film)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present seventeen minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery. (16 mins.)
Director: Louis Bunuel
 
20.
L'Age d'Or (1930)
    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. (60 mins.)
Director: Luis Buñuel
 
21.
Earth (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
In the peaceful countryside, Vassily opposes the rich kulaks over the coming of collective farming. (75 mins.)
 
22.
Little Caesar (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A small-time criminal moves to a big city to seek bigger fortune. (79 mins.)
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
“ This could have easily been 'The Public Enemy (1931)' or 'Scarface (1932)' but in the end settled for this film to represent American gangster films (particularly of the Pre-Code era). ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
23.
M (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt. (117 mins.)
Director: Fritz Lang
 
24.
Dracula (1931)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
The ancient vampire Count Dracula arrives in England and begins to prey upon the virtuous young Mina. (85 mins.)
Director: Tod Browning
 
25.
L'Atalante (1934)
    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. (89 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
 
26.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Snow White, pursued by a jealous queen, hides with the Dwarfs; the queen soon learns of this and prepares to feed her a poison apple. (83 mins.)
 
27.
La Grande Illusion (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (113 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
28.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
29.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
30.
The Rules of the Game (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau. (110 mins.)
Director: Jean Renoir
 
31.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
American film classic in which a manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
32.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
33.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
34.
Double Indemnity (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
An insurance representative lets himself be talked into a murder/insurance fraud scheme that arouses an insurance investigator's suspicions. (107 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
35.
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.)
 
36.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In post-war Italy, a working-class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
37.
All About Eve (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends. (138 mins.)
 
38.
Rashomon (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A heinous crime and its aftermath are recalled from differing points of view. (88 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
39.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (122 mins.)
Director: Elia Kazan
 
40.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A marshall, personally compelled to face a returning deadly enemy, finds that his own town refuses to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
41.
Tokyo Story (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
An old couple visit their children and grandchildren in the city; but the children have little time for them. (136 mins.)
Director: Yasujirô Ozu
“ Could have chosen a number of Ozu films to include on this list. A truly unique and talented film-maker. This film was my starting point in exploring his work, which I have loved, and is often included on 'Best Films of All Time' lists. ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
42.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
43.
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.)
 
44.
Pather Panchali (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work. (125 mins.)
Director: Satyajit Ray
 
45.
The Seventh Seal (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A man seeks answers about life, death, and the existence of God as he plays chess against the Grim Reaper during the Black Plague. (96 mins.)
Director: Ingmar Bergman
 
46.
Breathless (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy. (90 mins.)
Director: Jean-Luc Godard
 
47.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (109 mins.)
 
48.
Andrei Rublev (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
The life, times and afflictions of the fifteenth-century Russian iconographer. (205 mins.)
 
49.
The Godfather (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
The aging patriarch of an organized crime dynasty transfers control of his clandestine empire to his reluctant son. (175 mins.)
 
50.
Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Four fascist libertines round up nine adolescent boys and girls and subject them to one hundred and twenty days of physical, mental and sexual torture. (116 mins.)
 
51.
Akira (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A secret military project endangers Neo-Tokyo when it turns a biker gang member into a rampaging psychic psychopath that only two teenagers and a group of psychics can stop. (124 mins.)
Director: Katsuhiro Otomo
“ A film that introduced Western teenagers to the wonders of Japanese 'Anime'. Hugely influential. ” - LibertyMcCloud
 
52.
Funny Games (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Two violent young men take a mother, father, and son hostage in their vacation cabin and force them to play sadistic "games" with one another for their own amusement. (108 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
 
53.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
54.
The Tribe (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A deaf mute boy joins a boarding school for similar children. Confronted by the violent and criminal antics of some of the other boys and girls, he struggles to conform and join the 'tribe'. (126 mins.)