Royal Film Archive of Belgium's Most Important and Misappreciated American Filmsby mymovieslists | last updated - 28 Mar 2013 | Public
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2. 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.
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.
5. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War
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.
Votes: 18,701 | Gross: $10.00M
7. Nanook of the North (1922)
Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary
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.
8. 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.
11. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Approved | 88 min | Drama, Romance
The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.
14. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Not Rated | 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.
15. Scarface (1932)
Passed | 93 min | Action, Crime, Drama
An ambitious and near insanely violent gangster climbs the ladder of success in the mob, but his weaknesses prove to be his downfall.
16. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Crime, Romance
A gentleman thief and a lady pickpocket join forces to con a beautiful perfume company owner. Romantic entanglements and jealousies confuse the scheme.
18. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.
Votes: 282,300 | Gross: $3.20M
19. 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.
20. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
G | 149 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi
Humanity finds a mysterious, obviously artificial object buried beneath the Lunar surface and, with the intelligent computer H.A.L. 9000, sets off on a quest.
Votes: 480,890 | Gross: $56.95M
21. King Kong (1933)
Passed | 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: 69,319 | Gross: $10.00M
22. Psycho (1960)
R | 109 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Votes: 475,794 | Gross: $32.00M
23. City Lights (1931)
G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
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.
Votes: 125,437 | Gross: $0.02M
Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
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.
26. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
In Casablanca in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate encounters a former lover, with unforeseen complications.
Votes: 429,320 | Gross: $1.02M
27. The Wind (1928)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Western
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.
28. Duck Soup (1933)
Passed | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
30. The Scarlet Empress (1934)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, History, Romance
Young Princess Sophia of Germany is taken to Russia to marry the half-wit Grand Duke Peter, son of the Empress. The domineering Empress hopes to improve the royal blood line. Sophia doesn't... See full summary »
31. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
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.
33. 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: 238,211 | Gross: $198.68M
34. Nashville (1975)
R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music
Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.
Votes: 19,345 | Gross: $9.98M
35. The Big Sleep (1946)
Approved | 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.
36. Sherlock Jr. (1924)
Unrated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance
A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.
38. 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.
39. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)
Not Rated | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.
Votes: 12,811 | Gross: $0.33M
40. Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
Approved | 111 min | Action, Biography, Crime
Bonnie Parker, a bored waitress falls in love with an ex-con named Clyde Barrow and together they start a violent crime spree through the country, robbing cars and banks.
42. Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
Not Rated | 87 min | Drama, Romance
A pianist about to flee from a duel receives a letter from a woman he cannot remember, who may hold the key to his downfall.
43. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.
Votes: 354,849 | Gross: $36.76M
45. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Not Rated | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War
Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.
Votes: 45,124 | Gross: $23.65M
48. You Only Live Once (1937)
Passed | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
The public defender's secretary and an ex-convict get married and try to make a life together, but a series of disasters sends their lives spiraling out of control.
50. 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.
51. 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: 88,657 | Gross: $5.01M
52. Paths of Glory (1957)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War
After refusing to attack an enemy position, a general accuses the soldiers of cowardice and their commanding officer must defend them.
PG | 95 min | Comedy, War
An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a war room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.
Votes: 378,523 | Gross: $0.28M
55. White Heat (1949)
Approved | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama
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.
56. Salt of the Earth (1954)
Not Rated | 94 min | Drama, History
Mexican workers at a Zinc mine call a general strike. It is only through the solidarity of the workers, and importantly the indomitable resolve of their wives, mothers and daughters, that they eventually triumph.
57. Rio Bravo (1959)
Not Rated | 141 min | Action, Drama, Western
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy.
Votes: 46,787 | Gross: $12.54M
58. Red River (1948)
Not Rated | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
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.
60. Underworld (1927)
Not Rated | 80 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Boisterous gangster kingpin Bull Weed rehabilitates his former lawyer from his alcoholic haze, but complications arise when he falls for Weed's girlfriend.
61. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Approved | 123 min | Drama, Western
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed.
62. High Noon (1952)
PG | 85 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
A town marshal, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up years ago, arrives on the noon train.
Votes: 85,178 | Gross: $9.45M
63. 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.
64. The Great Train Robbery (1903)
TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Western
A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.
66. All About Eve (1950)
Not Rated | 138 min | Drama
An ingenue insinuates herself into the company of an established but aging stage actress and her circle of theater friends.
Votes: 93,542 | Gross: $0.01M
67. Tabu: A Story of the South Seas (1931)
TV-PG | 86 min | Drama, Romance, Adventure
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.
68. Some Like It Hot (1959)
Not Rated | 121 min | Comedy, Romance
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in.
Votes: 195,729 | Gross: $25.00M
70. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.
71. Love Me Tonight (1932)
Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
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.
73. Meshes of the Afternoon (1943)
14 min | Short
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.
74. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
R | 120 min | Drama, Western
A gambler and a prostitute become business partners in a remote Old West mining town, and their enterprise thrives until a large corporation arrives on the scene.
75. Freaks (1932)
Unrated | 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.
76. Chelsea Girls (1966)
210 min | Drama
Lacking a formal narrative, Warhol's art house classic follows various residents of the Chelsea Hotel in 1966 New York City, presented in a split screen with a single audio track in conjunction with one side of screen.
78. Morocco (1930)
Passed | 92 min | Drama, Romance
A cabaret singer and a Legionnaire fall in love, but their relationship is complicated by the results of his womanizing and due to the appearance of a rich man who wants her for himself.
79. Lonesome (1928)
Not Rated | 69 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park, only to lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. Will they ever see each other again?
80. Fury (1936)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.
82. Written on the Wind (1956)
Not Rated | 99 min | Drama
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.
83. Tol'able David (1921)
99 min | Drama
When three thuggish men are responsible for the death of his father and the crippling of his brother, young David must choose between supporting his family or risking his life and exacting vengeance.
85. Scorpio Rising (1963)
28 min | Short, Music
An army of gay/nazi bikers make their engines roar and ride the way to pain/pleasure as sexual and sadistic symbols are intercut into the dazing chaos and rhythmic experiences of this ... See full summary »
86. Johnny Guitar (1954)
Passed | 110 min | Drama, Western
After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.
87. The Covered Wagon (1923)
98 min | Adventure, Romance, Western
Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and ... See full summary »
Votes: 363 | Gross: $7.63M
88. Wavelength (1967)
45 min | Drama
One of the most unconventional and experimental films ever made, Wavelength is a structural film of a 45-minute long zoom in on a window over a period of a week.
89. A Star Is Born (1954)
Approved | 154 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A film star helps a young singer and actress find fame, even as age and alcoholism send his own career on a downward spiral.
Votes: 11,561 | Gross: $14.93M
90. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.
Votes: 148,970 | Gross: $184.93M
91. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Mystery
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.
Votes: 243,273 | Gross: $13.28M
92. Ninotchka (1939)
Passed | 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: 15,717 | Gross: $1.19M
93. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Approved | 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: 16,445 | Gross: $7.57M
96. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Approved | 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.
99. 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.