501 Must See Movies

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
War and Peace (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Napoleon's tumultuous relations with Russia including his disastrous 1812 invasion serve as the backdrop for the tangled personal lives of two aristocratic families. (208 mins.)
Director: King Vidor
 
2.
The Wages of Fear (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
In a decrepit South American village, men are hired to transport an urgent nitroglycerine shipment without the equipment that would make it safe. (131 mins.)
 
3.
The Sea Hawk (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword. (127 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
4.
Alexander Nevsky (1938)
    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. (112 mins.)
 
5.
Napoleon (1927)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A film about the French Field Marshal's youth and early military career. (240 mins.)
Director: Abel Gance
 
6.
Cleopatra (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
The man-hungry Queen of Egypt leads Julius Caesar and Marc Antony astray, amid scenes of DeMillean splendor. (100 mins.)
 
7.
The Iron Horse (1924)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
After witnessing the murder of his father by a renegade as a boy, the grown-up Brandon helps to realize his father's dream of a transcontinental railway. (150 mins.)
 
8.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I. (150 mins.)
Director: Rex Ingram
 
9.
The Vikings (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A slave and a Viking prince fight for the love of a captive princess. (116 mins.)
 
10.
Zulu (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Outnumbered British soldiers do battle with Zulu warriors at Rorke's Drift. (138 mins.)
Director: Cy Endfield
 
11.
The Charge of the Light Brigade (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A chronicle of events that led to the British involvement in the Crimean War against Russia and which... (139 mins.)
Director: Tony Richardson
 
12.
The Lion in Winter (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
1183 AD: King Henry II's three sons all want to inherit the throne, but he won't commit to a choice. They and his wife variously plot to force him. (134 mins.)
Director: Anthony Harvey
 
13.
Waterloo (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Facing the decline of everything he has worked to obtain, conqueror Napoleon Bonaparte and his army confront the British at the Battle of Waterloo. (134 mins.)
 
14.
Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
In the 16th century, the ruthless and insane Don Lope de Aguirre leads a Spanish expedition in search of El Dorado. (93 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
15.
Papillon (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape. (151 mins.)
 
16.
The Man Who Would Be King (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Two British soldiers in India decide to resign from the Army and set themselves up as deities in Kafiristan--a land where no white man has set foot since Alexander. (129 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
17.
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. (158 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
18.
Fitzcarraldo (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
The story of Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an extremely determined man who intends to build an opera house in the middle of a jungle. (158 mins.)
Director: Werner Herzog
 
19.
The Right Stuff (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program. (193 mins.)
Director: Philip Kaufman
 
20.
Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A shipping disaster in the 19th Century has stranded a man and woman in the wilds of Africa. The lady is pregnant... (135 mins.)
Director: Hugh Hudson
 
21.
A Passage to India (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Cultural mistrust and false accusations doom a friendship in British colonial India between an Indian doctor, an Englishwoman engaged to marry a city magistrate, and an English educator. (164 mins.)
Director: David Lean
 
22.
Ran (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Japan in the 16th century (or so), an elderly warlord retires, handing over his empire to his three sons. However, he vastly underestimates how the new-found power will corrupt them, or cause them to turn on each other...and him... (162 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
 
23.
The Mission (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
18th century Spanish Jesuits try to protect a remote South American Indian tribe in danger of falling under the rule of pro-slavery Portugal. (125 mins.)
Director: Roland Joffé
 
24.
The Last Emperor (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the final Emperor of China. (163 mins.)
 
25.
Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
During the Napoleonic Wars, a brash British captain pushes his ship and crew to their limits in pursuit of a formidable French war vessel around South America. (138 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
 
26.
Safety Last! (1923)
    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. (70 mins.)
 
27.
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.)
 
28.
Show People (1928)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A young lady from Georgia goes to Hollywood in the hopes of becoming an actress. (83 mins.)
Director: King Vidor
 
29.
It's a Gift (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A henpecked New Jersey grocer makes plans to move to California to grow oranges, despite the resistance of his overbearing wife. (68 mins.)
Director: Norman McLeod
 
30.
Nothing Sacred (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Hazel Flagg of Warsaw, Vermont receives the news that her terminal case of radium poisoning from a workplace... (77 mins.)
 
31.
Way Out West (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Stan and Ollie are charged with delivering the deed to a valuable gold mine to the daughter of a dead prospector... (64 mins.)
Director: James W. Horne