Essential movies of film historyby huberzol | created - 19 Sep 2013 | updated - 19 Sep 2013 | Public
in chronological order - five from each decade
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3. Battleship Potemkin (1925)
Unrated | 66 min | Drama, History
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.
Votes: 44,273 | Gross: $0.05M
4. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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: 238,321 | Gross: $198.68M
12. Dumbo (1941)
Approved | 64 min | Animation, Drama, Family
Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential.
Votes: 96,299 | Gross: $1.60M
13. 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: 429,525 | Gross: $1.02M
14. 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.
16. 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: 355,017 | Gross: $36.76M
19. 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: 195,820 | Gross: $25.00M
20. Ben-Hur (1959)
G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama, History
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Votes: 180,570 | Gross: $74.70M
21. 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: 476,056 | Gross: $32.00M
22. From Russia with Love (1963)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond willingly falls into an assassination ploy involving a naive Russian beauty in order to retrieve a Soviet encryption device that was stolen by SPECTRE.
Votes: 97,508 | Gross: $24.80M
23. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
R | 99 min | Western
A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge.
Votes: 163,355 | Gross: $14.50M
26. Dirty Harry (1971)
R | 102 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath.
28. Crime Busters (1977)
PG | 98 min | Action, Comedy, Adventure
An attempted robbery turns to be an unexpected recruitment when two unemployed men mistakenly break into a police office instead of a store.
29. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
PG | 121 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a Wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Votes: 1,014,014 | Gross: $322.74M
30. Alien (1979)
R | 117 min | Horror, Sci-Fi
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.
Votes: 642,350 | Gross: $78.90M
31. Friday the 13th (1980)
R | 95 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller
A group of camp counselors are stalked and murdered by an unknown assailant while trying to reopen a summer camp which, years before, was the site of a child's drowning.
Votes: 94,399 | Gross: $39.75M
32. First Blood (1982)
R | 93 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Former Green Beret John Rambo is pursued into the mountains surrounding a small town by a tyrannical sheriff and his deputies, forcing him to survive using his combat skills.
Votes: 187,412 | Gross: $47.21M
33. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
PG | 115 min | Action, Adventure
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis.
Votes: 732,106 | Gross: $248.16M
34. Top Gun (1986)
PG | 110 min | Action, Drama, Romance
As students at the United States Navy's elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.
Votes: 239,532 | Gross: $179.80M
35. Dirty Dancing (1987)
PG-13 | 100 min | Drama, Music, Romance
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle.
Votes: 157,893 | Gross: $63.95M
36. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
R | 118 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
Votes: 1,004,470 | Gross: $130.74M
37. Pulp Fiction (1994)
R | 154 min | Crime, Drama
The lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.
Votes: 1,475,425 | Gross: $107.93M
38. The Usual Suspects (1995)
R | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which began when five criminals met at a seemingly random police lineup.
Votes: 824,535 | Gross: $23.34M
40. The Matrix (1999)
R | 136 min | Action, Sci-Fi
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.
Votes: 1,356,851 | Gross: $171.48M
41. Shrek (2001)
PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, Shrek agrees to rescue Princess Fiona for a villainous lord in order to get his land back.
Votes: 512,185 | Gross: $267.67M
42. Oldeuboi (2003)
R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Votes: 406,813 | Gross: $0.71M
43. No Country for Old Men (2007)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter stumbles upon a drug deal gone wrong and more than two million dollars in cash near the Rio Grande.
Votes: 688,736 | Gross: $74.28M
44. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as the Joker emerges from his mysterious past, he wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the Dark Knight must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Votes: 1,862,056 | Gross: $534.86M
45. Avatar (2009)
PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.
Votes: 964,629 | Gross: $760.51M