Essential movies of film history

in chronological order - five from each decade
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1.
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
 
2.
The Gold Rush (1925)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more. (95 mins.)
Director: Charles Chaplin
 
3.
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
 
4.
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.)
 
5.
À Propos de Nice (1930 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
What starts off as a conventional travelogue turns into a satirical portrait of the town of Nice on the French Cote d'Azur, especially its wealthy inhabitants. (25 mins.)
Director: Jean Vigo
 
6.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
7.
Modern Times (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
The Tramp struggles to live in modern industrial society with the help of a young homeless woman. (87 mins.)
Director: Charlie Chaplin
 
8.
Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A priest tries to stop a gangster from corrupting a group of street kids. (97 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
9.
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
 
10.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
 
11.
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
 
12.
Dumbo (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Ridiculed because of his enormous ears, a young circus elephant is assisted by a mouse to achieve his full potential. (64 mins.)
 
13.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
14.
The Big Sleep (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
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. (114 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
15.
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Set in Post-WWII Italy, a working class man's bicycle is stolen. He and his son set out to find it. (89 mins.)
 
16.
Rear Window (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbours from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder. (112 mins.)
 
17.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies. (111 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Ray
 
18.
Touch of Evil (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A stark, perverse story of murder, kidnapping, and police corruption in a Mexican border town. (95 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
 
19.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
20.
Ben-Hur (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. (212 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
21.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary steals $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.)
 
22.
From Russia with Love (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
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. (115 mins.)
Director: Terence Young
 
23.
A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A wandering gunfighter plays two rival families against each other in a town torn apart by greed, pride, and revenge. (99 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
 
24.
The Graduate (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter. (106 mins.)
Director: Mike Nichols
 
25.
Easy Rider (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. (95 mins.)
Director: Dennis Hopper
 
26.
Dirty Harry (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
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. (102 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
 
27.
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.)
 
28.
Crime Busters (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An attempted robbery turns to be an unexpected recruitment when two unemployed men mistakenly break into a police office instead of a store. (115 mins.)
Director: E.B. Clucher
 
29.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
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. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
 
30.
Alien (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as distress call, their landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform. Continuing their journey back to Earth with the attacked crew having recovered and the critter deceased, they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun. (117 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
 
31.
Friday the 13th (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A group of camp counselors is 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. (95 mins.)
 
32.
First Blood (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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. (93 mins.)
Director: Ted Kotcheff
 
33.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. (115 mins.)
 
34.
Top Gun (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (110 mins.)
Director: Tony Scott
 
35.
Dirty Dancing (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Spending the summer at a Catskills resort with her family, Frances "Baby" Houseman falls in love with the camp's dance instructor, Johnny Castle. (100 mins.)
Director: Emile Ardolino
 
36.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A young F.B.I. cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. (118 mins.)
Director: Jonathan Demme
 
37.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
 
38.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup. (106 mins.)
Director: Bryan Singer
 
39.
American Pie (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night. (95 mins.)
Director: Paul Weitz
 
40.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
 
41.
Shrek (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
After his swamp is filled with magical creatures, an ogre agrees to rescue a princess for a villainous lord in order to get his land back. (90 mins.)
 
42.
Oldboy (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. (120 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
 
43.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
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. (122 mins.)
 
44.
The Dark Knight (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.0/10 X  
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice. (152 mins.)
 
45.
Avatar (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
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. (162 mins.)
Director: James Cameron