"101 Cult Movies You Must See Before You Die" by Steven Jay Schneider

by Renegade_Blaze | created - 25 Sep 2011 | updated - 09 Jan 2012 | Public

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1. Un Chien Andalou (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Fantasy, Horror

Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí present 17 minutes of bizarre, surreal imagery.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Pierre Batcheff, Simone Mareuil, Luis Buñuel, Salvador Dalí

Votes: 41,270

2. Reefer Madness (1936)

PG | 66 min | Drama, Thriller

70 Metascore

Cautionary tale features a fictionalized take on the use of marijuana. A trio of drug dealers lead innocent teenagers to become addicted to "reefer" cigarettes by holding wild parties with jazz music.

Director: Louis J. Gasnier | Stars: Dorothy Short, Kenneth Craig, Lillian Miles, Dave O'Brien

Votes: 7,183

3. Sullivan's Travels (1941)

Not Rated | 90 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A director of escapist films goes on the road as a hobo to learn about life, which gives him a rude awakening.

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake, Robert Warwick, William Demarest

Votes: 21,404

4. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

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.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 28,572

5. Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir

A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson

Votes: 175,268

6. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

99 Metascore

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.

Director: Charles Laughton | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason

Votes: 74,239 | Gross: $0.65M

7. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

PG-13 | 111 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A rebellious young man with a troubled past comes to a new town, finding friends and enemies.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus

Votes: 74,966

8. The Blob (1958)

Not Rated | 86 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

An alien lifeform consumes everything in its path as it grows and grows.

Directors: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr., Russell S. Doughten Jr. | Stars: Steve McQueen, Aneta Corsaut, Earl Rowe, Olin Howland

Votes: 19,855

9. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)

Not Rated | 79 min | Horror, Sci-Fi

Evil aliens attack Earth and set their terrible "Plan 9" in action. As the aliens resurrect the dead of the Earth to destroy the living, our lives are in danger.

Director: Edward D. Wood Jr. | Stars: Gregory Walcott, Tom Keene, Mona McKinnon, Duke Moore

Votes: 33,358

10. Jazz on a Summer's Day (1959)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Music

Set at the Newport jazz festival in 1958, this documentary mixes images of water and the town with performers and audience. The film progresses from day to night and from improvisational ... See full summary »

Directors: Aram Avakian, Bert Stern | Stars: Louis Armstrong, Mahalia Jackson, Chuck Berry, Chico Hamilton

Votes: 847

11. The Servant (1963)

Unrated | 116 min | Drama

93 Metascore

An upper-class man hires a servant who turns out to have a hidden agenda.

Director: Joseph Losey | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig, James Fox

Votes: 7,839 | Gross: $0.04M

12. Shock Corridor (1963)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Mystery

Bent on winning a Pulitzer Prize, a journalist commits himself to a mental institution to solve a strange and unclear murder.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Peter Breck, Constance Towers, Gene Evans, James Best

Votes: 9,682

13. Band of Outsiders (1964)

Not Rated | 95 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Two crooks with a fondness for old Hollywood B-movies convince a languages student to help them commit a robbery.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, Danièle Girard, Louisa Colpeyn

Votes: 19,816 | Gross: $0.04M

14. Scorpio Rising (1963)

28 min | Short, Music

A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.

Director: Kenneth Anger | Stars: Ernie Allo, Bruce Byron, Frank Carifi, Steve Crandell

Votes: 3,919

15. Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! (1965)

Not Rated | 83 min | Action, Comedy

Three go-go dancers holding a young girl hostage come across a crippled old man living with his two sons in the desert. After learning he's hiding a sum of cash around, the women start scheming on him.

Director: Russ Meyer | Stars: Tura Satana, Haji, Lori Williams, Ray Barlow

Votes: 12,488

16. Blow-Up (1966)

Not Rated | 111 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

A mod London photographer finds something very suspicious in the shots he has taken of a mysterious beauty in a desolate park.

Director: Michelangelo Antonioni | Stars: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles, John Castle

Votes: 49,917

17. 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.

Directors: Paul Morrissey, Andy Warhol | Stars: Brigid Berlin, Randy Borscheidt, Christian Päffgen, Angelina 'Pepper' Davis

Votes: 1,054

18. Persona (1966)

Not Rated | 83 min | Drama, Thriller

A nurse is put in charge of a mute actress and finds that their personae are melding together.

Director: Ingmar Bergman | Stars: Bibi Andersson, Liv Ullmann, Margaretha Krook, Gunnar Björnstrand

Votes: 85,029

19. Barbarella (1968)

PG | 98 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

51 Metascore

Barbarella, an astronaut from the 41st century, sets out to find and stop the evil scientist Durand Durand, whose Positronic Ray threatens to bring evil back into the galaxy.

Director: Roger Vadim | Stars: Jane Fonda, John Phillip Law, Anita Pallenberg, Milo O'Shea

Votes: 28,794

21. Easy Rider (1969)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Drama

86 Metascore

Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.

Director: Dennis Hopper | Stars: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Antonio Mendoza

Votes: 87,027 | Gross: $41.73M

22. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)

NC-17 | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

60 Metascore

Three girls come to Hollywood to make it big, but find only sex, drugs and sleaze.

Director: Russ Meyer | Stars: Dolly Read, Cynthia Myers, Marcia McBroom, John Lazar

Votes: 8,941 | Gross: $9.00M

23. El Topo (1970)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama, Western

A mysterious black-clad gunfighter wanders a mystical Western landscape encountering multiple bizarre characters.

Director: Alejandro Jodorowsky | Stars: Alejandro Jodorowsky, Brontis Jodorowsky, José Legarreta, Alfonso Arau

Votes: 22,483

24. Le Boucher (1970)

GP | 93 min | Drama, Thriller

An unlikely friendship between a dour, working class butcher and a repressed schoolteacher coincides with a grisly series of Ripper-type murders in a provincial French town.

Director: Claude Chabrol | Stars: Stéphane Audran, Jean Yanne, Antonio Passalia, Pascal Ferone

Votes: 6,725

25. The Lickerish Quartet (1970)

R | 90 min | Drama

A jaded, wealthy couple watch a blue movie in their castle home along with her adult son. The son is testy, so they go into town and watch a circus-like thrill ride. The daredevil woman in ... See full summary »

Director: Radley Metzger | Stars: Silvana Venturelli, Frank Wolff, Erika Remberg, Paolo Turco

Votes: 864

26. Performance (1970)

R | 105 min | Crime, Drama

A violent gangster seeks refuge from the mob in the Bohemian home of a former rock star.

Directors: Donald Cammell, Nicolas Roeg | Stars: James Fox, Mick Jagger, Anita Pallenberg, Michèle Breton

Votes: 8,105

27. Harold and Maude (1971)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

62 Metascore

Young, rich, and obsessed with death, Harold finds himself changed forever when he meets lively septuagenarian Maude at a funeral.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort, Vivian Pickles, Cyril Cusack

Votes: 64,547

28. Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

R | 102 min | Drama

89 Metascore

2 men drag-racing across the U.S., in a '55 Chevy. Dennis Wilson's the mechanic, James Taylor's the driver.

Director: Monte Hellman | Stars: James Taylor, Warren Oates, Laurie Bird, Dennis Wilson

Votes: 9,979

29. Vampyros Lesbos (1971)

Unrated | 89 min | Drama, Horror

An erotic horror tale about a vixen vampiress seducing and killing women to appease her insatiable thirst for female blood.

Director: Jesús Franco | Stars: Soledad Miranda, Dennis Price, Paul Muller, Ewa Strömberg

Votes: 3,841

30. Vanishing Point (1971)

R | 99 min | Action, Crime, Thriller

61 Metascore

During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.

Director: Richard C. Sarafian | Stars: Barry Newman, Cleavon Little, Charlotte Rampling, Dean Jagger

Votes: 24,470

31. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)

PG | 102 min | Comedy

93 Metascore

A surreal, virtually plotless series of dreams centered around six middle-class people and their consistently interrupted attempts to have a meal together.

Director: Luis Buñuel | Stars: Fernando Rey, Delphine Seyrig, Paul Frankeur, Bulle Ogier

Votes: 33,040 | Gross: $0.20M

32. The Harder They Come (1972)

R | 120 min | Crime, Drama, Music

Wishing to become a successful Reggae singer, a young Jamaican man finds himself tied to corrupt record producers and drug pushers.

Director: Perry Henzell | Stars: Jimmy Cliff, Janet Bartley, Carl Bradshaw, Ras Daniel Hartman

Votes: 4,835

33. Pink Flamingos (1972)

NC-17 | 93 min | Comedy, Crime

47 Metascore

Notorious Baltimore criminal and underground figure Divine goes up against a sleazy married couple who make a passionate attempt to humiliate her and seize her tabloid-given title as "The Filthiest Person Alive".

Director: John Waters | Stars: Divine, David Lochary, Mary Vivian Pearce, Mink Stole

Votes: 19,732 | Gross: $0.18M

34. Super Fly (1972)

R | 91 min | Action, Crime, Drama

67 Metascore

The daily routine of cocaine dealer Priest who wants to score one more super deal and retire.

Director: Gordon Parks Jr. | Stars: Ron O'Neal, Carl Lee, Sheila Frazier, Julius Harris

Votes: 5,556

35. Sisters (1972)

R | 93 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller

A fledgling Staten Island journalist witnesses a brutal murder in the neighboring apartment of a French-Canadian model, but the police do not believe that the crime took place. With the help of a private detective, she seeks out the truth.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Margot Kidder, Jennifer Salt, Charles Durning, William Finley

Votes: 13,145

36. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)

R | 112 min | Action, Crime, Drama

An American barroom pianist and his prostitute girlfriend go on a road trip through the Mexican underworld to collect a bounty on the head of a dead gigolo.

Director: Sam Peckinpah | Stars: Warren Oates, Isela Vega, Robert Webber, Gig Young

Votes: 16,223

37. Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1973)

Not Rated | 92 min | Drama, Romance

An almost accidental romance is kindled between a German woman in her mid-sixties and a Moroccan migrant worker around twenty-five years younger. They abruptly decide to marry, appalling everyone around them.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Brigitte Mira, El Hedi ben Salem, Barbara Valentin, Irm Hermann

Votes: 16,087

38. The Night Porter (1974)

R | 118 min | Drama

After a chance meeting at a hotel in 1957, a Holocaust survivor and the Nazi officer who tortured her resume their sadomasochistic relationship.

Director: Liliana Cavani | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Charlotte Rampling, Philippe Leroy, Gabriele Ferzetti

Votes: 9,802

39. Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

67 Metascore

A disfigured composer sells his soul for the woman he loves so that she will perform his music. However, an evil record tycoon betrays him and steals his music to open his rock palace, The Paradise.

Director: Brian De Palma | Stars: Paul Williams, William Finley, Jessica Harper, Gerrit Graham

Votes: 14,050

40. Grey Gardens (1975)

PG | 94 min | Documentary, Comedy, Drama

An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton.

Directors: Ellen Hovde, Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Muffie Meyer | Stars: Edith Bouvier Beale, Edith 'Little Edie' Bouvier Beale, Brooks Hyers

Votes: 10,454 | Gross: $0.03M

41. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 120,474 | Gross: $139.88M

42. Sholay (1975)

Not Rated | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

After his family is murdered by a notorious and ruthless bandit, a former police officer enlists the services of two outlaws to capture the bandit.

Director: Ramesh Sippy | Stars: Sanjeev Kumar, Dharmendra, Amitabh Bachchan, Amjad Khan

Votes: 45,706

43. Tommy (1975)

PG | 111 min | Drama, Musical

66 Metascore

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John

Votes: 17,595 | Gross: $34.25M

44. The Last Wave (1977)

PG | 106 min | Drama, Fantasy, Mystery

85 Metascore

A Sydney lawyer defends five Aboriginal Persons in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions.

Director: Peter Weir | Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Olivia Hamnett, David Gulpilil, Frederick Parslow

Votes: 7,655

45. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! (1978)

PG | 83 min | Adventure, Comedy, Horror

9 Metascore

A group of scientists band together to save the world from mutated killer tomatoes.

Director: John De Bello | Stars: David Miller, George Wilson, Sharon Taylor, J. Stephen Peace

Votes: 11,290

46. I Spit on Your Grave (1978)

R | 101 min | Horror, Thriller

19 Metascore

An aspiring writer is repeatedly gang-raped, humiliated, and left for dead by four men whom she systematically hunts down to seek revenge.

Director: Meir Zarchi | Stars: Camille Keaton, Eron Tabor, Richard Pace, Anthony Nichols

Votes: 23,420

47. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 12,478 | Gross: $21.05M

48. Dracula's Dog (1977)

R | 90 min | Horror

Russian soldiers accidentally unleash the servant of Dracula, as well as his dog, during excavations of Romania. Together, they set out for America, to find the last descendant of the great... See full summary »

Director: Albert Band | Stars: José Ferrer, Michael Pataki, Jan Shutan, Libby Chase

Votes: 1,010

49. Mad Max (1979)

R | 88 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7