My 50 favorite First films

by fabrice_fontaine | created - 29 Jun 2012 | updated - 11 months ago | Public

My 50 favorite first films, or the joy of discovering a new movie from a new director. Most of those directors had a new and refreshing way of telling stories. You don't experience that very often, do you?

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1. Stachka (1925)

Not Rated | 82 min | Drama

A group of oppressed factory workers go on strike in pre-revolutionary Russia.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Maksim Shtraukh, Mikhail Gomorov, I. Ivanov

Votes: 5,756

2. L'Atalante (1934)

Not Rated | 89 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Newly married couple Juliette and a ship captain Jean struggle through marriage as they travel on the L'atalante along with the captain's first mate Le père Jules and a cabin boy.

Director: Jean Vigo | Stars: Dita Parlo, Jean Dasté, Michel Simon, Gilles Margaritis

Votes: 11,882

3. Citizen Kane (1941)

PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery

100 Metascore

Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 340,452 | Gross: $1.59M

4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 6,163

5. On the Town (1949)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller

Votes: 13,591

6. Pather Panchali (1955)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

Impoverished priest Harihar Ray, dreaming of a better life for himself and his family, leaves his rural Bengal village in search of work.

Director: Satyajit Ray | Stars: Kanu Bannerjee, Karuna Bannerjee, Subir Banerjee, Chunibala Devi

Votes: 17,077 | Gross: $0.54M

7. 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: 71,267

8. Elevator to the Gallows (1958)

Not Rated | 91 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

94 Metascore

A self-assured businessman murders his employer, the husband of his mistress, which unintentionally provokes an ill-fated chain of events.

Director: Louis Malle | Stars: Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin

Votes: 16,602 | Gross: $0.11M

9. Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.

Director: Alain Resnais | Stars: Emmanuelle Riva, Eiji Okada, Stella Dassas, Pierre Barbaud

Votes: 22,745 | Gross: $0.09M

10. The 400 Blows (1959)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama

A young boy, left without attention, delves into a life of petty crime.

Director: François Truffaut | Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Albert Rémy, Claire Maurier, Guy Decomble

Votes: 85,146

11. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 59,887 | Gross: $0.34M

12. The Two of Us (1967)

Not Rated | 86 min | Comedy, Drama

In Nazi-occupied France, a Jewish child is sent away from his family and conceals his religious affiliation from the anti-Semitic elderly man that takes care of him.

Director: Claude Berri | Stars: Michel Simon, Roger Carel, Paul Préboist, Luce Fabiole

Votes: 1,526 | Gross: $0.05M

13. Easy Rider (1969)

R | 95 min | Adventure, Drama

86 Metascore

Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

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

Votes: 83,239 | Gross: $41.73M

14. Badlands (1973)

PG | 94 min | Crime, Drama

90 Metascore

An impressionable teenage girl from a dead-end town and her older greaser boyfriend embark on a killing spree in the South Dakota badlands.

Director: Terrence Malick | Stars: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates, Ramon Bieri

Votes: 54,251

15. The Clockmaker of St. Paul (1974)

105 min | Crime, Drama

A Watchmaker finds out one day that his son has become a murderer. He tries to understand for whom and why.

Director: Bertrand Tavernier | Stars: Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort, Jacques Denis, Yves Afonso

Votes: 1,562

16. Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

PG | 91 min | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy

93 Metascore

King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table embark on a surreal, low-budget search for the Holy Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles.

Directors: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones | Stars: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Gilliam

Votes: 431,365 | Gross: $1.23M

17. Blood Simple. (1984)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

81 Metascore

A rich but jealous man hires a private investigator to kill his cheating wife and her new man. But, when blood is involved, nothing is simple.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen | Stars: John Getz, Frances McDormand, Dan Hedaya, M. Emmet Walsh

Votes: 74,980 | Gross: $2.15M

18. Roger & Me (1989)

R | 91 min | Documentary

70 Metascore

Director Michael Moore pursues GM CEO Roger B. Smith to confront him about the harm he did to Flint, Michigan with his massive downsizing.

Director: Michael Moore | Stars: Michael Moore, Roger B. Smith, Rhonda Britton, Fred Ross

Votes: 24,064 | Gross: $6.71M

19. Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

R | 100 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually repressed woman's husband is having an affair with her sister. The arrival of a visitor with a rather unusual fetish changes everything.

Director: Steven Soderbergh | Stars: James Spader, Andie MacDowell, Peter Gallagher, Laura San Giacomo

Votes: 42,122 | Gross: $24.74M

20. My Left Foot (1989)

R | 103 min | Biography, Drama

97 Metascore

Christy Brown, born with cerebral palsy, learns to paint and write with his only controllable limb - his left foot.

Director: Jim Sheridan | Stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Brenda Fricker, Alison Whelan, Kirsten Sheridan

Votes: 57,296 | Gross: $14.74M

21. Delicatessen (1991)

R | 99 min | Comedy, Crime

66 Metascore

Post-apocalyptic surrealist black comedy about the landlord of an apartment building who occasionally prepares a delicacy for his odd tenants.

Directors: Marc Caro, Jean-Pierre Jeunet | Stars: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Pascal Benezech, Jean-Claude Dreyfus

Votes: 72,133 | Gross: $1.79M

22. Reservoir Dogs (1992)

R | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant.

Director: Quentin Tarantino | Stars: Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, Chris Penn

Votes: 767,924 | Gross: $2.83M

23. The Scent of Green Papaya (1993)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A little girl, Mui, went to a house as a new servant. The mother still mourns the death of her daughter, who would have been Mui's age. In her mind she treated Mui as her daughter. 10 years... See full summary »

Director: Tran Anh Hung | Stars: Tran Nu Yên-Khê, Man San Lu, Thi Loc Truong, Anh Hoa Nguyen

Votes: 6,823 | Gross: $1.91M

24. Cible émouvante (1993)

87 min | Comedy, Drama, Crime

Into the solitary life of middle-aged hitman, Victor Meynard, come two people: Antoine, a youth who becomes Victor's apprentice, and Renée, a bold thief Victor's been hired to kill because ... See full summary »

Director: Pierre Salvadori | Stars: Jean Rochefort, Marie Trintignant, Guillaume Depardieu, Patachou

Votes: 645

25. Gattaca (1997)

PG-13 | 106 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

64 Metascore

A genetically inferior man assumes the identity of a superior one in order to pursue his lifelong dream of space travel.

Director: Andrew Niccol | Stars: Ethan Hawke, Uma Thurman, Jude Law, Gore Vidal

Votes: 246,075 | Gross: $12.34M

26. Kirikou and the Sorceress (1998)

71 min | Animation, Adventure, Family

In a troubled African village, an unusual baby is born.

Directors: Michel Ocelot, Raymond Burlet | Stars: Doudou Gueye Thiaw, Maimouna N'Diaye, Awa Sene Sarr, Robert Liensol

Votes: 6,944

27. Buffalo '66 (1998)

R | 110 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

After being released from prison, Billy is set to visit his parents with his wife, whom he does not actually have. This provokes Billy to act out, as he kidnaps a girl and forces her to act as his wife for the visit.

Director: Vincent Gallo | Stars: Vincent Gallo, Christina Ricci, Ben Gazzara, Mickey Rourke

Votes: 40,548 | Gross: $2.38M

28. The Dreamlife of Angels (1998)

R | 113 min | Drama

In Lille, two penniless young women with few prospects become friends. Isa moves in with Marie, who's flat-sitting for a mother and child in hospital in comas following a car crash. Isa is ... See full summary »

Director: Erick Zonca | Stars: Élodie Bouchez, Natacha Régnier, Grégoire Colin, Patrick Mercado

Votes: 6,858 | Gross: $1.73M

29. American Beauty (1999)

R | 122 min | Drama

86 Metascore

A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend.

Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley

Votes: 934,505 | Gross: $130.10M

30. Voyages (1999)

115 min | Drama

83 Metascore

Add a Plot

Director: Emmanuel Finkiel | Stars: Shulamit Adar, Liliane Rovère, Esther Gorintin, Natan Cogan

Votes: 299 | Gross: $0.00M

31. Being John Malkovich (1999)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

90 Metascore

A puppeteer discovers a portal that leads literally into the head of movie star John Malkovich.

Director: Spike Jonze | Stars: John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, Catherine Keener, John Malkovich

Votes: 276,618 | Gross: $22.86M

32. The Virgin Suicides (1999)

R | 97 min | Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A group of male friends become obsessed with five mysterious sisters who are sheltered by their strict, religious parents in suburban Detroit in the mid-1970s.

Director: Sofia Coppola | Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Josh Hartnett, James Woods, Kathleen Turner

Votes: 128,401 | Gross: $4.86M

33. The Taste of Others (2000)

R | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

78 Metascore

Three men, three women, opposites, possibilities, and tastes. Castella owns a industrial steel barrel plant in Rouen; Bruno is his flute-playing driver, Franck is his temporary bodyguard ... See full summary »

Director: Agnès Jaoui | Stars: Anne Alvaro, Jean-Pierre Bacri, Alain Chabat, Agnès Jaoui

Votes: 8,230 | Gross: $0.64M

34. Amores Perros (2000)

R | 154 min | Drama, Thriller

83 Metascore

A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love.

Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu | Stars: Emilio Echevarría, Gael García Bernal, Goya Toledo, Álvaro Guerrero

Votes: 196,828 | Gross: $5.38M

35. Chicken Run (2000)

G | 84 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

88 Metascore

When a cockerel apparently flies into a chicken farm, the chickens see him as an opportunity to escape their evil owners.

Directors: Peter Lord, Nick Park | Stars: Mel Gibson, Julia Sawalha, Phil Daniels, Lynn Ferguson

Votes: 155,232 | Gross: $106.83M

36. Shrek (2001)

PG | 90 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

84 Metascore

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.

Directors: Andrew Adamson, Vicky Jenson | Stars: Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow

Votes: 523,118 | Gross: $267.67M

37. Mang jing (2003)

Unrated | 92 min | Crime, Drama

78 Metascore

Two Chinese coal miners have hit upon the perfect scam: murder one of their fellow mine workers, make the death look like an accident, and extort money from the boss to keep the incident ... See full summary »

Director: Yang Li | Stars: Qiang Li, Baoqiang Wang, Shuangbao Wang, Jing Ai

Votes: 2,124 | Gross: $0.03M

38. The Triplets of Belleville (2003)

PG-13 | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

When her grandson is kidnapped during the Tour de France, Madame Souza and her beloved pooch Bruno team up with the Belleville Sisters--an aged song-and-dance team from the days of Fred Astaire--to rescue him.

Director: Sylvain Chomet | Stars: Michèle Caucheteux, Jean-Claude Donda, Michel Robin, Monica Viegas

Votes: 45,859 | Gross: $7.00M

39. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)

R | 121 min | Adventure, Crime, Drama

77 Metascore

Ranch hand Pete Perkins looks to fulfill the promise to his recently deceased best friend by burying him in his hometown in Mexico.

Director: Tommy Lee Jones | Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Barry Pepper, Dwight Yoakam, January Jones

Votes: 35,990 | Gross: $5.02M

40. Capote (2005)

R | 114 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.

Director: Bennett Miller | Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Clifton Collins Jr., Catherine Keener, Allie Mickelson

Votes: 111,486 | Gross: $28.75M

41. The Lives of Others (2006)

R | 137 min | Drama, Thriller

89 Metascore

In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives.

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck | Stars: Ulrich Mühe, Martina Gedeck, Sebastian Koch, Ulrich Tukur

Votes: 300,708 | Gross: $11.29M

42. Persepolis (2007)

PG-13 | 96 min | Animation, Biography, Drama

90 Metascore

A precocious and outspoken Iranian girl grows up during the Islamic Revolution.

Directors: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi | Stars: Chiara Mastroianni, Catherine Deneuve, Gena Rowlands, Danielle Darrieux

Votes: 78,027 | Gross: $4.44M

43. Bikur Ha-Tizmoret (2007)

PG-13 | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

80 Metascore

A band comprised of members of the Egyptian police force head to Israel to play at the inaugural ceremony of an Arab arts center, only to find themselves lost in the wrong town.

Director: Eran Kolirin | Stars: Sasson Gabai, Ronit Elkabetz, Saleh Bakri, Khalifa Natour

Votes: 11,700 | Gross: $3.05M

44. Animal Kingdom (2010)

R | 113 min | Crime, Drama

83 Metascore

A seventeen year-old navigates his survival amongst an explosive criminal family and the detective who thinks he can save him.

Director: David Michôd | Stars: James Frecheville, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Bryce Lindemann

Votes: 49,608 | Gross: $1.04M

45. Rundskop (2011)

R | 129 min | Crime, Drama

68 Metascore

Sint-Truiden, Belgium. Jacky, a young cattle farmer who is constantly pumped on steroids and hormones, is approached by a veterinarian to make a deal with a notorious beef trader.

Director: Michaël R. Roskam | Stars: Matthias Schoenaerts, Jeroen Perceval, Jeanne Dandoy, Barbara Sarafian

Votes: 19,684 | Gross: $0.15M

46. Alois Nebel (2011)

Not Rated | 84 min | Animation, Drama

A train dispatcher encounters a mute stranger who appears out of nowhere, and finds himself mysteriously involved with a murder in Poland.

Director: Tomás Lunák | Stars: Miroslav Krobot, Marie Ludvíková, Karel Roden, Leos Noha

Votes: 1,245

47. Neighboring Sounds (2012)

Unrated | 131 min | Drama, Thriller

77 Metascore

The lives of the residents of a Brazilian apartment building and the security guards who get the job guarding the surrounding streets.

Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho | Stars: Ana Rita Gurgel, Caio Almeida, Maeve Jinkings, Dida Maia

Votes: 5,197 | Gross: $0.03M

48. Les combattants (2014)

Unrated | 98 min | Comedy, Romance

63 Metascore

Between his friends and the family business, Arnaud's summer looks set to be a peaceful one. Peaceful until he runs into Madeleine, as beautiful as she is brusque, a concrete block of ... See full summary »

Director: Thomas Cailley | Stars: Adèle Haenel, Kévin Azaïs, Antoine Laurent, Brigitte Roüan

Votes: 4,316 | Gross: $0.02M

49. Préjudice (I) (2015)

Not Rated | 105 min | Drama

During a long awaited family soiree Cedric challenges his relatives why they keep him from his journey.

Director: Antoine Cuypers | Stars: Thomas Blanchard, Arno, Arthur Bols, Cathy Min Jung

Votes: 408

50. Get Out (I) (2017)

R | 104 min | Horror, Mystery, Thriller