Jonathan Rosenbaum: Essential Cinema

by lbalb9 | created - 22 Feb 2016 | updated - 2 days ago | Public
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1. Tunneling the English Channel (1907)

Not Rated | 15 min | Short, Adventure, Fantasy

King Edward VII of England and the President of the French Republic, Armand Fallières, envision tunnelling the English Channel; nevertheless, only a maiden voyage can determine whether this is a triumphant aspiration or an acrid nightmare.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Fernande Albany, Jehanne d'Alcy, Georges Méliès

Votes: 471

2. Les vampires (1915)

Not Rated | 421 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

An intrepid reporter and his loyal friend battle a bizarre secret society of criminals known as The Vampires.

Director: Louis Feuillade | Stars: Musidora, Édouard Mathé, Marcel Lévesque, Jean Aymé

Votes: 3,775

3. Tih Minh (1918)

418 min | Adventure, Mystery

Jacques d'Athys, a French adventurer, returns to his home in Nice after an expedition to Indochina where he has picked up a Eurasian fiancée and a book that, unbeknownst to him, contains a ... See full summary »

Director: Louis Feuillade | Stars: Mary Harald, René Cresté, Georges Biscot, Édouard Mathé

Votes: 237

4. Foolish Wives (1922)

Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Thriller

A con artist masquerades a Russian nobility and attempts to seduce the wife of an American diplomat.

Director: Erich von Stroheim | Stars: Rudolph Christians, Miss DuPont, Maude George, Mae Busch

Votes: 2,598 | Gross: $0.40M

5. Greed (1924)

Not Rated | 140 min | Drama, Thriller, Western

The sudden fortune won from a lottery fans such destructive greed that it ruins the lives of the three people involved.

Director: Erich von Stroheim | Stars: Gibson Gowland, Zasu Pitts, Jean Hersholt, Dale Fuller

Votes: 8,140 | Gross: $0.16M

6. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Gertrud Arnold

Votes: 4,524

_____________________________________

Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924) Die Nibelungen: Kriemhilds Rache (1924)

_____________________________________

7. Sunrise (1927)

Passed | 94 min | Drama, Romance

An allegorical tale about a man fighting the good and evil within him. Both sides are made flesh - one a sophisticated woman he is attracted to and the other his wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston, Bodil Rosing

Votes: 42,079

8. The Docks of New York (1928)

Not Rated | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A blue-collar worker on New York's depressed waterfront finds his life changed after he saves a woman attempting suicide.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: George Bancroft, Betty Compson, Olga Baclanova, Clyde Cook

Votes: 3,405

9. Spies (1928)

Not Rated | 90 min | Romance, Thriller

The mastermind behind a ubiquitous spy operation learns of a dangerous romance between a Russian lady in his employ and a dashing agent from the government's secret service.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Gerda Maurus, Willy Fritsch, Lien Deyers

Votes: 2,716

10. Arsenal (1929)

Not Rated | 70 min | Drama, War

Set in the bleak aftermath and devastation of the World War I, a recently demobbed soldier, Timosh, returns to his hometown Kiev, after having survived a train wreck. His arrival coincides ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko | Stars: Semyon Svashenko, Georgi Khorkov, Amvrosi Buchma, Dmitri Erdman

Votes: 1,490

11. Lonesome (1928)

Passed | 69 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Two lonely people in the big city meet and enjoy the thrills of an amusement park, only to lose each other in the crowd after spending a great day together. Will they ever see each other again?

Director: Pál Fejös | Stars: Barbara Kent, Glenn Tryon, Fay Holderness, Gusztáv Pártos

Votes: 1,756

12. City Lights (1931)

G | 87 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

With the aid of a wealthy erratic tippler, a dewy-eyed tramp who has fallen in love with a sightless flower girl accumulates money to be able to help her medically.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill, Florence Lee, Harry Myers

Votes: 141,930 | Gross: $0.02M

13. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 124,046 | Gross: $0.03M

14. La nuit du carrefour (1932)

75 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A gang of thieves utilizes a cross-road garage as the hideaway. During their last caper, the gang has accidentally murdered a jewel thief, and the heat is on.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Pierre Renoir, Georges Térof, Winna Winifried, Georges Koudria

Votes: 542

15. Ivan (1932)

83 min | Drama

After the critical lambasting of his masterpiece Earth, Dovzhenko returned with a more popular iteration of its main motifs. Much like Earth, Ivan concerns itself with the natural rhythms ... See full summary »

Director: Aleksandr Dovzhenko | Stars: K. Bondarevsky, Dmitri Golubinsky, Elena Golki, Maksim Gornatko

Votes: 169

16. I Was Born, But... (1932)

Not Rated | 100 min | Comedy, Drama

91 Metascore

Two young brothers throw a tantrum when they discover that their father isn't the most important man in his workplace.

Director: Yasujirô Ozu | Stars: Tatsuo Saitô, Tomio Aoki, Mitsuko Yoshikawa, Hideo Sugawara

Votes: 4,091

17. Love Me Tonight (1932)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 3,227

18. Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933)

Passed | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A New York tramp (Jolson) falls in love with the mayor's amnesiac girlfriend after rescuing her from a suicide attempt

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Al Jolson, Madge Evans, Frank Morgan, Harry Langdon

Votes: 689

19. Sylvia Scarlett (1935)

Approved | 95 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Escaping to England from a French embezzlement charge, widower Henry Scarlett is accompanied by daughter Sylvia who, to avoid detection, "disguises" herself as a boy, "Sylvester." They are ... See full summary »

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Brian Aherne, Edmund Gwenn

Votes: 3,143

20. Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)

Passed | 91 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An elderly couple are forced to separate when they lose their house and none of their five children will take both parents in.

Director: Leo McCarey | Stars: Victor Moore, Beulah Bondi, Fay Bainter, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 6,246

21. The Rules of the Game (1939)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Drama

A bourgeois life in France at the onset of World War II, as the rich and their poor servants meet up at a French chateau.

Director: Jean Renoir | Stars: Marcel Dalio, Nora Gregor, Paulette Dubost, Mila Parély

Votes: 23,793

22. The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum (1939)

Not Rated | 148 min | Drama, Romance

The adopted son of a legendary actor, and an aspiring star himself, turns to his infant brother's wet nurse for support and affection - only for her to give up everything for her beloved's glory.

Director: Kenji Mizoguchi | Stars: Shôtarô Hanayagi, Kôkichi Takada, Ryôtarô Kawanami, Kinnosuke Takamatsu

Votes: 2,664

23. Christmas in July (1940)

Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Romance

When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?

Director: Preston Sturges | Stars: Dick Powell, Ellen Drew, Raymond Walburn, Alexander Carr

Votes: 2,868

24. 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: 355,847 | Gross: $1.59M

25. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance

93 Metascore

The spoiled young heir to the decaying Amberson fortune comes between his widowed mother and the man she has always loved.

Directors: Orson Welles, Fred Fleck, Robert Wise | Stars: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Dolores Costello, Anne Baxter

Votes: 19,523

26. Day of Wrath (1943)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, History

The young wife of an aging priest falls in love with his son amidst the horror of a merciless witch hunt in 17th century Denmark.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Thorkild Roose, Lisbeth Movin, Sigrid Neiiendam, Kirsten Andreasen

Votes: 7,982

27. Heaven Can Wait (1943)

Not Rated | 112 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

An old roué arrives in Hades to review his life with Satan, who will rule on his eligibility to enter the Underworld.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Gene Tierney, Don Ameche, Charles Coburn, Marjorie Main

Votes: 8,590

28. The Seventh Victim (1943)

Approved | 71 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

A woman in search of her missing sister uncovers a Satanic cult in New York's Greenwich Village, and finds that they may have something to do with her sibling's random disappearance.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Kim Hunter, Tom Conway, Jean Brooks, Isabel Jewell

Votes: 4,819

29. Ivan the Terrible, Part I (1944)

Not Rated | 95 min | Biography, Drama, History

During the early part of his reign, Ivan the Terrible faces betrayal from the aristocracy and even his closest friends as he seeks to unite the Russian people.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Nikolay Cherkasov, Lyudmila Tselikovskaya, Serafima Birman, Mikhail Nazvanov

Votes: 8,021

_____________________________________

Ivan Groznyy (1944) Ivan Groznyy. Skaz vtoroy: Boyarskiy zagovor (1958)

_____________________________________

30. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 52,192 | Gross: $23.65M

31. Monsieur Verdoux (1947)

Passed | 124 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

A suave but cynical man supports his family by marrying and murdering rich women for their money, but the job has some occupational hazards.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mady Correll, Allison Roddan, Robert Lewis

Votes: 13,825 | Gross: $0.33M

32. Spring in a Small Town (1948)

98 min | Drama, Romance

A lonely housewife finds her monotonous life altered when her childhood sweetheart returns to town.

Director: Mu Fei | Stars: Chaoming Cui, Wei Li, Yu Shi, Wei Wei

Votes: 2,135

33. Stars in My Crown (1950)

Approved | 89 min | Drama, Family, Western

In 1865, the small Southern town of Walsburg has become so dangerous, that Parson Josiah Doziah Gray gives his sermons while holding a gun.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Joel McCrea, Ellen Drew, Dean Stockwell, Alan Hale

Votes: 1,520

34. The Steel Helmet (1951)

Approved | 85 min | Action, Drama, War

A ragtag group of American stragglers battles against superior Communist troops in an abandoned Buddhist temple during the Korean War.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Gene Evans, Robert Hutton, Steve Brodie, James Edwards

Votes: 3,217

35. The Big Sky (1952)

Approved | 140 min | Drama, Western

The success of the journey focuses on keeping the Indian girl alive as well as themselves to complete trade with the Blackfeet.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Elizabeth Threatt, Arthur Hunnicutt

Votes: 3,433

36. Othello (1951)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, History, Romance

The Moorish General Othello is manipulated into thinking that his new wife Desdemona has been carrying on an affair with his Lieutenant Michael Cassio when in reality, it is all part of the scheme of a bitter Ensign named Iago.

Director: Orson Welles | Stars: Orson Welles, Micheál MacLiammóir, Robert Coote, Suzanne Cloutier

Votes: 6,582

37. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid

Votes: 27,445 | Gross: $12.00M

38. The Naked Spur (1953)

Passed | 91 min | Thriller, Western

A bounty hunter trying to bring a murderer to justice is forced to accept the help of two less-than-trustworthy strangers.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker

Votes: 8,935

39. The Sun Shines Bright (1953)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Drama, Western

John Ford weaves three "Judge Priest" stories together to form a good- natured exploration of honour and small-town politics in the South around the turn of the century. Judge William ... See full summary »

Director: John Ford | Stars: Charles Winninger, Arleen Whelan, John Russell, Stepin Fetchit

Votes: 1,089

40. Johnny Guitar (1954)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Western

83 Metascore

After helping a wounded gang member, a strong-willed female saloon owner is wrongly suspected of murder and bank robbery by a lynch mob.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Joan Crawford, Sterling Hayden, Mercedes McCambridge, Scott Brady

Votes: 13,519

41. Rear Window (1954)

PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller

100 Metascore

A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his apartment window and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Wendell Corey, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 388,382 | Gross: $36.76M

42. Ana-ta-han (1953)

PG | 92 min | Drama, War

In June 1944, twelve Japanese seaman are stranded on an abandoned-and-forgotten island called An-ta-han for seven years. The island's only inhabitants are the overseer of the abandoned ... See full summary »

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Akemi Negishi, Tadashi Suganuma, Kisaburo Sawamura, Shôji Nakayama

Votes: 713 | Gross: $0.05M

43. Sansho the Bailiff (1954)

Not Rated | 124 min | Drama

8.4