1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

by nbradfield | created - 14 Nov 2016 | updated - 6 days ago | Public
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1. A Trip to the Moon (1902)

TV-G | 13 min | Short, Action, Adventure

A group of astronomers go on an expedition to the Moon.

Director: Georges Méliès | Stars: Georges Méliès, Victor André, Bleuette Bernon, Brunnet

Votes: 39,006

2. The Great Train Robbery (I) (1903)

TV-G | 11 min | Short, Action, Crime

A group of bandits stage a brazen train hold-up, only to find a determined posse hot on their heels.

Director: Edwin S. Porter | Stars: Gilbert M. 'Broncho Billy' Anderson, A.C. Abadie, George Barnes, Justus D. Barnes

Votes: 15,263

3. Dante's Inferno (1911)

68 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe de Liguoro | Stars: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Pier Delle Vigne

Votes: 1,908

4. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 20,529 | Gross: $10.00M

5. 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: 3,873

6. Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages (1916)

Passed | 197 min | Drama, History

92 Metascore

The story of a poor young woman, separated by prejudice from her husband and baby, is interwoven with tales of intolerance from throughout history.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Mae Marsh, F.A. Turner

Votes: 12,887 | Gross: $2.18M

7. Broken Blossoms (1919)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance

A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp, Arthur Howard

Votes: 8,597

8. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 50,101

9. Way Down East (1920)

Passed | 145 min | Drama, Romance

A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Mrs. David Landau, Lowell Sherman

Votes: 4,666 | Gross: $4.50M

10. Within Our Gates (1920)

Not Rated | 79 min | Drama, Romance

Abandoned by her fiancé, an educated black woman with a shocking past dedicates herself to helping a near bankrupt school for impoverished black youths.

Director: Oscar Micheaux | Stars: Evelyn Preer, Flo Clements, James D. Ruffin, Jack Chenault

Votes: 1,969

11. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

Passed | 150 min | Drama, Romance, War

An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.

Director: Rex Ingram | Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry, Pomeroy Cannon, Josef Swickard

Votes: 2,906 | Gross: $9.20M

12. The Kid (1921)

Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

The Tramp cares for an abandoned child, but events put that relationship in jeopardy.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Edna Purviance, Jackie Coogan, Carl Miller

Votes: 98,789 | Gross: $5.45M

13. Orphans of the Storm (1921)

Not Rated | 150 min | Drama, History, Romance

Two orphaned sisters are caught up in the turmoil of the French Revolution, encountering misery and love along the way.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Dorothy Gish, Joseph Schildkraut, Frank Losee

Votes: 4,412 | Gross: $0.79M

14. The Phantom Carriage (1921)

Not Rated | 100 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

On New Year's Eve, the driver of a ghostly carriage forces a drunken man to reflect on his selfish, wasted life.

Director: Victor Sjöström | Stars: Victor Sjöström, Hilda Borgström, Tore Svennberg, Astrid Holm

Votes: 8,982

15. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 6,663

16. 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: 2,718 | Gross: $0.40M

17. Häxan (1922)

Not Rated | 91 min | Documentary, Fantasy, Horror

Fictionalized documentary showing the evolution of witchcraft, from its pagan roots to its confusion with hysteria in modern Europe.

Director: Benjamin Christensen | Stars: Benjamin Christensen, Elisabeth Christensen, Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan

Votes: 10,228

18. Nanook of the North (1922)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary

In this silent predecessor to the modern documentary, film-maker Robert J. Flaherty spends one year following the lives of Nanook and his family, Inuits living in the Arctic Circle.

Director: Robert J. Flaherty | Stars: Allakariallak, Alice Nevalinga, Cunayou, Allegoo

Votes: 9,737

19. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 81 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 81,134

20. Our Hospitality (1923)

Not Rated | 65 min | Comedy, Romance, Thriller

A man returns to his Appalachian homestead. On the trip, he falls for a young woman. The only problem is her family has vowed to kill every member of his family.

Directors: John G. Blystone, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Natalie Talmadge, Joe Keaton, Joe Roberts

Votes: 9,212

21. Safety Last! (1923)

Not Rated | 70 min | Action, Comedy, Thriller

A store clerk organizes a publicity stunt in which a friend climbs the outside of a tall building.

Directors: Fred C. Newmeyer, Sam Taylor | Stars: Harold Lloyd, Mildred Davis, Bill Strother, Noah Young

Votes: 16,493 | Gross: $0.62M

22. 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: 8,290 | Gross: $0.16M

23. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 11,135 | Gross: $0.09M

24. Sherlock Jr. (1924)

Not Rated | 45 min | Action, Comedy, Romance

A film projectionist longs to be a detective, and puts his meagre skills to work when he is framed by a rival for stealing his girlfriend's father's pocketwatch.

Director: Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, Joe Keaton, Erwin Connelly

Votes: 33,529 | Gross: $0.98M

25. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

Not Rated | 155 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A recalcitrant thief vies with a duplicitous Mongol ruler for the hand of a beautiful princess.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: Douglas Fairbanks, Julanne Johnston, Snitz Edwards, Charles Belcher

Votes: 5,024 | Gross: $4.36M

26. Battleship Potemkin (1925)

Not Rated | 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.

Director: Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Aleksandr Antonov, Vladimir Barskiy, Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Ivan Bobrov

Votes: 48,389 | Gross: $0.05M

27. The Big Parade (1925)

Not Rated | 151 min | Drama, Romance, War

A young American soldier witnesses the horrors of the Great War.

Directors: King Vidor, George W. Hill | Stars: John Gilbert, Renée Adorée, Hobart Bosworth, Claire McDowell

Votes: 5,773 | Gross: $11.00M

28. The Gold Rush (1925)

Not Rated | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama

A prospector goes to the Klondike in search of gold and finds it and more.

Director: Charles Chaplin | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Mack Swain, Tom Murray, Henry Bergman

Votes: 90,054 | Gross: $5.45M

29. The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Passed | 93 min | Horror

A mad, disfigured composer seeks love with a lovely young opera singer.

Directors: Rupert Julian, Lon Chaney, Ernst Laemmle, Edward Sedgwick | Stars: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry, Arthur Edmund Carewe

Votes: 15,086 | Gross: $0.72M

30. Strike (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: 6,304

31. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 12,702

32. The General (1926)

Passed | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.

Directors: Clyde Bruckman, Buster Keaton | Stars: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack, Glen Cavender, Jim Farley

Votes: 72,182

33. The Son of the Sheik (1926)

Passed | 68 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance

The son of the sheik and a dancing girl fall in love, but when he is made to believe she has betrayed him he seeks revenge.

Director: George Fitzmaurice | Stars: Rudolph Valentino, Vilma Bánky, George Fawcett, Montagu Love

Votes: 1,680 | Gross: $0.72M

34. The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Votes: 8,230 | Gross: $7.63M

35. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 145,538 | Gross: $1.24M

36. Napoleon (1927)

240 min | Biography, Drama, History

A film about the French general's youth and early military career.

Director: Abel Gance | Stars: Albert Dieudonné, Vladimir Roudenko, Edmond Van Daële, Alexandre Koubitzky

Votes: 6,279

37. 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: 43,570

38. Wings (1927)

PG-13 | 144 min | Drama, Romance, War

Two young men, one rich, one middle class, who are in love with the same woman, become fighter pilots in World War I.

Directors: William A. Wellman, Harry d'Abbadie d'Arrast | Stars: Clara Bow, Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Richard Arlen, Jobyna Ralston

Votes: 10,201 | Gross: $6.59M

39. The Crowd (1928)

Not Rated | 98 min | Drama, Romance

The life of a man and woman together in a large, impersonal metropolis through their hopes, struggles and downfalls.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray, Bert Roach, Estelle Clark

Votes: 6,855

40. 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: 3,505

41. The Man Who Laughs (1928)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery

When a proud noble refuses to kiss the hand of the despotic King James in 1690, he is cruelly executed and his son surgically disfigured.

Director: Paul Leni | Stars: Mary Philbin, Conrad Veidt, Julius Molnar, Olga Baclanova

Votes: 4,839

42. October (Ten Days that Shook the World) (1927)

95 min | Drama, History

In documentary style, events in Petrograd are re-enacted from the end of the monarchy in February of 1917 to the end of the provisional government and the decrees of peace and of land in ... See full summary »

Directors: Grigoriy Aleksandrov, Sergei M. Eisenstein | Stars: Boris Livanov, Nikolay Popov, Vasili Nikandrov, Layaschenko

Votes: 6,333

43. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Not Rated | 114 min | Biography, Drama, History

In 1431, Jeanne d'Arc is placed on trial on charges of heresy. The ecclesiastical jurists attempt to force Jeanne to recant her claims of holy visions.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer | Stars: Maria Falconetti, Eugene Silvain, André Berley, Maurice Schutz

Votes: 41,054 | Gross: $0.02M

44. Show People (1928)

Not Rated | 83 min | Comedy, Romance