The 1,000 Greatest Films (900-801)

The banner image above is from D.W. Griffith’s True Heart Susie.
900
867
Lone Star

Lone Star

1996 / USA / 135m / Col / Drama, Mystery
Chris Cooper, Matthew McConaughey, Elizabeth Pena, Kris Kristofferson, Joe Morton, Stephen Mendillo, Clifton James, Miriam Colon, Frances McDormand, Ron Canada
"Lone Star is a great American movie, one of the few to seriously try to regard with open eyes the way we live now. Set in a town that until very recently was rigidly segregated, it shows how Chicanos, blacks, whites and Indians shared a common history, and how they knew one another and dealt with one another in ways that were off the official map. This film is a wonder -- the best work yet by one of our most original and independent filmmakers -- and after it is over, and you begin to think about it, its meanings begin to flower." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
Selected by Domino Renee Perez, Guy Westwell, Matthias Lerf, Martin McLoone, Eric Gutierrez.
899
870
JFK

JFK

1991 / USA / 188m / Col-BW / Political Thriller, Ensemble Film
Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Laurie Metcalf, Michael Rooker, Jay O. Sanders, Sally Kirkland, Edward Asner, Jack Lemmon
"The first order of business concerning JFK, Oliver Stone's movie about the Kennedy assassination, is entertainment. As such, Stone creates a riveting marriage of fact and fiction, hypothesis and empirical proof in the edge-of-the-seat spirit of a conspiracy thriller… Despite its three hours, JFK is almost always absorbing to watch. It's not journalism. It's not history. It is not legal evidence. Much of it is ludicrous. It's a piece of art or entertainment. Stone, who has acknowledged his fusing of the known and the invented, has exercised his full prerogative to use poetic license. He should feel more than mere craftsman's satisfaction at the result." - Desson Howe, The Washington Post
Selected by Kevin Smith, Sean Stone, Steven Kastrissios, Klaus Lemke, Alexandre Tylski.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
898
896
Kwaidan

Kwaidan

1964 / Japan / 164m / Col / Fantasy, Costume Horror
Rentaro Mikuni, Michiyo Aratama, Misako Watanabe, Tatsuya Nakadai, Keiko Kishi, Katsuo Nakamura, Tetsuro Tanba, Kanemon Nakamura, Osamu Takizawa, Ranko Akagi
"One of the most meticulously crafted supernatural fantasy films ever made, Masaki Kobayashi’s Kwaidan is also one of the most unusual. While such classic black and white chillers as The Uninvited, The Innocents and The Haunting teasingly speculate on the existence of ghosts, this lavish widescreen and color production deals with the spirit world head-on, as something completely and frighteningly real." - David Ehrenstein, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Paul Tickell, Virginie Sélavy, Erik Engelen, Ann Lloyd, Mónica Delgado.
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919
Haxan

Häxan

Häxan: Witchcraft Through the Ages (English Title)
1922 / Sweden / 83m / BW / Supernatural Horror, Documentary
Maren Pedersen, Clara Pontoppidan, Tora Teje, Elith Pio, Oscar Stribolt, John Andersen, Benjamin Christensen, Poul Reumert, Karen Winther, Kate Fabian
"Grave robbing, torture, possessed nuns, and a satanic Sabbath: Benjamin Christensen’s legendary film uses a series of dramatic vignettes to explore the scientific hypothesis that the witches of the Middle Ages suffered the same hysteria as turn-of-the-century psychiatric patients. But the film itself is far from serious—instead it’s a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jon Wengström, Li Yang, Emma Gray Munthe, Giulio Cesare Castello, Francisco Aranda.
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910
The Straight Story

The Straight Story

1999 / USA-France-UK / 111m / Col / Americana, Road Movie
Richard Farnsworth, Sissy Spacek, Everett McGill, Harry Dean Stanton, John Farley, Kevin Farley, Jane Galloway Heitz, Joseph A. Carpenter, Donald Wiegert, Tracey Maloney
"In 1994 an elderly man named Alvin Straight undertook a long Midwestern journey riding on a lawnmower. It was an arduous feat, but not nearly as daunting as what David Lynch sets out to do in The Straight Story: make a slow-moving, folksy-looking, profoundly spiritual film that can hold an audience in absolute thrall. As the least likely filmmaker on the planet to pull off such a G-rated miracle, Lynch rises to this challenge with exhilarating vigor. Switching gears radically, bravely defying conventional wisdom about what it takes to excite moviegoers, Lynch presents the flip side of Blue Velvet and turns it into a supremely improbable triumph." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Maura McHugh, Bruno Fornara, Roberto Manassero, Tina Porcelli, Cedric Kahn.
895
863
The Long Day Closes

The Long Day Closes

1992 / UK / 83m / Col / Coming-of-Age, Family Drama
Marjorie Yates, Leigh McCormack, Anthony Watson, Nicholas Lamont, Aysee Owens, Tina Malone, Jimmy Wilde, Robin Polley, Peter Ivatts, Joy Blakeman
"Davies' final autobiographical film rings wholly true, due to the richness and the rightness of the allusions he makes through sets, costumes, dialogue, music, radio and cinema itself. Such is Davies' artistry that he shapes his material into a poignant vision of a paradise lost… The stately camera movements; the tableaux-like compositions; the evocative use of music and movie dialogue; the dreamy dissolves and lighting - all make this a movie which takes place in its young protagonist's mind. Beautifully poetic, never contrived or precious, the film dazzles with its stylistic confidence, emotional honesty, terrific wit and all-round audacity." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Bill Horrigan, Michal Oleszczyk, Robin Baker, Colin MacCabe, Jaime N. Christley.
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Re-entry
The Sweet Hereafter

The Sweet Hereafter

1997 / Canada / 112m / Col / Drama, Ensemble Film
Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood, Tom McCamus, Arsinee Khanjian, Alberta Watson, Maury Chaykin, Gabrielle Rose, Peter Donaldson, David Hemblen
"A school bus skids off an icy road and sinks into a frozen lake, taking with it the children of a tiny, once neighborly Adirondack town. Presented midway through this latest, biggest and most wrenching film by the brilliantly analytical Atom Egoyan, this image becomes the basis for a many-faceted moral inquiry… Making this material very much his own, the filmmaker creates schematic, intuitive images that hauntingly crystallize the characters' situations… For all the suffering it describes, this eloquent film also carries the exhilaration of crystal-clear artistic vision." - Janet Maslin, The New York Times
Selected by Bálint Szalóky, Amy Berg, M.K. Raghavendra, Cameron Bailey, Deepa Mehta.
893
875
Touchez pas au Grisbi

Touchez pas au Grisbi

Grisbi (alternative title)
1954 / France / 94m / BW / Crime, Caper
Jean Gabin, Rene Dary, Paul Frankeur, Lino Ventura, Paul Oettly, Jeanne Moreau, Dora Doll, Daniel Cauchy, Vittorio Sanipoli, Denise Clair
"This model French gangster picture set the rules for the great sequence of underworld movies from Jean-Pierre Melville that followed. An ageing and weary Gabin attempts to retire after one last robbery. Instead he finds himself in a world of moody double-crosses. Becker's film, full of neat angles and delightful little bits of business, is laconic and admirably methodical. If its code of honour and its world of safe houses (and the absence of any police) make it seem like a wartime resistance film, it does also show what other gangster movies often ignore: that the reason for earning money dishonestly is to be able to live in style." - Chris Peachment, Time Out
Selected by Shinji Aoyama, Ginette Vincendeau, Andris Feldmanis, Peter von Bagh, Eduardo Antin "Quintin”.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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952
Dracula

Dracula

Horror of Dracula (alternative title)
1958 / UK / 82m / Col / Costume Horror, Gothic Film
Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, Melissa Stribling, Carol Marsh, Valerie Gaunt, John Van Eyssen, Miles Malleson, Charles Lloyd Pack, Janina Faye
"This creepy period yarn has retained much of its bite… One shouldn’t be brutal about a film of such noble intent, but as ‘horror’ it doesn’t have the honest-to-goodness scares that modern audiences expect. Still, Christopher Lee’s Dracula is a menacing and complex presence who never lets his fangs and cape dominate. There’s also the canny use of vampirism as an allegory for drug abuse and sexually transmitted disease: is this the camp forerunner to Abel Ferrara’s The Addiction?" - David Jenkins, Time Out
Selected by Nicolas Barbano, Shion Sono, Antonio Jose Navarro, Evelyne Caron-Lowins, Tomas Fernandez Valenti.
891
883
Fellini's Casanova

Fellini's Casanova

Il Casanova di Federico Fellini (original title); Casanova (alternative title)
1976 / Italy / 158m / Col / Comedy Drama, Period Film
Donald Sutherland, Tina Aumont, Cicely Browne, Carmen Scarpitta, Clara Algranti, Olimpia Carlisi, Adele Angela Lojodice, Clarissa Mary Roil, Daniel Emilfork, Margaret Clementi
"Vainly seeking wealthy patrons for his scholarly pursuits, Casanova is seen as both an intellectual figure of the Enlightenment and a licentious voluptuary of a corrupt society about to be swept away by the French Revolution... The semi-coherent, death-obsessed narrative reeks of self-disgust and has the clammy atmosphere of an undertaker's embalming room. Made entirely on fabulous Cinecittà sets, it's superbly photographed and magnificently staged and Sutherland (who hated the experience) is a compelling presence." - Philip French, The Observer
Selected by Michel Ciment, Michel Chion, Peter Greenaway, Olivier Kohn, Olivier Curchod.
890
855
Shanghai Express

Shanghai Express

1932 / USA / 80m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Clive Brook, Warner Oland, Anna May Wong, Eugene Pallette, Lawrence Grant, Gustav von Seyffertitz, Louise Closser Hale, Emile Chautard, Claude King
"More action oriented than the other Dietrich-Sternberg films, this 1932 production is nevertheless one of the most elegantly styled. The setting, a broken-down train commandeered by revolutionaries on its way to Shanghai, becomes a maze of soft shadows and shifting textures, through which the characters wander in a philosophical quest for something—anything—solid. The screenplay, by Jules Furthman and an uncredited Howard Hawks, has a quality of wisecracking wit unusual in Sternberg's films: when someone asks Dietrich why she's going to Shanghai, she retorts, “To buy a new hat.” - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Arturo Ripstein, Chuck Stephens, David Thompson, Christa Blumlinger, Cesar Santos Fontenla.
889
880
The Death of Maria Malibran

The Death of Maria Malibran

Der Tod der Maria Malibran (original title)
1972 / West Germany / 104m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
Magdalena Montezuma, Christine Kaufmann, Candy Darling, Manuela Riva, Ingrid Caven, Anette Tirier, Einar Hanfstaengl, Gabor von Lessner, Kurt Jungmann, Joachim Bauer
"The early 19th-century mezzo-soprano Maria Malibran died in 1836 at the age of 28 after falling from a horse, yet even today she continues to enchant opera singers like Cecilia Bartoli, who devoted an entire album to her work. No mere biopic, The Death of Maria Malibran perpetuates her myth and mystique through a dreamlike series of Romantic tableaux, the inimitable superstars Montezuma and Darling leading a cast of women and transvestites who embody the force and fragility of divas throughout the ages, from Maria Callas to Janis Joplin, the modern-day Malibran to whom Schroeter dedicated this masterwork." - The Museum of Modern Art
Selected by Fernando Ganzo, Gary Indiana, Hiroshi Komatsu, Evelyne Caron-Lowins, William E. Jones.
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942
American Beauty

American Beauty

1999 / USA / 121m / Col / Comedy Drama, Family Drama
Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening, Thora Birch, Wes Bentley, Mena Suvari, Peter Gallagher, Chris Cooper, Allison Janney, Scott Bakula, Sam Robards
"American Beauty is a triumph of acting, writing and directing that defies glib description. Is the film farce, tragedy, thriller, fantasy, sitcom, skin flick or moral fable? Yes to all of the above… It's the life behind things that American Beauty catches as Mendes whips the audience around from humor to horror to something poetic and humane. The result is the kind of artful defiance that Hollywood is usually too timid to deliver: a jolting comedy that makes you laugh till it hurts." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Farai Sevenzo, Jean-Marc Vallée, Leste Chen, Peter O'Fallon, Christian Seebaum.
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940
Red Beard

Red Beard

Akahige (original title)
1965 / Japan / 185m / BW / Period Film, Medical Drama
Toshiro Mifune, Yuzo Kayama, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Tsutomu Yamazaki, Reiko Dan, Miyuki Kuwano, Kyoko Kagawa, Tatsuyoshi Ehara, Teruma Niki, Takashi Shimura
"A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director. Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa, gives a powerhouse performance as the dignified yet empathic director who guides his pupil to maturity, teaching the embittered intern to appreciate the lives of his destitute patients. Perfectly capturing the look and feel of 19th-century Japan, Kurosawa weaves a fascinating tapestry of time, place, and emotion." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kim Young-Jin, Alexander Payne, Steven Seagal, Chris Eska, Robert Sarafian.
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925
Mon oncle d'Amerique

Mon oncle d'Amérique

My American Uncle (English title)
1980 / France / 123m / Col / Comedy Drama, Satire
Gerard Depardieu, Nicole Garcia, Roger Pierre, Nelly Borgeaud, Pierre Arditi, Gerard Darrieu, Philippe Laudenbach, Marie Dubois, Henri Laborit, Bernard Malaterre
"The first genuine hit in Alain Resnais' career takes off from the behaviorist theories of French scientist Henri Laborit, which are illustrated by the stories of three separate characters (Depardieu, Pierre, and Garcia), each of whom identifies with a different French movie star and whose lives occasionally cross. While the quasi-determinist theories of Laborit are never very interesting or persuasive, the film can never really be reduced to them. What matters here is the fluidity of Resnais and screenwriter Jean Gruault's masterful storytelling; they manage to convey a dense, multilayered narrative with remarkable ease and simplicity." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Amit Dutta, Florence Almozini, Matteo Marelli, José Eduardo Belmonte, Edward Yang.
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911
Two English Girls

Two English Girls

Les Deux anglaises et le continent (original title); Anne and Muriel (alternative title)
1971 / France / 108m / Col / Romantic Drama, Period Film
Jean-Pierre Leaud, Kika Markham, Stacey Tendeter, Sylvia Marriott, Marie Mansart, Philippe Leotard, Irene Tunc, Mark Peterson, Georges Delerue, Marie Irakane
"The importance of Two English Girls lies in its sheer vitality. The film is an extraordinary cinematic conjuring trick in which Truffaut draws the viewer both physically and visually into his own personal pleasures. He does this on a multitude of levels—if the pastoral scenes salute the work of Jean Renoir, then the washed pastel colors of Nestor Almendros’ Impressionist-influenced cinematography perfectly evoke Truffaut’s delight in the paintings of Renoir’s father, Auguste… Two English Girls sets itself apart by its sheer grace and palpable beauty." - Bruce Eder, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Gianluigi Bozza, Carlos Losilla, Toni Junyent, Jonás Trueba, Olivier De Bruyn.
884
881
New York, New York

New York, New York

1977 / USA / 164m / Col / Period Film, Musical Drama
Liza Minnelli, Robert De Niro, Lionel Stander, Barry Primus, Mary Kay Place, George Auld, George Memmoli, Dick Miller, Diahnne Abbott, Selma Archerd
"Martin Scorsese’s criminally neglected tribute to the heyday of the MGM musical has aged astonishingly well. Following his ’70s hat-trick of Mean Streets, Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore and Taxi Driver, it was the director’s first critical and commercial flop. But as per usual, Scorsese was ahead of his time, incorporating freeform East Coast film acting with the opulent fakery of the classic studio production, complete with giant sets, musical numbers and a cast of thousands. It’s also the movie that gave Sinatra and the big apple its signature tune, the title song astonishingly overlooked in the Best Song Oscar category." - Damon Wise, Empire
Selected by Judith Williamson, Joanna Hogg, Milan Pavlovic, Edwin Bernard, Tsui Hark.
883
845
Blow Out

Blow Out

1981 / USA / 107m / Col / Political Thriller, Paranoid Thriller
John Travolta, Nancy Allen, John Lithgow, Dennis Franz, Peter Boyden, John Aquino, Curt May, Ernest McClure, Dave Roberts, Maurice Copeland
"In the enthralling Blow Out, brilliantly crafted by Brian De Palma, John Travolta gives one of his greatest performances, as a movie sound-effects man who believes he has accidentally recorded a political assassination. He enlists the help of a possible eyewitness to the crime (Allen), who may be in danger herself, to uncover the truth. With its jolting stylistic flourishes, intricate plot, profoundly felt characterizations, and gritty evocation of early-1980s Philadelphia, Blow Out is an American paranoia thriller unlike any other, as well as a devilish reflection on moviemaking." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, Utamaru, Noel Murray, Tom Ryan, Jim Fall.
882
820
The Last Temptation of Christ

The Last Temptation of Christ

1988 / USA / 164m / Col / Religious Drama, Hagiography
Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Paul Greco, Barbara Hershey, Harry Dean Stanton, David Bowie, Steven Shill, Verna Bloom, Roberts Blossom, Barry Miller
"The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is. This fifteen-year labor of love, an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzakis’s landmark novel that imagines an alternate fate for Jesus Christ, features outstanding performances by Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey, Harvey Keitel, Harry Dean Stanton, and David Bowie; bold cinematography by the great Michael Ballhaus; and a transcendent score by Peter Gabriel." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin Smith, Norm Wilner, Rob Humanick, Chuck Bowen, Drew McWeeny.
881
838
Topsy-Turvy

Topsy-Turvy

1999 / UK-USA / 160m / Col / Comedy Drama, Musical Drama
Jim Broadbent, Allan Corduner, Timothy Spall, Wendy Nottingham, Lesley Manville, Ron Cook, Kevin McKidd, Shirley Henderson, Dorothy Atkinson, Martin Savage
"The world of Gilbert and Sullivan comes to vivid life in director Mike Leigh’s extraordinary dramatization of the staging of the duo’s legendary 1885 comic opera The Mikado. Jim Broadbent and Allan Corduner brilliantly inhabit the roles of the world-famous Victorian librettist and composer… A lushly produced epic about the harsh realities of creative expression, featuring bravura performances and Oscar-winning costume design and makeup, Topsy-Turvy is an unexpected period delight from one of contemporary cinema’s great artists." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Michal Oleszczyk, Luke McKernan, Christopher Fowler, Peter Wollen, Ken Mogg.
880
817
The Outlaw Josey Wales

The Outlaw Josey Wales

1976 / USA / 135m / Col / Western, Outlaw (Gunfighter) Film
Clint Eastwood, Chief Dan George, Sondra Locke, Bill McKinney, John Vernon, Paula Trueman, Sam Bottoms, Geraldine Keams, Royal Dano, Woodrow Parfrey
"A remarkable film which sets out as a revenge Western: Eastwood sees his family massacred and joins the Confederate guerillas; after the Civil War, he is hunted by Union soldiers while he pursues his family's slayer and a friend apparently turned traitor. But slowly the film changes direction, until through a series of comic interludes it becomes the story of a man who (re)discovers his role as family man… If that seems like a rewrite of Hawks' Red River, visually The Outlaw Josey Wales is closest to Anthony Mann in its breathtaking survey of American landscapes (and seasons)." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Keith Griffiths, Steven Galvin, Trey Parker, Derek Adams, Elaine Paterson.
879
840
When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

When a Woman Ascends the Stairs

Onna ga kaidan wo agaru toki (original title)
1960 / Japan / 111m / BW / Drama, Melodrama
Hideko Takamine, Masayuki Mori, Daisuke Kato, Reiko Dan, Tatsuya Nakadai, Ganjiro Nakamura, Eitaro Ozawa, Keiko Awaji, Jun Tatara, Yu Fujiki
"When a Woman Ascends the Stairs might be Japanese filmmaker Mikio Naruse’s finest hour—a delicate, devastating study of a woman, Keiko (played heartbreakingly by Hideko Takamine), who works as a bar hostess in Tokyo’s very modern postwar Ginza district, who entertains businessmen after work. Sly, resourceful, but trapped, Keiko comes to embody the conflicts and struggles of a woman trying to establish her independence in a male-dominated society. When a Woman Ascends the Stairs shows the largely unsung yet widely beloved master Naruse at his most socially exacting and profoundly emotional." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Roger Garcia, Ulrich Köhler, Laura Waddington, Scott McGehee, Lin Shifeng.
878
843
Odd Man Out

Odd Man Out

1947 / UK / 115m / BW / Drama, Crime
James Mason, Robert Newton, Robert Beatty, Kathleen Ryan, William Hartnell, Cyril Cusack, F.J. McCormick, Fay Compton, Beryl Measor, Dan O'Herlihy
"A wounded Irish revolutionary (James Mason at his near best) on the run in Belfast encounters a cross section of human responses—self-interest, indifference, empathy, and charity—in this arty English thriller directed by Carol Reed and adapted by F.L. Green and R.C. Sherriff from Green's novel. This may be Reed's most pretentious film, but it also happens to be one of his very best, beautifully capturing the poetry of a city at night (with black-and-white cinematography by Robert Krasker that's within hailing distance of Gregg Toland and Stanley Cortez's work with Orson Welles)." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Agnieszka Holland, Bruce Beresford, Lewis Gilbert, Roman Polanski, Eric Darnell.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
877
729
Vengeance is Mine

Vengeance is Mine

Fukushû suru wa ware ni ari (original title)
1979 / Japan / 129m / Col / Crime, Psychological Drama
Ken Ogata, Mayumi Ogawa, Rentaro Mikuni, Mitsuko Baisho, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Chocho Miyako, Moeko Ezawa, Toshie Negishi, Kazuko Shirakawa, Taiji Tonoyama
"A thief, murderer, and charming lady-killer, Iwao Enokizu (Ogata) is on the run from the police. Director Shohei Imamura turns this fact-based story, of the seventy-eight-day killing spree of a remorseless man from a devoutly Catholic family, into a cold, perverse, and at times diabolically funny tale of the primitive coexisting with the modern. More than just a true-crime case, Vengeance Is Mine bares mankind’s snarling id." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Bong Joon-ho, Park Chan-wook, Nicoletta Romeo, Kim Young-Jin, Park Kiyong.
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906
Burnt by the Sun

Burnt by the Sun

Utomlyonnye solntsem (original title)
1994 / Russia-France / 152m / Col / Political Drama, Family Drama
Nikita Mikhalkov, Ingeborga Dapkounaite, Nadia Mikhalkov, Oleg Menchikov, Andre Oumansky, Vyacheslav Tikhonov, Svetlana Krioutchkova, Vladimir Ilyine, Alla Kazanskaia, Nina Arkhipova
"This is a careful, telling portrait of a community blinded by its illusions. For most of its running time, the film seems to follow suit: it's a placid, languorous country-house comedy far removed from the realities of the Stalinist terror… Mikhalkov is a quintessentially Russian director: awkwardly, theatrically expansive, somewhat lugubrious even in the midst of an idyll, but unafraid of ideas and complexity. His own performance is impeccable, and the scenes with his daughter Nadia achieve a rare poignancy." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Jiří Barta, Fernando León de Aranoa, Nadia Tass, Tian Zhuangzhuang, Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.
875
829
Bob le flambeur

Bob le flambeur

Bob the Gambler (English title)
1955 / France / 102m / BW / Crime, Gangster Film
Roger Duchesne, Isabel Corey, Daniel Cauchy, Guy Decomble, Andre Garet, Claude Cerval, Simone Paris, Howard Vernon, Gerard Buhr, Colette Fleury
"Melville’s fifth film, Bob le flambeur was his first foray into the stylized underworld which became his signature. And as is often the case, though Bob le flambeur doesn’t quite look like a New Wave film, it pointed the way for what followed it… Shot in crisp, gritty black and white by Henri Decaë, Bob le flambeur fuses the carefully perfect compositions of William Wyler with the rough immediacy of the New Wave. The result is an austerely honest artifice reminiscent of Melville’s hero, John Huston. The camera never calls attention to itself, but hand-held shots and natural lighting lend the image a fluidity and hard truth impossible to achieve in the studio." - Brian L. Frye, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Roger Michell, Jim Jarmusch, Sergio Arecco, Michael Addis, Julien Temple.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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Re-entry
India: Matri Bhumi

India: Matri Bhumi

1959 / Italy-France / 90m / Col / Documentary, Culture & Society
"My favorite Roberto Rossellini film is perhaps the hardest one to see… A sublime symbiosis of fable and nonfiction, India Matri Bhumi simply and poetically interrelates humans and animals, city and village, and society and nature over four separate stories. This visionary work is especially striking in the way its objective and subjective narrators merge into one another, reflecting not only the idea of reincarnation, but also the greater unity to which all of them belong." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Fred Camper, Arthur Mas, Girish Shambu, Dominik Graf, Un-Seong Yoo.
873
852
A Nous La Liberte

À nous la liberté

Freedom for Us (English title)
1931 / 87m / BW / France / Comedy, Satire
Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Paul Ollivier, Andre Michaud, Rolla France, Germaine Aussey, Leon Lorin, William Burke, Vincent Hyspa, Jacques Shelly
"If the 1920s began in a heady embrace of Age of Steel Modernism and naive optimism that industrialization would make life better, the '30s were marked by a swing away from that mechanized mystique. Rene Clair's airborne comedy, A nous la liberte, is a landmark in this sub-genre, although it's curious to think of so deliciously buoyant a film as anything connoting heaviness of any sort, much less that of a landmark... A nous la liberte is his [Clair's] crowning achievement." - Jay Carr, TCM
Selected by Catherine A. Surowiec, Paul Bartel, Jean-Michel Arnold, Marc Ferro, Michel Hazanavicius.
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936
Mildred Pierce

Mildred Pierce

1945 / USA / 109m / BW / Melodrama, Film Noir
Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, Ann Blyth, Bruce Bennett, George Tobias, Lee Patrick, Moroni Olsen, Jo Ann Marlowe
"James Cain's novel of the treacherous life in Southern California that sets house-wife-turned waitress-turned-successful restauranteur (Crawford) against her own daughter (Blyth) in competition for the love of playboy Zachary Scott, is brought fastidiously and bleakly to life by Curtiz' direction, Ernest Haller's camerawork, and Anton Grot's magnificent sets. Told in flashback from the moment of Scott's murder, the film is a chilling demonstration of the fact that, in a patriarchal society, when a woman steps outside the home the end result may be disastrous." - Phil Hardy, Time Out
Selected by Tim Highsted, James Tucker, Anita Chaudhuri, Ngozi Onwurah, Lynne Ramsay.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
871
839
Inland Empire

Inland Empire

2006 / USA-France-Poland / 180m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Mystery
Laura Dern, Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, Ian Abercrombie, Peter J. Lucas, Justin Theroux, Terryn Westbrook, Julia Ormond, Diane Ladd
"David Lynch's first digital video is his best and most experimental feature since Eraserhead. Shot piecemeal over at least a year and without a script, this 179-minute meditation builds on Lynch's Mulholland Drive as a sinister and critical portrait of Hollywood. But it resists any narrative paraphrase, with several overlapping premises rather than a single consecutive plot… The visual qualities include impressionistic soft-focus colors, expressionistic lighting, and disquietingly huge close-ups." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Gillies MacKinnon, Cristina Álvarez López, Ángel Quintana Morraja, Luis Miranda, Martha P. Nochimson.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
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888
The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

1995 / USA / 105m / Col / Crime, Thriller
Gabriel Byrne, Kevin Spacey, Stephen Baldwin, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite, Giancarlo Esposito, Kevin Pollak, Suzy Amis, Benicio Del Toro, Paul Bartel
"Writer Christopher McQuarrie's original notion was to make a film called The Usual Suspects, in which five criminals meet in a police line-up. He thought it would make a wonderful poster. The poster's O.K. The movie is sensational, a modern-day noir about petty crime, a mythic gangster, loyalty, going straight and double crosses. This movie has everything but Humphrey Bogart, and I'm sure he's sorry he was unavailable… Most of the time I hardly knew what was going on, but I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Singer is not a fancy director, or ostentatious or ornate. The beauty of The Usual Suspects is in its simplicity." - Barbara Shulgasser, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lisa Mullen, Ferenc Zalaba, Jurgen Egger, Ulrich Hesse-Lichtenberger, Wolfgang Hobel.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
869
858
Morocco

Morocco

1930 / USA / 92m / BW / Romance, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Adolphe Menjou, Ullrich Haupt, Juliette Compton, Francis McDonald, Albert Conti, Eve Southern, Michael Visaroff, Paul Porcasi
"It's been customary to dismiss Sternberg's 'absurd' plots as mere vehicles for his experiments with lighting and decor, and his loving explorations of Dietrich's visual and emotional possibilities. The truth is that films like Morocco are completely homogeneous: the plotting and acting are in exactly the same expressionist register as everything else. Here, the highly nuanced portraits of men and a woman caught between the codes they live by and their deepest, secret impulses, remain very moving and 100 per cent modern." - Tony Rayns, Time Out
Selected by Tag Gallagher, Dan Sallitt, Pere Gimferrer, John Kobal, Norbert Grob.
868
837
Now, Voyager

Now, Voyager

1942 / USA / 117m / BW / Romantic Drama, Melodrama
Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, Bonita Granville, John Loder, Ilka Chase, Lee Patrick, Janis Wilson, Franklin Pangborn
"Davis, impeccable as usual, turns the sow's ear of Hollywood's notion of a repressed spinster (remove the glasses and lo! a beauty) into something like a silk purse. Great stuff as a worldly-wise psychiatrist (Rains at his smoothest) recommends a cruise, and bitter-sweet shipboard romance soars with an unhappily married architect (Henreid, suavely performing the archetypal two-cigarette trick). The women's weepie angle gets to be a bit of a slog later on, but it is all wrapped up as a mesmerically glittering package by Rapper's direction, Sol Polito's camerawork, and Max Steiner's lushly romantic score." - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Chris Chang, Richard Kwietniowski, Mark Jancovich, Donna Bowman, Anita Chaudhuri.
867 Up Arrow
872
Das Boot

Das Boot

The Boat (English title)
1981 / West Germany / 149m / Col / War Drama, Sea Adventure
Jurgen Prochnow, Herbert Gronemeyer, Klaus Wennemann, Hubertus Bengsch, Martin Semmelrogge, Bernd Tauber, Erwin Leder, Martin May, Heinz Hoenig, Claude-Oliver Rudolph
"Peterson's film, which stars Jurgen Prochnow as a stoic German U-boat captain, is a visually spectacular film, distinguished by strong performances and brilliant Steadicam photography that snakes through the U-boat as its patrols the North Atlantic during World War II. It's suspenseful when it needs to be and intelligent in its depiction of the horrors of war and the sweaty claustrophobia of submarine life. On occasion, it's even -- pardon the pun -- deep." - Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle
Selected by Lukas Moodysson, Ralph Ziman, Wael Khairy, Kenneth Turan, Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
866
853
Ballad of Narayama

Ballad of Narayama

Narayama bushiko (original title)
1983 / Japan / 130m / Col / Rural Drama, Family Drama
Ken Ogata, Sumiko Sakamoto, Takejo Aki, Tonpei Hidari, Seiji Kurasaki, Kaoru Shimamori, Ryutaro Tatsumi, Junko Takada, Nijiko Kiyokawa, Mitsuko Baisho
"This harsh and beautiful 1983 film by Shohei Imamura marks a turning point in his career, away from the violence and confrontationalism of his earlier films and toward an almost Ozu-like acceptance of human fate. The story is set in an impoverished mountain village, where the law of survival requires that every citizen over 70 be put to death to make room for new mouths at the table… Imamura's rough sexual humor is still in evidence, but now it has taken on a dark tone: to make love is to flirt with death." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, Jasper Sharp, Li Yu, Tim Robey, Zhou Xiaowen.
865 Up Arrow
New
Rio 40 Graus

Rio 40 Graus

Rio, 40 Degrees (English title); Rio, 100 Degrees (Alternative English title)
1955 / Brazil / 100m / BW / Drama
Sofia Alcalai, Haroldo Alves, Jesebel Alves, Nilton Apolinario, Jose Carlos Araujo, Roberto Bataglin, Ana Beatriz, Riva Blanche, Jorge Brandao, Sadi Cabral
"A major turning point in the history of Latin American cinema, Rio, 100 Degrees presents the eponymous city through a neorealist lens. Shooting on location and using a largely nonprofessional cast, Pereira follows a group of young, black peanut vendors as they travel from the favelas to the beaches of Copacabana to the peak of Sugarloaf Mountain. During their encounters, the filmmaker casts an unflinching gaze on class stratification in Brazil, depicting the life of the nation’s underclass in a manner so unprecedented that filmmaker Glauber Rocha dubbed it the developing world’s first truly revolutionary film." - The Museum of Modern Art
Selected by Pablo Stoll, Carlos Diegues, Tata Amaral, Octávio Bezerra, Hilton Lacerda.
864
797
Colossal Youth

Colossal Youth

Juventude Em Marcha (original title)
2006 / Portugal-France-Switzerland / 155m / Col / Drama, Slice of Life
Ventura, Vanda Duarte, Beatriz Duarte, Gustavo Sumpta, Cila Cardoso, Isabel Cardoso, Alberto 'Lento' Barros, Antonio Semedo, Paulo Nunes, Jose Maria Pina
"Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in a low-cost housing complex in Lisbon, who has been abandoned by his wife and spends his days visiting his neighbors, whom he considers his “children.” What results is a form of ghost story, a tale of derelict, dispossessed people living in the past and present at the same time, filmed by Costa with empathy and startling radiance." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Julian Graffy, Cristina Fernandes, Andy Rector, Jesús Piquero, Gonçalo Tocha.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
863
849
Assault on Precinct 13

Assault on Precinct 13

1976 / USA / 90m / Col / Action Thriller, Police Drama
Austin Stoker, Darwin Joston, Laurie Zimmer, Martin West, Tony Burton, Charles Cyphers, Nancy Loomis, Peter Bruni, John J. Fox, Kim Richards
"Because Assault on Precinct 13 is among one of the most remarkably composed films of all time, it's easy to look at Carpenter's rigorous framing techniques as their own acts of political resistance. The film's tight medium-shots position the characters in constant defiance of each other: blacks against whites, women against men, prisoners against officers… Despite the tragic but inevitable human losses, no one group comes out on top because only their capacity for kindness reigns supreme in Carpenter's democratic kingdom." - Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
Selected by Darrell Roodt, Kleber Mendonça Filho, Rob Humanick, Doris Kuhn, Xu Zhanxiong.
862
822
The Fallen Idol

The Fallen Idol

1948 / UK / 94m / BW / Drama, Childhood Drama
Ralph Richardson, Michele Morgan, Bobby Henrey, Sonia Dresdel, Denis O'Dea, Jack Hawkins, Dora Bryan, Walter Fitzgerald, Karel Stepanek, Joan Young
"The Fallen Idol was the first of three masterpieces to result from the legendary meeting of director Carol Reed and writer Graham Greene, who together would also create The Third Man and Our Man in Havana. Elegantly balancing suspense and farce, this tale of the fraught relationship between a boy and the beloved butler he suspects of murder is a delightfully macabre thriller of the first order and a visually and verbally dazzling knockout." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Charles Drazin, Nick Hasted, Brian Gilbert, Robert Benton, Ira Sachs.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
861
857
The Blood of a Poet

The Blood of a Poet

Le Sang d'un poète (original title)
1930 / France / 58m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Surrealist Film
Lee Miller, Pauline Carton, Odette Talazac, Enrique Rivero, Jean Desbordes, Fernand Dichamps, Lucien Jager, Feral Benga, Barbette
"Poets shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the power of metaphor and the relationship between art and dreams. One of cinema’s great experiments, this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy stretches the medium to its limits in an effort to capture the poet’s obsession with the struggle between the forces of life and death." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by John McNaughton, Jonas Mekas, Nick Zedd, A. Hans Scheirl, Brandon Judell.
860
835
La Commune (Paris, 1871)

La Commune (Paris, 1871)

2000 / France / 345m / BW / Military & War, Politics & Government
Elaine Annie Adalto, Pierre Barbieux, Bernard Bombeau, Maylis Bouffartigue, Genevieve Capy, Anne Carlier, Veronique Couzon, Piotr Daskiewicz, Nicole Defer, Caroline Esnard-Benoit
"Dynamic historical reconstruction in the form of an experimental documentary, Watkins's six-hour feature was made in DV for (and largely buried by) French TV; it's as much immersion as narrative—complicated yet lucid and contagiously exciting… This syncretic work of left-wing modernism—suggesting not only Brecht and Vertov but Soviet mass spectacle and didactic Godard—is at once immediate and self-reflexive. Watkins restages history in its own ruins, uses the media as a frame, and even so, manages to imbue his narrative with amazing presence. No less than the event it chronicles, La Commune is a triumph of spontaneous action." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Emilio Bustamante, John Gianvito, David Ehrenstein, Chow Sze-chung, Daniel Lindvall.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
859
711
Dust in the Wind

Dust in the Wind

Lian lian feng chen (original title)
1987 / Taiwan / 109m / Col / Drama, Coming-of-Age
Tianlu Li, Shufen Xin, Shufang Chen, Lawrence Ko, Yang Lin, Fang Mei, Chien-wen Wang, Bi-yuan Yan, Lai-Yin Yang
"It follows two young lovers who move to the city (Taipei) to find work because they can’t afford to finish high school, and slowly but irrevocably their relationship is torn asunder. Hou’s feeling for the textures of everyday life, caught mainly in long takes and intricately framed deep-focus compositions, gives this unhurried but deeply affecting drama a deceptively subterranean impact that gradually rises to the surface. The very natural and, for the most part, underplayed performances by nonprofessionals are especially impressive." - Jonathan Rosenbaum
Selected by Ik-June Yang, Michael Berry, Sakura Yang, Ye Hang, Thomas Shin.
858
823
Unsere Afrikareise

Unsere Afrikareise

1966 / Austria / 13m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental
"In 1961 Peter Kubelka was asked to make a documentary about a group of Europeans on an African hunting trip. He accompanied them, recorded many hours of film and sound, and then spent five years editing this material into a most unconventional film. The result, Unsere Afrikareise, is one of the most densely packed 12½ minutes in film history, and makes truly extraordinary use of the creative possibilities of sound… What is most extraordinary about Kubelka's achievement is not the specific connections he establishes between elements, but rather the system that the entire network of connections form." - Fred Camper, Film Reference
Selected by Vinzenz Hediger, Scott MacDonald, Michael Glawogger, Jonas Mekas, Ashim Ahluwalia.
857
836
The Thief of Bagdad

The Thief of Bagdad

The Thief of Bagdad: An Arabian Fantasy in Technicolor (alternative title)
1940 / UK / 106m / Col / Fantasy, Costume Adventure
Conrad Veidt, Sabu, June Duprez, John Justin, Rex Ingram, Miles Malleson, Mary Morris, Morton Selten, Bruce Winston, Hay Petrie
"Legendary producer Alexander Korda’s marvel The Thief of Bagdad, inspired by The Arabian Nights, is one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made, an eye-popping effects pioneer brimming with imagination and technical wizardry. When Prince Ahmad (Justin) is blinded and cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar (Veidt), he joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu (the incomparable Sabu, in his definitive role) to win back his royal place, as well as the heart of a beautiful princess (Duprez). With its luscious Technicolor, vivid sets, and unprecedented visual wonders, The Thief of Bagdad has charmed viewers of all ages for decades." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Fredric R. Jameson, Ivan Passer, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, John Russell Taylor, Augusto Martinez Torres.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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891
Exotica

Exotica

1994 / Canada / 104m / Col / Psychological Drama, Ensemble Film
Don McKellar, Mia Kirshner, Arsinee Khanjian, Bruce Greenwood, Elias Koteas, Sarah Polley, Victor Garber, Calvin Green, David Hemblen, Peter Krantz
"A creative coup for the endlessly challenging writer/director Atom Egoyan, Exotica is a haunting, beautifully rendered tale of obsession and sexual frustration, following six disparate characters whose lives entwine in the most bizarre of ways. Employing overlapping and reverse chronology (a staple of Egoyan's storytelling), the picture builds slowly until its revelations become apparent, and the end result is a hypnotic and moving chronicle of broken lives and loss. The performances are all affecting and first-rate, and despite its key setting (a strip joint), the film is never obscene or concerned with rubbing the viewer's face in excess." - Jason Clark, All Movie
Selected by Emma Wilson, Mike D'Angelo, Ruth Barton, Steve Erickson, Hirokazu Koreeda.
855
804
Fires Were Started

Fires Were Started

I Was a Fireman (alternative title)
1943 / UK / 80m / BW / Military & War, Documentary
Philip Dickson, George Gravett, Fred Griffiths, Johnny Houghton, Loris Rey
"Jennings' one venture into feature-length drama-documentary narrowly escaped being brutally chopped down by the publicity men at the Ministry of Information. Certainly it lacks the tight narrative structure common in good commercial films, but Jennings is a strong enough film-maker to ignore formulae and conventions to build his own unique structures… It is the epic quality of the firemen's struggle that excites Jennings, and his celebration of the courage and dignity of ordinary people working together in the shadow of disaster makes the film extraordinarily impressive." - Robert Murphy, Time Out
Selected by Kevin Jackson, Tom Vincent, Karel Reisz, Edgar Anstey, Tim Pulleine.
854
821
Witness

Witness

1985 / USA / 112m / Col / Crime Thriller, Romantic Drama
Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Patti LuPone, Brent Jennings, Angus MacInnes
"Weir's first film set in America explores a theme familiar from his earlier work: the discovery of an all but forgotten culture in modern society: in this case the Amish, a puritanical sect whose life in Pennsylvania has remained unchanged since the 18th century. Threat explodes into this community when an Amish boy witnesses a murder… Powerful, assured, full of beautiful imagery and thankfully devoid of easy moralising, it also offers a performance of surprising skill and sensitivity from Ford." - Richard Rayner, Time Out
Selected by Laura Kern, Michael Dudok de Wit, Baltasar Komákur, Derek Adams, Sally Hibbin.
853
789
Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers

1997 / USA / 129m / Col / Sci-Fi Action, Political Satire
Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Michael Ironside, Seth Gilliam, Patrick Muldoon, Rue McClanahan
"This highly ambitious adaptation of the sci-fi novel by Robert A. Heinlein exhibits director Paul Verhoeven's signature flashes of mordant wit, satire, and strong violence. The rare action picture that tries to operate on several levels at once, Troopers uses elements of fascism, Nazi imagery, and World War II propaganda to illustrate its central story: the takeover of futuristic civilization by deadly, ravaging insects. A singular piece of science fiction that achieves its goals, Verhoeven's film simultaneously parodies and satisfies the public's fascination with media and mass destruction… The film is widely recognized in cult circles as a telling critique of the absurdity of wartime values." - Jason Clark, All Movie
Selected by Ben Walters, Anja Kirschner, Otani Nobuhiko, Jurgen Egger, Frank Schnelle.
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960
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover

1989 / UK-France / 120m / Col / Black Comedy, Satire
Richard Bohringer, Michael Gambon, Helen Mirren, Alan Howard, Tim Roth, Ciaran Hinds, Gary Olsen, Ewan Stewart, Roger Ashton Griffiths, Ron Cook
"The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover is not an easy film to sit through. It doesn't simply make a show of being uncompromising -- it is uncompromised in every single shot from beginning to end. Why is it so extreme? Because it is a film made in rage, and rage cannot be modulated. Those who think it is only about gluttony, lust, barbarism and bad table manners will have to think again. It is a film that uses the most basic strengths and weaknesses of the human body as a way of giving physical form to the corruption of the human soul." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Joel Schumacher, Mingchuam Huang, Matteo Marelli, Daniel Barnz, Jan Ruysbergh.
851
794
On the Town

On the Town

1949 / USA / 98m / Col / Musical, Comedy
Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen, Alice Pearce, Florence Bates, George Meader, Bern Hoffman
"A fine, freewheeling musical by Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly, based on the Betty Comden-Adolph Green book, which was in turn based on the Leonard Bernstein ballet Fancy Free. Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin are three sailors out for a day in New York; Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller, and Betty Garrett are the girls they spend it with. With no structure or pacing to speak of, it's a loopy, anything-goes movie, graced with the freshness of a Hollywood nouvelle vague. Remarkably, it was Donen and Kelly's first directorial effort " - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Linda Ruth Williams, Bruce Ricker, Dilys Powell, Cesar Santos Fontenla, Bjorn Rasmussen
850
841
Dog Star Man

Dog Star Man

1964 / USA / 75m / Col / Avant-garde-Experimental, Abstract Film
Stan Brakhage, Jane Brakhage
"Brakhage revitalises the Romantic concept of the artist as heroic protagonist, struggling with Nature, the seasons, life, death, and above all with his own developing consciousness. This work introduced to the '60s avant-garde a new use of visual analogy and metaphor, in a language based on wild camera movement, hand painting, superimposition, and the reconstruction and recapitulation of series of images and whole sequences." - David Curtis, Time Out
Selected by Bryan Chang, David E. James, Jaime Pena, Carolee Schneemann, Malcolm le Grice.
849
803
Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

Hotaru no haka (original title)
1988 / Japan / 93m / Col / Anime, War Drama
Tsutomu Tatsumi, Ayani Shiraishi, Yoshiko Shinohara, Akemi Yamaguchi
"A teenage boy and his young sister struggle to survive the Allied assault on Japan in this wrenching antiwar drama, which rivals the films of Hayao Miyazaki in elevating anime to the level of fine art… Writer-director Isao Takahata, a frequent collaborator of Miyazaki's at Studio Ghibli, adapted a partly autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka, and his handling of the tragic story is masterfully understated." - J.R. Jones, Chicago Reader
Selected by Andrew Osmond, Bill Mousoulis, Mark Dujsik, Jean-Max Mejean, Céline Sciamma.
848
780
True Heart Susie

True Heart Susie

1919 / USA / 87m / BW / Romance, Melodrama
Lillian Gish, Robert Harron, Clarine Seymour, Kate Bruce, Raymond Cannon, Carol Dempster, George Fawcett, Wilbur Higby, Loyola O'Connor
"One of D.W. Griffith's most beautiful films, a pastoral fable of a sort that no one could ever make again, because the sensitivity and spirit have vanished along with the landscape. Made in 1919, it's a souvenir of an even earlier time when man and his environment were still in perfect harmony. The city is just beginning to intrude on Griffith's setting, and its effects are potentially devastating. But Susie (Gish) shines through, rescuing her lover from the arms of an evil woman. The plot is pure archetype, but if you fail to be moved, you have a very cold heart indeed." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Udagawa Koyo, Tomoyo Kawai, David Phelps, Alexandre Astruc, Daniel Kasman.
847
778
Seven Women

Seven Women

7 Women (alternative spelling)
1966 / USA / 87m / Col / Drama, Period Film
Anne Bancroft, Margaret Leighton, Sue Lyon, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock, Betty Field, Anna Lee, Eddie Albert, Mike Mazurki, Woody Strode
"A commercial disaster when it came out in 1966, generally relegated to the lower half of double bills and dismissed by most critics, John Ford's magnificent last feature is surely one of his greatest not merely for its unsentimental distillation of Fordian themes, but for the telegraphic urgency and passion of its style, which is aided rather than handicapped by the stripped-down studio sets. Set in 1935, the film effectively transposes the gender and settings of many of his classic westerns to the apocalyptic last days of a female missionary outpost in China, which is about to be invaded by Mongolian warriors (including Mike Mazurki and Woody Strode)." - Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
Selected by Bernard Eisenschitz, Jean Narboni, Marcos Uzal, Jacques Aumont, Iradj Azimi.
846
809
To Live

To Live

Huozhe (original title)
1994 / China-Hong Kong / 145m / Col / Family Drama, Political Drama
Ge You, Gong Li, Niu Ben, Guo Tao, Jiang Wu, Ni Dahong, Liu Tianchi, Zhang Lu, Xiao Cong, Dong Fei
"Zhang Yimou's masterful, stirring To Live takes us from the turbulent, treacherous China of the '40s civil war to the brutal Cultural Revolution and beyond through the lives of one couple, who in the course of hardship and tragedy emerge as symbolic of the ordinary Chinese and their capacity to endure and to hope for a better future. Based on Yu Hua's Lifetimes, the superb To Live is fortunately more absorbing than grueling--and it is indeed the latter. It possesses both vast scope and intimacy, humor and sorrow, complex characterizations, richness of incident and an awareness of the quixotic role fate plays in all our destinies." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times
Selected by Zhong Dafeng, Feng Xiaoning, Dayyan Eng, Todd Gilchrist, Diego Galán.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
845 Up Arrow
914
The Age of the Earth

The Age of the Earth

A Idade da Terra (original title)
1980 / Brazil / 158m / Col / Religious Epic, Political Drama
Mauricio do Valle, Jece Valadao, Antonio Pitanga, Tarcisio Meira, Geraldo Del Rey, Ana Maria Magalhaes, Norma Bengell, Danuza Leao, Carlos Petrovicho, Mario Gusmao
"Earth is the final work by Glauber Rocha, one of the most important and controversial of all Brazilian filmmakers. It's an epic film that draws on a variety of cinematic traditions—from ethnographic documentary to experimental narrative—to consider the impact of western imperialism on indigenous Brazil. The major characters are an American imperialist named Brahms and four different Christ figures (listed in the credits as Black Christ, Indigenous Christ, Military Christ, and Guerilla Christ) who attempt to stop his destructive campaign through the Brazilian wilderness… Rocha claimed that the sequences of Earth could be screened in any order and have the same effect." - Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader
Selected by Michael Glawogger, Manuel Asín, John Gianvito, Cesar Zamberlan, Vinícius Reis.
844 Up Arrow
901
Big Deal on Madonna Street

Big Deal on Madonna Street

I Soliti ignoti (original title)
1958 / Italy / 91m / BW / Crime Comedy, Caper
Vittorio Gassman, Renato Salvatori, Marcello Mastroianni, Memmo Carotenuto, Rosanna Rory, Carla Gravina, Claudia Cardinale, Carlo Pisacane, Tiberio Murgia, Toto
"Mario Monicelli’s Big Deal on Madonna Street is that genuine rarity in popular culture: a satire that not only helped kill off one movie genre, but started a whole new subgenre in the process. The film, released in Italy in 1958 as I Soliti ignoti, was a veritable treasure trove of cinematic influences, from Italian neorealism to Hollywood postwar film noir and its 1950s French cousin, all tied together in one neat 90-minute package." - Bruce Eder, The Criterion Collection
Selected by Whit Stillman, Juan José Campanella, Asier Altuna, Fernando León de Aranoa, Orlando Lubbert.
843
788
And Life Goes On...

And Life Goes On…

Zendegi va digar hich (original title); Life and Nothing More… (USA title)
1992 / Iran / 108m / Col / Drama, Docudrama
Farhad Kheradmand, Buba Bayour, Hocine Rifahi, Ferhendeh Feydi, Mahrem Feydi, Bahrovz Aydini, Ziya Babai, Mohamed Hocinerouhi, Hocine Khadem, Maassouma Berouana
"Despite its narrative simplicity, this is more complex than Abbas Kiarostami's earlier film, Where Is My Friend's House? (1987)… Straddling the divide between fiction and documentary with graceful ease, this is both a subtle study in the ethics of film-making, and a compassionate (but never mawkish or depressing) portrait of courage and determination in the face of overwhelming grief and hardship." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Li Cheuk-to, Heddy Honigmann, Liu Qing, Shan Wanli, Alain Carou.
842
832
Taipei Story

Taipei Story

Qing mei zhu ma (original title)
1985 / Taiwan / 110m / Col / Romantic Drama, Psychological Drama
Chin Tsai, Hsiao-hsein Hou, I-Chen Ko, Su-Yun Ko, Nien-Jen Wu, Hsiu-Ling Lin, Shufang Chen, Te-nan Lai, De-ming Lyu, Fang Mei
"The film that introduced Yang's prodigious talent to the West is a quietly stunning drama which sees the various problems facing a rapidly modernised city reflected in the lives of a dozen or so subtly observed characters. At the centre are a troubled upper middle-class couple: a failed businessman lost in dreams of the past (Hou), and a budding executive whose reaction to redundancy is more in tune with the future. Though there's little in the way of story, Yang's insights and honesty about emotions ensure interest throughout; and it looks absolutely superb." - Tom Charity, Time Out
Selected by Tony Rayns, Wang Xiaoshuai, Charles Whitehouse, Joanna Hogg, Blue Un Sok Kim.
841 Up Arrow
923
The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

1980 / USA / 130m / Col / Action Comedy, Rock Musical
John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Kathleen Freeman, James Brown, Henry Gibson, John Landis, Frank Oz, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles, Carrie Fisher
"Soul-stirring celebration or crass cultural exploitation? Truth is, The Blues Brothers is a bit of both, lending exposure to rhythm and blues legends who might otherwise have faded into silence while at the same time treating black culture as a colourful pantomime backdrop for the antics of two white comedians… Still, the film retains a huge nostalgic kick, thanks in large part to Aykroyd and Belushi’s easy rapport, a smattering of daft, shaggy humour and some truly iconic musical sequences." - Tom Huddleston, Time Out
Selected by Lorenzo Leone, Craig Brewer, Ruben Fleischer, Michael Addis, Serdar Akbiyik.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
840 Up Arrow
885
We All Loved Each Other So Much

We All Loved Each Other So Much

C'eravamo tanto amati (original title)
1974 / Italy / 124m / Col / Comedy Drama, Romantic Drama
Nino Manfredi, Vittorio Gassman, Stefania Sandrelli, Stefano Satta Flores, Giovanna Ralli, Aldo Fabrizi, Mike Bongiorno, Federico Fellini, Marcello Mastroianni, Nello Meniconi
"We All Loved Each Other So Much is a true gem of a comedy. Ettore Scola has written and directed a film that examines the passage of time and how it affects a trio of men and the woman with whom they intersect. It is very definitely a comedy, often a laugh-out-loud comedy, but also one that is as concerned with emotional impact as it is with setting up the next gag… Scola is blessed with a quartet of lovely performances, none more so than Vittorio Gassman's, as well as a scene stealing turn from Aldo Fabrizi." - Craig Butler, Allmovie
Selected by Edward Zwick, Juan José Campanella, Giovanni Veronesi, Yan Xiaoxiao, Gael Garcia Bernal.
839
769
Ceddo

Ceddo

1977 / Senegal / 117m / Col / Drama, Political Drama
Tabata Ndiaye, Moustapha Yade, Ismaila Diagne, Matoura Dia, Omar Gueye, Mamadou Dioume, Nar Modou, Ousmane Camara, Ousmane Sembene
"For Sembène, the Ceddo embody the resistance of a culture and a traditional way of life to the encroachments of Islam, Christianity and colonialism. This magnificent film is a comparable act of resistance, an attempt to write a segment of history for Africans and in African terms. It is a work of great organisational and thematic complexity, beautifully staged, mainly in depth, and possessing extraordinary kinesic grace and rhythmic control, two of the most powerful and evocative aspects of film form." - James Leahy, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Gilberto Perez, Jed Rapfogel, Lindiwe Dovey, Jonathan Demme, Teshome Gabriel.
838 Up Arrow
864
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

1992 / USA / 135m / Col / Mystery, Surrealist Film
Kyle MacLachlan, Sheryl Lee, Harry Dean Stanton, Ray Wise, Moira Kelly, David Bowie, Kiefer Sutherland, Chris Isaak, James Marshall, Pamela Gidley
"Fire Walk With Me is deliberately oblique, even by Lynch standards, asking questions without answers and providing clues to no mystery. Its narrative is split in two, seemingly without reason, a division introduced when our hero is apparently swallowed up by a gaping hole in the center of the picture (a hole he finds beneath a parked RV in America's least inviting trailer park, naturally)… It isn't especially funny, or quirky, or even much in keeping with the spirit of the series. But in its own singular, deeply strange way, Fire Walk With Me is David Lynch's masterpiece." - Calum Marsh, The Village Voice
Selected by Gregg Araki, Richard Kuipers, Arthur Mas, Bong Joon-ho, Lynne Ramsay.
837
772
Anatahan

Anatahan

The Saga of Anatahan (alternative title)
1953 / Japan / 90m / BW / Drama, Adventure
Akemi Negishi, Suganume, Ikio Sawamura, Shoji Najayama, Jun Fujikawa, Kondo, Miyashita, Tsuruemon, Kikuji, Kokuriro
"A more extreme degree of stylization is impossible to imagine: the Pacific island setting was re-created entirely in a Japanese studio out of cellophane and paper (Sternberg complained that he was forced to use real water), and the actors who perform this tale of shipwrecked sailors are Kabuki-trained Japanese. Distance is built into every aspect of the production, from the shadowed, filtered images to Sternberg's own voice-over narration, yet the feelings that emerge are incredibly pure and immediate: Sternberg seems to be photographing the absolute essence of human emotion." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Stephane Delorme, Heinz Emigholz, Patrice Rollet, Ken Mogg, Enno Patalas.
836
831
Sauve qui peut (la vie)

Sauve qui peut (la vie)

Every Man for Himself (USA title); Slow Motion (UK title)
1980 / France-Switzerland / 87m / Col / Psychological Drama, Urban Drama
Isabelle Huppert, Jacques Dutronc, Nathalie Baye, Roland Amstutz, Cecile Tanner, Anna Baldaccini, Roger Jendly, Fred Personne, Nicole Jacquet, Dore De Rosa
"Jean-Luc Godard calls this 1980 production his “second first film”—which means both a return to narrative after his brilliant documentary-theoretical work in the 70s and a complete clearing of the decks. You feel him questioning his entire life here, his most basic impulses and ideals, and his honesty is devastating… Of course, the film's substantial artistry belies Godard's self-negation: with his formal, four-part ordering of the narration, the tension he establishes and exploits between sound track and image, and his use of slow motion to analyze and abstract the action, Godard pulls an aesthetic victory from the jaws of utter nihilism." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Evans Chan, Ewa Mazierska, Richard Kwietniowski, Freddy Buache, Frédéric Maire.
835 Up Arrow
886
The Nightmare Before Christmas

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (alternative title)
1993 / USA / 76m / Col / Fantasy, Animated Musical
Danny Elfman, Chris Sarandon, Catherine O'Hara, William Hickey, Glenn Shadix, Paul Reubens, Ken Page, Ed Ivory, Susan McBride, Debi Durst
"The Nightmare Before Christmas is a Tim Burton film in the sense that the story, its world and its look first took shape in Burton's mind, and he supervised their filming. But the director of the film, a veteran stop-action master named Henry Selick, is the person who has made it all work. And his achievement is enormous. Working with gifted artists and designers, he has made a world here that is as completely new as the worlds we saw for the first time in such films as Metropolis (1927), The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari or Star Wars… The songs by Danny Elfman are fun, too, a couple of them using lyrics so clever they could be updated from Gilbert & Sullivan." - Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert.com
Selected by Isamu Hirabayashi, José Luis Rebordinos, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Alexandre Tylski, Josef Schnelle.
834 Up Arrow
887
Memento

Memento

2000 / USA / 113m / Col / Mystery, Crime Thriller
Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Jr., Stephen Tobolowsky, Harriet Sansom Harris, Callum Keith Rennie, Larry Holden, Russ Fega, Jorja Fox
"From the start — and cheers here to Wally Pfister's camerawork and Dody Dorn's editing — this jolting jigsaw puzzle of a movie grabs you and won't let go… Memento is a movie that demands we trust no one. In only his second film, after 1999's Following, Nolan stages scenes of dizzying suspense that resonate with raw emotion. His reverse action isn't a trick — it's a way to put us inside Leonard's head… Nolan leaps into the wild blue and dares us to leap with him. Go for it." - Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Selected by Lisa Mullen, Frank Schnelle, Mat Whitecross, Mike D'Angelo, Cyrus Frisch.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
833
827
Vagabond

Vagabond

Sans toit ni loi (original title)
1985 / France / 105m / Col / Drama, Road Movie
Sandrine Bonnaire, Setti Ramdane, Francis Balchere, Jean-Louis Perletti, Urbain Causee, Christophe Alcazar, Dominique Durand, Joel Fosse, Patrick Schmit, Daniel Bos
"Sandrine Bonnaire won the Best Actress César for her portrayal of the defiant young drifter Mona, found frozen to death in a ditch at the beginning of Vagabond. Agnès Varda pieces together Mona’s story through flashbacks told by those who encountered her (played by a largely nonprofessional cast), producing a splintered portrait of an enigmatic woman. With its sparse, poetic imagery, Vagabond is a stunner, and won Varda the top prize at the Venice Film Festival." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by David Sterritt, Carol Morley, Nina Menkes, Jill Godmilow, Kim Hye-ri.
832
775
Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

Les Dames du Bois de Boulogne

1945 / France / 85m / BW / Psychological Drama, Period Film
Maria Casares, Elina Labourdette, Paul Bernard, Lucianne Bogaert, Blanchette Brunoy, Marguerite De Morlaye, Yvette Etievant, Bernard La Jarrige, Lucy Lancy, Jean Marchat
"This unique love story, based on a novelette by Denis Diderot and with dialogue written by Jean Cocteau, follows the maneuverings of a society lady as she connives to initiate a scandalous affair between her aristocratic ex-lover and a prostitute. With his second feature film, director Robert Bresson was already forging his singularly brilliant filmmaking technique as he created a moving study of the power of revenge and the strength of true love." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin Gough-Yates, Noël Burch, Gilbert Adair, Jean-Claude Brisseau, Alexandre Astruc.
831
773
Angel

Angel

1937 / USA / 91m / BW / Romantic Drama, Melodrama
Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Melvyn Douglas, Edward Everett Horton, Ernest Cossart, Laura Hope Crews, Herbert Mundin, Dennie Moore, Ivan Lebedeff, Leonard Carey
"Despite the initial financial failure, Angel survives as a wonderful reminder of Hollywood sophistication, sparkling with Lubitsch's trademark charm and the potent on-screen chemistry between Dietrich and Douglas. Marlene, adorned in an array of scintillating Travis Banton creations, never looked better, and the charming Frederick Hollander score so captivated the star that she insisted he be hired whenever possible for all her future projects." - Mel Neuhaus, TCM
Selected by Pierre Rissient, Antonio Rodrigues, Dan Sallitt, Heddy Honigmann, Shunichi Nagasaki.
830
708
Ludwig

Ludwig

1972 / Italy-France-West Germany / 235m / Col / Historical Film, Biography
Helmut Berger, Romy Schneider, Trevor Howard, Silvana Mangano, Gert Frobe, Helmut Griem, Umberto Orsini, Alexander Allerson, Manfred Furst, Mark Burns
"Visconti’s Ludwig is a challenging film not intended for impatient people with short attention spans. Even with all of its flaws, the film offers a fascinating study of an unusual historical figure who’s main strength was in his ability to avoid the world in grand fashion. Visconti’s obsessive attention to detail and melodramatic operatic flair works well for the story of Ludwig. This may not be Visconti’s best film but regardless, it is a serious and complex work that deserves to be appreciated, slow at times but fascinating nonetheless." - Pablo Vargas, The Spinning Image
Selected by Brad Deane, Olivier Pere, Bruce Beresford, Wong Shuk-han, Dunia Ayaso.
829
807
Hana-Bi

Hana-Bi

Fireworks (English title)
1997 / Japan / 103m / Col / Crime Drama, Road Movie
Takeshi Kitano, Kayoko Kishimoto, Ren Osugi, Susumu Terajima, Tetsu Watanabe, Hakuryu, Yasuei Yakushiji, Taro Itsumi, Kenichi Yajima, Makoto Ashikawa
"Kitano's Venice prize-winner mixes tenderness, violence and droll humour… It's exceptionally assured, imaginative and idiosyncratic: the violence is sudden, brutal and almost all in the editing; the working of Kitano's own delightful paintings into the story is astonishingly resonant; the mise-en-scène as sharp and inventive as in Sonatine… Fans of Melville, Keaton, Hawks and Peckinpah should be especially impressed, but anyone with a modicum of patience, an open mind and a little love in their heart will probably recognise it as a masterpiece." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Alexei Popogrebsky, Nashen Moodley, Li Yu, Digvijay Singh, Jean-Christophe Berjon.
828
826
The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1975 / UK / 95m / Col / Horror Comedy, Rock Musical
Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien, Jonathan Adams, Nell Campbell, Peter Hinwood, Meat Loaf, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show was, and to some extent remains, the ultimate cult film. After flopping in its first run in 1975, it was quickly revived as a midnight movie, attracting a dedicated group of followers who would attend, talk back to, and reenact the movie on weekends… A fast-paced pastiche of camp, science fiction, rock music, horror, and more camp… The plot is only semi-comprehensible, but the nearly non-stop musical numbers—brilliant conflations of glam-rock and showtunes—and transgressive sexual energy keep things moving. With its fairly extreme but somehow cuddly take on sexual fluidity, it's easy to see why the appeal of RHPS hasn't waned.” - Keith Phipps, A.V. Club
Selected by Karen Oughton, Albert Elduque, Piermaria Bocchi, Paul Lee, Alexandra Lipsitz.
827 Up Arrow
915
M*A*S*H

M*A*S*H

MASH (alternative spelling)
1970 / USA / 116m / Col / Military Comedy, Satire
Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, Jo Ann Pflug, Rene Auberjonois, Gary Burghoff, Fred Williamson, John Schuck
"Robert Altman's commercial breakthrough after more than 20 years of industrial films and TV work felt like a joyous shout of liberation, not just for its director but for the film industry in general. M*A*S*H was proudly, gleefully, gloriously rude as few previous Hollywood films had dared to be, not just in using four-letter words but also in a hilariously casual disrespect for religion, the military, American foreign policy, and authority as a whole… If you know M*A*S*H as a TV series and not as a film, prepare yourself for a shock; there is nothing warm and fuzzy about this movie, which makes its bitter humor all the more effective." - Mark Deming, All Movie
Selected by Duncan Jones, Michel Hazanavicius, Rokuro Mochizuki, Helmut Fiebig, Spike Lee.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
826
747
Veronika Voss

Veronika Voss

Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, Die (original title)
1982 / West Germany / 105m / BW / Drama, Psychological Drama
Rosel Zech, Hilmar Thate, Ann-Marie Duringer, Cornelia Froboess, Doris Schade, Erik Schumann, Peter Berling, Gunther Kaufmann, Sonja Neudorfer, Lilo Pempeit
"Once-beloved Third Reich–era starlet Veronika Voss (Zech) lives in obscurity in postwar Munich. Struggling for survival and haunted by past glories, the forgotten star encounters sportswriter Robert Krohn (Thate) in a rain-swept park and intrigues him with her mysterious beauty. As their unlikely relationship develops, Krohn comes to discover the dark secrets behind the faded actresses’ demise. Based on the true story of a World War II UFA star, Veronika Voss is wicked satire disguised as 1950s melodrama." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Luca Guadagnino, Christian Petermann, Shion Sono, Phillip Noyce, Ashim Ahluwalia.
825 Up Arrow
956
Knife in the Water

Knife in the Water

Nóz w wodzie (original title)
1962 / Poland / 94m / BW / Psychological Drama, Marriage Drama
"Roman Polanski’s first feature is a brilliant psychological thriller that many critics still consider among his greatest work. The story is simple, yet the implications of its characters’ emotions and actions are profound. When a young hitchhiker joins a couple on a weekend yacht trip, psychological warfare breaks out as the two men compete for the woman’s attention. A storm forces the small crew below deck, and tension builds to a violent climax. With stinging dialogue and a mercilessly probing camera, Polanski creates a disturbing study of fear, humiliation, sexuality, and aggression." – The Criterion Collection
Selected by Andris Feldmanis, M.T. Vasudevan Nair, Zhang Zanbo, Alfredo de Villa, Lynne Ramsay.
824
755
L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

L'Arrivée d'un train à la Ciotat

Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (English title)
1895 / France / 1m / BW / Short Film, Documentary
"Today, we cannot comprehend the terror that gripped the 1895 audience facing the Lumière brothers' arriving train—this first film with which they gave birth to documentary film. Louis Lumière's film Arrival of the Train shows, in only fifty seconds, an everyday occurrence, a familiar experience for spectators: a train pulls into a station, the passengers go back and forth on the platform. Despite its brevity and the banality of its subject matter, this film has attained fame, entering film history as an icon of the medium's origins." - Martin Loiperdinger, Cinema's Founding Myth
Selected by César Ballester, Miklós Jancsó, Chen Ruxiu, Kumar Shahani, Vladimir Vishniakov.
823
753
Une Femme est une femme

Une Femme est une femme

A Woman is a Woman (English title)
1961 / France / 83m / Col / Romantic Comedy, Musical Comedy
Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean-Claude Brialy, Nicole Paquin, Marie Dubois, Marion Sarraut, Jeanne Moreau, Catherine Demongeot, Noel Pacquin, Ernest Menzer
"With A Woman Is a Woman, compulsively innovative director Jean-Luc Godard presents “a neorealist musical—that is, a contradiction in terms.” Featuring French superstars Anna Karina, Jean-Paul Belmondo, and Jean-Claude Brialy at their peak of popularity, A Woman Is a Woman is a sly, playful tribute to—and interrogation of—the American musical comedy, showcasing Godard’s signature wit and intellectual acumen… A dizzying compendium of color, humor, and the music of renowned composer Michel Legrand, A Woman Is a Woman finds the young Godard at his warmest and most accessible, reveling in and scrutinizing the mechanics of his great obsession: the cinema." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Antonia Quirke, Francesco Pitassio, Albert Maysles, Angelo Signorelli, Ricardo Calil.
822 Up Arrow
932
Stardust Memories

Stardust Memories

1980 / USA / 91m / BW / Showbiz Comedy, Satire
Woody Allen, Charlotte Rampling, Jessica Harper, Marie-Christine Barrault, Tony Roberts, Helen Hanft, John Rothman, Daniel Stern, Amy Wright, Cynthia Gibb
"The true acid test for any fan or critic who loves Woody Allen movies is Stardust Memories, his misunderstood and generally maligned ninth feature. Obviously influenced by Fellini's 8 1/2 (1963), Stardust Memories follows a prominent filmmaker named Sandy Bates to a weekend movie seminar at the Stardust Hotel in New Jersey where he is besieged by adoring fans and sycophants. Sandy no longer finds any personal satisfaction in his achievements or in his current relationships… Stardust Memories remains one of Allen's most complex and fascinating works." - Jeff Stafford, TCM
Selected by Sarah Polley, Andrew Pulver, Andrew Collins, Jeremy Deller, Max Winkler.
821
750
Arrebato

Arrebato

Rapture (English title)
1980 / Spain / 105m / Col / Drama, Horror
Eusebio Poncela, Cecilia Roth, Will More, Marta Fernandez Muro, Helena Fernan-Gomez, Carmen Giralt, Max Madera, Javier Ulacia, Rosa Crespo, Luis Ciges
"A genuine cult title, Zulueta's deeply eccentric, brooding and mysterious underground oddity was a significant early influence on Almodóvar while remaining barely known outside Spain. A hallucinatory, claustrophobic examination of the secret potency of film itself, it enters the disorienting world of a young film-maker who discovers his camera has a feature he'd never imagined. Taking one right back to those great '70s mood movies, it's a singular treat." - Gareth Evans, Time Out
Selected by Antonio Delgado, Gerardo Naranjo, José Luis Cienfuegos, Mar Diestro-Dópido, Desirée de Fez.
820
787
Cul-de-sac

Cul-de-sac

1966 / UK / 111m / BW / Comedy Thriller, Black Comedy
Donald Pleasence, Francoise Dorleac, Lionel Stander, Jack MacGowran, Iain Quarrier, Robert Dorning, Jacqueline Bisset, Geoffrey Sumner, Renee Houston, William Franklyn
"Roman Polanski orchestrates a mental ménage à trois in this slyly absurd tale of paranoia from the director’s golden 1960s period. Donald Pleasence and Françoise Dorléac star as a withdrawn couple whose isolated house is invaded by a rude, burly American gangster on the run, played by Lionel Stander. The three engage in role-playing games of sexual and emotional humiliation. Cul-de-sac is an evocative, claustrophobic, and morbidly funny tale of the modern world in chaos." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Abel Ferrara, Ray Lawrence, Ian Francis, Lorenzo Codelli, Paul Buck.
819
800
Night of the Demon

Night of the Demon

Curse of the Demon (alternative title)
1957 / UK / 82m / BW / Occult Horror, Gothic Film
Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins, Niall MacGinnis, Maurice Denham, Athene Seyler, Reginald Beckwith, Liam Redmond, Ewan Roberts, Peter Elliott, Rosamund Greenwood
"A major work in that minor genre, horror movies. Intelligent, delicate, and actually frightening (no kidding), this was directed by Jacques Tourneur, author of many of the best of Val Lewton's famous series of B-budget shockers. A shot or two of a cheesy monster (insisted upon by the producer) are the only violations of the film's sublime allusiveness, through which the unseen acquires a palpitating presence. Tourneur is attempting a rational apprehension of the irrational, examining not so much the supernatural itself but the insecurities it springs from and the uses it may be put to." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Billy Chainsaw, Mark Pilkington, Giampiero Frasca, Pascal Bonitzer, Simon Mizrahi.
818 Up Arrow
851
Firemen's Ball

The Firemen's Ball

Horí, má panenko (original title); The Fireman's Ball (UK title)
1967 / Czechoslovakia / 73m / Col / Comedy, Satire
Jan Vostrcil, Josef Kolb, Josef Svet, Josef Sebanek, Josef Valnoha, Frantisek Debelka, Jan Stockl, Vratislav Cermak, Josef Rehorek, Vaclav Novotny
"A milestone of the Czech New Wave, Milos Forman’s first color film The Firemen’s Ball is both a dazzling comedy and a provocative political satire. A hilarious saga of good intentions confounded, the story chronicles a firemen’s ball where nothing goes right—from a beauty pageant whose reluctant participants embarrass the organizers to a lottery from which nearly all the prizes are pilfered. Presumed to be a commentary on the floundering Czech leadership, the film was “banned forever” in Czechoslovakia following the Russian invasion and prompted Forman’s move to America." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jirí Menzel, Pavel Jech, Ivan Passer, Raoul Peck, Orlando Lubbert.
817
768
Casque d'or

Casque d'or

Golden Marie (USA title)
1952 / France / 96m / BW / Crime Drama, Melodrama
Simone Signoret, Serge Reggiani, Claude Dauphin, Raymond Bussieres, Gaston Modot, Paul Barge, Paul Azais, Loleh Bellon, Claude Castaing, Jean Clarieux
"Jacques Becker lovingly evokes the belle epoque Parisian demimonde in this classic tale of doomed romance. When gangster’s moll Marie (Signoret) falls for reformed criminal Manda (Reggiani), their passion incites an underworld rivalry that leads inexorably to treachery and tragedy. With poignant, nuanced performances and sensuous black-and-white photography, Casque d’or (Golden Marie) is Becker at the height of his cinematic powers—a romantic masterpiece." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Anja Kirschner, Jean-Pierre Berthome, Claude Gauteur, Jean-Francois Tarnowski, Martin Casariego.
816
784
The River (1997)

The River

He liu (original title)
1997 / Taiwan / 115m / Col / Drama, Family Drama
Chao-Jung Chen, Shiang-chyi Chen, Ann Hui, Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiao-Lin Lu, Yi-Ching Lu, Tien Miao, Kuei-Mei Yang
"As a simple tale of family dysfunction, no one should be congratulated for knowing where it will wind up, even though that inevitability carries with it a distinctly unsettling sense of dread. But what makes the film so mesmerizing is Tsai's command over the vagaries of texture and tone: Through long takes, deliberately somnolent performances, and the careful placement of characters within the frame, he captures the intangible mood of modern alienation... The River is difficult and unpleasant at times, but as a somber metaphor for contaminated lives, it's masterful." - Scott Tobias, A.V. Club
Selected by Lisandro Alonso, David Pendleton, Nandini Ramnath, Sarah Turner, Adrian Martin.
815 Up Arrow
861
Arabian Nights

Arabian Nights

Il Fiore delle mille e una notte (original title)
1974 / Italy-France / 130m / Col / Adventure, Romantic Fantasy
Ninetto Davoli, Franco Citti, Tessa Bouche, Margaret Clementi, Ines Pellegrini, Franco Merli, Francelise Noel, Ali Abdulla, Christian Aligny, Jeanne Gauffin Mathieu
"Pier Paolo Pasolini traveled to Africa, Nepal, and the Middle East to realize this ambitious cinematic treatment of a selection of stories from the legendary The Thousand and One Nights. This is not the fairy-tale world of Scheherazade or Aladdin, though. Instead, the director focuses on the book’s more erotic tales, framed by the story of a young man’s quest to reconnect with his beloved slave girl. Full of lustrous sets and costumes and stunning location photography, Arabian Nights is a fierce and joyous exploration of human sexuality." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Fernando Meirelles, Mia Hansen-Løve, Roger Clarke, Li Juchuan, Hilton Lacerda.
814
701
Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Goodbye, Dragon Inn

Bu san (original title)
2003 / Taiwan / 82m / Col / Comedy Drama, Comedy of Manners
Kang-Sheng Lee, Shiang-chyi Chen, Kiyonobu Mitamura, Tien Miao, Chun Shih, Chao-Jung Chen, Kuei-Mei Yang
"Goodbye Dragon Inn concerns the inner life of a poured-concrete cavern in the heart of Taipei, a shabby temple unspooling an old martial arts flick—namely King Hu's 1966 Dragon Inn—to a handful of devotees. Because the theater is about to shut down, there's a superficial resemblance to the canned nostalgia of Cinema Paradiso. But Goodbye Dragon is far less sentimental and considerably funnier than the old Miramax pocket liner. And because Tsai is the director, Goodbye Dragon Inn is also a movie of elegant understatement and considerable formal intelligence." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
Selected by Zachary Wigon, Cesar Zamberlan, Lorenzo Leone, Monte Hellman, Lalitha Gopalan.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
813 Up Arrow
Re-entry
3 Women

3 Women

Three Women (alternative spelling)
1977 / USA / 125m / Col / Drama, Psychological Drama
Shelley Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Janice Rule, Robert Fortier, Ruth Nelson, John Cromwell, Sierra Pecheur, Craig Richard Nelson, Maysie Hoy, Belita Moreno
"In a dusty, underpopulated California resort town, a naive southern waif, Pinky Rose (Spacek), idolizes and befriends her fellow nurse, the would-be sophisticate and “thoroughly modern” Millie Lammoreaux (Duvall). When Millie takes Pinky in as her roommate, Pinky’s hero worship evolves into something far stranger and more sinister than either could have anticipated. Featuring brilliant performances from Spacek and Duvall, this dreamlike masterpiece from Robert Altman careens from the humorous to the chilling to the surreal, resulting in one of the most unusual and compelling films of the 1970s." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Jonathan Caouette, Maura McHugh, Sean Durkin, John Greyson, Sophia Takal.
812 Up Arrow
892
42nd Street

42nd Street

1933 / USA / 89m / BW / Backstage Musical, Musical Comedy
Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Una Merkel, Dick Powell, Guy Kibbee, Ginger Rogers, George E. Stone, Robert McWade
"Reviving the musical's fortunes in one fell swoop, Bacon and Busby Berkeley's backstage saga set the benchmark for the putting-on-a-show subgenre not by means of plot (a thin and hackneyed affair about a young understudy finding stardom when she covers for the temperamental diva) but through sassy songs and dialogue and dazzling mise-en-scène. A grand cast makes the most of numbers like 'You're Getting to Be a Habit with Me', 'Shuffle Off to Buffalo' and 'Young and Healthy', while Berkeley choreographs chorines and camera with mischievous dexterity." - Geoff Andrew, Time Out
Selected by Carlos Saura, Billy Wilder, Russ Meyer, Riyad Vinci Wadia, David Sylvester.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
811
766
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City

Berlin: DieSymphonie der Großstadt (original title)
1927 / Germany / 65m / BW / Avant-garde-Experimental, Documentary
Paul von Hindenburg
"This classic German documentary is a valentine to the "new" Berlin of the late 1920s, enjoying a renaissance after the dregs of the Depression. Director Walter Ruttman's five-reel symphony begins at dawn and ends at midnight, showing Berliners at hard work by day and enjoying the city's boisterous nightlife. Essentially a feature-length montage, the film was heavily influenced by the earlier works of Russian filmmaker Dziga Vertov… Though many current prints of Berlin: Symphony of a Great City carry a musical track, this silent documentary creates its own music by virtue of its rhythmic editing." - Hal Erickson, All Movie
Selected by Adam Hyman, Amir Labaki, Manuel Gutiérrez Aragon, Petr Kral, John Weisman.
810
741
Cairo Station

Cairo Station

Bab el hadid (original title); The Iron Gate (alternative title)
1958 / Egypt / 76m / BW / Drama, Slice of Life
Fared Shawqi, Hind Rostom, Youssef Chahine, Hassan el Baroudi, Abdel Aziz Khalil, Naima Wasfy, Said Khalil, Abdel Ghani Nagdi, Loutfi El Hakim, Abdel Hamid Bodaoha
"All human life is here: the phrase really does apply to Chahine's tragicomic masterpiece from 1958… Cairo Station is the venue for a blazingly passionate drama about Kenaoui, a lame newspaper vendor, played by Chahine, and his unrequited desire for Hanouma (Rostom), the Bardotesque lemonade seller. Chahine conducts his big cast with uproarious energy, immediacy and freshness; he has tremendous stylised set pieces… As Kenaoui's love becomes more obsessive, the mood darkens, and elements of Hitchcock and Powell creep in. Finally, Cairo Station virtually attains the air of a tragedy, observing classical unities of time and place." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Hind Mezaina, Joseph Fahim, Masoud Amralla Al Ali, Najwa Najjar, Hamid Dabashi.
809
756
The Ascent

The Ascent

Voskhozhdeniye (original title)
1976 / USSR / 111m / BW / War Drama, Resistance Film
Boris Plotnikov, Vladimir Gostyukhin, Sergei Yakovlev, Lyudmila Polyakova, Viktoriya Goldentul, Anatoli Solonitsyn, Mariya Vinogradova, Nikolai Sektimenko
"Shepitko’s emotionally overwhelming final film won the Golden Bear at the 1977 Berlin Film Festival and has been hailed around the world as the finest Soviet film of its decade. Set during World War II’s darkest days, The Ascent follows the path of two peasant soldiers, cut off from their troop, who trudge through the snowy backwoods of Belarus seeking refuge among villagers. Their harrowing trek leads them on a journey of betrayal, heroism, and ultimate transcendence." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Kevin MacDonald, Fred Kelemen, Kate Muir, Pasquale Iannone, Hazel-Dawn Dumpert.
808
764
No Country for Old Men

No Country for Old Men

2007 / USA / 122m / Col / Thriller, Crime Thriller
Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson, Kelly Macdonald, Garret Dillahunt, Tess Harper, Barry Corbin, Stephen Root, Rodger Boyce
"No Country for Old Men is purgatory for the squeamish and the easily spooked. For formalists — those moviegoers sent into raptures by tight editing, nimble camera work and faultless sound design — it’s pure heaven... Joel and Ethan Coen, who share writing and directing credit here, combine virtuosic dexterity with mischievous high spirits, as if they were playing Franz Liszt’s most treacherous compositions on dueling banjos… In the Coen canon it belongs with Blood Simple, Miller’s Crossing and Fargo as a densely woven crime story made more effective by a certain controlled stylistic perversity." - A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Selected by Farai Sevenzo, Milan Pavlovic, Mohamed Al-Daradji, Philip Berk, Andrew Droz Palermo.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
807
791
The Great Escape

The Great Escape

1963 / USA / 168m / Col / Escape Film, War Adventure
Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, James Donald, Charles Bronson, Donald Pleasence, James Coburn, Gordon Jackson, David McCallum, John Leyton
"John Sturges' The Great Escape could easily be the most under-appreciated movie of its genre and decade, which may seem a strange thing to say about a movie that is one of the most popular World War II adventure films ever made. It not only defined the screen personae of Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough and much of the rest of the cast, but along with The Magnificent Seven represented a high-water mark in Sturges' career." - Bruce Eder, All Movie
Selected by Quentin Tarantino, Carlos Marañón, Daniel Sánchez Arévalo, Tetsuo Shinohara, Yoko Narahashi.
806
737
Seven Chances

Seven Chances

1925 / USA / 56m / BW / Comedy of Errors, Romantic Comedy
Buster Keaton, Ruth Dwyer, T. Roy Barnes, Snitz Edwards, Frances Raymond, Erwin Connelly, Jules Cowles, Jean Arthur, Lori Bara, Bartine Burkett
"Less ambitious and less concerned with plastic values than the best of Keaton, this is nevertheless a dazzlingly balletic comedy in which Buster has a matter of hours to acquire the wife on which a seven million dollar inheritance depends. Having insulted his sweetheart by explaining the necessity of marriage, been turned down by seven possible candidates… he advertises - only to find a horde of applicants besieging the church. From this leisurely start, the film takes off into a fantastically elaborate, gloriously inventive chase sequence, in which Buster escapes the mob of pursuing harridans only to find an escalating avalanche of rocks taking over at his heels as he hurtles downhill. - Tom Milne, Time Out
Selected by Richard Dyer, Manuel J. Lombardo, Yvette Biro, Tom Stempel, Albert Elduque.
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860
Chikamatsu monogatari

Chikamatsu monogatari

The Crucified Lovers (English title)
1954 / Japan / 100m / BW / Melodrama, Romantic Drama
Kazuo Hasegawa, Kyoko Kagawa, Eitaro Shindo, Eitaro Ozawa, Yoko Minamida, Haruo Tanaka, Chieko Naniwa, Ichiro Sugai, Tatsuya Ishiguro, Hiroshi Mizuno
"A sublime, perfectly modulated story of doomed love between a merchant's wife and a servant, set in 17th-century Japan and drawn from the repertory of Japan's puppet theater, the Bunraku. Kenji Mizoguchi's 1954 film has the most imaginative soundtrack of any of his films, and while the story lacks the awesome power of his Ugetsu and Sansho the Bailiff (both made during the same period), it still remains essential viewing." - Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader
Selected by Daisuke Akasaka, Dominique Martinez, C.S. Venkiteswaran, Alejandro Díaz, Jean A. Gili.
804
781
El Sur

El Sur

The South (English title)
1983 / Spain-France / 95m / Col / Drama
Omero Antonutti, Sonsoles Aranguren, Iciar Bollain, Lola Cardona, Rafaela Aparicio, Aurore Clement, Francisco Merino, Maria Caro, Jose Vivo, Germaine Montero
"El sur is for me – and others – one of the greatest films ever made in Spain, and perhaps Erice’s most refined and mature work as a director… El sur does not tell a particularly extraordinary tale. But the tale it does tell is rendered in quite original and moving ways, and in tones much more subtle and deep than its literary source. This does not mean it is a contrived, sophisticated, obscure or intellectual movie, even if it avoids sentimental trappings or “easy-to-make” political readings. El sur, as it is, tells of a young woman who recalls her father’s mysterious figure and fate, trying to understand why he acted as he did." - Miguel Marías, Senses of Cinema
Selected by Carmelo Romero, Hu Xudong, Jaume Balagueró, Sergio F. Pinilla, Toni Ulled.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon
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812
Grizzly Man

Grizzly Man

2005 / USA / 103m / Col / Nature, Documentary
Timothy Treadwell, Amie Huguenard, Warren Queeney, Franc G. Fallico, Willy Fulton, Sam Egli, Marnie Gaede, Marc Gaede, Larry Van Daele, Sven Haakanson
"Tragicomedy is an overworked word. Yet nothing else will do. Werner Herzog, that connoisseur of extreme figures in far-off places, has made an inspired documentary about the gonzo naturalist Timothy Treadwell, who in 2003 ended up as lunch for the bears he lived with in the remote Alaskan wilderness. It is poignant, it is beautiful, and it is absolutely hilarious. Herzog didn't even have much work to do, what's more, because Treadwell - gifted, untrained film-maker that he was - had done almost everything himself, leaving behind hundreds of hours of videotape that he had shot at extreme and indeed fatal risk to himself." - Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Selected by Ally Derks, Lorenzo Leone, Dana Stevens, Eduardo Escorel, Alberto Barbera.
See also The 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films.
802
796
La Bete humaine

La Bête humaine

1938 / France / 99m / BW / Crime Drama, Psychological Drama
Jean Gabin, Simone Simon, Fernand Ledoux, Julien Carette, Blanchette Brunoy, Jean Renoir, Gerard Landry, Jenny Helia, Colette Regis, Jacques Berlioz
"Between his twin Elvis years of 1937 (Grand Illusion) and 1939 (The Rules of the Game), master artiste Jean Renoir crafted this brooding, fluid adaptation of Émile Zola's doctrinaire novel, expanding the palette of pre-noir "poetic realism" to include the hardscrabble locomotion of proletariat desperation and fashioning a national icon of working-class struggle in the process." - Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice
Selected by Allan Sekula, Francine Stock, Martha P. Nochimson, Hans-Jürgen Syberberg, Gerardo Vera.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
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949
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Pickup on South Street

1953 / USA / 80m / BW / Thriller, Film Noir
Richard Widmark, Jean Peters, Thelma Ritter, Murvyn Vye, Richard Kiley, Willis Bouchey, Milburn Stone, Henry Slate, Jerry O'Sullivan, Harry Carter
"Petty crook Skip McCoy (Widmark) has his eyes fixed on the big score. When the cocky three-time convict picks the pocketbook of unsuspecting Candy (Peters), he finds a haul bigger than he could have imagined… Tailed by manipulative Feds and the unwitting courier’s Communist puppeteers, Skip and Candy find themselves in a precarious gambit that pits greed against redemption, Right versus Red, and passion against self-preservation. With its dazzling cast and director Samuel Fuller’s signature raw energy and hardboiled repartee, Pickup on South Street is a true film noir classic by one of America’s most passionate cinematic craftsmen." - The Criterion Collection
Selected by Lee Daniels, Daniel Calparsoro, Parviz Noori, Dinko Tucakovic, Peter Gidal.
See also 1,000 Noir Films.
IMDB / No votes in the 2012 Sight & Sound Poll / Amazon