Top 10s

Bruce Goldstein’s Top 10

Bruce Goldstein’s Top 10

Recipient of a special New York Film Critics Circle award for visionary programming, Bruce Goldstein is the Repertory Program Director of New York’s Film Forum, for which he has created more than 350 film festivals and spearheaded the rereleases of more than one thousand classic films, all in new 35 mm prints. In 1997, he founded Rialto Pictures, a distribution company specializing in classic rereleases. Because few have done more for classic film than Goldstein, we asked him to pick his ten favorite non-Rialto Criterion titles.

“All these films have one thing in common: they’re audience pleasers. Rules forbid me from including Rialto titles on this list; otherwise, Rififi, Nights of Cabiria, Quai des Orfèvres, Pépé le Moko, Masculin féminin, Billy Liar, and others might have made the cut.” In no particular order:

  • The 39 Steps

    1.
    The 39 Steps

    Alfred Hitchcock

    Prototypical Hitchcock innocent-man-on-the-run thriller—it could be the Hitchcock I’m still most partial to.

  • Stray Dog

    2.
    Stray Dog

    Akira Kurosawa

    Seven Samurai goes without saying. But Stray Dog is the best Japanese film noir I know, with two powerhouse stars: Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune.

  • Sullivan’s Travels

    3.
    Sullivan’s Travels

    Preston Sturges

    When we reopened Film Forum in a new theater, in 1990, this is the one I chose as the opening attraction for the repertory screen. One viewing will explain why.

  • Trouble in Paradise

    4.
    Trouble in Paradise

    Ernst Lubitsch

    “I’ve been to Paris, France and Paris, Paramount. I prefer Paris, Paramount,” Ernst Lubitsch once famously remarked. This is Lubitsch and Paris, Paramount, at their absolute peak.

  • The 400 Blows

    5.
    The 400 Blows

    François Truffaut

    Watch this and Breathless together and you’ll understand what the big deal about the new wave was.

  • À nous la liberté

    6.
    À nous la liberté

    René Clair

  • Le million

    (tie)
    Le million

    René Clair

    As delightful as any other film of the early thirties. Their influence on sound films in general, and musicals in particular, is underestimated.

  • Big Deal on Madonna Street

    7.
    Big Deal on Madonna Street

    Mario Monicelli

  • Divorce Italian Style

    (tie)
    Divorce Italian Style

    Pietro Germi

    La crema della crema of Italian comedies. Honorable mention: Fellini’s The White Sheik.

  • Great Expectations

    8.
    Great Expectations

    David Lean

    The most perfect literary adaptation ever (can anyone come up with a better one?).

  • The Honeymoon Killers

    9.
    The Honeymoon Killers

    Leonard Kastle

    Very little of what’s called “independent” today really is. The Honeymoon Killers is a real independent; made on a shoestring, this is the most chilling movie of its decade.

  • Night and the City

    10.
    Night and the City

    Jules Dassin

    A quintessential film noir by a master of the genre. In style and theme, it resembles a later favorite of mine, Sweet Smell of Success.