Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
In the midsixties, the maverick American director Monte Hellman conceived of two westerns at the same time. Dreamlike and gritty by turns, these films would prove their maker’s adeptness at brilliantly deconstructing genre.
An inept Czech peasant is torn between greed and guilt when the Nazi-backed bosses of his town appoint him “Aryan controller” of an old Jewish widow’s button shop. Humor and tragedy fuse in this scathing exploration of one cowardly man’s complicity in the horrors of a totalitarian regime.
1993 • 187 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #265 Edition: DVD
Epic in scale yet meticulously observed, maverick director Robert Altman’s Short Cuts interweaves the lives of twenty-two characters struggling to find solace and meaning in contemporary Los Angeles.
1986 • 111 minutes • 1.75:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #20 Edition: DVD
Director Alex Cox balances a bleak evocation of star-crossed love with surreal humor and genuine tenderness in this portrait of the brief, intense attachment of Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious and his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen.
1949 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #755 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
Jean-Pierre Melville began his superb feature filmmaking career with this powerful adaptation of an influential underground novel written during the Nazi occupation of France.
1991 • 118 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #13 Edition: DVD
Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lecter matches wits with Jodie Foster’s heroic FBI agent Clarice Starling in Jonathan Demme’s taut psychological thriller.
1965 • 45 minutes • 1.33:1 • Mexico
Spine: #460 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Simon of the Desert is Luis Buñuel’s wicked and wild take on the life of devoted ascetic Saint Simeon Stylites, who waited atop a pillar surrounded by a barren landscape for six years, six months, and six days, in order to prove his devotion to God.
Brian De Palma
1973 • 93 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #89 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A stylish paean to female destructiveness, De Palma’s first foray into horror voyeurism is a stunning amalgam of split-screen effects, bloody birthday cakes, and a chilling score by frequent Hitchcock collaborator Bernard Herrmann.
Spine: #342 Edition: DVD
Eric Rohmer stood apart from his New Wave contemporaries, like François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard, with his patented brand of gently existential, hyperarticulate character studies set against vivid seasonal landscapes. The “Six Moral Tales” unleashed a new voice onto the film world.
1991 • 100 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #247 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Shooting on 16 mm for a mere $3,000, writer-producer-director Linklater and his crew of friends threw out any idea of a traditional plot, choosing instead to create a tapestry of over a hundred characters, each as compelling as the last.
The Small Back Room details the travails of troubled research scientist and military bomb-disposal expert Sammy Rice, who, while struggling with a complex relationship with secretary girlfriend Susan, is hired by the government to advise on a dangerous new German weapon.
1955 • 108 minutes • 1.33:1 • Sweden
Spine: #237 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart.
1964 • 117 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #749 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Truffaut made The Soft Skin at a time when he was immersing himself in the work of Alfred Hitchcock, and that master’s influence can be felt throughout this complex, insightful, and underseen French New Wave treasure.
1972 • 166 minutes • 2.35:1 • Soviet Union
Spine: #164 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
With Solaris, the legendary Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky created a brilliantly original science-fiction epic that challenges our conceptions about love, truth, and humanity itself.
1991 • 94 minutes • 1.78:1 • Mexico
Spine: #353 Edition: DVD
Alfonso Cuarón made his mark on Mexican cinema with the lightning-quick Sólo con tu pareja. Don Juan–ish yuppie Tomás Tomás spends his nights juggling so many beautiful women that he can’t keep their names straight—until a spurned nurse gives him a taste of his own medicine.
1986 • 113 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #563 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Featuring a killer soundtrack and electric performances from Jeff Daniels, Melanie Griffith, and Ray Liotta, Something Wild, directed by oddball American auteur Jonathan Demme, is both a kinky comic thriller and a radiantly off-kilter love story.
1962 • 105 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #707 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, iTunes
The ultimate Italian road comedy, Il sorpasso stars the unlikely pair of Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant as, respectively, a waggish, freewheeling bachelor and the straitlaced law student he takes on a madcap trip from Rome to Tuscany.
1960 • 196 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #105 Edition: DVD
Stanley Kubrick directed a cast of screen legends—including Kirk Douglas as the indomitable gladiator that led a Roman slave revolt—in the sweeping epic that defined a genre and ushered in a new Hollywood era.
1945 • 111 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #136 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
When the mysterious Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) becomes the new chief of staff at her institution, the bookish and detached Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) plummets into a whirlwind of tangled identities and feverish psychoanalysis. Spellbound is classic Hitchcock.
1973 • 99 minutes • 1.66:1 • Spain
Spine: #351 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s, Victor Erice’s The Spirit of the Beehive is a visually arresting, bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life.
1965 • 112 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #452 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
The acclaimed, best-selling novel by John le Carré, about a Cold War spy on one final dangerous mission in East Germany, is transmuted by director Martin Ritt into a film every bit as precise and ruthless as the book.
Spine: #241 Edition: DVD
Near the end of his long and celebrated career, master filmmaker Jean Renoir indulged his lifelong obsession with life-as-theater and directed three majestic films infatuated with the past, love, and artifice.
1939 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #516 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list.
1972 • 120 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #760 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Costa-Gavras puts the United States’ involvement in South American politics under the microscope in this arresting thriller.
2008 • 114 minutes • 1.85:1 • Japan
Spine: #554 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
The lyrical, profoundly moving Still Walking (Aruitemo aruitemo) is contemporary Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-eda’s most personal work to date, an extraordinary portrayal of the ties that bind us.