A poet dreams of three women—a mechanical performing doll, a bejeweled siren, and the consumptive daughter of a famous composer—all of whom break his heart in different ways. Powell and Pressburger create a phantasmagoric marriage of cinema and opera in this one-of-a-kind classic.
1988 • 353 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #258 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In 1988, renegade filmmaker Robert Altman and Pulitzer Prize–winning Doonesbury cartoonist Garry Trudeau created a presidential candidate, ran him alongside the other hopefuls during the primary season, and presented their media campaign as a cross between a soap opera and TV news.
1997 • 99 minutes • 1.66:1 • Iran
Spine: #45 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Middle-aged Mr. Badii drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran, searching for someone to rescue or bury him, in Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s emotionally complex meditation on life and death.
1979 • 171 minutes • 2.35:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #697 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, iTunes
This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
1933 • 121 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #231 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In Fritz Lang’s landmark of mystery and suspense, Berlin’s star detective must connect the fragmented clues of an insane criminal mastermind’s last will: a manifesto establishing a future empire of crime.
1941 • 125 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #487 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars of the late eighteenth century, That Hamilton Woman is a gripping account of the scandalous adulterous affair between the British Royal Navy officer Lord Horatio Nelson (Laurence Olivier) and the renowned beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton (Vivien Leigh).
1977 • 104 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #143 Edition: DVD
Luis Buñuel’s final film explodes with eroticism, bringing full circle the director’s lifelong preoccupation with the darker side of desire. Buñuel regular Fernando Rey plays Mathieu, an urbane widower, tortured by his lust for the elusive Conchita.
1981 • 124 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #691 Edition: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD
The revered American auteur Michael Mann burst out of the gate with his bold artistic sensibility fully formed with Thief, his first theatrical feature.
Prince Ahmad, cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place and the heart of a princess in Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad, an eye-popping special-effects pioneer and one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made.
1949 • 94 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #273 Edition: DVD
Thieves’ Highway vividly depicts the perilous world of “long-haul boys,” who drive by night to bring their goods to the markets of America’s cities. Richard Conte stars as ex-G.I. Nick Garcos, a tyro trucker bent on satisfaction from the man responsible for crippling his father.
1998 • 171 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #536 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Terrence Malick’s visionary adaptation of James Jones’s 1962 novel about the World War II battle for Guadalcanal is one of the most deeply philosophical films ever released by a major Hollywood studio, a thought-provoking meditation on man, nature, and violence.
William Cameron Menzies
1936 • 97 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #660 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
A landmark collaboration between writer H. G. Wells, producer Alexander Korda, and designer and director William Cameron Menzies, Things to Come is a science fiction film like no other, a prescient political work that predicts a century of turmoil and progress.
1949 • 104 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #64 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder.
1984 • 82 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #12 Edition: DVD
Following the ill-fated American comeback tour of an aging heavy-metal group, Rob Reiner’s cult phenomenon (and first “rockumentary”) This Is Spinal Tap has joined the ranks of the greatest comedies ever made.
1963 • 134 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #417 Editions: DVD, iTunes
One of the finest British films ever made, this benchmark of “kitchen-sink realism” follows the self-defeating professional and romantic pursuits of a miner turned rugby player eking out an existence in drab Yorkshire, played by an astonishing Richard Harris.
Spine: #587 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
This boldly cinematic trio of stories about love and loss from Krzysztof Kieślowski was a defining event of the art-house boom of the 1990s.
Spine: #392 Edition: DVD
Hiroshi Teshigahara found his spiritual partner in novelist and screenwriter Kobo Abe, with whom he collaborated on these Kafkaesque portraits of identities in peril, films that captivated mainstream audiences while also touching the edges of the Japanese avant-garde.
1964 • 93 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #596 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus
This first film by the legendary Hideo Gosha is among the most canonized chambara (sword-fighting) films.
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
1931 • 110 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #405 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
Set in the impoverished back alleys of Victorian London, The Threepenny Opera follows underworld antihero Mackie Messer (a.k.a. Mack the Knife) as he tries to woo Polly Peachum and elude the authorities. Set to Kurt Weill’s irresistible score, this film remains a benchmark of early sound cinema.
1957 • 109 minutes • 1.37:1 • Japan
Spine: #190 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan.
1990 • 102 minutes • 1.85:1 • Spain
Spine: #722 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, iTunes
1981 • 116 minutes • 1.85:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #37 Edition: DVD
In Terry Gilliam’s fantastic voyage through time and space, a young boy escapes his gadget-obsessed parents to join a band of time-traveling dwarves.
1984 • 88 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #557 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Oscar-winning The Times of Harvey Milk, was as groundbreaking as its subject. One of the first feature documentaries to address gay life in America, it’s a work of advocacy itself, bringing Milk’s message of hope and equality to a wider audience.
1979 • 163 minutes • 1.66:1 • Germany
Spine: #234 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Tin Drum, is Volker Schlöndorff’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.
2010 • 99 minutes • 2.35:1 • United States
Spine: #597 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
As painfully confessional as it is amusing, Tiny Furniture is an authentic, incisive portrait of a young woman at a crossroads.