1922 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • Denmark
Spine: #134 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Benjamin Christensen’s legendary silent 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. Häxan is a witches’ brew of the scary, gross, and darkly humorous.
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him.
1931 • 110 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #30 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Peter Lorre stars as serial killer Hans Beckert in Fritz Lang’s harrowing masterwork M, a suspenseful panorama of private madness and public hysteria that to this day remains the blueprint for the psychological thriller.
1931 • 86 minutes • 1.19:1 • United States
Spine: #680 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire.
1934 • 75 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #643 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This fleet and gripping film is the first of the early thrillers the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made during the fertile phase of his career spent at the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation.
1934 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope.
1935 • 86 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #56 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
A heart-racing spy story by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows Richard Hannay (Robert Donat) as he stumbles upon a conspiracy that thrusts him into a hectic chase across the Scottish moors.
1936 • 41 minutes • 1.37:1 • France
Spine: #746 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men.
1936 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #543 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).
1938 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #3 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
In Alfred Hitchcock’s most quick-witted and devilish comic thriller, a young woman finds herself drawn into a complex web of mystery and high adventure while traveling across Europe by train. The Lady Vanishes remains one of the master filmmaker’s purest delights.
1939 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #216 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners.
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.
1939 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #559 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the beloved comic opera The Mikado, the first work by the famed duo to be adapted for the screen.
1939 • 115 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #583 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
This Technicolor spectacular, directed by Zoltán Korda, is considered the finest of the many adaptations of A. E. W. Mason’s classic 1902 adventure novel about the British empire’s exploits in Africa, and a crowning achievement of Alexander Korda’s legendary production company, London Films.
1940 • 125 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #565 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona.
1940 • 120 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #696 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A full-throttle espionage thriller, starring Joel McCrea as a green Yank reporter sent to Europe to get the scoop on the imminent war, it’s wall-to-wall witty repartee, head-spinning plot twists, and brilliantly mounted suspense set pieces.
1941 • 123 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #376 Editions: DVD, iTunes
A Nazi U-boat crew, headed by the ruthless Eric Portman, is stranded in Canada during the thick of World War II in Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s quick-witted wartime thriller, 49th Parallel.
1941 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #214 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
After a streak of bad luck tempts a hard-working farmer to bargain with the Devil, he enlists the aid of the legendary orator and politician Daniel Webster. William Dieterle’s stylish film features an unforgettable score by Bernard Herrmann and a truly diabolical performance from Walter Huston.
In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noël Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting
1942 • 77 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #676 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Veronica Lake casts a seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic.
Considered by many to be the finest British film ever made, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is a stirring masterpiece like no other.
1944 • 111 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #605 Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
David Lean brings to vivid emotional life Noël Coward’s epic chronicle of a working-class family in the London suburbs over the course of two decades.
1944 • 137 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #41 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
This sumptuous Technicolor rendering of Shakespeare’s play features a thrilling re-creation of the battle of Agincourt, and Sir Laurence Olivier in his prime as director and actor.
Set amid the tumult of World War II, yet with a rhythm as delicate as a lullaby, Powell and Pressburger’s classic follows three modern-day incarnations of Chaucer’s pilgrims waylaid in the English countryside en route to the mythical town of Canterbury and forced to solve a bizarre village crime.