1954 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #14 Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In the first part of the epic Samurai Trilogy, Toshiro Mifune thunders onto the screen as the iconic title character.
1961 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • Sweden
Spine: #209 Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Winner of the 1962 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly presents an unflinching vision of a family’s near disintegration and a tortured psyche further taunted by God’s intangible presence.
Saul J. Turell
1979 • 30 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus
Saul J. Turell’s Academy Award-winning documentary short Paul Robeson: Tribute to an Artist, narrated by Sidney Poitier, traces his career through his activism and his socially charged performances of his signature song, “Ol’ Man River.”
1933 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Charles Laughton gulps beer and chomps on mutton, in his first of many iconic screen roles, as King Henry VIII, the ultimate anti-husband. Alexander Korda’s first major international success is a raucous, entertaining, even poignant peek into the boudoirs of the infamous king and his six wives.
Josef von Sternberg
1928 • 88 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #530 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Emil Jannings won the first best actor Academy Award for his performance as a sympathetic tyrant: an exiled Russian general turned Hollywood extra who lands a role playing a version of his former czarist self, bringing about his emotional downfall.
Josef von Sternberg
1927 • 81 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #529 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it.
1971 • 126 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #549 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich.
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.
1987 • 103 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #23 Edition: DVD
A grown-up superhero fantasy come to vivid, bloody life, Paul Verhoeven’s special effects-laden cult phenomenon features a resurrected hero (Peter Weller) in a new, supercharged cyborg body, struggling to reclaim his memory and avenge his own death.
1946 • 118 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #31 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean’s Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens’s masterpiece to robust on-screen life.
1957 • 110 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #49 Edition: DVD
Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Nights of Cabiria is the tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.
1948 • 153 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #82 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy.
1972 • 102 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #102 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric Oscar winner, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined.
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.
1956 • 99 minutes • 1.77:1 • United States
Spine: #96 Edition: DVD
Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring.
1966 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • Czechoslovakia
Spine: #131 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Wry and tender, Jirí Menzel’s Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation.
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.
1940 • 130 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #135 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
In Hitchcock’s romantic, suspenseful, elegant film, a young woman believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, her husband’s late first wife, haunts the de Winter mansion, Manderley.
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.
1958 • 116 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #111 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Mon oncle is a supremely amusing satire of mechanized living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
1982 • 188 minutes • 1.66:1 • Sweden
Spine: #263 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Alexander, we witness the delights and conflicts of the Ekdahl family, a sprawling bourgeois clan in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sweden.
1961 • 104 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #286 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus
In Pietro Germi’s hilarious and cutting satire of Sicilian male-chauvinist culture, Baron Ferdinando Cefalù (Marcello Mastroianni) longs to marry his nubile young cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli), but one obstacle stands in his way: his fatuous and fawning wife, Rosalia (Daniela Rocca).
1985 • 160 minutes • 1.85:1 • Japan
Spine: #316 Edition: DVD
With Ran, legendary director Akira Kurosawa reimagines Shakespeare’s King Lear as a singular historical epic set in sixteenth-century Japan. Majestic in scope, the film is Kurosawa’s late-life masterpiece, a profound examination of the folly of war.
1960 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • Sweden
Spine: #321 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring is a harrowing tale of faith, revenge, and savagery in medieval Sweden.
1976 • 103 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #334 Edition: DVD
Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award–winning Harlan County USA unflinchingly documents a grueling coal miners’ strike in a small Kentucky town. With unprecedented access, Kopple and her crew captured the miners’ sometimes violent struggles with strikebreakers, local police, and company thugs.