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.
1959 • 99 minutes • 2.35:1 • France
Spine: #5 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
François Truffaut sensitively re-creates the trials of his own difficult childhood in The 400 Blows, the film that marked his emergence as one of Europe’s most brilliant auteurs and signaled the beginning of the French New Wave.
1973 • 123 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #4 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Federico Fellini satirizes his youth in this carnivalesque portrait of provincial Italy in the fascist period. The Academy Award–winning Amarcord remains one of cinema’s enduring treasures.
1984 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #425 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A unique, enthralling cinematic experience, Teshigahara’s Antonio Gaudí, less a documentary than a visual poem, takes viewers on a tour of Gaudí’s truly spectacular architecture.
Spencer G. Bennet
1959 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #366 Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
When a nuclear-powered submarine, the Tiger Shark, sets out to investigate a series of mysterious disappearances near the Arctic Circle, its fearless crew finds itself besieged by electrical storms, an Unidentified Floating Saucer, and lots of hairy tentacles.
1980 • 122 minutes • 2.35:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #303 Editions: DVD, iTunes
Amid the decaying elegance of cold-war Vienna, psychoanalyst Dr. Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with the elusive Milena Flaherty (Theresa Russell) in Nicolas Roeg’s masterful, deeply disturbing foray into the dark world of sexual obsession.
1958 • 98 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #645 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Filmed almost entirely on cunningly designed studio sets, in brilliant color and widescreen, The Ballad of Narayama is a stylish and vividly formal work from Japan’s cinematic golden age, directed by the dynamic Keisuke Kinoshita.
1966 • 121 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #249 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
One of the most influential political films in history, The Battle of Algiers, by Gillo Pontecorvo, vividly re-creates a key year in the tumultuous Algerian struggle for independence from the occupying French in the 1950s.
1946 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #6 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The spectacular visions of enchantment, desire, and death in Beauty and the Beast (La Belle et la Bête) have become timeless icons of cinematic wonder.
1959 • 107 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #48 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Winner of both the Academy Award for best foreign-language film and the Cannes Film Festival’s Palme d’Or, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus (Orfeu negro) brings the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice to the twentieth-century madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro.
1967 • 91 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Spine: #38 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
When Japanese New Wave bad boy Seijun Suzuki delivered this brutal, hilarious, and visually inspired masterpiece to the executives at his studio, he was promptly fired.
1960 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #408 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same.
1945 • 86 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #76 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
After a chance meeting on a train platform, a married doctor (Trevor Howard) and a suburban housewife (Celia Johnson) enter into a muted but passionate, ultimately doomed, love affair.
1951 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #294 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Michael Redgrave gives the performance of his career in Anthony Asquith’s adaptation of Terence Rattigan’s unforgettable play. Redgrave portrays Andrew Crocker-Harris, an embittered, middle-aged schoolmaster who begins to feel that his life has been a failure.
1982 • 95 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #287 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Les Blank documents acclaimed German filmmaker Werner Herzog’s ambitious and troubled production of Fitzcarraldo, the story of one man’s attempt to build an opera house deep in the Amazon jungle.
1994 • 79 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #354 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Lodge Kerrigan’s raw, ravaging Clean, Shaven is a headfirst dive into the mindscape of a schizophrenic as he tries to track down his daughter after he is released from an institution.
1990 • 98 minutes • 1.33:1 • Iran
Spine: #519 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Internationally revered Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami has created some of the most inventive and transcendent cinema of the past thirty years, and the fiction-documentary hybrid Close-up is his most radical, brilliant work.
1959 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #368 Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In 1840s London, Dr. Thomas Bolton (Boris Karloff) dares to dream the unthinkable: to operate on patients without causing pain. Unfortunately, the road to general anesthesia is blocked by a ruthless killer (Christopher Lee), as well as Bolton’s devastating addiction to his own chemical experiments.
1976 • 109 minutes • 1.66:1 • Spain
Spine: #403 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
In Carlos Saura’s exquisite Cría cuervos . . ., Ana Torrent (the dark-eyed beauty from The Spirit of the Beehive) portrays the disturbed eight-year-old Ana, living in Madrid with her two sisters and mourning the death of her mother, whom she conjures as a ghost (an ethereal Geraldine Chaplin).
Guillermo del Toro
1993 • 92 minutes • 1.78:1 • Mexico
Spine: #551 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Guillermo del Toro made an auspicious, audacious feature debut with Cronos, a highly unorthodox tale about the seductiveness of the idea of immortality. Cronos is a dark, visually rich, and emotionally captivating fantasy.
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.
1986 • 107 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #166 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Director Jim Jarmusch followed up his brilliant breakout film Stranger Than Paradise with another, equally beloved portrait of loners and misfits in the American landscape
1953 • 100 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #445 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The most cherished work from French master Max Ophuls, The Earrings of Madame de . . . is a profoundly emotional, cinematographically adventurous tale of deceptive opulence and tragic romance.
1982 • 83 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #625 Editions: DVD, Blu-ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
A mix of hilarious, anything-goes slapstick and biting satire of me-generation self-indulgence, Eating Raoul marked the end of the sexual revolution with a thwack.
1975 • 87 minutes • 1.66:1 • United States
Spine: #288 Editions: DVD, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Trickery. Deceit. Magic. In Orson Welles’s free-form documentary F for Fake, the legendary filmmaker (and self-described charlatan) gleefully engages the central preoccupation of his career—the tenuous line between truth and illusion, art and lies.