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: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
Told through the eyes of François Truffaut’s cinematic counterpart, Antoine Doinel, The 400 Blows sensitively re-creates the trials of Truffaut’s own childhood, unsentimentally portraying aloof parents, oppressive teachers, and petty crime.
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.
1964 • 86 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Editions: Collector’s Sets, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The blind swordsman wanders into a town to celebrate the New Year. There, he befriends a young woman whose father has gone missing; as he tries to help her find him, he becomes entangled in a web of corruption and a series of tragic twists of fate.
1962 • 91 minutes • 1.66:1 • United Kingdom
Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Othello is translated to the world of sixties London jazz clubs in Basil Dearden’s smoky and sensational All Night Long. This daring psychodrama also features on-screen appearances by jazz legends Charles Mingus, Dave Brubeck, Tubby Hayes, and Johnny Dankworth.
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.
1987 • 104 minutes • 1.66:1 • Denmark
Spine: #665 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
At once a rousing paean to artistic creation, a delicate evocation of divine grace, and the ultimate film about food, the Oscar-winning Babette’s Feast is a deeply beloved treasure of cinema.
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.
1963 • 135 minutes • 1.33:1 • India
Spine: #668 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Hulu Plus, iTunes
The Big City follows the personal triumphs and frustrations of Arati (Madhabi Mukherjee), who decides, despite the initial protests of her bank-clerk husband, to take a job to help support their family.
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.
1945 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #606 Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
David Lean’s delightful film version of Noël Coward’s theater sensation stars Rex Harrison as a novelist who cheekily invites a medium to his house to conduct a séance, hoping the experience will inspire a book he’s working on.
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.
Lars von Trier
1996 • 159 minutes • 2.35:1 • Denmark
Spine: #705 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, iTunes
Lars von Trier became an international sensation with this galvanizing realist fable about sex and spiritual transcendence.
1960 • 90 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #408 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, 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 that 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.
1991 • 84 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #699 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, DVD, iTunes
Errol Morris turns his camera on one of the most fascinating men in the world: the pioneering astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, afflicted by a debilitating motor neuron disease that has left him without a voice or the use of his limbs.
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.
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.