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Robert Downey Sr. emerged as one of the most irreverent filmmakers of the New York underground of the sixties, taking no prisoners in his rough-and-tumble treatises on politics, race, and consumer culture.
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In the 1940s, the wit of playwright Noël Coward and the craft of filmmaker David Lean melded harmoniously in one of cinema’s greatest writer-director collaborations.
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The great Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov, known for his virtuosic, emotionally gripping films, perhaps never made a more visually astonishing one than Letter Never Sent.
The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process.
The Last Temptation of Christ, by Martin Scorsese, is a towering achievement. Though it initially engendered enormous controversy, the film can now be viewed as the remarkable, profoundly personal work of faith that it is.
On April 14, 1912, just before midnight, the “unsinkable” Titanic struck an iceberg. In less than three hours, it had plunged to the bottom of the sea. This is cinema’s subtlest and best dramatization of this monumental twentieth-century catastrophe.
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.
In this pitch-black comedy from Preston Sturges, Rex Harrison stars as a world-famous symphony conductor consumed with the suspicion that his wife is having an affair. Unfaithfully Yours is a brilliantly performed mixture of razor-sharp dialogue and uproarious slapstick.
When thief Gaston Monescu (Herbert Marshall) meets his true love in pickpocket Lily (Miriam Hopkins), they embark on a scam to rob lovely perfume company executive Mariette Colet (Kay Francis). Legendary director Ernst Lubitsch’s masterful touch is in full flower in Trouble in Paradise.
A brother and sister flee persecution at home in Guatemala and journey north, through Mexico and on to the United States, with the dream of starting a new life. A work of social realism imbued with dreamlike imagery, El Norte is a lovingly rendered, heartbreaking story of hope and survival.
Set against the stifling conformity of pre–World War I English society, Maurice is a story of coming to terms with one’s sexuality and identity in the face of disapproval and misunderstanding. Maurice Hall (James Wilby) and Clive Durham (Hugh Grant) find themselves falling in love at Cambridge.
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An unsung comic triumph from David Lean, Hobson’s Choice stars the legendary Charles Laughton as the harrumphing Henry Hobson, the owner of a boot shop in late Victorian northern England whose haughty, independent daughter decides to forge her own path, romantically and professionally.
Deceased playboy Henry Van Cleve presents himself to the outer offices of Hades, where he asks a bemused Satan for permission to enter the gates of hell. Henry proceeds to recount a lifetime of wooing and pursuing women, his long, happy marriage to Martha notwithstanding.
In the shady black markets and bombed-out hovels of post–World War II Tokyo, a band of prostitutes eke out an existence, maintaining tenuous friendships and a semblance of order. But when a renegade ex-soldier stumbles into their midst, lusts and loyalties clash, with tragic results.
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.
Jean-Pierre Gorin established
his personal voice with this trio of fascinating,
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These haywire hits about splintered love affairs and broken homes, all starring mustachioed matinee idol Amedeo Nazzari and icon of feminine purity Yvonne Sanson, luxuriate in delirious plot twists and overheated religious symbolism.
In the late fifties and early sixties, Basil Dearden created a series of gripping, groundbreaking, even controversial films that dealt with racism, homophobia, and the lingering effects of World War II, noir-tinged dramas that burrowed into corners of London rarely seen on-screen.
Vanya on 42nd Street is as memorable and emotional a screen version of Chekhov’s masterpiece as one could ever hope to see. This film, which turned out to be Malle’s last, is a tribute to the playwright’s devastating work as well as to the creative process itself.
This gripping envelope-pusher, the most popular film by Hollywood provocateur Otto Preminger, was groundbreaking for the frankness of its discussion of sex—but more than anything else, it is a striking depiction of the power of words.
Originally made for German television, this recently rediscovered, three-and-a-half-hour labyrinth is a satiric and surreal look at the world of tomorrow from one of cinema’s kinkiest geniuses.
This first film by the legendary Hideo Gosha is among the most canonized chambara (sword-fighting) films.
The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi, is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín.
Godzilla is the roaring granddaddy of all monster movies. It’s also a remarkably humane and melancholy drama made in Japan at a time when the country was still reeling from nuclear attack and H-bomb testing.
Catherine Deneuve’s porcelain perfection hides a cracked interior in one of the actress’s most iconic roles: Séverine, a Paris housewife who begins secretly spending her afternoon hours working in a bordello.