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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.
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.
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.
Much studied, imitated, even parodied, but never outdone, Bergman’s stunning allegory of man’s search for meaning was one of the benchmark foreign imports of America’s 1950s art house heyday, pushing cinema’s boundaries and ushering in a new era of moviegoing.
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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.
One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean’s Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens’s masterpiece to robust on-screen life.
Robert Flaherty’s classic film tells the story of Inuit hunter Nanook and his family as they struggle to survive in the harsh conditions of Canada’s Hudson Bay region.
Immediately suppressed by the Soviets in 1966, Andrei Tarkovsky’s epic masterpiece is a sweeping medieval tale of Russia’s greatest icon painter.
In this jazzy gangster film, reformed killer Tetsu’s attempt to go straight is thwarted when his former cohorts call him back to Tokyo to help battle a rival gang.
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.
The Red Shoes, the singular fantasia from Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is cinema’s quintessential backstage drama, as well as one of the most glorious Technicolor feasts ever concocted for the screen.
Middle-aged Mr. Badii drives through the hilly outskirts of Tehran, searching for someone to rescue or bury him, in Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami’s emotionally complex meditation on life and death.
Dreyer’s The Passion of Joan of Arc, in which Renée Falconetti gives one of the greatest performances ever recorded on film, convinced the world that movies could be art.
In Herk Harvey’s macabre masterpiece, Mary Henry survives a drag race in a rural Kansas town, then takes a job as a church organist in Salt Lake City. En route, she becomes haunted by a bizarre apparition that compels her to an abandoned lakeside pavilion.
Tenth grader Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) is Rushmore Academy’s most extracurricular student, and its least scholarly, in Wes Anderson’s dazzling sophomore effort—equal parts coming-of-age story, French New Wave homage, and screwball comedy.
Kwaidan features four nightmarish tales in which terror thrives and demons lurk. Adapted from traditional Japanese ghost stories, this lavish, widescreen production drew extensively on Kobayashi’s own training as a student of painting and fine arts.
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One of the great cult classics, The Blob melds ’50s schlock sci-fi and teen delinquency pics even as it transcends these genres with strong performances and ingenious special effects. The Blob helped launch the careers of superstud Steve McQueen and composer Burt Bacharach.
This explosive work about the conflict between the spirit and the flesh is the epitome of the sensuous style of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
In Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s stunningly photographed comedy, Wendy Hiller stars as a headstrong young woman who travels to the remote Scottish Hebrides to marry a rich lord.
Jane Wyman is a repressed wealthy widow and Rock Hudson is the hunky Thoreau-following gardener who loves her in Douglas Sirk’s heartbreakingly beautiful indictment of 1950s small-town America.
Called the greatest rock film ever made, this landmark documentary follows the Rolling Stones on their notorious 1969 U.S. tour.
In one of Sturges’s most clever and beloved romantic comedies, a conniving father and daughter meet up with the heir to a brewery fortune—a wealthy but naïve snake enthusiast—and attempt to bamboozle him at a cruise ship card table.
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.
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Filmmaker-svengali Josef von Sternberg escalates his obsession with screen legend Marlene Dietrich in this lavish depiction of sex and deceit in the eighteenth-century Russian court, a self-proclaimed “relentless excursion into style.”
Hollywood director Joel McCrea, tired of churning out lightweight comedies, decides to make O Brother, Where Art Thou, a serious, socially responsible film about human suffering. After his producers point out that he knows nothing of hardship, he hits the road as a hobo.
Tom Courtenay is Billy Fisher, the underachieving undertaker’s assistant whose constant daydreams and truth-deficient stories earn him the nickname “Billy Liar.” Deftly veering from gritty realism to flamboyant fantasy, Billy Liar is a dazzling and uproarious classic.
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.
A riveting psychological thriller that investigates the nature of truth and the meaning of justice Rashomon is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made.
Traveling to accept an honorary degree, Professor Isak Borg—masterfully played by veteran director Victor Sjöström—is forced to face his past, come to terms with his faults, and make peace with the inevitability of his approaching death.
In Peter Weir’s The Last Wave, Richard Chamberlain stars as Australian lawyer David Burton, who takes on the defense of a group of aborigines accused of killing one of their own.
Veronica and Boris are blissfully in love, until the eruption of World War II tears them apart. The Soviet cinema classic The Cranes Are Flying won the Palme d’Or at the 1958 Cannes Film Festival.
With its aching musical soundtrack and exquisitely abstract cinematography by Christopher Doyle and Mark Lee Ping-bin, this film has been a major stylistic influence on the past decade of cinema, and is a milestone in Wong’s redoubtable career.
Giulietta Masina plays a betrayed wife whose inability to come to terms with reality leads her along a hallucinatory journey of self-discovery in Fellini’s first color feature, a kaleidoscope of dreams, spirits, and memories.
Utilizing glorious widescreen cinematography, Kon Ichikawa examines the beauty and rich drama on display at the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. A spectacle of magnificent proportions, Tokyo Olympiad ranks among the greatest documents of sport ever committed to film.
One of the all-time comedy classics, René Clair’s À nous la liberté tells the story of Louis, an escaped convict who becomes a wealthy industrialist. Unfortunately, his past returns (in the form of old jail pal Emile) to upset his carefully laid plans.
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.
Pépé le moko is a wanted man: women long for him, rivals hope to destroy him, and the law is breathing down his neck at every turn. On the lam, Pépé is safe from the clutches of the police, until a Parisian playgirl compels him to risk his life. Pépé le moko is a landmark of poetic realism.
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.
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Ernest Hemingway’s gripping short story “The Killers” has fascinated readers and filmmakers for generations. The Criterion Collection presents all three film versions of this classic tale of amorality.
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A vivid, visceral Macbeth adaptation, Throne of Blood, directed by Akira Kurosawa, sets Shakespeare’s definitive tale of ambition and duplicity in a ghostly, fog-enshrouded landscape in feudal Japan.
In Alain Resnais’ cornerstone film of the French New Wave, a French actress (Emmanuelle Riva) and a Japanese architect (Eiji Okada) engage in a brief, intense affair in postwar Hiroshima, their consuming fascination impelling them to exorcise their own scarred memories of love and suffering.
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Rainer Werner Fassbinder, already the director of almost twenty films by the age of twenty-nine, paid homage to his cinematic hero, Douglas Sirk, with this updated version of Sirk’s All That Heaven Allows.
A husband, a wife, a stranger, a knife: Roman Polanski sets them all adrift on a weekend filled with simmering resentments and gut-churning suspense in his seminal psychological thriller, still one of the greatest feature debuts in film history.
A profoundly stirring evocation of elemental humanity and universal heartbreak, Tokyo Story is the crowning achievement of the unparalleled Yasujiro Ozu.
Federico Fellini’s wife Giulietta Masina plays Gelsomina, a naive girl sold into the employ of a brutal strongman in a traveling circus, in this poetic fable of love and cruelty, winner of the 1956 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film.
An aging bureaucrat with stomach cancer decides to strip the veneer off his existence and find meaning in his final days. Considered by some to be Akira Kurosawa’s greatest achievement, Ikiru offers a multifaceted look at a life through a prism of perspectives.
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In turn-of-the-century Sweden, four men and four women attempt to navigate the laws of attraction. During a weekend in the country, the women collude to force the men’s hands in matters of the heart.
The Mamiya family is seeking a husband for their daughter, Noriko, but when she impulsively chooses her childhood friend, she fulfills her family’s desires while tearing them apart. Early Summer is a nuanced examination of life’s changes across three generations.
John Cassavetes’s directorial debut revolves around a romance in New York City between Lelia (Lelia Goldoni), a light- skinned black woman, and Tony (Anthony Ray), a white man.
Faces confronts modern alienation and the battle of the sexes with a brutal honesty and compassion rarely matched in cinema.
John Cassavetes’ devastating drama details the emotional breakdown of a suburban housewife and her family’s struggle to save her from herself. This is one of the benchmark films of American independent cinema—a heroic document from a true maverick director.
John Cassavetes engages with film noir in his own inimitable style with The Killing of a Chinese Bookie. Ben Gazzara brilliantly portrays a gentleman’s club owner, Cosmo Vitelli, desperately committed to maintaining a facade of suave gentility despite the seediness of his environment.
QuQCDegueulasse: “the thing i was expecting least from this film was a "Contempt" ending”
At his secluded chateau in the French countryside, a brilliant, obsessive doctor (Pierre Brasseur) attempts a radical plastic surgery to restore the beauty of his daughter’s disfigured countenance—at a horrifying price.
River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves star in Gus Van Sant’s haunting tale of two young street hustlers: Mike Waters, a sensitive narcoleptic who dreams of the mother who abandoned him, and Scott Favor, the wayward son of the mayor of Portland and object of Mike’s desire.
The conclusion of Michelangelo Antonioni’s informal trilogy on modern malaise, L’eclisse (The Eclipse) tells the story of a young woman (Monica Vitti) who leaves one lover (Francisco Rabal) only to drift into a relationship with another (Alain Delon).
Hailed as one of the finest films ever made, Jules and Jim charts, over twenty-five years, the relationship between two friends and the object of their mutual obsession.
On the last day of World War II, Polish exiles of war and the occupying Soviet forces confront the beginning of a new day and a new Poland. In this incendiary environment, we find Home Army soldier Maciek Chelmicki, who has been ordered to assassinate an incoming commissar.
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Filmed over a five-year period, Hoop Dreams follows young Arthur Agee and William Gates as they navigate the complex, competitive world of scholastic athletics, while striving to overcome the intense pressures of family life and the realities of their Chicago streets.