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, 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.
1963 • 138 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #140 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
One of the greatest films about film ever made, Federico Fellini’s 8½ (Otto e mezzo) turns one man’s artistic crisis into a grand epic of the cinema.
1964 • 86 minutes • 2.35:1 • Japan
Editions: Collector’s Sets, 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.
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
1974 • 93 minutes • 1.37:1 • Germany
Spine: #198 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The wildly prolific German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder paid homage to his cinematic hero Douglas Sirk with this update of that filmmaker’s 1955 All That Heaven Allows.
1973 • 123 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #4 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, 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.
1977 • 126 minutes • 1.66:1 • Germany
Spine: #793 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Wim Wenders pays loving homage to rough-and-tumble Hollywood film noir with The American Friend, a loose adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel Ripley’s Game.
1955 • 106 minutes • 1.37:1 • Italy
Spine: #817 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This major early achievement by Michelangelo Antonioni bears the first signs of the cinema-changing style for which he would soon be world-famous.
1959 • 161 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #600 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
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.
1990 • 158 minutes • 1.78:1 • New Zealand
Spine: #301 Editions: DVD, iTunes
With An Angel at My Table, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Jane Campion brings to the screen the harrowing true-life story of Janet Frame, New Zealand’s most distinguished author. Angel beautifully captures the color and power of the New Zealand landscape.
1984 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #425 Editions: DVD, 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.
1958 • 103 minutes • 1.66:1 • Poland
Spine: #285 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
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.
Spencer G. Bennet
1959 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #366 Editions: Collector’s Sets, 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.
1966 • 95 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #297 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Robert Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar follows the donkey Balthazar as he is passed from owner to owner, some kind and some cruel, but all with motivations beyond his understanding—a profound masterpiece from one of the most revered filmmakers in the history of cinema.
1962 • 113 minutes • 1.37:1 • Japan
Spine: #446 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The last film by Yasujiro Ozu was also his final masterpiece, a gently heartbreaking story about a man’s dignifed resignation to life’s shifting currents and society’s modernization.
1987 • 104 minutes • 1.66:1 • Denmark
Spine: #665 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, 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, 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, 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, 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.
1967 • 100 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #593 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
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.