1922 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • Denmark
Spine: #134 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
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.
The comic genius of silent star Harold Lloyd is eternal. Chaplin is the sweet innocent, Keaton the stoic outsider, but Lloyd—the modern guy striving for success—is us. And with its torrent of perfectly executed gags and astonishing stunts, Safety Last! is the perfect introduction to him.
1928 • 86 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #788 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Speedy is an out-of-control love letter to New York that will have you grinning from ear to ear.
1931 • 110 minutes • 1.19:1 • Germany
Spine: #30 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
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.
1931 • 86 minutes • 1.19:1 • United States
Spine: #680 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The writer-director-star achieved new levels of grace, in both physical comedy and dramatic poignancy, with this silent tale of a lovable vagrant falling for a young blind woman who sells flowers on the street (a magical Virginia Cherrill) and mistakes him for a millionaire.
1931 • 96 minutes • 1.19:1 • France
Spine: #818 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Jean Renoir’s ruthless love triangle tale, his second sound film, is a true precursor to his brilliantly bitter The Rules of the Game, displaying all of the filmmaker’s visual genius and fully imbued with his profound sense of humanity.
1934 • 89 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
In Jean Vigo’s hands, an unassuming tale of conjugal love becomes an achingly romantic reverie of desire and hope.
1934 • 75 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #643 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
This fleet and gripping film is the first of the early thrillers the Master of Suspense, Alfred Hitchcock, made during the fertile phase of his career spent at the Gaumont-British Picture Corporation.
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.
1936 • 87 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #543 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Modern Times, Charlie Chaplin’s last outing as the Little Tramp, puts the iconic character to work as a giddily inept factory employee who becomes smitten with a gorgeous gamine (Paulette Goddard).
1936 • 41 minutes • 1.37:1 • France
Spine: #746 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This bittersweet film from Jean Renoir, based on a story by Guy de Maupassant, is a tenderly comic idyll about a city family’s picnic in the French countryside and the romancing of the mother and grown daughter by two local men.
1938 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #3 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
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.
1939 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #216 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Considered one of the greatest films ever made, The Rules of the Game (La règle du jeu), by Jean Renoir, is a scathing critique of corrupt French society cloaked in a comedy of manners.
1939 • 91 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #559 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
The legendary Gilbert and Sullivan troupe the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company joined forces with Hollywood for this 1939 Technicolor version of the beloved comic opera The Mikado, the first work by the famed duo to be adapted for the screen.
1939 • 96 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #516 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This is where it all started. John Ford’s smash hit and enduring masterpiece Stagecoach revolutionized the western, elevating it from B movie to the A-list.
1939 • 115 minutes • 1.37:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #583 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
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.
1939 • 143 minutes • 1.37:1 • Japan
Spine: #832 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
This heartrending masterpiece by Kenji Mizoguchi about the give-and-take between life and art marked the first full realization of the hypnotic long takes and eloquent camera movements that would come to define the director’s films.
1940 • 125 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #565 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
In his controversial masterpiece The Great Dictator, Charlie Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a sly tweaking of his own comic persona.
1940 • 120 minutes • 1.37:1 • United States
Spine: #696 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
A full-throttle espionage thriller, starring Joel McCrea as a green Yank reporter sent to Europe to get the scoop on the imminent war, it’s wall-to-wall witty repartee, head-spinning plot twists, and brilliantly mounted suspense set pieces.
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.
1941 • 106 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #214 Editions: DVD, 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.
In the midst of World War II, the renowned playwright Noël Coward engaged a young film editor named David Lean to help him realize his vision for an action drama about a group of Royal Navy sailors (roles that would be filled by Coward himself, Bernard Miles, and John Mills, among others) fighting
1942 • 72 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #615 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Charlie Chaplin’s comedic masterwork—which charts a prospector’s search for fortune in the Klondike and his discovery of romance (with the beautiful Georgia Hale)—forever cemented the iconic status of Chaplin and his Little Tramp character.
1942 • 77 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #676 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Veronica Lake casts a seductive spell as a charmingly vengeful sorceress in this supernatural screwball classic.