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.
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.
Vittorio De Sica
1948 • 89 minutes • 1.37:1 • Italy
Spine: #374 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Hailed around the world as one of the greatest movies ever made, the Academy Award–winning Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica, defined an era in cinema.
1959 • 107 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #48 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, 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.
1966 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • Czechoslovakia
Spine: #131 Edition: DVD
At a village railway station in occupied Czechoslovakia, a bumbling dispatcher’s apprentice longs to liberate himself from his virginity. Wry and tender, Jirí Menzel’s Academy Award-winning Closely Watched Trains is a masterpiece of human observation.
1972 • 91 minutes • 1.66:1 • Sweden
Spine: #101 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
An intensely felt film that is one of Bergman’s most striking formal experiments, Cries and Whispers (which won an Oscar for the extraordinary color photography of Sven Nykvist) is a powerful depiction of human behavior in the face of death.
2008 • 165 minutes • 2.40:1 • United States
Spine: #476 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
Brad Pitt is a man who is born in his eighties and ages backward and Cate Blanchett is the woman he is destined to love forever in David Fincher’s monumental, Academy Award–winning The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, a powerful testament to life and death, love and loss.
1978 • 94 minutes • 1.77:1 • United States
Spine: #409 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
A timeless American idyll and a gritty evocation of turn-of-the-century labor, Terrence Malick’s glorious period tragedy Days of Heaven features Oscar-winning cinematography by Nestor Almendros.
1972 • 102 minutes • 1.66:1 • France
Spine: #102 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
In Luis Buñuel’s deliciously satiric Oscar winner, an upper-class sextet sits down to dinner but never eats, their attempts continually thwarted by a vaudevillian mixture of events both actual and imagined.
1961 • 104 minutes • 1.85:1 • Italy
Spine: #286 Edition: DVD
In Pietro Germi’s hilarious and cutting satire of Sicilian male-chauvinist culture, Baron Ferdinando Cefalù (Marcello Mastroianni) longs to marry his nubile young cousin Angela (Stefania Sandrelli), but one obstacle stands in his way: his fatuous and fawning wife, Rosalia (Daniela Rocca).
1982 • 188 minutes • 1.66:1 • Sweden
Spine: #263 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Through the eyes of ten-year-old Alexander, we witness the delights and conflicts of the Ekdahl family, a sprawling bourgeois clan in turn-of-the-twentieth-century Sweden.
1952 • 86 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #318 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
A timeless evocation of childhood innocence corrupted, René Clément’s mythical and heartbreakingly real Forbidden Games tells the story of a young girl orphaned by war and the farm boy she joins in a fantastical world of macabre play.
1946 • 118 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #31 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean’s Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens’s masterpiece to robust on-screen life.
1948 • 153 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #82 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor, Sir Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet continues to be the most compelling version of Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy.
1976 • 103 minutes • 1.78:1 • United States
Spine: #334 Edition: DVD
Barbara Kopple’s Academy Award–winning Harlan County USA unflinchingly documents a grueling coal miners’ strike in a small Kentucky town. With unprecedented access, Kopple and her crew captured the miners’ sometimes violent struggles with strikebreakers, local police, and company thugs.
1974 • 112 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #156 Editions: Dual Format Blu-ray/DVD, iTunes
A startling and courageous film, Peter Davis’s landmark 1974 documentary Hearts and Minds unflinchingly confronted the United States’ involvement in Vietnam at the height of the controversy that surrounded it.
1992 • 142 minutes • 2.35:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #488 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray
The pinnacle of the decades-long collaboration between producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, Howards End is a luminous vision of E. M. Forster’s cutting 1910 novel about class divisions in Edwardian England.
Josef von Sternberg
1928 • 88 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #530 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Emil Jannings won the first best actor Academy Award for his performance as a sympathetic tyrant: an exiled Russian general turned Hollywood extra who lands a role playing a version of his former czarist self, bringing about his emotional downfall.
1987 • 160 minutes • 2.00:1 • China
Spine: #422 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, iTunes
Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, about the life of Emperor Pu Yi, who took the throne at age three, in 1908, before witnessing decades of cultural and political upheaval, won nine Academy Awards, unexpectedly sweeping every category in which it was nominated.
1971 • 126 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #549 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Featuring evocative black-and-white imagery and profoundly felt performances, this hushed depiction of crumbling American values remains the pivotal film in the career of the invaluable director and film historian Peter Bogdanovich.
1982 • 122 minutes • 1.85:1 • United States
Spine: #449 Edition: DVD
Starring Jack Lemmon and Sissy Spacek, Missing is political filmmaker extraordinaire Costa-Gavras’s compelling, controversial dramatization of the search for American filmmaker and journalist Charles Horman, who mysteriously disappeared during the 1973 coup in Chile.
1958 • 116 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Spine: #111 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Mon oncle is a supremely amusing satire of mechanized living and consumer society that earned the director the Academy Award for best foreign-language film.
1948 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #380 Editions: DVD, iTunes
Master noir craftsman Jules Dassin’s dazzling police procedural The Naked City was shot entirely on location in New York. As influenced by Italian neorealism as American crime fiction, this double Academy Award winner remains a benchmark for naturalism in noir.