Josef von Sternberg
1927 • 81 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #529 Edition: Collector’s Sets
Josef von Sternberg’s riveting breakthrough is widely considered the film that launched the American gangster genre as we know it.
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.
1933 • 96 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Charles Laughton gulps beer and chomps on mutton, in his first of many iconic screen roles, as King Henry VIII, the ultimate anti-husband. Alexander Korda’s first major international success is a raucous, entertaining, even poignant peek into the boudoirs of the infamous king and his six wives.
Cranky Professor Henry Higgins (Leslie Howard) takes a bet that he can turn Cockney guttersnipe Eliza Doolittle (Wendy Hiller) into a “proper lady” in a mere six months in this delightful comedy of bad manners, based on the play by George Bernard Shaw.
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.
Prince Ahmad, cast out of Bagdad by the nefarious Jaffar, joins forces with the scrappy thief Abu to win back his royal place and the heart of a princess in Alexander Korda’s The Thief of Bagdad, an eye-popping special-effects pioneer and one of the most spectacular fantasy films ever made.
1940 • 130 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #135 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
In Hitchcock’s romantic, suspenseful, elegant film, a young woman believes her every dream has come true when her whirlwind romance with the dashing Maxim de Winter culminates in marriage. But she soon realizes that Rebecca, her husband’s late first wife, haunts the de Winter mansion, Manderley.
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 • 125 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #487 Edition: DVD
Set against the backdrop of the Napoleonic Wars of the late eighteenth century, That Hamilton Woman is a gripping account of the scandalous adulterous affair between the British Royal Navy officer Lord Horatio Nelson (Laurence Olivier) and the renowned beauty Emma, Lady Hamilton (Vivien Leigh).
1945 • 111 minutes • 1.33:1 • United States
Spine: #136 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
When the mysterious Dr. Anthony Edwardes (Gregory Peck) becomes the new chief of staff at her institution, the bookish and detached Dr. Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) plummets into a whirlwind of tangled identities and feverish psychoanalysis. Spellbound is classic Hitchcock.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
1949 • 104 minutes • 1.33:1 • United Kingdom
Spine: #64 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, black-market opportunist Harry Lime—and thus begins this legendary tale of love, deception, and murder.
1950 • 88 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #138 Editions: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
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.
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.
1954 • 108 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #219 Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets
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.
1954 • 93 minutes • 1.33:1 • Japan
Spine: #14 Editions: Collector’s Sets, iTunes
In the first part of the epic Samurai Trilogy, Toshiro Mifune thunders onto the screen as the iconic title character.
1956 • 99 minutes • 1.77:1 • United States
Spine: #96 Edition: DVD
Bathed in lurid Technicolor, melodrama maestro Douglas Sirk’s Written on the Wind is the stylishly debauched tale of a Texas oil magnate brought down by the excesses of his spoiled offspring.
1956 • 34 minutes • 1.33:1 • France
Editions: DVD, Collector’s Sets, iTunes
Albert Lamorisse’s exquisite The Red Balloon remains one of the most beloved children’s films of all time. In this deceptively simple, nearly wordless tale, a young boy discovers a stray balloon, which seems to have a mind of its own, on the streets of Paris.
1957 • 110 minutes • 1.33:1 • Italy
Spine: #49 Edition: DVD
Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, Nights of Cabiria is the tragic story of a naive prostitute searching for true love in the seediest sections of Rome.
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.