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A sophisticated supernatural Hollywood comedy whose influence continues to be felt, Here Comes Mr. Jordan stars the eminently versatile Robert Montgomery as a working-class boxer and amateur aviator whose plane crashes in a freak accident.
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.
Suffused with both enchantment and melancholy, this autobiographical film takes on the perspective of a quiet, lonely boy growing up in Liverpool in the 1950s.
A quintessential cult film of the 1980s, Alex Cox’s singular sci-fi comedy stars the always captivating Harry Dean Stanton as a weathered repo man in a desolate Los Angeles, and Emilio Estevez as the nihilistic middle-class punk he takes under his wing.
In the middle of the 1970s, Wim Wenders embarked on a three-film journey that took him from the wide roads of Germany to the endless highways of the United States and back again.
When a gifted but washed-up screenwriter with a hair-trigger temper—Humphrey Bogart, in a revelatory, vulnerable performance—becomes the prime suspect in a brutal Tinseltown murder, the only person who can supply an alibi for him is a seductive neighbor (Gloria Grahame) with her own troubled past.
Suffused with a lingering post–World War II disillusionment while also evincing the playfulness and fascination with theatrical performance and conspiracy that would become hallmarks for the director, Paris Belongs to Us marked the provocative start to a brilliant directorial career.
The rare film that takes aim at the frenzy of the McCarthy era while also being suffused with its Cold War paranoia, The Manchurian Candidate remains potent, shocking American moviemaking.
Among the most praised and sought-after titles in all contemporary film, this singular masterpiece of Taiwanese cinema, directed by Edward Yang, finally comes to home video in the United States.
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.
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.
This revelatory drama was named the best film of the 1990s in a Village Voice poll of more than fifty critics.
The Moment of Truth, from director Francesco Rosi, is a visceral plunge into the life of a famous torero—played by real-life bullfighting legend Miguel Mateo, known as Miguelín.
In a beautifully understated performance, Redford is David Chappellet, a ruthlessly ambitious skier competing for Olympic gold with an underdog American team in Europe, and Gene Hackman provides tough support as the coach who tries to temper the upstart’s narcissistic drive for glory.
After more than a decade of sober political dramas and socially minded period pieces, the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi shifted gears dramatically for this rapturously stylized quartet of ghost stories.
An American housewife (Jennifer Jones) vacationing in Italy reluctantly decides to put an end to her brief affair with an Italian academic (Montgomery Clift) in this troubled collaboration between director Vittorio De Sica and producer David O. Selznick.
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.
Masaki Kobayashi’s mammoth humanist drama is one of the most staggering achievements of Japanese cinema. A raw indictment of its nation’s wartime mentality as well as a personal existential tragedy, Kobayashi’s riveting, gorgeously filmed epic is novelistic cinema at its best.
Tormented by twisted desires, a young man takes drastic measures to rid his grotesquely dysfunctional family of its various afflictions in this astonishing 1965 debut from Marco Bellocchio.
Set amid the tumult of World War II, yet with a rhythm as delicate as a lullaby, Powell and Pressburger’s classic follows three modern-day incarnations of Chaucer’s pilgrims waylaid in the English countryside en route to the mythical town of Canterbury and forced to solve a bizarre village crime.
Agnès Varda used the skills she honed early in her career as a photographer to create some of the most nuanced, thought-provoking films of the past fifty years.
This multiple-Oscar-winning film by Roman Polanski is an exquisite, richly layered adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Urbervilles.
The films directed by the great Satyajit Ray in the last ten years of his life have a unique dignity and drama. They are complex, political, and humane depictions of worlds both corrupt and indescribably beautiful, constructed with Ray’s characteristic elegance and imbued with autumnal profundity.
Max Ophuls’s final film, Lola Montès is at once a magnificent romantic melodrama, a meditation on the lurid fascination with celebrity, and a one-of-a-kind movie spectacle.
A pair of siblings from London (Ray Milland and Ruth Hussey) purchase a surprisingly affordable, lonely cliff-top house in Cornwall, only to discover that it actually carries a ghostly price—and soon they’re caught up in a bizarre romantic triangle from beyond the grave.
These elegant, bawdy films, made before strict enforcement of the Hays morality code, feature some of the greatest stars of early Hollywood, as well as that elusive style of comedy that would thereafter be known as “the Lubitsch touch.”
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.
A producer, writer, and director who navigated toward subjects of major historical significance and mythical distinction, Alexander Korda specialized in stately period drama with surprising satire. These films are exemplars of grand 1930s moviemaking.
Barbara Stanwyck and Walter Huston are at their fierce finest in master Hollywood craftsman Anthony Mann’s crackling western melodrama The Furies, sophisticated in its view of frontier settlement and ablaze with searing domestic drama.
With the simplest of concepts and sparest of techniques, Robert Bresson made one of the most suspenseful jailbreak films of all time in A Man Escaped.
Badlands announced the arrival of a major talent: Terrence Malick. His impressionistic take on the notorious Charles Starkweather killing spree of the late 1950s uses a serial-killer narrative as a springboard for an oblique teenage romance.
The debut feature by the great Andrei Tarkovsky, Ivan’s Childhood is a poetic journey through the shards and shadows of one boy’s war-ravaged youth.
The Tin Drum, is Volker Schlöndorff’s visionary adaptation of Nobel laureate Günter Grass’s acclaimed novel, characterized by surreal imagery, arresting eroticism, and clear-eyed satire.
The Samurai Trilogy, directed by Hiroshi Inagaki and starring the inimitable Toshiro Mifune, was one of Japan’s most successful exports of the 1950s, a rousing, emotionally gripping tale of combat and self-discovery.
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) brings his keen eye for landscape to the American Southwest in Paris, Texas, a profoundly moving character study written by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Sam Shepard.
This historical drama by Mario Monicelli, brimming with humor and honesty, is a beautiful and moving ode to the power of the people.
Four desperate men sign on for a suicide mission to drive trucks loaded with nitroglycerin over a treacherous mountain route—a white-knuckle ride from France’s legendary master of suspense, Henri-Georges Clouzot.
This lush, Technicolor tragic romance from Luchino Visconti stars Alida Valli as a nineteenth-century Italian countess who, during the Austrian occupation of her country, puts her marriage and political principles on the line by engaging in a torrid affair with a dashing Austrian lieutenant.
A testament to the goodness of humankind, Akira Kurosawa’s Red Beard chronicles the tumultuous relationship between an arrogant young doctor and a compassionate clinic director (Toshiro Mifune, in his last role for Kurosawa).
In Pier Paolo Pasolini’s neorealist take on society’s marginalized and dispossessed, Anna Magnani delivers a powerhouse performance as a middle-aged prostitute who attempts to extricate herself from her sordid past for the sake of her son.
Two unique versions of Maxim Gorky’s classic proletariat play, adapted by two of cinema’s greatest directors: Jean Renoir and Akira Kurosawa.
In Fellini’s semiautobiographical masterpiece, five young men linger in a postadolescent limbo, dreaming of adventure and escape from their small seacoast town. They while away their time spending the lira doled out by their indulgent families on drink, women, and nights at the pool hall.
Ermanno Olmi’s masterful feature is the tender story of two Milanese fiancés whose strained relationship is tested when the man accepts a new job in Sicily. With the separation come loneliness, nostalgia, and, perhaps, some new perspectives that might rejuvenate their love.
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.
One of the great translations of literature into film, David Lean’s Great Expectations brings Charles Dickens’s masterpiece to robust on-screen life.
In this powerful early noir from the great Akira Kurosawa, Toshiro Mifune bursts onto the screen as a volatile, tubercular criminal who strikes up an unlikely relationship with Takashi Shimura’s jaded physician.
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.
Based on the classic Emile Zola novel, Jean Renoir’s La bête humaine, a suspenseful journey into the tormented psyche of a workingman, was one of the director’s greatest popular successes—and earned star Jean Gabin a permanent place in the hearts of his countrymen.