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The World's Essential Films!? (1 Viewer)

john davies

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 18, 2003
1895 Arrival of a Train (Lumiere bros)

1902 A Trip to the Moon (Melies)

1915 Vampires (Feuillade)
Birth of a Nation (Griffith)

1916 Intolerance (Griffith)

1919 The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (Wiene)
Broken Blossoms (Griffith)

1921The Kid (Chaplin)
The Phantom Carriage (Sjostrom)

1922 Nosferatu (Murnau)
Nanook of the North (Flaherty)

1923 Safety Last (Newmayer, Taylor)
Die Nibelungen (Lang)

1924 Greed (Von Stroheim)
Sherlock Jnr (Keaton)
Strike (Eisenstein)
The Last Laugh (Murnau)
The Navigator (Keaton)
The Thief of Bagdad (Walsh)

1925 Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein)
The Gold Rush (Chaplin)
The Big Parade (Vidor)

1926 The General (Bruckman, Keaton)
A Page of Madness (Kinugasa)
Mother (Pudovkin)

1927 Sunrise (Murnau)
Metropolis (Lang)
Napoleon (Gance)
An Italian Straw Hat (Clair)
The Chess Player (Bernard)
The Unknown (Browning)
Berlin: Symphony of a Great city (Ruttmann)

1928 The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer)
Pandora's Box (Pabst)
The Wind (Sjostrom)
Un Chien Andalou (Bunuel)
The Crowd (Vidor)
Steamboat Bill jnr (Keaton)
October (Eisenstein)

1929 Man with a Movie Camera (Vertov)
L'Argent (L'Herbier)
People on Sunday (Ulmer, Siodmak)

1930 L'Age d' Or (Bunuel)
Earth (Dovzhenko)
All Quiet on the Western Front (Milestone)
The Blue Angel (Von Sternberg)

1931 M (Lang)
City Lights (Chaplin)
Frankenstein (Whale)
Public Enemy (Wellman)
Madchen in Uniform (Sagan)
Tabu (Murnau)

1932 Trouble in Paradise (Lubitsch)
Freaks (Browning)
Scarface (Hawks)
Boudu Saved from Drowning (Renoir)
I was Born, but (Ozu)
Love me Tonight (Mamoulian)
Vampyr (Dreyer)
I am a Fugitive (Leroy)

1933 King Kong (Cooper, Schoedsack)
Duck Soup (McCarey)
42nd Street (Bacon)
Zero De Conduite (Vigo)

1934 L' Atalante (Vigo)
It Happened One Night (Capra)
The Scarlet Empress (Von Sternberg)
Happiness (Medvedkin)

1935 Top Hat (Sandrich)
The 39 Steps (Hitchcock)
The Bride of Frankenstein (Whale)
Triumph of the Will (Riefenstahl)
A Night at the Opera (Wood)
Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (Renoir)
David Copperfield (Cukor)
The Devil is a Woman (Von Sternberg)

1936 Partie de Campagne (Renoir)
Modern Times (Chaplin)
Swing Time (Stevens)
Story of a Cheat (Guitry)
Mr Deeds Goes to Town (Capra)

1937 La Grande Illusion (Renoir)
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Disney- Hand)
Street Angel (Yuan Mushi)
Pépé le Moko (Duvivier)
Way out West (Horne)
The Awful Truth (McCarey)

1938 Bringing up Baby (Hawks)
The Adventures of Robin Hood (Curtiz)
Alexander Nevsky (Eisenstein)
Olympia (Riefenstahl)
La Bete Humaine (Renoir)
Quai des Brumes (Carné)
The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock)

1939 La Regle du Jeu (Renoir)
Gone with the Wind (Fleming)
The Wizard of Oz (Fleming)
Story of the Late Chrysanthemums (Mizoguchi)
Stagecoach (Ford)
Le Jour se Leve (Carné)
Mr Smith Goes to Washington (Capra)
Midnight (Leisen)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Dieterle)
Ninotchka (Lubitsch)
Wuthering Heights (Wyler)

1940 The Grapes of Wrath (Ford)
His Girl Friday (Hawks)
The Philadelphia Story (Cukor)
Rebecca (Hitchcock)
Fantasia (Disney)
The Thief of Bagdad (Berger, Powell, Whelan)
Pinocchio (Disney- Sharpsteen, Luske)

1941 Citizen Kane (Welles)
The Maltese Falcon (Huston)
The Lady Eve (P.Sturges)
Sullivan's Travels (P.Sturges)
Dumbo (Disney- Sharpsteen)
Listen to Britain (Jennings)

1942 Casablanca (Curtiz)
The Magnificent Ambersons (Welles)
To Be or Not to Be (Lubitsch)
Bambi (Disney- Hand)
Cat People (Tourneur)
Palm Beach Story (P.Sturges)
Aniki Bobo (Oliveira)
Ossessione (Visconti)
The Loyal 47 Ronin (Mizoguchi)

1943 Day of Wrath (Dreyer)
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (Powell, Pressburger)
Meshes of the Afternoon (Deren)

1944 Double Indemnity (Wilder)
Ivan the Terrible (Eisenstein)
Henry V (Olivier)
Laura (Preminger)
Meet me in St Louis (Minnelli)
To Have and Have Not (Hawks)
Le Ciel est a Vous (Grémillon)

1945 Les Enfants du Paradis (Carné)
Rome Open City (Rossellini)
Brief Encounter (Lean)
Mildred Pierce (Curtiz)

1946 It's a Wonderful Life (Capra)
The Big Sleep (Hawks)
A Matter of Life and Death (Powell, Pressburger)
The Best Years of Our Lives (Wyler)
Great Expectations (Lean)
La Belle et la Bete (Cocteau)
My Darling Clementine (Ford)
Notorious (Hitchcock)
Ivan the Terrible 2 (Eisenstein)
Gilda (C.Vidor)
Paisa (Rossellini)

1947 Out of the Past (Tourneur)
Black Narcissus (Powell, Pressburger)
Odd Man Out (Reed)
The Lady from Shanghai (Welles)

1948 Bicycle Thieves (De Sica)
Letter from an Unknown Woman (Ophuls)
The Red Shoes (Powell, Pressburger)
Treasure of the Sierra Madre (Huston)
Spring in a Small Town (Fei Mu)
Red River (Hawks)

1949 The Third Man (Reed)
Orphée (Cocteau)
Late Spring (Ozu)
Kind Hearts and Coronets (Hamer)
White Heat (Walsh)
Crows and Sparrows (Zheng Junli)
Gun Crazy (Lewis)
On the Town (Donen, Kelly)

1950 Sunset Boulevard (Wilder)
All About Eve (Mankiewicz)
Los Olvidados (Bunuel)

1951 Rashomon (Kurosawa)
The African Queen (Huston)
Diary of a Country Priest (Bresson)
Strangers on a Train (Hitchcock)
The Day the Earth Stood Still (Wise)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan)
The Lavender Hill Mob (Crichton)

1952 Singin in the Rain (Donen, Kelly)
Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Tati)
High Noon (Zinnemann)
The Life of Oharu (Mizoguchi)
Casque d' Or (Becker)
Ikiru (Kurosawa)
Umberto D (De Sica)
Forbidden Games (Clement)
The Quiet Man (Ford)

1953 Tokyo Story (Ozu)
Ugetsu Monogatari (Mizoguchi)
The Band Wagon (Minnelli)
Madame de (Ophuls)
Voyage to Italy (Rossellini)
The Wages of Fear (Clouzot)
Shane (Stevens)
From Here to Eternity (Zinnemann)
Roman Holiday (Wyler)
The Big Heat (Lang)

1954 Seven Samurai (Kurosawa)
Sansho the Bailiff (Mizoguchi)
Rear Window (Hitchcock)
La Strada (Fellini)
On the Waterfront (Kazan)
Johnny Guitar (N.Ray)
Senso (Visconti)
A Star is Born (Cukor)

1955 Pather Panchali (S. Ray)
Night of the Hunter (Laughton)
Ordet (Dreyer)
Kiss me Deadly (Aldrich)
Rebel without a Cause (N.Ray)
East of Eden (Kazan)
Floating Clouds (Naruse)
Tales of the Taira Clan (Mizoguchi)
Lola Montes (Ophuls)
Diaboliques (Clouzot)

1956 The Searchers (Ford)
A Man Escaped (Bresson)
Aparajito (Ray)
Invasion of the Bodysnatchers (Siegel)
Night and Fog (Resnais)
Mother India (Mehbob)

1957 The Seventh Seal (Bergman)
Wild Strawberries (Bergman)
Twelve Angry Men (Lumet)
Paths of Glory (Kubrick)
Bridge on the River Kwai (Lean)
Pyaasa (Dutt)
Cabiria Nights (Fellini)
Sweet Smell of Success (Mackendrick)
What's Opera, Doc? (Jones)

1958 Vertigo (Hitchcock)
Touch of Evil (Welles)
The World of Apu (Ray)
Ashes and Diamonds (Wajda)
The Music Room (S.Ray)
Hidden Fortress (Kurosawa)

1959 Some Like it Hot (Wilder)
North by Northwest (Hitchcock)
Les 400 Coups (Truffaut)
Hiroshima mon Amour (Resnais)
Ben Hur (Wyler)
Rio Bravo (Hawks)
Imitation of Life (Sirk)

1960 Psycho (Hitchcock)
Breathless (Godard)
La Dolce Vita (Fellini)
L'Avventura (Antonioni)
The Apartment (Wilder)
Cloud-Capped Star (Ghatak)
Shoot the Pianist (Truffaut)
Spartacus (Kubrick)
The Magnificent Seven (J.Sturges)

1961 Jules et Jim (Truffaut)
West Side Story (Wise)
Last Year at Marienbad (Resnais)
Viridiana (Bunuel)
El Cid (A.Mann)
The Human Condition (Kobayashi)
Yojimbo (Kurosawa)
The Hustler (Rossen)

1962 Lawrence of Arabia (Lean)
Vivre sa Vie (Godard)
The Man who Shot Liberty Valance (Ford)
The Manchurian Candidate (Frankenheimer)
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Varda)
Exterminating Angel (Bunuel)
To Kill a Mockingbird (Mulligan)

1963 8 1/2 (Fellini)
Dr Strangelove (Kubrick)
The Leopard (Visconti)
Contempt (Godard)
The Great Escape (J.Sturges)
Barren Lives (Dos Santos)
The Servant (Losey)
The Birds (Hitchcock)
An Actor's Revenge (Ichikawa)
Charade (Donen)

1964 The Gospel according to St Matthew (Pasolini)
Goldfinger (Hamilton)
Charulata (S.Ray)
Black God White Devil (Rocha)
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Demy)
Woman of the Dunes (Teshigahara)
Gertrud (Dreyer)
Marnie (Hitchcock)

1965 Pierrot le Fou (Godard)
The Sound of Music (Wise)
The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo)
Doctor Zhivago (Lean)
Round Up (Jancso)

1966 Andrei Rublev (Tarkovsky)
Persona (Bergman)
Au Hasard Balthazar (Bresson)
The Good the Bad and the Ugly (Leone)
Closely Observed Trains (Menzel)
Blow Up (Antonioni)

1967 Bonnie and Clyde (Penn)
The Graduate (Nichols)
Le Samourai (Melville)
Belle de Jour (Bunuel)
Playtime (Tati)
Point Blank (Boorman)
Mouchette (Bresson)
Branded to Kill (Suzuki)

1968 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick)
Once Upon a Time in the West (Leone)
My Night with Maud (Rohmer)
Memories of Underdevelopment (Alea)
Night of the Living Dead (Romero)
If (L.Anderson)
Rosemary's Baby (Polanski)
The Hour of the Furnaces (Solanas)

1969 The Wild Bunch (Peckinpah)
The Colour of Pomegranates (Paradjanov)
Kes (Loach)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Hill)
Le Boucher (Chabrol)
Midnight Cowboy (Schlesinger)
A Touch of Zen (King Hu)
The Land (Chahine)
Easy Rider (Hopper)

1970 The Conformist (Bertolucci)
Claire's Knee (Rohmer)
Five Easy Pieces (Rafelson)
The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophuls)
Performance (Cammell, Roeg)

1971 A Clockwork Orange (Kubrick)
Pakeezah (Amrohi)
Dirty Harry (Siegel)
The French Connection (Friedkin)
McCabe and Mrs Miller (Altman)
The Last Picture Show (Bogdanovich)
Get Carter (Hodges)

1972 The Godfather (Coppola)
Aguirre Wrath of God (Herzog)
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (Bunuel)
Cries and Whispers (Bergman)
Cabaret (Fosse)
Deliverance (Boorman)

1973 Spirit of the Beehive (Erice)
Badlands (Malick)
Don't Look Now (Roeg)
The Exorcist (Friedkin)
Fear Eats the Soul (Fassbinder)
The Mother and the Whore (Eustache)
Mean Streets (Scorsese)
The Wicker Man (Hardy)
Day for Night (Truffaut)

1974 The Godfather 2 (Coppola)
Chinatown (Polanski)
Mirror (Tarkovsky)
Celine and Julie go Boating (Rivette)
Amarcord (Fellini)
Alice in the Cities (Wenders)
The Conversation (Coppola)
Xala (Sembene)
A Woman under the Influence (Cassavetes)

1975 One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest (Forman)
Jaws (Spielberg)
Nashville (Altman)
Jeanne Dielman (Akerman)
Barry Lyndon (Kubrick)
The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser (Herzog)
Picnic at Hanging Rock (Weir)
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Jones, Gilliam)
The Travelling Players (Angelopoulos)
Dog Day Afternoon (Lumet)

1976 Taxi Driver (Scorsese)
Kings of the Road (Wenders)
Ai no Corrida (Oshima)
The Outlaw Josey Wales (Eastwood)
Network (Lumet)
All the President's Men (Pakula)

1977 Star Wars (Lucas)
Annie Hall (Allen)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg)
Suspiria (Argento)

1978 The Deer Hunter (Cimino)
The Marriage of Maria Braun (Fassbinder)
Tree of the Wooden Clogs (Olmi)
Halloween (Carpenter)

1979 Apocalypse Now (Coppola)
Manhattan (Allen)
Stalker (Tarkovsky)
Alien (Scott)
The Life of Brian (Jones)
Tale of Tales (Norstein)
The Tin Drum (Schlondorff)

1980 Raging Bull (Scorsese)
The Empire Strikes Back (Kershner)
The Shining (Kubrick)
Berlin Alexanderplatz (Fassbinder)
Atlantic City (Malle)
Elephant Man (Lynch)

1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark (Spielberg)
Das Boot (Petersen)
Mephisto (Szabo)
Diva (Beineix)
Road Warrior (Miller)
An American Werewolf in London (Landis)
Mandala (Im Kwon-Taek)

1982 Blade Runner (Scott)
Fanny and Alexander (Bergman)
E.T (Spielberg)
Yol (Guney)
The Draughtsman's Contract (Greenaway)
Night of the Shooting Stars (Taviani bros)
Gandhi (Attenborough)

1983 Sans Soleil (Marker)
The Ballad of Narayama (Imamura)
Scarface (De Palma)
Local Hero (Forsyth)

1984 Paris Texas (Wenders)
Once Upon a Time in America (Leone)
The Terminator (Cameron)
Amadeus (Forman)
Yellow Earth (Chen Kaige)
This is Spinal Tap (Reiner)

1985 Ran (Kurosawa)
Brazil (Gilliam)
Back to the Future (Zemeckis)
Come and See (Klimov)
Witness (Weir)
Street of Crocodiles (Quay bros)
Shoah (Lanzmann)
My Life as a Dog (Hallstrom)

1986 Blue Velvet (Lynch)
Jean de Florette (Berri)
The Green Ray (Rohmer)
Aliens (Cameron)
Hannah and her Sisters (Allen)
Platoon (Stone)
The Sacrifice (Tarkovsky)
A Room with a View (Ivory)
The Time to Live and the Time to Die (Hou)
Stand by Me (Reiner)

1987 Wings of Desire (Wenders)
Au Revoir les Enfants (Malle)
Babette's Feast (Axel)
Red Sorghum (Zhang Yimou)
The Last Emperor (Bertolucci)
The Untouchables (De Palma)
The Princess Bride (Reiner)
Yeelen (Cissé)

1988 Dekalog (Kieslowski)
My Neighbour Totoro (Miyazaki)
Die Hard (McTiernan)
Women on the Verge (Almodovar)
Grave of the Fireflies (Takahata)
Pelle the Conqueror (August)
The Vanishing (Sluizer)

1989 Cinema Paradiso (Tornatore)
Do the Right Thing (S.Lee)
A City of Sadness (Hou Hsiao-Hsien)
The Killer (Woo)
Sex Lies and Videotape (Soderbergh)
Field of Dreams (Robinson)
The Time of the Gypsies (Kusturica)
Crimes and Misdemeanours (Allen)

1990 Goodfellas (Scorsese)
Close Up (Kiarostami)
Miller's Crossing (Coen)
Edward Scizzorhands (Burton)
Cyrano de Bergerac (Rappeneau)
Dances with Wolves (Costner)

1991 The Silence of the Lambs (Demme)
Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou)
The Double Life of Veronique (Kieslowski)
Thelma and Louise (R.Scott)
The Terminator 2 (Cameron)
J.F.K (Stone)
Delicatessen (Jeunet, Caro)
La Belle Noiseuse (Rivette)
Beauty and the Beast (Disney- Trousdale, Wise)

1992 Unforgiven (Eastwood)
Reservoir Dogs (Tarantino)
Abraham Valley (Oliveira)
The Player (Altman)
And Life Goes On (Kiarostami)
A Brighter Summer Day(Yang)
Like Water for Chocolate (Arau)

1993 Schindler's List (Spielberg)
The Piano (Campion)
Three Colours Blue (Kieslowski)
Short Cuts (Altman)
The Wrong Trousers (Park)
Farewell my Concubine (Chen Kaige)
The Age of Innocence (Scorsese)
Groundhog Day (Ramis)
Sonatine (Kitano)
Jurassic Park (Spielberg)
Naked (Leigh)

1994 Pulp Fiction (Tarantino)
Three Colours Red (Kieslowski)
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-Wai)
The Shawshank Redemption (Darabont)
Leon (Besson)
The Lion King (Disney- Allers, Minkoff)
Burnt by the Sun (Mikhalkov)
Satantango (Tarr)
Speed (De Bont)
To Live (Zhang Yimou)
Forrest Gump (Zemeckis)

1995 Toy Story (Lasseter)
The Usual Suspects (Singer)
Maborosi (Kore-eda)
Se7en (Fincher)
Heat (M.Mann)
Underground (Kusturica)
Ulysses' Gaze (Angelopoulos)
Babe (Noonan)
La Haine (Kassovitz)

1996 Fargo (Coen)
The English Patient (Minghella)
Trainspotting (Boyle)
Breaking the Waves (Von Trier)
Secrets and Lies (Leigh)
The Sweet Hereafter (Egoyan)
Cyclo (Tran Anh-Hung)

1997 Titanic (Cameron)
Hana-Bi (Kitano)
L.A.Confidential (Hanson)
The Taste of Cherry (Kiarostami)
Ring (Nakata)
Princess Mononoke (Miyazaki)

1998 Saving Private Ryan (Spielberg)
Life is Beautiful (Benigni)
Central Station (Salles)
The Thin Red Line (Malick)
The Truman Show (Weir)
Eternity and a Day (Angelopoulos)
Festen (Vinterberg)
Show me Love (Moodysson)
Happiness (Solondz)
Out of Sight (Soderbergh)

1999 All About my Mother (Almodovar)
American Beauty (Mendes)
The Matrix (Wachowski)
Fight Club (Fincher)
Magnolia (Anderson)
Toy Story 2 (Lasseter)
Rosetta (Dardenne bros)
The Sixth Sense (M.Night Shyamalan)
Run Lola Run (Tykwer)
Being John Malkovich (Jonze)
Beau Travail (Denis)

2000 Gladiator (Scott)
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Ang Lee)
In the Mood for Love (Wong Kar-Wai)
Amores Perros (Inarritu)
Yi Yi (Yang)
Memento (Nolan)
Requiem for a Dream (Aronofsky)
Battle Royale (Fukasaku)

2001 The Fellowship of the Ring (Jackson)
Amelie (Jeunet)
Spirited Away (Miyazaki)
Mulholland Drive (Lynch)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (Cuaron)
Moulin Rouge (Luhrmann)
What Time is it There? (Tsai Ming-Liang)
The Royal Tenenbaums (W.Anderson)
Shrek (Adamson, Jenson)

2002 Talk to Her (Almodovar)
The Two Towers (Jackson)
City of God (Meirelles)
Far from Heaven (Haynes)
The Pianist (Polanski)
Bowling for Columbine (Moore)
Hero (Zhang Yimou)
The Man without a Past (Kaurismaki)

2003 The Return (Zvyagintsev)
Kill Bill (Tarantino)
Finding Nemo (Stanton)
Uzak (Ceylan)

Bill Williams

May 28, 2003
There's also one essential film left out from 1978:

Superman (Donner)

As for 2003, I'd also add the following:

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Jackson)

Lew Crippen

Senior HTF Member
May 19, 2002
Well, some have been included that I think are far from essentials, but I’d concede that most I’d take off are considered essential by a good many (for example An American Werewolf in London is tremendous fun, but it would not meet my test of essential).

Pretty hard to look at that long a list and determine what is missing, but I did not notice anything by David Cronenberg—I’d consider him an essential director.

Seeing all of these would give anyone a great background in film—even if I might make some different choices.

Bill Williams

May 28, 2003
As for an undeserving entry, I'd remove that last Tarantino entry from the 2003 section. He's just plain nuts to begin with. Certainly the final chapter of the Lord of the Rings series is a far worthier and more deserving entry than kill bill.

Steve Christou

Long Member
Senior HTF Member
Apr 25, 2000
Manchester, England
Real Name
Steve Christou
That's a good list, although I'm more of an 'English language' film fan myself, so I haven't seen most of the foreign films you've listed.

If I had to pick one important omission it would be Katsuhiro Otomo's incredible Akira, surely the greatest anime of them all. One look at that film and Disney animation no longer impressed me as much as it used to.

george kaplan

Senior HTF Member
Mar 14, 2001
For myself, the biggest omission is Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987).

Also noticeably missing are

Young Frankenstein (1974)
The Sting (1973)
A Hard Day's Night (1964)
From Russia With Love (1963)

and lots of others probably.

john davies

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 18, 2003
Good point by Lew about the absence of Cronenberg. Trouble was, it wasn't easy picking out one highlight to represent him, though I know Dead Ringers has been in some critics' top 10's.

Thanks for the other (worthy) suggestions.

Walter Kittel

Senior HTF Member
Dec 28, 1998
A few that I would add to this impressive list of films are:

1941: The Devil and Daniel Webster - William Dieterle
1948: Force of Evil - Abraham Polonsky * Not on DVD *
1948: Oliver Twist - David Lean
1949: The Set-Up - Robert Wise * Not on DVD *
1950: In A Lonely Place - Nicholas Ray
1950: Night and the City - Jules Dassin * Not on DVD *
1953: Pickup on South Street - Samuel Fuller * Forthcoming from Criterion *
1955: Bob le flambeur - Jean-Pierre Melville
1958: The Big Country - William Wyler
1966: Seconds - John Frankenheimer

- Walter.

john davies

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 18, 2003
Yeah, i wasn't sure about Speed, but it was extremely popular and this is a mainly objective selection- including quite a few films i'm not keen on.


Feb 5, 2004
Enamorada (E. Fernandez) - 1946
A Story From Chikamatsu (K. Mizoguchi) - 1954
Enjo (K. Ichikawa) - 1958
Cairo Station (Y. Chahine) - 1958
When A Woman Ascends The Stairs - (M. Naruse) 1960
Harakiri (M. Kobayashi) - 1962
High & Low (A. Kurosawa) - 1962
Mahanagar (S. Ray) - 1963
Kwaidan (M. Kobayashi) - 1964
Red Beard (A. Kurosawa) - 1965
Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore (M. Scorsese) - 1974
The Last Detail (H. Ashby) - 1974
Middleman (S. Ray) - 1976
Killer Of Sheep (C. Burnett) - 1977
Being There (H. Ashby) - 1979
King Of Comedy (M. Scorsese) - 1983
Where Is The Friend's Home? (A. Kiarostami) - 1987
Metropolitan (W. Stillman) - 1990
Wild Reeds (A. Techine) - 1994
Gabbeh (M. Makhmalbaf) - 1996
Cure (K. Kurosawa) - 1997
The Ice Storm (A. Lee) - 1997
Silence (M. Makhmalbaf) - 1998
after life (H. Kore'eda) - 1999
George Washington (D. G. Green) - 2000

Stephen R

Stunt Coordinator
Mar 28, 2000
Slience (M. Makhmalbaf) - 1998
Friggin' A. It's about time someone else mention this movie. I was beginning to think myself, J. Ro, and a few Iranians were its only viewership. :)

Don't know if I'd call it essential in the history of films, but it's a mighty beautiful movie.

Just a few I'd mention that haven't yet been named:

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937, McCarey)
F For Fake (1975, Welles)
Mikey and Nicky (1976, May)
The Thing (1982, Carpenter)
The Firm (1987, Clarke)
Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988, Davies)
Elephant (1989, Clarke)
Only Yesterday (1991, Takahata)
Lessons of Darkness (1992, Herzog)
Satantango (1994, Tarr)

Alex Spindler

Senior HTF Member
Jan 23, 2000
I would personally add:
The Planet of the Apes - Schaffner/1968 (what a great year that was for great movies)
Young Frankenstein - Brooks/1974
Akira - Otomo/1988 (Seconding Steve's suggestion)
Rushmore - Anderson/1998
Lost in Translation - S.Coppola/2003
Retun of the King - Jackson/2003

(And I have no problem with Kill Bill on that list.)

I would say that this would be a very fun film series to work through.


Jan 10, 2003
Good list but ...

Add (Sin of Omissions):
1959 - Anatomy of a Murder
1968 - Stolen Kisses
1995 - Before Sunrise
1999 - Eyes Wide Shut
2001 - A.I Artificial Intelligence, Black Hawk Down
2002 - Heaven, Minority Report
2003 - LOTR:ROTK, LiT, Elephant, The Triplets of Belleville

more later ...


2002 - Replace Bowling for Columbine with The Kid Stays in the Picture; Replace The Man Without a Past with Read My Lips
2003 - Replace Finding Nemo with The Triplets of Belleville (actually, since FN is Disney's best, it is all right to be there then just add TToB, if you just need 1, definitely it should be TToB)

:emoji_thumbsup: :emoji_thumbsup:

To (all AFI Top 100 or Cannes Film Festival Grand Winners or Academy Award Best Pictures) AND they are also in the 2002 Sight & Sound Greatest Films list) exceptions Shane :thumbsdown: neither The Quiet Man :thumbsdown:!

plus (Good call!)

1980 - Elephant Man
1986 - Jean de Florette (Where is Manon of the Spring)
1988 - Grave of the Fireflies
2000 - Battle Royale

:thumbsdown: (I love some of them but they are not that essential)
Forrest Gump
The Quiet Man
The Untouchables
Die Hard
The Truman Show
Toy Story (Toy Story 2 in 1999 is all right to be there though I prefer The Iron Giant)
Terminator 2 (The Terminator is ok to be in '84)
The English Patient
Out of Sight
Back to the Future
The Sixth Sense
The Matrix
Dog Day Afternoon
Roman Holiday
Field of Dreams
The Usual Suspects
Jurassic Park
Secrets and Lies
Fight Club (I know this is turning into a cult classic but)
Like Water for Chocolate
Lion King
Halloween (if you really want one from John Carpenter, add The Thing in 1982)

:thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: (not even very good)

Mixed Feelings (award-winners like Forrest Gump, Gladiator etc. but):

More later :D

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