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100 Movies to See Before You Die: The All-Time Greats...........

Many movies are good, some are great, but only a select few can be
called truly "essential." Feel free to add your favourite! (still indie and more independent film productions are missing, feel free to update and I'll do so too)

  • 12 Angry Men (1957)

    Directed By: Sidney Lumet

    Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

    Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester

  • The 400 Blows (1959)

    Directed By: Francois Truffaut

    Starring: Jean-Pierre Leaud, Patrick Auffay

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    banned from the Cannes Film Festival for his famously brutal,
    unforgiving film reviews. In 1959, he won the top prize with “The 400
    Blows.” The film itself -- about a kid struggling to make his own way in
    an indifferent world -- is funny, charming, and ultimately heart-
    breaking. It also launched, along with “Breathless” the following year,
    the French New Wave." type="hidden">

  • 8 ½ (1963)

    Directed By: Federico Fellini

    Starring: Marcello Mastroianni, Anouk Aimee

  • The African Queen (1952)

    Directed By: John Huston

    Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley

  • Alien (1979)

    Directed By: Ridley Scott

    Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright

  • All About Eve (1950)

    Directed By: Joseph L. Mankiewicz

    Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders

  • Annie Hall (1977)

    Directed By: Woody Allen

    Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton

  • Apocalypse Now (1979)

    Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

    Starring: Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen, Robert Duvall

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    Now” is nearly as famous and compelling as the film itself. In fact,
    “Hearts of Darkness,” the documentary about the exhausting 14-month
    location shoot, is a classic in its own right. But that doesn't rob the
    original film of any of its power. More an allegory for the madness of
    all wars than Vietnam itself, it is a brutal epic that takes the viewer
    down the river and into Hell." type="hidden">


  • The Battle of Algiers (1967)

    Directed By: Gillo Pontecorvo

    Starring: Jean Martin, Yacef Saadi, Brahim Haggiag

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    1954-1963 Algerian War against French rule, Italian director Gillo
    Peontecorvo's challenging, realistic depiction of the conflict avoids
    romanticizing or demonizing either side. A controversial but extremely
    relevant work, both in its time and still today; there's a reason why
    the Pentagon screened it in 2003 to illustrate the challenges troops
    faced in Iraq. It's a striking, artfully made film that will change the
    way you look at imperialism, terrorism, and the true cost of war." type="hidden">

  • The Bicycle Thief (1948)

    Directed By: Vittorio De Sica

    Starring: Lamberto Maggiorani, Enzo Staiola

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    called “masterpiece” so frequently that it's easy to lose sight of just
    how masterful it is. Using non-professional actors and shooting on the
    streets of Rome, De Sica evokes the desperation with a perfect blend of
    pathos and comedy. And if you're not moved by the climactic scene,
    check to see if you still have a pulse." type="hidden">

  • Blade Runner (1982)

    Directed By: Ridley Scott

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young

  • Blazing Saddles (1974)

    Directed By: Mel Brooks

    Starring: Cleavon Little, Gene Wilder, Slim Pickens

  • Blow Up (1966)

    Directed By: Michelangelo Antononi

    Starring: David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave, Sarah Miles

  • Blue Velvet (1986)

    Directed By: David Lynch

    Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Isabella Rossellini, Dennis Hopper

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    out like a 1950s Hardy Boys adventure that was hijacked by Marquis de
    Sade. Squeaky clean images of white picket fences and homecoming queens
    collide with horrors belched up from the American subconscious. When it
    came out, “Blue Velvet” was hailed as a masterpiece by some and
    lambasted by others. Though this movie definitely is not for everyone,
    it's also not one you will soon forget." type="hidden">

  • Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

    Directed By: Arthur Penn

    Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Michael J. Pollard

  • Breathless (1960)

    Directed By: Jean-Luc Godard

    Starring: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

    Directed By: David Lean

    Starring: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins,

  • Bringing Up Baby (1938)

    Directed By: Howard Hawks

    Starring: Cary Grant, Katherine Hepburn

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    One of many film pairings of Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, but this
    time she's zany and he's nerdy (a true stretch). As they circle each
    other (heiress vs. scientist) in his lab endless pratfalls ensue.
    Although it was poorly received and almost derailed Howard Hawks'
    directing career, it opened the door for the brainy, silly romantic
    comedies we still love today." type="hidden">

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

    Directed By: George Roy Hill

    Starring: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Katharine Ross

  • Casablanca (1942)

    Directed By: Michael Curtiz

    Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid

  • Chinatown (1974)

    Directed By: Roman Polanski

    Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston

  • Citizen Kane (1941)

    Directed By: Orson Welles

    Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Dorothy Comingore

  • Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

    Directed By: Ang Lee

    Starring: Chow Yun-Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Ziyi Zhang

  • Die Hard (1988)

    Directed By: John McTiernan

    Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, Alan Rickman

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    you really need to know. What should have been your fairly standard
    analog action flick -- Bruce Willis as the right cop in the wrong place
    at the wrong time -- became the standard by which all modern action
    movies are measured. This one has it all: a barefoot hero, bad eighties
    hair, and Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber, one of the greatest screen
    villains of all time. Yippee-ki-yay... you know the rest." type="hidden">

  • Do the Right Thing (1989)

    Directed By: Spike Lee

    Starring: Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    miscommunication tragically collide on the hottest day of the year in
    writer/director/star Spike Lee's visionary statement on the politics of
    inner city life. Incendiary and in-your-face, the film frankly
    struggles with race in 20th century America like no film before it --
    with honesty, fresh visuals, and a Brooklyn beat. From the opening
    scratches of the pulsating Public Enemy intro, to the story's explosive
    conclusion, the film signaled the welcome arrival a new kind of American
    filmmaking." type="hidden">

  • Double Indemnity (1944)

    Directed By: Billy Wilder

    Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson

  • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

    Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

    Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden

  • Duck Soup (1933)

    Directed By: Leo McCarey

    Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    varieties: there was the witty and wordy “high comedy” style, and the
    lowbrow realm of slapstick. The Marx Brothers suggested there could be a
    third iteration: pure insanity. In “Duck Soup,” the four brothers
    (it's the last film with Zeppo) aimed their anarchic lunacy at politics.
    Groucho later downplayed their satirical aspirations, but the direct
    mocking of Fascism caused Mussolini to ban the film, which pleased the
    Marx boys to no end. “Duck Soup” wasn't very financially successful at
    the time, but it remains their most enduring and relevant film today." type="hidden">

  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

    Directed By: Steven Spielberg

    Starring: Dee Wallace Stone, Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore

  • Enter the Dragon (1973)

    Directed By: Robert Clouse

    Starring: Bruce Lee, John Saxon, Jim Kelly

  • The Exorcist (1973)

    Directed By: William Friedkin

    Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Max von Sydow, Linda Blair,

  • The Godfather (1972)

    Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

    Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan,

  • The Godfather, Part II (1974)

    Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

    Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton

  • Goldfinger (1964)

    Directed By: Guy Hamilton

    Starring: Sean Connery, Honor Blackman

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    the James Bond franchise that spawned 23 movies...and counting.
    Connery's 007 was spot on for the big screen, more polished and suave
    than how the character was written in Ian Fleming's novels. In between
    sipping martinis and romancing a dangerous damsel named Pussy Galore, he
    managed to find time to pursue the world's most unfeeling evil
    mastermind along with his henchmen in a killer hat. How's that for a
    recipe for success?" type="hidden">

  • The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1968)

    Directed By: Sergio Leone

    Starring: Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, Lee Van Cleef

  • Goodfellas (1990)

    Directed By: Martin Scorsese

    Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

  • The Graduate (1967)

    Directed By: Mike Nichols

    Starring: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross,

  • Grand Illusion (1938)

    Directed By: Jean Renoir

    Starring: Jean Gabin, Pierre Fresnay, Erich von Stroheim

  • Groundhog Day (1993)

    Directed By: Harold Ramis

    Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott

  • A Hard Day's Night (1964)

    Directed By: Richard Lester

    Starring: The Beatles

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    be on the list for sheer technical innovation alone. Director Richard
    Lester brought the stylistic flourishes of the French New Wave to wide
    audiences, and created the visual language of music videos in the
    process. Just as important, though, is how much fun the movie is to
    watch. The music is incredible, the dialogue is snappy, and the energy
    is simply relentless. By the end, you might not be crying and screaming
    out the name of your favorite Beatle, but you'll understand a little
    better why their fans did." type="hidden">

  • Jaws (1975)

    Directed By: Steven Spielberg

    Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    around the fact that the star of his movie -- the animatronic shark --
    had “performance issues.” But by leaning on some ingenious camera tricks
    and composer John Williams' unforgettable musical theme, he created
    some of the most tense, unnerving scenes in the history of film by not
    revealing the shark. This film was also the godfather of the summer
    blockbuster, and defined the role of the big-budget popcorn movie while
    also redefining the strategies and expectations of Hollywood marketers." type="hidden">

  • King Kong (1933)

    Directed By: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Shoedsack

    Starring: Fay Wray, Robert Armstrong

  • The Lady Eve (1941)

    Directed By: Preston Sturges

    Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn

  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

    Directed By: David Lean

    Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Anthony Quinn

  • The Lord of the Rings (2001,2002,2003)

    Directed By: Peter Jackson

    Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    movies as one entry when the two “Godfather” films are listed
    separately? It's partially because of the source material; Tolkien
    wrote his saga, split into three volumes, as one continuous story. And,
    of course, Peter Jackson followed suit by filming all three movies in a
    single marathon 274-day shoot. Still, the real reason we grouped the
    films together is that they need to be seen that way. For the full
    impact of the story, you have to experience the whole 9-hour endeavor." type="hidden">

  • M (1931)

    Directed By: Fritz Lang

    Starring: Peter Lorre, Theodor Loos, Otto Wernicke

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    movie and the police procedural. It's a landmark of early sound cinema,
    and an unambiguous slap at the Nazis, who eventually forced director
    Fritz Lang, along with Peter Lorre, the lead actor, out of Germany. The
    movie is also one gripping, harrowing story that questions our
    assumptions about crime and punishment, guilt and innocence. “M” remains
    as troubling and relevant today as it did 80 years ago." type="hidden">

  • M*A*S*H (1970)

    Directed By: Robert Altman

    Starring: Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt

  • The Maltese Falcon (1941)

    Directed By: John Huston

    Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet

  • The Matrix (1999)

    Directed By: Larry Wachowski, Andy Wachowski

    Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss

  • Modern Times (1936)

    Directed By: Charlie Chaplin

    Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard

  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

    Directed By: Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones

    Starring: Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, Michael Palin

  • National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)

    Directed By: John Landis

    Starring: John Belushi, Tim Matheson

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    around that completely redefines an entire institution. But everyone
    who has attended college since 1978 has done so in the shadow of “Animal
    House.” You can't spend a week in the world of higher education
    without hearing the phrases “Thank you sir, may I have another?” or
    “Toga! Toga!” And its influence on movie comedies can't be understated.
    Not only did it establish the Harvard Lampoon/ Saturday Night Live
    creative dominance of the genre, but it also made the underdogs the
    heroes again." type="hidden">

  • Network (1976)

    Directed By: Sidney Lumet

    Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch

  • Nosferatu (1922)

    Directed By: F.W. Murnau

    Starring: Max Schreck, Gustave Von Wagenheim, Greta Schroeder,

  • Paths of Glory (1958)

    Directed By: Stanley Kubrick

    Starring: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, Adolphe Menjou

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    drama isn't necessarily director Stanley Kubrick's most widely-known
    film, it remains a powerful, resounding work about the costs and
    consequences of war. Based on true events, Kirk Douglas stars in the
    story of three blameless French privates who are court-martialed for
    cowardice in the trenches. Both an unflinching anti-war movie and
    courtroom drama, it's a stunning film, from the harrowing opening battle
    to the haunting tune of its closing scene." type="hidden">

  • Princess Mononoke (1999)

    Directed By: Hayao Miyazaki

    Starring: Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver

  • Psycho (1960)

    Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

    Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh

  • Pulp Fiction (1994)

    Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

    Starring: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman

  • Raging Bull (1980)

    Directed By: Martin Scorsese

    Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty-Gentile, Joe Pesci

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

    Directed By: Steven Spielberg

    Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman

  • Raise the Red Lantern (1992)

    Directed By: Zhang Yimou

    Starring: Gong Li, He Caifei, Cao Cuifeng

  • Rashomon (1951)

    Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

    Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Masayuki Mori, Machiko Kyo

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    Festival's Golden Lion in 1952 is one of those watershed moments of film
    history. All of the sudden, Westerners became aware of a world of
    cinema beyond America and Europe. The movie also cemented Akira
    Kurosawa's standing as a world-class filmmaker and helped give other
    Asian filmmakers -- like Kenji Mizoguchi and Satyajit Ray -- some
    well-deserved critical attention. It's also one heck of a good movie." type="hidden">

  • Rear Window (1954)

    Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

    Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Raymond Burr

  • Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

    Directed By: Nicholas Ray

    Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo

  • Rocky (1976)

    Directed By: John Avildsen

    Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young

  • Roman Holiday (1953)

    Directed By: William Wyler

    Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert

  • Saving Private Ryan (1998)

    Directed By: Steven Spielberg

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Sizemore

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    on this list than any other director, and there are two reasons for it.
    First, they are indisputably great films. Call them “popcorn movies” if
    you like, but Spielberg's early films are instantly engaging and hold
    up over the decades. Secondly, his World War II films -- “Saving
    Private Ryan” and “Schindler's List” -- have defined that period in
    history for those who did not live through it. He has utilized his
    consummate talent for visual storytelling to transport his audiences
    completely into the past. " type="hidden">

  • Schindler's List (1993)

    Directed By: Steven Spielberg

    Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes

  • The Searchers (1956)

    Directed By: John Ford

    Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Vera Miles

  • Seven Samurai (1954)

    Directed By: Akira Kurosawa

    Starring: Takashi Shimura, Toshiro Mifune, Yoshio Inaba

  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    Directed By: Frank Darabont

    Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    Directed By: Jonathan Demme

    Starring: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn

  • Singin' in the Rain (1952)

    Directed By: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelley

    Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

    Directed By: David Hand

    Starring: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    Walt Disney's labor of love, the first full-length animated feature
    film, is a landmark achievement in moviemaking -- animation,
    live-action, or otherwise. An epic, and risky, undertaking, the film
    was ultimately a major financial and critical success, becoming the
    highest-grossing film for its time and earning Disney an honorary Oscar.
    It remains a classic example of animated storytelling at its finest,
    inspiring multiple generations of animators and kick-starting over
    seventy years of studio feature animation." type="hidden">

  • Some Like It Hot (1959)

    Directed By: Billy Wilder

    Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon

  • The Sound of Music (1965)

    Directed By: Robert Wise

    Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

  • Star Wars (1977)

    Directed By: George Lucas

    Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

  • Sunset Blvd. (1950)

    Directed By: Billy Wilder

    Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim

  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

    Directed By: James Cameron

    Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton

  • The Third Man (1949)

    Directed By: Carol Reed

    Starring: Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Orson Welles

  • This is Spinal Tap (1984)

    Directed By: Rob Reiner

    Starring: Rob Reiner, Michael McKean, Christopher Guest

  • Titanic (1997)

    Directed By: James Cameron

    Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    ticket sales worldwide. 'Nuff said. James Cameron's mega-budget movie
    was consistently maligned during production, and audiences didn't even
    make it number one at the box office its opening weekend, but the film
    ultimately changed the rules of modern movie making and invigorated the
    public's interest in the weekend box office results. " type="hidden">

  • To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

    Directed By: Robert Mulligan

    Starring: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Phillip Alford

  • Toy Story (1995)

    Directed By: John Lasseter

    Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles

  • The Usual Suspects (1995)

    Directed By: Bryan Singer

    Starring: Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    flicks with mind-blowing plot twists, this movie stands out as the best.
    Throughout the film, director Bryan Singer artfully builds and builds
    the tension until its final moments when that criminal mastermind,
    Keyser Soze, is finally revealed. The twist comes as a punch to the gut,
    and in the aftermath, you sense that you just may have seen the devil
    himself." type="hidden">

  • Vertigo (1958)

    Directed By: Alfred Hitchcock

    Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak

    RolloverWhy You Should See It
    dizzying masterpiece (one of three of his films on this list) perfectly
    epitomizes the director's twisty, well-worn themes of mistaken identity,
    deception and, of course, obsession. In one of his most memorable
    roles, James Stewart stars as an acrophobic San Francisco detective
    hired to follow Kim Novak, who inevitably becomes the object of said
    obsession. This haunting, gorgeously-produced romantic thriller --
    widely considered Hitchcock's most personal film -- is a technical and
    narrative marvel." type="hidden">


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