A few years ago I received this book called 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die and since then I've been trying to see every movie listed before I kick the bucket. I'm very near approaching the 200 mark and I figured I'd share them with you mostly because I can't think of anything better to post. I put in some mini-reviews to go along with each film unless I've already reviewed it previously. I was too lazy to put in links to all those reviews so if you want to find them then you'll have to dig through the archives yourself. Here are the first 50 in order from oldest to most recent. Enjoy.
La Voyage Dans La Lune (A Trip to the Moon) – A rather entertaining early silent film with cool effects.
The Great Train Robbery – Pretty bare bones, but nevertheless highly influential.
The Birth of a Nation – The first half is great and you can clearly see how it changed the way people viewed and made films, but the second half is obscenely racist.
Das Kabinet Des Doktor Caligari (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) – Visually intriguing, but kinda boring, though the ending is cool. It may have inspired Shutter Island.
Sherlock Jr. – Buster Keaton being hilarious as always. I’d recommend any of his films.
Bronenosets Potyomkin (The Battleship Potemkin) – It’s alright I guess.
Metropolis – Easily the best silent film I’ve ever seen and also one of the best sci-fi.
The General – More Buster Keaton!
Un Chien Andalou (An Andalusian Dog) – Worthwhile to watch just to see an eyeball get cut.
Steamboat Bill, Jr.
Die Buchse Der Pandora (Pandora’s Box) – This film is often cited, but I found it rather dull.
City Lights – One of Chaplin’s finest.
King Kong – Remains as one of the best and most stunning monster movies.
It Happened One Night
The 39 Steps – This is my favourite early Hitchcock film that is both funny and suspenseful. Watch it!
Modern Times – So far, this is my favourite Chaplin film and also the last time he uses The Tramp character. Very funny and poignant.
Sabotage – Another early Hitchcock which has a few surprises in store.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarves – An influential film, but not my favourite of the early Disney films.
The Adventures of Robin Hood
The Wizard of Oz – I really don’t like this movie at all. It has great costumes, scenery, and one good song, but that’s it. The rest I hate.
Destry Rides Again – I only vaguely remember this movie about a sheriff who refuses to use violence so I can’t really comment on it.
Gone With the Wind
The Grapes of Wrath
Pinocchio – Has the trademark Disney song (When You Wish Upon a Star), but that’s about all it has going for it in my opinion.
Citizen Kane – Orson Welles has a majestic voice, the cinematic techniques he uses are amazing, and it’s a terrific character study, but I can see where people might get bored watching this film.
The Maltese Falcon
Dumbo – Seriously? There are so many better Disney films.
Sullivan’s Travels – This is actually quite a moving analysis of the film industry itself and Preston Sturges’ masterpiece.
Double Indemnity – Classic film noir with plenty of great dialogue and innuendo.
Spellbound – This is a different film for Hitchcock with the dream sequence being the best part.
The Best Years of Our Lives
Brief Encounter – I guess it’s good for a melodrama, but not really my type of film.
Black Narcissus – An interesting take on the colonial project, though there are parts that haven’t aged all that well.
It’s a Wonderful Life
Ladri di Biciclette (The Bicycle Thief)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
Rashomon – A terrific and ambiguous film that owes much to its celebrated and influential story structure.
All about Eve
A Streetcar Named Desire – The movie that made Marlon Brando a star and features one of his most iconic and influential performances.
The African Queen – Its fun to watch two old pros going at it, and if for no other reason this movie is worth your time.
The Quiet Man – A silly movie about Ireland.
Singin’ in the Rain
Roman Holiday – I fell in love with Audrey Hepburn after watching this movie and I think it may be my favourite romantic comedy with an unconventional, yet satifying conclusion.
Shane – The best part about this movie is the episode of Recess it inspired (El Diablo).