My Favourite Films—this week


I’ve taught film studies, have run a film club, and eagerly collect films. Here are a few favourites, all films I greatly admire and enjoy, in no particular order. I don’t suggest that the core films are necessarily “better” than the others listed—or that either list contains the “greatest” films ever—but I like them all. Lots of great French, Russian, Asian and Russian works well-known to critics and film buffs are missing, although I’ve seen most of the familiar and readily-available ones. The list changes frequently, mostly because of additions. As is obvious, there are a lot of contemporary films (and some older films) that haven’t yet sunk in, or that I simply haven’t caught up with–which explains at least a few missing gems!

Famous Directors, Art House Movies, Auteur Directors

The Edge of the World (Powell), A Canterbury Tale, The Red Shoes, I Know Where I’m Going, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Black Narcissus, The Small Back Room (Powell and Pressburger)

Touchez pas au Grisbi (Becker)

Kaos (Taviani Brothers)

The  Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries, Fanny and Alexander (Bergman)

Metropolis, M, The Woman in the Window, The Big Heat, Human Desire (Fritz Lang)

La Strada, I Vitelloni, The Nights of Cabiria (Fellini)

Red, White, and Blue (Kieslowski)

Los Olvidados, Belle de Jour (Bunuel)

Bicycle Thieves, Umberto D (da Sica)

Jules and Jim (Truffaut)

Alexander Nevsky, Battleship Potemkin (Eisenstein)

Stagecoach, The Searchers, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence, My Darling Clementine (Ford)

The 39 Steps, Rebecca, Suspicion, Vertigo, Shadow of a Doubt, Strangers on a Train, Notorious, Rear Window, The Birds, I Confess (Hitchcock)

The Great McGinty, The Palm Beach Story, The Lady Eve, The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek, Unfaithfully Yours (Preston Sturges)

Paths of Glory, Dr. Strangelove, 2001:A Space Odyssey, Eyes Wide Shut (Kubrick)

Goodfellas, The Age of Innocence (Scorcese)

Nanook of the North, The Louisiana Story (Flaherty)

Rashomon, Throne of Blood, Dersu Uzala, Drunken Angel (Kurosawa)

Gate of Hell (Kinugasa)

The Fallen Idol, The Third Man (Reed)

The Bitter Tea of General Yen (Capra)

Citizen Kane, Ambersons, Othello, Touch of Evil (Welles)

Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Maltese Falcon, Fat City (Huston)

To Have and Have Not, The Big Sleep (Hawks)

Ugetsu (Mizoguchi)

The Tokyo Story, Autumn Afternoon (Ozu)

The Battle of Algiers (Pontecorvo)

The Leopard, Rocco and his Brothers (Visconti)

La Grande Illusion, La Bête Humaine (Renoir)

Morocco, The Blue Angel (von Sternberg)

Mamma Roma (Pasolini)

Double Indemnity, The Major and the Minor, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like it Hot (Wilder)

Blowup (Antonioni)

The Lady with the Pet Dog (Heifitz)

Ninotchka, Trouble in Paradise, To Be or Not to Be (Lubitsch)

La Belle et la Bete, Orphée (Cocteau)

Madame D. . . (Max Ophuls)

Fires on the Palin, The Burmese Harp (Ichikawa)

Pather Panchali (Ray)

Journey in Italy, Europa51 (Rossellini)

“B” Films, Genre Films, Off-Beat, One-Trick-Ponies etc

I Walked with a Zombie, Cat People, (Val Lewton, J. Tourneur), Isle of the Dead, The Seventh Victim (Lewton, Robson)

Get Carter (Mike Hodges)

Casablanca, Robin Hood (Curtiz)

Hound of the Baskervilles (Lanfield) , Adventures of Sherlock Holmes(Werker) , The Scarlet Claw (Neill)

The Spirit of the Beehive (V. Erice)

Divorce Italian Style (Germi)

The Quatermass Experiment, Quatermass 2 (Val Guest)

It’s a Gift (W.C. Fields)

King Kong (Merian C. Cooper)

Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein (Whale)

Young Frankenstein (Wilder)

The Mummy (Karloff)

Private Life of Henry VIII (Korda)

Pandora and the Flying Dutchman, The Private Affairs of Bel Ami, The Picture of Dorian Gray (Lewin)

Kwaidan (Kobayashi)

The Wolf Man (Waggner, C. Siodmak)

The Black Cat, Detour (Edgar Ulmer)

Act of Violence (Zinneman)

A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Reinhardt, Dieterle),

The Devil and Daniel Webster (Dieterle)

Clash of the Titans (Ray Harryhausen)

The Mystery of Rampo (various directors)–first 30-40 minutes!

The Black Camel (MacFadden), Charlie Chan in Paris (Seiler)

Now, Voyageur (Rapper)

Thank You, Mr. Moto (Norman Foster)

Annie Hall, Hannah and her Sisters, Midnight in Paris (Allen)

The Exorcist (Friedkin)

The Woman in Black (N. Kneale, H.Wise)

Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown (Polanski)

My Father’s Glory, My Mother’s Castle (Yves Robert)

Laura, Fallen Angel (Preminger)

The Spiral Staircase, Criss-Cross (R. Siodmak)

The Best years of Our Lives (Wyler)

Gunga Din, Vivacious Lady (Stevens)

Night of the Demon, Nightfall, Out of the Past (J. Tourneur)

Stranger on the Third Floor (Ingster)

The Falcon and the Co-eds (Clemens)

Dinner at Eight (Cukor)

The Long Goodbye (Altman)

Tension (John Berry)

Diva (Beineix)

Kiss Me Deadly (Aldrich)

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott)

Patton (Schaffner)

Man of the West, Railroaded (Anthony Mann)

The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Haunting, Odds Against Tomorrow (Robert Wise)

Lawrence of Arabia (Lean)

Don’t Look Now (Roeg)

Les Infants Terribles, The Red Circle, The Samourai, Bob Le Flambeur (J.P. Melville)

It Started with Eve (Koster)

Easy Living (Sturges-Leisen)

The Lodger, Hangover Square (Brahm)

Dead of Night (various directors)

The Queen of Spades (Dickinson)

The Narrow Margin (R. Fleischer)

Secret of Roan Inish, Lone Star (Sayles)

The Secret in Their Eyes (Campanella)

Sex and Lucia (Julio Medem)

Caché (Haneke)

Red Lights (C. Kahn)

The Big Red One, Underworld USA (Fuller)

The Uninvited (Lewis Allen)

Sudden Fear (D. Miller)

Point Blank. Excalibur, Hope and Glory (Boorman)

Night and the City (Dassin)

Crossfire (Dmytryk)

Farewell, My Lovely (Miller)

Dark Passage (Daves)

The Thief (Hopkins)

Any Busby Berkeley, for the dance choreography, any Rogers-Astaire for the dancing.


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