75 Must-See Films

This was a daunting task. I’m sure I’m forgetting some of my favorites, and this list will need to be amended several times. Plus, I’ll need to add in any new favorites that come along the way. I believe the 1950s was prime-time for filmmaking, and so that decade is probably a bit overrepresented. But, hey, what can you do? I also desperately need to see films by women; that’s something I’ll certainly change this year (starting with Agnès Varda).

I will say this, though: the world would be a much darker place without these fine films. Click on the film title for additional info.

75 Must-See Films

  1. Across the Universe (2007) dir. Julie Taymor
  2. All About Eve (1950) dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
  3. Amélie (2001) dir. Jean-Pierre Jeunet
  4. American Beauty (1999) dir. Sam Mendes
  5. Anatomy of a Murder (1959) dir. Otto Preminger
  6. Atonement (2007) dir. Joe Wright
  7. Beauty and the Beast (1946) dir. Jean Cocteau
  8. Beauty and the Beast (1991) dir. Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise
  9. Bicycle Thieves (1948) dir. Vittorio De Sica
  10. Black Swan (2010) dir. Darren Aronofsky
  11. Blue Velvet (1986) dir. David Lynch
  12. Breathless (1960) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
  13. Cabaret (1972) dir. Bob Fosse
  14. Carol (2015) dir. Todd Haynes
  15. Casablanca (1942) dir. Michael Curtiz
  16. Chicago (2002) dir. Rob Marshall
  17. Citizen Kane (1941) dir. Orson Welles
  18. City Lights (1931) dir. Charlie Chaplin
  19. Cloud Atlas (2012) dir. Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer
  20. Day for Night (1973) dir. François Truffaut
  21. Doubt (2008) dir. John Patrick Shanley
  22. East of Eden (1955) dir. Elia Kazan
  23. Eating Raoul (1982) dir. Paul Bartel
  24. Fantasia (1940) dir. Samuel Armstrong, etc.
  25. Fargo (1996) dir. Joel and Ethan Cohen
  26. Frances Ha (2013) dir. Noah Baumbach
  27. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011) dir. David Fincher
  28. Gone with the Wind (1939) dir. Victor Fleming
  29. The Great Beauty (2013) dir. Paolo Sorrentino
  30. Hiroshima mon amour (1959) dir. Alain Resnais
  31. Ikiru (1952) dir. Akira Kurosawa
  32. In the Mood for Love (2000) dir. Wong Kar-wai
  33. Jules and Jim (1962) dir. François Truffaut
  34. The Little Mermaid (1989) dir. Ron Clements and John Musker
  35. The Long Day Closes (1992) dir. Terence Davies
  36. The Maltese Falcon (1941) dir. John Huston
  37. Maurice (1987) dir. James Ivory
  38. Melancholia (2011) dir. Lars von Trier
  39. Memento (2000) dir. Christopher Nolan
  40. My Own Private Idaho (1991) dir. Gus Van Sant
  41. The Night of the Hunter (1955) dir. Charles Laughton
  42. No Country for Old Men (2007) dir. Joel and Ethan Cohen
  43. On the Waterfront (1954) dir. Elia Kazan
  44. Out of the Past (1947) dir. Jacques Tourneur
  45. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) dir. Guillermo del Toro
  46. Persona (1966) dir. Ingmar Bergman
  47. Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) dir. Peter Weir
  48. Psycho (1960) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  49. Pulp Fiction (1994) dir. Quentin Tarantino
  50. The Red Shoes (1948) dir. Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger
  51. Rosemary’s Baby (1968) dir. Roman Polanski
  52. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) dir. Wes Anderson
  53. Seven Samurai (1954) dir. Akira Kurosawa
  54. The Seventh Seal (1957) dir. Ingmar Bergman
  55. Shame (2011) dir. Steve McQueen
  56. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) dir. Jonathan Demme
  57. A Special Day (1977) dir. Ettore Scola
  58. Spirited Away (2001) dir. Hayao Miyazaki
  59. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) dir. Elia Kazan
  60. Sunset Boulevard (1950) dir. Billy Wilder
  61. Sweet Smell of Success (1957) dir. Alexander Mackendrick
  62. There Will Be Blood (2007) dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  63. The Thin Red Line (1998) dir. Terrence Malick
  64. Tokyo Story (1953) dir. Yasujirō Ozu
  65. Vertigo (1958) dir. Alfred Hitchcock
  66. Vivre sa vie (1962) dir. Jean-Luc Godard
  67. Wall-E (2008) dir. Andrew Stanton
  68. Weekend (2011) dir. Andrew Haigh
  69. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) dir. Mike Nichols
  70. Wings of Desire (1987) dir. Wim Wenders
  71. The Wizard of Oz (1939) dir. Victor Fleming
  72. Young Frankenstein (1974) dir. Mel Brooks
  73. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967) dir. Jacques Demy
  74. 8 ½ (1963) dir. Federico Fellini
  75. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) dir. Stanley Kubrick
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