The Godfather I-III, 1972; '74; '90
The Family Saga
Part I: Marlon Brando shatters the old street-fighter image of movie mobsters.
Part II: Al Pacino explores the persistence of evil.
Part III: The border between Heaven and Hell turns out to be more porous than you might think.
Last Year at Marienbad, 1961
Art Film 101
All the oddball conventions of pretentious French art films — the incongruous dialogue, the lingering, hyper-composed shots — get full frontal exposure in Alain Resnais' dreamy drama. You'll never understand what it's about — even Resnais isn't sure — but his images will haunt you.
Rome, Open City, 1945
Almost as soon as Axis tanks rolled out of occupied Rome, Roberto Rossellini took to the streets to film this stark drama about war in the Eternal City. Heroism, betrayal and despair are palpable characters in a film that is as raw as an open, but slowly healing, wound.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, 1927
Proof positive that the switch to sound films was utterly unnecessary, this profoundly touching love story won the first best actress Oscar (Janet Gaynor). F. W. Murnau's camera never stops moving, and neither does his story. Words would only get in the way.
Next: The greatest movie ever made. »