I’m often asking for movie recommendations both from fellow movie buffs and from people who want to expand their knowledge about cinema. After having a friend ask for a list of important films to watch I decided to put together a curriculum of great films that every budding cinephile should watch. This list is a starting off point for people who want to have a base understanding of cinema’s greatest achievements. All the films follow linear story lines and have one or two specific components that highlight their greatness. I also picked all English language films, not because English films are better or anything but specifically because this guide is intended for native English speakers that might find subtitles daunting when they are getting into film.
The plan is to make this a progressively more intense curriculum, with Film History 102 delving more into complex films, thematically, language wise and what they might excel at.
This is part 1 of a 2 part series featuring 25 total films. The movies in this episode are from 1934-1975.
For a full slideshow of the films and what makes them important click HERE.
- It Happened One Night (1934) directed by Frank Capra
- Casablanca (1942) directed by Michael Curtiz
- All About Eve (1950) directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
- An American in Paris (1951) directed by Vincente Minelli
- On the Waterfront (1954) directed by Elia Kazan
- Rear Window (1954) directed by Alfred Hitchcock
- 12 Angry Men (1957) directed by Sidney Lumet
- The Apartment (1960) directed by Billy Wilder
- West Side Story (1961) directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise
- In the Heat of the Night (1967) directed by Norman Jewison
- The Sting (1973) directed by George Roy Hill
- Blazing Saddles (1974) directed by Mel Brooks
- Jaws (1975) directed by Steven Spielberg
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