100 Essential Films

by
The National Society of Film Critics



100 Essential Films: The A List: The National Society of Film Critics' 100 Essential Films, a publication by Jay Carr (editor), provided 100 insightful and provocative essays on 100 Esssential Films.

Facts and Commentary on this List:

  • The National Society of Film Critics concluded that these were 100 "essential" films for viewing.
  • According to the book's blurb, "the Society has made its selections based on a film's intrinsic merits, its role in the development of the motion-picture art, and its impact on culture and society."

Note: The films that are marked with a yellow star are the films
that "The Greatest Films" site has selected as the "100 Greatest Films"


100 Essential Films

by The National Society of Film Critics

(alphabetical, unranked)

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
  2. 42nd Street (1933)
  3. The 400 Blows (1959, Fr.) (aka Les Quatre Cents Coups)
  4. All About Eve (1950)
  5. Annie Hall (1977)
  6. Ashes and Diamonds (1958, Poland)
  7. L'Atalante (1934, Fr.)
  8. The Bank Dick (1940)
  9. The Battleship Potemkin (1925, Soviet Union)
  10. The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
  11. Blow-Up (1966, UK)
  12. Bonnie And Clyde (1967)
  13. Breathless (1960, Fr.) (aka À Bout de Souffle)
  14. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
  15. Casablanca (1942)
  16. The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith (1978, Australia)
  17. Children of Paradise (1945, Fr.) (aka Les Enfants du Paradis)
  18. Chinatown (1974)
  19. Citizen Kane (1941)
  20. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
  21. Closely Watched Trains (1966, Czech) (aka Ostre Sledované Vlaky)
  22. Close-up (1990, Iran) (aka Nema-ye Nazdik)
  23. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940)
  24. The Decalogue (1989, Polish)
  25. Diary of a Country Priest (1951, Fr.)
  26. Diner (1982)
  27. Do the Right Thing (1989)
  28. La Dolce Vita (1959, It.)
  29. Double Indemnity (1944)
  30. Duck Soup (1933)
  31. Easy Rider (1969)
  32. Enter the Dragon (1973)
  33. The Entertainer (1960, UK)
  34. The Exorcist (1973)
  35. Faces (1968)
  36. Fargo (1996)
  37. Frankenstein (1931) and The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
  38. The General (1927)
  39. The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather Part II (1974)
  40. Gone With The Wind (1939)
  41. The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964, It./Fr.)
  42. The Graduate (1967)
  43. Greed (1924)
  44. Happy Together (1997, HK/Jp./S.Kor.)
  45. High Noon (1952)
  46. The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
  47. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
  48. Ju Dou (1990, China/Jp.), Raise the Red Lantern (1991, China/HK), Red Sorghum (1987, China)
  49. Killer of Sheep (1978)
  50. L.A. Confidential (1997)
  51. Landscape in the Mist (1988, Greece)
  52. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  53. M (1931, Germ.)
  54. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  55. The Man With a Movie Camera (1929, Soviet Union)
  56. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979, W.Germ.)
  57. Metropolis (1927)
  58. Modern Times (1936)
  59. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  60. Nashville (1975)
  61. The Night of the Hunter (1955)
  62. Night of the Living Dead (1968)
  63. Nosferatu (1922, Germ.)
  64. Los Olvidados (1950, Mex.)
  65. On The Waterfront (1954)
  66. Rome: Open City (1945, It.) (aka Roma Città Aperta)
  67. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
  68. Pandora's Box (1929, Germ.)
  69. The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928, Fr.) (aka La passion de Jeanne d'Arc)
  70. Pather Panchali (1955, India), Aparajito (1956, India), The World of Apu (1959, India)
  71. The Piano (1993, NZ)
  72. Psycho (1960)
  73. The Public Enemy (1931)
  74. Pulp Fiction (1994)
  75. Raging Bull (1980)
  76. Rashomon (1950, Jp.)
  77. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
  78. The Rules of the Game (1939, Fr.) (aka La Règle du Jeu)
  79. Schindler's List (1993)
  80. The Searchers (1956)
  81. The Seven Samurai (1954, Jp.)
  82. The Seventh Seal (1957, Swe.)
  83. Singin' In The Rain (1952)
  84. Star Wars (1977)
  85. La Strada (1954, It.) and The Nights of Cabiria (1957, It.)
  86. Sunrise (1927)
  87. Sunset Boulevard (1950)
  88. The Thief of Bagdad (1924)
  89. Tokyo Story (1953, Jp.)
  90. Top Hat (1935)
  91. Touch Of Evil (1958)
  92. Trouble in Paradise (1932)
  93. Ugetsu Monogatari (1953, Jp.)
  94. Unforgiven (1992)
  95. Les Vampires (1915, Fr.)
  96. Vertigo (1958)
  97. The Wild Bunch (1969)
  98. Winchester '73 (1950)
  99. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  100. Written on the Wind (1956)


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