51. It's a Gift (1934)
W.C. Fields' funniest comedy. One great bit after another, including
the extended sequence in which Fields tries to get some sleep and is
interrupted by a life insurance salesman in search of Carl LaFong.
52. JFK (1991)
Oliver Stone's exploration of the Kennedy assassination is an engrossing
political speculation -- great entertainment, even if you believe the
53. Kids (1995)
Photographer Larry Clark's first film is a disturbing cautionary tale
about drugs, easy sex and Manhattan teens who don't have much else in
their lives. It's not a documentary, but the authentic, uncalculated
performances make it feel like one.
54. King of Kings (1961)
The most stirring of the biblical epics of the late '50s and early '60s,
starring a piercing-eyed Jeffrey Hunter as Jesus. Great holiday viewing.
55. King of the Hill (1993)
Steven Soderbergh adapted A.E. Hotchner's memoir for this charming fable
about two brothers surviving the Depression, without their parents,
in a St. Louis hotel. Magical and delicate.
56. Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
An apocalyptic noir that captures the anxieties lurking beneath the
placid '50s veneer. Starring Ralph Meeker as a sleazy Mike Hammer.
57. La Belle Noiseuse (1991)
A painter (Michel Piccoli) is inspired out of a creative dry spell by
a new model (Emmanuelle Beart). Four hours, but worth it.
The Lady Eve (1941)
Preston Sturges' brilliant screwball comedy stars Barbara Stanwyck as
a gold digger who surprises herself by falling hard for a nerdy scientist
played by Henry Fonda.
59. The Last Tycoon (1976)
Harold Pinter's moody adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's unfinished
novel is both a stark character portrait and a somber evocation of '30s
Hollywood. Robert De Niro plays an Irving Thalberg-like producer. Directed
by Elia Kazan.
60. Lola (1961)
Jacques Demy's wistful, black-and-white romance stars Anouk Aimee as
a starry-eyed dancer in a French port town, waiting for the right man
to sweep her off her feet.
61. Malcolm X (1992)
Spike Lee's epic biography of the African American leader was too angry,
impassioned and provocative for Hollywood -- and never received the
awards or box office it deserved. With Denzel Washington and Angela
Bassett, both superb as Malcolm X and his wife, Betty Shabazz.
62. McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)
Robert Altman's best film is on one level an ode to the American West,
on another a tribute to the movie's gorgeous stars, Warren Beatty and
Julie Christie. But it's also a sad, exquisitely beautiful lament to
lost dreams and the randomness of fate and violence.
63. The Member of the Wedding (1952)
Julie Harris gives a landmark performance as a lonely girl who spends
the sweltering days with her housekeeper (Ethel Waters), her cousin
(Brandon deWilde) and her crazy dreams. Based on Carson McCullers' book
and play, with Fred Zinneman's direction.
Mr Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
James Stewart plays a naive senator who finds himself fighting corruption.
The defining performance of Stewart's prewar period, and director Frank
Capra's greatest film.
65. Naked Killer (1994)
Hit women do battle against lesbian assassins in this wonderfully tasteless
wallow in nonstop sex and violence. Made in Hong Kong.
Night of the Hunter (1955)
Charles Laughton's only film as a director is a one-of-a- kind Expressionist
fairy tale about two children escaping an evil bogus preacher. Robert
Mitchum is terrifying as the preacher, and Lillian Gish radiant as the
children's stoic protector.
67. Nights of Cabiria (1955)
Giulietta Masina is perfection as Cabiria, a hard-luck Roman streetwalker
whose swagger can't disguise her gullible heart. This is probably Fellini's
warmest, most loving film.
Out of the Past (1947)
The premier 1940s noir, with Robert Mitchum as a decent guy who gets
mixed up with the girlfriend (Jane Greer) of an obsessed mobster (Kirk
69. Paris, Texas (1984)
German director Wim Wenders made this plaintive meditation on the American
dream, starring Harry Dean Stanton as a man who's been lost for four
years and Nastassja Kinski as his young wife.
70. Pather Panchali (1955)
Satyajit Ray's first film is one of the treasures of world cinema. It's
a simple coming-of-age tale, about a poor boy growing up in rural Bengal,
but Ray finds profundity and a lovely, overarching humanity in the smallest
71. A Place in the Sun (1951)
Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor are breathtaking in George Stevens'
translation of Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy.
72. Queen Christina (1933)
Greta Garbo plays a bisexual Swedish queen who dresses like a man and
intends to remain a bachelor. Early Hollywood's best exploration
of gender identity -- and a great love story.
73. Red (1994)
The late Polish master Krzysztof Kieslowski directed Irene Jacob and
Jean-Louis Trintignant in this gorgeous celebration of friendship, redemption
and mystical intervention.
74. Remember the Night (1938)
Barbara Stanwyck is radiant in this sentimental, beautifully calibrated
romantic comedy from director Mitchell Leisen. She's a shoplifter and
Fred McMurray is the prosecuting attorney who books her, then brings
her home for Christmas.
75. Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Director Franco Zeffirelli's version is not only a great adaptation
of Shakespeare's play -- it's the only screen R&J that's any good.
76. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
A film of fascinating contradictions: a surefire commercial hit with
the soul -- and structure -- of an art film; a celebration of disco's
vitality; and an indictment of its ethos.
77. Savage Nights (1994)
Cyril Collard was suffering from AIDS when he wrote, directed and starred
in this shattering picture about sex and death, rage and futility in
the age of AIDS. A clumsy masterpiece -- Collard didn't have time to
make it smooth.
78. Scarface (1983)
Al Pacino goes way over the top as a Cuban cocaine lord in this irresistible
gangster epic co-starring Michelle Pfeiffer.
79. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Any one of Hitchcock's American films is a pretty safe bet, but this
overlooked gem -- about a teenager and her serial killer uncle (Joseph
Cotten) -- stands out.
80. Shampoo (1975)
The sexual games in this Los Angeles-based farce were supposed to symbolize
American political hypocrisy, but the real treats are Robert Towne's
biting script and the cast that director Hal Ashby steered so brilliantly,
including Warren Beatty as a hairdresser and Julie Christie and Goldie
Hawn as his girlfriends.
A retired gunfighter comes to the aid of homesteaders in this haunting
Western, starring Alan Ladd.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh deliver grand-scale performances in Tennessee
Williams' cautionary tale about letting in-laws stay over.
83. The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg (1927)
Ernst Lubitsch's heartrending silent film, with Ramon Novarro as a sheltered
prince who finds companionship in fun-loving Heidelberg.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
The finest film from writer-director Preston Sturges, with Joel McCrea
as a comedy director who wants to switch to dramatic films.
85. Sweet Smell of Success
Burt Lancaster is chilling as a powerful, ruthless Walter Winchell-like
gossip columnist. A portrait of Broadway nightlife in the '50s.
86. A Thousand Clowns (1965)
It's dated and talky, but this ode to nonconformity is still noteworthy
for Jason Robards as a stubborn dropout and sweet Barbara Harris as
the social worker who falls for him.
87. Three Comrades (1938)
F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote the script, set in post-World War I Germany,
and you can tell. A great romance starring the magical Margaret Sullavan.
88. The Times of Harvey Milk (1984)
Rob Epstein, San Francisco's double Oscar- winner, made this deeply
affecting bio of the slain San Francisco politician, and showed a new
generation of documentary filmmakers how to graft the emotion and muscularity
of narrative film onto nonfiction.
89. To Be or Not to Be (1942)
A seamless blend of suspense and comedy, from director Ernst Lubitsch,
about a Polish acting troupe's attempt to thwart the Nazis. Starring
Jack Benny and Carole Lombard (in her last role).
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
A widowed father's love for his children, a spooky recluse at the end
of the road and the courtroom trial of an innocent black man are the
elements in Robert Mulligan's film of Harper Lee's autobiographical
novel. Gregory Peck is glorious as Atticus Finch, the role he was born
91. True Stories (1986)
David Byrne's only foray as a film director is a deadpan scrapbook of
92. Two English Girls (1972)
Jean-Pierre Leaud stars in Truffaut's tender, evocative film about a
Frenchman's love for two English sisters.
93. Umberto D (1952)
Socialist realism from Vittoria De Sica about an aged pensioner and
his dog. Devastating and transforming.
94. An Unmarried Woman (1978)
Jill Clayburgh is dumped by her cheating husband and has to make it
on her own in this rare look at love from a woman's angle.
95. The Virgin Spring (1959)
This medieval allegory may be Ingmar Bergman's most startling, powerful
film. With Max von Sydow as the father of a raped innocent, and Sven
Nykvist's stark, black-and-white photography.
96. War and Peace (1967)
Sergei Bondarchuk directed and stars (as Pierre) in this 6 1/2-hour
version of Tolstoy's mammoth novel. A towering masterpiece.
97. Wetherby (1985)
An uninvited guest shows up at a schoolteacher's (Vanessa Redgrave)
dinner party, and everyone's life is changed. David Hare's film-directing
98. What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993)
Swedish director Lasse Hallstrom made this delicate reflection on family
ties and the passing of small-town America.
99. The Wife (1996)
Writer-director Tom Noonan's overlooked gem about an encounter between
two couples is a hilarious, scorching look at New Age mores -- a '90s
100. A World Apart (1988)
Barbara Hershey is a revelation as a South African journalist whose
anti-apartheid convictions play havoc with her young daughter's life.