Some say that D.W. Griffith was the greatest of early movie pioneers. I respectfully disagree still admitting that he had his moments, this one being one of em. Colossal sets, contemporary period costumes and megalomaniac ideas. When one watches this massive episode movie from earliest periods of cinema, it's quite obvious that they didn't spare with the expences. Very unique and beautiful piece in cinema's history.
One of the best performances from Chaney I have seen pretty much makes this film. Endings is a bit cheesy, granted, but it didn't ruin my viewing experience, though I might need to give some credit for the score on KINO's DVD version of this. It really made the picture. Anyways, one of the most intensive crime thrillers from the silent era I have seen. Has some very vivid city scenery as well.
Cut, butchered, burned and still one of the greatest masterpieces of silent era. Erich von Stroheim's Greed doesn't need to be watched in it's full length to see the brilliance of Stroheim and his huge talent. The directing leans hugely on the feelings and emotions of the characters yet being all it's length beautifully detailed retaining it's focus. The original 42 reels version is controversially one of the most mourned lost films of all time.
The first picture Buster Keaton made for MGM remains as one of his great masterpieces as well as an epitaph of the career of The King of Slapstick. A touching story combined with great humor and many unforgettable scenes. Of course this one doesn't have much of those great improvised scenes of Buster, but still a remarkable piece of silent cinema.
One of the greatest G' old times adventures there is. Olivia De Havilland and Errol Flynn were without a doubt one of the best on screen pairs there's ever been. Great depiction of Sabatini's classical novel with some great swashbuckling scenes and Mr. Flynn's famous grin. This one being as well the first and the best of the movies Flynn made with Mike Curtiz.
Probably the greatest debut film of all time, Orson Welles' pseudo-biographical essay of a man who had it all and yet had nothing remains as a corner stone of American cinema. Technically masterfully crafted and decades ahead of it's time this film ironically made Welles both famous and infamous at same time and practically ruined his career in Hollywood.
One of the greatest films from the Hollywood's Golden Age, Casablanca bears such a glamour and athmosphere that there hasn't been anything to compare ever since. Humphrey Bogart's and Ingrid Bergman's stormy yet passionate relationship comes across to audience with such a force that one fells in love with both of the actors and the movie instantly. One of the cinema's all time casts, thousand and one quotable lines, great and compact story. Simply put: Melodrama from the time when it still was pure and beautiful. Ending leaves always a smile on a face, no matter how many times the movie is seen.
Edgar G. Ulmer's B-movie masterpiece is one of the crown jewels of film noir. Small budget flick with all the elements that defines the genre. Ann Savage being one of the greatest screen fatales of all time this one hour tour de force has nothing extra and lacks nothing. Also one of the few movies I can think of where the narration definitely works for the picture not against it.
Billy Wilder's satiric depiction of the power of media is to date one of the coldest pictures of it's subject still evading all of the foxholes in which many other contemporary films fell. Wilder's talent to cynical storytelling masked in the disguise of dark and dry comedy makes him one of the greatest of the period. Considering the down-beat ending, which isn't all that usual in 50s Hollywood it really isn't hard to see why this film did not do so well at it's time.
One of the most touching stories ever filmed, Kurosawa's Ikiru leaves the audience in tears still. Humane and gripping story about man who wasted his life burying himself under work and now, finding out that he has only year to live, is seeking redemption and meaning for his life. The ultimate story of the shortness of life. Carpe diem indeed...
Zenith of Jules Dassin's career. Filmed with next-to-nothing budget this film remains as one movie which pretty much defines all the other heist flicks and is one of the few films I dare to call perfect. From the start to gripping car driving scene at the end, this movie defines the word. Not to forget the famous half an hour heist scene itself without any dialogue at all.
Debut feature by Sidney Lumet remains a classic among the courtroom dramas today. 12 jurors, murder case and a reasonable doubt. Sets being next to nothing, as whole movie takes place in one small room, actors are the centerpiece of the film yet it provides a sense of claustrophobic and tense athmosphere, what rare movies have done up today.