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The Best Films of All Time - by Michael Grost

This is the 100th anniversary of the movies. In 1895 the Lumière brothers first publicly projected a film in Paris. It was a roughly 50 second long documentary, showing the workers leaving the brothers' factory. Today films are being downloaded on the Internet. Over the years filmmakers have made films about the movies themselves. To celebrate the anniversary, here are some of my favorites. Many of the entries contain other recommended films by the same director. The list starts off with Classical Hollywood films (1912 - 1972). It then moves to foreign language films, and then finally to post 1973 Hollywood films, many of which are comedies: the genre modern Hollywood does best.

Some caveats: it is very difficult to see many foreign films in the USA. Despite talk of the "Information Superhighway", such works are simply unobtainable. For example, I have been able to see very few pre-1950 Japanese films. The non-distribution of current foreign films is a scandal. For a sample of what we are missing, see Film Comment's poll of the Top 150 Foreign Films of the 1990's Unreleased in the US. Readers will also want to check out critic Jonathan Rosenbaum's Top 100 American Movies.

A Year by Year version of this list is available: Favorite Films: 1907 - present.

For Television see my lists: Best TV Shows and Best TV Commercials.

See also my lists of Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and High Technology Films, Best Mystery Movies.

Please mail your comments to me at You can also download a free ebook of my mystery stories in EPUB or Kindle format.

American Silent Films

Key Directors: The Most Important Silent Non-Comedy Filmmakers, in the USA

Some major silent directors whose career extended into later eras too are listed in other sections: Cecil B. De Mille, Frank Borzage, Josef von Sternberg, Raoul Walsh, John Ford, Howard Hawks.

The Cry of the Children (George Nichols, 1912)

From the Submerged (Theodore Wharton, 1912)

The Gangsters and the Girl (Scott Sidney, 1914)

The Exploits of Elaine: The Life Current (Louis J. Gasnier, George B. Seitz, Leopold Wharton, Theodore Wharton, 1915)

Fanchon the Cricket (James Kirkwood, 1915)

Alias Jimmy Valentine (Maurice Tourneur, 1915) La Bergère d'Ivry / The Shepherdess of Ivry, Figures de cire / Wax Figures, The Wishing Ring, A Girl's Folly, The Whip, The Poor Little Rich Girl, The Blue Bird, The County Fair, Lorna Doone

Hypocrites (Lois Weber, 1915) The Price, Suspense, Idle Wives, Shoes, The Blot

Discontent (Allen G. Siegler, 1916) Scripted by Lois Weber.

Corner in Wheat (D.W. Griffith, 1909) Other Griffith short films: The Curtain Pole; The Voice of the Violin; The Sealed Room; Ramona; The House With Closed Shutters; The Fugitive; The New York Hat; A Girl and Her Trust; The Musketeers of Pig Alley; The Old Actor; The Mothering Heart

Intolerance (D.W. Griffith, 1916) Powerful look at the tragedies caused by religious fanatics through the ages. More relevant today than ever, unfortunately.

Way Down East (D.W. Griffith, 1920) America

Isn't Life Wonderful (D.W. Griffith, 1924): A young couple copes with life in post W.W.I Germany.

Children of Eve (John H. Collins, 1915)

Tom Sawyer (William Desmond Taylor, 1917) Nurse Marjorie, The Soul of Youth. Unfortunately Taylor is mainly thought of today in terms of his still-unsolved murder. But he was far more important as a filmmaker.

Daddy-Long-Legs (Marshall Neilan, 1919)

Within Our Gates (Oscar Micheaux, 1920)

The Mark of Zorro (Fred Niblo, 1920) The original Zorro movie. Blood and Sand, Ben-Hur, The Temptress, The Mysterious Lady

Miss Lulu Bett (William de Mille, 1921)

Outside the Law (Tod Browning, 1921) London After Midnight (the stills restoration), Dracula

The Ace of Hearts (Wallace Worsley, 1921)

Robin Hood (Allan Dwan, 1922) Dwan was at his commercial peak in the 1920's: the party in The Great Gatsby was modeled after one thrown by Dwan. Good early silent shorts by Dwan: The Poisoned Flume; Three Million Dollars; The Distant Relative; Cupid Through Padlocks; Man's Calling. Good silent feature films: David Harum; The Habit of Happiness; The Half-Breed; Manhattan Madness; Mr. Fix-It; He Comes Up Smiling (surviving fragment); Manhandled; Stage Struck (opening); East Side, West Side.

Woman They Almost Lynched (Allan Dwan, 1953) Other good sound films by Dwan: Man to Man, Chances, Black Sheep, Suez, The Gorilla, Young People, Trail of the Vigilantes, Rise and Shine, Look Who's Laughing, Around the World, Abroad with Two Yanks, Brewster's Millions, Driftwood, Calendar Girl, The Inside Story, Belle Le Grand, Silver Lode, Cattle Queen of Montana, Escape to Burma, Tennessee's Partner, Slightly Scarlet. Television series:

The Toll of the Sea (Chester M. Franklin, 1922) Love story set in China, shot in spectacular two-color Technicolor. The first feature film in color.

The Young Rajah (Phil Rosen, 1922) Step by Step

Scaramouche (Rex Ingram, 1923) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse; The Prisoner of Zenda

Greed (Erich von Stroheim, 1924) Blind Husbands, Foolish Wives, The Merry Widow, The Wedding March, Queen Kelly

The Big Parade (King Vidor, 1925)

Show People (King Vidor, 1928) deals with a slapstick comedy actress who forgets her roots after success. La Bohème, Street Scene, Lightning Strikes Twice

West Point (Edward Sedgwick, 1927) Spring Fever, Murder in the Fleet

Nice Stuff: Silent Films Worth Seeing

The Evidence of the Film (Lawrence Marston, Edwin Thanhouser, 1913)

When the Earth Trembled (Barry O'Neil, 1913)

Who Pays?: Toil and Tyranny (Harry Harvey, 1915)

The Hazards of Helen: The Escape on the Fast Freight (Helen Holmes, Leo Maloney, 1915)

The Hazards of Helen: The Wild Engine (Chapter 26) (J.P. McGowan, 1915) Engaging episode of a silent serial.

The Hazards of Helen: The Leap from the Water Tower (J.P. McGowan, 1915)

Alice in Wonderland (W.W. Young, 1915)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Eugene Moore, 1915) The theater scenes are especially vivid and pictorially interesting. I like the stage sets used in the plays. Dorian comes off as heterosexual, and all gay aspects have been deleted from this film version. Dorian spends much time in white tie and tails, that fashion obsession of 1910's films. The film equates his good looks and heightened sexuality to his wearing splendid tails.

A Fool There Was (Frank Powell, 1915)

The Heart of a Hero (Émile Chautard, 1916). Biopic about Nathan Hale is better in its first half than its second. Robert Warwick is outstanding in the lead.

Sherlock Holmes (Arthur Berthelet, 1916) Preserves William Gillette's famed stage characterization of Holmes. This film is moderately-but-consistently entertaining throughout. It's mildly good, but not great. Much better than dismal versions of the same play with John Barrymore (1922) and Frank Langella (1981).

The Scarlet Car (Joseph De Grasse, 1917) The Old Swimmin' Hole

The Married Virgin (Joseph Maxwell, 1918)

The Grim Game (Irvin Willat, 1919)

Camille (Ray C. Smallwood, 1921) Love story with Nazimova and Rudolph Valentino; superb avant-garde sets.

Beau Brummel (Harry Beaumont, 1923) Our Dancing Daughters

Tiger Rose (Sidney Franklin, 1923) Actor Forest Stanley shines as a Mountie.

Labor's Reward (no director credited, 1925)

A Kiss for Cinderella (Herbert Brenon, 1925)

The Flag (Arthur Maude, 1927)

Across to Singapore (William Nigh, 1928) Boy of the Streets

Silent Comedy

La Course des sergents de ville / The Policemen's Little Run (Ferdinand Zecca, 1906)

Princess Nicotine or The Smoke Fairy (J. Stuart Blackton, 1909) Trick comedy short, full of still entertaining special effects.

The Man in The Silk Hat (Maud Linder) Compilation of delightful scenes from the comedies of Max Linder (mainly 1910 - 1914).

Her Crowning Glory (Laurence Trimble, 1911) Comedy short with John Bunny, and Flora Finch as the sympathetic woman who hopes to marry him. I strongly identified with the heroine, and her disastrous problems made me laugh in ways I hadn't experienced before. A Window on Washington Park.

Algie the Miner (Alice Guy, 1912) Une histoire roulante, L'enfant de la barricade, The Making of an American Citizen, Falling Leaves, The Ocean Waif

Onésime horloger (Jean Durand, 1912)

Tillie's Punctured Romance (Mack Sennett, 1914). Early comedy feature, full of fun. Shorts: The Grocery Clerk's Romance, Barney Oldfield's Race for a Life

The Knockout (Charles Avery, 1914)

Won in a Closet (Mabel Normand, 1914)

Pool Sharks (Edwin Middleton, 1915)

Coney Island (Roscoe Arbuckle, 1917) The Garage, The Red Mill.

Down on the Farm (Ray Grey, F. Richard Jones, Erle C. Kenton, 1920)

Neighbors (1920). Other outstanding Buster Keaton short films: The High Sign, One Week, Hard Luck, Cops, The Haunted House, The Scarecrow, The Frozen North, The Electric House.

Our Hospitality (Buster Keaton, Jack Blystone, 1923).

Sherlock, Jr. (Buster Keaton, 1924). Movie projectionist Buster Keaton falls asleep and dreams his way into the mystery movie he is showing. Keaton's comedies show great visual imagination. The Navigator, Go West, Seven Chances, Battling Butler, The General, College, Steamboat Bill, Jr.

The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin, 1925) Chaplin plays a prospector. The scene where a starving Chaplin, trapped in his frozen cabin, boils and eats his shoe is famous. Outstanding short films: Burlesque on Carmen, One A.M., The Pawnshop, The Rink, Easy Street, The Cure, The Adventurer, A Dog's Life, Sunnyside, The Idle Class, Pay Day, The Pilgrim

The Great Dictator (Charlie Chaplin, 1940) Chaplin's anti-Hitler satire, and his first film with dialogue. The Kid, City Lights, Modern Times, A Countess From Hong Kong

Never Weaken (1921) Harold Lloyd made a large number of really good short films. Among the best: Young Mr. Jazz, Captain's Kidd's Kids, From Hand to Mouth, His Royal Slyness, An Eastern Westerner, Number, Please?, Now or Never, Among Those Present

High and Dizzy (1920) Harold Lloyd's chair gets caught up by a crane on a tall building. Other Lloyd films in which he dangles from high buildings: Safety Last, Feet First (the skyscraper finale is a gem, the rest of this film is slow moving)

Girl Shy (Fred Newmeyer, Sam Taylor, 1924) Lloyd plays a naive country boy who finds true love in the city. Has a much imitated chase finale, when he tries to get to church in time to rescue his girlfriend. Other good Lloyd features: The Freshman, For Heaven's Sake, Mad Wednesday

The Kid Brother (Ted Wilde, 1927) Loose Ankles

Young Romance (George Melford, 1915)

The Busher (Jerome Storm, 1919)

Souls for Sale (Rupert Hughes, 1923)

Family Life (Robert P. Kerr, 1924) Zany comedy short about a family, and their moves to various homes.

Peg o' the Mounted (Alfred J. Goulding, 1924)

The Rag Man (Edward F. Cline, 1925) The Dude Ranger

Soft Shoes (Lloyd Ingraham, 1925) Hoodoo Ann

The Clinging Vine (Paul Sloane, 1926)

Hands Up! (Clarence Badger, 1926) Raymond Griffith is a traveling magician out West. Delightful. Also: It.

The Strong Man (Frank Capra, 1926) Harry Langdon plays a veteran who goes to work as a stage Strong Man's assistant.

Play Safe (Joseph Henabery, 1927) Monty Banks comedy, with finale in a factory and on a train. Full of stunts and thrills.

The Battle of the Century (Clyde Bruckman, 1927) Laurel and Hardy short, with a giant pie fight.



Key Directors: The Most Important Western Filmmakers

The Great Train Robbery (Edwin S. Porter, 1903) Jack and the Beanstalk (1902), Life of an American Fireman, Dream of a Rarebit Fiend (1906).

Broncho Billy and the Schoolmistress (Gilbert M. Anderson, 1912) Broncho Billy's Christmas Dinner

The Covered Wagon (James Cruze, 1923) The Roaring Road, The Mating Call

3 Bad Men (John Ford, 1926) Straight Shooting, Hell Bent, Just Pals, The Village Blacksmith (surviving fragment); The Blue Eagle, Upstream, Four Sons, Hangman's House, Born Reckless, Up the River, Air Mail, Pilgrimage, Doctor Bull, The Lost Patrol, The Informer, The Prisoner of Shark Island, Wee Willie Winkie, Stagecoach, Young Mr. Lincoln, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, They Were Expendable, My Darling Clementine, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Wagon Master, Rio Grande, When Willie Comes Marching Home, The Quiet Man, Mogambo, The Long Gray Line, The Searchers, The Rising of the Moon, Gideon's Day, The Horse Soldiers, Sergeant Rutledge, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Donovan's Reef, Cheyenne Autumn, 7 Women

The Phantom Empire (Otto Brower and B. Reeves Eason, 1935) Western-science fiction serial.

Scarlet River (Otto Brower, 1933) Interesting Western set on a movie location shooting a Western movie.

Murder in the Big House (B. Reeves Eason, 1942)

California Frontier (Elmer Clifton, 1938)

They Died with Their Boots On (Raoul Walsh, 1941) Other Walsh adventure films: What Price Glory, The Red Dance, The Big Trail, They Drive by Night, Manpower, Desperate Journey, Background to Danger, Silver River, Along the Great Divide, Captain Horatio Hornblower, The World in His Arms, Sea Devils, Gun Fury, A Lion Is in the Streets, Saskatchewan, Battle Cry, The Revolt of Mamie Stover, Band of Angels, The Naked and the Dead, Esther and the King, A Distant Trumpet

Glory Alley (Raoul Walsh, 1952) Other Walsh musicals: Every Night at Eight, Artists and Models, College Swing, The Man I Love

Sailor's Luck (Raoul Walsh, 1933) Other Walsh comedies: The Lucky Lady, What Price Glory?, Gentleman Jim, The Horn Blows at Midnight, Cheyenne, The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw, Marines, Lets Go!

White Heat (Raoul Walsh, 1949) Other Walsh gangster films: Regeneration, The Roaring Twenties, High Sierra

The Naked Spur (Anthony Mann, 1953) The Bamboo Blonde, Desperate, Railroaded!, T-Men, Raw Deal, He Walked By Night, The Black Book/Reign of Terror, Border Incident, Side Street, Winchester '73, Devil's Doorway, The Man from Laramie, The Tin Star, Man of the West, Cimarron, The Heroes of Telemark, A Dandy in Aspic

Seven Men from Now (Budd Boetticher, 1956) One Mysterious Night, Behind Locked Doors, Horizons West, Seminole, The Man From the Alamo, Wings of the Hawk, The Tall T, Decision at Sundown, Buchanan Rides Alone, Ride Lonesome, Westbound, The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond. Television series:

Reprisal! (George Sherman, 1956) More good Westerns: Overland Stage Raiders; Black Bart; Dawn at Socorro; Chief Crazy Horse, Comanche; The Hard Man. Crime & mystery films: A Scream in the Dark; Mystery Broadcast; The Crime Doctor's Courage. Other good films: Johnny Dark. Television series: Zorro's Fighting Legion (John English, William Witney, 1939)

Riders in the Sky (John English, 1949) Television series:

Spoilers of the Plains (William Witney, 1951) Television series:

Joe Dakota (Richard Bartlett, 1957) Television series:

Gunfight at Comanche Creek (Frank McDonald, 1963) Television series:

Ride the High Country (Sam Peckinpah, 1962) The Ballad of Cable Hogue, Junior Bonner, The Osterman Weekend. Television series:

Ishi: The Last of His Tribe (Robert Ellis Miller, 1978) Her Life as a Man. Television series:

Unbowed (Nanci Rossov, 1999)

Nice Stuff: Western Films Worth Seeing

The Sergeant (Francis Boggs, 1910)

Mexican Filibusters (Kenean Buel, 1911)

The Better Man (Rollin S. Sturgeon, 1912)

Salomy Jane (Lucius Henderson, William Nigh, 1914)

The Bargain (Reginald Barker, 1914) Seven Keys to Baldpate (1929)

Last of the Line (Jay Hunt, 1914)

Ammunition Smuggling on the Mexican Border (no director credited, 1914)

Legal Advice (Tom Mix, 1916)

Tumbleweeds (King Baggott, 1925) Beautifully photographed Western.

The Great K & A Train Robbery (Lewis Seiler, 1926) Enthusiastic Tom Mix Western, in which he battles a gang of train robbers. Tom Mix had been a real cowboy, and was the best rider of all screen Western stars. Flight Angels, Molly and Me

Massacre (Alan Crosland, 1934) The Enemies of Women (first two reels)

Dude Cowboy (David Howard, 1941)

Wells Fargo Days (Mack V. Wright, 1944)

The Plainsman and the Lady (Joseph Kane, 1946) Public Cowboy No. 1; Gold Mine in the Sky; Colorado; In Old Sacramento; The Last Bandit; Accused of Murder. Television series:

Cheyenne Takes Over (Ray Taylor, 1947) West to Glory; Stage to Mesa City; The Tioga Kid

3:10 to Yuma (Delmer Daves, 1957) Demetrius and the Gladiators

The Rough, Tough West (Ray Nazarro, 1952) Hoedown; Top Gun. TV episodes:

Target (Stuart Gilmore, 1952)

The Redhead from Wyoming (Lee Sholem, 1953) Many TV episodes (A list in the linked article).

The Proud Ones (Robert D. Webb, 1956)

Star in the Dust (Charles F. Haas, 1956)

Fury at Gunsight Pass (Fred F. Sears, 1956)

Tomahawk Trail (Lesley Selander, 1957) Blackmail (1947).

The Wild and the Innocent (Jack Sher, 1959) Four Girls in Town

Cat Ballou (Elliot Silverstein, 1965) Rich Men, Single Women. Television series:

Ride the Whirlwind (Monte Hellman, 1966) The Beast From Haunted Cave, The Shooting, Two Lane Blacktop

The Ride to Hangman's Tree (Alan Rafkin, 1967) Another April

Support Your Local Gunfighter (Burt Kennedy, 1971) The Money Trap, Hannie Caulder, The Train Robbers. Television series:

Dances With Wolves (Kevin Costner, 1990)

Love in Paradise (Sean McNamara, 2016)

Television Westerns on Civil Rights

TV Westerns with positive treatments of Civil Rights and minorities: I have seen and liked all the episodes in the above list.

The Wikipedia article on Bonanza offers a detailed list of that show's many pro-Civil Rights episodes.

Civil Rights might be the most persistent theme of television Westerns.

TV Non-Westerns with positive treatments of Civil Rights and minorities:

Work I haven't seen:

German Expressionism and Film Noir

Key Directors: The Most Important Noir and Expressionist Filmmakers

Fury (Fritz Lang, 1936) The Spiders Part I: The Golden Sea; Der Müde Tod, Dr. Mabuse Der Spieler, Siegfried, Metropolis, Spione/Spies, Frau in Mond / Woman in the Moon, M, Testament of Dr. Mabuse

The Big Heat (Fritz Lang, 1953) You and Me, Man Hunt, Ministry of Fear, Woman in the Window, Scarlet Street, Secret Beyond the Door, House by the River, Clash By Night, Rancho Notorious, The Blue Gardenia, Moonfleet, While the City Sleeps, Beyond a Reasonable Doubt, The 1,000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse

Sunrise (Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau, 1927) Schloss Vogelöd / The Haunted Castle, Nosferatu, Phantom, Der Letzte Mann / The Last Laugh, Tartuffe.

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene, 1920)

Geheimnisse einer Seele / Secrets of a Soul (Georg Wilhelm Pabst, 1926)

The Bat (Roland West, 1926) The Monster, The Bat Whispers

The Man Who Knew Too Much (Alfred Hitchcock, 1956) The Lodger, Easy Virtue, Champagne, Number Seventeen, The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The 39 Steps, Sabotage, Young and Innocent, The Lady Vanishes, Foreign Correspondent, Saboteur, Shadow of a Doubt, Spellbound, Rope, Under Capricorn, Stage Fright, Strangers on a Train, I Confess, Rear Window, The Trouble With Harry, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, The Birds, Marnie, Torn Curtain, Topaz, Family Plot. TV shows: Breakdown, Arthur, The Horseplayer, I Saw the Whole Thing.

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) Too Much Johnson, The Magnificent Ambersons, The Fountain of Youth

The Lady From Shanghai (Orson Welles, 1948) Other good mysteries by Welles: Journey into Fear, The Stranger, Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil

The Immortal Story (Orson Welles, 1969) Perhaps the most beautiful color film ever made. See also below under Shakespeare films. It's All True, Around the World with Orson Welles, Vienna, Filming 'The Trial'.

The Patient in Room 18 (Bobby Connolly, Crane Wilbur, 1938)

Phantom Lady (Robert Siodmak, 1944) The Spiral Staircase, The Killers, Criss Cross, The File on Thelma Jordon

Detour (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1945) Paranoid classic about a hitchhiker who encounters every sort of terrifying problem. The Black Cat, American Matchmaker, Tomorrow We Live, Girls in Chains, Isle of Forgotten Sins / Monsoon, Jive Junction, Strange Illusion, Her Sister's Secret, Carnegie Hall, Ruthless, The Pirates of Capri, The Man From Planet X, St. Benny the Dip, Murder Is My Beat, Daughter of Dr. Jekyll, Beyond the Time Barrier

The Naked City (Jules Dassin, 1948)

Niagara (Henry Hathaway, 1953) Johnny Apollo; The Dark Corner; Call Northside 777; Rawhide; Diplomatic Courier; O. Henry's Full House: The Clarion Call; The Bottom of the Bottle

The Street With No Name (William Keighley, 1948) No Time for Comedy

Woman on the Run (Norman Foster, 1950) Journey into Fear (with Orson Welles)

The Tattooed Stranger (Edward Montagne, 1950)

Code Two (Fred M. Wilcox, 1953) Shadow in the Sky. See also: Science Fiction.

The Night of the Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

China Gate (Samuel Fuller, 1957) I Shot Jesse James, The Baron of Arizona, The Steel Helmet, Park Row, Run of the Arrow, Verboten!, The Crimson Kimono, Underworld U.S.A., Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street

Shock Corridor (Samuel Fuller, 1963) The Naked Kiss

Bunny Lake Is Missing (Otto Preminger, 1965) Laura, A Royal Scandal, Fallen Angel, Daisy Kenyon, Whirlpool, Where the Sidewalk Ends, River of No Return, The Court-Martial of Billy Mitchell, The Man With the Golden Arm, Advise and Consent, The Cardinal, Skidoo, Such Good Friends

The Phenix City Story (Phil Karlson, 1955) Live Wires, Bowery Bombshell, The Texas Rangers, Scandal Sheet, Kansas City Confidential, 99 River Street, They Rode West, Tight Spot, Gunman's Walk, The Scarface Mob, Hell to Eternity

The Lawless (Joseph Losey, 1950) A Gun in His Hand, The Boy with Green Hair, Time Without Pity, Boom!, The Go-Between, A Doll's House

Crime Wave (André de Toth, 1954) Passport to Suez, None Shall Escape, Slattery's Hurricane, Man in the Saddle, Carson City, Springfield Rifle, Riding Shotgun, The Two-Headed Spy, Day of the Outlaw. Television:

Experiment Perilous (Jacques Tourneur, 1944) They All Come Out; Nick Carter, Master Detective; I Walked With a Zombie, Canyon Passage, Out of the Past, Berlin Express; Stars in My Crown; The Flame and the Arrow, Appointment in Honduras, Stranger on Horseback, Wichita, Great Day in the Morning, Nightfall, Night of the Demon; The Fearmakers. Short films: The Magic Alphabet, The Romance of Radium, The Grand Bounce, The Jonker Diamond, Harnessed Rhythm, Killer-Dog. Television:

Private Hell 36 (Don Siegel, 1954) Star in the Night, The Verdict, Riot in Cell Block 11, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Lineup, Edge of Eternity, Flaming Star, Madigan, The Black Windmill, Jinxed. Also: Blues in the Night: montage sequences.

Kiss Me Deadly (Robert Aldrich, 1955) World for Ransom; The Garment Jungle; What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?; Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte; The Longest Yard; The Frisco Kid

The Big Combo (Joseph H. Lewis, 1955) One of the most important and creative makers of Westerns and noir films. The Spy Ring, Border Wolves, The Last Stand, Blazing Six Shooters, The Man from Tumbleweeds, The Return of Wild Bill, That Gang of Mine, Pride of the Bowery, Invisible Ghost, The Silver Bullet, Boss of Hangtown Mesa, Bombs Over Burma, The Falcon in San Francisco, My Name is Julia Ross, So Dark the Night, The Swordsman, The Return of October, The Undercover Man, Gun Crazy, A Lady Without Passport, Cry of the Hunted, Man On A Bus, A Lawless Street, The Halliday Brand, Terror in a Texas Town. Television:

Follow Me Quietly (Richard Fleischer, 1949) This hour long B movie about the hunt for a serial killer is a triumph of direction, photography and storytelling. Much less gruesome than modern serial killer stories. Bodyguard, Armored Car Robbery, The Narrow Margin, Violent Saturday, Fantastic Voyage, Soylent Green.

Homicidal (William Castle, 1961) Truly bizarre little thriller whose plot is always taking unexpected turns. When Strangers Marry / Betrayed; Mark of the Whistler; Crime Doctor's Warning; Voice of the Whistler; Crime Doctor's Man Hunt; Texas, Brooklyn & Heaven; Conquest of Cochise; Battle of Rogue River; Masterson of Kansas; New Orleans Uncensored; House on Haunted Hill; Straight-Jacket; The Night Walker. Television:

Nice Stuff: Noir Films Worth Seeing

The Bride of Frankenstein (James Whale 1935) The Old Dark House, The Invisible Man, Remember Last Night?, The Great Garrick

The Stranger on the Third Floor (Boris Ingster, 1940)

Tear Gas Squad (Terry Morse, 1940) Smashing the Money Ring, A Fugitive from Justice

The Get-Away (Edward Buzzell, 1941)

This Gun for Hire (Frank Tuttle, 1942) The Studio Murder Mystery

The Locket (John Brahm, 1946) Television:

Dead Reckoning (John Cromwell, 1947) Son of Fury, The Racket

Crack-Up (Irving Reis, 1946) Hitler's Children

Shadow of a Woman (Joseph Santley, 1946)

Backlash (Eugene Forde, 1947) Lots of good men's double-breasted suits; fun comedy relief; fun cop heroes; unusual scene with tramp and social commentary.

High Tide (John Reinhardt, 1947) Based on short story "Inside Job" by Raoul Whitfield.

Homicide (Felix Jacoves, 1949)

Panic in the Streets (Elia Kazan, 1950) Gentleman's Agreement, Wild River

The Underworld Story (Cy Endfield, 1950)

Mystery Street (John Sturges, 1950) The Girl in White; Bad Day at Black Rock; The Scarlet Coat; Last Train from Gun Hill; The Satan Bug

No Questions Asked (Harold F. Kress, 1951)

Never Trust a Gambler (Ralph Murphy, 1951) TV series:

Tomorrow Is Another Day (Felix E. Feist, 1951) The Man Who Cheated Himself; The Man Behind the Gun. Shorts: Take a Cue. TV series:

The Glass Wall (Maxwell Shane, 1953)

Vice Squad (Arnold Laven, 1953) Down Three Dark Streets. TV series:

City That Never Sleeps (John H. Auer, 1953)

Suddenly (Lewis Allen, 1954) Appointment with Danger. TV series:

Sunset Blvd. (Billy Wilder, 1950) is a drama about a decayed silent movie queen, who lives in a Hollywood mansion with her director-turned-butler Max, played by real life great director Erich von Stroheim. Wilder's sort of thematic sequel, Fedora.

Witness For the Prosecution (Billy Wilder, 1958). The best courtroom drama ever made. Charles Laughton is fabulously articulate and dramatic as the defense attorney; all by itself, the scene where is calls witness Marlene Dietrich a liar is worth the price of admission. Other plays: Stalag 17.

Avanti! (Billy Wilder, 1972). One of the best of the comedies in which Wilder specialized later. One, Two, Three; The Fortune Cookie

Science Fiction

See also my more detailed list of Best Science Fiction, Fantasy and High Technology Films.

The following section is of American science fiction films. It doesn't include key foreign science fiction films, like:

Air Hawks (Albert S. Rogell, 1935)

Things to Come (William Cameron Menzies, 1936)

Batman and Robin: Batman Takes Over (Spencer Gordon Bennet, 1949)

The Man From Planet X (Edgar G. Ulmer, 1951) Beyond the Time Barrier. See also: Film noir.

The Day the Earth Stood Still (Robert Wise, 1951) Born to Kill, The Set-Up

Them! (Gordon Douglas, 1954) The Falcon in Hollywood, Dick Tracy vs. Cueball, Walk a Crooked Mile, Mr. Soft Touch, Sincerely Yours, Yellowstone Kelly, Robin and the 7 Hoods, In Like Flint

This Island Earth (Joseph M. Newman, 1955) Respect the Law, 711 Ocean Drive, Red Skies of Montana, Dangerous Crossing, Death in Small Doses, The Lawbreakers, The George Raft Story, Twenty Plus Two. Television episodes:

Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956). See also: Film noir.

The Mole People (Virgil W. Vogel, 1956) Television episodes:

The Incredible Shrinking Man (Jack Arnold, 1957) 3D versions of: It Came From Outer Space, Revenge of the Creature. High School Confidential!, Bachelor in Paradise

The 27th Day (William Asher, 1957)

It! The Terror from Beyond Space (Edward L. Cahn, 1958) Other science fiction: Creature with the Atom Brain.

Emergency Call (Edward L. Cahn, 1933) Other crime films: Radio Patrol; Bad Guy; Destination: Murder; The Police Dog Story; You Have to Run Fast

War of the Satellites (Roger Corman, 1958) (Please search this article for "Roger Corman" for more films.)

The Fountain of Youth (Orson Welles, 1958) (Please search this article for "Orson Welles" for more films.)

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Nathan Juran, 1958)

Red Nightmare (George Waggner, 1957) Television episodes:

Men into Space (Walter Doniger, 1959-1960) Doniger directed five episodes of this remarkably realistic TV series about the space program. Television episodes:

The Time Machine (George Pal, 1960)

Flight That Disappeared (Reginald Le Borg, 1961)

Queen of Blood (Curtis Harrington, 1966) (Please search this article for "Curtis Harrington" for more films.) Science Fiction TV episodes:

Star Trek (Joseph Pevney, 1966-1968) 14 of the best episodes were directed by Pevney. More Television episodes:

The Power (Byron Haskin, 1968) Too Late for Tears; The Naked Jungle; Robinson Crusoe on Mars

Planet of the Apes (Franklin J. Schaffner, 1968) The Best Man. TV episodes:

2001: A Space Odyssey (Stanley Kubrick, 1968) Barry Lyndon. Documentary shorts: Day of the Fight, Flying Padre.

Escape! (John Llewellyn Moxey, 1971) Home for the Holidays, Genesis II. TV series:

The People (John Korty, 1972) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman; Farewell to Manzanar

The Questor Tapes (Richard A. Colla, 1974)

The Savage Bees (Bruce Geller, 1976)

The Man Who Fell to Earth (Nicholas Roeg, 1976)

Snowbeast (Herb Wallerstein, 1977)

Star Wars (George Lucas, 1977) American Graffiti; Star Wars: Episode III - The Revenge of the Sith

Superman (Richard Donner, 1978) TV episodes:

Captain America (Rod Holcomb, 1979) TV episodes:

The Lathe of Heaven (David Loxton, Fred Barzyk, 1980) Based on the novel by Ursula K. Le Guin.

Blade Runner (Ridley Scott, 1982) Someone To Watch Over Me, The Martian

Metalstorm (Charles Band, 1982) Trancers

Tron (Steve Lisberger, 1982)

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension (W.D. Richter, 1984) Late For Dinner

Dreamscape (Joseph Ruben, 1984) True Believer, Return to Paradise, The Forgotten

The Last Starfighter (Nick Castle, 1984) See also: Musicals.

Twins (Ivan Reitman, 1988) Dave, Kindergarten Cop, Junior, My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Arena (Peter Manoogian, 1988)

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (Joe Johnston 1989) The Rocketeer

Peacemaker (Kevin S. Tenney, 1990)

Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man (Simon Wincer, 1991) The Girl Who Spelled Freedom

Universal Soldier (Roland Emmerich, 1992) Moon 44, Stargate

Encino Man (Les Mayfield, 1992) A China Odyssey

Wing Commander (Chris Roberts, 1998)

Dark City (Alex Proyas, 1998) I, Robot

Murdercycle (Tom Callaway, 1999)

Paycheck (John Woo, 2003)

Primer (Shane Carruth, 2004)

Homecoming (Joe Dante, 2005)

Fantastic Four (Tim Story, 2005) Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

The Last Mimzy (Bob Shaye, 2007)

Speed Racer (Andy Wachowski, Larry Wachowski, 2008)

Limitless: Pilot and Badge! Gun! (Marc Webb, 2015)

Beautiful Dreamer (David Gaddie, 2016)

Arrival (Denis Villeneuve, 2016)

Black Panther (Ryan Coogler, 2018)

Shazam! (David F. Sandberg, 2019)


Key Directors: The Most Important Filmmakers of Musicals

42nd Street (Choreographer: Busby Berkeley, 1933) Whoopee!, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, Dames, The Gang's All Here, Two Weeks with Love, Small Town Girl, Billy Rose's Jumbo

Swing Time (George Stevens, 1936) The best of all Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies. A Damsel in Distress, which has Fred Astaire, George Burns and Gracie Allen, both of whom can really dance, much to my surprise. Has gem of dance sequence at amusement park. Please also see this article's section on Drama, for more George Stevens films.

The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939) When the Clouds Roll By: Dream Sequences, The Mollycoddle, Mantrap, The Wet Parade

Bells Are Ringing (Vincente Minnelli, 1960) Cabin in the Sky, Meet Me in St. Louis, Ziegfeld Follies, The Clock, Yolanda and the Thief, Undercurrent, The Pirate, Father's Little Dividend, An American in Paris, Lovely to Look At, The Band Wagon, The Long, Long Trailer, Brigadoon, The Cobweb, Tea and Sympathy, Designing Woman, Gigi, The Reluctant Debutante, Some Came Running, Home from the Hill, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Sandpiper, On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, A Matter of Time

The Unsinkable Molly Brown (Charles Walters, 1964) Good News, Easter Parade, The Glass Slipper, Billy Rose's Jumbo

Singin' in the Rain (Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen 1952) is a musical comedy about the transition to talkies. On the Town; It's Always Fair Weather

Deep in My Heart (Stanley Donen, 1954) Funny Face, The Pajama Game, Damn Yankees, Indiscreet, Charade

Hello, Dolly! (Gene Kelly, 1969) The Cheyenne Social Club

Merry Andrew (Michael Kidd, 1958) Kidd choreographed: Guy and Dolls.

Nice Stuff: Musicals Worth Seeing

Good Numbers in Early Sound Musicals: Spring Is Here (John Francis Dillon, 1930)

The Red Shadow (Roy Mack, 1932) This is a 20 minute version of "The Desert Song". Roy Mack was a prolific director of short musical films in the 1930's. Many are as good as the famous feature length musicals of the era. Artistic Temper, Mirrors.

Diplomaniacs (William A. Seiter, 1933) Why Be Good?, Roberta, Three Blind Mice, You Were Never Lovelier

Old Man Rhythm (Edward Ludwig, 1935)

That Girl From Paris (Leigh Jason, 1936) Mystery films: The Mad Miss Manton, Dangerous Blondes

Something To Sing About (Victor Schertzinger, 1937) He also did the excellent Grace Moore opera film, One Night of Love (1934). The Clodhopper, Redskin, The Woman Between, The Fleet's In

Music For Madame (John Blystone, 1937) Opera film with tenor Nino Martini. Blystone was Buster Keaton's codirector on Our Hospitality.

Carefree (Mark Sandrich, 1938) A Woman Rebels

Alexander's Ragtime Band (Henry King, 1938) Remember the Day, Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

Little Nellie Kelly (Norman Taurog, 1940) Broadway Melody of 1940; That Midnight Kiss; Rich, Young and Pretty; It Happened at the World's Fair; Palm Springs Weekend

Springtime in the Rockies (Irving Cummings, 1942) The Story of Alexander Graham Bell, Lillian Russell, My Gal Sal

Hello, Frisco, Hello (H. Bruce Humberstone, 1943) The Dragon Murder Case, I Wake Up Screaming, Sun Valley Serenade, She's Working Her Way Through College, The Desert Song

The Jolson Story (Alfred E. Green, Joseph H. Lewis, 1946) Union Depot.

Something in the Wind (Irving Pichel, 1947) The Man I Married, And Now Tomorrow

It's A Great Feeling (David Butler, 1949) Butler did many "backstage" looks at show business. Sunnyside Up, Pigskin Parade, Playmates, They Got Me Covered, Shine On Harvest Moon, Tea For Two, Calamity Jane. Television episodes:

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (Roy Rowland, 1953) Unique fantasy musical, written by Dr. Seuss. Also: Two Weeks With Love.

Call Me Madam (Walter Lang, 1953)

The Benny Goodman Story (Valentine Davies, 1955) Davies also wrote the story for Miracle on 34th Street.

Untamed Youth (Howard W. Koch, 1957)

The Cool Ones (Gene Nelson, 1967) Television episodes:

Hollywood Sound Films of the Studio Era: Drama

Key Directors: The Most Important Drama Filmmakers

Dishonored (Josef von Sternberg, 1931) Perhaps the best of Sternberg's seven films with Marlene Dietrich. This tale casts Dietrich as a glamorous Mata Hari like spy in World War I. When facing the firing squad at the end of the movie, Dietrich insists on being dressed to the nines: as she puts it, I want to die in the uniform in which I served my country. Sternberg had few equals in the ability to treat film as a visual spectacle. Other Dietrich films by Sternberg: The Blue Angel, Morocco, Shanghai Express, Blonde Venus, The Scarlet Empress, The Devil Is a Woman.

Thunderbolt (Josef von Sternberg, 1929) Sternberg was the pioneer of the gangster movie, and this emotional drama about a gang leader on death row shows Sternberg's ability to light a slow fire under his audience. Made in the first year of sound films, and one of the best of the early talkies, the film acts as if the world of sound had been discovered for the first time, with brilliant, unusual speech rhythms, unique pacing, and emotion charged black spirituals on the sound track. The Salvation Hunters, Underworld, The Last Command, The Docks of New York, An American Tragedy, The Shanghai Gesture, Macao.

Broadway (Paul Fejos, 1929) Lonesome; The Last Performance

Man's Castle (Frank Borzage, 1932) Borzage was one of the screen's best directors of romances. Little known fact: Borzage and Raoul Walsh were friends when they worked at Fox in the early 30's. The Pitch O'Chance, Nugget Jim's Pardner, Until They Get Me, Back Pay, Lazybones, 7th Heaven, The River, Lucky Star, A Farewell to Arms, Stranded, Green Light, History Is Made at Night, Big City, The Shining Hour, The Mortal Storm, Stage Door Canteen, Moonrise. Television series:

Cleopatra (Cecil B. De Mille, 1934) Spectacle film about the famous Egyptian Queen (Claudette Colbert) and her fights with the Roman Empire. Short compared with modern epics (an hour and a half), fast paced, and filled with eye-popping visual detail. People sometimes chortle over De Mille's sugar coating of history, but the fact remains, that if more films like this were made today, Americans would not be so ignorant about history. The Golden Chance, Don't Change Your Husband, Why Change Your Wife?, the silent version of The Ten Commandments, The Buccaneer, The Story of Dr. Wassell.

Parnell (John M. Stahl, 1937) Imitation of Life, Keys of the Kingdom, Leave Her to Heaven. A frequent theme in Stahl: someone learning about, and taking on, a new culture. There is the Scots missionary learning the Chinese way of life in The Keys of the Kingdom, the black women in Imitation of Life struggling to cope with a racist white society, the European composer getting forcibly Americanized in Oh, You Beautiful Doll. In this last film, this is the main subject of the movie, and is played for surrealistic comedy.

Intruder in the Dust (Clarence Brown, 1949) The Signal Tower, The Eagle, Possessed, Looking Forward, Chained, The Rains Came, Angels in the Outfield, When in Rome

Bigger Than Life (Nicholas Ray, 1956) They Live By Night, Born to be Bad, On Dangerous Ground, Johnny Guitar

Giant (George Stevens, 1956) The Boyfriends, Annie Oakley, The Talk of the Town, The More the Merrier, I Remember Mama. See also under Musicals.

Take Me To Town (Douglas Sirk, 1953) A kind hearted saloon singer (Ann Sheridan) marries a preacher in this Western comedy-drama, and brings new liveliness to his family and congregation. Gracefully made, as are most of Sirk's films. A Scandal in Paris; Sleep, My Love; Slightly French; Has Anybody Seen My Gal; Meet Me at the Fair

All I Desire (Douglas Sirk, 1953) Sign of the Pagan, All That Heaven Allows, Tarnished Angels, A Time to Love and a Time to Die

The Adventures of Don Juan (Vincent Sherman, 1948) The Man Who Talked Too Much, Old Acquaintance, Mr. Skeffington, Backfire

Strange Lady in Town (Mervyn LeRoy, 1955) Little Caesar, Heat Lightning, The King and the Chorus Girl, Fools for Scandal, The Devil at 4 O'Clock

Bonnie and Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967) The Left Handed Gun, Mickey One, The Chase, Little Big Man, Dead of Winter

The Nickel Ride (Robert Mulligan, 1974) Fear Strikes Out; Ah, Wilderness!; The Great Impostor; Come September; To Kill a Mockingbird; Love With the Proper Stranger; Baby the Rain Must Fall; Same Time, Next Year; Kiss Me Goodbye; The Man in the Moon. Television series:

Nice Stuff: Drama Films Worth Seeing

The Wild Party (Dorothy Arzner, 1929) Nana

Weary River (Frank Lloyd, 1929) The Divine Lady, Berkeley Square

The Voice of the City (Willard Mack, 1929)

The Painted Veil (Richard Boleslawski, 1934)

We Live Again (Rouben Mamoulian, 1934) Love Me Tonight, Golden Boy, The Mark of Zorro, Summer Holiday, Silk Stockings

The Princess Comes Across (William K. Howard, 1936) Transatlantic, Sherlock Holmes

Internes Can't Take Money (Alfred Santell, 1937)

Within the Law (Gustav Machaty, 1939)

The Guilty Generation (Rowland V. Lee, 1931)

Shopworn (Nick Grinde, 1932) Public Wedding

A Night To Remember (Richard Wallace, 1942) The Masquerader

Deadline - U.S.A. (Richard Brooks, 1952)

Bengal Brigade (Laslo Benedek, 1954) The Wild One. Television series:

Bright Road (Gerald Mayer, 1953). Television series:

Little Fugitive (Morris Engel, Ruth Orkin, Ray Ashley, 1953)

Elephant Walk (William Dieterle, 1954) The Devil's in Love; From Headquarters

Salt of the Earth (Herbert J. Biberman, 1954)

The Purple Plain (Robert Parrish, 1955) Cry Danger. Television series:

Storm Center (Daniel Taradash, 1956)

The Young Lions (Edward Dmytryk, 1958) Broken Lance

The Conspirators (Jean Negulesco, 1944) Hedy Lamarr stars in this spy story. Most notable for the beauty of its photography (by Arthur Edeson) and production values. You might want to turn off the volume and just watch the succession of beautiful images silent. Woman's World. See also his short films of ballet: The Gay Parisian, Spanish Fiesta.

Dark Victory (Edmund Goulding, 1939) The Great Lie, The Razor's Edge

Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942)

The Best Years of Our Lives (William Wyler, 1946) The Desperate Hours

High Wall (Curtis Bernhardt, 1947) Million Dollar Baby, My Reputation

Scaramouche (George Sidney, 1952) Hollywood Hobbies, The Harvey Girls, A Ticklish Affair, Viva Las Vegas

Picnic (Joshua Logan, 1955)

Captain Blood (Michael Curtiz, 1935) Private Detective 62, The Kennel Murder Case, Female, Dodge City, Casablanca, Night and Day, The Unsuspected, Flamingo Road, The Man in the Net

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (Nunnally Johnson, 1956)

Lilies of the Field (Ralph Nelson, 1963) Cinderella, Father Goose

Hollywood Sound Films of the Studio Era: Comedy

Key Directors: The Most Important Comedy Filmmakers

Madame Dubarry (Ernst Lubitsch, 1920). Lubitsch got his start directing historical epics, which combined spectacle with saucy looks at the personal lives of famous men and women. Other good silent films: Das Fidele Gefängnis / The Merry Jail; I Don't Want To Be a Man; Die Austernprinzessin / The Oyster Princess; Die Puppe / The Doll; Rosita; Three Women; the silent version of Lady Windermere's Fan; So This Is Paris; The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg; Eternal Love

The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch, 1940). Other good sound films: The Love Parade, Monte Carlo, The Smiling Lieutenant, Trouble in Paradise, Design for Living, The Merry Widow, Angel, Ninotchka, To Be Or Not To Be

Scarface (Howard Hawks 1932) The Dawn Patrol, The Criminal Code, The Crowd Roars, Barbary Coast, Come and Get It, The Big Sleep (early pre-release version), Land of the Pharaohs

His Girl Friday (Howard Hawks 1940) Paid to Love, A Girl in Every Port, Twentieth Century, Ball of Fire, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Man's Favorite Sport?

Hatari! (Howard Hawks 1962) Red River, Rio Bravo, El Dorado, Rio Lobo

Bed of Roses (Gregory La Cava, 1932) Womanhandled, Smart Woman, Symphony of Six Million, The Half-Naked Truth, What Every Woman Knows, My Man Godfrey, Fifth Avenue Girl, Primrose Path, Living In a Big Way

Lady Killer (Roy Del Ruth, 1933) The dynamic James Cagney plays a small time hood who winds up in Hollywood. Packs a vast amount of plot twists in a short running time. Life of the Party, The Maltese Falcon, The Little Giant, Kid Millions, Thanks a Million, On the Avenue, Broadway Melody of 1938, My Lucky Star; Broadway Rhythm; The West Point Story; On Moonlight Bay; Starlift; Stop, You're Killing Me; The Alligator People. TV series episodes:

Lady For a Day (Frank Capra, 1933) The Power of the Press, The Younger Generation, Platinum Blonde, The Miracle Woman, American Madness, Forbidden, It Happened One Night, You Can't Take It With You

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (Frank Capra, 1939) Capra's political film, about an idealistic young senator (Jimmy Stewart) and his fight with a crooked political machine. Meet John Doe, It's a Wonderful Life, Pocketful of Miracles

Let Us Be Gay (Robert Z. Leonard, 1930) Leonard's best films seem to be gentle, upbeat combinations of sophisticated comedy and drama. His characters are remarkably refined and genteel. Many of his films seem to involve romantic duels between men and women. His characters also often struggle against injustice, often being victimized by more powerful people. Delicious Little Devil, Dancing Lady, After Office Hours, Piccadilly Jim, Pride and Prejudice, Stand by for Action, In the Good Old Summertime

Stand-In (Tay Garnett, 1937) Slave Ship, The Joy Of Living, Seven Sinners, The Valley of Decision, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Television episodes:

Double Wedding (Richard Thorpe, 1937) Zany screwball fun with the team of William Powell and Myrna Loy, better known for their Thin Man detective movies. Murder on the Campus; Above Suspicion; Her Highness and the Bellboy; The Great Caruso; The Prisoner of Zenda; Athena

Destry Rides Again (George Marshall, 1939) Life Begins at Forty, Hold That Coed, Valley of the Sun, True To Life, Perils of Pauline, The Mating Game

Travels With My Aunt (George Cukor, 1972) Tarnished Lady, Our Betters, The Philadelphia Story, Gaslight, A Double Life, Born Yesterday, Pat and Mike, The Actress, It Should Happen to You, A Star Is Born, Bhowani Junction, Les Girls, Let's Make Love, Something's Got to Give (fragment), My Fair Lady, The Blue Bird

Golden Earrings (Mitchell Leisen, 1947) The Eagle and The Hawk, Murder at the Vanities, Artists and Models Abroad, Midnight, The Lady Is Willing, To Each His Own, Dream Girl, The Mating Season

Sullivan's Travels (Preston Sturges, 1942) is a comedy about a film director who wants to make a film about the Depression. Sturges was Hollywood's most gifted satirist. The Great McGinty, Christmas in July, The Palm Beach Story, The Great Moment, The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, Hail the Conquering Hero, Mad Wednesday

Going My Way (Leo McCarey, 1944) Duck Soup, Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)

Caprice (Frank Tashlin, 1967) Son of Paleface, Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?, The Geisha Boy, Cinderfella, It's Only Money, The Disorderly Orderly, The Glass Bottom Boat. Tashlin also scripted The Good Humor Man.

A Shot in the Dark (Blake Edwards, 1964) Return of the Pink Panther, Son of the Pink Panther

What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (Blake Edwards, 1966) Bring Your Smile Along, High Time, The Great Race, Darling Lili, The Tamarind Seed

Victor Victoria (Blake Edwards, 1982) Blind Date, Switch. The semi-autobiographical films: S.O.B., That's Life!. TV series episodes:

I Love Melvin (Don Weis, 1953) Just This Once; Billie. Television episodes:

The Trouble With Angels (Ida Lupino, 1966) TV series episodes:

Nice Stuff: Comedy Films Worth Seeing

The Cocoanuts (Robert Florey, Joseph Santley, 1929)

Horse Feathers (Norman Z. McLeod, 1932) Monkey Business, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

A Night at the Opera (Sam Wood, 1935) Beyond the Rocks; So This Is College; Huddle; The Devil and Miss Jones

A Night in Casablanca (Archie Mayo, 1946)

The Mystery of Mr. X (Edgar Selwyn, 1934) Turn Back the Clock

Hide-Out (W.S. Van Dyke, 1934) The Lady of the Dugout, White Shadows in the South Seas, Penthouse. Nelson Eddy - Jeanette MacDonald movies: Naughty Marietta, Sweethearts and the MacDonald San Francisco

The Good Humor Man (Lloyd Bacon, 1950) Miss Pinkerton, The Irish in Us, Three Cheers for the Irish, Footsteps in the Dark, I Wonder Who's Kissing Her Now, It Happens Every Spring

Search for Beauty (Erle C. Kenton, 1934) Down on the Farm, Bare Knees. Television episodes:

The Traveling Saleslady (Ray Enright, 1935) Sing Me a Love Song, Trail Street

Spring Madness (S. Sylvan Simon, 1938)

Mr. Belvedere Goes to College (Elliott Nugent, 1949) Never Say Die

Good Girls Go to Paris (Alexander Hall, 1939)

Q Planes (Tim Whelan, 1939) Higher and Higher

The Invisible Woman (A. Edward Sutherland, 1941) International House; Having Wonderful Crime

Princess O'Rourke (Norman Krasna, 1943)

Christmas in Connecticut (Peter Godfrey, 1945)

South Sea Woman (Arthur Lubin, 1953) Buck Privates; The First Traveling Saleslady. TV episodes:

Good Morning, Miss Dove (Henry Koster, 1955) First Love, It Started With Eve, Music for the Millions

The Law and the Lady (Edwin H. Knopf, 1951)

As Young as You Feel (Harmon Jones, 1951) Television episodes:

The Remarkable Mr. Pennypacker (Henry Levin, 1959) Night Editor

Lover Come Back (Delbert Mann, 1961)

Pollyanna (David Swift, 1960)

It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World (Stanley Kramer, 1963) Inherit the Wind

The Brass Bottle (Harry Keller, 1964) Tammy Tell Me True

RKO and B Movies

Shooting Straight (George Archainbaud, 1930) Framed, The Silver Horde, The Penguin Pool Murder, The Lost Squadron, Three Who Loved, Keep Em Rolling, Hunt the Man Down, Last of the Pony Riders. TV episodes:

Lovin' the Ladies (Melville Brown, 1930)

The Runaway Bride (Donald Crisp, 1930)

Hell's Highway (Roland Brown, 1932)

Midshipman Jack (Christy Cabanne, 1933) You Can't Beat Love

Bombay Mail (Edward L. Marin, 1934)

The Silver Streak (Thomas Atkins, 1934) A nice early train movie.

Grand Old Girl (John Robertson, 1935) The Phantom of Paris

The Witness Chair (George Nicholls, Jr., 1936)

Wanted! Jane Turner (Edward Killy, 1936)

The Plot Thickens (Ben Holmes, 1936) There Goes My Girl, Maid's Night Out, The Saint in New York

Two in the Dark (Benjamin Stoloff, 1936) Palooka, To Beat the Band, The Lady and the Mob. The Mysterious Doctor

Murder with Pictures (Charles Barton, 1936) TV series:

The Man Who Found Himself (Lew Landers, 1937) They Wanted to Marry, Crashing Hollywood, Double Danger, Sky Giant, Conspiracy, Alias Boston Blackie, Murder in Times Square, Cowboy Canteen, The Power of the Whistler, Under the Tonto Rim, The Magic Carpet. TV series:

London by Night (Wilhelm Thiele, 1937)

Cipher Bureau (Charles Lamont, 1938)

Exile Express (Otis Garrett, 1939)

Play Girl (Frank Woodruff, 1940) Lady Scarface

I Take This Oath (Sam Newfield, 1940)

Double Cross (Albert H. Kelley, 1941)

The Falcon's Brother (Stanley Logan, 1942)

The Falcon's Adventure (William Berke, 1946) Pier 23. TV episodes:

Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (William Clemens, 1939) Nancy Drew, Reporter

Gallant Sons (George B. Seitz, 1940) The Vanishing American, Shadow of Doubt

The Lone Wolf Strikes (Sidney Salkow, 1940)

The Case of the Black Parrot (Noel M. Smith, 1941)

Calling Dr. Gillespie (Harold S. Bucquet, 1942)

Whispering Footsteps (Howard Bretherton, 1943)

William Beaudine.

Detective Kitty O'Day (William Beaudine, 1944). Below the Deadline (1946). Leading men in good suits, uniforms or leather jackets face down crooks and gangsters. TV series:

Blues Busters (William Beaudine, 1950) Unexpectedly funny Bowery Boys comedy.

"Blues Busters" was reportedly made under the title "The Bowery Thrush". When you combine this with "The Bird Guard" and Beaudine's silent "Sparrows", are we seeing bird-based titles for Beaudine?

The Last Alarm (William West, 1940) (Some sources say that "William West" is a pseudonym for William Beaudine.) This film has virtues. It combines a detective plot with its thrills. The detection is sometimes based in interesting science. (Please see my article on the Scientific Detective story.) Its brief use of mythology also interests, in a parallel way. It mixes documentary footage with its fiction story, in an unusual approach. It has a talented cast. It treats its heroine with respect for her intelligence.


Mobilier fidèle / The Automatic Moving Company (Émile Cohl, 1910) Cohl was the pioneer of the animated film.

Dreams of the Rarebit Fiend: The Pet, The Flying House (Winsor McCay, 1921) Gertie the Dinosaur

Mutt and Jeff: On Strike (Charles Bowers, 1920)

Night on Bald Mountain (Alexander Alexeieff, Clare Parker, 1933)

Gulliver's Travels (Dave Fleischer, 1939) A Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight (1930)

Fantasia (Ben Sharpsteen, 1940)

The Dover Boys at Pimento University (Chuck Jones, 1942) Prest-O, Change-O; Duck Amuck, What's Opera, Doc

Paradise (Ishu Patel, 1984)

Beauty and the Beast (Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise, 1991)

Pocahontas (Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg, 1995)

Shrek (Andew Adamson, Vicky Jenson, 2001)

Classical Baby (Amy Schatz, 2005)

Ratatouille (Brad Bird, Jan Pinkava, 2007)

I Met the Walrus (Josh Raskin, 2007)

Madame Tutli-Putli (Chris Lavis & Maciek Szczerbowski, 2007)

The Numberlys (William Joyce, Brandon Oldenburg, 2013)

The LEGO Movie (Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, 2014)

Hollywood's Last Generation of Classical Filmmaking

The Third Voice (Hubert Cornfield, 1960) Lure of the Swamp, The Night of the Following Day

The Pit and the Pendulum (Roger Corman, 1961) War of the Satellites, The Little Shop of Horrors, The Raven, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Von Richthofen and Brown

The Explosive Generation (Buzz Kulik, 1961) Pioneer Woman. TV series:

Night Tide (Curtis Harrington, 1960) Queen of Blood, Games. Short films: Fragment of Seeking, Picnic, On the Edge, The Assignation, The Wormwood Star, The Four Elements, Usher. Harrington is a major filmmaker with a remarkable visual style.

Who Slew Auntie Roo? (Curtis Harrington, 1971) What's the Matter With Helen?, Mata Hari

How Awful About Allan (Curtis Harrington, 1970) Other TV-movies: The Cat Creature, The Dead Don't Die. TV series:

Studio One (Paul Nickell). Paul Nickell directed many episodes of this live TV drama series. TV series:

Sounder (Martin Ritt, 1972) The Long, Hot Summer; The Black Orchid; Norma Rae

In Search of the Castaways (Robert Stevenson, 1962) Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks

The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh (full-length TV version) (James Neilson, 1964) The Moon-Spinners; The Adventures of Bullwhip Griffin. TV series:

"The Coward" and "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" take place in historical worlds overrun by reigns of terror. Gangs of bullies attack people. Heroes have to oppose this. "The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh" has outstanding production design.

A Kiss Before Dying (Gerd Oswald, 1956) Fury at Showdown, 80 Steps to Jonah. Television:

Hot Rod Girl (Leslie H. Martinson, 1956) For Those Who Think Young, Batman. Many TV episodes (A list in the linked article).

Maverick: Pappy (Montgomery Pittman, 1959) TV series:

Bourbon Street Beat: Wall of Silence (Charles R. Rondeau, 1960) TV series:

A Death of Innocence (Paul Wendkos, 1971) The Underground Man. TV series:

The Delicate Delinquent (Don McGuire, 1957)

The Nutty Professor (Jerry Lewis, 1963) The Bellboy, The Ladies Man, Three on a Couch

Alcoa Premiere: Million Dollar Hospital (Herschel Daugherty, 1963) TV series:

The Virginian: The Evil That Men Do (Stuart Heisler, 1963) TV series:

Seven Days in May (John Frankenheimer, 1964)

The Virginian: Ryker (Don Richardson, 1964) TV series:

Cinderella (Charles S. Dubin, 1965) TV series:

I Love a Mystery (Leslie Stevens, 1966) TV series:

Doctor, You've Got to be Kidding (Peter Tewksbury, 1967) The Trouble with Girls. TV series:

To Sir, with Love (James M. Clavell, 1967)

The Bold Ones: Deadlock (Lamont Johnson, 1969). Call to Danger, The Groundstar Conspiracy (up to 32:00), That Certain Summer, Fear on Trial, Paul's Case. TV series:

The Money Jungle (Francis D. Lyons, 1967) TV series:

Eye of the Cat (David Lowell Rich, 1969) SST: Death Flight. TV series:

Run a Crooked Mile (Gene Levitt, 1968)

Congratulations, It's a Boy! (William A. Graham, 1971). Magic Carpet, Birds of Prey. TV series:

Dead Men Tell No Tales (Walter Grauman, 1971) TV series:

Incident in San Francisco (Don Medford, 1971) Clone Master. TV series: Heat of Anger (Don Taylor, 1972). TV series: The Heist (Don McDougall, 1972). TV series: Your Money or Your Wife (Allen Reisner, 1972). TV series: The Fabulous Doctor Fable (Bernard Girard, 1973) TV series:

What's Up, Doc? (Peter Bogdanovich, 1972) Paper Moon, At Long Last Love, Illegally Yours

Daisy Miller (Peter Bogdanovich, 1974) Saint Jack; To Sir, with Love II

Mask (Peter Bogdanovich, 1985) Targets

The Face of Fear (George McCowan, 1971) TV episodes:

The Adventures of Nick Carter (Paul Krasny, 1972) TV episodes:

Goodnight, My Love (Peter Hyams, 1972)

The Sting (George Roy Hill, 1973) Period of Adjustment, Thoroughly Modern Millie

Heat (Paul Morrisey, 1972) Trash

A Woman Under the Influence (John Cassavetes, 1974) Gloria. TV episodes:

The Elevator (Jerry Jameson, 1974) Heat Wave. TV series: The New Original Wonder Woman (Leonard J. Horn, 1975) TV episodes: Crossfire (William Hale, 1975) A cop goes undercover in the mob, in this pre-Wiseguy thriller. TV episodes: Twin Detectives (Robert Day, 1976) TV episodes: Choices of the Heart (Joseph Sargent, 1983) TV episodes: Barnaby Jones: Rendezvous with Terror (Seymour Robbie, 1974) TV episodes:

Recommended Books on English Language Film

People who read film history books and articles, will learn 100 times more than folks who rely on "hearing about" films. Reading the following books is an eye-opening experience. It is easy, fun, and will give one a vaster better knowledge of film.

Film History

Andrew Sarris - The American Cinema (1968). Landmark history of classical Hollywood feature films. A masterpiece and a must-read!

Sheldon Renan - An Introduction to the American Underground Film (1967). History of experimental movies. Informative, lively, concise.

Jean-Pierre Coursodon - American Directors (1983). In-depth, idea-rich look at major Hollywood directors.


Film Noir Reader (1996); Film Noir Reader 2 (1999). Both edited by Alain Silver and James Ursini. Outstanding collections of essays on this genre. An ideal introduction to genre studies in film.

The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection (1976), edited by Chris Steinbrunner and Otto Penzler. THE history of the mystery genre. Tons of info on mystery films. Long out of print - look in used book stores. A great book, loved by mystery fans, rarely read by film people.

Brian Skupin - Locked Room Murders, Supplement (2019). Large annotated bibliography of mysteries with "impossible crimes". Includes television and film.

Jim Kitses - Horizons West (1969).

John Baxter - Science Fiction in the Cinema (1970). An informed survey.

Gary Westfahl - The Spacesuit Film (2012). On space travel films, especially realistic looks at the Space Program. The link takes you to his list of such films.

B Movies

Guides to the depths of Hollywood. Full of movies you've never heard of. The ideal gift for those George Sherman and Lew Landers fans out there...

Don Miller - B Movies (1973).

Doug McClelland - The Golden Age of "B" Movies (1978).

Arthur Lyons - Death on the Cheap, The Lost B Movies of Film Noir (2000). Lyons is a well-known writer of the Jacob Asch private eye novels.


Christopher Wicking and Tise Vahimagi - The American Vein: Directors and Directions in Television (1979). An auteurist look at American TV.

Stephen E. Whitfield, Gene Roddenberry - The Making of Star Trek (1968). Inside look at the creation of the great TV series.

Technique and Creative Crafts

Leonard Maltin - The Art of the Cinematographer (1971, 1978). Interviews and studies of cinematographers, the people who light and photograph films.

Richard Corliss, editor - The Hollywood Screenwriters (1972).

Elizabeth Leese - Costume Design in the Movies (1976). Beautiful.

Barry Salt - Film Style and Technology: History and Analysis (1983, 1992). By a maverick thinker trying to promote the "scientific" study of movies.

Lutz Bacher - The Mobile Mise en Scene (1978). History of the technology and theory of camera movement.

David Bordwell - On the History of Film Style (1997). Eye-opening look at "depth staging" and other visual techniques of film.

Patrick Keating - The Dynamic Frame: Camera Movement in Classical Hollywood (2019).


Andrew Sarris - Confessions of a Cultist (1969).

Jean Narboni and Tom Milne, editors - Godard on Godard (1968, 1972). Jean-Luc Godard's collected critical writings.

Silent Film

Joe Franklin (reportedly actually by William K. Everson) - Classics of the Silent Screen (1959).

Kevin Brownlow - The Parade's Gone By (1968).

Richard Koszarksi, editor - The Rivals of D.W. Griffith (1976).

Picture Books

Howard Mandelbaum and Eric Myers - Screen Deco (1985). Gorgeous look at Art Deco art direction in 1920's and 1930's Hollywood. I love Art Deco!

Daniel Blum - A Pictorial History of the Silent Screen (1953). Collection of stills from silent movies. A favorite browsing book.

Richard Koszarksi - The Astoria Studio and its Fabulous Films (1983).


Peter Bogdanovich - Who the Devil Made It: Conversations with Legendary Film Directors (1998).

Andrew Sarris - Interviews with Film Directors (1967).

Charles Higham - Hollywood Cameramen (1970).

French Films

Recommended books: Les Vampires (Louis Feuillade, 1915) Classic crime thriller. Judex. Short films:

Fantômas films (Louis Feuillade, 1913):

La course aux potirons / The Pumpkin Race (Romeo Bosetti, 1908)

L'Homme aux gants blancs / A Pair of White Gloves (Albert Capellani, 1908)

L'Enfant de Paris / The Child of Paris (Léonce Perret, 1913) Le mystère des roches de Kador / The Mystery of the Rocks of Kador

Le Diamant noir / The Black Diamond (Alfred Machin, 1913)

La Folie du Docteur Tube (Abel Gance, 1915)

Le Brasier ardent / The Burning Crucible (Ivan Mosjoukine, 1923)

L'Invitation au voyage (Germaine Dulac, 1927) La Souriante Madame Beudet / The Smiling Madame Beudet; La Coquille et le clergyman / The Seashell and the Clergyman

La Glace à trois faces (Jean Epstein, 1927) Le Tempestaire

Le Million (René Clair, 1931) Paris qui dort, Entr'acte, Sous les toits de Paris, À Nous la liberté, I Married a Witch

L'Atalante (Jean Vigo, 1934)

La Kermesse héroique (Jacques Feyder, 1935) Crainquebille, Gribiche, Les Nouveaux messieurs / The New Gentlemen, The Kiss, Anna Christie

Le Ciel est à vous (Jean Grémillon, 1944) Remorques, Lumière d'été, Le 6 juin à l'aube / June 6th at Dawn

La Nuit fantastique (Marcel L'Herbier, 1942) L'Inhumaine / The Inhuman Woman; Feu Mathias Pascal / The Late Mathias Pascal

Les Enfants du paradis / Children of Paradise (Marcel Carné, 1945) Drôle de drame, Quai des brumes / Port of Shadows, Le Jour se lève

Letter From an Unknown Woman (Max Ophuls, 1948) Touching romantic drama about a woman, and her unrequited love for a concert pianist. Shows Ophuls' emotional sensitivity, and his ability to depict feelings of love on screen. Ophuls' constantly moving camera is visually fascinating, as one delicate composition succeeds after another, and the tracking creates a thrilling visual experience. Werther, The Exile, Caught, The Reckless Moment, La Ronde, Madame de..., Lola Montès.

Diary of a Country Priest (Robert Bresson, 1950) Affaires publiques / Public Affairs; Un Condamné à mort s'est échappé / A Man Escaped; Pickpocket; Procès de Jeanne d'Arc / The Trial of Joan of Arc; Une Femme douce; Quatre nuits d'un rêveur / Four Nights of a Dreamer; Lancelot du lac

Paris Does Strange Things (Jean Renoir, 1956): A Polish noblewoman delights everyone in 1900 Paris. La Chienne, La Nuit du carrefour / Night at the Crossroads, Boudu sauvé des eaux, Toni, The Crime of Monsieur Lange. The Grand Illusion, The Rules of the Game, Swamp Water, The Southerner, The Woman on the Beach, The River, The Golden Coach, French Can Can, La Caporal épinglé / The Elusive Corporal

Le Trou (Jacques Becker, 1960) Ali Baba

Le Rideau cramoisi / The Crimson Curtain (Alexandre Astruc, 1953) Le puits et le pendule / The Pit and the Pendulum

Le Ballon rouge / The Red Balloon (Albert Lamorisse, 1956) Crin blanc: Le cheval sauvage / White Mane

Plein Soleil / Purple Noon (René Clément, 1960)

Monsieur Hulot's Holiday (Jacques Tati, 1953) Family fun at a French resort. Mon Oncle, Playtime, Trafic.

La chambre ardente / The Burning Court (Julien Duvivier, 1962)

Classe tous risques (Claude Sautet, 1960)

Le Samouraï (Jean-Pierre Melville, 1967) Le Silence de la mer; Deux hommes dans Manhattan / Two Men in Manhattan; Léon Morin, Priest; Le Cercle rouge; Un Flic

Providence (Alain Resnais, 1977) Nuit et brouillard, Toute la mémoire du monde, Le chant du styrène, Hiroshima mon amour, L'Année dernière à Marienbad / Last Year at Marienbad, Muriel, Je t'aime, je t'aime, Stavisky, Mon oncle d'Amérique, Pas sur la bouche / Not on the Lips

Cléo de 5 à 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962) Du côté de la côte; Sans toit ni loi / Vagabond; Jacquot de Nantes; Les Cent et une nuits de Simon Cinéma / The Hundred and One Nights; L'Univers de Jacques Demy / The World of Jacques Demy; Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse / The Gleaners and I; Deux ans après / Two Years Later, Le Lion volatile, Les Plages d'Agnès / The Beaches of Agnès

Les Parapluies de Cherbourg / The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, 1964) La Baie des anges / Bay of Angels

Bande à part / Band of Outsiders (Jean-Luc Godard, 1964) Breathless, A Woman Is a Woman, Contempt, Pierrot le fou, Made in U.S.A., Weekend. Shorts: Les plus belles escroqueries du monde: Le grand escroc.

Fahrenheit 451 (François Truffaut, 1966) The Bride Wore Black, La Nuit américaine / Day For Night

Zazie dans le métro (Louis Malle, 1960) L'Ascenseur pour l'échafaud / Elevator to the Gallows; Le Voleur / The Thief of Paris; Au revoir les enfants

Belle de jour (Luis Buñuel, 1967) Las Hurdes / Land Without Bread, Simon of the Desert, The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie

The Champagne Murders (Claude Chabrol, 1967) Ten Days Wonder, Masques. Shorts: Les plus belles escroqueries du monde: L'homme qui vendit la Tour Eiffel.

Heureux anniversaire / Happy Anniversary (Pierre Étaix, Jean-Claude Carrière, 1962)

Z (Constantin Costa-Gavras, 1969) Compartiment tueurs / The Sleeping Car Murders, L'Aveu / The Confession, Missing

Nathalie Granger (Marguerite Duras, 1972)

Le Chagrin et la pitié / The Sorrow and the Pity (Marcel Ophuls, 1971)

La Planète sauvage / Fantastic Planet (René Laloux, 1973)

Tendre poulet / Dear Detective (Philippe De Broca, 1977) L'Homme de Rio / That Man from Rio

Robert et Robert (Claude Lelouch, 1978)

Loulou (Maurice Pialat, 1980)

Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1982) IP5: L'île aux pachydermes

Les Ripoux / My New Partner (Claude Zidi, 1985)

Cyrano de Bergerac (Jean-Paul Rappenau, 1990) Le Hussard sur la toit / The Horseman on the Roof; Bon Voyage

Black Dju (Pol Cruchten, 1996)

Les Voleurs / Thieves (André Téchiné, 1996) Les Roseaux sauvages / Wild Reeds, Alice et Martin

Chacun cherche son chat / When the Cat's Away (Cédric Klapisch, 1996)

Ma Vie en rose (Alain Berliner, 1997) The Wall

Sucre amer / Bitter Sugar (Christian Lara, 1997)

Sicilia! (Jean-Marie Straub, Danièlle Huillet, 1999) Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach

Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)

Le Placard / The Closet (Francis Veber, 2000)

Samia (Philippe Faucon, 2000)

Le Fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001)

Le Pacte des loups / The Brotherhood of the Wolf (Christophe Gans, 2001)

L'Homme du train / The Man on the Train (Patrice Leconte, 2002) La Veuve de St. Pierre / The Widow of St. Pierre; Mon meilleur ami / My Best Friend

Les Choristes (Christophe Barratier, 2004) Faubourg 36 / Paris 36

Joyeux Noël (Christian Carion, 2005)

La French / The Connection (Cédric Jimenez, 2014)

Italian Films

The Big Five

These great filmmakers all have roots in the Italian neorealism movement.

Death in Venice (Luchino Visconti, 1971) Le notte bianchi / White Nights; Il gattopardo / The Leopard; The Damned. Shorts: Siamo donne / We, the Women; Anna Magnani

The Taking of Power by Louis XIV (Roberto Rossellini, 1966) Rossellini was the father of the neorealism movement. This film shows his logical style. (I would love to see his Blaise Pascal, a biography of the man who built the first calculating machines - note from 1993, since seen and liked!). Paisà, L'amore: Il miracolo, Stromboli, Francesco giullare di Dio, Europe '51, Journey to Italy, India Matri Bhumi, Viva l'Italia, Socrates, The Age of the Medici.

The Clowns (Federico Fellini, 1971) is an exuberant documentary about circus clowns. It shows to the max the spectacular, surrealistic style that is known as Felliniesque. Variety Lights, The White Shiek, La Strada, Il Bidone, 8 1/2, Toby Dammit, Satyricon, Ginger and Fred, Intervista.

L'Avventura (Michelangelo Antonioni, 1960) is a haunting drama about a disappearance. Cronaca di un amore / Story of a Love Affair, I vinti / The Vanquished, Il Grido, La Notte, L'Eclisse / The Eclipse, Il deserto rosso / The Red Desert, Il provino / The Screen Test. Antonioni's English language dramas Blowup, Zabriskie Point, The Passenger. Beyond the Clouds. Documentary shorts: Gente del Po; N.U.; Sette canne, un vestito / Seven Reeds, One Suit; L'amorosa menzogna.

The Tree of Wooden Clogs (Ermanno Olmi, 1978) is a miniseries about poor farmers in 19th Century Lombardy. It is the best film of the 1970's. Il posto, I findanzati.

Good Italian Films

Nerone / Nero, or the Fall of Rome (Luigi Maggi, 1909)

L'Inferno (Giuseppe de Liguoro, Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, 1911)

La Corona di Ferro / The Iron Crown (Alessandro Blasetti, 1941)

Roma città libera (Marcello Pagliero, 1946)

Bicycle Thieves (Vittorio De Sica, 1948) After the Fox

Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli, 1958) Comedy about some inept crooks. I Compagni / The Organizer: rich film portrait of an 1890 strike.

Divorce - Italian Style (Pietro Germi, 1961)

La decima vittima / The Tenth Victim (Elio Petri, 1965)

The Spider's Stratagem (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) is a mystery; its dazzling color photography of the Italian countryside is like taking a trip to Italy. Beseiged.

The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly (Sergio Leone, 1967) is the best Spaghetti Western. A Fistful of Dollars.

Da uomo a uomo / Death Rides a Horse (Giulio Petroni, 1967)

Allegro Non Troppo (Bruno Bozzetto, 1976) is an inventively bizarre animated film comedy set to classical music.

Christ Stopped at Eboli (Francesco Rosi, 1979)

La Nuit de Varennes / That Night in Varennes (Ettore Scola, 1982) Una giornata particolare / A Special Day.

Good Morning, Babylon (Taviani Brothers, 1987). Two Italian brothers emigrate to America, where they design the sets for D.W. Griffith's silent movie masterpiece, Intolerance (1916). The Night of the Shooting Stars.

Cinema Paradiso (Giuseppe Tornatore, 1988) is the story of a poor little boy and his love for the movies. It is very touching and emotionally involving. The Star Maker, Malena.

The Station (Sergio Rubini, 1990)

Mediterraneo (Gabriel Salvatores, 1991) is a warm hearted comedy about some Italian soldiers who go native. Some modern Italian films have been big successes in America.

Lamerica (Gianni Amelio, 1994) Grim but well made look at poverty in post-Communist Albania. The Keys of the House.

Life Is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1998) Johnny Stecchino

La Finestra di fronte / Facing Windows (Ferzan Ozpetek, 2003)

Japanese Films

Recommended books: The Life of Oharu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1952) The greatest of Japanese filmmakers. Sisters of the Gion, The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum, The 47 Ronin, Ugetsu, A Geisha / Gion Festival Music, Sansho the Baliff, Chikamatsu Monogatari, Empress Yang Kei Fei, Street of Shame

Twenty-Four Eyes (Keisuke Kinoshita, 1954): Follows 12 Japanese students and their teacher from first grade to adulthood. Starts out in the 1930's, and moves on to the World War II era. Probably the best "inside" picture of traditional Japanese life on film; recommended for people who want to learn more about that country. Although there are no war scenes in the movie, the film delivers a devastating indictment of Japanese militarism of the era, and war in general. Morning for the Osone Family.

Golden Demon (Koji Shima, 1953) This is not a horror movie; the golden demon of the title is money, excessive love of which almost destroys a young couple's happiness.

Late Chrysanthemums (Mikio Naruse, 1954) Apart From You. While Mikio Naruse made 87 films between 1930 and 1967, his work seems hardly to have made any impression in the Western World. This is to be lamented, for he was clearly a magnificent filmmaker. His subject matter is remote from the tastes of contemporary audiences. Naruse grew up in poverty, and his characters are poor and often aging women struggling to get by in Japan. His stories are completely lacking in violence, action or glamour. What they do have is a marvelous storytelling ability. His visual style alternates between beautifully composed looks at Tokyo streets, to interior scenes where his characters have dramatic encounters with family, loved ones and friends.

Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, 1981) Sanshiro Sugata, The Men Who Tread on the Tiger's Tail, Stray Dog, Scandal, The Idiot, Ikiru, Seven Samurai, The Bad Sleep Well, High and Low, Dreams, Rhapsody in August

An Autumn Afternoon (Yasujiro Ozu, 1962) Walk Cheerfully, That Night's Wife, I Was Born, But..., There Was a Father, Record of a Tenement Gentleman, Late Spring, Early Summer, Tokyo Story, Equinox Flower

The Masseurs and a Woman (Hiroshi Shimizu, 1938) Ornamental Hairpin

Godzilla (Ishiro Honda, 1954)

I Will Buy You (Masaki Kobayashi, 1956) Kwaidan: The Woman in the Snow

Pale Flower (Shinoda Masahiro, 1964) Double Suicide

Tokyo Drifter (Seijun Suzuki, 1966) Delirious gangster film, with great compositions, color design. Take Aim at the Police Van

A Colt Is My Passport (Takashi Nomura, 1967)

The Makioka Sisters (Kon Ichikawa, 1983)

A Taxing Woman (Juzo Itami, 1987) A female Japanese tax agent fights a "duel" with a crooked businessman. Both the heroine and the villain have remarkable quantities of energy, ingenuity and enthusiasm for their work. Thoroughly satirical look at modern Japanese life, with an enormous amount of inside information about business, government, and crime. The Funeral.

Heaven and Earth (Haruki Kadokawa, 1990) Spectacular drama of medieval battles, choreographed to make ingenious color patterns on the screen.

Only Yesterday (Isao Takahata, 1991)

The Mystery of Rampo (Kazuyoshi Okuyama, 1994) Avant-garde fantasy in the tradition of Cocteau and Resnais' Providence. Beautifully shot.

Village of Dreams (Yoichi Higashi, 1995) Look at two eight year old boys and their childhood in a small village.

Dr. Akagi (Shohei Imamura, 1998) The Eel; Warm Water Under a Red Bridge; September 11: The Snake

Rajio no jikan / Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald (Koki Mitani, 1997)

Fish Story (Yoshihiro Nakamura, 2009)

Your Name (Makoto Shinkai, 2016) Weathering with You

Chinese Films

Raise the Red Lantern (Zhang Yimou, 1991) One of six films Zhang made with actress Gong Li, in each of which she plays a gutsy woman who takes on the patriarchy that has always run China. The Story of Qiu Ju.

Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Days of Being Wild, Fallen Angels, In the Mood for Love, 2046, My Blueberry Nights. Avant-garde director in the tradition of France's New Wave of the 1960's. Creative camera work.

East Palace, West Palace (Zhang Yuan, 1996)

The Hole / Last Dance (Tsai Ming-liang, 1997)

Suzhou River (Lou Ye, 2000) Beautifully photographed, New Wave influenced mystery story. Rich cityscapes of Shanghai's river district recall Godard's Le Petit soldat and Varda's Cléo de 5 à 7; the complex storytelling Resnais.

Platform (Jia Zhang-ke, 2000)

Millenium Mambo (Hou Hsiao-Hsien, 2001) The Puppetmaster; Café Lumière

Zhou Yu's Train (Sun Zhou, 2002)

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress (Dai Sijie, 2002)

Springtime (Erica Liu, 2013)

South-East Asia

The Scent of Green Papaya (Tran Anh Hung, 1993) The Vertical Ray of the Sun

Tropical Malady (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2004) Cemetery of Splendour

South Asia

Charulata (Satyajit Ray, 1964): gentle portrait of an Indian woman. Pather Panchali (1955), Aparajito (1956), Jalsaghar/The Music Room (1957), The Big City (1963), Kapurush/The Coward (1965), Nayak/The Hero (1966), Aranyer Din Ratri/Days and Nights in the Forest (1970), The Chess Players (1977), Joi Baba Felunath (1978), An Enemy of the People (1989), The Stranger (1991).

Phörpa / The Cup (Khyentse Norbu, 1999)

Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (Ashutosh Gowariker, 2001) Fine Indian musical, with an idealistic script, good characters and acting, and delightful musical numbers.

Matir Moina / The Clay Bird (Tareque Masud, 2002)

Osama (Siddiq Barmak, 2003)

Krrish (Rajesh Roshan, 2006)


The House Is Black (Forough Farrokhzad, 1962)

A Time for Drunken Horses (Bahman Ghobadi, 2000) Marooned in Iraq

Offside (Jafar Panahi, 2006)

Gabbeh (Mohsen Makhmalbaf, 1996) Marriage of the Blessed; Once Upon a Time, Cinema; Images of the Khajar Dynasty; A Moment of Innocence; Kandahar

The Apple (Samira Makhmalbaf, 1998) At Five in the Afternoon

The Day I Became a Woman (Marziyeh Meshkini, 2000)


Destiny (Youssef Chahine, 1997) Alexandria...Why?

A Summer at La Goulette (Férid Boughedir, 1995)

Caramel (Nadine Labaki, 2007)

The Nile Hilton Incident (Tarik Saleh, 2017)


The Red Toy (Dani Rosenberg, 2004)

Walk on Water (Eytan Fox, 2004)


Moolaadé (Ousmane Sembène, 2004) Borom Sarret

Touki Bouki (Djibril Diop Mambéty, 1973)


Himmelskibet / A Trip to Mars (Holger-Madsen, 1918) Den mystiske Fremmede / The Mysterious Stranger (1914)

The Outlaw and His Wife (Victor Sjöström, 1918) The Divine Woman (surviving fragment); The Wind

Erotikon (Mauritz Stiller, 1920) Sir Arne's Treasure; Hotel Imperial; Barbed Wire (with Rowland V. Lee)

The Passion of Joan of Arc (Carl Theodor Dreyer, 1928) The Parson's Widow; Die Gezeichneten / Love One Another; Michael; The Master of the House; Vampyr; Day of Wrath; They Caught the Ferry; Gertrud

Babette's Feast (Gabriel Axel, 1987)

House of Angels (Colin Nutley, 1992)

Elling (Petter Næss, 2001)

Nye scener fra Amerika / New Scenes From America (Jørgen Leth, 2002)

Der er en yndig mand / This Charming Man (Martin Strange-Hansen, 2002)

Reconstruction (Christoffer Boe, 2003)

Casanova (Lasse Hallström, 2005) The Hundred-Foot Journey


Anders als die Andern §175 / Different from the Others (Paragraph 175) (Richard Oswald, 1919). This 1919 film is the original Gay Liberation drama, with a personal appearance by real-life Gay Lib pioneer Magnus Hirschfeld, no less. The film mixes fiction and documentary elements in ways that seem strikingly modern.

Piccadilly (E. A. Dupont, 1929)

Welt am Draht / World on a Wire (Part 1) (Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1973)

Rosalie Goes Shopping (Percy Adlon, 1990) Sugarbaby, Salmonberries, Koenig's Sphere

Maybe, Maybe Not (Sonke Wortmann, 1994)

Lola Rennt / Run, Lola, Run (Tom Tykwer, 1998) Paris, je t'aime

Aimée & Jaguar (Max Färberböck, 1998)

Nirgendwo in Afrika / Nowhere in Africa (Caroline Link, 2001)

Invincible (Werner Herzog, 2001)

Rosenstrasse (Margarethe von Trotta, 2003)

Männer wie wir / Guys and Balls (Sherry Hormann, 2004)

Sophie Scholl: The Last Days (Marc Rothemund, 2005)

Im Labyrinth des Schweigens / Labyrinth of Lies (Giulio Ricciarelli, 2014)


Eroica (Andrzej Munk, 1958)

The Black Cross (Aleksander Ford, 1960)

Man of Marble (Andrzej Wajda, 1977) In 1950's Poland, a stone worker is cited as a model worker. Man of Iron (1981 sequel) His steel worker son takes part in Solidarity. Shot live during the events it depicts. Wajda's work reflects Italian Neorealism. Other good Wajda films: Ashes and Diamonds; Innocent Sorcerers.

A Year of the Quiet Sun (Krzysztof Zanussi, 1984)

Torrents of Spring (Jerzy Skolimowski, 1989)

Europa Europa (Agnieska Holland, 1990)

The Big Animal (Jerzy Stuhr, 2000)


The White Dove (František Vláčil, 1960)

The Fifth Horseman Is Fear (Zbyněk Brynych, 1965)

Daisies (Věra Chytilová, 1966)

Capricious Summer (Jiří Menzel, 1968)

The Joke (Jaromil Jireš, 1969)

Ucho / The Ear (Karel Kachyňa, 1970)

Kolya (Jan Svěrák, 1995) Dark Blue World

Eastern Europe

WR: Mysteries of the Organism (Dusan Makavejev, 1971) Satirical documentary on the relationship between sex and politics. The funniest anti-Communist film ever made. Man Is Not a Bird, Montenegro, The Coca Cola Kid

Werckmeister Harmonies (Béla Tarr, 2000) Damnation

Kurpe / The Shoe (Laila Pakalnina, 1998)

Gori vatra / Fuse (Pjer Zalica, 2003)

Kontroll (Nimród Antal, 2003)

The Singing Revolution (James Tusty, Maureen Castle Tusty, 2006)

Russian and Soviet Films

Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925) Glumov's Diary; Romance Sentimentale; Qué viva Mexico!; Alexander Nevsky; Ivan the Terrible

By the Law (Lev Kuleshov, 1926) The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks

Bed and Sofa (Abram Room, 1927)

The House on Trubnaya (Boris Barnet, 1928)

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) Stride, Soviet!

Salt For Svanetia (Mikhail Kalatozov, 1929)

The Color of Pomegranates (Sergei Paradjanov, 1969) Beautiful avant-garde look at Armenian culture. Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors; Hagop Hovnatanian (1965); Ashik Kerib (1988).

Nostalghia (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1983) Solaris

Russian Ark (Alexander Sokurov, 2002) Patience Labor, Father and Son, Alexandra

Sonata for Viola: Dmitri Shostakovich (Semyon Aranovich, Alexander Sokurov, 1981)

The Cuckoo (Alexander Rogozhkin, 2002)

Koktebel / Roads to Koktebel (Boris Khlebnikov, Alexei Popogrebsky, 2003)

The Return (Andrey Zvyagintsev, 2003) Warning: this is a mystery movie without a solution. Well directed.

Stilyagi / Hipsters (Valery Todorovsky, 2008) Lively colorful musical.

Spain, Portugal and Latin America

Quilombo (Carlos Diegues, 1984) Escaped slaves build their own nation in 16th Century Brazil. A triumph of visual style.

Man Facing Southeast (Eliseo Subiela, 1986): an unearthly stranger shows up in Buenos Aires, claiming to be from another planet.

Miss Mary (Maria Luisa Bemberg, 1987)

Ay, Carmela! (Carlos Saura, 1990) Flamenco, Tango, Goya

Law of Desire (Pedro Almodóvar, 1987) Dark Habits, Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, High Heels, Volver

The Chambermaid on the Titanic (Bigas Luna, 1997) Brilliant piece of storytelling, with many unexpected developments.

Solas (Benito Zambrano, 1999) Emotionally involving story of a poor woman in Seville, Spain and her problems.

Porto da Minha Infância / Oporto of My Childhood (Manoel de Oliveira, 2001) Douro, Faina Fluvial / Labor on the Douro River; The Strange Case of Angelica

Polvo de estrellas / Stardust (Aldo Sotelo, 2017)

Pez / Fish (Javier Quintas, 2017)

Other Foreign Language Films

Character (Mike van Diem, 1997)

The British Isles and Commonwealth

An Attempt to Smash a Bank (Theo Frenkel, 1909)

The Ghost Train (Walter Forde, 1941)

The Wicked Lady (Leslie Arliss, 1945) A rousing piece of storytelling. It really makes one identify with the heroine, despite her moral lapses (to put it mildly!). The British seem to have a whole genre of tales of highwaymen. Their motto: "Stand and Deliver!" Just like outlaws in US Westerns, British audiences wink at crimes committed by highwaymen way back when, that would create indignation if done today. Just think of the reaction, if Celia Johnson in "Brief Encounter" had supplemented her household allowance by knocking over a bank. An impression: historical dramas, British "heritage films", and costume dramas are under-studied, despite their popularity. I'm not sure how to define the term "swashbuckler" rigorously. Or whether "The Wicked Lady" qualifies as a swashbuckler. Many swashbucklers have a hero in a quest for social justice. He's trying to improve the world and right social wrongs. These films sometimes have left-of-center social critiques. This is less true of "The Three Musketeers" though, which is fairly apolitical. By contrast, the anti-heroine of "Wicked Lady" wants personal gratification.

Green for Danger (Sidney Gilliat, 1946)

Miranda (Ken Annakin, 1948) Trio: The Verger

The Red Shoes (Michael Powell, 1948) Contraband, A Matter of Life and Death, Black Narcissus

The Importance of Being Earnest (Anthony Asquith, 1952) The V.I.P.s

Spaceways (Terence Fisher, 1953) Blackout / Murder by Proxy

Trouble in Store (John Paddy Carstairs, 1953)

The Runaway Bus (Val Guest, 1954) Jigsaw

Heat Wave (Ken Hughes, 1954)

The One That Got Away (Roy Ward Baker, 1957)

Carry On Sergeant (Gerald Thomas, 1958)

Hotel Paradiso (Peter Glenville, 1966) Summer and Smoke, The Comedians

Scream of Fear (Seth Holt, 1961) TV episodes:

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Tony Richardson, 1962) Tom Jones

Murder Ahoy (George Pollock, 1964) Murder, She Said

Smokescreen (Jim O'Connolly, 1964)

A Home of Your Own (Jay Lewis, 1965)

Who Killed the Cat? (Montgomery Tully, 1966)

The Wrong Box (Bryan Forbes, 1966) The Stepford Wives

Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney, 1968)

The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom (Joe McGrath, 1968)

Savage Messiah (Ken Russell, 1972) Antonio Gaudi, Elgar, Song of Summer, Women in Love, The Boyfriend, Mahler, Lisztomania, Clouds of Glory

The Nine Tailors (Raymond Menmuir, 1974)

Picnic at Hanging Rock (Peter Weir, 1975) Four girls mysteriously disappear in the Australian Outback, a disappearance that is never explained by the film. Extraordinarily atmospheric film that hints at supernatural explanations (e.g., the girls have gone away to be the brides of pagan deities).

The Year of Living Dangerously (Peter Weir, 1982) Film about the start of the terrible events in Indonesia in 1965. Extraordinary performances, especially by Linda Hunt as photographer Billy Kwan. One of the best films ever made about the problems of the poor and world hunger. Although nothing supernatural happens in the tale, film has remarkable supernatural atmosphere.

The 39 Steps (Don Sharp, 1978)

Testament of Youth (Moira Armstrong, 1979) TV episodes:

Breaking Away (Peter Yates, 1979) The Hot Rock, Suspect, The House on Carroll Street, The Year of the Comet

Why Didn't They Ask Evans? (Tony Wharmby, John Davies, 1980)

Flickers (Cyril Coke, 1980) British TV miniseries about the early days of the British film industry, and the attempt of two outsiders, a poor Cockney (Bob Hoskins) and a middle class businesswoman (Frances De La Tour) to run their own production company. Characterizations so rich they seem four dimensional, and brilliant acting by the entire troupe, especially the two leads. Comic, upbeat, and definitely not about the sort of upper class twits that show up on too much British TV. Will Violet ever stop talking? Script by Roy Clarke.

Flash Gordon (Mike Hodges, 1980) Croupier

Heartaches (Don Shebib, 1981)

Chariots of Fire (Hugh Hudson, 1981) Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes

Condorman (Charles Jarrott, 1981) The Boy in Blue

Separate Tables (John Schlesinger, 1983) Cold Comfort Farm

The Draughtsman's Contract (Peter Greenaway, 1982)

The Lords of Discipline (Franc Roddam, 1983)

Repo Man (Alex Cox, 1984)

The Shooting Party (Alan Bridges, 1984)

Bon Voyage (Mike Vardy, 1985)

Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986)

Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story (Michael Lindsay-Hogg, 1986)

Ground Zero (Michael Pattinson, Bruce Miles, 1987)

84 Charing Cross Road (David Hugh Jones, 1987)

Earth Girls Are Easy (Julien Temple, 1989) Temple has made many classic music videos.

Memphis Belle (Michael Caton-Jones. 1990)

Hear My Song (Peter Chelsom, 1991) An Irish promoter tries to lure a singer to his club. A gentle film about the power of music. Shall We Dance

Thunderheart (Michael Apted, 1992) Enigma, Amazing Grace

Princess Caraboo (Michael Austin, 1994)

The Madness of King George (Nicholas Hytner, 1994) The Object of My Affection

Four Weddings and a Funeral (Mike Newell, 1994)

Persuasion (Roger Michell, 1995)

The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill, But Who Came Down A Mountain (Christopher Monger, 1995)

Hackers (Iain Softley, 1995)

The Awakening (George Bloomfield, 1995)

The Disappearance of Kevin Johnson (Francis Megahy, 1996) Livin' the Life / Real Life

The Full Monty (Peter Cattaneo, 1997)

Shakespeare in Love (John Madden, 1998)

Relative Values (Eric Styles, 2000)

Billy Elliot (Stephen Daldry, 2000)

The Heart of the World (Guy Maddin, 2000) The Dead Father; Cowards Bend the Knee; My Dad Is 100 Years Old

The Parole Officer (John Duigan, 2001)

Slings and Arrows: Season One (Peter Wellington, 2003)

Bride and Prejudice (Gurinder Chadha, 2004) Bend It Like Beckham; Paris, je t'aime

Hotel Rwanda (Terry George, 2004)

The 39 Steps (James Hawes, 2008)

Upstairs Downstairs: Season 1 (Euros Lyn, Saul Metzstein, 2010) This series seems to be admirably left of center. And the costumes are gorgeous!

The Duel at Blood Creek (Leo Burton, 2010)

Downton Abbey (Michael Engler, 2019)

Gay Films

English language fiction films with positive, central LGBTQ characters. See also the sections of this article: Gays: Documentaries, Transgender and Non-Binary: Documentaries, Experimental Films.

See also my lists:

An Early Frost (John Erman, 1985)

Star Quality (Alan Dossor, 1985)

Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood, 1986)

Maurice (James Ivory, 1987) The Europeans, Heat and Dust, A Room With a View, Jefferson in Paris, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, The Golden Bowl, The White Countess

I've Heard the Mermaids Singing (Patricia Rozema, 1987) Mansfield Park

Longtime Companion (Norman René, 1989) Prelude to a Kiss

Scenes From the Class Struggle in Beverly Hills (Paul Bartel, 1989) Eating Raoul

The Krays (Peter Medak 1990) Zorro, The Gay Blade. Television Episodes:

Salmonberries (Percy Adlon, 1991)

The Crying Game (Neil Jordan, 1992)

Orlando (Sally Potter, 1993)

M. Butterfly (David Cronenberg, 1993)

Desperate Remedies (Stewart Main, Peter Wells, 1993) The Mighty Civic

A Man of No Importance (Suri Krishnamma, 1994)

The Sum of Us (Kevin Dowling, Geoff Burton, 1995)

To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (Beeban Kidron, 1995)

Wilde (Brian Gilbert, 1997) Vice Versa

In & Out (Frank Oz, 1997)

Gods and Monsters (Bill Condon, 1998) Kinsey. See also: Musicals.

Boys Don't Cry (Kimberly Peirce, 1999)

Hit and Runway (Christopher Livingston, 1999)

Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel, 2000)

All Over the Guy (Julie Davis, 2001)

Unconditional Love (P. J. Hogan, 2002)

Far From Heaven (Todd Haynes, 2002) Dark Waters

A Touch of Pink (Ian Iqbal Rashid, 2003)

Prom Queen: The Marc Hall Story (John L'Ecuyer, 2004) Television Episodes:

I Like Mike: Jay Spears (Matthew Herrier, 2004) Video.

Adam & Steve (Craig Chester, 2005)

The Dying Gaul (Craig Lucas, 2005)

Recruiting (James Noel Hoban, Bobby Roger Poirer, 2005)

Brokeback Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005) The Wedding Banquet, Sense and Sensibility

Available Men (David Dean Bottrell, 2006)

Howl (Robert Epstein, 2010) See also this article's section Gays: Documentaries.

Museum Hours (Jem Cohen, 2012) See also this article's section Experimental Films.

The Normal Heart (Ryan Murphy, 2014)

See also foreign language films also listed in their country sections:

Artists / Kinetic Art / Still Life

Best fiction films and television about Artists: Films showing Kinetic Art: Some directors like to include a "still life" of objects, in their films:

Shakespeare Films

Macbeth (Orson Welles, 1947) Welles' version of the Shakespeare tragedy. His Othello is visually outstanding, but suffers from poor sound recording. However, the subtitles on the new release go a long way towards fixing this. With them, the dialogue is quite understandable. Chimes at Midnight. We Work Again (with The Voodoo Macbeth). Filming Othello.

King Lear (Peter Brook, Andrew McCullough, 1953) Starring Orson Welles.

Julius Caesar (Joseph L. Mankiewicz, 1953) Dragonwyck; Somewhere in the Night; No Way Out; All About Eve; Suddenly, Last Summer; Carol for Another Christmas

Prince of Players (Phillip Dunne, 1955)

Romeo and Juliet (Franco Zeffirelli, 1968) Hamlet (1990). Tea with Mussolini

BBC Television Shakespeare

The Taming of the Shrew (Richard Monette, 1989)

Much Ado About Nothing (Kenneth Branagh, 1993) Henry V, As You Like It

Othello (Oliver Parker, 1995)

Stage Plays

See also my list: Best TV Shows: Drama Anthologies.

Sunrise at Campobello (Vincent J. Donehue, 1960) (play by Dore Schary). Peter Pan

Waiting for Godot (Alan Schneider, 1961) (play by Samuel Beckett)

A Raisin in the Sun (Daniel Petrie, 1961) (play by Lorraine Hansberry)

The Victorians (1963) British TV series of eight Victorian plays, acted by a "repertory company" in which the same actors take different roles each week.

Uncle Vanya (Stuart Burge, 1963) (play by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov)

Luther (Stuart Burge, 1968) (play by John Osborne)

ITV Play of the Week

The Glass Menagerie (Michael Elliott, 1966) (play by Tennessee Williams)

An Enemy of the People (Paul Bogart, 1966) (play by Henrik Ibsen) TV Episodes directed by Paul Bogart:

A Man for All Seasons (Fred Zinnemann, 1966) (play by Robert Bolt) High Noon

The Star Wagon (Karl Genus, 1966) (play by Maxwell Anderson) Fascinating science fiction drama.

Infancy and Childhood (Jack Landau, Joe Layton, 1967) (plays by Thornton Wilder)

The Vortex (Philip Dudley, 1969) (play by Noël Coward)

An Ideal Husband (Rudolph Cartier, 1969) (play by Oscar Wilde)

The Andersonville Trial (George C. Scott, 1970) (play by Saul Levitt)

The Millionairess (William Slater, 1972) (play by George Bernard Shaw)

Present Laughter (Rick Gardner, Alan Strachan, 1981) (play by Noël Coward)

Lady Windermere's Fan (Tony Smith, 1985) (play by Oscar Wilde)

Antigone (Don Taylor, 1986) (play by Sophocles)

The Lady's Not for Burning (Julian Amyes, 1987) (play by Christopher Fry) Also Record version with John Gielgud.

Tonight at 8.30: Family Album (John Glenister), Ways and Means (Paul Annett), Shadow Play (John Glenister) (1991) (plays by Noël Coward)

Unpublished Letters (David Shaughnessy, 1991) (play by Jonathan C. Levine)

Suddenly, Last Summer (Richard Eyre, 1992) (play by Tennessee Williams)

Play adaptations included in other sections (I've seen and liked all these films):

Dance Films

Le Cake-Walk au Nouveau Cirque / The Cake-Walk at the New Circus (Louis Lumière, 1903) Video.

Le pas de l'ours / Grizzly Bear aka Turkey Trot (Jean Durand?, 1913) This might be a clip from the comedy "Onésime et le pas de l'ours" (Jean Durand, 1913).

The Flute of Krishna (Martha Graham, Rouben Mamoulian?, 1926)

Morris Dancing:

Romeo and Juliet (Paul Czinner, 1966) Prokofiev ballet, danced by Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev.

Goddess Dancers of Cambodia (Merrill Brockway, Faubion Bowers, 1971): unforgettably beautiful documentary about the traditional dance troupe.

The Magic of Dance (Patricia Foy, 1979) BBC documentary series, hosted by Dame Margot Fonteyn, that explores the many forms of European classical dance.

Boléro (Don Kent, 2008) Choreography: Maurice Béjart. Video.

New York City Ballet in Paris / New York City Ballet Symphony in C (Vincent Bataillon, 2016) Four ballets choreographed by George Balanchine.

Works originally from the Ballets Russes:

Dances choreographed by Merce Cunningham:

Dances choreographed by Justin Peck:

The Rite of Spring (Jeanguy Saintus, Alex Ramseyer-Bache, 2021)

The Colbys: Deceptions (Curtis Harrington, 1986). This drama has:

Opera Films

Katerina Izmailova (Mikhail Shapiro, 1966)

La Gioconda (Kirk Browning, 1979)

L'Incoronazione di Poppea (Peter Hall, 1984)

Julius Caesar (John Michael Phillips, 1984)

The Mikado (Norman Campbell, Brian MacDonald, 1984)

Agrippina (Thomas Olofsson, 1985)

The Makropulos Affair (Lotfi Mansouri, 1989)

Le nozze di Figaro / The Marriage of Figaro (Olivier Mille, Jean-Louis Thamin, 1993)

Street Scene (José Montes-Baquer, 1994)

Athalia (François Rancillac, Paul McCreesh, 2003)

H.M.S. Pinafore & Trial by Jury (Stuart Maunder, 2005)

Operas composed by Gioachino Rossini:

Moby-Dick (Frank Zamacona, Leonard Foglia, 2013) A new opera composed by Jake Heggie, libretto by Gene Scheer.

Silent Night (Eric Simonson, 2013) A new opera composed by Kevin Puts, libretto by Mark Campbell.

The Companion (Walker Lewis, 2014) A new opera composed by Robert Paterson, libretto by David Cote.

Le metamorfosi di Pasquale / The Metamorphosis of Pasquale (Bepi Morassi, 2018) Video. Composed by Gaspare Spontini.

Giulio Cesare in Egitto / Julius Caesar in Egypt (Dennis Whitehead Darling. 2021) Composed by Antonio Sartorio.

Kyle Guglielmo clips:

Documentaries about opera:

Stage Musicals

Lady in the Dark (Max Liebman, Jeffrey Hayden, Rod Alexander, 1954) Ten from Your Show of Shows

Annie Get Your Gun (Clark Jones, Jack Sydow, 1967) I saw this superb film as a kid. Currently it is lost, with scholars looking for a print.

The World of Kurt Weill (Marc Daniels, 1967)

Oklahoma! (Terrence Mann, David Stern, Paul Mauceri, 2011) A spectacular recreation of the original 1943 stage version. Act One and Act Two. Some musical numbers are especially good:

Hairspray Live! (Kenny Leon, Alex Rudzinski, 2016)

Hairspray Live! Preview (2016) Short preview showing "You Can't Stop the Beat" staged outside. Shown as part of "The 90th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade". Video (1:10 to end). If I could play any role in a musical, it would be TV host Corny Collins in Hairspray. In opera, my favorite role would be Papageno in Mozart's The Magic Flute.

Falsettos (James Lapine, Matthew Diamond, 2017)

Musical Numbers.

Anything Goes: Musical Numbers from Stage Versions:

Musical Numbers:

Night of 100 Stars (1982): Broadway Medley Video.

Musicals: Hollywood Since 1970

Please also see my A Guide to 1980's Music Video Directors and Best Musical TV Commercials.

Heavenly Star (Alan Holleb, circa 1970)

1776 (Peter H. Hunt, 1972) Life on the Mississippi, Bus Stop

Grease 2 (Patricia Birch, 1982)

Eddie and the Cruisers (Martin Davidson, 1983) Long Gone

The Pirates of Penzance (Wilford Leach, 1983)

Streets of Fire (Walter Hill, 1984) 48HRS, Southern Comfort

Footloose (Herbert Ross, 1984) The Secret of My Success

Rappin (Joel Silberg, 1985) Breakin, Lambada

Off Beat (Michael Dinner, 1986) Curse of the Corn People

Back to the Beach (Lyndall Hobbs, 1987)

La Bamba (Luis Valdez, 1987)

Aria (ten directors, 1987)

The In Crowd (Mark Rosenthal, 1988)

Sing (Richard Baskin, 1989) The finale of this film is good; what leads up to it is poor.

Shangri-La Plaza (Nick Castle, 1990) See also: Science Fiction.

Strictly Ballroom (Baz Luhrmann, 1992) La Bohème, Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby

Sister Act (Emile Ardolino, 1992)

That Thing You Do! (Tom Hanks, 1996)

Songcatcher (Maggie Greenwald, 2000)

Rock Star (Steven Herek, 2001)

Camp (Todd Graff, 2003)

De-Lovely (Irwin Winkler, 2004) The Net

Take the Lead (Liz Friedlander, 2006)

High School Musical (Kenny Ortega, 2006)

Dreamgirls (Bill Condon, 2006) See also: Gay Films.

Hairspray (Adam Shankman, 2007)

Christmas Song (Timothy Bond, 2012)

It's Christmas, Eve (Tibor Takács, 2018)

A Capella Science (Tim Blais). Self-made videos mix science with a cappella music:


See also more detailed list of Best Fantasy Films.

Something Wicked This Way Comes (Jack Clayton, 1983) The Great Gatsby

Murder by the Book (Mel Damski, 1987) Journey Back to Christmas. Psych TV series: episodes.

Mannequin (Michael Gottlieb, 1987)

Field of Dreams (Phil Alden Robinson, 1989) Sneakers

Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) Caddyshack

Love Bites (Malcolm Marmorstein, 1993)

The Santa Clause (John Pasquin, 1994) Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous

The Flintstones (Brian Levant, 1994) Jingle All the Way

George of the Jungle (Sam Weisman, 1997)

Pleasantville (Gary Ross, 1998)

Rag and Bone (James D. Parriott, 1998) Misfits of Science

Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003)

A Boyfriend for Christmas (Kevin Connor, 2004) Santa Jr.

Ella Enchanted (Tommy O'Haver, 2004)

Charlotte's Web (Gary Winick, 2006)

The Night Before the Night Before Christmas (James Orr, 2010) Mr. Destiny

The Santa Suit (Robert Vaughn. 2010)

Christmas at Cartwright's (Graeme Campbell, 2014)


A New Leaf (Elaine May, 1971)

Gino's Pizza (Steve Finkel, Warren Bass, circa 1971)

Silent Movie (Mel Brooks, 1976)

The Cheap Detective (Robert Moore, 1978)

The Prizefighter (Michael Preece, 1979)

Melvin and Howard (Jonathan Demme, 1980) Citizen's Band, Who Am I This Time?, Swing Shift, Something Wild, Swimming to Cambodia, Married to the Mob, Philadelphia

Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (Clive Donner, 1981) Outstanding slapstick film: Jerry Lewis was not the only filmmaker working in slapstick mode. Plus horseback chase scene cut to Hérold's "Zampa Overture". Beautiful mise-en-scene and visual style.

Say Yes (Larry Yust, 1982)

My Favorite Year (Richard Benjamin, 1982) Comedy, which like the Dick Van Dyke Show, takes us backstage at the old Sid Caesar - Imogene Coca Your Show of Shows. Among the best of Benjamin's movies are two films whose young protagonists discover themselves, almost by accident, to be living under false pretenses and phony identities: Little Nikita, Mrs. Winterbourne.

Waltz Across Texas (Ernest Day, 1982)

D.C. Cab (Joel Schumacher, 1983) The Client, Batman Forever, A Time To Kill

Johnny Dangerously (Amy Heckerling, 1984) Clueless

American Dreamer (Rick Rosenthal, 1984)

Back To School (Alan Metter, 1986) Girls Just Want To Have Fun.

Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment (Jerry Paris, 1986) Sheriff Who; The Feminist and the Fuzz; Call Her Mom. TV episodes:

Jumpin' Jack Flash (Penny Marshall, 1986) A League of Their Own

Outrageous Fortune (Arthur Hiller, 1987) Penelope, Teachers, Taking Care of Business. TV episodes:

Heartbreak Hotel (Chris Columbus, 1988) Mrs. Doubtfire

Big Business (Jim Abrahams, 1988) Jane Austen's Mafia!

The Naked Gun (David Zucker, 1988) The Naked Gun 2 1/2

Disorganized Crime (Jim Kouf, 1989)

Major League (David S. Ward, 1989) Major League II. Ward wrote the script for The Sting.

Ask Me Again (Deborah Reinesch, 1989)

Sibling Rivalry (Carl Reiner, 1990) Reiner wrote many of the classic episodes of the original Dick Van Dyke Show. The Jerk; Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid

Honeymoon Academy (Eugene Quintano, 1990) National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon I. Quintano also scripted Making the Grade.

Jury Duty (Michael Schultz, 1990) The Spirit. TV episodes:

Don't Tell Her It's Me (Malcolm Mowbray, 1990)

Ghost (Jerry Zucker, 1990) Top Secret! (with Jim Abrahams and David Zucker)

Flashback (Franco Amurri, 1990)

True Identity (Charles Lane, 1991)

Jersey Girl (David Burton Morris, 1992) Hometown Boy Makes Good

Brain Donors (Dennis Dugan, 1992) Happy Gilmore, Big Daddy, Karroll's Christmas, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

Honeymoon in Vegas (Andrew Bergman, 1992)

The Beverly Hillbillies (Penelope Spheeris, 1993) Wayne's World

Guarding Tess (Hugh Wilson, 1994) Blast From the Past, Dudley Do-Right

The Mask (Charles Russell, 1994) Eraser

Dumb and Dumber (Peter Farrelly, 1994) Stuck On You; Green Book

Tommy Boy (Peter Segal, 1995)

While You Were Sleeping (Jon Turteltaub, 1995)

Emma (Douglas McGrath, 1996)

Trial and Error (Jonathan Lynn, 1997) My Cousin Vinnie

Picture Perfect (Glenn Gordon Caron, 1997)

Merry Christmas, George Bailey (Matthew Diamond, 1997) Undercover Bridesmaid, Falsettos

The Wedding Singer (Frank Coraci, 1998) The Waterboy

Ever After (Andy Tennant, 1998)

Forces of Nature (Bronwen Hughes, 1999) White Collar pilot (84 minute version).

Happy, Texas (Mark Illsley, 1999)

Three to Tango (Damon Santostefano, 1999)

Man of the Century (Adam Abraham, 1999)

Miss Congeniality (Donald Petrie, 2000) Richie Rich; The Associate

Shanghai Noon (Tom Dey, 2000)

Zoolander (Ben Stiller, 2001)

Shanghai Knights (David Dobkin, 2003)

Win a Date With Tad Hamilton! (Robert Luketic, 2004)

I (Heart) Huckabees (David O. Russell, 2004)

The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (Garry Marshall, 2004)

Guess Who (Kevin Rodney Sullivan, 2005)

Chalk (Mike Akel, 2006)

Firehouse Dog (Todd Holland, 2007)

The Jane Austen Book Club (Robin Swicord, 2007)

Fixing Pete (Michael Grossman, 2011)

Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade (Ron Oliver, 2012)

The Makeover (John Gray, 2013)

Signed, Sealed, Delivered (Scott Smith, 2013)

Along Came a Nanny (Michael Scott, 2014)

The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson, 2014)

Christmas Incorporated (Jonathan Wright, 2015) Television episodes:

With Love, Christmas (Marita Grabiak. 2017)

Thrillers and Action

Serpico (Sidney Lumet, 1973) Prince of the City, Power, Guilty as Sin, Night Falls on Manhattan. TV episodes:

The Gangster Chronicles (Richard C. Sarafian, 1981) This is one of Sarafian's often comic-toned tales of crooks, who dress in extravagant costumes. See also his Western TV series "Wildside" (1985) and its episodes "The Crimea of the Century", "Buffalo Who?". His "Lawman" TV episode "Trapped" (1961) also has a comic crook with a Big Scheme. "Lawman" also contains solemn, emotionally involving dramas about people outside social norms: "The Son" (1961), "Clootey Hutter" (1962). Other TV: "Maverick" episode "The Forbidden City" (1961).

Nighthawks (Bruce Malmuth, 1981) Hard To Kill

Romancing the Stone (Robert Zemeckis, 1982) Contact

Cloak and Dagger (Richard Franklin, 1984)

Dangerously Close (Albert Pyun, 1986) Radioactive Dreams

Choke Canyon (Chuck Bail, 1986)

Out of Bounds (Richard Tuggle, 1986)

Blue City (Michelle Manning, 1986)

American Ninja 2: The Confrontation (Sam Firstenberg, 1987) Avenging Force

The Rosary Murders (Fred Walton, 1987)

The Untouchables (Brian De Palma, 1987) Get To Know Your Rabbit

Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988) The Hunt For Red October, The 13th Warrior

Fourth Story (Ivan Passer, 1990)

Born to Ride (Graham Baker, 1991)

Empire City (Mark Rosner, 1991)

The Last of the Mohicans (Michael Mann, 1992) L.A. Takedown

Molly and Gina (Paul Leder, 1993)

Body Shot (Dmitri Logothetis, 1993)

Posse (Mario Van Peebles, 1993) Gang in Blue, Wiseguy: Day One

The Pelican Brief (Alan J. Pakula, 1993)

A Clear and Present Danger (Philip Noyce, 1994)

Speed (Jan DeBont, 1994)

Chameleon (Michael Pavone, 1995)

Fair Game (Andrew Sipes, 1995)

Bullet to Beijing (George Mihalka, 1995)

Tornado! (Noel Nosseck, 1996)

Air Force One (Wolfgang Petersen, 1997)

The Peacemaker (Mimi Leder, 1997)

Red Corner (Jon Avnet, 1997) Fried Green Tomatoes

Psycho (Gus Van Sant, 1998)

The Skulls (Rob Cohen, 2000) The Rat Pack, The Fast and the Furious. Television episodes:

Spy Kids (Robert Rodriguez, 2001)

The Elite (Terry Cunningham, 2001)

Daredevil (Mark Steven Johnson, 2003)

Torque (Joseph Kahn, 2004)

Assault on Precinct 13 (Jean-François Richet, 2005)

The Legend of Zorro (Martin Campbell, 2005) Green Lantern

The Illusionist (Neal Burger, 2006)

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Anthony and Joe Russo, 2014)

Knives Out (Rian Johnson, 2019)


Journey From Darkness (James Goldstone, 1975) A Clear and Present Danger; The Sun Also Rises

Gibbsville: The Turning Point of Jim Malloy (Frank D. Gilroy, 1975)

I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings (Fielder Cook, 1979). Television episodes:

Three Women (Robert Altman, 1977) MASH, Nashville, Gosford Park, Tanner on Tanner

The Moderns (Alan Rudolph, 1988)

Oxford Blues (Robert Boris, 1984)

Mr. North (Danny Huston, 1988) The Dead

Don't Cry, Its Only Thunder (Peter Werner, 1982) No Man's Land

Tex (Tim Hunter, 1982)

Places in the Heart (Robert Benton, 1984)

Slam Dance (Wayne Wang, 1987) Chan Is Missing, Smoke, Blue in the Face, Maid in Manhattan, Because of Winn-Dixie

Stand and Deliver (Ramon Menendez, 1987)

The Accidental Tourist (Lawrence Kasdan 1988) Silverado

Dream Breakers (Stuart Millar, 1989) When the Legends Die

Platoon (Oliver Stone, 1986) Born on the Fourth of July, The Doors

Gaby (Luis Mandoki, 1987) Born Yesterday

Chameleon Street (Wendell B. Harris Jr., 1989)

Metropolitan (Whit Stillman, 1990)

Boyz n the Hood (John Singleton, 1991)

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991) The Rosa Parks Story; Illusions. Interview.

Separate But Equal (George Stevens, Jr., 1991) George Stevens: From D-Day to Berlin

Zebrahead (Anthony Drazan, 1992)

Swing Kids (Thomas Carter, 1993)

Foreign Student (Eva Sereny, 1994)

A Walk in the Clouds (Alfonso Arau, 1995)

Living in Oblivion (Tom Di Cillo, 1995). Everything possible goes wrong on the set of an ultra-cheap, low budget art film in this dark comedy.

Ghosts of Mississippi (Rob Reiner, 1996) A Few Good Men, The American President, Alex and Emma

Amistad (Steven Spielberg, 1997) Catch Me If You Can

Dangerous Beauty (Marshall Herskovitz, 1997)

Kundun (Martin Scorsese, 1997)

Cousin Bette (Des McAnuff, 1997)

Great Expectations (Alfonso Cuarón, 1998)

New Rose Hotel (Abel Ferrara, 1998)

The Winslow Boy (David Mamet, 1999)

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jim Jarmusch, 1999) Mystery Train; Night On Earth; Coffee and Cigarettes; Broken Flowers; Paterson

The Color of Friendship (Kevin Hooks, 2000)

Joe and Max (Steve James, 2002)

10,000 Black Men Named George (Robert Townsend, 2002)

Nat Turner: A Troublesome Property (Charles Burnett, 2003) Nightjohn; Selma, Lord, Selma

All the Ships at Sea (Dan Sallitt, 2004)

Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius (Rowdy Herrington, 2004)

Good Night, and Good Luck (George Clooney, 2005)

Ocean of Pearls (Sarab Neelam, 2008)

Class (David S. Cass, 2010)

The Help (Tate Taylor, 2011)

Second Chances (Ernie Barbarash, 2013)

Best Christmas Party Ever (John Bradshaw, 2014)

Debbie Macomber's Dashing Through the Snow (Kristoffer Tabori, 2015)

The Big Short (Adam McKay, 2015)

Spotlight (Tom McCarthy, 2015)

Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi, 2016)

Snowed-Inn Christmas (Gary Yates, 2017) Our Christmas Love Song

Christmas in the Air (Martin Wood, 2017)

Very, Very, Valentine (Don McBrearty, 2018) Unlocking Christmas. Television episodes:

Once Upon a Prince (Alexander J.F. Wright, 2018)

Royal Hearts (James Brolin, 2018)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (Marielle Heller, 2019)

A Merry Christmas Match (Jake Helgren, 2019)

Teen Films

Corvette Summer (Matthew Robbins, 1978) The Legend of Billie Jean

Porky's (Bob Clark, 1981) Porky's II: The Next Day; A Christmas Story

Valley Girl (Martha Coolidge, 1983) Real Genius; The Prince and Me. Television series:

The Heavenly Kid (Cary Medoway, 1985)

Just One of The Guys (Lisa Gottlieb, 1985)

Tuff Turf (Fritz Kiersch, 1985) Into the Sun. Television series:

Modern Girls (Jerry Kramer, 1986)

Pretty in Pink (Howard Deutch, 1986)

Student Exchange (Mollie Miller, 1987)

Campus Man (Ron Casden, 1987)

Hairspray (John Waters, 1988) Pink Flamingos, Polyester, Crybaby, Pecker, Cecil B. Demented

Johnny Be Good (Bud Smith, 1988)

Shag (Zelda Barron, 1988)

California Casanova (Nathaniel Christian, 1989)

Catch Me If You Can (Stephen Sommers, 1989)

If Looks Could Kill (William Dear, 1991)

Mystery Date (Jonathan Wacks, 1991)

My Date With the President's Daughter (Alex Zamm, 1998) Crown For Christmas

She's All That (Robert Iscove, 1999)

Never Been Kissed (Raja Gosnell, 1999)

The Prince and the Surfer (Gregory Gieras, Arye Gross, 1999)

Chasing Liberty (Andy Cadiff, 2004)

Experimental Films

Experimental films are: Experimental films are an important part of film history, even if they have usually not developed large audiences. My article Experimental Films discusses a few of these movies. Recommended Reading:

Story Films.

Entr'acte (René Clair, 1924) (Please search this article for "Clair" for more films.)

La Coquille et le clergyman / The Seashell and the Clergyman (Germaine Dulac, 1928) Invitation au voyage; La Souriante Madame Beudet / The Smiling Madame Beudet

The Love of Zero (Robert Florey, William Cameron Menzies, 1927)

The Life and Death of 9413: A Hollywood Extra (Robert Florey, Slavko Vorkapich, 1928)

The Fall of the House of Usher (Melville Webber, James Sibley Watson, 1928) Lot in Sodom

The Blood of a Poet (Jean Cocteau, 1930) Orpheus, La Villa Santo-Sospir

Le Mort du cerf (Dimitri Kirsanoff, 1951)

Meshes of the Afternoon (Maya Deren, 1943) At Land, A Study in Choreography for Camera

The Potted Psalm (Sidney Peterson, James Broughton, 1946) The Lead Shoes (Peterson, 1949)

House of Cards (Joseph Vogel, 1947)

Fireworks (Kenneth Anger, 1947) Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome, Eaux d'Artifice, Scorpio Rising, Kustom Kar Kommandos

Christmas, USA (Gregory Markopoulos, 1949) Twice a Man

The Uncomfortable Man (Kent Munson, Theodore Huff, 1948)

On the Edge (Curtis Harrington, 1966) Picnic; The Assignation; The Wormwood Star. (Please search this article for "Curtis Harrington" for more films.)

Image in the Snow (Willard Maas, 1952)

The Flower Thief (Ron Rice, 1960) Chumlum

Flaming Creatures (Jack Smith, 1963) Scotch Tape

Sins of the Fleshapoids (Mike Kuchar, 1965) The Secret of Wendel Samson; The Craven Sluck

Our Lady of the Sphere (Larry Jordan, 1969) Gymnopédies

Big Monday (Michael T. Rehfield, 1998) Remarkable feature film, shot in one long take, as characters move through streets and buildings of Manhattan. Times Square by 50

Poetic Documentaries.

In the Street (Helen Levitt, Helen Loeb, James Agee, 1944)

Visual Variations on Noguchi (Marie Menken, 1945) Glimpse of the Garden

The Wonder Ring (Stan Brakhage, 1955) Desistfilm, Cat's Cradle, Window Water Baby Moving, Dog Star Man, Eye Myth, Deus Ex, The Wold Shadow, The Riddle of Lumen, Commingled Containers. See also "Abstract Films" for Brakhage's work in that category.

Orchard Street (Ken Jacobs, 1956)

George Dumpson's Place (Ed Emshwiller, 1961 - 1963) As "Emsh" he was a major science fiction illustrator.

Quick Billy (Bruce Baillie, 1971) Here I Am; Castro Street; All My Life; Tung

Necrology (Standish Lawder, 1971)

Battery Film (Franklin Backus, Richard Protovin, 1985)

Scenes From the Life of Andy Warhol (Jonas Mekas, 1990) Notes on the Circus

Lost Book Found (Jem Cohen, 1996) Amber City, Museum Hours. See also the section "Gay Films". Lost Book Found is a look at visually interesting aspects of New York City street life: merchandise displays, hand painted signs, lights, buildings. Cohen groups these into sequences of visually related items. It is a pleasant look at the interesting ephemera produced by modern day life. If Cohen hadn't captured these with his camera, they would mainly be long gone today.

Der Klang des Meeres (Wolfgang Lehmann, Telemach Wiesinger, 2004)

Structural Films.

Wavelength (Michael Snow, 1966-1967) Artworks in other media: 8 X 10 (1969); Untitled Slidelength (1969 - 1971)

Snowblind (Hollis Frampton, 1968)

S:tream:S S:ection S:ection:S S:ectioned (Paul J. Sharits, 1968 - 1970)

Bleu Shut (Robert Nelson, 1970) Oh Dem Watermelons, The Awful Backlash

Production Stills (Morgan Fisher, 1970) Untitled (2 cameras photographing each other) (Late 1960's).


Le Retour à la raison / The Return to Reason (Man Ray, 1923) Emak-Bakia; L'étoile de mer / The Starfish; Les Mystères du Château du Dé

Ballet mécanique / Mechanical ballet (Fernand Léger, Dudley Murphy, 1924) Murphy made some good Hollywood films: The Night Is Young.

Recreation I (Robert Breer, 1956) Eyewash; A Man and His Dog Out for Air; Blazes

Show And Tell (Lenny Lipton, 1965)

OffOn (Scott Bartlett, 1968)

Everybody and a Chicken (Frank Gardner, 1969)

Turner (M. M. Serra, 1987)

Intestinal Fortitude (Colin Barton, 1991)

Raw Images from the Optic Cross (Karl Nussbaum, 1998)

Films on the History of Experimental Films.

In the Mirror of Maya Deren (Martina Kudlácek, 2001)

Free Radicals: A History of Experimental Film (Pip Chodorov, 2011)

Abstract Films

Abstract Films are films that show patterns of color and light, in motion. They are sometimes called "color music", "visual music" or "abstract animation" films. Abstract Films are a subcategory of Experimental Films - but are so distinct they require their own section.

Rhythmus 21 (Hans Richter, 1921) Vormittagsspuk / Ghosts Before Breakfast

Symphonie Diagonale (Viking Eggeling, 1924)

Light Rhythms (Francis Bruguière, Oswell Blakeston, 1930)

Ein Lichtspiel: Schwarz-Weiss-Grau / A Film: Black-White-Gray (László Moholy-Nagy, 1930). Unused special effects for "Things to Come". See also the Architecture Documentaries section.

A Colour Box (Len Lye, 1935) Rainbow Dance, Trade Tattoo, Colour Flight, Swinging the Lambeth Walk, Free Radicals

Tarantella (Mary Ellen Bute, 1940) Parabola

Composition 1 (Themis) (Dwinell Grant, 1940) Contrathemis

An American March (Oskar Fischinger, 1941) Circles, Komposition in Blau / Composition in Blue, Allegretto / Radio Dynamics, Motion Painting No. 1

1941 (Francis Lee, 1941)

Early Abstractions (Harry Smith, 1946-1957)

Begone Dull Care (Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambart, 1949)

Come Closer (Hy Hirsch, 1952)

Catalog (John Whitney, 1961) Celery Stalks at Midnight, Permutations, Arabesque

Lapis (James Whitney, 1963-1966) Yantra; Film Exercises 2-3

Samadhi (Jordan Belson, 1967) Allures, Meditation, Light, Fountain of Dreams, Epilogue. Belson also made special effects for "The Right Stuff".

Peyote Queen (Storm De Hirsch, 1965)

Midweekend (Caroline Avery, 1985)

Untitled (For Marilyn) (Stan Brakhage, 1992) Night Music, The Dante Quartet, Rage Net, Glaze of Cathexis, Stellar, Study in Color and Black and White, From: First Hymn to the Night - Novalis, The Dark Tower, Water for Maya, Lovesong

Zwerk (Bart Vegter, 2004)

Numerous short films (Kyle Canterbury)

Early Films, City Symphonies and Travel Films: Documentaries

These documentary films show different cities, and countries. Many were made with creative or experimental film techniques. Most of these films are intellectually and artistically prestigious.

Early Documentary Short Films.

Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge (Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince, 1888) Roundhay Garden Scene

Lumière Brothers' First Films (Louis Lumière, 1895 - 1897) Collection of 85 of the Brothers' best short films, each 50 seconds long. Many Lumière films were documentaries, filmed around the world. They often showed city locales.

Electric Edwardians (Sagar Mitchell, James Kenyon, 1901-1906) Collection of short films from the North of England.

A Trip Down Market Street (no director credited, 1906) filmed in San Francisco before the fire.

Dunkerque en 1913: à travers la ville / Tramway (no director credited, 1913)

Please also see this article's section on Film History. Several documentaries listed there discuss silent films, with numerous clips.

City Symphonies.

Informative: Where to begin with city symphonies | BFI.

Manhatta (Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler, 1921)

Rien que les heures / Nothing But the Hours / Nothing But Time (Alberto Cavalcanti, 1926)

Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (Walter Ruttmann, 1927)

Man with a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929) Stride, Soviet!

Regen / Rain (Joris Ivens, Mannus Franken, 1929) De Brug / The Bridge

An Aimless Walk (Alexander Hammid, 1930)

Douro, Faina Fluvial / Labor on the Douro River (Manoel de Oliveira, 1931) Please search this article for "Oliveira" to find his main entry in this article.

Autumn Fire (Herman G. Weinberg, 1931)

A Bronx Morning (Jay Leyda, 1931)

Later Travel Films.

Hong Kong: "The Hub of the Orient" (James A. FitzPatrick, 1937) Stockholm: Pride of Sweden, Ancient Egypt, Paris on Parade, Cairo, City of Contrast; Glimpses of Argentina, Historic Maryland, West Point on the Hudson, Colorful North Carolina, A Day in Death Valley, Where Time Stands Still, Merida and Campeche, Around the World in California, Glimpses of New Scotland, Night Life in Chicago, Calling on Michigan, Playlands of Michigan, Quebec in Summertime, Mighty Manhattan, New York's Wonder City, Life on the Thames, Egypt Speaks, In the Valley of the Rhine. FitzPatrick did many short travelogues, often in brilliant color.

A Drive Through Bunker Hill and Downtown Los Angeles, ca. 1940s (maybe 1948). An Analysis.

Under the Radar Michigan (Eric Tremonti, 2010-present) PBS broadcast TV series looking at places to visit in Michigan. Writer: Tom Daldin. Producers: Jim Edelman & Tom Daldin. Website. Detailed look at a place, Michigan, most people know little about.

Industrial Films: Documentaries

Industrial Films are documentaries showing industry or manufacturing. They have some parallels with Travel and City Symphonies. At least one major City Symphony, "Berlin: Symphony of a Great City", also has extensive photography of industrial machinery in operation.

Westinghouse Works (G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, 1904) is a series of short documentary films, about what was reportedly the world's largest factory. It contains some episodes with an overhead traveling shot through the factory. These include episodes "Panoramic View Aisle B." (my favorite), "Panorama of Machine Co. Aisle", "Panorama View Street Car Motor Room".

Interior New York Subway, 14th Street to 42nd Street (G.W. "Billy" Bitzer, 1905). Dazzlingly photographed short film, showing a ride on the newly completed subway. A highly unusual optical experience, often more like a film abstraction than a representational movie. The "creative photography of a train trip" anticipates City Symphonies. Bitzer's documentaries are among the most important early films. Impossible Convicts (1905). From Leadville to Aspen (1906) has traveling shots from a country train.

Auto-Lite on Parade (J. Cullen Landis, 1940) Visually spectacular look at manufacturing machinery, followed by a delightful animated parade of parts.

Industrial films are an underrated genre. Some of my favorites:

Many of these directors have their main listings in other sections.

Instructional films, not about industry:

Please see also my list of Commercials: High Tech Information.

Civil Rights and Equality: Documentaries

See also my lists: On to Washington (no director credited, 1913) Video.

We Work Again (no director credited, 1937)

A Time for Burning (William C. Jersey, 1967)

Eyes on the Prize (Henry Hampton, 1987, 1990)

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (Aviva Kempner, 2000)

February One: The Story of the Greensboro Four (Rebecca Cerese, Daniel Blake Smith, 2003)

Paper Clips (Elliot Berlin, Joe Fab, 2004)

Freedom Riders (Stanley Nelson, 2010) Freedom Summer

First Freedom: The Fight for Religious Liberty (Lee Groberg, 2012)

An American Mosque (David Washburn, 2012)

Television series written by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.:

Spies of Mississippi (Dawn Porter, 2014)

The Caged Bird: The Life and Music of Florence B. Price (James Greeson, 2015)

Children of Giant (Hector Galán, 2015)

Karamu: 100 Years in the House (Lance K. Shultz, 2017) About the Cleveland theater group.

Clash (Amrou Al-Kadhi, 2017)

PBS NewsHour:

PBS NewsHour on Terrorism Attacking Buffalo: PBS NewsHour on George Floyd: PBS NewsHour on Black Businesses, Wealth and Employment: PBS NewsHour on Career Advancement for Women: PBS NewsHour on Museums, Parks and Memorials: PBS NewsHour on Equality and the Arts: PBS NewsHour on Art of the Civil Rights Era: PBS NewsHour on Accessible Design: The Right Livelihood awards: Early clips, from the National Film Preservation Foundation:

The Enlightenment philosopher Condorcet, in 1790: "Either no individual of the human species has any true rights, or all have the same; and he or she who votes against the rights of another, whatever may be his or her religion, color, or sex, has by that fact abjured his own."


See also my list Political and Social Commentary Tales in Comic Books, and search for "refugees".

PBS NewsHour on Refugees:

PBS NewsHour on the Rohingya: PBS NewsHour on Refugees and the Arts: Articles:

Native Americans

What Was Ours (Mat Hames, 2016)

PBS NewsHour on Native Americans:

PBS NewsHour on Native Americans protesting pipelines: PBS NewsHour on Native Americans and the Arts: PBS NewsHour on Native Food: Please also see this article's section on Saving Languages.

Gays: Documentaries

The Times of Harvey Milk (Robert Epstein, 1984)

Before Stonewall (Robert Rosenberg, John Scagliotti, Greta Schiller, 1984)

Paris Is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990)

Daddy and Papa (Johnny Symons, 2002)

For the Bible Tells Me So (Daniel G. Karslake, 2007)

Out in the Silence (Joe Wilson, Dean Hamer, 2009) Kumu Hina

The Committee (Robert Cassanello, Lisa Mills, 2011) Look at the sinister Florida committee that expelled gays from Florida universities (1956-1964).

The Day it Snowed in Miami (Joe Cardona, 2014) Video.

Out Run (S. Leo Chiang, Johnny Symons, 2016) Visually striking film with a dynamic use of bright color.

The Lavender Scare (Josh Howard, 2017)

PBS NewsHour on Gays:

Other short films:

Transgender and Non-Binary: Documentaries

Kumu Hina (Joe Wilson, Dean Hamer, 2016)

Muxes (Ivan Olita, 2016) A Muxe (pronounced "moo-shay") is a group among the Zapotec of Mexico. They are considered a third sex, different from men and women. This film has vivid photography.

PBS NewsHour on Transgender and Non-Binary People:

PBS NewsHour on artist Zanele Muholi:

Labor, Poverty, and Inequality: Documentaries

Electric Edwardians (Sagar Mitchell, James Kenyon, 1901-1906) Collection of short films from the North of England.

Mardi Gras: Made in China (David Redmon, 2005)

Triangle Fire (Jamila Wignot, 2011)

Triangle: Remembering the Fire (Daphne Pinkerson, 2011)

Poor Kids (Jezza Neumann, 2012)

Bill Moyers Essay: The United States of Inequality (Julia Conley, Lauren Feeney, Cameron Hickey, 2013) Video.

The Graduates/Los Graduados (Bernardo Ruiz, Pamela Aguilar, Katia Maguire, 2013)

America by the Numbers: Pass or Fail in Cambodia Town (Leslie Asako Gladsjo, 2014)

America by the Numbers: Surviving Year One (Billy Shebar, Charlotte Mangin, 2014) About infant mortality.

Yoopera! (Suzanne Jurva, Erin Smith, 2014)

The Raising of America: The Signature Hour (Christine Herbes-Sommers, 2015) Helping kids in early childhood.

A Hug From Paul Ryan (Don Argott, Sheena M. Joyce, 2016) Scathing look at vile hypocrite Ryan.

Class of '27 (James Rutenbeck, Dustinn Craig, Nina Alvarez, 2016)

Left Behind America (Shimon Dotan, 2018)

Summoned: Frances Perkins and the General Welfare (Mick Caouette, 2019)

The Place That Makes Us (Karla Murthy, 2020) About revitalization in Youngstown, Ohio.

German Public Media

PBS NewsHour on Inequality: The Problem: PBS NewsHour on Unions and Organizing: PBS NewsHour on Geography and Inequality: PBS NewsHour on Housing: PBS NewsHour on Food Stamp cuts: PBS NewsHour on Helping Students: PBS NewsHour on Helping People: PBS NewsHour on Homelessness:


Please also see my list of Cooperatives and Worker-owned Businesses in mystery fiction and science fiction.

Shift Change (Melissa Young, Mark Dworkin, 2012) About cooperatives and worker-owned businesses. Video Excerpt.

PBS NewsHour:

Champion: A Commercial. The Champion company tells about its Worker Involvement Teams (1984). Video.


PBS NewsHour on Gerrymandering:

Health, Health Care, Medicaid: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on Health Care, Medicaid and the U.S. Affordable Care Act: PBS NewsHour on Health Care in the Developing World: PBS NewsHour on Abstinence and Health: PBS NewsHour on hepatitis C: PBS NewsHour on Health: PBS NewsHour on Health and Nature: Articles:

AIDS: Documentaries

The Grove (Andy Abrahams Wilson, 2011) About the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco.

PBS NewsHour on AIDS:

Covid: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on waiving vaccine patent rights: PBS NewsHour on the New Coronavirus, cause of Covid-19, in the USA: PBS NewsHour on Trump's response to Covid-19, in the USA: PBS NewsHour on Red States' response to Covid-19, in the USA: PBS NewsHour on Covid-19 attacking minorities and the poor, in the USA: PBS NewsHour on possible approaches to fighting Coronavirus and its social problems: PBS NewsHour on the New Coronavirus, cause of Covid-19, in China: PBS NewsHour on the New Coronavirus, cause of Covid-19, in South Korea: PBS NewsHour on the New Coronavirus, cause of Covid-19, in Vietnam: AP articles on Trump and the New Coronavirus: The Guardian on the New Coronavirus: Science magazine on the New Coronavirus and Pandemics: PBS NewsHour on Music and Art of Comfort:

Religion and Spirituality: Documentaries

The Long Search (Ronald Eyre, 1977)

Say Amen, Somebody (George T. Nierenberg, 1982)

Koyaanisqatsi (Godfrey Reggio, 1983) Anima Mundi

Baraka (Ron Fricke, 1992)

The Asian & Abrahamic Religions: A Divine Encounter in America (Gerald Krell, Meyer Odze, Adam Krell, 2010)

Famine and World Hunger

PBS NewsHour on the World Food Programme (WFP) of the United Nations: PBS NewsHour on the crisis in Afghanistan: PBS NewsHour on Madagascar: PBS NewsHour on Ukraine: PBS NewsHour on Famine and the Pandemic: PBS NewsHour on the crisis in Africa and Yemen:

Water Shortages and Drought

H20: The Molecule That Made Us: Crisis (Nicholas Brown, 2020)

PBS NewsHour on Water Shortages:

PBS NewsHour on US Cities' Water Crises:

German Public Media on Water Shortages:


PBS NewsHour on Hong Kong: PBS NewsHour on Taiwan: PBS NewsHour on Uighurs: PBS NewsHour series "China: Power and Prosperity" (Nick Schifrin, Katrina Yu, Morgan Till, Daniel Sagalyn, Eric O'Connor, 2019): The Guardian on Uighurs: PBS NewsHour:

NATO and Russia

PBS NewsHour on NATO: PBS NewsHour on the threat from Putin: PBS NewsHour on Belarus: PBS NewsHour on Russia's war crimes in Syria: PBS NewsHour on propaganda and truth in Eastern Europe:

The World: Documentaries

The Police Force of New York City (no director credited, 1910)

Listen to Britain (Humphrey Jennings, Stewart McAllister, 1942)

We Never Sleep (Larry O'Reilly, 1956) Fortune Seekers

Primary (Robert Drew, 1960)

God Respects Us When We Work But Loves Us When We Dance (Les Blank, 1968)

Talking to Americans (Geoff D'Eon, 2001)

Être et avoir / To Be and To Have (Nicholas Philibert, 2002)

Hard Corps (David Malver, 2002) A look at drum corps.

Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore, 2004) Roger & Me

Uncovered: The War on Iraq (Robert Greenwald, 2004) Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers

No End in Sight (Charles Ferguson, 2007)

Ron Howard's Call to Action (Jake Szymanski, 2008)

Hot Coffee (Susan Saladoff, 2011)

The Mysterious Lost State of Franklin (Buck Kahler, 2011)

Som Sabadell (no director credited, 2012)

The Story of Fascism in Europe (Simon Griffith, 2018). Dire warning about how Fascism rose 100 years ago. Part of PBS TV series "Rick Steves' Europe".

PBS NewsHour:

PBS NewsHour on the US Government: PBS NewsHour on Trade: PBS NewsHour on Getting Rid of Old Bombs and Land Mines: PBS NewsHour on India:

Art Documentaries

How the Cowboy Makes His Lariat (no director credited, 1917)

The Tribal Eye (David Attenborough, 1976) See also nature films.

Dale Chihuly: Glass Master (Vicki Dunakin, 1987)

Jasper Johns: Ideas in Paint (Rick Tejada-Flores, 1989)

901: After 45 Years of Working (Eames Demetrios, 1990) About the Office (design studio) of Charles and Ray Eames.

Isamu Noguchi: Stones and Paper (Hiro Narita, 1997)

American Visions (John Bush, Julia Cave, James Kent, Christopher Spencer, David Wilcock, 1997)

The Impressionists (Bruce Alfred, 2001) Biographical film about the French Impressionist painters.

Herb Alpert: Music for Your Eyes (Tom Neff, 2002) A look at musician Herb Alpert's abstract paintings and sculptures.

Frazetta: Painting with Fire (Lance Laspina, 2003) Portrait of the artist Frank Frazetta.

The Saffron Gates (Philip Schopper, 2005)

Virginia Lee Burton: A Sense of Place (Christine Lundberg, Rawn Fulton, 2007)

This Is US: Scott Weaver (John Gregg, 2010)

Herblock: The Black & The White (Michael Stevens, 2013)

Humble Beauty: Skid Row Artists (Letitia Popa Schwartz, Judith Vogelsang, 2013)

Texas Southern University Murals ( 2013)

Detroit Performs: Pete Coe (Jim Graessle, 2014)

What Was Ours (Mat Hames, 2016)

Actually, Iconic: Richard Estes (Olympia Stone, 2020)

Civilizations (2018) A series on art history.

Short films on art:

Films on saving art from the Nazis:

Art history books by Margit Rowell:

PBS NewsHour on Contemporary Artists:

PBS NewsHour on Quilters: PBS NewsHour on Classic Artists: PBS NewsHour on Group Exhibits, Museums and Festivals: PBS NewsHour on the Arts and Rural Areas: PBS NewsHour on artist Yayoi Kusama: National Gallery, Britain:

Photography Documentaries

Dorothea Lange: Grab a Hunk of Lightning (Dyanna Taylor, 2014)

Love, Cecil (Lisa Immordino Vreeland, 2017) About photographer and designer Cecil Beaton.

PBS NewsHour on Photography:

PBS NewsHour on LGBTQ People being Photographed:

Fashion Documentaries

Unzipped (Douglas Keeve, 1995)

Jack Taylor of Beverly Hills (Cecile Leroy Beaulieu, 2007)

Iris (Albert Maysles, 2014)

NYC Ballet Presents: THE DREAMERS by Justin Peck with costumes by Dries van Noten (Matt Bockelman, 2016) Video.

Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Planning: Documentaries

Demolishing and Building Up of the Star Theater (Frederick S. Armitage, 1901)

Deschutes Driftwood (Robert C. Bruce, 1916)

Lake Tahoe, Land of the Sky (no director credited, 1916)

Manhatta (Paul Strand, Charles Sheeler, 1921)

Hollywood the Unusual (William Taylor, circa 1927) The zany, exotic architecture of Los Angeles.

The New Architecture and the London Zoo (László Moholy-Nagy, 1936). See also the Abstract Films section.

Antonio Gaudi (Hiroshi Teshigahara, 1985) Documentary about the Barcelona architect.

Frank Lloyd Wright (Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, 1998) America Is Failing Refugees, and Itself (2022).

Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen, 2003) In depth look at how Los Angeles and its architecture is portrayed in movies.

Loos Ornamental (Heinz Emigholz, 2008) About architect Adolf Loos.

The Olmsted Legacy: America's Urban Parks (Rebecca Messner, 2011)

The Grove (Andy Abrahams Wilson, 2011) About the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco.

Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life (Stephen R. Kellert, Bill Finnegan, 2011) Architecture that encourages a love of nature, with many contemporary buildings shown. The film's website has a list of locales.

10 Buildings That Changed America (Dan Protess, 2013) 10 That Changed America (2016). These delightful films are the best place to start learning about American architecture, parks and city planning. The Wikipedia has a list of locales. A second season (2018) includes Streets, Monuments, and Modern Marvels. This is good, but not quite at the same level as the earlier episodes.

Elevated Thinking: The High Line in New York City (Marc Doyle, Chesney Blankenstein Doyle, 2014)

Time Scanners: Machu Picchu (Tom Stubberfield, 2014)

Eero Saarinen: The Architect Who Saw the Future (Peter Rosen, 2016)

Colorado Experience: Temple Hoyne Buell (Julie Jackson, 2020)

PBS NewsHour:

PBS NewsHour on Low-Cost Housing: In Residence (series of short films): MN Original (MNO): Never Too Small (series of short films):


Voices & Visions (1988) Poetry in America (Elisa New, 2018, 2020, 2022) PBS NewsHour on Poet Ada Limón: PBS NewsHour on Poetry: See the website of the Poetry Foundation.

On writer E. M. Forster:

Film History

On Silent Films

1925 Studio Tour (Unknown director, 1925) A look at the MGM Studio

Before the Nickelodeon: The Cinema of Edwin S. Porter (Charles Musser, 1982)

Cinema Europe: The Other Hollywood (Kevin Brownlow, David Gill, 1996)

Ernst Lubitsch in Berlin (Robert Fischer, 2006)

Silent Britain (David Thompson, 2006)

On Sound Films

Okay for Sound (Unknown director, 1946)

James Dean: Forever Young (Michael J. Sheridan, 2005)

House of Harrington (Tyler Hubby, Jeffrey Schwarz, 2008) About the great filmmaker Curtis Harrington.

Sous le nom de Melville / Code Name Melville (Olivier Bohler, 2008) About Jean-Pierre Melville.

Oregon's Animation Magic (Eric Slade, 2017)

PBS NewsHour:

Climate Change and Renewable Energy

An Inconvenient Truth (Davis Guggenheim, 2006) Global Warming

Who Killed the Electric Car? (Chris Paine, 2006)

Search for the Super Battery (Daniel McCabe, 2017) (See also section on Science.)

Explore climate change solutions at Drawdown.

Covering Climate Now. "A global journalism initiative committed to bringing more and better coverage to the defining story of our time."

PBS NewsHour on Climate Change: Current Situation:

PBS NewsHour on Renewable, Clean and Innovative Energy:

PBS NewsHour on Agriculture and Climate Change:

PBS NewsHour on Waste Being Used for Energy:

PBS NewsHour on Adaptation:

PBS NewsHour on Methane, a key cause of Climate Change:

PBS NewsHour on potential Carbon Capture:

PBS NewsHour on Climate and Finance:

PBS NewsHour on Scientists Studying Climate:

The Guardian: Articles:

PBS NewsHour on Climate Change: Case Studies (Warning: while factual, these pieces are grim and upsetting):

PBS NewsHour on Hurricanes:

PBS NewsHour on Forest Fires (Please also see this article's large section on the Amazon Rainforest):

PBS NewsHour on Climate Change and the Arts:

PBS NewsHour on Climate Change: Calls for Political Action:

PBS NewsHour on Climate Change:

Food Production and Waste

Sunshine Gatherers (George E. Stone, 1921)

White House Red Carpet with Julia Child (1968)

Les Glaneurs et la glaneuse / The Gleaners and I (Agnès Varda, 2000) Sequel: Deux ans après / Two Years Later.

PBS NewsHour on Food Waste (a key cause of Climate Change):

PBS NewsHour:

PBS NewsHour on Hydroponics and Indoor Farming:

PBS NewsHour on Fish and Fishing:

PBS NewsHour on Bees and Beekeeping:

German Public Media on Food Production:

Explore climate change solutions at Drawdown.


Environment and Weather: Documentaries

The Plow That Broke the Plains (Pare Lorentz, 1936) The River

When Weather Changed History: Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 (Karl Gustave, 2008)

Beyond Beauty: Taiwan from Above (Po-lin Chi, 2013) Spectacular mix of aerial photography and environmental ideas.

America's First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment (Paul Bonesteel, 2015)

Science On a Sphere (2005-present) Spherical, globe-like system for showing animated films on a giant globe. Developed by Alexander E. MacDonald and NOAA, installed worldwide in museums, zoos and nature centers. See Wikipedia. Numerous films and "datasets" have been made for it:

PBS NewsHour on the Environment: PBS NewsHour on Trash, Recycling: PBS NewsHour on Marine Preserves: PBS NewsHour on India and Air Pollution: PBS NewsHour on Unusual Weather:

Science and Scientists: Documentaries

H2O (Ralph Steiner, 1929) Mechanical Principles, The City

Give Us the Earth! (Gunther von Fritsch, 1947) This Is the Bowery

Powers of Ten (Charles and Ray Eames, 1968) Blacktop, The Expanding Airport, Toccata for Toy Trains, IBM at the Fair, Babbage, Tops (two films, 1957, 1969), The Black Ships, SX-70, Atlas. Also book: A Computer Perspective.

Turbo-Encabulator (Bud Haggart, Dave Rondot, 1977) Zany spoof of technical films.

Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey (Steven M. Martin, 1993) A look at the great inventor and electronic music pioneer.

Making Stuff Wilder (Daniel McCabe, 2013) Innovative robots that imitate nature. (See also section on Climate Change.)

Women in Chemistry: Lessons from Life and the Laboratory (Glenn Holsten, 2013) Fascinating look at eight women chemists. Gives a broad look at what chemists actually do, in business, universities and government.

Divine Discontent: Charles Proteus Steinmetz (Paul Frederick, Bruce Carlin, 2014) The major inventor.

ForEveryone.Net (Jessica Yu, 2016) Profile of Tim Berners-Lee, idealistic inventor of the World Wide Web.

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (Alexandra Dean, 2017)

Extra Life: A Short History of Living Longer (Duncan Singh, Helen Sage, Tristan Quinn, David Alvarado, Jason Sussberg, 2021)

PBS NewsHour:

PBS NewsHour on DNA and Evolution: PBS NewsHour on Invention: PBS NewsHour on Science and Fashion:

Quantum Science and Technology: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on Quantum Science and Technology: German Public Media on Quantum Science and Technology: PBS NewsHour on String Theory in Physics:

Mathematics: Documentaries

Julia Robinson and Hilbert's Tenth Problem (George Paul Csicsery, 2008) Video Excerpt. In-depth look at major woman mathematician. Shows how mathematicians work.

Making Stuff Faster (Michael Bicks, Vincent Liota, Anna Lee Strachan, 2013) Vividly explains mathematical algorithms in ways non-mathematicians can understand. Fun and enlightening.

The Great Math Mystery (Daniel McCabe, Richard Reisz, 2015) The long-time debate about whether mathematics is invented or discovered, explained so that non-mathematicians can understand.

3Blue1Brown Advanced mathematics teaching videos.

Denver Center for the Performing Arts series "Standing Equation" on "Theatre and Math":

SportsFigures (1995-2007) Series of short instructional films. A host and real-life athletes teach mathematics and physics concepts using vivid sports demonstrations. I've only seen selected episodes. Shown on cable TV sports channel ESPN2.

Abacus Medal 2022 Mark Braverman (2022). Video.

3D Printing: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on 3D Printing: Short films on 3D Printing:

Nature Documentaries

Miss Goodall and the Wild Chimpanzees (Marshall Flaum, 1965)

The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau: The Night of the Squid (1970), Octopus, Octopus (1971), The Incredible March of the Spiny Lobsters (1976).

Otto, Zoo Gorilla (Dugan Rosalini, 1977)

Life on Earth (David Attenborough, 1979)

Fungi: The Rotten World About Us (Barry Paine, 1980) Remarkable look at fungi and mushrooms, made for Oxford Scientific Films.

The Nature of Things: Island of the Moon (Rudolf Kovanic, Nancy Archibald, 1981) Madagascar and its animals, including giant Lemurs like the Indri.

The Nature of Things: Professor Bonner and the Slime Molds (John Bonner, 1987)

Out in Nature: Homosexual Behavior in the Animal Kingdom (Stéphane Alexandresco, Bertrand Loyer, Jessica Menendez, 2001)

The Gathering Swarms (John Downer, 2014)

The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida (Eric Bendick, 2015)

Creatures of Light (Chad Cohen, 2016)

Wild Ways (James Brundige, 2016)

The Story of Cats (Anwar Mamon, 2016)

Plants Behaving Badly (Steve Nicholls, 2017)

The Green Planet: Tropical Worlds (Paul Williams, 2022)

Short films:

Lemurs: German Public Media PBS NewsHour: PBS NewsHour on Turtles and Technology:

The Aurora: Documentaries

These films are about the Northern Lights (Aurora borealis) and the Southern Lights (Aurora australis).

Aurora - Fackeln am Firmament / Aurora - Fire in the Sky (Ivo Filatsch, 2012) Look at the Aurora in both nature and folk culture.

Aurora (2013) (This "Science On a Sphere" dataset shows the Earth globe, with emerging and disappearing Auroras around the North and South Poles. It's a computer simulation.)

Articles with Videos:

PBS NewsHour on the Aurora:

Space: Documentaries

Doroga k Zvezdam / Road to the Stars (Pavel Klushantsev, 1957) Pioneer documentary on space travel.

Departing Space Station Commander Provides Tour of Orbital Laboratory (Sunita Williams, Kevin A. Ford, 2012) Video.

Deadliest Space Weather: Mars (Gabriel Rotello, 2013)

Deadliest Space Weather: Fastest Winds in the Solar System (Darryl Rehr, 2013) (About the amazingly strong winds on Neptune.)

Invisible Universe Revealed (Peter Yost, 2015) About the Hubble Telescope.

Chasing Pluto (Terri Randall, 2015) The New Horizons space probe mission, plus scientific research on Pluto and the Kuiper Belt.

Death Dive to Saturn (Terri Randall, 2017) On the Cassini mission.

Ultimate Space Telescope (Terri Randall, 2022) On the James Webb Space Telescope.

The Farthest (Emer Reynolds, 2017) On the Voyager mission.

The Planets: Jupiter (Stephen Cooter, 2019)

PBS NewsHour on the Solar System:

PBS NewsHour on Black Holes: PBS NewsHour on James Webb Space Telescope: PBS NewsHour on DART (Double Asteroid Redirection Test): PBS NewsHour: BBC: The Documentary Podcast:

Libraries: Documentaries

Toute la mémoire du monde (Alain Resnais, 1956) Brilliantly photographed documentary film on France's national library.

The Hollywood Librarian: A Look at Librarians Through Film (Ann Seidl, 2007) 95-minute documentary film. Vivid account of the huge variety of things librarians do. Plus Hollywood film clips showing libraries.

PBS NewsHour on Public Libraries:

PBS NewsHour on Libraries:

Information, Archives, Preserving Knowledge: Documentaries

When Seattle Invented the Future: The 1962 World's Fair (John Gordon Hill, 2012)

The Crowd & The Cloud (Geoff Haines-Stiles, 2017) Web site. This 4-hour film is about "citizen science". It shows everyday people (who are NOT professional scientists) gathering scientific data and knowledge. The knowledge is uploaded into computers and shared. The people typically work in collaboration with professional scientists.

Some articles and web sites about Information and Archives:

Washington Post Articles on Backing Up Endangered Data: PBS NewsHour on Backing Up Endangered Data: PBS NewsHour on Archives: PBS NewsHour on Mapping Technology, used to share information: PBS NewsHour on Information and Government: PBS NewsHour on the U.S. Military and Preservation: PBS NewsHour:

Saving Languages: Documentaries

We Are Still Here (Sterlin Harjo, Matt Leach, 2011) Preserving Yuchi, a Native American language. Video.

PBS NewsHour on Saving Languages:

Education: Documentaries

Decade for Decision (Jay Bonafield, 1957) The urban universities of the USA, and the role they play in education, technology and the economy. Fascinating and inspiring.

Schools That Change Communities (Bob Gliner, 2013)

PBS NewsHour on the Arts in Education:

PBS NewsHour on Poetry in Education in Chicago: PBS NewsHour on History in Education: PBS NewsHour on Science in Education: PBS NewsHour on Seniors and the Arts: PBS NewsHour on Running for Office: PBS NewsHour:

Journalism: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on Local Journalism: Decline and Solutions: PBS NewsHour on Press Freedom: PBS NewsHour on Newspapers and Journalism:

Truth and Democracy: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on Standing Up for Truth: PBS NewsHour on Campaigns for Truth: PBS NewsHour on Truth:

Propaganda, Lies: Documentaries

PBS NewsHour on Propaganda and Fake News:

Banning Books

Articles on Banning Books: PBS NewsHour on Banning Books:

Amazon Rainforest

PLEASE, please stop eating beef. It is one of the main things destroying the Amazon Rainforest.

PBS NewsHour:

The Guardian: German Public Media The BBC: Articles: Explore climate change solutions at Drawdown.

Please see the next section, filled with wonderful photos of Tropical Trees.

Tropical Trees: Photos

The following plant families include tropical trees. Members of these families often occur both inside the Amazon forest, and elsewhere in the tropics.

Please see my list of Plant Resources, for links to these great photo collections as a whole. Or click on the links below. These plant pictures are some of the most beautiful, joyous photographs ever.

Primitive Flowering Plants

The Amborellales order includes one family: The Nymphaeales order includes families: The Illiciales order (also known as Austrobaileyales) includes families: The Chloranthales order includes one family: The Magnoliales order includes families:

The Laurales order includes families:

The Winterales order includes families: The Piperales order includes families:

Eudicots: Primitive

The Ceratophyllales order includes one family: The Ranunculales order includes families: The Proteales order includes families: The Trochodendrales order includes families: The Buxales order includes one family: The Gunnerales order includes families:

Early Rosid

The Dilleniales order includes one family: The Saxifragales order includes families: The Vitales order includes one family:

Rosid I

The Fabales order includes families: The Rosales order includes families: The Rhamnales order includes families: The Urticales order includes families: The Cucurbitales order includes families: The Zygophyllales order includes families: The Celastrales order includes families: The Oxalidales order includes families: The Malpighiales order includes families:

Rosid II

The Myrtales order includes families:

The Geranium order (Geraniales) includes families:

The Crossosomatales order includes families: The Picramniales order includes one family: The Sapindales order includes families: The Huerteales order includes families: The Brassicales order includes families: The Malvales order includes families:

Caryophyllales and Their Relatives

The plants in this section are related. They are often treated as one big order, the Caryophyllales.

The Rhabdodendrales order includes one family:

The Simmondsiales order includes one family: The Caryophyllales order includes families: The Polygonales order includes families: The Nepenthales order includes families: The Tamaricales order includes families:

Early Asterid

The Santalales order includes families: The Berberidopsidales order includes families: The Cornales order includes families: The Ericales order includes families:

Asterid I

The Lamiales order includes families: The Gentianales order includes families: The Solanales order includes families: The Boraginales order includes families: The Garryales order includes families:

Asterid II

The Asterales order includes families: The Apiales order includes families: The Aquifoliales order includes families: The Bruniales order includes one family: The Escalloniales order includes one family: The Paracryphiales order includes one family: The Dipsacales order includes families: The Metteniusales order includes one family: The Desfontainiales order includes one family:


The Acorales order includes one family: The Arales order includes one family: The Alismatales order includes families: The Petrosaviales order includes one family: The Pandanales order includes families: The Dioscoreales order includes families: The Liliales order includes families: The Asparagales order includes families: The Hypoxidales order includes families: The Zingiberales order includes families: The Commelinales order includes families: The Arecales order includes families: The Poales order (Grass-like plants) includes families:


The Coniferales order (Conifers) includes families: The Ginkgoales order includes one family, which in turn contains one tree, the Ginkgo: The Cycadales order (Cycads) includes families: The Gnetales order includes families:

Ferns and Fern Allies

The Equisetales order includes one family: The Isoetales order includes one family:


The Pezizales order: 2000-Pezizales. Spectacular photos of Pezizales.

Lichens: British Lichens, Lichens of North America,


Trees and PBS NewsHour:

My Favorite Plays

My list is by someone who loves drama, but who is far from expert on it. Please also see Michael Billington's 101 Greatest Plays.

Ancient Drama

Aeschylus: The Oresteia; The Suppliants; Seven Against Thebes; The Persians

Sophocles: Antigone; Oedipus the King; Ajax; Philoctetes

Euripides: Medea; Herakles; The Trojan Women; The Bacchae

Aristophanes: The Birds; The Frogs; Lysistrata; The Clouds; The Wasps

Kalidasa: Shakuntala

Renaissance Drama

Christopher Marlowe: Tamburlaine the Great; Doctor Faustus; Edward II

William Shakespeare: Hamlet; King Lear; Othello; Macbeth; Romeo and Juliet; A Midsummer's Night's Dream; As You Like It; Twelfth Night; Much Ado About Nothing; Measure for Measure; Two Gentlemen of Verona; Love's Labour's Lost; Richard II; Richard III; Henry IV; Henry V; Julius Caesar; Coriolanus; The Tempest

Thomas Kyd: The Spanish Tragedy

Thomas Dekker: The Shoemaker's Holiday

Thomas Campion: Masques

Ben Jonson: Volpone

George Chapman: Bussy D'Ambois

John Webster: The Duchess of Malfi

Kan'ami Kiyotsugu: Sotoba Komachi

Lope de Vega: Fuenteovejuna

Pedro Calderon de la Barca: Life Is a Dream

John Milton: Comus; Samson Agonistes

Moliere: Tartuffe

Drama: 18th Century

Pierre de Beaumarchais: The Barber of Seville; The Marriage of Figaro

Richard Brinsley Sheridan: The Rivals; The School for Scandal

Oliver Goldsmith: She Stoops to Conquer

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Egmont

Drama: 19th Century

John Keats: Otho the Great

Percy Bysshe Shelley: The Cenci; Prometheus Unbound; Oedipus Tyrannus; Or, Swellfoot the Tyrant

Nikolai Gogol: The Inspector General

Dion Boucicault: London Assurance

William Wells Brown: The Escape; or, A Leap for Freedom

Tom Taylor: The Ticket-of-Leave Man

W.S. Gilbert: Trial by Jury; H.M.S. Pinafore; The Pirates of Penzance; The Mikado; The Gondoliers

Henrik Ibsen: An Enemy of the People; A Doll's House

World Drama: 1888-1964

Anton Pavlovich Chekhov: Uncle Vanya; The Cherry Orchard

Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband; Lady Windermere's Fan; The Importance of Being Earnest

Ernest Dowson: The Pierrot of the Minute

Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac

August Strindberg: Miss Julie, The Ghost Sonata

J. M. Barrie: Peter Pan; What Every Woman Knows

Maurice Maeterlinck: The Blue Bird

John Millington Synge: Riders to the Sea

Lady Gregory: Spreading the News; The Rising of the Moon; Hyacinth Halvey

Lord Dunsany: The Glittering Gate

Rabindranath Tagore: The Post Office

Oliphant Down: The Maker of Dreams

George Bernard Shaw: Arms and the Man; The Devil's Disciple; Major Barbara; Pygmalion; Saint Joan; The Millionairess

John Galsworthy: Justice; Escape

A.A. Milne: The Romantic Age

Ernst Toller: Messe-Mensch / Man and the Masses

Karel Capek: R.U.R. Rossum's Universal Robots

Luigi Pirandello: Six Characters in Search of an Author; Henry IV

Bertolt Brecht: Galileo; The Caucasian Chalk Circle; Mother Courage and Her Children

Noël Coward: Hay Fever; The Vortex; Present Laughter; Relative Values; Nude with Violin; Tonight at 8.30: Family Album, Ways and Means, Shadow Play

Terence Rattigan: The Browning Version; The Winslow Boy; Separate Tables; The V.I.P.s

Christopher Fry: The Lady's Not for Burning

Robert Bolt: A Man for All Seasons

Samuel Beckett: Waiting for Godot; All That Fall; Happy Days; Breath

Eugene Ionescu: The Bald Soprano

Albert Camus: Caligula

Jean Anouilh: Antigone

Shelagh Delaney: A Taste of Honey; Charlie Bubbles

John Osborne: Luther

Reinhard Raffalt: Der Nachfolger / The Successor

Crime and Mystery Plays

Agatha Christie: Black Coffee; Witness for the Prosecution; Go Back for Murder

George M. Cohan: Seven Keys to Baldpate

Roi Cooper Megrue: Under Cover

Mary Roberts Rinehart & Avery Hopwood: The Bat

John Willard: The Cat and the Canary

Philip Dunning & George Abbott: Broadway

John Dickson Carr: Thirteen to the Gallows; Intruding Shadow; many mystery-story radio-plays (See my John Dickson Carr article for list.)

Ellery Queen: many mystery-story radio-plays (See my Ellery Queen article for list.)

Anthony Boucher: many mystery-story radio-plays (See my Anthony Boucher article for list.)

Ngaio Marsh: A Knotty Problem; Evil Liver

Nicholas Blake: 'Calling James Braithwaite'

John Rhode: Sixpennyworth

Cyril Hare: The Murder at Warbeck Hall

Dorothy L. Sayers: Where Do We Go From Here?

American Drama: 1905-1964

Robert Frost: The Death of the Hired Man; The Witch of Coös

Edward Sheldon: Salvation Nell

Booth Tarkington: Beauty and the Jacobin; Clarence

Elmer Rice: On Trial; The Adding Machine; Street Scene; Dream Girl

Edgar Lee Masters: Spoon River Anthology

Alice Gerstenberg: Overtones

Susan Glaspell: Trifles

Lewis Beach: The Clod

Edna St Vincent Millay: Aria da Capo

E.P. Conkle: Minnie Field

Zona Gale: Miss Lulu Bett

Eugene O'Neill: Ile; Moon of the Caribbees; Anna Christie; "The Hairy Ape"; Ah, Wilderness!

Maxwell Anderson and Laurence Stallings: What Price Glory?

Maxwell Anderson: Saturday's Children; The Star Wagon

George Kelly: The Flattering Word

S. N. Behrman: The Second Man

Sidney Howard & Paul de Kruif: Yellow Jack

Langston Hughes: Soul Gone Home

George S. Kaufman & Marc Connelly: Beggar on Horseback

George S. Kaufman & Moss Hart: Once in a Lifetime, You Can't Take it With You; The Man Who Came to Dinner

Frank Sullivan: Captain's Dinner; Les Amis D'Automat

Philip Barry: The Philadelphia Story

Thornton Wilder: The Long Christmas Dinner; Pullman Car Hiawatha; The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden; Our Town; The Skin of Our Teeth; The Unerring Instinct; The Emporium; In Shakespeare and the Bible; Concrete Hands; Youth

Joseph Kesselring: Arsenic and Old Lace

Archibald MacLeish: The Fall of the City

Robert E. Sherwood: Abe Lincoln in Illinois

John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

James Gow & Arnaud d'Usseau: Tomorrow, the World!

Arthur Laurents: Home of the Brave

Tennessee Williams: The Glass Menagerie; Summer and Smoke; Suddenly Last Summer; Period of Adjustment; Boom!; Confessional; The Chalky White Substance

William Inge: Come Back, Little Sheba; Picnic; Bus Stop; The Tiny Closet; Bus Riley's Back in Town (one-act play); Margaret's Bed

T. S. Eliot: Murder in the Cathedral; The Family Reunion; The Cocktail Party

Reginald Rose: An Almanac of Liberty; Twelve Angry Men; The Death and Life of Larry Benson; Tragedy in a Temporary Town; The Defenders; Judgment Eve

Jerome Lawrence & Robert E. Lee: Inherit the Wind

Dore Schary: Sunrise at Campobello

Lorraine Hansberry: A Raisin in the Sun

Saul Levitt: The Andersonville Trial

Gore Vidal: The Best Man; Dark Possession; Visit to a Small Planet

Edward Albee: Tiny Alice; The Zoo Story; Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Herb Gardner: A Thousand Clowns

Contemporary Drama: 1965 - Present

Kenneth Koch: E. Kology

Peter Stone & Sherman Edwards: 1776

John Guare: Marco Polo Sings a Solo

Bernard Slade: Same Time, Next Year

Martin Sherman: Bent

Ursula K. Le Guin: Always Coming Home

Larry Kramer: The Normal Heart

James Purdy: Heatstroke

David Henry Hwang: M. Butterfly

Robert Patrick: Untold Decades

Jonathan C. Levine: Unpublished Letters

Craig Lucas: Prelude to a Kiss; Longtime Companion; The Dying Gaul

Caryl Churchill: A Number

Hao Jingfang: The New Year Train

Charles Yu: Good News Bad News

My Favorite Poems

Thoughts on 20the Century American poets: My favorites from the anthology "Twentieth-Century American Poetry" (2003) edited by Dana Gioia, David Mason, Meg Schoerke. Additional recommended poems by the same writers, not included in the anthology, are listed below a *. Another informative anthology: "American Poetry: The Twentieth Century" (2000) in two volumes, compiled by Robert Hass, John Hollander, Carolyn Kizer, Nathaniel Mackey and Marjorie Perloff.


Stephen Crane (1871-1900)

Edwin Markham (1852-1940) Charlotte Perkins Gilman (1860-1935) Edgar Lee Masters (1868-1950) Edwin Arlington Robinson (1869-1935) James Weldon Johnson (1871-1938) Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) Robert Frost (1874-1963) Sara Cleghorn (1876-1959) John Allan Wyeth Jr. (1894-1980) EARLY MODERNISM: FROM IMAGISM TO HIGH MODERNISM

Amy Lowell (1874-1925)

Yone Noguchi (1875-1947) Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) Vachel Lindsay (1879-1931) Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) H. D. (1886-1961) Marianne Moore (1887-1972) T. S. Eliot (1888-1965) e. e. cummings (1894-1962) Witter Bynner (1881-1968) THE HARLEM RENAISSANCE

Angelina Weld Grimké (1880-1958)

Claude McKay (1889-1948) Jean Toomer (1894-1967) Gwendolyn Bennett (1902-1981) Langston Hughes (1902-1967) Countee Cullen (1903-1946) MODERNIST ALTERNATIVES: ROMANTICS AND NEO-CLASSICISTS

Conrad Aiken (1889-1978)

John Peale Bishop (1892-1944) Archibald MacLeish (1892-1982) Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892-1950) Melvin B. Tolson (1898-1966) MID-CENTURY POETS

Theodore Roethke (1908-1963)

Elizabeth Bishop (1911-1979) J. V. Cunningham (1911-1985) Josephine Miles (1911-1985) Robert Hayden (1913-1980) Muriel Rukeyser (1913-1980) Dudley Randall (1914-2000) William Stafford (1914-1993) John Ciardi (1916-1986) Thomas McGrath (1916-1990) Gwendolyn Brooks (1917-2000) May Swenson (1919-1989) OPEN FORM: OBJECTIVISTS, BEATS, BLACK MOUNTAIN POETS

Kenneth Rexroth (1905-1982)

Charles Olson (1910-1970) Robert Duncan (1919-1988) Lawrence Ferlinghetti (b. 1919) A. R. Ammons (1926-2001) Allen Ginsberg (1926-1997) Gary Snyder (1930-) POST-WAR FORMALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS: FROM FORMALISM TO FEMINISM AND THE CONFESSIONAL MODE

Howard Nemerov (1920-1991)

Richard Wilbur (1921-2017) Donald Justice (1925-2004) Carolyn Kizer (1925-2014) James Merrill (1926-1995) AMERICAN INTERNATIONALISM: SURREALISM, DEEP IMAGE, AND NEW YORK SCHOOL

Frank O'Hara (1926-1966)


Amiri Baraka (1934-2014)

N. Scott Momaday (1934-) Fred Chappell (1936-) Ted Kooser (1939-) CONTEMPORARY VOICES

Yusef Komonyakaa (1947-)

Joy Harjo (1951-) Rita Dove (1952-) Naomi Shihab Nye (1952-) David Mason (1954-) Benjamin Alire Sáenz (1954-) Cathy Song (1955-) Jacqueline Osherow (1956-)
These poets are from the anthology: Rita Dove: "The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry" (2011).

June Jordan (1936-2002)

James Welch (1940-) Tess Gallagher (1943-) Marilyn Nelson (1946-) Leslie Marmon Silko (1948-) Jane Miller (1949-) Paul Muldoon (1951-) Lorna Dee Cervantes (1954-) Cornelius Eady (1954-)
Other American Poets (not in the above anthologies)

Harriet Monroe (1860-1936)

Edith Wharton (1862-1937) W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) W.C. Handy (1873-1958) Anna Hempstead Branch (1875-1937) Melville Henry Cane (1879-1980) Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918) H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) Robert Peter Tristram Coffin (1892-1955) Clark Ashton Smith (1893-1961) MacKinlay Kantor (1904-1977) Richard Armour (1906-1989) W.H. Auden (1907-1973) Constance Carrier (1908-1991) Alton Delmore (1908-1964) Richard Wright (1909-1960) May Sarton (1912-1995) Marie Ponsot (1921-2019) Kenneth Koch (1925-2002) Emmett Williams (1925-2007) Philip Booth (1925-2007) Philip Lamantia (1927-2005) Ursula K. Le Guin (1929-2018) Sonia Sanchez (1934-) Wendell Berry (1934-) Diane Wakoski (1937-) Kenneth Gangemi (1937-) Bob Dylan (1941-) Paul Simon (1941-) Don McLean (1945-) Robert Morgan (1944-) Kurt Brown (1944-2013) Joseph Stanton (1949-) Carolyn Forché (1950-) Mark Irwin (1953-) Lynda Hull (1954-1994) Essex Hemphill (1957-1995) Elizabeth Alexander (1962-) Thomas Alan Orr (1968?-) Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer (1969-) Robert Kinsley Colette Bryce (1970-) Ross Gay (1974-) Maxwell Lukas Mijnlieff Gay Ada Limón (1976-) Sandra Beasley (1980-) Franny Choi (1989-) Alok Vaid-Menon (1991-)

These poems are also included Ogden Nash's giant omnibus "Verses from 1929 On" (collected 1959), where I read them.

Ogden Nash (1902-1971)

Many Long Years Ago

I'm a Stranger Here Myself Good Intentions Versus The Private Dining Room You Can't Get There from Here

Short Stories

200 Years of Great American Short Stories, edited by Martha Foley Fiction 100 : an anthology of short stories, edited by James H. Pickering Other Good Stories Please also see my: I've enjoyed reading books of humorous sketches. In some ways these are similar to short stories. Favorite Books:

Abstract Art

Favorite Abstract Artists: Architects related to Abstract Art: The book The Cubist Theatre (1983) by Joseph Garrett Glover deals with plays, ballet and films influenced by cubist design.

Classical Music

Classical "gems". Just a small sample of the vast world of classical music. Please see also this article's sections on Dance Films and Opera. And my article Thoughts on Classical Composers.

If you are classical music beginner, anything called an "overture" is a friendly place to start.

This list differs from from some popular approaches to classical music:

Links: Periods:

Folk Songs

Welsh Scots Gaelic Scots English Lithuania Italian Irish United States Early Popular Songs

Medieval Music

Léonin Pérotin Raimbaut de Vaqueiras Francesco Landini Jacopo da Bologna Gherardello da Firenze Anonymous Guillaume de Machaut (c. 1300-1377)

Renaissance Music: Early Renaissance

Leonel Power (1370-1445) Pycard (?-?) John Dunstable (1390-1453) Anonymous English Composer (flourished 1440's) Guillaume Dufay (1397-1474) Johannes Ockeghem (1410/1425-1497) Johannes Regis (1425-1496) Antoine Busnoys (c. 1430-1492) Johannes Tinctoris (1435-1511) Guillaume Faugues (flourished circa 1460-1475) Alexander Agricola (1445-1506) Loyset Compère (circa 1445-1518) Josquin des Prez (1450-1521) Pierre de la Rue (1452-1518) Jacob Obrecht (1457-1505) Jean Mouton (1459-1522) Antoine Brumel (1460-1512) Johannes Mittner (?-c. 1530)

Renaissance Music: English Composers

John Browne (c.1426 or 1450-1505) Walter Lambe (1450- Robert Fayrfax (1464-1521) Richard Davy (c. 1465-1507) Thomas Ashewell (c. 1478- after 1513) Robert Jones Robert Carver (1485-1570) (Composer from Scotland) Nicholas Ludford (c. 1485-1557) John Taverner (c. 1490-1545) Thomas Tallis (1505-1585) Christopher Tye (c. 1505 - before 1573) John Sheppard (c. 1515-1558) Walter Erle (c.1515-1581)

Renaissance Music: Later Renaissance Composers

Jean L'Héritier (1480-1551) Adrian Willaert (1490-1562) Jacobus Clemens non Papa (1510-1555) Cipriano de Rore (1515 or 1516-1565) Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525-1594) Jacobus de Kerle (1531-1591) Orlando di Lasso (1532-1594) Giaches de Wert (1535-1596) Eustache Du Caurroy (1549 - 1609)

Renaissance Music: Spain and Portugal

Cristobal de Morales (1500-1553) Francisco Guerrero (1528-1599) Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548-1611) Alonso Lobo (1555-1617) Filipe de Magalhães (1571-1652) Géry de Ghersem (1573-1630) Diogo Dias Melgáz (1638-1700)

Renaissance Music: Madrigals and other Secular Music

Mateo Flecha (1481-1553) Juan Vásquez (1500-1560) Clément Janequin (1485-1558) Claudin de Sermisy (1490-1562) Jacob Arcadelt (1507-1568) Luca Marenzio (1553-1599) Thomas Morley (1557-1602) John Bull (1562-1628) John Dowland (1563-1626) John Wilbye (1574-1638) Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623)

Early Baroque Period

Giovanni Gabrieli (1557-1612) Hieronymus Praetorius (1560-1629) Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck (1562-1621) Claudio Monteverdi (1567-1643) Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634) Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) Giovanni Battista Fontana (1571-1630) Sigismondo d'India (1582-1629) Orlando Gibbons (1583-1625) Johann Hermann Schein (1586-1630) Samuel Scheidt (1587-1654) Tarquinio Merula (1595-1665)

Middle Baroque Period

Luigi Rossi (1597-1653) Dario Castello (1602-1631) Marco Uccellini (1603-1680) Giacomo Carissimi (1605-1674) Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677) Isabella Leonarda (1620-1704) Antonio Sartorio (1630-1680) Francesco Provenzale (1632-1704) Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632-1687) Dietrich Buxtehude (1637-1707) Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1643-1704) Johann Pachelbel (1653-1706) Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713) Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischer (1656-1746) Giuseppe Torelli (1658-1709) Henry Purcell (1659-1695) Alessandro Scarlatti (1660-1725) Georg Böhm (1661-1733)

Late Baroque Period

Grzegorz Gerwazy Gorczycki (c. 1665 to 1667-1734) François Couperin (1668-1733) Antonio Caldara (1670-1736) Tomaso Albinoni (1671-1751) Antoine Forqueray (1671-1745) Nicola Fago, 'II Tarantino' (1677-1745) Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) Jan Dismas Zelenka (1679-1745) Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764) Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) George Frideric Handel (1685-1759) Nicola Porpora (1686-1768) Willem de Fesch (1687-1761) Johann Friedrich Fasch (1688-1758) Gottfried Heinrich Stölzel (1690-1749) Leonardo Vinci (1690-1730) Charles Theodore Pachelbel (1690-1750) Francesco Feo (1691-1761) Leonardo Leo (1694-1744) Riccardo Broschi (1698-1756) Leopold Strach (1699-1755) Michel Blavet (1700-1768) Pancrace Royer (1703-1755) Franz Xaver Richter (1709-1789)

Early Classical Period

Johann Adolf Hasse (1699-1783) Giovanni Battista Sammartini (1700-1775) Baldassare Galuppi (1706-1785) Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736) Jacopo Puccini (1712-1781) Wolfgang Iten (1712-1769) John Christopher Smith / Johann Christoph Schmidt (1712-1795) Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (1714-1788) Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) Niccolò Jommelli (1714-1774) Christoph Nichelmann (1717-1762) Niccolò Piccinni (1728-1800) Padre Antonio Soler (1729-1783) Antonio Sacchini (1730-1786) Tommaso Giordani (1730 - 1806) Christian Cannabich (1731-1798)

Middle Classical Period

Joseph Haydn (1732-1809) Michael Haydn (1737-1806) Josef Mysliveček (1737-1781) Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf (1739-1799) Jakub Golabek (c.1739-1789) Giovanni Paisiello (1740-1816) Marie-Alexandre Guénin (1744-1835) Francesco Petrini (1744-1819) Marianne Martines (1744-1812) Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (1745-1799) Domenico Cimarosa (1749-1801) Johann Franz Xaver Sterkel (1750-1817) Antonio Rosetti (Rösler) (1750-1792) Wilhelm Kopprasch (c.1750-c.1833) Muzio Clementi (1752-1832) John Marsh (1752-1828)

Late Classical Period

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) Joseph Martin Kraus (1756-1792) Paul Wranitzky / Pavel Vranický (1756-1808) Franz Grill (c. 1756-1793) Alessandro Rolla (1757-1841) Ignace (Ignaz) Joseph Pleyel (1757-1831) Franz Krommer (1759-1831) François Devienne (1759-1803) Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842) Johann Brandl (1760-1837) Thomas Hamly Butler (1762-1823) Adalbert Gyrowetz (Jírovec) (1763-1850) Johann Simon Mayr (Giovanni Simone Mayr) (1763-1845) Anton Eberl (1765-1807) Andreas Romberg (1767-1821) Friedrich Witt (1770-1836)


Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827)

Transition from the Classical Period to the Romantic Period

Gaspare Spontini (1774-1851) Fanny Roland (flourished 1797) François-Adrien Boieldieu (1775-1834) Johann Baptist Gänsbacher (1778-1844) Joaquim de Paula Souza (c.1780-1842) Daniel F. E. Auber (1782-1871) Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) Louis Spohr (1784-1859) Karol Kurpinski (1785-1857) Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826) Iwan Müller (1786-1854) Henry Bishop (1786-1855) Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold (1791-1833) Franz Xaver Mozart (1791-1833) (son of the famous Mozart) Giacomo Meyerbeer (1791-1864) Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) Cipriani Potter (1792-1871) Florian Goetz (1793-1866) Saverio Mercadante (1795-1870) Gaetano Donizetti (1797-1848) Franz Schubert (1797-1828) Vincenzo Bellini (1801-1835) Franz Lachner (1803-1890) Adolphe Adam (1803-1856)

Romantic Period

Hector Berlioz (1803-1869) Louise Farrenc (1804-1875) Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857) Ignacy Feliks Dobrzynski (1807-1867) Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847) Frédéric Chopin (1810-1849) Robert Schumann (1810-1856) Franz Liszt (1811-1886) Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901) William Henry Fry (1813-1864) Charles Gounod (1818-1893) Stanisław Moniuszko (1819-1872) José Maria Xavier (1819-1887) César Franck (1822-1890) George Frederick Bristow (1825-1869) Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) Theodor Leschetizky (1830-1915) Carl Goldmark (1830-1915) Johannes Brahms (1833-1897) Alexander Borodin (1833-1887) Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886) Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921) Léo Delibes (1836-91) Georges Bizet (1838-1875) John Knowles Paine (1839-1906) Friedrich Gernsheim (1839-1916) Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893) Daniël de Lange (1841-1918) Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904) Jules Massenet (1842-1912) Edvard Grieg (1843-1907) Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908) Charles-Marie Widor (1844-1937) Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924) Teresa Carreño (1853-1917) Cécile Chaminade (1857-1944) Alexander Glazunov (1865-1936)

Operetta and Light Music

Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) Ambrose Thomas (1811-1896) Jacques Offenbach (1819-1880) Johann Strauss II (1825-1899) Émile Waldteufel (1837-1915) Gilbert & Sullivan: Dramatist W. S. Gilbert (1836-1911) and composer Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900) Max Bruch

20th Century Music: Impressionists and their Contemporaries

Claude Debussy (1862-1918) Maurice Ravel (1875-1937) Paul Dukas (1865-1935) Reynaldo Hahn (1874-1947) Frederick Delius (1862-1934) Charles Tomlinson Griffes (1884-1920) Lili Boulanger (1893-1918)

20th Century Music: Symphonists

These composers followed classical music traditions, creating intellectually serious pieces such as symphonies, concertos and variations.

Sir Charles Hubert Parry (1848-1918)

Ethel Smyth (1858-1944) George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) Charles Martin Loeffler (1861-1935) Louis Glass (1864-1936) Carl Nielsen (1865-1931) Vítězslav Novák (1870-1949) Florent Schmitt (1871-1958) Sigurd Lie (1871-1904) Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958) Andrés Gaos (1874-1959) Gustav Holst (1874-1934) Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875-1912) Reinhold Glière (1875-1956) Alexander Goedicke (1877-1957) Rudolf Karel (1880-1945) Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951) George Enescu (1881-1955) Arnold Bax (1883-1953) Arthur Meulemans (1884-1966) Florence B. Price (1887-1953) Ernst Toch (1887-1964) Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) Isidor Achron (1892-1948) Walter Piston (1894-1976) Erwin Schulhoff (1894-1942) William Grant Still (1895-1978) Paul Hindemith (1895-1963) William L. Dawson (1899-1990) Carlos Chávez (1899-1978) Boris Blacher (1903-1975) Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975) Paul Creston (1906-1985) William Schuman (1910-1992) Samuel Barber (1910-1981) Violet Archer (1913-2000) Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) Dimitris Dragatakis (1914-2001) Einar Englund (1916-1999) Ulysses Kay (1917-1995) Robert Kurka (1921-1957) Lester Trimble (1923-1986) Nicolas Flagello (1928-1994) Spencer Norton

20th Century Music: Experimental

These astonishingly creative composers followed innovative approaches.

Leos Janácek (1854-1928)

Pavel Haas (1899-1944) Hans Krása (1899-1944) Alexander Scriabin (1872-1915) Amy Beach Charles Ives Carl Ruggles Béla Bartók Arnold Schoenberg Alban Berg Igor Stravinsky Edgard Varèse Pierre Henry (1927-2017) Josef Matthias Hauer (1883-1959) Egon Wellesz (1885-1974) Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959) Roger Sessions (1896-1985) Henry Cowell (1897-1965) George Antheil (1900-1959) Ernst Krenek (1900-1991) Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989) Elliott Carter (1908-2012) Alberto Ginastera (1916-1893) Bruno Maderna (1920-1973) George Walker (1922-2018) Pierre Boulez (1925-2016) Luciano Berio (1925-2003) Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) William Sydeman (1928-2021) Vytautas Barkauskas (1931-2020) Charles Wuorinen (1938-2020)

20th Century Music: Les Six and those they Influenced

Darius Milhaud Francis Poulenc Germaine Tailleferre Virgil Thomson André Jolivet Peggy Glanville- Hicks

20th Century Music: Fusion: Joining Classical and Popular Music

Aram Khachaturian Percy Grainger Scott Joplin James Reese Europe Felix Arndt George Gershwin Aaron Copland (1900-1990) Artie Shaw Leonard Bernstein Arturo Márquez Astor Piazzolla Freddie Mercury and Mike Moran

Film Music

Anton Karas (1906-1985) Miklós Rózsa (1907-1995) Percy Faith (1908-1976) Fred Steiner (1923-2011)

21st Century Music

Please see also this article's section on Opera.

Lori Laitman

Paul Phillips Jonathan Dove Elena Kats-Chernin Michael Forbes Brian Ferneyhough Thierry Escaich Sarah Kirkland Snider Joan Tower (1938-) Roberto Sierra Ernani Aguiar Ola Gjeilo Anton Gryzlov David T. Little (1978-) Daniel Elder (1986-) Dorothy Rudd Moore