Below is a list of films I think every serious student of film should see. The list is very subjective, naturally. And it’s no particular order whatsoever. And I’m sure that I’ve left off a film or two or three. It’s an ongoing project, so I’ll be adding more titles.

Some of these films follow a traditional / mythical story structure paradigm we’ve been talking about, and some don’t. But every single one of them will either entertain you, educate you, or make you think and feel. You just have to be patient and open to new experiences. If you’re not enlightened by the time you’re done with the list,  then there’s something seriously wrong with you, something  beyond my expertise, alas.

Happy viewing.

Citizen Kane

It’s a Wonderful  Life

Trouble in Paradise

Lawrence of Arabia

Sunset Boulevard

The  Apartment

Ace in the Hole

Airplane (Yes, it’s funny and good)

The Cranes are Flying (Russia)

Stalker (Russia)

The Ascent (Russia)

Battleship Potemkin (Russia)

Forbidden Games (France)

Weekend (France)

Children of Paradise (France)

The 400 Blows (France)

Day for Night (France)

Au Hasard Balthazar (France)

Persona (Sweden)

Shame (Sweden)

Fanny and Alexander (Sweden)

The Seventh Seal (Sweden)

In the Mood for Love (China)

Yi Yi (China / Taiwan)

8 ½ (Italy)

La Strada (Italy)

Last Tango in Paris

The Third Man

Touch of Evil


My Dinner with Andre

Local Hero

On the Waterfront


Mulholland Drive

Blue Velvet

Shadow of  a Doubt

Red River


The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance


Taxi Driver

Raging Bull

The Godfather (1 and 2)

The Conversation

Apocalypse Now

Pulp Fiction

Taste of Cherry (Iran)

Children of Heaven (Iran)

A Separation (Iran)

Rashomon (Japan)

The Seven Samurai (Japan)

Yojimbo (Japan)

Woman in the Dunes (Japan)

Tokyo Story (Japan)

Rosemary’s Baby


Amores Perros (Mexico)


Pan’s Labyrinth (Spain)

Eve’s Bayou


In Bruges

The Decalogue (Poland)

The Conformist (Italy)

To Sleep with Anger

“M” (Germany)

The Lives of Others (Germany)

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter and Spring (Korea)

Hannah and Her Sisters

Annie Hall

Crimes and Misdemeanors

Back to the Future

Once Were Warriors

Groundhog Day

Blade Runner

The Verdict

House of Games

Atlantic City

Do the Right Thing

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest



McCabe and Mrs. Miller




Apocalypse Now

American Graffiti

The Hustler

The Graduate

Paths of Glory

Dr. Strangelove

The Wild Bunch

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