To choose just 10 must-see films out of all the great movies of world cinema seems an impossible task. However, this slideshow will attempt to do just that. This list contains classic films from the 1930s right through to a modern cult favourite. It features thrillers, comedies, science fiction and gangster movies, amongst other genres.
Modern Times (1936)
Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in this film which became an instant classic on its release in 1936. Its main theme is alienation as an inevitable consequence of industrialisation. Influenced by "Metropolis" by Fritz Lang, "Modern Times" is a reflection of the conditions under which humanity finds itself.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
This classic film is an adaptation of a novel about the struggles of a young southern woman in a nation at war. It was the most expensive production to ever hit cinema screens and was rewarded with ten Academy Awards, which was another record at the time. Indeed, it remains to this day the highest grossing film in history.
Michael Curtiz directed this romantic drama set in the Moroccan city of Casablanca during the Second World War. The story tells of the moral dilemma of Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who must choose between love and helping the object of his desire Ilsa Lund (Ingrid Bergman) escape the clutches of the Vichy government with her husband. A winner of various Academy Awards, "Casablanca" is a must-see classic.
This film marked a milestone in the way horror movies were made. Not surprisingly the director of this suspense-laden classic, Alfred Hitchcock, is often referred to as the "master of suspense". Although it is a black and white film, its plot, carefully crafted script and studied visual narrative are enough to keep a modern audience on the edge of its seat until the last frame.
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2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick, "2001: A Space Odyssey" marked a turning point in the science fiction genre because of its cutting-edge special effects, beautiful soundtrack and scientific realism. The story follows the adventure embarked on by a group of astronauts who follow the acoustic signals emitted by a monolith found on the moon. It is still viewed today as a classic of international cinema.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Based on a novel by Anthony Burgess, "A Clockwork Orange" portrays the life of Alex De Large, a delinquent with sociopathic traits who leads a gang of thugs called "droogs" (friends). After being captured, the government tries to rehabilitate him through behavioural therapy. Due to the main character’s love of classical music, the soundtrack features classical pieces reinterpreted specifically for the film.
The Godfather (1972)
Based on a novel by Mario Puzo and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this film boasts a cast of first-class actors such as Marlon Brando, Al Pacino and Diane Keaton. It narrates the ups and downs of the life of an Italian mafia family in North America. This film won three Academy Awards and is the first in a trilogy of high quality films.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Based on the novel by the same name, this film received five Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Jack Nicholson shines in one of the most important performances of his career. It is a difficult film at times but it is one that champions the virtues of freedom and liberty.
Woody Allen directs and stars in this film about the life of Isaac Davis, a 42-year-old television scriptwriter that already has two failed marriages behind him. While his ex-wife publishes a book brimming with detail about their sex life, Isaac engages in two relationships with his best friend's lover and a 17-year-old girl.
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Fight Club (1999)
Based on a novel by the same name, this film bounced back from an initially underwhelming show at the box office to go on to become a cult classic. To many, the character of Tyler Durden is Brad Pitt’s greatest ever performance. The surprise ending will have you wanting to watch it again and again.
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