The Pendragon Society’s 1000 Greatest Films (2020) 740-721


740. Rosetta (1999) Dir. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, 93 mins.

The film follows a seventeen-year-old girl (Émilie Dequenne) who lives in a caravan park with her alcoholic mother. Trying to survive and to escape the caravan and her dysfunctional mother, she makes numerous attempts at securing a job.

739. Rapture (1979) Dir. Iván Zulueta, 105 mins.

A drug-addicted director becomes obsessed with an experimental approach to filmmaking.

738. Monsieur Verdoux (1947) Dir. Charles Chaplin, 124 mins.

Monsieur Verdoux is a black comedy directed by and starring Chaplin, who plays a bigamist wife killer inspired by serial killer Henri Désiré Landru. Watch

737. Placido (1961) Dir. Luis García Berlanga, 85 mins.

A poor trucker gets involved with a charity drive and realizes the woes of other people.

736. Vengeance is Mine (1979) Dir. Shohei Imamura, 140 mins.

It depicts the true story of serial killer Akira Nishiguchi (Iwao Enokizu in the film). Watch

735. Crumb (1994) Dir. Terry Zwigoff, 119 mins.

A documentary about the noted underground cartoonist Robert Crumb and his family, particularly his brothers, Maxon and Charles, as well as Robert’s wife Aline Kominsky-Crumb and his children. Making the connection between Crumb’s creativity and his eccentricity or perhaps craziness, the film is troubling and disarming with some haunting images. Watch

734. Belle de jour (1967) Dir. Luis Bunuel, 101 mins.

Séverine Serizy, a young, beautiful housewife who has masochistic fantasies about elaborate floggings and bondage, decides to spend her days as a prostitute while her husband, with whom she has no physical intimacy, is at work. Watch

733. In Cold Blood (1967) Dir. Richard Brooks, 134 mins.

An adaptation of Truman Capote’s bestseller, the film follows the trail of real life murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock who went to rob the home of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, and ended up killing all four members of the family who were present. They then went on the run before being caught by the police, tried for the murders, and eventually executed. Brooks delivers a remarkably faithful adaptation given the source material had been deemed unfilmable. Holding onto a relentlessly grim mood throughout, the film has some harrowing moments enhanced by a strong cast.

732. The Straight Story (1999) Dir. David Lynch, 112 mins.

The film is based on the true story of Alvin Straight’s 1994 journey across Iowa and Wisconsin on a lawn mower to visit his estranged brother Lyle, who has suffered a stroke, and hopefully make amends before he dies. The slow pace may well bore younger viewers but The Straight Story is a lyrically profound work that features a perfect performance by Richard Farnsworth.

731. The Wedding March (1928) Dir. Erich von Stroheim, 113 mins.

An aristocratic army officer, Nicki, is smitten with commoner Mitzi. But Vienna’s inflexible caste system and family pressure lead to him marrying heiress Cecelia. Heartbreak follows for the duo.

730. Still Life (2006) Dir. Jia Zhangke, 108 mins.

Shot in the old village of Fengjie, a small town on the Yangtze River which is slowly being destroyed by the building of the Three Gorges Dam, Still Life tells the story of two people in search of their spouses.

729. Forrest Gump (1994) Dir. Robert Zemeckis, 142 mins.

The story depicts several decades in the life of its titular character (Tom Hanks), a slow-witted but kind-hearted, good-natured and athletically prodigious man from Alabama.

728. They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1969) Dir. Sydney Pollack, 120 mins.

Based on Horace McCoy’s 1935 novel of the same name, the film focuses on a disparate group of individuals desperate to win a Depression-era dance marathon and an opportunistic emcee who urges them on.

727. Night and the City (1950) Dir. Jules Dassin, 96 mins.

Shot on location in London and at Shepperton Studios, the plot revolves around an ambitious hustler whose plans keep going wrong.

726. La Ciénaga (2001) Dir. Lucrecia Martel, 103 mins.

The film is set in the high plains of northwestern Argentina and portrays the life of a self-pitying bourgeois family.

725. The Palm Beach Story (1942) Dir. Preston Sturges, 88 mins.

Writer/director Sturges’s satirical comedy follows a couple, Tom Jeffers (Joel McCrea) and Gerry Jeffers (Claudette Colbert). After five years of marriage, Tom hasn’t raised a dime with his lacking inventions and Gerry decides, rather absurdly, that the only way to help her poverty stricken husband is to divorce him, marry a wealthy man, and use the second husband’s money to finance Tom’s schemes. With Colbert’s witty deliveries and some inspired direction from Sturges, The Palm Beach Story is a hugely entertaining romantic comedy.

724. The Last Command (1928) Dir. Josef von Sternberg, 85 mins.

A former Imperial Russian general and cousin of the Czar ends up in Hollywood as an extra in a movie directed by a former revolutionary.

723. Ruggles of Red Gap (1935) Dir. Leo McCarey, 90 mins.

It is the story of a newly rich American couple from the West who win the services of a British valet (Charles Laughton) in a poker game.

722. The Promised Land (1975) Dir. Andrzej Wajda, 179 mins.

Set in the industrial city of Łódź, The Promised Land tells the story of a Pole, a German, and a Jew struggling to build a factory in the raw world of 19th-century capitalism.

721. Daisies (1966) Dir. Vera Chytilova, 74 mins.

A Czech New wave comedy, generally regarded as a milestone of the Nová Vlna movement, the surreal and exuberant film was made with the support of a state-sponsored film studio and follows two subversive teenage girls (Jitka Cerhová and Ivana Karbanová), both named Marie, who engage in strange pranks. Buy


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