Alain Bergala's "The 208 Films That You Must Have Seen"

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This list was compiled by French film critic and historian Alain Bergala, which he distributes to students upon their orientation at the Paris Film Academy, La Fémis. This version of his list was handed out in 2010.

The list is not a compilation of the best films nor the most important ones, but was designed merely as a starting point for prospective filmmakers and students to learn about the history of cinema. One film a week for the duration of their four-year program.

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  1. 88 new

    The Birth of a Nation

    1915, in 21 top lists Check
  2. 189 new

    Greed

    1924, in 20 top lists Check
  3. 112 new

    Metropolis

    1927, in 34 top lists Check
  4. 141 new

    Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans

    1927, in 34 top lists Check
  5. 21 new

    The River

    1928, in 2 top lists Check
  6. 182 new

    The Wind

    1928, in 13 top lists Check
  7. 150 new

    Die Büchse der Pandora

    1929 — a.k.a. Pandora's Box, in 16 top lists Check
  8. 63 new

    Staroye i novoye

    1929 — a.k.a. Old and New, in 4 top lists Check
  9. 56 new

    Zemlya

    1930 — a.k.a. Earth, in 15 top lists Check
  10. 25 new

    Freaks

    1932, in 16 top lists Check
  11. 151 new

    Angèle

    1934 — a.k.a. Angele, in 2 top lists Check
  12. 203 new

    L'Atalante

    1934, in 21 top lists Check
  13. 187 new

    The Scarlet Empress

    1934, in 11 top lists Check
  14. 36 new

    Modern Times

    1936, in 29 top lists Check
  15. 12 new

    U samogo sinego morya

    1936 — a.k.a. By the Bluest of Seas, in 3 top lists Check
  16. 60 new

    Pépé le Moko

    1937, in 9 top lists Check
  17. 30 new

    Le jour se lève

    1939 — a.k.a. Daybreak, in 13 top lists Check
  18. 164 new

    La règle du jeu

    1939 — a.k.a. The Rules of the Game, in 23 top lists Check
  19. 121 new

    The Shop Around the Corner

    1940, in 13 top lists Check
  20. 206 new

    High Sierra

    1941, in 7 top lists Check
  21. 87 new

    Remorques

    1941, in 3 top lists Check
  22. 207 new

    The Magnificent Ambersons

    1942, in 13 top lists Check
  23. 160 new

    Laura

    1944, in 19 top lists Check
  24. 202 new

    Duel in the Sun

    1946, in 7 top lists Check
  25. 28 new

    It's a Wonderful Life

    1946, in 29 top lists Check
  26. 39 new

    Quai des Orfèvres

    1947, in 7 top lists Check
  27. 51 new

    Ladri di biciclette

    1948 — a.k.a. Bicycle Thieves, in 35 top lists Check
  28. 50 new

    Riso amaro

    1949 — a.k.a. Bitter Rice, in 4 top lists Check
  29. 170 new

    Stromboli (Terra di Dio)

    1950 — a.k.a. Stromboli, in 7 top lists Check
  30. 13 new

    Casque d'or

    1952 — a.k.a. Casque d'Or, in 9 top lists Check
  31. 138 new

    Saikaku ichidai onna

    1952 — a.k.a. The Life of Oharu, in 11 top lists Check
  32. 142 new

    Ani imôto

    1953 — a.k.a. Older Brother, Younger Sister, in 0 top lists Check
  33. 15 new

    Sommaren med Monika

    1953 — a.k.a. Summer with Monika, in 7 top lists Check
  34. 149 new

    Tôkyô monogatari

    1953 — a.k.a. Tokyo Story, in 25 top lists Check
  35. 127 new

    The Barefoot Contessa

    1954, in 8 top lists Check
  36. 161 new

    Johnny Guitar

    1954, in 19 top lists Check
  37. 104 new

    On the Waterfront

    1954, in 29 top lists Check
  38. 111 new

    Shichinin no samurai

    1954 — a.k.a. Seven Samurai, in 33 top lists Check
  39. 43 new

    A Star Is Born

    1954, in 14 top lists Check
  40. 146 new

    Lola Montès

    1955, in 12 top lists Check
  41. 197 new

    The Naked Dawn

    1955, in 2 top lists Check
  42. 115 new

    The Night of the Hunter

    1955, in 31 top lists Check
  43. 57 new

    Ordet

    1955 — a.k.a. The Word, in 20 top lists Check
  44. 133 new

    Bob le flambeur

    1956 — a.k.a. Bob le Flambeur, in 14 top lists Check
  45. 73 new

    The Searchers

    1956, in 24 top lists Check
  46. 45 new

    The Ten Commandments

    1956, in 10 top lists Check
  47. 181 new

    Written on the Wind

    1956, in 11 top lists Check
  48. 124 new

    An Affair to Remember

    1957, in 9 top lists Check
  49. 34 new

    Bab el hadid

    1958 — a.k.a. Cairo Station, in 6 top lists Check
  50. 162 new

    Jalsaghar

    1958 — a.k.a. The Music Room, in 11 top lists Check
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Last updated on Jun 2, 2012; source