David Pirie


Voted for

Vertigo1958Alfred Hitchcock
Psycho1960Alfred Hitchcock
American Graffiti1973George Lucas
Invasion of the Body Snatchers1955Don Siegel
Quatermass 21957Val Guest
Das weisse Band Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte2009Michael Haneke
Steamboat Willie1928Ub Iwerks
Brief Encounter1945David Lean
Rosemary's Baby1968Roman Polanski
It's a Wonderful Life1947Frank Capra



1958 USA

Still a contender.


1960 USA

A film that effectively created a whole new genre and heralded the 1960s. it also has one of the most poetic and eloquent scripts ever written.

American Graffiti

1973 USA

The cine-literate 'movie brats' transformed cinema and, representing them on my list, Lucas never made a more personal or more delicate film.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

1955 USA

One of the most haunting films ever made, a combination of noir and science fiction that probes the deepest notions of personal identity and fascinates no matter how often you watch it.

Quatermass 2

1957 United Kingdom, USA

A very personal choice, being an inspiration to me both on TV and film. The British contribution to the 'possession' theme (not a copy as made around the same time) with a uniquely British political flavour.

Das weisse Band Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte

2009 Germany, Austria, France, Italy

Astonishingly directed film (noirish in its voiceover and construction) about a German village before WWI exploring what its director called 'the roots of evil' which lie in the authoritarian adults.

Steamboat Willie

1928 USA

The birth of Mickey Mouse has an anarchic flavour that the character never quite recaptured, while also unveiling all the possibilities of animation with sound.

Brief Encounter

1945 United Kingdom

The secret life of an ordinary middle-class suburban British woman played, with an intensity rare in British cinema, by Celia Johnson.

Rosemary's Baby

1968 USA

Not a simple horror at all but a complex study of female isolation, marital paranoia and community intimidation.

It's a Wonderful Life

1947 USA

This deceptively titled film encompasses multiple themes, some very dark, in order to finally offer quite a complex message. And James Stewart, the quintessential American movie actor, deserves to be top and bottom of any list.

Further remarks

Not so difficult to compile, I feel, if you just think of films you couldn't be without.