|All about Eve
|Joseph L. Mankiewicz
|Bride of Frankenstein
|The Maltese Falcon
|The Night of the Hunter
|On the Town
|Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
|Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
|Carl Th. Dreyer
All about Eve
Mankiewicz's astringent screenplay is as great a masterpiece as any play by Wilde; a shimmering cast proves that glamour on screen works best when barbed.
Bride of Frankenstein
The film that synthesises the best elements of Whale's horror filmography: the technical wizardry of The Invisible Man, the deranged comedy of The Old Dark House and Karloff, as spellbinding as he was in Frankenstein. A high point for Hollywood fantasy.
All films are arguably ghost stories – but along with Vampyr, this is the greatest of the supernatural variety. I believe in these ghosts with my whole being.
The Maltese Falcon
Never have I wanted to follow two characters out of a film more than Gutman and Cairo. A strangely beautiful friendship hatched between thoroughly despicable people.
The Night of the Hunter
Laughton's career-length frustrations at cinema's expressive limitations are here redeemed. A journey through the heart of darkness, in which heart and dark have equal weight – just as in Laughton's acting.
What finer instance of a classic novel translated into an equally classic film? Lean's Great Expectations was but the warm-up for this greater expressionism.
On the Town
Surging euphoria from start to finish; every bit as glorious as Singin' in the Rain and worthy of recognition for coming first.
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
The supreme example of what was at risk of being lost when the talkies arrived. Thank God that Murnau slipped this one under the wire.
The underworld of so many horror films is here transformed into an overworld: light-diffusing, revelatory, transcendent. No on-screen space seems to me more three-dimensional – or less knowable.
Hitchcock embraces romance so harshly that he makes his film bleed: in its coruscating colours, in its penetrating Herrmann score, in its mean-spirited, cruelly inexplicable central tragedy. Overwhelming.