As best as I can here are my top 40 in order of preference:
- Salvatore Giuliano (1962) Francesco Rosi
Why this masterpiece isn't in most lists of ten best films is beyond me.
- The Sun Shines Bright (1953) John Ford
Not the most politically correct of films but a stunning piece of Americana.
- Les Grandes Manoeuvres (1955) René Clair
This great bitter-sweet romance is almost the equal of Madame De...
- Lilith (1964) Robert Rossen
Rossen's best film, period!
- Saint Francis, God's Jester (1950) Roberto Rossellini
One of the cinema's few great spirtual movies.
- Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) Terence Davies
The British cinema's greatest poet's greatest film.
- Roxie Hart (1942) William A. Wellman
'Chicago' as it should have been.
- Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) Leo McCarey
The film for which McCarey should have won his 1937 Oscar
- The Happiest Days of Your Life (1950) Frank Launder
The funniest film ever made in Britain.
- A Girl in Black (1956) Michael Caccoyannis
The great Greek director before he found Zorba.
- Comanche Station (1960) Budd Boetticher
Only one of several masterpieces which Boetticher made with Randolph Scott.
- The Pumpkin Eater (1964) Jack Clayton
If you must have a nervous breakdown in Harrod's this is the way to do it.
- Tea and Sympathy (1956) Vincente Minnelli
One of several masterpieces made by this most undervalued of directors.
- Outcast of the Islands (1952) Carol Reed
The best screen Conrad.
- The Childhood of Maxim Gorky (1938) Mark Donskoy
The first part of a great trilogy.
- The Travelling Players (1975) Theo Angelopoulos
One of the cinema's few great political epics.
- Lola (1961) Jacques Demy
His first musical in all but name.
- A Brighter Summer Day (1991) Edward Yang
In America this would be Rebel Without a Cause meets Peyton Place but in Asia it is just another masterpiece.
- Ride Lonesome (1959) Budd Boetticher
Just another of the several masterpieces Boetticher made with Scott.
- An Actor's Revenge (1963) Ichikawa Kon
Kabuki theatre turns into stunning wide-screen cinema.
- Jazz on a Summer's Day (1960) Bert Stern
Is this the best 'concert' movie ever made?
- Man of Iron (1981) Andrzej Wajda
Along with 'Man of Marble' one of the greatest political films of our time.
- Charulata - The Lonely Wife (1964) Satyajit Ray
Love and pain and the whole damn thing...Satyajit Ray-style.
- I Was Happy Here (1966) Desmond Davis
A memory piece worthy of Proust.
- Bamako (2006) Abderrahmane Sissako
This political film from Africa is unlike any other you will ever see.
- The Middle of the World (1974) Alain Tanner
A true lost classic of European art-house cinema.
- The Ladies Man (1961) Jerry Lewis
Thank God for the French!
- Un Chant d'Amour (1950) Jean Genet
The most homoerotic movie ever made...and they don't even touch.
- A Diary for Timothy (1945) Humphrey Jennings
One of the greatest of all factual films.
- A Slave of Love (1976) Nikita Mikhalkov
Making movies the Russian way.
- Went the Day Well? (1942) Alberto Cavalcanti
Largely ignored for showing that when it comes to defending their turf the British could be just as vicious as the Nazis.
- The Family Way (1966) Roy Boulting
Very touching late addition to the Kitchen Sink movies (and in colour) and John Mills finest hour.
- Oh, Mr. Porter! (1937) Marcel Varnel
The best of the Will Hay’s comedies.
- Culloden (1964) Peter Watkins
Made for television but a film of great power and importance nevertheless.
- A Kind of Loving (1962) John Schlesinger
The most unjustly neglected of the early Kitchen Sink movies.
- The Lace-Maker (1977) Claude Goretta
If only for giving us Isabelle Huppert.
- Poor Cow (1967) Ken Loach
For the great Carol White.
- Gumshoe (1971) Stephen Frears
Movie stars may or may not die in Liverpool but its mean streets can be just as evocative as those in New York or LA.
- Rachel, Rachel (1968) Paul Newman
Newman's beautiful valentine to his wife Joanne Woodward.
- Who'll Stop the Rain (1978) Karel Reisz
Nolte, Moriarty and Weld at the top of their game in Reisz' little seen American classic.