131 essential films, according to Martin Scorsese

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To be as accomplished and prolific a filmmaker as Martin Scorsese, you have to be as accomplished and prolific a viewer as Martin Scorsese. The Oscar-winning director would be the first to tell you that he’s as much a film student as a creator, and he regularly shares his ever-growing list of essential films that he thinks every true movie buff should see.

In 2012, Fast business published a lengthy interview with Scorsese in which he spoke about his 85 “you must see to know everything about cinema” films. Meanwhile, in 2006, a young filmmaker named Colin Levy wrote to the filmmaker, asking for recommendations on where to start an education on foreign films. Scorsese responded with a list of almost 40 suggestions. And, of course, Scorsese shared even more of his favorite movies with View and sound magazine.

Each movie he mentioned is listed below, in chronological order, so that you can start your studies at Scorsese Film School as soon as possible.

1. The infernal cake (1903)

2. Secrets of the soul (1912)

3. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

4. Nosferatu (1922)

5. Dr Mabuse the player (1922)

6. Metropolis (1927)

7. Napoleon (1927)

8. Power and Glory (1933)

9. It happened one night (1934)

ten. Mr. Deeds goes to town (1936)

11. The Great Illusion (1937)

12. Mr. Smith goes to Washington (1939)

13. Diligence (1939)

14. The Roaring Twenties (1939)

15. The game’s rules (1939)

16. Citizen Kane (1941)

17. How green was my valley (1941)

18. Sullivan’s Travels (1941)

19. Cat people (1942)

20. Arsenic and old lace (1944)

21. Rome, open city (1945)

22. Children of paradise (1945)

23. Duel in the sun (1946)

24. Gilda (1946)

25. A matter of life and death (1946)

26. Peasant (1946)

27. The beauty and the Beast (1946)

28. The lady of Shanghai (1947)

29. T-Men (1947)

30. I walk alone (1947)

31. The Red Shoes (1948)

32. Germany year zero (1948)

33. Force of evil (1948)

34. The Terra Trema (1948)

35. Macbeth (1948)

36. Raw tuning (1948)

37. Bicycle thieves (1948)

38. Caught (1949)

39. The third man (1949)

40. Stromboli (1950)

41. The Flowers of Saint Francis (1950)

42. Crazy Gun (1950)

43. The night and the city (1950)

44. An American in Paris (1951)

45. River (1951)

46. Ace in the hole (1951)

47. The magic box (1951)

48. The bully and the beauty (1952)

49. Europe ’51 (1952)

50. Othello (1952)

51. Umberto D. (1952)

52. Ikiru (1952)

53. The band wagon (1953)

54. Wax house (1953)

55. Julius Caesar (1953)

56. Pickup from South Street (1953)

57. Ugetsu (1953)

58. Tokyo history (1953)

59. Dial M for murder (1954)

60. Journey to Italie (1954)

61. Senso (1954)

62. Seven Samurai (1954)

63. Sansho the bailiff (1954)

64. All that the sky allows (1955)

65. Kiss me to death (1955)

66. Researchers (1956)

67. Forty cannons (1957)

68. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

69. Some came running (1958)

70. Touch evil (1958)

71. Vertigo (1958)

72. Ashes and Diamonds (1958)

73. Big deal on Madonna Street (1958)

74. Shadows (1959)

75. The 400 blows (1959)

76. Voyeur (1960)

77. Rocco and his brothers (1960)

78. Shoot the pianist (1960)

79. Breathless (1960)

80. Avventura (1960)

81. the scammer (1961)

82. One two Three (1961)

83. Cap Fear (1962)

84. The trial (1962)

85. Two weeks in another city (1962)

86. Salvatore Giuliano (1962)

87. He Sorpasso (1962)

88. America, America (1963)

89. Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

90. The leopard (1963)

91. Shock corridor (1963)

92. Up and down (1963)

93. (1963)

94. The fall of the Roman Empire (1964)

95. Bunch of aliens (1964)

96. Before the Revolution (1964)

97. The rise of Louis XIV (1966)

98. Explode (1966)

99. Weekend (1967)

100. Faces (1968)

101. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

102. Death by hanging (1968)

103. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

104. The butcher (1970)

105. American friend (1970)

106. Klute (1971)

107. McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)

108. The merchant of the four seasons (1971)

109. The Godfather (1972)

110. MASH POTATOES (1972)

111. Aguirre, the wrath of God (1972)

112. The conversation (1974)

113. Ali: fear eats the soul (1974)

114. The enigma of Kaspar Hauser (1974)

115. The Messiah (1975)

116. Nashville (1975)

117. Kings of the road (1976)

118. Apocalypse now (1979)

119. Maria Braun’s wedding (1979)

120. Health (1980)

121. The gate of paradise (1980)

122. Mishima (1985)

123. Born July 4 (1989)

124. Do the right thing (1989)

125. The player (1992)


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