The Super-Duper Cinematic Canon: An Attempt At Creating The Definitive Essential Viewing List

"What do you need to see?" Ask any cinema-lover that question and you'll get a million different answers. Perhaps that's why the medium gets so many "top 10" and "top 100" lists. It seems we're all obsessed, either with deciding once and for all what the greatest films of all time are or just making sure we've seen all that the cinema has to offer. For those interested in the latter, I present my humble attempt at a definitive cinematic canon.

This is a list based not on the movies I love (3 of my top 5 aren't even on the list) or the movies I think are must-sees, but on lists made from sources I highly respect or am…

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  • A Trip to the Moon
  • The Great Train Robbery
  • Cabiria
  • Gertie the Dinosaur
  • The Birth of a Nation
  • Les Vampires
  • Intolerance: Love's Struggle Throughout the Ages
  • Broken Blossoms
  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • Neighbors
  • The Scarecrow
  • Way Down East
  • Within Our Gates
  • Orphans of the Storm
  • The Phantom Carriage
  • Foolish Wives
  • Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler
  • Häxan
  • Nanook of the North
  • Nosferatu
  • Felix in Hollywood
  • Our Hospitality
  • La Roue
  • Safety Last!
  • The Smiling Madame Beudet
  • Souls for Sale
  • The Great White Silence
  • Greed
  • The Last Laugh
  • The Navigator
  • Sherlock, Jr.
  • The Thief of Bagdad
  • Battleship Potemkin
  • The Big Parade
  • The Eagle
  • Go West
  • The Gold Rush
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • Seven Chances
  • Strike
  • The Adventures of Prince Achmed
  • Faust
  • The General
  • The Jazz Singer
  • The Kid Brother
  • Metropolis
  • Napoleon
  • Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
  • The Unknown
  • The Circus
  • The Crowd
  • The Docks of New York
  • The Fall of the House of Usher
  • The Man Who Laughs
  • October (Ten Days that Shook the World)
  • The Passion of Joan of Arc
  • Steamboat Bill, Jr.
  • Steamboat Willie
  • Storm Over Asia
  • Blackmail
  • Un Chien Andalou
  • Diary of a Lost Girl
  • Man with a Movie Camera
  • Pandora's Box
  • The Skeleton Dance
  • A Throw of Dice
  • L'Age d'Or
  • All Quiet on the Western Front
  • The Blue Angel
  • Earth
  • Bimbo's Initiation
  • La Chienne
  • City Lights
  • Dracula
  • Frankenstein
  • Limite
  • Little Caesar
  • M
  • Le Million
  • À Nous la Liberté
  • The Public Enemy
  • Tabu
  • Boudu Saved from Drowning
  • Freaks
  • I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang
  • I Was Born, But...
  • Love Me Tonight
  • Me and My Gal
  • Minnie the Moocher
  • Scarface
  • Shanghai Express
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • Vampyr
  • The Bitter Tea of General Yen
  • Duck Soup
  • Footlight Parade
  • 42nd Street
  • Gold Diggers of 1933
  • King Kong
  • Land Without Bread