Bruce Goldstein’s Top 10

Bruce Goldstein’s Top10

Recipient of a special New York Film Critics Circle award for visionary programming, Bruce Goldstein is the Repertory Program Director of New York’s Film Forum, for which he has created more than 350 film festivals and spearheaded the rereleases of more than one thousand classic films, all in new 35 mm prints. In 1997, he founded Rialto Pictures, a distribution company specializing in classic rereleases. Because few have done more for classic film than Goldstein, we asked him to pick his ten favorite non-Rialto Criterion titles.

“All these films have one thing in common: they're audience pleasers. Rules forbid me from including Rialto titles on this list; otherwise, Rififi, Nights of Cabiria, Quai des Orfèvres, Pépé le Moko, Masculin féminin, Billy Liar, and others might have made the cut.” In no particular order:

Photo by Robin Holland

Nov 20, 2008
  • 1

    Alfred Hitchcock

    The 39 Steps

    Prototypical Hitchcock innocent-man-on-the-run thriller—it could be the Hitchcock I’m still most partial to.

  • 2

    Akira Kurosawa

    Stray Dog

    Seven Samurai goes without saying. But Stray Dog is the best Japanese film noir I know, with two powerhouse stars: Takashi Shimura and Toshiro Mifune.

  • 3

    Preston Sturges

    Sullivan’s Travels

    When we reopened Film Forum in a new theater, in 1990, this is the one I chose as the opening attraction for the repertory screen. One viewing will explain why.

  • 4

    Ernst Lubitsch

    Trouble in Paradise

    “I’ve been to Paris, France and Paris, Paramount. I prefer Paris, Paramount,” Ernst Lubitsch once famously remarked. This is Lubitsch and Paris, Paramount, at their absolute peak.

  • 5

    François Truffaut

    The 400 Blows

    Watch this and Breathless together and you’ll understand what the big deal about the new wave was.

  • 6 (tie)

    René Clair

    À nous la liberté

  • René Clair

    Le million

    As delightful as any other film of the early thirties. Their influence on sound films in general, and musicals in particular, is underestimated.

  • 7 (tie)

    Mario Monicelli

    Big Deal on Madonna Street

  • Pietro Germi

    Divorce Italian Style

    La crema della crema of Italian comedies. Honorable mention: Fellini’s The White Sheik.

  • 8

    David Lean

    Great Expectations

    The most perfect literary adaptation ever (can anyone come up with a better one?).

  • 9

    Leonard Kastle

    The Honeymoon Killers

    Very little of what’s called “independent” today really is. The Honeymoon Killers is a real independent; made on a shoestring, this is the most chilling movie of its decade.

  • 10

    Jules Dassin

    Night and the City

    A quintessential film noir by a master of the genre. In style and theme, it resembles a later favorite of mine, Sweet Smell of Success.