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Cinema Studies: Featured DVDs

Resources for researching film

Films for Cinephiles

The Third Man (1949)

Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S) DVD PN1997.T45 1999

Directed by Carol Reed

A gripping and cinematically stunning British film noir starring Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten. Set in post-World War II Vienna, this mystery film follows an American pulp fiction writer, Holly Martens (Cotten) as he searches for the truth behind the death of his old friend, Harry Lime (Welles). Set to an iconic zither score, the film features supporting performances from Valli and Trevor Howard and was based on a short story by Graham Greene.

Tokyo Story (1953)

Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.T6213 2003

Directed by Yasujiro Ozu

Considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, Tokyo Story examines the lives of a postwar Japanese family: the elderly and optimistic patriarch and matriarch; their self-involved and busy adult children; their devoted younger daughter; and their widowed daughter-in-law, the heroic Noriko (Setsuko Hara). 

Kiss Me, Deadly (1955)

Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3). DVD PS3537.P652 K552 2011. 

Directed by Robert Aldrich

Called "a film designed to ruin young lives" by the Kefauver Commission upon its release and banned in the United Kingdom for years, this stunning adaptation of Mickey Spillane's pulp novel features the sadistic private investigator Mike Hammer as he becomes involved in a complex Cold War-era mystery involving an escaped insane asylum inmate obsessed with a poet, a faceless gang of ruffians, an assassination plot, and a glowing Pandora's box full of unspeakable horror. 

A Star is Born (1954)

Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S) DVD PN1997.S65923 1999

Directed by George Cukor

Judy Garland delivers what is, without a doubt, one of the most heart-wrenching powerhouse performances in Hollywood history in this musical journey through the rise and fall of celebrity. When aging alcoholic actor Norman Maine (James Mason) discovers the young, vastly talented Esther Blodgett (Garland), he decides to make her a star. What he doesn't anticipate is the waning of his own celebrity, and the eclipsing of hers. Full of masterful performances, riveting musical numbers, and stunning production value, A Star is Born is rightly considered one of the greatest musicals ever made.

The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3). DVD PN 1997.P28 D743 1999.

Directed by Carl Dreyer

Renée Jeanne Falconetti's performance as the historical martyr in this beautiful, devastating film has been hailed as one of the greatest in all of cinema's history. This silent French film famously uses close-ups of actors with no makeup in its portrayal of the trial of Joan of Arc. Hailed by cinephiles and despised by devout French Catholics, Dreyer's masterpiece is a controversial classic that taps into the depths of human suffering.

Popular Films


Get Out (2017)
Colby Miller 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.2.G48 2017 
Directed by Jordan Peele
Hailed by critics as one of the finest horror films in recent history, writer and director Jordan Peele's film debut blends social satire à la The Stepford Wives with psychological horror to create a truly unique cinematic look at American race relations. The winner of the 2018 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay and including a remarkable cast, Get Out is not to be missed.

Moonlight (2016)
Colby Miller Library 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.2.M6664 2017
Directed by Barry Jenkins
This groundbreaking coming of age drama tells the three-part story of Chiron, a young Black boy in Miami, as he navigates the challenges of growing up, including the addititional pressures of his mother's drug addiction and his understanding of his own sexuality. Moonlight was the first film with an all-Black cast, the first LGBTQ film, and the second lowest-grossing film domestically to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Bridesmaids (2011)
Colby Miller Library 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.2.B72 2011
Directed by Paul Feig
So embroidered into American popular culture seven years after its release is Paul Feig's romantic comedy/raunch picture Bridesmaids that its many quotable lines have become iconic. When down-on-her-luck Annie, who's just getting out of a long term relationship after the failure of her business, finds out that her best friend is engaged, she must take on the role of Maid of Honor- to hilarious, and disastrous, results. Critics agree- it's one of the funniest films in decades.


Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Colby Miller Library 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.2.M669 2012
Directed by Wes Anderson
The story of two young runaways, Moonrise Kingdom enlists an all-star cast, including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, and Edward Norton, in its depiction of young love and its consequences. Fanciful and aesthetically sublime, this cult classic is heartwarming and darkly hilarious in its exploration of childhood emotion.

Inception (2010)
Colby Miller Library 1st Floor Bookstacks 3 (S3) DVD PN1997.2.I5348 2010
Directed by Christopher Nolan
Described by Wikipedia as a "neo-noir science fiction heist thriller," this modern classic from the director of this year's Oscar nominee Dunkirk tells the story of a professional thief (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) who retrieves information from the subconscious minds of his victims. Featuring performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Marion Cotillard, Ken Watanabe, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, and Michael Caine.


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