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The Essential Movie Library #7: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Few major movies so split perfectly intelligent people between those who think it’s visionary and those who think it’s claptrap; but even the visionary camp acknowledges a certain amount of claptrap and even the claptrap camp can spot the visionary.

The Essential Movie Library #6: Casablanca (1942)

The story of exiles, nomads, Nazis, and resistance fighters caught in limbo during WWII is familiar, but when exactly did you last watch it?

The Essential Movie Library #5: The Lady Eve (1941)

With the possible exception of Double Indemnity's murderous femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson, The Lady Eve provided Barbara Stanwyck's greatest role

The Essential Movie Library #4: The Third Man (1949)

Morality and loyalty collide in post-war Vienna where American pulp hack Joseph Cotton hunts down old buddy Orson Welles, whose involvement in the black market has left on his indifferent hands the blood of children

The Essential Movie Library #3: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)

At once majestic and unbearable, The Passion of Joan of Arc quickly became a legend. Its star Renee Falconetti (often credted as Maria), whose performance as Joan has been called by some the greatest in film history, never made another movie and allegedly went mad.

The Essential Movie Library #2: Vertigo (1958)

As every buff knows, on its theatrical release Vertigo was a failure; only over the subsequent two decades when it mostly was unseen did its reputation go through a radical reassessment.

The Essential Movie Library #1: The Godfather Trilogy (1972, 1974, 1990)

The great American film epic, its first two parts are mostly perfect, and when they aren’t, the whole overwhelms the sum.