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The Manchurian Candidate

The Essential Movie Library #91: The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Equal parts surrealist thriller and paranoid satire, it anticipated the assassination of an American president

The Essential Movie Library #64: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

It’s easy to forget what a dubious proposition the Beatles remained for many, who watched them half a century ago this week on TV’s "Ed Sullivan Show"

The Essential Movie Library #53: In a Lonely Place (1950)

"I was born when you kissed me, I died when you left me, I lived a few weeks while you loved me."

The Essential Movie Library #46: Malcolm X (1992)

The contradiction, at once ironic and grand, of Malcolm X is that it’s a thoroughly old-fashioned studio biopic made by indie maverick Spike Lee about an African-American radical living in a time during which everything felt revolutionary.

The Essential Movie Library #43: Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

A cowboy-besotted Italian, Sergio Leone created the West of his imagination, which in the case of this picture is some fantasia of Monument Valley blended with Spain.

The Essential Movie Library #36: Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

This picture was shot in the crazed depths of the Amazon where, the Method running amok, everyone seemed to go as crazy as the movie’s band of 16th-century conquistadors pursuing El Dorado.

The Essential Movie Library #35: Raging Bull (1980)

If Raging Bull was De Niro’s labor of love, Scorsese had less at stake emotionally, unless saving his own life counts, which may explain why this is the filmmaker’s most formal accomplishment.

The Essential Movie Library #34: The Rules of the Game (1939)

The quintessential comedy of manners, French filmmaker Jean Renoir’s masterpiece involves one of cinema’s most familiar set-ups.

The Essential Movie Library #33: Chinatown (1974)

Nicholson’s pursuit of the truth, apparently out of sheer obstinacy more than idealism, hints at a town where there are secret lives inside artificial ones inside secret ones.

The Essential Movie Library #32: Stalker (1979)

Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky’s “stalker” longs to be a holy fool if only he can find the faith in this spellbinding film that visually unfolds in steampunk sepias and inky miasmas.