43. Metropolis (1927)
directed by Fritz Lang
Sometimes the earliest cinematic examples of a given genre are only as useful as the moniker declaring them as such. Metropolis is not that kind of film. Fritz Lang’s 1927 film remains a masterpiece, perhaps because the film is, at this point, still incomplete, with new footage often being discovered (in fact, a new DVD is being released in the next year or so which incorporates heretofore missing footage). The film is a science fiction staple, and the images are just as amazing as anything that it inspired. There is class and, in a way, corporate warfare, eerie inventors with weird robots, and secret tunnels underneath the city-underneath-the city. Few sci-fi tales today are as compelling and resonant as this original, mind-blowing film.