Deutsche Kinematheksverbund: Die 100 wichtigsten deutschen Filmen

by tmdaines | created - 19 May 2012 | updated - 03 Dec 2014 | Public


On the occasion of the centennial of the cinema, the Association of German Cinémathèques conducted a survey among film historians, film journalists, film critics, filmmakers, and cinéastes to select the 100 most important German films from the beginnings to the present day. Three hundred and twenty-four film experts took part in a first vote to decide ranks 1 to 75. The outcome was announced in February 1994 at the Berlin International Film Festival. Two hundred and twenty-two people participated in the second round of voting to choose places 76 to 100. Counting was completed in autumn 1994. Two of the 100 films selected date from the period before 1914, thirty-seven from the Weimar Republic, eight from the National Socialist period, five from the early post-war years, thirty-six from West Germany (Federal Republic), twelve from East Germany (German Democratic Republic). Among the 100 titles are 24 silent films and 76 sound films. Fritz Lang, Georg Wilhelm Pabst, and Rainer Werner Fassbinder are each represented with six titles (Fassbinder is additionally represented through his participation in Deutschland im Herbst, Pabst through his collaboration as unit director on Die Weisse Hölle vom Piz Palü), Helmut Käutner, Wolfgang Staudte, Wim Wenders, and Konrad Wolf with four each, Friedrich Wilhelm Murnau and Volker Schlöndorff with three titles each. Where this has not yet been done, the selected films are to be preserved and held available in at least one good copy. As far as National Socialist films are concerned, which cannot be excluded from German film history, the strict reservations about public performance are, of course, to be maintained. In 1993 the Federal Ministry of the Interior already allocated DM 320,000 for various preservation measures. In 1995 the Deutsches Institut für Filmkunde and the Stiftung Deutsche Kinemathek received a further sum of ca DM 200,000 for the production of new distribution copies.
Source: [link]http://www.fiafnet.org/pdf/uk/fiaf54.pdf[/link] (p.41)

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1. M (1931)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

When the police in a German city are unable to catch a child-murderer, other criminals join in the manhunt.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Peter Lorre, Ellen Widmann, Inge Landgut, Otto Wernicke

Votes: 133,471 | Gross: $0.03M

306

2. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Not Rated | 67 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery

Hypnotist Dr. Caligari uses a somnambulist, Cesare, to commit murders.

Director: Robert Wiene | Stars: Werner Krauss, Conrad Veidt, Friedrich Feher, Lil Dagover

Votes: 52,340

292

3. Berlin: Symphony of a Great City (1927)

Not Rated | 65 min | Documentary

This movie shows us one day in Berlin, the rhythm of that time, starting at the earliest morning and ends in the deepest night.

Director: Walter Ruttmann | Star: Paul von Hindenburg

Votes: 3,628

290

4. Nosferatu (1922)

Not Rated | 94 min | Fantasy, Horror

Vampire Count Orlok expresses interest in a new residence and real estate agent Hutter's wife.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Max Schreck, Alexander Granach, Gustav von Wangenheim, Greta Schröder

Votes: 83,674

287

5. People on Sunday (1930)

Not Rated | 73 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Two men and two women enjoy a pleasant Sunday at the beach amid the unending toil of the working week.

Directors: Robert Siodmak, Edgar G. Ulmer, Rochus Gliese, Curt Siodmak, Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Erwin Splettstößer, Brigitte Borchert, Wolfgang von Waltershausen, Christl Ehlers

Votes: 2,536

285

6. Murderers Among Us (1946)

85 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller

After returning from a concentration camp, Susanne finds an ex-soldier living in her apartment. Together the two try to move past their experiences during WWII.

Director: Wolfgang Staudte | Stars: Hildegard Knef, Elly Burgmer, Erna Sellmer, Hilde Adolphi

Votes: 1,858

280

7. The Blue Angel (1930)

Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Music

88 Metascore

An elderly professor's ordered life spins dangerously out of control when he falls for a nightclub singer.

Director: Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Emil Jannings, Marlene Dietrich, Kurt Gerron, Rosa Valetti

Votes: 12,865 | Gross: $0.08M

278

8. Metropolis (1927)

Not Rated | 153 min | Drama, Sci-Fi

98 Metascore

In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city's mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Fröhlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge

Votes: 150,073 | Gross: $1.24M

273

9. The Joyless Street (1925)

125 min | Drama

Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Asta Nielsen, Greta Garbo, Ágnes Eszterházy, Werner Krauss

Votes: 1,306

264

10. Man of Straw (1951)

109 min | Comedy, Drama

Diederich Heßling is scared of everything and everyone. But as he grows up, he comes to realize that he has to offer his services to the powers-that-be if he wants to wield power himself. ... See full summary »

Director: Wolfgang Staudte | Stars: Werner Peters, Paul Esser, Renate Fischer, Ernst Legal

Votes: 719

262

11. Kuhle Wampe or Who Owns the World? (1932)

71 min | Drama

During Great Depression, a family is evicted from their apartment and with no other option they move to a tent camp called Kuhle Wampe.

Director: Slatan Dudow | Stars: Hertha Thiele, Ernst Busch, Martha Wolter, Adolf Fischer

Votes: 605

260

12. The Student of Prague (1913)

Approved | 85 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

Balduin, a student of Prague, leaves his roystering companions in the beer garden, when he finds he has reached the end of his resources. He is scarcely seated in a quiet corner when a ... See full summary »

Directors: Paul Wegener, Stellan Rye | Stars: Paul Wegener, Grete Berger, Lyda Salmonova, John Gottowt

Votes: 1,677

256

13. The Bridge (1959)

Not Rated | 103 min | Drama, War

In 1945, Germany is being overrun, and nobody is left to fight but teenagers.

Director: Bernhard Wicki | Stars: Folker Bohnet, Fritz Wepper, Michael Hinz, Frank Glaubrecht

Votes: 6,634

254

14. Yesterday Girl (1966)

88 min | Drama

The film tells the story of Anita G., a young East German migrant to West Germany and her struggle to adjust to her new life.

Director: Alexander Kluge | Stars: Alexandra Kluge, Günter Mack, Eva Maria Meineke, Hans Korte

Votes: 822

251

15. Mutter Kraussen (1929)

121 min | Drama

Mutter Krause and her children live in the poorer section of Berlin's Wedding district. The film depicts the cruelty of poverty and communism as a rescuing force that reaches Mutter Krause and the child too late.

Director: Phil Jutzi | Stars: Alexandra Schmitt, Holmes Zimmermann, Ilse Trautschold, Gerhard Bienert

Votes: 234

246

16. The Golem (1920)

Unrated | 91 min | Fantasy, Horror

In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem - a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.

Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener | Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova

Votes: 6,086

239

17. Dr. Mabuse the Gambler (1922)

Not Rated | 242 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller

Arch-criminal Dr. Mabuse sets out to make a fortune and run Berlin. Detective Wenk sets out to stop him.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Aud Egede-Nissen, Gertrude Welcker, Alfred Abel

Votes: 6,914

233

18. Under the Bridges (1946)

99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

Two barge skippers fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Helmut Käutner | Stars: Hannelore Schroth, Carl Raddatz, Gustav Knuth, Margarete Haagen

Votes: 617

230

19. Die Nibelungen: Siegfried (1924)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Siegfried, son of King Sigmund, hears of the beautiful sister of Gunter, King of Worms, Kriemhild. On his way to Worms, he kills a dragon and finds a treasure, the Hort. He helps Gunther to... See full summary »

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Paul Richter, Margarete Schön, Theodor Loos, Gertrud Arnold

Votes: 4,854

228

Also: Part 2

20. The Last Laugh (1924)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

An aging doorman, after being fired from his prestigious job at a luxurious Hotel is forced to face the scorn of his friends, neighbours and society.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Emil Jannings, Maly Delschaft, Max Hiller, Emilie Kurz

Votes: 11,514 | Gross: $0.09M

228

21. Destiny (1921)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Fantasy, Thriller

When a woman's fiancé disappears, Death gives her three chances to save him from his fate.

Director: Fritz Lang | Stars: Bernhard Goetzke, Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Hans Sternberg

Votes: 4,757 | Gross: $0.01M

227

22. Liebelei (1933)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, Romance

Vienna in the beginning of the twentieth century. Cavalry Lieutenant Fritz Lobheimer is about to end his affair with Baroness Eggerdorff when he meets the young Christine, the daughter of ... See full summary »

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Paul Hörbiger, Magda Schneider, Luise Ullrich, Gustaf Gründgens

Votes: 1,240

227

23. Spur der Steine (1966)

139 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A film about living and working conditions in the GDR of the 60's. Includes a little love story of course.

Director: Frank Beyer | Stars: Manfred Krug, Krystyna Stypulkowska, Jutta Hoffmann, Eberhard Esche

Votes: 769

224

24. Wintergartenprogramm (1895)

7 min | Short

"Wintergartenprogramm" is a collection of snippets by Skladanowsky works from 1895 and runs for 5.5 minutes. Italienischer Bauerntanz 0:02 - Komisches Reck 0:37 - Das boxende Känguruh 1:14 ... See full summary »

Director: Max Skladanowsky | Stars: Emil Skladanowsky, Max Skladanowsky

Votes: 308

219

25. Lola Montès (1955)

Not Rated | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Biopic of adventurer Lola Montès who ends up as a circus attraction after being romantically involved with famous European men.

Director: Max Ophüls | Stars: Martine Carol, Peter Ustinov, Anton Walbrook, Henri Guisol

Votes: 4,545 | Gross: $0.11M

216

26. Faust (1926)

Not Rated | 107 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The demon Mephisto wagers with God that he can corrupt a mortal man's soul.

Director: F.W. Murnau | Stars: Gösta Ekman, Emil Jannings, Camilla Horn, Frida Richard

Votes: 13,127

214

27. Heimat - Eine Chronik in elf Teilen (1984– )

924 min | Drama, History, War

The village of Schabbach experiences the shifting fortunes of Germany from 1919 to 1982.

Stars: Marita Breuer, Rüdiger Weigang, Kurt Wagner, Gertrud Bredel

Votes: 2,877

211

53

28. Germany in Autumn (1978)

123 min | Documentary, Drama

Germany in Autumn does not have a plot per se; it mixes documentary footage, along with standard movie scenes, to give the audience the mood of Germany during the late 1970s. The movie ... See full summary »

Directors: Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Alf Brustellin, Hans Peter Cloos, Alexander Kluge, Maximiliane Mainka, Edgar Reitz, Katja Rupé, Volker Schlöndorff, Peter Schubert, Bernhard Sinkel | Stars: Wolfgang Bächler, Heinz Bennent, Wolf Biermann, Joachim Bißmeier

Votes: 1,098

209

29. Passion (1919)

Not Rated | 85 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

The story of Madame DuBarry, the mistress of Louis XV of France, and her loves in the time of the French revolution.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Pola Negri, Emil Jannings, Harry Liedtke, Eduard von Winterstein

Votes: 723

206

30. Berlin-Alexanderplatz: The Story of Franz Biberkopf (1931)

90 min | Crime, Drama

Franz Biberkopf has served four years in prison. His return to normal life is not successful.

Director: Phil Jutzi | Stars: Heinrich George, Maria Bard, Margarete Schlegel, Bernhard Minetti

Votes: 559

205

31. The Marriage of Maria Braun (1979)

R | 120 min | Drama

A World War II widow seeks to adjust to life in postwar Germany.

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Klaus Löwitsch, Ivan Desny, Gisela Uhlen

Votes: 11,325

204

32. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1943)

Not Rated | 110 min | Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy

This lavish, impudent, adult fairy tale takes the viewer from 18th-century Braunschweig to St. Petersburg, Constantinople, Venice, and then to the moon using ingenious special effects, stunning location shooting.

Director: Josef von Báky | Stars: Hans Albers, Wilhelm Bendow, Michael Bohnen, Hans Brausewetter

Votes: 1,736

200

33. Pandora's Box (1929)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

The rise and inevitable fall of an amoral but naive young woman whose insouciant eroticism inspires lust and violence in those around her.

Director: Georg Wilhelm Pabst | Stars: Louise Brooks, Fritz Kortner, Francis Lederer, Carl Goetz

Votes: 9,187 | Gross: $0.01M

198

34. The Tin Drum (1979)

R | 142 min | Drama, War

63 Metascore

In 1924, Oskar Matzerath is born in the Free City of Danzig. At age three, he falls down a flight of stairs and stops growing. In 1939, World War II breaks out.

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: David Bennent, Mario Adorf, Angela Winkler, Katharina Thalbach

Votes: 21,066

197

35. The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

Not Rated | 122 min | Crime, Horror, Mystery

French version of the German movie The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933). Both movies were directed simultaneously by Fritz Lang in Germany.

Directors: Fritz Lang, René Sti | Stars: Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Otto Wernicke, Thomy Bourdelle, Gustav Diessl

Votes: 10,771

196

36. Kings of the Road (1976)

Not Rated | 175 min | Drama

A traveling projection-equipment mechanic works in Western Germany along the East-German border, visiting worn-out theatres. He meets with a depressed young man whose marriage has just broken up, and the two decide to travel together.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Rüdiger Vogler, Hanns Zischler, Lisa Kreuzer, Rudolf Schündler

Votes: 4,628

194

37. Triumph of the Will (1935)

Not Rated | 110 min | Documentary, History, War

The infamous propaganda film of the 1934 Nazi Party rally in Nuremberg, Germany.

Director: Leni Riefenstahl | Stars: Adolf Hitler, Hermann Göring, Max Amann, Martin Bormann

Votes: 14,172

191

38. Young Törless (1966)

Not Rated | 87 min | Drama

At a boarding school in the pre-war Austro-Hungarian Empire, a pair of students torture one of their fellow classmates, Basini, who has been caught stealing money from one of the two. The ... See full summary »

Director: Volker Schlöndorff | Stars: Mathieu Carrière, Marian Seidowsky, Bernd Tischer, Fred Dietz

Votes: 2,014

186

39. Katzelmacher (1969)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama

Jorgos, a migrant worker from Greece, joins a group of young people in Munich usually hanging around. This foreigner incites hostility and jealousy among them, and he is insulted as a "... See full summary »

Director: Rainer Werner Fassbinder | Stars: Hanna Schygulla, Lilith Ungerer, Rudolf Waldemar Brem, Elga Sorbas

Votes: 2,386

186

40. Port of Freedom (1944)

111 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

The film tells the story of the blond "singing sailor" Hannes Kröger who works in a St. Pauli club on the Große Freiheit 7, and falls in love with a girl. But she prefers his rival Willem and Hannes returns to the sea.

Director: Helmut Käutner | Stars: Hans Albers, Ilse Werner, Hans Söhnker, Hilde Hildebrand

Votes: 677

183

41. Rotation (1949)

80 min | Drama, History

The mechanic Behnke wants to join the Nazi party to secure a good living. However, after his Jewish neighbors have been taken away, he changes his views. Trying to remain "a non-political ... See full summary »

Director: Wolfgang Staudte | Stars: Paul Esser, Irene Korb, Karl Heinz Deickert, Reinhold Bernt

Votes: 288

183

42. Aren't We Wonderful? (1958)

108 min | Comedy

The movie explains Germany from 1913 until 1955 by example of two contrary characters: The idealistic journalist Hans (H.-J. Felmy) loses his work during the Third Reich, whereas ... See full summary »

Director: Kurt Hoffmann | Stars: Johanna von Koczian, Hansjörg Felmy, Wera Frydtberg, Robert Graf

Votes: 383

182

43. Waxworks (1924)

Not Rated | 65 min | Fantasy, Horror

A wax museum hires a writer to give the sculptures stories. The writer imagines himself and the museum owner's daughter in the stories.

Directors: Leo Birinsky, Paul Leni | Stars: Emil Jannings, Conrad Veidt, Werner Krauss, William Dieterle

Votes: 1,528

180

44. Mädchen in Uniform (1931)

Passed | 87 min | Drama, Romance

At an all-girls boarding school, Manuela falls in love with a teacher, to terrific consequences.

Directors: Leontine Sagan, Carl Froelich | Stars: Dorothea Wieck, Hertha Thiele, Emilia Unda, Hedy Krilla

Votes: 2,210

179