What is your movie IQ? -- See how you stack up by noting how many of these classic films you've seen

Time for the big question: Just how high is your movie IQ? You’ll find a primer on the 60 films every cinema-literate person must have seen, based on a poll of the country’s leading film critics and scholars. In addition, there are quiz questions designed to test your knowledge of movies, stretch your memory, and surprise you. So sharpen your No. 2 pencils, get ready to sharpen your cinema wits and look for the Scoring Guide at the end of the quiz.

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Anyone who thinks high adventure began and ended with Indiana Jones has to see this, the quintessential Hollywood action movie. It’s a rousingly high-spirited, quicksilver swashbuckler that makes the storybook triumph of good over evil almost embarrassingly irresistible. The movie takes its zippy, delighted tone from Errol Flynn, who never lets the noble business of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor interfere with the good time he’s obviously having. Points: 3

All About Eve (1950)
This is the shining example of the role language can play in a predominantly visual medium. Writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz was a master of wordplay: Strings of fine irony cascade from characters who are as brilliant and hard as diamonds in this six-Oscar winner. Bette Davis hits a bitch-goddess peak as Margo Channing, the actress who’ll put up with any neurosis as long as she isn’t bored. Points: 3

Annie Hall (1977)
The ultimate feel-good movie for a generation of self-doubting urban romantics, Annie Hall traces the love affair of a neurotic New York Jewish comedian and a luminously spacey WASP. Director Woody Allen turned the fumblings of contemporary courtship into a new mating dance: For the first time, the search for love became more romantic than finding it. The only Allen film to win an Oscar for Best Picture, it remains his best crowd pleaser. Points: 2

Behind the Green Door (1972)
Ever since Behind the Green Door and the ”porno chic” it helped inspire, hardcore sex films have been semi-acceptable for mainstream men and women to watch. Deep Throat, which was released the same year, may have gotten more attention, but Marilyn Chambers, the Ivory Snow girl with the filthy grin, was the ultimate good girl gone bad, and her acrobatic cavortings established an aesthetic of depravity that rules most of the porn movies now stocked by video stores. Points: 2

The Birth of a Nation (1915)
With this astonishing epic, director D.W. Griffith invented the cinema as we know it, almost singlehandedly transforming movies into a narrative art form. The Birth of a Nation presents the Civil War and its aftermath as a lavish Dickensian sprawl, a fusion of 19th-century melodrama and 20th-century speed and movement. Box-office records indicate that the film was seen by far more people than any of today’s blockbusters. If the controversy surrounding Griffith’s pro-Ku Klux Klan stance has never faded, that’s partly because the climax is so thrilling it almost gets you rooting for the Klan. Points: 4

Blue Velvet (1986)
David Lynch’s hypnotic masterpiece was the most notorious movie since Last Tango in Paris, and it had a similar effect: Lured by the shock value, audiences discovered an explosive mixture of subversion and artistry. A Hardy Boys mystery refashioned into a cruel parable of erotic awakening, Blue Velvet is, at heart, a love story, the tale of an amateur sleuth attempting to reconcile his darkest fantasies with his purest yearnings. Points: 3

Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
With this film, more graphically violent than any before it, director Arthur Penn at once thrilled and shocked audiences. He jolted the classic gangster movie with a dose of contemporary fatalism, fusing breakneck storytelling energy with graphic spasms of blood and death. As Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway created a new style of existential glamour. The film’s scrambling of tones — slapstick, caper-movie suspense, redneck psychodrama — set the stage for further cinematic mayhem. Points: 3

Breathless (1959)
Jean-Luc Godard’s debut sent the French New Wave crashing on shores around the world and revolutionized movies so completely that someone seeing the film today may wonder what the fuss was about: Petty-hood antiheroes are now commonplace, and you see jump cuts in any TV commercial. But in 1959, when mainstream filmmaking was mired in a stodgy middle age, Breathless was an anarchic, offhand rock through the window. The story is still a burst of streetwise energy, from the first shot of Jean-Paul Belmondo’s Bogie-wannabe to the final, stunningly casual scenes of betrayal and gun-down. Points: 4

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Hollywood rarely let its hair down with such demented grace as in the great screwball comedies of the ’30s; this one’s been imitated but never equaled. Stuffy paleontologist Cary Grant loses a rare dinosaur bone, his clothes, his self-respect, and his mind (well, almost), but he gets scatterbrained heiress Katharine Hepburn in return. Directed with lickety-split timing by Howard Hawks, Baby can actually give you cramps from laughing, and the two stars are so physically beautiful romping around an enchanted midnight Connecticut that watching them is like seeing gods at play. Points: 4

Casablanca (1942)
The dream factory’s emblematically perfect product. So what if they filmed it as pages of the script came in, or if, when Bogie nodded to the band to play ”La Marseillaise,” he had no idea why he was supposed to be nodding. Everything in Michael Curtiz’s wartime melodrama clicks — Bogart’s weary cynicism, Ingrid Bergman’s dazed beauty, the inspired supporting cast, the air of noble self-pity so tough it’s almost tangible — and it proves what a wondrously soulful machine the Hollywood studio system could be. No one can understand American notions of romance without having seen this movie. Points: 2

Chinatown (1974)
By bringing pitch-black East European fatalism to the private-eye genre, Roman Polanski’s witty and bleak Chinatown threw aside promises of good times and looked the devil in the eye. The devil is John Huston’s Noah Cross, a folksy embodiment of all-American evil. Trying to bring him down is Jack Nicholson’s J.J. Gittes, a wise-guy detective hamstrung by his moral sense. The sourest film of a sour decade, this still feels like one of the truest. Points: 2

Citizen Kane (1941)
The greatest one-man show in movie history, Orson Welles’ kinetic account of the rise and fall of a newspaper magnate brought a new consciousness to movies: In its storytelling bravado, its metaphorical vastness, and its brilliant technique, it helped establish the cinema as a playground for artists. The story of the Hearst-like Charles Foster Kane is a mythic saga of self-destructive ambition, one that foreshadowed the careers of Americans as diverse as Howard Hughes, Elvis Presley, and, ultimately, Welles himself. Points: 3

A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Just as the peace-and-love generation was winding down, Stanley Kubrick unleashed Anthony Burgess’ 1962 novel as a movie about a joyously vicious young punk (Malcolm McDowell) who loves Beethoven, rape, and ultraviolence, not necessarily in that order. At the time, such brutal, almost clinical nihilism seemed like pure science fiction, but A Clockwork Orange has turned out to be startlingly prophetic. Points: 3

Dirty Harry (1971)
Clint Eastwood pioneered a new cinema of brutality with this sensationally effective thriller about a San Francisco street cop whose tight-lipped rage seemed to embody the anger of a public that felt beset by unpunished crime. Celebrated as the prototypical urban Western, this is also the first movie in which a tough guy’s monosyllabic challenge (”Do you feel lucky? Well, punk, do ya?”) becomes a source of sadistic comedy. Points: 2

Do the Right Thing (1989)
Too early to judge if this is one of the great must-sees? Then name one other movie that shows the cracks driven so deeply into our society by the Reagan years. Spike Lee’s teeming, funny, clear-eyed street scene pulls no punches and dares to take sides — the real source of its controversy. It is one of the few 1980s movies that even tries to matter, and Lee’s kaleidoscopic style spins with heart, rage, and imagination. Points: 2

Double Indemnity (1944)
One of the central myths of our time is that of the femme fatale — the irresistible bad woman who seduces decent men to their doom. In Hollywood, the myth was turned into a series of dark criminal melodramas known as film noir, and long before he was Dad in My Three Sons, Fred MacMurray starred in this, the consummate noir. He plays a two-bit insurance salesman who spots the gold anklet on Barbara Stanwyck’s leg and, before he knows it, is ready to murder for her. Stanwyck’s husky-voiced hauteur has never been sexier — she’s a classic ’40s temptress — and MacMurray is the ultimate dupe, an ordinary schlub undone by his own lustful dreams. Points: 3

Easy Rider (1969)
Director Dennis Hopper and producer Peter Fonda indulge in stoned posturing as hippie drug dealers, but Jack Nicholson resonates in his breakthrough role as a cracker lawyer; more important, Easy Rider stands as the first major counterculture assault on mainstream movies. Sadly, by showing Hollywood that pot-smoking kids were a ”youth market,” it marked a crucial step in turning ’60s rebellion into product. Points: 2

The 400 Blows (1959)
If Jean-Luc Godard was the supreme innovator of the French New Wave, Francois Truffaut was its great humanist, and his first feature brought subtle new levels of alienation and empathy to world cinema. The autobiographical tale of a young delinquent (Jean-Pierre Léaud) who steals a typewriter and is sent to reform school, The 400 Blows is probably the most haunting movie ever made about childhood. The voice of protest here isn’t aimed just at family or school but at the impersonality of a world that could make any young boy feel this alone. Points: 4

Frankenstein (1931)
Since its iconic visuals have been debased by everything from The Munsters to Frankenberry cereal, it’s easy to forget what a sharp, witty, frightening movie this is. Directed by the underappreciated James Whale and starring a gentle British actor named Boris Karloff as the monster, Frankenstein and the same year’s Dracula decisively broke away from the Lon Chaney (Sr.) school of silent horror and made Universal Pictures the movie scream-center for the next 15 years. In the process, it set the images that haunt our nightmares to this day. Points: 2

The General (1927)
Buster Keaton was a surreal cinematic acrobat, and his silent films are elaborate canvases on which he played out — with more poetic finesse than any other director of his time — the ongoing war between man and machine. His most celebrated movie is a pas de deux between Buster, who plays a train engineer rejected by the Confederate Army, and the speeding locomotive he uses to rescue his kidnapped girlfriend. Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. may have more spectacular sequences, but the beautifully rendered Civil War landscape lends The General an exhilarating unity. Points: 4

The Godfather (1972)
At a time when Hollywood sorely needed a return to old filmmaking values, Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather was reassurance that a great movie in the grand tradition — epic, moral, entertaining — could still be made. It also gave Marlon Brando his second wind and Al Pacino his first great part. In its dark vision of power, corruption, and moral confusion, The Godfather and its two sequels may constitute the greatest American film epic ever made. Points: 3

Godzilla, King of the Monsters (1954)
For a generation that encountered Godzilla on Saturday-afternoon TV, the big, mean lizard made for an oddly diverting spectacle. Here was a radiation-breathing monster as huge as King Kong, yet he was such a ludicrous fake — indeed, he looked like a tyrannosaurus made of Styrofoam — that half the fun was wondering: Are we supposed to believe this? For Japanese audiences, Godzilla was a pop metaphor for the apocalypse wrought by the A-bomb. For Americans, he was — and remains — an essential introduction to the joys of camp. Points: 3

Goldfinger (1964)
The action genre suddenly turned funny, surreal, and thrillingly spectacular when author Ian Fleming’s popular spy, James Bond, became the first modern action-movie hero. Heavily influenced by the jet-age absurdism of Hitchcock’s North by Northwest, the Bond films attained their immense popularity because of elaborate gimmickry, stuntwork, and the way Sean Connery humanized Agent 007: He combined the fearless derring-do of earlier heroes with a swinging-’60s nihilism. This is the perfect Bond flick, complete with first-rate villains, a rousing Fort Knox climax, and that great tingler in which Bond, strapped to a table of gold, finds a laser beam aimed directly at his crotch. Points: 2

The Gold Rush (1925)
By the mid-1920s, Charlie Chaplin’s bowlegged Little Tramp had become the most beloved mass-produced image in the world. He seemed to summon up all the innocence, appetite, and resilience of man in a tumultuous new era. This tale of prospectors battling the frozen Yukon is Chaplin’s most indelible mixture of slapstick and sentimentality. Points: 4

Gone With the Wind (1939)
In the year of its greatest glory, Hollywood crowned itself with a mammoth entertainment that summed up everything the industry had learned about escapism in some 30 years of existence. It still stands as the swank royalty of American film, with Clark Gable a smiling king and Vivien Leigh the scheming, short-tempered queen of tribulations. Ageless and essential, GWTW is a seemingly spontaneous combustion of dazzling color and motion, and it set standards of male and female behavior that influenced a generation. Points: 3

The Graduate (1967)
Dustin Hoffman cannily played Benjamin Braddock as a befuddled blank for an entire generation to fill in. The Graduate wasn’t the first movie to cast its youthful protagonist as victim of an older generation’s sins — for that, see Rebel Without a Cause — but this was the first to find the situation ridiculously comic, in keeping with the absurdities of the time. Despite the laugh lines (”Plastics”) and Anne Bancroft’s dry-icy Mrs. Robinson — a schoolboy fantasy turned unnervingly real — this is the sensitive, sentimental side of the ’60s, right through to the searingly ambivalent final shot. Points: 2

A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
The importance of this larky rock comedy was that it was proof: proof that the Beatles were funny, talented, and intelligent, and above all, proof to the guardians of culture that the young were right — that where the guardians had heard noise, they had rightly heard glory; where the guardians had seen a fad, they had correctly seen something enduring. Even , Elvis lost himself to Big Stardom, but John, Paul, George, and Ringo were strong enough to mock fame: That was the source of their freedom and allure. Seen today, that innocence is almost enough to make you cry. Points: 2

High Noon (1952)
There are no marauding Indians, vast panoramas, gunfights, epic summations. Instead, director Fred Zinnemann focuses on the quiet pain of a man struggling with his beliefs and his desire for a future free of conflict. Gary Cooper’s understated portrayal won him an Oscar and confirmed his status as a purely cinematic actor. Moreover, the cynicism of the film’s final moment — a tin star tossed to the dust — changed forever how movies treated the myth of the West. Points: 3

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
A commercial bomb in its time, Frank Capra’s masterpiece has become our homegrown version of A Christmas Carol. Why did it take until the last 15 years for the movie to become the perennial yuletide TV event? In part, because it’s the perfect tale of faith for a secular age — the story of a small-town do-gooder (James Stewart) who craves worldly success and, in the wake of devastating failure, ends up discovering the transcendence of everyday life. Stewart gives one of the most fully felt performances on film. Points: 2

Jaws (1975)
In his first big hit, Steven Spielberg — then a preposterous 26 — created thrills the old-fashioned way: He earned them. A virtuoso piece of Hitchcockian suspense, Jaws never attempts to overpower you. Instead, Spielberg employs an uncanny you-are-there approach. Using the camera as a third eye, he puts you on the beach, in the water, and on the boat along with his three heroes, slowly teasing out your primal fear of being engulfed. The hyperbolic success of Jaws launched a new era in pop filmmaking: Suddenly, producers wanted to turn every film into a megablockbuster. The irony is that Spielberg hasn’t made a movie this compactly brilliant since his E.T. in 1982. Points: 2

King King (1933)
A peerless fairy-tale spectacle, this update of the ”Beauty and the Beast” story found a permanent place in our cultural heritage the day it opened, perhaps because its tale of a giant jungle primitive made small by New York skyscrapers is at once awesome, terrifying, and reassuring. The special effects have lost none of their magic, and Fay Wray is fine as the object of simian desire. But the secret of this movie’s appeal is that we’re on Kong’s side — removed from his primeval habitat, he inspires more empathy than any of the human beings who want to exploit him. Points: 2

La Dolce Vita (1960)
Italian director Federico Fellini’s decadent tableau virtually defined ”foreign films” for a generation of Americans. The first cinematic import to gain widespread distribution in the U.S., La Dolce Vita remains one of the top-grossing foreign films and one of the most memorable. Fellini broke just about every screen taboo of the time with this phantasmagorical epic — his mod, oh-so-bored Romans engaged in orgies, homosexuality, suicide, and murder, right up there on the screen. Today, the shock value has dissipated, though the film still tickles both the libido and the brain. It’s bawdy, yet rooted in a clear moral vision; although Fellini’s hero, a gossip columnist played by Marcello Mastroianni, wallows in bacchanalia, a gray, hung-over dawn creeps in to claim its due. Points: 3

Last Tango in Paris (1972)
The most erotically daring ”art film” of its time, Bernardo Bertolucci’s psychodrama opened up commercial movies to a new era of sexual explicitness. And yet, ironically, it’s the emotional explicitness of Last Tango in Paris — the vision of a middle-aged Marlon Brando pouring out his fear and loathing — that gives the film its haunted soul. Brando plays an American expatriate who holes up in an empty apartment with French bonbon Maria Schneider. The melancholy music, the lush cinematography, and Brando’s rhapsodic, confessional performance all contribute to one of the few richly enigmatic experiences in movie history. Points: 4

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
How very perverse: a huge, sweeping 3 1/2-hour extravaganza at the center of which lies…a puzzle. This is an epic for the Age of Anxiety, an idea that made sense in the early ’60s and still holds water today. Old-fashioned filmgoers can find grand entertainment, while jaded youth will see an antihero for all seasons in blue-eyed Peter O’Toole. The message is finally as muddled as T.E. Lawrence himself, but none of that matters as you watch director David Lean’s visuals unfold like a glorious desert mirage. Points: 3

The Maltese Falcon (1941)
John Huston’s directing debut is so eerily true to Dashiell Hammett’s novel that it seems as if he simply shook the book out onto the screen. It is ground zero for the hard-boiled detective genre, the flick that every other private-eye noir either takes off from, imitates, or parodies. The cast alone is priceless: Bogart’s jaundiced hero, Sam Spade; Mary Astor’s ladylike dame; and that baroquely villainous trinity, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Elisha Cook Jr. Points: 2

Mary Poppins (1964)
End of the line for the classic Disney era — and the most exhilaratingly weird family film ever made. Julie Andrews won her Oscar as the magical nanny, dispensing spoonfuls of sugar and no-nonsense advice to a banker’s children in Edwardian England. The fantastic Disney approach — dancing cartoon penguins and Ed Wynn floating on the ceiling — doesn’t quite square with the charming, chilly Ms. Poppins herself, yet that’s part of what makes this the signature kids’ film for a generation: It turns everyday adventure into something miraculously daffy. Points: 2

Mildred Pierce (1945)
The crazy height of the Hollywood women’s picture, a genre whose deluxe emotional masochism set the tone for everything from Danielle Steel novels to TV movies. Oscar winner Joan Crawford suffers through a failed first marriage, a caddish second husband, and — worst of all — an ungrateful daughter (feral Ann Blyth). The movie totters on the edge of camp, but Crawford plays the suburban martyr with such stoic conviction that the film’s a bona fide slice of neurotic American apple pie. Points: 3

Nashville (1975)
Anyone from the future wanting to know what late-20th-century American life felt like could hardly do better than to watch Robert Altman’s teeming, vibrant epic. Altman follows 24 astonishingly vivid characters around Nashville’s C&W recording scene, creating a dense, workaday canvas — a star-spangled crazy quilt of myths and dreams. No other director has come as close to capturing how we interact: the sloganeering and throwaway humor, the vulgarity and soulfulness of people who survive on alternating currents of optimism and anxiety. Points: 2

A Night at the Opera (1935)
Decades before Woody Allen or Monty Python, the Marx Brothers pioneered a brand of deadpan, surreal, slapstick lunacy that has never been surpassed. This lavish MGM production, which pits the anarchic brothers against the fuddy-duddy forces of grand opera, remains the Brothers’ most polished comedic assault on Western civilization. Points: 3

Night of the Living Dead (1968)
George A. Romero’s infamous classic about an attack of insatiable zombies single-handedly ushered in a new era of full-throttle gore. In its feverish black-and-white imagery, its incongruous humor, and its atmosphere of apocalyptic relentlessness, this remains the rare horror film to achieve the quality of nightmare. Points: 2

Notorious (1946)
Many critics’ favorite Alfred Hitchcock film, this achingly suspenseful romance is also the culmination of the director’s early Hollywood period: the genre thriller par excellence. Featuring Cary Grant as a shifty good guy, Claude Rains as a sympathetic bad guy, and Ingrid Bergman as a gorgeous spy in the house of love, Notorious amazes as much for its technique (the crane shot at the party) as for its eroticism (the long kiss in Bergman’s bedroom as the Nazis convene downstairs). Points: 3

Pink Flamingos (1973)
The ’70s were the golden age of midnight movies, and if The Rocky Horror Picture Show is the most famous (mainly for its weekly audience-participation carnivals), it’s John Waters’ gleefully perverted fairy tale that defines the cutting edge of midnight-movie mayhem. The story of two groups of Baltimore weirdos vying for the title of ”filthiest people alive,” Pink Flamingos may be the original punk manifesto: These were the first characters to dye their hair pink and turn rabid hostility into rock & roll rebellion. The movie takes its comic energy from the late, great drag queen Divine, whose snarling insults are the verbal equivalent of cherry bombs. Points: 3

Pinocchio (1940)
Walt Disney took the cartoon slapstick that was the state of animation in the 1920s and by the mid-’30s made it a vehicle of wonder, capable of stirring the most profound emotions. Bambi and Dumbo may delve deeper into the fears of childhood, Snow White may be funnier, but this adaptation of the old fable stands as the lavish peak of the Disney studio’s imagination and artistry. From Gepetto’s toy shop to the donkey-boys of Pleasure Island to the darkened insides of Monstro the Whale, the animation (photographed on Disney’s innovative multiplane camera) creates a vivid, frightening psychic landscape. Points: 2

Psycho (1960)
Hitchcock’s ultimate shocker remains the granddaddy of the mad-slasher genre, and something more: It turns the very process of watching a movie into a teasing test for the limits of rationality. In the shower scene, Mrs. Bates’ knife isn’t just slicing up Marion Crane. It’s destroying the very notion that a movie’s protagonist will live to the end — and, at the same time, a melodramatic certainty that defined Hollywood movies for half a century. Points: 2

The Public Enemy (1931)
Along with Little Caesar, this is the film that kicked off the rat-a-tat cycle of Warner Brothers gangster pictures professing to expose the heinous exploits of thugs then shooting up the country. Fiendishly watchable in the part that made him a star, James Cagney is a gleeful knot of antisocial crossed wires. And his breakfast-table face-off with Mae Clarke is true legend: For years Cagney couldn’t go into a restaurant without some wise guy sending him over a grapefruit. Points: 2

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
The movie that laid the groundwork for every teen-angst extravaganza that followed, Rebel is also the cornerstone of the James Dean mystique. Director Nicholas Ray was at least as responsible as Dean for this film’s astonishing emotional intensity: He made it a teen’s-eye view of America, shot through with vibrant colors and wrenching camera moves. Points: 3

Rocky (1976)
Just when it seemed recession-era Americans had little to look forward to, an unknown writer-actor named Sylvester Stallone had an inspiration: He looked back — to Frank Capra movies, to a world where you could always tell the good guys from the bad and even a two-bit palooka from South Philly could become a contender. In hindsight, Stallone’s charmingly grimy fable marked the dawn of the Reagan era, when a newly nostalgic U.S. would start to mix the feel-good with the gung-ho. A generation of hollow ”go-for-it” movies has followed, but Rocky remains a genuinely emotional experience. Points: 2

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Roman Polanski’s queasy chiller was the first modern movie to locate malevolent supernatural forces in the here and now. From then on, larger-than-life ”monsters” would seem like quaint antiques. Polanski establishes a mood of everyday dread in this story of a pregnant woman (Mia Farrow) who suspects that the old couple next door are Satan worshippers with hideous plans for her baby. The movie taps into women’s anxieties about childbirth, and into an atheistic despair that renders the demonic all the creepier. Points: 2

Sands of Iwo Jima (1949)
One of the first major war films made after WWII — when realism was suddenly a welcome change from cheery propaganda — this is also the finest. Using actual battle footage and a script that avoids jingoistic cant, director Allan Dwan delivers a hardheaded, scary picture of war as ”trading real estate for men.” John Wayne deserved his Oscar nomination as tough-but-tender Sgt. Stryker. The role has been imitated to the point of cliche, but Wayne brings a sober emotional depth to it. Points: 3

The Seven Samurai (1954)
Besides being the action film to end all action films, this was a case of Japanese-American cultural cross-fertilization years before Sony bought Columbia. Akira Kurosawa structured his medieval epic on Hollywood Westerns (John Ford’s in particular), and the wagon wheel came full circle when Hollywood remade Samurai as The Magnificent Seven. Points: 4

The Seventh Seal (1956)
In the late ’50s, when most Americans were discovering Doris Day movies, an adventurous few stumbled upon a different kind of cinema: These were the films of Ingmar Bergman, and The Seventh Seal was the most legendary — a morality play about a contemplative knight (Max von Sydow) who postpones his demise by playing chess with Death. Suddenly, the cinema was free to be as philosophical as a grad-school seminar — sometimes as dry, too — and Bergman’s explorations of faith have lost none of their fervor. Points: 4

Singin’ In the Rain (1952)
The high-water mark of that most dreamlike of genres, the movie musical. Codirected by Stanley Donen and star Gene Kelly, Singin’ in the Rain has a great setting (Hollywood during the early talkies), wonderful songs, and, in the climactic ”Broadway Rhythm” sequence, the long-and-cool-legged elegance of Cyd Charisse. For gleaming polychrome ebullience, it’s as perfect as its star’s electric grin. Points: 2

Stagecoach (1939)
John Ford’s sturdy, sweeping tale of nine disparate travelers on a hazardous trip across the Plains rescued both the Western and John Wayne from B-movie oblivion. It’s the most influential horse opera ever made, laying down ground rules that are still playing themselves out in Dances With Wolves. The real kick here is watching the veteran character actors — Donald Meek, George Bancroft, Thomas Mitchell — play off the unforced naturalism of the young Duke. Points: 3

Star Wars (1977)
2001: A Space Odyssey may mark the birth of modern special effects, but this movie was the first to match them to a pure escapist sensibility. The film that later gave a nickname to Ronald Reagan’s outer-space defense system (to director George Lucas’ disgust), Star Wars recycled old sci-fi serials, comic books, and Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress into a big, shiny hit, making a star out of a studio carpenter named Harrison Ford in the bargain. Points: 2

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
What screen acting is all about. Marlon Brando (as T-shirted brute Stanley Kowalski) and Vivien Leigh (as his neurotically fragile sister-in-law, Blanche DuBois) give two of the most wrenching performances on film in Elia Kazan’s atmospheric adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ drama. They’re constantly at each other’s throats, yet beneath the anguish, what’s electrifying is the destructive sexual bond between them. Points: 3

Taxi Driver (1976)
Though Raging Bull is often considered director Martin Scorsese’s finest two hours, his earlier Taxi Driver speaks to its volatile time like no other film. Robert De Niro’s doomed, despairing Travis Bickle drives his cab down through the circles of a color-saturated New York Hell — and at the bottom finds both damnation and gory redemption. A pitying look into the mind of a would-be political assassin, Taxi Driver turned out to be a rare film that echoed into the future as well as into the past. Points: 2

Top Hat (1935)
The great Astaire-Rogers musicals bear only the most tenuous relation to reality — that’s what makes them the essence of Hollywood dream-spinning. Indeed, Astaire seems such a gossamer mannequin of elegance and timing that it’s hard to believe he existed offscreen. The dreamiest of the Astaire-Rogers films, Top Hat moves from a near-believable London to a playland Venice of deco sets and dancing swells, with Fred luring Ginger into the simpatico rhythms of Irving Berlin classics like ”Cheek to Cheek” and ”Isn’t This a Lovely Day?” Heaven. Points: 3

2001: A Space Oddysey (1968)
You don’t have to be seeking altered states to find Stanley Kubrick’s sci-fi milestone mesmerizing. The special effects set a new standard (it’s amazing how well they hold up in the post-Star Wars era), but Kubrick’s achievement here wasn’t simply technical. From the comic lyricism of the ”Blue Danube” space ballet to the malevolent showdown with HAL, the supercomputer that just may have feelings, 2001 plumbs the beauty and hidden madness of life in a technological age. Points: 2

Viva Las Vegas (1964)
Every so often a film mixes glitz and commercial pandering with such dodo-headed enthusiasm that it achieves trash essence. So it is with Elvis Presley movies — and, in particular, with this supremely silly romantic comedy, which features Elvis as a happy-go-lucky Vegas Grand Prix contestant and Ann-Margret as the would-be showgirl he’s chasing. Watching the King knuckle under to a script this ridiculous, one sees formula moviemaking laid bare. And when Ann-Margret shimmies and shakes like a volcano about to erupt, you’ve reached the exuberant core of ’60s go-go: tackiness at its most sublime. Points: 2

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
When it was released, a critic scoffed that The Wizard of Oz ”weighs like a pound of fruitcake soaking wet.” He wasn’t alone, either. But critics are grown-ups, and the few naysayers could hardly know that this film would become an annual fairy tale for a generation sitting around the TV campfire. That’s its secret — millions came to it at an impressionable time when men made out of tin or straw were natural and green-faced witches that melted were scary beyond belief. For all of us, Oz is a shared tornado trip into Technicolor imagination that brings us, wistful and richer, back home to our own beds Points: 2

Test your knowledge of MOVIE TRIVIA

That’s a wrap. Now tally your score in two categories.

1. What You’ve Watched
Award yourself the listed number of points for each of the 60 films you’ve seen. The point differences reflect the degree of film buffery required to have located the movie: King Kong earns 2 points because it’s constantly on TV and you can’t help seeing it before age 7; The Seventh Seal gets 4 because you have to seek it out in a revival house or specialty video store.
Total Score Possible: 160

  • 2. What You Know
  • Correct answers are worth 1 point, except as noted in boxes.
  • Total Score Possible: 160.

What Your Score Means
200-240: Cinema Genius — or you know how to read upside down
180-199: Cinema Scholar — qualified to teach a Film Studies course.
160-179: Student of Cinema — you probably took a Film Studies course
130-159: Movie Buff — but face it, you’re no Leonard Maltin.
100-129: Movie Moderate — your vid store needs new inventory.
80-99: Cin-amateur — buy a VCR
Below 80: Cin-illiterate — buy a TV.