Director: Stanley Kubrick
Year Released: 1953
Although Kubrick later dismissed this film and would probably want no one to watch it, it's invaluable to his fans so that they can see where some of his common themes got their start - like Samuel Beckett's Dream of Fair to Middling Women (which Beckett recycled in some of his other novels and plays) it's a treasure trove of ideas that the director found most fascinating. For example, Kubrickian themes like the dehumanization of war and the inability of man to retain his sanity are both in here, and the cigar-smoking commander who is half-enshrouded in darkness appears to be a precursor to Sterling Hayden's madman in Dr. Strangelove. Every voice-over statement and conversation is intended to be full of Significance and the actors are 'arranged' into precise order for the best possible composition - no doubt influenced by Kubrick's early days as a photographer (also see Killer's Kiss).