- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 5, 2005

New Yorker film critic David Denby has called “Crash,” opening nationally today, “one of the finest first features in history.” Oscar-nominated screenwriter (“Million Dollar Baby”) Paul Haggis’ directing debut is good, all right. But what about these?

Citizen Kane (1941)this and all other dates cqther Panchalicq— (1955)While contining to work as an advertising copywriter in Calcutta,cq dateline city Satyajit Raycq devoted several years to the patient, weekend-by-weekend accumulation of scenes for this humanist classic about an impoverished but proud Bengali family.—

The 400 Blows (1959) A thorn in the side of the French movie industry, Francois Truffaut switched from film criticism to filmmaking and helped revive the business with a deft tear-jerker about his own hard-luck youth as a movie- and book-loving Parisian delinquent.

The Sugarland Express (1974) While still one project away from his first big hit (“Jaws” in 1975), newcomer Steven Spielberg, erstwhile teenage movie geek and network-television quick study, justified high hopes with this kinetically and emotionally charged chase comedy derived from a melancholy criminal escapade in Texas.

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