This list is from the book "Not To Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film" by Kenneth Turan. After reading his book, I trust his opinion completely as each choice is well considered after having been settled in his mind over years of viewing countless films. He is eloquent, intentional, and creative with each choice. Here is his list of fifty four films in chronological order.
In the book, he reserves the "Orson Welles Double Feature" for the end of the book due to their prominence in his list. Welles is his favorite American director and these films hold a special reservation for him because of this. Alternatively, I decided to order Touch of Evil (1958) and Chimes at Midnight (1965) chronologically.
He also picked a "Fifty-Fifth Film," in which he split his choice between Jean Cocteau's Beauty and the Beast (1946) and Samuel Fuller's Pickup on South Street (1953). This is why this list includes fifty-six, instead of the titular fifty-four.