As soon as you begin to watch a film you become a critic. It's inevitable. Since everyone's opinion about what he or she perceives as a "good movie" is valid, many people consider the rating of films, Top 10 this, The Best 100 that, a waste of time.
I look at these lists as a learning experience, a chance for me to discover films I've overlooked. Perhaps after viewing the film I'd rate it as a bomb, but I'd have an equal chance of adding it to my four star list. I also think such lists give people who are unfamiliar with the subject of classic movies a point of reference.
I've been asked many times to create a list of classic American films with brief comments on each and just never got around to doing it. I've only included one foreign film on this list because I wish to focus on classic Hollywood, not because I don't find foreign films worthy of inclusion.
Adam's Rib (1949) - A terrific comedy featuring Spencer Tracy as a tough D.A. who's prosecuting the client of his wife Katharine Hepburn. The film has a witty script by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, good direction by George Cukor, and wonderful performances, a gem by Judy Holliday.
Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938) - Simply one of the best adventure films ever made - Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland are perfection as Robin Hood and Maid Marian and the supporting cast is excellent.
Affair to Remember, An (1957) - Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr play well together in this classic weeper, a great four hankie romance flick.
African Queen, The (1951) - Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn are at their best in this John Huston film that has it all - wonderful acting, adventure, humor, superb photography, and excitement.
All About Eve (1950) - Bette Davis was never better in this consummate backstage story. The rest of the cast also shines under Joseph L. Mankiewicz's tight direction. He won AA's for Best Director and Screenplay. Bette Davis and Anne Baxter were both nominated for Best Actress, but lost to Judy Holliday for her role in Born Yesterday.
All That Heaven Allows (1955) - On the surface this film appears to be a sleek soaper about a well-to-do widow having a love affair with her young gardener, but it's really a statement of the devastating effects the American Dream can have. It's beautifully photographed by Russell Metty and directed by Douglas Sirk.
All This, and Heaven Too (1940) - Charles Boyer and Bette Davis are fine as a nobleman who falls in love with his children's governess. Barbara O'Neil, best known for her portrayal of Ellen O'Hara in Gone with the Wind, is good as Boyer's wicked wife.
American in Paris, An (1951) - The film that identified MGM as the studio of the movie musical features the music of George Gershwin and the marvelous choreography and dancing of Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. It's classic song and dance.
Anatomy of a Murder (1959) - A very nice film noir production with the action concentrated in a courtroom. Jimmy Stewart is superb as the defense attorney. The supporting cast is fine, directed by Otto Preminger.
Angels With Dirty Faces (1938) - Marvelous Warner Brothers gangster flick has two playmates who become a gangster (James Cagney) and a priest (Pat O'Brien). Cagney is at his cockiest and the supporting cast of Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, and the Dead End Kids are great - nicely directed by Michael Curtiz.
Auntie Mame (1958) - A showcase for the many talents of Rosalind Russell. Mame is an eccentric, colorful lady who adopts her orphaned nephew. Peggy Cass is terrific as Agnes Gooch.
Awful Truth, The (1937) - A superb screwball comedy featuring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a divorced couple who rediscover their love. Leo McCarey won a Best Director Oscar.
Back Street (1941) - Charles Boyer and Margaret Sullavan breath life into the best version of Fannie Hurst's soaper of a woman who loves a selfish married man. Made in 1932 with John Boles and Irene Dunne and in 1961 with John Gavin and Susan Hayward in stunning Jean Louis outfits.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955) - Spencer Tracy is a one-armed man who blows the lid off a small town's secrets. It's an expertly paced and very powerful film.
Bad Seed, The (1956) - Fantastic account of an evil child (Patty MacCormack) whose inherited maliciousness leads to murder. Read the book. It's even better!
Bambi (1942) - One of Disney's finest achievements, the story of a deer, his woodland companions, and the phases of their lives (not for small children).
Ben-Hur (1959) - A great movie spectacle and Charlton Heston's finest hour in his Oscar winning performance - marvelous direction by William Wyler who also won an Oscar. The film won a total of 11 Academy Awards.
Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946) - Post World War II America is beautifully depicted in this drama of servicemen coping with returning to civilian life and one being permanently disabled - William Wyler's direction is sensitive and the film is expertly photographed by Gregg Toland.
Big Country, The (1958) - Burl Ives won an Oscar for his performance as a rancher feuding with Charles Bickford over water rights. Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Carroll Baker, Charlton Heston, and Chuck Connors do well and Jerome Moross' score is a masterpiece.
Big Parade, The (1925) - Irving Thalberg convinced King Vidor to make this historic war film featuring John Gilbert and Renée Adoree. It has some of the most realistic battle scenes ever filmed.
Big Sleep, The (1946) - Raymond Chandler's story comes alive through the marvelous performance of Humphrey Bogart as P.I. Philip Marlowe and the careful direction of Howard Hawks - classic film noir.
Birds, The (1963) - A Hitchcock classic about massive bird attacks in the small California community of Bodega Bay - It's not for the squeamish.
Birth of a Nation, The (1915) - The first screen epic is the account of two families during Civil War and Reconstruction produced, directed, and co-written by D.W. Griffith.
Bishop's Wife, The (1947) - Cary Grant, Loretta Young, and David Niven are excellent in a tale of a suave angel helping a bishop, his wife, and their friends.
Blossoms In the Dust (1941) - Greer Garson is fine as Edna Gladney who battles for the legal rights of Texas orphans. Anita Loos wrote the screenplay.
Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Audrey Hepburn is charming as free spirit Holly Golightly and George Peppard is fine as the young author. Moon River is enchanting.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935) - Frightening macabre masterpiece with director James Whale infusing a wicked sense of humor - Elsa Lanchester is wonderful in her roles of The Bride and Mary Shelley.
Bridge On the River Kwai, The (1957) - A terrific film of soldiers in a Japanese prison camp building a bridge for their captors under the leadership of Alec Guinness while William Holden plots to destroy it. Sessue Hayakawa is great. You can't help whistling the Colonel Bogey March.
Bringing Up Baby (1938) - The definitive screwball comedy with Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and an insane cast of characters - Howard Hawks' directed this one with abandon.
Broken Arrow (1950) - A marvelous western featuring Jimmy Stewart as an ex-Union officer who befriends Cochise (Jeff Chandler) and marries an Apache princess (Debra Paget). This film has softened the heart of many a racist.
Broken Lance (1954) - Great Western with Spencer Tracy as the patriarch of a family of ranchers with nice work by Katy Jurado as his Native American wife, Robert Wagner as his son by Jurado, and Richard Widmark as nasty oldest son Ben.
Caine Mutiny, The (1954) - Herman Wouk's Pulitzer Prize winner was the basis for this intriguing film with Humphrey Bogart giving one of his best performances as Captain Queeg.
Cape Fear (1962) - Robert Mitchum is absolutely creepy as an ex-con threatening Gregory Peck and his family. Peck is outstanding - Polly Bergen and Lori Martin are quite good as Peck's wife and daughter.
Carousel (1956) - Beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein songs and excellent location filming highlight this lovely musical starring Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae. Louise's dance partner is the wonderful Jacques D'Amboise.
Casablanca (1942) - A true classic, it has all the right ingredients, a superb cast giving inspired performances, a great script, flawless direction by Michael Curtiz, and marvelous production techniques. Put it on your must-see list.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958) - Burl Ives is a treat as Big Daddy, Paul Newman gives a fine performance as Brick, and Elizabeth Taylor seethes with passion as Maggie in this adaptation of Tennessee Williams' play.
Cat People (1942) - The first of Val Lewton's famous horror films uses suggestion, eerie sound effects, and odd camera angles to provide the scares - nicely done with Simone Simon as Irena.
Citizen Kane (1941) - A landmark film employing the best in cinematic techniques - Gregg Toland's photography is masterful and Orson Welles' direction is first rate - a true classic in every sense of the word.
City Lights (1931) - A marvelous film, one of Charlie Chaplin's best, about The Tramp's love for a blind flower girl - very moving.
Come to the Stable (1949) - Warm and sentimental story of two nuns, Loretta Young and Celeste Holm, seeking aid in building a children's dispensary.
Cool Hand Luke (1967) - Great prison film with Paul Newman, who should have won an Oscar, as Luke, George Kennedy, who did win an Oscar, as Dragline, and famous egg-eating contest.
Crowd, The (1928) - King Vidor created this classic silent film about the life of the American everyman - still holds up well after all these years.
Dark Victory (1939) - Bette Davis gives a marvelous performance as spoiled socialite Judith Traherne who's dying of a brain tumor. George Brent and Geraldine Fitzgerald give great support.
Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951) - Klaatu barada nikto! Michael Rennie, Patricia Neal, Sam Jaffe and Hugh Marlowe are fine in this classic science fiction film.
Defiant Ones, The (1958) - Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier are escaped convicts shackled together as they run from the authorities - extremely absorbing.
Desk Set (1957) - A very funny Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn film with Tracy as a methods engineer who's automating Hepburn's research department at a TV network. Don't miss the scene on the roof of the building.
Detour (1945) - Terrific film noir on a very low budget - a spurned lover takes on the identity of a man he's killed and is blackmailed by a femme fatale, Ann Savage.
Dog of Flanders, A (1959) - Tearjerker of a boy, his grandfather, and their dog based on the Ouida story - beautifully photographed in Belgium. P>
Double Indemnity (1944) - A classic film noir with a great script by Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder, performances by Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray, and direction by Billy Wilder - a dark, moody masterpiece of murder.
Dr. No (1962) - The first film based on Ian Fleming's character James Bond has good story and beautiful Ursula Andress. Joseph Wiseman is appropriately villainous as Dr. No.
Dracula (1931) - Classic horror film with Bela Lugosi excellent as the Count - Dwight Frye great as nutty Renfield and Edward Van Sloan right on as Van Helsing - eerie with no music used for the most part, just creepy sounds.
Drums Along the Mohawk (1939) - Beautiful John Ford Technicolor production of Colonial life in the Mohawk Valley during the Revolutionary War - good work by entire cast which includes Henry Fonda, Claudette Colbert, Edna May Oliver, and Ward Bond.
East of Eden (1955) - James Dean makes an impressive film debut in this adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel about Cain and Abel as brothers living on a lettuce farm in California.
Egg and I, The (1947) - Claudette Colbert is hilarious as a city girl who marries chicken farmer Fred MacMurray. Watch for Ma and Pa Kettle and their tribe.
El Dorado (1967) - Robert Mitchum, John Wayne, James Caan as the gambler who can't shoot, and Arthur Hunnicut all good in this Howard Hawks' Western.
Elmer Gantry (1960) - Burt Lancaster is mesmerizing as a con artist - Jean Simmons as Sister Sharon and Shirley Jones as prostitute Lulu are equally as good in this tale of Bible Belt evangelists.
Eyes Without a Face (1959) - A plastic surgeon becomes crazed after disfiguring his daughter and attempts to graft the faces of kidnapped young women onto his daughter's head - better than it sounds :-)
Farmer's Daughter, The (1947) - Loretta Young won an Oscar for her role as a Swedish maid who becomes a congresswoman. Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, and Charles Bickford are excellent.
Father Goose (1964) - Worthwhile just to see Cary Grant looking scruffy, this comedy features nice performances by Grant, Leslie Caron, and Trevor Howard.
42nd Street (1933) - The definitive backstage musical with great choreography by Busby Berkeley and good work by Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and Warner Baxter.
Four Feathers, The (1939) - You won't find a better adventure film than this Technicolor gem from Great Britain about cowardice and courage. The Korda brothers, Alexander, Zoltan, and Vincent, assembled a true classic.
Frankenstein (1931) - The definitive monster movie with Boris Karloff as the pitiable Monster with fine support from the entire cast - great makeup by Jack Pierce.
Friendly Persuasion (1956) - The story of a Quaker family and their struggle during the Civil War - adapted from a Jessamyn West novel - Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, and Anthony Perkins are marvelous.
From Here to Eternity (1953) - Forceful film about Army life in Pearl Harbor with a powerful attack sequence. Watch for the famous beach scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr. Montgomery Clift, Frank Sinatra, and Donna Reed are perfect.
From Russia With Love (1963) - The second James Bond film is, IMHO, the best, with great action and suspense. Lotte Lenya is a sinister villainess.
Gang's All Here, The (1943) - Busby Berkeley pulled out all the stops with this Technicolor confection featuring Alice Faye. Carmen Miranda performs The Lady in the Tutti Frutti Hat. Fine support from Eugene Pallette, Charlotte Greenwood, and Edward Everett Horton.
General, The (1927) - Buster Keaton's comedy classic set during the Civil War with Buster as the engineer on a steam locomotive called The General.
Giant (1956) - Based on Edna Ferber's novel, George Stevens made a masterpiece with Rock Hudson giving his best performance - Elizabeth Taylor is also fine and it was James Dean's last film.
Glenn Miller Story, The (1954) - Jimmy Stewart is convincing as band leader Glenn Miller and receives nice support from June Allyson and Harry Morgan.
Goldfinger (1964) - A great James Bond film filled with cool gadgets, Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore, and nasty villains Gert Frobe and Harold Sakata.
Gold Rush, The (1925) - Charlie Chaplin as the Lone Prospector in the Yukon in this comedy epic - so many great scenes including Chaplin eating his shoe for dinner.
Gone with the Wind (1939) - What can I say about this marvelous film? It's a cinematic milestone and should be on everyone's must-see list. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel, and Leslie Howard shine as does the entire cast.
Grand Hotel (1932) - MGM blockbuster with an all-star cast - Greta Garbo, John and Lionel Barrymore, Joan Crawford, and Wallace Beery. Garbo is luminescent as the lonely ballerina.
Greed (1924) - Erich von Stroheim's masterpiece was adapted from the Frank Norris novel McTeague about money and madness. Don't miss the final scene in Death Valley.
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) - Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are paired for the last time in this film about the impending mixed marriage of their daughter to Sidney Poitier, who gives his usual solid performance.
Hanging Tree, The (1959) - A fine western with a great performances by Maria Schell as a blind girl and Gary Cooper as a gold mining camp doctor.
Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957) - U.S. Marine Robert Mitchum and nun Deborah Kerr are stranded together on a Japanese held island during World War II - directed well by John Huston.
Heiress, The (1949) - Olivia de Havilland and Montgomery Clift are perfect in this story of a spinster romanced by a fortune hunter. Ralph Richardson is also excellent as the girl's cruel father.
His Girl Friday (1940) - Howard Hawks directed this comedy remake of The Front Page. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are brilliant.
Hold Your Man (1933) - Clark Gable and Jean Harlow light up the screen in this tale of a small-time crook and his lady love. Harlow sizzles. (Who are you? The Queen of Sheba?)
Home From the Hill (1960) - Robert Mitchum, Eleanor Parker, and the two Georges, Peppard and Hamilton, star in this drama about a Southern "gentleman" and his sons, one of them illegitimate.
Houseboat (1958) - Delightful comedy with Cary Grant and Sophia Loren - Harry Guardino is a howl as the handyman.
How Green Was My Valley (1941) - John Ford's film about a close-knit Welsh mining family is very moving. Entire cast is good. Little Roddy McDowall will steal your heart.
Hud (1963) - Paul Newman is great as Hud and Patricia Neal won an Oscar for her portrayal of the family housekeeper. Brandon de Wilde is Hud's nephew.
Humoresque (1946) - Joan Crawford and John Garfield are fine in this story of a poor violinist and his wealthy, but unstable patroness. Isaac Stern is heard playing the violin.
Hush...Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) - Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland, Joseph Cotten, and Agnes Moorehead star in this creepy tale set in an old Louisiana mansion.
I Want to Live! (1958) - Susan Hayward won an Oscar for her portrayal of murderess Barbara Graham in this harrowing film with a great jazz score by Johnny Mandel.
I'd Climb the Highest Mountain (1951) - William Lundigan and Susan Hayward are wonderful in this story of a minister and his wife - great location shooting in Georgia.
I'll Cry Tomorrow (1955) - Susan Hayward should have won an Oscar for her portrayal of entertainer Lillian Roth and her battle with personal problems and alcoholism.
Imitation of Life (1959) - A Ross Hunter - Douglas Sirk - Universal spectacular with Lana Turner as a career-driven actress - John Gavin, Juanita Moore, Susan Kohner, and Sandra Dee also star.
In Name Only (1939) - Cary Grant and Carole Lombard are terrific in this tale of a married man's love for a widow and his desperate attempts to get a divorce. Kay Francis is great as Grant's bitchy wife Maida.
In the Heat of the Night (1967) - Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger were never better in this film about a big-city detective and a Redneck Southern sheriff working together to solve a murder.
Informer, The (1935) - Oscars went to Victor McLaglen, John Ford, Max Steiner, and Dudley Nichols for this movie about a man who squeals on a friend to collect reward money.
Inherit the Wind (1960) - The Scopes Monkey Trial brought to the big screen with name changes made - Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March) = William Jennings Bryan and Spencer Tracy (Henry Drummond) = Clarence Darrow is an acting tour de force.
Inn of the Sixth Happiness, The (1958) - Ingrid Bergman is marvelous in this true story of Gladys Aylward's service as a missionary in China.
Intermezzo (1939) - A great love story of a married violinist, Leslie Howard, and his affair with his young protegee features Ingrid Bergman in her first English-speaking film.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) - Scary classic science fiction with the residents of a small town being replaced by alien "pod" people.
Invisible Man, The (1933) - Claude Rains is brilliant as the title character in this adaptation of the H.G. Wells story directed by James Whale.
It Happened One Night (1934) - You know a movie's great when it's known by its initials (IHON) :-) It's a romantic comedy which won Oscars as 1934's Best Picture, Best Actor (Clark Gable), Best Actress (Claudette Colbert), Best Director (Frank Capra), and Best Screenplay (Robert Riskin) - a delight.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - Another film known by its initials (IAWL) features Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey who works his whole life in a small town, considers himself a failure, and tries to end his life. The entire cast is marvelous. The film is a gem.
Jezebel (1938) - Bette Davis won her second Oscar for her portrayal of a complex Southern belle Julie. Watch for Bette at the ball, her dance with Henry Fonda, and her apology to him.
Johnny Belinda (1948) - Jane Wyman in her Oscar winning role as a sensitive deaf mute with Charles Bickford as her father, Agnes Moorehead as her aunt, and Lew Ayres as the kindly doctor who befriends her. Jane Wyman's eyes tell everything.
King and I, The (1956) - Yul Brynner is the King of Siam in this wonderful musical with unforgettable Shall We Dance sequence with Deborah Kerr.
King Kong (1933) - Great special effects still hold up in this "beauty and the beast" tale of King Kong's fatal fascination with Fay Wray.
King of Kings (1961) - The life of Jesus Christ told intelligently - a very moving, beautiful film with lovely Miklos Rozsa score.
Kiss Before Dying, A (1956) - Robert Wagner is excellent as a psychopathic killer. Mary Astor portrays his mother. Joanne Woodward and Jeffrey Hunter are also very good in this chiller.
Kiss of Death (1947) - A great gangster flick with a good performance by Victor Mature and an even better one by Richard Widmark as a giggling psychopath who pushes an elderly lady in a wheelchair down a flight of steps.
Lady Eve, The (1941) - Preston Sturges directed and wrote this comedy about a con artist (Barbara Stanwyck) who sets her sights on naive, wealthy, snake-loving Henry Fonda.
Laura (1944) - A film noir classic with Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, and Clifton Webb as Waldo Lydecker - haunting theme song by David Raksin with lyrics by Johnny Mercer.
Letter, The (1940) - Bette Davis stars as a murderess who tries to get away with her crime by pleading self defense - also starring Herbert Marshall and Gale Sondergaard - extremely well done.
Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948) - Joan Fontaine is great in this film about a woman's lifelong love for a pianist played by Louis Jourdan.
Libeled Lady (1936) - Sparkling comedy with Jean Harlow, Spencer Tracy, William Powell, and Myrna Loy - with a cast like that just watch and enjoy :-)
Lilies of the Field (1963) - Sidney Poitier won an Oscar for his performance in this beautiful "little" film. Lilia Skala is great.
Little Caesar (1930) - This is the film that launched the gangster flick. Edward G. Robinson's performance as Rico is stellar. Don't miss the final scene.
Little Foxes, The (1941) - Bette Davis is a super villainess in this adaptation of Lillian Hellman's play about a predatory Southern family. Herbert Marshall, Teresa Wright, Patricia Collinge, and Dan Duryea stand out in an impressive cast.
Long Gray Line, The (1955) - John Ford's loving tribute to West Point and Marty Maher has nice performances by Tyrone Power, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, and Ward Bond.
Lost Horizon (1937) - The story of five people's trip through an icy waste to Shangri-La, the Tibetan land of health, peace, and eternal life. Ronald Colman is great.
Lost Weekend, The (1946) - Ray Milland and Jane Wyman give fantastic performances in this movie about an alcoholic and the effects his problem has on those around him.
Love Affair (1939) - Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne sparkle in this romantic comedy-drama about two people who have a shipboard romance and run into trouble once they're ashore. Maria Ouspenskaya is a treat as the Grandmother. Remade as An Affair to Remember.
Love With the Proper Stranger (1963) - Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen are very good in the story of the romance that blossoms between a pregnant girl and her lover.
Magnificent Ambersons, The (1942) - A gem by Orson Welles - marvelous performances by Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead - the rest of the cast is fine in this adaptation of a Booth Tarkington novel.
Magnificent Obsession (1954) - Rock Hudson stars as a drunken playboy who changes his lifestyle to help the woman he loves (Jane Wyman). Nice support from Barbara Rush and Agnes Moorehead.
Maltese Falcon, The (1941) - Humphrey Bogart is superb as detective Sam Spade in this outstanding film noir. It's a must-see for any classic film lover.
Man of a Thousand Faces (1957) - James Cagney portrays Lon Chaney in this biography. Cagney is great and the supporting cast is also fine.
Mark of Zorro, The (1940) - Tyrone Power plays Zorro and Linda Darnell is his love interest in this swashbuckling tale of Old California. Fine dueling sequences with Tyrone Power and Basil Rathbone.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) - Judy Garland is terrific and Margaret O'Brien is adorable in this great musical featuring the title song, The Trolley Song, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, and others.
Mildred Pierce (1945) - Joan Crawford won an Oscar for her work in this soaper about a woman who finds business success, but competes with her bitchy daughter for the love of the same man. Eve Arden is terrific in support. (Personally, Veda's convinced me that alligators have the right idea. They eat their young.)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Natalie Wood will steal your heart in this story of a little girl who doesn't believe in Santa Claus and learns the true meaning of Christmas.
Modern Times (1936) - Charlie Chaplin attacks the machine age in the last great silent comedy. Chaplin produced, directed, wrote, starred in, and composed the music, including Smile.
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) - James Stewart is excellent in this Frank Capra film of good triumphing over evil. Don't miss Stewart's filibuster sequence.
Mr. Skeffington (1944) - Bette Davis and Claude Rains star as selfish Fanny Skeffington and long suffering husband Job in this adaptation of a novel by Elizabeth.
Mrs. Miniver (1942) - Greer Garson won an Oscar for her moving portrayal of the tile character. It's the story of a British family coping with World War II. Teresa Wright is marvelous as Carol.
Mummy, The (1932) - Boris Karloff was never better in this tale of a mummy brought back to life. The makeup and lighting are wonderful with the Mummy's skin appearing as parchment.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935) - Charles Laughton is unforgettable as Captain Bligh and Clark Gable is excellent as Fletcher Christian in this story of mutiny on the H.M.S. Bounty. Franchot Tone is also very good in his role of Roger Byam.
My Darling Clementine (1946) - This John Ford western features Henry Fonda as Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature as Doc Holliday and the inevitable gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
My Favorite Wife (1940) - Hilarious comedy of wife who was thought to be dead returning just as her husband is about to remarry. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne are fantastic.
My Man Godfrey (1936) - Carole Lombard and William Powell are at their best in a delightful screwball comedy. Carole learns that money isn't everything from butler Powell.
Night of the Hunter, The (1955) - Robert Mitchum will give you a real chill as a psychotic "preacher" chasing two orphans in the only film directed by Charles Laughton.
Ninotchka (1939) - Ernest Lubitsch comedy with Greta Garbo as a cold Russian agent who comes to Paris and falls in love with Melvyn Douglas. Advertised as, "Garbo Laughs."
North by Northwest (1959) - Alfred Hitchcock thriller with Cary Grant being chased by spies and the police - has legendary crop dusting and Mount Rushmore sequences.
Nothing Sacred (1937) - Carole Lombard and Fredric March are great in this movie about a reporter who exploits the "impending" death of a girl from radiation poisoning.
Notorious (1946) - Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, and Claude Rains give stellar performances in this Hitchcock espionage thriller. Don't miss the kitchen kissing scene between Grant and Bergman.
Now, Voyager (1942) - A great soaper with Bette Davis giving another good performance as a neurotic spinster who has a nervous breakdown, recovers beautifully under the care of Claude Rains, then falls in love with a married man.
Nun's Story, The (1959) - Audrey Hepburn gives a credible performance as a nun who serves in the Belgian Congo and later leaves the sisterhood. Colleen Dewhurst is frightening as a patient in a mental ward.
Of Human Bondage (1934) - Bette Davis should have won an Oscar for her portrayal of a slatternly waitress. Leslie Howard is the deformed man who loves her.
Oklahoma! (1955) - Great musical with memorable score, including the title tune, People Will Say We're in Love, Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin', so many others - Gloria Grahame is Ado Annie.
Old Maid, The (1939) - A well acted soaper with Bette Davis as a woman who must give up her illegitimate daughter to be raised by her married cousin Miriam Hopkins.
Old Yeller (1957) - Disney movie about a boy and his dog that can still make me cry - an adaptation of a Fred Gipson novel.
On The Waterfront (1954) - Elia Kazan directed this gritty story of the corrupted New York City docks with Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint giving memorable performances.
Out Of The Past (1947) - Classic film noir with Robert Mitchum as a man who can't escape the clutches of former employer Kirk Douglas and lover Jane Greer.
Palm Beach Story, The (1942) - Screwball comedy by Preston Sturges stars Claudette Colbert running away from husband Joel McCrea to Palm Springs. Film is filled with an assortment of nutty, funny characters.
Parent Trap, The (1961) - Hayley Mills stars as twins, separated by divorce, who are reunited at summer camp and work to get their parents back together.
Parrish (1961) - Early 1960's screen king Troy Donahue stars in this tale of Parrish McLean and his many loves. Claudette Colbert plays his mother.
Pat and Mike (1952) - Katharine Hepburn is athlete Pat Pemberton and Spencer Tracy is her manager Mike Conovan in this funny flick. The two stars play off each other so well.
Penny Serenade (1941) - A four, maybe five hankie flick with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a childless couple who adopt a little girl, then lose her. Beulah Bondi and Edgar Buchanan are fine in support.
Philadelphia Story, The (1940) - Jimmy Stewart shines in his Oscar winning role. Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant are also brilliant in this adaptation of Philip Barry's hit Broadway comedy.
Pillow Talk (1959) - Rock Hudson and Doris Day sex comedy with great support from Thelma Ritter and Tony Randall. Rock and Doris share a party line and the hijinks begin.
Planet of the Apes (1968) - Charlton Heston is stranded on future Earth where apes rule and humans are slaves. Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter are marvelous through their ape makeup.
Pollyanna (1960) - Hayley Mills stars as an eternally optimistic child sent to live with her aunt (Jane Wyman) after the death of her missionary parents. Hayley won a special Oscar for Outstanding Juvenile Performance.
Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946) - A film noir classic - John Garfield and Lana Turner create sparks as a drifter who falls in love with a married woman. The lovers proceed to do away with her husband. Many nice plot twists.
Pride of the Yankees, The (1942) - Gary Cooper and Teresa Wright are excellent in this biography of Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees.
Psycho (1960) - Alfred Hitchcock thriller with the famous shower scene murder of Janet Leigh and a chilling performance by Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates.
Public Enemy, The (1931) - James Cagney shoves a grapefruit in Mae Clarke's face in this story of the rise and fall of a hood - one of the best gangster flicks.
Queen Christina (1933) - Garbo stars as the Swedish queen who abdicates her throne for her lover, John Gilbert. Garbo's and Gilbert's love scenes are wonderful - one of Greta Garbo's best films.
Quiet Man, The (1952) - John Ford's loving tribute to Ireland with beautiful location photography, music, and moving performances by John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, and the rest of the cast - John Ford won the 1952 Best Director Oscar.
Rachel and the Stranger (1948) - Frontier western with great star trio of Loretta Young, William Holden, and Robert Mitchum. Holden is a widower who takes Young as bondswoman bride, but doesn't truly appreciate her until Mitchum comes along.
Random Harvest (1942) - World War I leaves Ronald Colman an amnesiac and music hall entertainer Greer Garson saves him from a life in a mental institution.
Rear Window (1954) - Stylish Hitchcock thriller - Jimmy Stewart is wheelchair-bound with Grace Kelly as his girlfriend, and Thelma Ritter as his nurse. They spy on courtyard neighbors and discover a murder, but no one believes them.
Rebecca (1940) - Hitchcock's first American film with fantastic performances by Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson in the story of a woman who lives in the shadow of her husband's deceased first wife.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955) - James Dean is a misunderstood youth yearning for acceptance. Terrific performances by Dean, Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood.
Red Dust (1932) - Clark Gable and Jean Harlow ignite the screen in this tale set on an Indochina rubber plantation. Gene Raymond, an engineer, brings along his wife Mary Astor, who promptly falls in love with Gable. Harlow is marvelous as the "hooker with a heart of gold", Vantine.
Red-Headed Woman (1932) - Jean Harlow sizzles as Lil Andrews, the woman who sleeps her way to the top. Chester Morris is her married victim. Charles Boyer is the chauffeur.
Rio Bravo (1959) - A Howard Hawks' western featuring John Wayne as John T. Chance, Dean Martin as a drunk, Angie Dickinson as Feathers, Ricky Nelson as the young gunfighter, and Walter Brennan as Stumpy. With that cast how could you go wrong?
Roman Holiday (1953) - Audrey Hepburn glows in her Oscar winning film debut as a princess who runs away because of the constraints of her position. Gregory Peck is equally wonderful.
Rome Adventure (1962) - Troy Donahue and Suzanne Pleshette fall in love in Italy. The only complication is his old love Angie Dickinson. The locations are beautiful.
Room for One More(1952) - Cary Grant and then wife Betsy Drake star as a couple who adopt needy, often troubled children. It's a sweet little film.
Scarface (1932) - Paul Muni stars as a violent mobster who works his way up in the mob, but his weaknesses are his downfall. Muni's performance is electrifying.
Searchers, The (1956) - John Ford's epic western with marvelous performances from the entire cast in this tale of an uncle searching for his niece who was kidnapped by Indians. Don't miss the final scene.
Sergeant York (1941) - Gary Cooper portrays Alvin C. York in this true story. He's a pacifist who is drafted into service in World War I, wins the Congressional Medal of Honor and many other awards.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) - A rollicking musical with great songs and out of this world dancing featuring rare screen appearances by Jacques D'Amboise and Marc Platt as Ephraim and Daniel.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943) - Hitchcock thriller with Teresa Wright as young Charlie and Joseph Cotten as unbalanced Uncle Charlie. Don't miss the train!
Shane (1953) - Alan Ladd is Shane in this western masterpiece of a ex-gunfighter who defends Wyoming homesteaders and is idolized by their son played by Brandon de Wilde.
Shenandoah (1965) - Civil War drama with Jimmy Stewart as a Virginia farmer who has no wish to take part in the War, but changes his mind when his family becomes involved.
Sherlock, Jr. (1924) - A Buster Keaton comedy in which he plays a projectionist, who while running the movie Hearts and Pearls, enters the screen and becomes part of the film's action.
Shop Around the Corner, The (1940) - Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan star in this Ernst Lubitsch romantic charmer about co-workers who don't realize they're pen pals.
Singin' in the Rain (1952) - Peerless musical with too many memorable numbers to mention - the entire cast is superb - a definite classic!
Snake Pit, The (1948) - Olivia de Havilland plays a woman who has a nervous breakdown and is committed to a mental institution. It can still pack a wallop after all these years.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - The first animated feature film is beautifully done by Disney with great songs and characterizations of the seven dwarfs.
So Big (1953) - Jane Wyman stars as Selina DeJong, a widowed truck farmer, who struggles to raise her son and run a business alone.
So Proudly We Hail! (1943) - Claudette Colbert stars as a nurse in the Pacific during World War II. Don't miss Veronica Lake's performance!
Some Like It Hot (1959) - Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe star in this comedy about musicians who witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, then hide out from gangsters by disguising themselves as women and joining an all-girl band.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) - Bedridden Barbara Stanwyck overhears a murder plan on the telephone and comes to realize she's the intended victim.
Sound of Music, The (1965) - Beautiful Rodgers and Hammerstein songs highlight this musical about the real-life Von Trapp family - Julie Andrews was never better.
Spartacus (1960) - Kirk Douglas, Jean Simmons, and Tony Curtis star in this epic drama about a slave army led by Spartacus fighting the forces of the Roman Empire. Spectacular!
Spencer's Mountain (1963) - A sentimental family drama with Henry Fonda and Maureen O'Hara trying to raise their brood against the gorgeous backdrop of the Grand Tetons - nice performance by James MacArthur as their eldest child.
Spiral Staircase, The (1946) - Well done thriller with a strangler on the loose who has been killing young women who don't meet his standards of physical perfection. Dorothy McGuire is excellent as the mute servant of Ethel Barrymore.
Stagecoach (1939) - A landmark John Ford western about passengers on a stagecoach features great character studies and action sequences.
Star Is Born, A (1954) - Judy Garland and James Mason star as an up and coming entertainer and her washed-up, alcoholic husband. Both stars are awesome - terrific musical numbers.
Stella Dallas (1937) - Barbara Stanwyck gives one of her finest performances as a mother who sacrifices all for her daughter. The final scene will give you a lump in your throat.
Strangers on a Train (1951) - Hitchcock thriller with Farley Granger and Robert Walker as a tennis star who meets a deranged man who wants to "exchange murders." Watch out for the merry-go-round!
Strategic Air Command (1955) - Jimmy Stewart is a pilot in the Strategic Air Command and June Allyson is his wife. It features very nice aerial photography.
Stratton Story, The (1949) - True story of Monty Stratton, a professional baseball player who loses a leg in a hunting accident. Jimmy Stewart is great as Stratton and he receives fine support from Agnes Moorehead and June Allyson.
Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951) - Elia Kazan directed this stunner featuring Vivien Leigh as Blanche, Marlon Brando as Stanley, Kim Hunter as Stella, and Karl Malden as Mitch. Leigh, Hunter, and Malden won Oscars, but who can forget Brando yelling, "STELLA!!!"
Sullivan's Travels (1941) - Preston Sturges wrote and directed this brilliant look behind Hollywood's tinsel - Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake star.
Summer Place, A (1959) - Beautiful scenery and a famous theme song highlight this tale of love and lust featuring Troy Donahue, Sandra Dee, Richard Egan, and Dorothy McGuire.
Sundowners, The (1960) - Robert Mitchum and Deborah Kerr are marvelous in this story about Australian sheepherders. The film features an excellent supporting cast - Mervyn and Glynis Johns, Peter Ustinov, Michael Anderson, Jr., and Dina Merrill.
Sunrise at Campobello (1960) - Ralph Bellamy and Greer Garson are superb as Franklin Delano and Eleanor Roosevelt in this story of his battle with polio.
Sunset Blvd. (1950) - William Holden and Gloria Swanson were never better in this searing Billy Wilder-Charles Brackett portrait of Hollywood. Former star Swanson lives in the past in her decaying mansion with butler Erich von Stroheim. Struggling writer Holden becomes her lover and victim.
Susan Slade (1961) - Connie Stevens, Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, and Lloyd Nolan star in this story of a girl whose illegitimate son is being raised as her brother.
Swing Time (1936) - One of the best Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals featuring lovely songs A Fine Romance, The Way You Look Tonight, and Pick Yourself Up.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) - A fine Disney family adventure with Dorothy McGuire and John Mills as the parents of a shipwrecked family - Sessue Hayakawa plays the leader of the pirates.
Tarzan and His Mate (1934) - The best of the Johnny Weissmuller-Maureen O'Sullivan Tarzan films features pre-Production code sexual frankness and an appropriate lack of clothing.
Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932) - This film marks the first appearances of Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan as Tarzan and Jane. It's an entertaining romantic adventure.
Teacher's Pet (1958) - Clark Gable is a tough, self-made city editor who clashes with journalism teacher Doris Day. Gig Young is funny as Doris' boyfriend.
Ten Commandments, The (1956) - Cecil B. DeMille's Biblical epic with Charlton Heston as Moses and Yul Brynner as Rameses. The entire large cast does a fine job.
Thing (From Another World), The (1951) - James Arness is an alien frozen in a block of ice at the North Pole who accidentally gets thawed and goes on a murderous rampage.
Thin Man, The (1934) - A sophisticated comedy-mystery with William Powell and Myrna Loy sparkling as Nick and Nora Charles - adapted from a novel by Dashiell Hammett.
39 Steps, The (1935) - Hitchcock thriller teams Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll as a man struggling to prove his innocence with the beautiful blonde from the train.
This Earth Is Mine (1959) - Rock Hudson and Jean Simmons fall in love in this soaper set during Prohibition in the Napa Valley vineyards. Claude Rains is fine as the family patriarch.
Those Calloways (1965) - Brain Keith, Vera Miles, and Brandon de Wilde star in this film about a family's efforts to make a sanctuary for wild geese. Walter Brennan and Ed Wynn are good in support. Look for a young Linda Evans as de Wilde's girlfriend and a young Tom Skerritt as the town bully.
Three Came Home (1950) - True, harrowing account of author Agnes Newton Keith's time spent in a Japanese prison camp features top notch work by Claudette Colbert and Sessue Hayakawa.
Three Faces of Eve, The (1957) - Joanne Woodward won an Oscar for her portrayal of a woman with three personalities. Lee J. Cobb is good as her psychiatrist.
Three Violent People (1956) - A good western set in post-Civil War Texas with Charlton Heston as a rancher, Anne Baxter as his wife with a shady past, Gilbert Roland as his ranch foreman, and Tom Tryon as his one-armed brother.
Time to Love and a Time to Die, A (1958) - John Gavin and Lilo Pulver star in this adaptation of an Erich Maria Remarque novel about a German soldier on leave who falls in love and marries, but must return to war.
To Be or Not To Be (1942) - Carole Lombard's last film is one of Ernst Lubitch's gems, a superb black comedy. It's a masterpiece of satire and was quite controversial at the time of its release.
To Each His Own (1946) - Olivia de Havilland won an Oscar for her portrayal of an unwed mother who gives up her baby and loves him as his "aunt."
To Have and Have Not (1944) - Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall fell for each other while making this film and it shows in their legendary love scenes. There's also great action and solid performances.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) - Gregory Peck won an Oscar for his outstanding portrayal of Atticus Finch, an Alabama attorney who defends a black man accused of rape and his attempts to explain it all to his children and their friends.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - A science fiction epic about the dehumanizing effects of technology - HAL, the computer, is unforgettable as is the theme, Richard Strauss' Thus Spake Zarathustra.
Top Hat (1935) - Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in top form dancing to Cheek to Cheek, Isn't This a Lovely Day to Be Caught in the Rain?, Top Hat, white Tie, and Tails, and the Piccolino.
Topper (1937) - A delightful comedy with Cary Grant and Constance Bennett as a wealthy couple who are killed in a car accident and return as ghosts to "haunt" Cosmo Topper.
Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The (1948) - This film is worth viewing just to hear the line about the "stinkin' badges." Humphrey Bogart is Fred C. Dobbs, the paranoid tough guy, Walter Huston is the shrewd prospector, and Tim Holt is the honest young man in this story of greed and gold.
Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A (1945) - Peggy Ann Garner won a special Oscar for her portrayal of an intelligent, sensitive girl trying to rise above tenement life in Brooklyn. Dorothy McGuire is terrific as her mother, James Dunn won an Oscar for his portrayal of her father, and Joan Blondell is great as Aunt Sissy.
True Grit (1968) - John Wayne won an Oscar for playing one-eyed Rooster Cogburn, an over-the-hill marshal who helps a 14-year-old girl track down her father's killer.
Twelve Angry Men (1957) - Marvelous film about one juror's attempt to convince the eleven other jurors of the defendant's innocence - the cast is filled with stars.
Vertigo (1958) - Hitchcock thriller with Jimmy Stewart as a retired police detective with a fear of heights who is hired by a friend to keep his eye on his wife, Kim Novak, and that's only for starters. Film requires multiple viewings to truly appreciate it.
West Side Story (1961) - Landmark musical with terrific Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim score - Romeo and Juliet is updated to the late 1950's NYC gang atmosphere - solid performances by all.
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) - Bette Davis is fantastic as Baby Jane and Joan Crawford is good as Blanche in this story of a demented former child star and her disabled sister.
When Worlds Collide (1951) - classic science fiction film about Earth's impending destruction and the attempt made to build a spaceship that would enable the survival of a few and colonization of another planet.
White Heat (1949) - James Cagney returned to gangster films in this tale of a tough guy with a mother complex. Watch for the prison mess hall and final scenes.
Wind, The (1928) - Lillian Gish fights the elements in a Dust Bowl town, marries a man who repulses her, and shoots the animal who rapes her. Has a nice storm sequence.
Wings of Eagles, The (1957) - Biography of Frank "Spig" Wead, an aviation pioneer and screenwriter, played well by John Wayne with good support from Maureen O'Hara as his wife.
Winning (1969) - How lucky can a girl get? Joanne Woodward gets to sleep with Paul Newman and Robert Wagner in this story of race car drivers. A young Richard Thomas plays Woodward's son. You'll recognize the theme song.
With a Song in My Heart (1952) - Susan Hayward portrays entertainer Jane Froman struggling to overcome the devastating effects of a plane crash. Robert Wagner is good as a young shell-shocked soldier.
Wizard of Oz, The (1939) - One of the world's most popular films, this musical fantasy is beautifully directed and acted. Who could ever forget Over the Rainbow?
Women, The (1939) - All-female cast shines in Clare Booth Luce's ode to cattiness and competition in a circle of "friends."
Wuthering Heights (1939) - Laurence Olivier as Heathcliff and Merle Oberon as Cathy are wonderful in this story of their stormy romantic relationship set in the Yorkshire moors.
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) - James Cagney won an Oscar for his portrayal of George M. Cohan. The song and dance numbers are terrific!
Yearling, The (1946) - Marjorie Kinnan Rawling's story of a boy and his pet deer was beautifully filmed on location in Florida. Claude Jarman, Jr. won a Special Oscar for his work as Jody Baxter. Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman are fine as his parents.
Young Philadelphians, The (1959) - Paul Newman and Barbara Rush star as a lawyer who schemes his way to the top and the debutante he wishes to marry. Robert Vaughn is good as Newman's one-armed chum who's up for murder. There are nice final scenes in the courtroom when Newman defends Vaughn.
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