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100 Greatest Films

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

The African Queen (1951)

All About Eve (1950)

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

An American In Paris (1951)

Annie Hall (1977)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Ben-Hur (1959)

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The Big Parade (1925)

The Big Sleep (1946)

The Birth Of A Nation (1915)

Blade Runner (1982)

Bonnie And Clyde (1967)

Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Broken Blossoms (1919)

Casablanca (1942)

Chinatown (1974)

Citizen Kane (1941)

City Lights (1931)

The Crowd (1928)

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Double Indemnity (1944)


Duck Soup (1933)

E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Easy Rider (1969)

Fantasia (1940)

42nd Street (1933)

The General (1927)

The Godfather (1972) (tie)


The Godfather, Part II (1974) (tie)

The Gold Rush (1925)

Gone With The Wind (1939)

The Graduate (1967)

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Greed (1924)

High Noon (1952)

His Girl Friday (1940)

Intolerance (1916)

It Happened One Night (1934)

It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Jaws (1975)

King Kong (1933)

The Lady Eve (1941)

Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948)

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)

The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)

Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)


Modern Times (1936)

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Nashville (1975)

A Night At The Opera (1935)

The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Ninotchka (1939)

North By Northwest (1959)


Notorious (1946)

On The Waterfront (1954)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


Out Of The Past (1947)

Paths of Glory (1957)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

Psycho (1960)

The Quiet Man (1952)

Raging Bull (1980)

Rear Window (1954)

Rebecca (1940)

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Red River (1948)

Roman Holiday (1953)

Schindler's List (1993)

The Searchers (1956)

Shane (1953)

Singin' In The Rain (1952)

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Stagecoach (1939)

A Star Is Born (1954)


Star Wars (1977) (tie)

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

Sunrise (1927)

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Taxi Driver (1976)

The Third Man (1949)

To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)

Top Hat (1935)

Touch Of Evil (1958)

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

Trouble in Paradise (1932)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Vertigo (1958)

West Side Story (1961)

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

The Wild Bunch (1969)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Wuthering Heights (1939)

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

A
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Starring: Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, Claude Rains,
Melville Cooper, Ian Hunter
Director: Michael Curtiz, William Keighley
Arguably Flynn's greatest role, this is the classic, swashbuckling, adventure,
costume epic/spectacle about the infamous rebel outlaw and his band of merry
men from Sherwood Forest who "robbed from the rich and gave to the poor."
The charming Robin Hood (Flynn) fights for justice against the evil Sir Guy of
Gisbourne (Rathbone), the villainous Sheriff of Nottingham (Cooper), and the
scheming Prince John (Rains), while striving to win the hand of the beautiful
Maid Marian (de Havilland) - and to save the English throne for King Richard
(Hunter). This good-natured, extravagant adventure epic still packs romance, comedy, great
sword play action, music, colorful characters and storybook fantasy. One of the earliest films to
be shot in three-color Technicolor and, at the time, the most expensive film Warner Bros. had
produced ($2 million). William Keighley started directing the film, but Curtiz finished the
filming. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture. Academy Awards: 3,
including Best Interior Decoration, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing.

The African Queen (1951)


Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn, Robert Morley
Director: John Huston
Based on the 1935 novel by C.S. Forester, the wonderful combination of
Hepburn and Bogie makes this a thoroughly enjoyable blend of comedy and
adventure. Forester's story, Bogey's Oscar®-winning performance, 'odd-couple'
chemistry, and an exotic locale combine for classic adventure/romance. The
boozing, smoking, cussing captain of a tramp steamer, Charlie Allnut (Bogart),
saves prim, sober, and proper missionary Rose Sayer (Hepburn), "a crazy
psalm-singing skinny old maid," after her brother (Morley) is assaulted by a
German soldier at the beginning of World War I in German East Africa, and
dies from insanity. After many quarrels, they survive a treacherous African river journey on a
rattle-trap steamer, shoot the rapids, struggle with mosquitos and blood-sucking leeches, and set
sail on the Ulonga-Bora in order to sabotage The Louisa, a German warship. Later came the
book (and Clint Eastwood film) White Hunter, Black Heart, that chronicled Peter Viertel's
experiences observing Huston throughout the making of the picture. Academy Award
Nominations: 4, including Best Actress--Katharine Hepburn, Best Director, Best Screenplay.
Academy Awards: 1, Best Actor--Humphrey Bogart.

All About Eve (1950)


Starring: Bette Davis, Anne Baxter, George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Thelma
Ritter, Gary Merrill
Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Much-loved, lengthy, acerbic drama of theatre life about a young actress who
insinuates her way into Broadway stage star's life. Wit and sarcasm reign
supreme (e.g., "Fasten your seat belts. It's going to be a bumpy night") and
George Sanders is perfect as Addison De Witt - a cynical, egotistical
columnist/critic. The literate film features Davis as aging, bitchy
accomplished star Margo Channing who takes the seemingly-naive and
innocent fan Eve (Baxter) under her wing. As the film opens, the rising,
unscrupulous star accepts an award for best newcomer on the Broadway
scene. Then, in a flashback, we see the shameless starlet insinuating herself into the life of her
idol, and scheming to steal her theatrical roles and her lover Bill (Merrill). By ruthlessly
exploiting the older woman's kindness and hospitality, she manages to achieve her present
success while almost destroying the veteran star in the process. The ending of the film returns to
the awards banquet to find the starlet clinging to her trophy, with another fan in the wings. Also
with Marilyn Monroe in a bit part. Academy Award Nominations (record-setting): 14, including
Best Actress--Anne Baxter, Best Actress--Bette Davis, Best Supporting Actress--Celeste Holm,
Best Supporting Actress--Thelma Ritter. Academy Awards: 6, including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor--George Sanders, Best B/W Costume Design,
Best Sound.

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)


Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim
Director: Lewis Milestone
Based on Erich Maria Remarque's timeless, pacifistic anti-war novel, this
poetically brilliant epic about the horrors of war was hugely popular in its day.
The moving drama, the first great sound anti-war film, follows a group of seven
German schoolboys, with central character Paul (Ayres) inspired by their
professor to fight for their country. They voluntarily enlist in World War I,
believing in the glory of the Fatherland and learn about the realities of war from
veteran soldier Katczinsky (Wolheim). The film documents their descent into
war (and disillusionment) in graphic detail, from the everyday reality of trench warfare to
starvation and butchery. The film tracks the boys in training, battle, and eventually their
senseless, untimely deaths. Paul dies from an enemy bullet in the final scene as he reaches out to
touch a butterfly. Shot on an epic scale with an impressive budget of $1.25 million, the film's
realism and visual art created a sensation. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best
Writing, Best Cinematography. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Production (Picture), Best
Director.

An American In Paris (1951)


Starring: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Nina Foch, Georges Guetary, Oscar
Levant
Director: Vincente Minnelli
One of the great 50s screen musicals, colorfully enhanced by the grace and
athleticism of Gene Kelly and direction by Vincente Minnelli. Jerry Mulligan
(Kelly), a young American G.I., lingers in Paris after World War II to study
art and painting. He wants to live the life of the great painters -- in a
Montmartre garret, starving for his art. When a rich, romance-minded
American gallery owner (Foch) offers to support him, he agrees -- even if the
bargain means joining the benefactress' entourage of lovers. Then he meets
Lise (Caron), a young, exquisite French mademoiselle, and instantly falls in
love. Unfortunately, she's already engaged to marry her benefactor, music hall star Henri Baurel
(Guetary), an older man who saved her from the Nazis. But when Henri discovers that she cares
for someone else, he gracefully exits, leaving the young couple to find love together. The film
debut for French actress/dancer Leslie Caron, who was discovered by Gene Kelly. With
sumptuous sets, charming dance sequences, George and Ira Gershwin's memorable melodies,
and a seventeen-minute, avant-garde ballet choreographed by Kelly - with backdrops
representing various impressionistic artists. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best
Director, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 6, including Best Picture, Best Story and
Screenplay, Best Color Cinematography, Best Musical Score.

Annie Hall (1977)


Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Tony Roberts, Carol Kane
Director: Woody Allen
Bittersweet, cerebral, stream-of-consciousness, 70s, urban romantic comedy
about a New York couple's neurotic love affair. Many consider this Allen's
best work, and a transition from his earlier absurdist comedies to a richer,
more thoughtful consideration of relationships. Innovatively filmed, with
cartoon segments, flashbacks, monologues toward the camera, and other
unique elements. Allen co-wrote, directed and stars as a kvetchy, neurotic,
Brooklyn stand-up comedian Alvy Singer, wistfully recalling his bygone
relationship with flighty, adorable, and irrepressibly Midwestern Annie Hall,
an aspiring singer. (Film marks the fourth pairing of Keaton and Allen, who
were also an off-screen couple at the time.) At first the cultural gap seems insurmountable, but
despite their differences, they fall in love. As they get to know one another, they invariably
attempt to change each other, causing friction and their eventual split. The film watches them try
new relationships, as they reluctantly pull away from each other. The film, in actuality,
chronicles the end of their relationship. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Actor--
Woody Allen. Academy Awards: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress--Diane
Keaton, Best Original Screenplay.
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Also available on DVD as Apocalypse Now Redux (2001)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Dennis Hopper
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
A masterful, thought-provoking, pretentious film, with beautifully-chaotic
visuals, about the nightmarish, moral madness of the Vietnam War, inspired by
the novella Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Considered by many to be the
best war movie of all time, with incredible performances, especially that of
hawkish Lt. Colonel Kilgore (Duvall) who "loves the smell of napalm in the
morning." Sweeping, surreal, still-controversial Vietnam war epic. An Army
captain (Sheen) is sent into the Cambodian jungle aboard a patrol boat carrying a young, spaced-
out crew. Their mission: to assassinate ("terminate") a Buddha-like Colonel Kurtz (Brando) who
has become an insane demi-god and now runs his own fiefdom. The grueling production in the
Philippines led to vast budget overruns and physical and emotional breakdowns. Academy
Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best
Supporting Actor--Robert Duvall, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 2, including Best
Cinematography, Best Sound.

B
Ben-Hur (1959)
Starring: Charlton Heston, Hugh Griffith, Stephen Boyd, Jack Hawkins,
Martha Scott, Cathy O'Donnell
Director: William Wyler
Renowned Biblical epic of enormous scale about adult enmity between boyhood
friends, filmed in Italy. The 1880 novel by Lew Wallace had previously been
made in 1927 as a silent film with Ramon Novarro. A character-driven, action-
filled, star-studded extravaganza and one of the cinema's greatest epics -- a
compelling human story of revenge, bitterness, redemption and forgiveness.
Heston is the Prince of Judea, Judah Ben Hur, who confronts the conquering
Romans and tyrannical boyhood friend Messala (Boyd). His actions send him
and his family (Scott and O'Donnell) into banishment and slavery - and an inspirational
encounter with Jesus. As a galley slave, he saves the life of Roman nobleman/admiral Quintus
Arrius (Hawkins), is adopted and becomes a respected citizen and a famed chariot racer under
the tutelage of an Arabian horse racer (Griffith). Heston finally meets his rival Messala in a
justly famous chariot race - often regarded as one of the most exciting action sequences ever
filmed. Upon his return to Judea, Ben-Hur also rescues his suffering, leprous family and
witnesses the crucifixion of Jesus - on his way to Golgotha, and is inspired to convert to
Christianity. Academy Award Nominations: 12, including Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy
Awards: 11, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Charlton Heston, Best
Supporting Actor--Hugh Griffith.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Starring: Fredric March, Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Harold Russell, Teresa
Wright, Virginia Mayo, Cathy O'Donnell
Director: William Wyler
A landmark, classic drama about three WWII veterans attempting
readjustment to peacetime life and discovering that they have fallen behind.
Perhaps the most memorable film about the aftermath of World War II, it
unfolds with the homecoming of three servicemen to their small town: an
Army Sergeant (March) who turns to drinking, an Air Force major (Andrews)
who is rejected by his wife (Mayo), and a seaman who has lost both arms
(Russell) and agonizes over his relationship with his girlfriend (O'Donnell).
The movie portrays the reality of altered lives, readjustments at work,
dislocated marriages and the inability to communicate the experience of war on the front lines or
the home front. This was the first picture for Harold Russell, a non-actor and war veteran who
was an actual amputee. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Sound Recording.
Academy Awards: 7, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Fredric March, Best Supporting Actor-
-Harold Russell, Best Director, Best Screenplay. A Special Academy Award for Russell for
bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in the film.

The Big Parade (1925)


Starring: John Gilbert, Renee Adoree
Director: King Vidor
A still-powerful classic Great War, anti-war epic with compelling, realistic,
brilliantly-staged battle scenes -- showing the virtually-unprotected front lines
marching toward the enemy and getting picked off. This was the highest
grossing silent film in its day. The film mixes grueling infantry action with
bittersweet romance and a little comic relief. The war takes its toll as many of
the men die or get seriously wounded. The emotion-filled story focuses on an
American troop stationed in France with soldiers from different backgrounds.
One American soldier (Gilbert) falls in love with a French woman (Adoree),
and they are traumatically torn apart as the war carries them further apart.

The Big Sleep (1946)


Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Martha Vickers, John Ridgely
Director: Howard Hawks
Classic atmospheric film noir mystery with crackling dialogue, from Raymond
Chandler's first novel, with an incomprehensible plot (and tortuous story line)
about a private investigator hired by General Sternwood, a dying, invalid
millionaire to look into drugs, blackmail, nymphomania, pornography,
decadence and murder - and to follow after and protect his sharp-tongued,
indiscreet, thumb-sucking nymphette daughter (Vickers). The film introduced
down-at-the-heels private detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart), and set the
standard for private detective movies. The private eye becomes sexually
attracted to the older, sultry daughter Vivian (Bacall). Without any Academy Award
nominations.
The Birth Of A Nation (1915)
Starring: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh
Director: D.W. Griffith
First feature-length silent film is a sweeping Civil War drama/epic, aka The
Clansman. Placed in historical context, it's a landmark cinematic,
technological achievement (with now-familiar techniques of cross-cutting, the
flash-back, the close-up, and deep focus), though offensive due to its racism,
dated views and stereotypes, and glorification of the KKK. D. W. Griffith's
film tells the interwoven story of two families, one Northern and one
Southern, confronting the Civil War and Reconstruction periods. The
Camerons, headed by "Little Colonel" Ben Cameron, and the Stonemans,
headed by politician Austin Stoneman, find themselves on opposite sides of
the battle lines when War comes. The Civil War exacts a personal toll on both families, only to
be followed by the equally destructive Reconstruction period. Griffith links the consequences of
the war on their lives with the formation of the Ku Klux Klan.

Blade Runner (1982)


Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Daryl Hannah, Sean Young, Joe
Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, Edward James Olmos
Director: Ridley Scott
Moody futuristic, sci-fi noirish thriller, with stunning, visually-dazzling
effects and a brooding atmosphere, about a hard-boiled detective hunting
near-human "replicants." Based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric
Sheep? by Philip K. Dick. In a totalitarian, decaying 21st century Los
Angeles (2019), a jaded, semi-retired, Philip Marlowe-style ex-cop (Ford),
known as a "blade runner," is forced out of retirement to hunt down and
eliminate four "replicants" (Hannah, Hauer, Cassidy) - genetically engineered
super-humanoid robots. On earth illegally from an Off-world colony where
they were used as slave laborers, and with a built-in, shortened life span of only four years, the
androids have mutinied and escaped in order to confront the individual who designed them
(Turkel). Seeing their heroic struggle against an inhuman system, the blade-runner ultimately
falls in love with an android femme fatale (Young). Academy Award Nominations: 2, including
Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Visual Effects.
Bonnie And Clyde (1967)
Starring: Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, Estelle Parsons, Michael J. Pollard
Director: Arthur Penn
Groundbreaking, controversial, stylish crime drama/romance, and road film - about a 1930s bank-robbing
couple and gang with easy-going, folksy flavor and bloody, graphically-violent shoot-outs. The saga was
based on the true-life exploits of the notorious Depression-era bank robbers Bonnie Parker and Clyde
Barrow. Gun-toting, amoral, impotent drifter Clyde (Beatty) rescues dreamer Bonnie (Dunaway) from her
drab existence by regaling her with colorful tales of the outlaw life. Joined by Clyde's brother (Hackman),
his wife Blanche (Parsons), and a gas-station attendant (Pollard), the gang goes on a bumbling crime spree
through Texas and Oklahoma. Controversial when released because of its bullet-riddled ending, it marked
the coming increase in visceral cinematic violence. Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Warren Beatty, Best Actress--Faye Dunaway, Best Supporting Actor--
Gene Hackman, Best Supporting Actor--Michael J. Pollard, Best Original Screenplay, Best Costume
Design. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Supporting Actress--Estelle Parsons, Best Cinematography.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Elsa Lanchester
Director: James Whale
Darkly witty, black comedy, semi-humorous sequel to the classic Frankenstein film (and precursor to The
House Of Frankenstein in 1944) about a mad scientist building a mate in his laboratory for his monster.
Having escaped the fiery castle that engulfed him at the end of the 1931 horror classic Frankenstein, the
Frankenstein monster (Karloff) is back - now more civilized and human - and talking with a small
vocabulary after being taught by a blind hermit. Baron Henry Frankenstein (Clive), the
monster's tormented creator, is drawn back to his experiments by effeminate, sardonic Dr.
Pretorious (Ernest Thesiger). The demented Henry is convinced that the Monster really needs a
female mate (Lanchester) - the over-the-top Bride hisses at the Monster during their first
meeting. Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Sound Recording.

The Bridge On The River Kwai (1957)


Starring: Alec Guinness, William Holden, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins
Director: David Lean
Acclaimed, all-time great WWII epic drama about British P.O.W.'s forced to construct a railway bridge in
the Asian jungle of Burma, based on an outstanding, psychologically complex adaptation of Pierre Boulle's
1952 novel. In the Burmese jungle, British prisoner/solders, led by an obstinate commander Col. Nicholson
(Guinness), construct a rail bridge - and unwittingly aid the war effort of their Japanese captors and the
camp commander Col. Saito (Hayakawa). A tremendously antagonistic battle of wills ensues between the
two Colonels. Nicholson supervises the bridge's construction with a twisted sense of pride in his creation to
show up the Japanese as inferior. In the climactic finale, British and American intelligence officers
(Holden, Hawkins) conspire to blow up the structure. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best
Supporting Actor--Sessue Hayakawa. Academy Awards: 7, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Alec
Guinness, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Score,
Best Film Editing.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)


Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, May Robson
Director: Howard Hawks
Quintessential, definitive screwball comedy of the 30s, with absurd physical gags, high-
speed humor, and witty dialogue, from versatile directorial master Howard Hawks. A
non-stop profusion of mayhem, comic disasters, coincidences and misunderstandings
ensue when an absent-minded, nervous, unfortunate, strait-laced, Harold Lloyd-like
palaeontologist (Grant) encounters a flighty, irresistible, uninhibited, mad-cap, accident-
prone heiress (Hepburn). The befuddled scientist pursues a donation to his zoological
museum from a wealthy widow but he seems unable to avoid the woman's niece. Soon
the two are searching through her estate to find a valuable lost dinosaur bone (an
intercostal clavicle) hidden by her aunt's (Robson) dog (Asta from The Thin Man series), and following the
chaotic trail left by a missing, music-loving pet leopard named Baby. Inevitably, the two fall in love, after
she has destroyed his sanity, sexual respectability, career, and pending marriage.
Broken Blossoms (1919)
Starring: Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess, Donald Crisp
Director: D.W. Griffith
An early silent film, a classic melodrama, poignantly effective in its almost barren
simplicity, with evocative cinematography by Billy Bitzer. A poor Chinese immigrant
(Barthelmess) and abused teenager (Gish) in London's squalid, foggy Limehouse district
form a fragile bond in this touching, moving silent classic. The gentle, pacifistic
Chinaman struggles to free the woman he loves - an abused waifish girl living in the
poor East End district of London, from her violent, drunken, prize-fighting father
(Crisp). Even when the Chinese man shelters and hides her by dressing her up in
Oriental costumes, his desire to help her proves useless in the face of her father's
continued brutality.

C
Casablanca (1942)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid
Director: Michael Curtiz
Perennially at the top of every all-time greats list, and indisputably one of the landmarks of the American
cinema, although an accidental Hollywood masterpiece. Critically-acclaimed, bittersweet, popular, much-
loved, WWII-flavored, nostalgic story of intrigue and love that teamed Bogart and Bergman as ill-fated
lovers. A laconic, cynical idealist, American expatriate and war profiteer Rick Blaine (Bogart) in Nazi-
occupied WW II Morocco is content to be cafe owner for his Cafe Americain until a past love, in the
luminous form of Ilsa Lund (Bergman) who mysteriously left him in Paris, returns to his life and inspires
him to stand up for the French Resistance with her husband Victor Laszlo (Henreid). In the final scene in
the fog at the airport, he dutifully and nobly sacrifices his love for her - "We'll always have Paris."
Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Actor--Humphrey Bogart, Best Supporting Actor--Claude
Rains, Best B/W Cinematography. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best
Screenplay.
Chinatown (1974)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Director: Roman Polanski
Atmospheric, subtly-paced, superbly-made neo-noir mystery about a hard-nosed
detective uncovering urban corruption in late 1930's Los Angeles. World-weary
gumshoe Jake Gittes (Nicholson), who specializes in adultery cases, takes on Evelyn
Mulwray (Dunaway) as a client. He is hired by the recently-widowed woman to
investigate the infidelities of her alleged husband, the water commissioner for the
drought-stricken city. As the film-noir plot unfolds, the detective, with his nose slashed
by a punk (director Polanski in a cameo role), gets in way over his head in a case
involving murder, the illegal diversion of water to artificially deflate land prices,
fraudulent and corrupt politicians including sinister millionaire Noah Cross (Huston)
grabbing up land, and a prominent family's scandalous, long-hidden dark secret. After original, complex
plot twists, the film ends in an unsettling finale in the 'Chinatown' section of the city - a state of mind where
the law is ineffectual. Academy Award Nominations: 11, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Jack
Nicholson, Best Actress--Faye Dunaway, Best Director, Best Cinematography. Academy Awards: 1, Best
Original Screenplay (Robert Towne).
Citizen Kane (1941)
Starring: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Everett Sloane, Dorothy Comingore
Director: Orson Welles
This is Welles' greatest achievement, and a landmark of cinema history - often voted the greatest film ever
made. An expressionistic, fictional biography of the rise to power (and tragic fall) of a larger-than-life
newspaper tycoon/publisher - Charles Foster Kane. A reporter is sent to investigate the significance of
"Rosebud," the last word uttered by Kane (Welles), through interviews with various associates and his wife
(Cotten, Sloane, Comingore). The newspaper magnate's wealth and power ultimately leave him abandoned
and alone in his castle-like refuge. With its bravura direction, broken narrative and flashbacks, and vivid
performances, this is considered a modern masterpiece. Every aspect of the production marked an advance
in film language: the deep-focus, deeply shadowed cinematography; the discontinuous narrative (in a
screenplay co-authored by Herman Mankiewicz); the innovative use of sound and score; the low-level
camera shots; the ensemble acting from Welles' Mercury Theater. Academy Award Nominations: 9,
including Best Picture--Orson Welles, Best Actor--Orson Welles, Best Director--Orson Welles, Best B/W
Cinematography, Best Score, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 1, Best Original
Screenplay.
City Lights (1931)
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Virginia Cherrill
Director: Charlie Chaplin
One of Charlie Chaplin's best - and his last silent film. This film is a classic silent
masterpiece (with sound effects). In the opening sequence, the urban misfit (his
quintessential "Little Tramp" character) parodies 'talking' films. In the city, the tramp
(Chaplin) falls in love with a blind flower-selling girl (Cherrill), and although poverty-
stricken, he is mistaken for a millionaire. Her sight is restored after his endless efforts
(mostly by befriending a rich drunk) to acquire money to pay for an eye operation.
Critically acclaimed for its blend of sentimental drama, pathos, melancholy romance,
slapstick, and comic pantomime. The film's final shot is unforgettably poignant.
The Crowd (1928)
Starring: Eleanor Boardman, James Murray
Director: King Vidor
A superb, enduring, silent classic
masterpiece. A moving, downbeat melodrama about a young ordinary man's illusory dreams of success in
the Big City - filmed on location in New York. The young man (Murray) meets a girl (Boardman), falls in
love, marries, and the couple experience a short Niagara Falls honeymoon before moving into a mediocre
apartment. The working class family experiences many hard knocks, including the accidental death of one
of the children, loss of employment, and tensions that threaten to erode their marriage. Exquisitely filmed
and acted, capturing the realistic trials and tribulations of the human odyssey of life.

D
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the
Bomb (1964)
Starring: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick's classic, cynical Cold War, satirical black comedy, with scathing humor and timeless
performances, based on the novel Red Alert by Peter George and a script by Terry Southern. A crazed,
psychotic US general Jack D. Ripper (Hayden), paranoid about his own potency and commies, sparks a
nuclear crisis with a pre-emptive strike against "the Commies." The American President Muffley (Sellers in
one of three roles) must deal with gung ho military brass Gen. Buck Turgidson (Scott), bureaucratic
bumbling, a drunken Soviet Premier and a twisted, black-gloved German rocket scientist, Dr. Strangelove
himself (Sellers again). Ends with the memorable bucking broncho image of Major Kong (Pickens) riding
the fatal bomb. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Peter Sellers, Best
Director, Best Adapted Screenplay.
Double Indemnity (1944)
Starring: Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson
Director: Billy Wilder
One of the greatest movies of all time with an electric, snappy, hard-boiled script written by Wilder and
Raymond Chandler, based on the novel by James M. Cain. A classic, brooding film noir, told in flashback,
about an adulterous, duplicitous couple, a calculating insurance salesman (MacMurray) and a scheming,
irresistible, long-legged blonde femme fatale (Stanwyck), who commit the murder of her wealthy husband
in a larcenous, fraudulent attempt to collect on an insurance policy that pays double for accidental death.
Unfortunately, the double-crossing, cold-hearted protagonists are doggedly and persistently pursued by a
suspicious, formidable insurance investigator (Robinson). Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best
Picture, Best Actress--Barbara Stanwyck, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best B/W
Cinematography.

D (continued)
Duck Soup (1933)
Starring: Groucho Marx, Chico Marx, Harpo Marx, Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern
Director: Leo McCarey
Classic, short, zany, gag-studded, much-loved Marx Brothers political satire/musical about the fictitious
state of Freedonia, with total irreverence toward patriotism, religion, legal justice, and diplomacy. Groucho
plays Rufus T. Firefly, the incompetent king of Freedonia (with Chico and Harpo as his incompetent spies)
who woos the dowager millionairess Mrs. Teasdale (Dumont). Easily offended, he wages war on the
neighboring country of Sylvania because of a slight insult. One of the Marx Brothers' funniest, most
surreal, anarchic films with the famous battle scene at its finale, and the classic pantomime mirror scene.
E
E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Starring: Dee Wallace Stone, Peter Coyote, Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore
Director: Steven Spielberg
A massively popular, widely appealing, feel-good sci-fi fantasy - a cultural phenomenon
in the early 80s - about a kind-hearted, cute alien living with a suburban family - one of
the most popular and highest-grossing movies of all time. A harmless alien botanist from
outer space is left behind and stranded on Earth. The lovable extra-terrestrial is lured by
Halloween candy (Reese's Pieces), befriended by a young boy (Thomas), and protected
from authoritarian adults and menacing scientists who want to dissect and study the
creature. The curious alien eventually finds his way home, with aid from children, to his
returning spaceship. Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography. Academy
Awards: 4, including Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best
Visual Effects.
Easy Rider (1969)
Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson
Director: Dennis Hopper
Widely considered a generation-defining, youth-oriented classic, this film still engrosses
those nostalgic for 60's era wanderlust - seeking inspiration for the next road trip. Two
motorcyclist biker outlaws (drug-dealers) embark on a coast-to-coast odyssey across
America in this landmark counter-culture road drama/travelogue, searching for the 'real'
America. In the Southwest, they encounter wide open spaces, hippies in a commune,
small-town rednecks and paranoia, drugs, a drunken, jailed lawyer (Nicholson), sex in a
New Orleans bordello, a psychedelic trip in a graveyard, and a violent end. This often-
imitated but never-duplicated movie defined a generation and has the greatest 60's
soundtrack (featuring The Byrds, The Band, Steppenwolf, Jimi Hendrix, The Electric Prunes, and more).
The low-budget film, made for $375,000, was directed by young star Dennis Hopper and went on to make
multiple millions and change the pop culture landscape forever. Academy Award Nominations: Best
Supporting Actor--Jack Nicholson, Best (Original) Story and Screenplay (Fonda, Hopper, Terry Southern).

F
Fantasia (1940)
Starring: Leopold Stokowski, Sarah Thomas
Director: Ben Sharpsteen
Legendary Disney cartoon fantasy animating much-loved selections of classical music,
conducted by Leopold Stokowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra, remains a timeless
audio/visual delight. The film was criticized by musical purists, and it failed miserably at
the box-office, although it's wonderfully entertaining. The experimental film was revived
in the 60s (and was re-released in a new IMAX version in the year 2000) and became a
cult classic, especially the Mickey Mouse sequence in Dukas' "Sorcerer's Apprentice."
Also includes Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor," Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker
Suite," Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring," Beethoven's "The Pastoral Symphony,"
Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours, Mussorgsky's "The Night on Bald Mountain," and
Schubert's "Ave Maria." The recipient of two Special Academy Awards.
42nd Street (1933)
Starring: Warner Baxter, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, Bebe Daniels
Director: Lloyd Bacon
A classic, cliched, behind-the-scenes backstage musical about an ailing, Broadway
musical producer (Baxter) and a chorus line dancer's one last-ditch chance at success and
stardom. On opening night, the leading lady (Daniels) is suddenly unavailable when she sprains her ankle
and an inexperienced, untested chorus line girl (Keeler) is thrust into the limelight. Last minute, frantic
preparations for opening night with the new star precede the big premiere. Acclaimed Busby Berkeley
production numbers and memorable tunes include: "Forty-Second Street," "Young and Healthy," "You're
Getting To Be A Habit With Me" and "Shuffle Off To Buffalo." Academy Award Nominations: 2,
including Best Picture, Best Sound Recording.

G
The General (1927)
Starring: Buster Keaton, Marion Mack
Director: Buster Keaton
Not only is it considered Buster Keaton's greatest film, it is also widely recognized as one of the true
masterpieces of American cinema. The visually-stunning silent film is undoubtedly one of the greatest
comedies ever made, with non-stop physical comedy and sight gags, shot almost entirely aboard moving
trains. Keaton created this great comedy out of an authentic episode of American history during the Civil
War - a story about a famous locomotive, though in real-life the locomotive was stolen by the
Confederates. The two things devoted Confederate engineer Johnny Gray (Keaton) loves most in the world
are his Southern belle sweetheart (Mack) and his beloved locomotive named The General. When Northern
spies steal the latter (with his kidnapped girlfriend on board), the intrepid Confederate heroically risks his
life. He hijacks another locomotive, pursues them, and single-handedly takes on the entire Union army in
order to rescue both of his loves. Filmed against a backdrop of magnificently photographed Civil War
battle scenes, it also contains one of the great chases in movie history.

The Godfather (1972) (tie)


Starring: Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The operatic, violent drama was based on Mario Puzo's novel of the same name. Here is
a bravura, genre-defining, epic-length Mafia/gangster classic that evokes the mid and
late 1940's period with powerful character development, lighting, costumes, and settings.
The film follows the fortunes of the fictitious Corleones, a powerful Mafia family with
its own family rituals and separate code of honor, revenge, justice, law and loyalty that
transcends all other codes. When Godfather Don Corleone (Brando) is shot by rivals, his
sons Sonny (Caan), Fredo (Cazale) and favorite young son Michael (Pacino) assume
control, with Michael ascending to a prominent position of power. Flawless
performances from an all-star cast, a dramatic plot, Nino Rota's unforgettable music, violent set-pieces, and
the grotesque, severed horse-head scene. Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Director; 3
nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Caan, Duvall, Pacino), Best Sound, Best Original Score. Academy
Awards: 3, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Marlon Brando, Best Adapted
Screenplay.

The Godfather, Part II (1974) (tie)


Starring: Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, John Cazale, Talia Shire, Michael V.
Gazzo, Lee Strasberg, Robert De Niro
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The continuing saga of a Mafia family and dynasty, one of the few sequels in film
history that is considered superior to the original. This outstanding film continues the
first film and retraces the Corleone Family's founding by the young Vito Corleone (De
Niro), who immigrates to America from his native Sicily at the turn of the century and
maneuvers his family to power in the ghetto of Little Italy. It also shows the
maintenance of the family by young Michael (Pacino), Vito's son, as he ages and
confronts a second generation of criminal and family affairs in Vegas, Cuba, and in a
Senate hearing on organized crime. After eliminating all rivals and enemies, he is a brooding character,
alienated from his wife (Keaton), and the murderer of own brother Fredo (Cazale). Academy Award
Nominations: 11, including Best Actor--Al Pacino, Best Supporting Actor--Michael V. Gazzo, Best
Supporting Actor--Lee Strasberg, Best Supporting Actress--Talia Shire. Academy Awards: 6, including
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor--Robert De Niro, Best
Original Dramatic Score.
The Gold Rush (1925)
Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Georgia Hale
Director: Charlie Chaplin
A melodramatic, Chaplin silent classic with visual pathos and skillful slapstick - his
most-critically acclaimed film. The Little Tramp character is a Lone Prospector in the
Yukon during the gold rush days of the late 1800's. The poverty-stricken character is
menaced by a bear, blizzard conditions, a starving cabinmate who imagines him as a
giant chicken, and a teeter-tottering cabin on the edge of an abyss. He becomes
infatuated with a dancehall girl (Hale) for the story's bittersweet humor and romantic
tenderness. Contains the famous Thanksgiving meal of a boot and laces, and the
celebrated "dancing dinner rolls" gag. Academy Award Nominations (in 1942): 2,
including Best Sound Recording, Best Comedy Score.
Gone With The Wind (1939)
Starring: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia de Havilland, Hattie McDaniel
Director: Victor Fleming
One of the best-loved, appealing films of all time and one of filmdom's greatest cinematic achievements
and blockbusters, based on Margaret Mitchell's 1936 novel. The star-studded Civil War epic drama traces
the South's tragic history during the war and the Reconstruction period. Set against this sweeping historical
backdrop, the film follows a melodramatic romance between an indomitable, fiery Southern belle Scarlett
O'Hara (Leigh) and a slyly-dashing war profiteer Rhett Butler (Gable), tangled by her emotional love affair
with a married Southern gentleman (Wilkes). She struggles to protect her family and her beloved
plantation, Tara, from the ravages of the Civil War. Academy Award Nominations: 14, including Best
Actor--Clark Gable, Best Supporting Actress--Olivia de Havilland, Best Original Score (Max Steiner), Best
Special Effects, Best Sound Recording. Academy Awards: 9, including Best Picture, Best Actress--Vivien
Leigh, Best Supporting Actress--Hattie McDaniel, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Interior
Decoration, Best Film Editing, Best Color Cinematography. A Special Award for "use of
color."
The Graduate (1967)
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross
Director: Mike Nichols
Acclaimed, satirical coming-of-age romantic drama/comedy about a shy, naive college
graduate confronting the real world. In the late '60s, a confused, vulnerable college
graduate Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) is uncertain about his future, reacting with
passive rebellion. Without ambition or responsibility, he receives career advice from his
suburban family's associates - "plastics" - a catchword for an entire generation, just days
after receiving his diploma. While seduced by the wife of his father's business partner - a
rapacious "Mrs. Robinson" (Bancroft), he falls in love with her engaged daughter (Ross).
The influential and popular film, with a hit Simon and Garfunkel soundtrack, became an
emotional touchstone for an entire generation. This film established Mike Nichols as a major director and
was Hoffman's first major role. Buck Henry, appearing in the film as a hotel clerk, co-wrote the influential
screenplay, based on the novel by Charles Webb. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture,
Best Actor--Dustin Hoffman, Best Actress--Anne Bancroft, Best Supporting Actress-Katharine Ross, Best
Cinematography, Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best Director.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Director: John Ford
One of the all-time great, enduring American movies by John Ford, a classic adaptation
of John Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning 1939 novel about Depression-era
sharecropping farmers in California. The vibrant, evocative story, shot by
cinematographer Gregg Toland like a unsentimental, stark series of Dorothea Lange Depression
photographs, follows an Oklahoma family's escape from the barren Dustbowl to join the
migration to California's fruit harvest - the believed 'Promised Land.' The compassionate,
socially-conscious film contains Henry Fonda's greatest film role as wrongly-convicted ex-con
Tom Joad, a poor yet dignified Okie farmer who refuses to be beaten down by misfortune,
social injustice, oppression and capitalist greed. Darwell is moving as the loving backbone of the desperate
Joad family. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Henry Fonda, Best
Screenplay. Academy Awards: 2, Best Supporting Actress--Jane Darwell, Best Director.
Greed (1924)
Starring: ZaSu Pitts, Gibson Gowland, Jean Hersholt
Director: Erich von Stroheim
One of the greatest, and infamous, epic films of the silent era - an adaptation of Frank
Norris' novel McTeague, about a man driven insane by his debased wife's passionate
obsession with money. Director Eric von Stroheim 's 8-hour film was edited to a two-
hour running time by Irving Thalberg's MGM Studios. Greed examines the destructive
psychological effects of wealth on a couple, a slow-witted San Francisco dentist
(Gowland) and his miserly wife (Pitts) when she wins a lottery; as she gradually
becomes more and more consumed with the piles of gold she now owns, the relationship
falls violently apart... and comes to a stunningly shocking and ironic climax as the two
former friends (Gowland and Hersholt) wrestle and die together in Death Valley.

H
High Noon (1952)
Starring: Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado
Director: Fred Zinnemann
A legendary classic Western about a lawman awaiting a suspenseful, fateful showdown with ruthless
bandits returning to a small town to seek revenge. The stark, black and white 50s film is frequently
interpreted as a parable about artists left to "stand alone" and face persecution during the HUAC
Hollywood blacklisting. Hadleyville town marshal Will Kane (Cooper), a hero figure, is newly-married to a
beautiful, pacifist Quaker bride (Kelly). With integrity and a principled sense of justice, duty, and loyalty,
he puts everything on the line to confront a deadly outlaw killer set free by liberal abolitionists. The
murderer arrives with his gang on the noon train - and he is left abandoned by an ungrateful town to face
them alone. The film is enhanced by Dimitri Tiomkin's ballad (sung by Tex Ritter), and the fact that it is
virtually filmed in 'real-time' as the tense showdown approaches. Academy Award Nominations: 7,
including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay. Academy Awards: 4, including Best Actor--Gary
Cooper, Best Song ("Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darlin'"), Best Score, Best Film Editing.
His Girl Friday (1940)
Starring: Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, Ralph Bellamy
Director: Howard Hawks
The hilarious, fast-paced, battle of the sexes screwball comedy classic is Howard Hawks' updated remake
of the original 1931 screen version The Front Page, directed by Lewis Milestone. This witty, unrelenting
romp, adapted from the stage play The Front Page by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur, is full of bawdy
double entendres, staccato dialogue in simultaneous conversations, and gender-bending innuendos. Star
newspaper reporter Hildy Johnson (Russell) has informed Walter Burns (Grant), her suave, hard-boiled
managing editor and now ex-husband, that she's leaving the paper and planning to remarry. Somehow, he
must try and prevent her from resigning and remarrying a wimpy insurance salesman (Bellamy). Without
showing his feelings for her, he assigns her one last front-page headliner story about political corruption,
while helping a condemned man who has just escaped from the law. No Academy Award nominations.

I
Intolerance (1916)
Starring: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Constance Talmadge
Director: D.W. Griffith
D.W. Griffith's large-scale epic silent film is a series of vignettes exploring man's inhumanity to
man. This classic, with its exquisite sets, photography and editing, spans several centuries and cultures. The
film is made up of four distinct stories told in parallel fashion (and masterfully interwoven and converging
together) - linked solely by a single common thread: intolerance and repression, and the image of a rocking
Lillian Gish. Three of the stories are based on historical fact: Medieval Paris France during the Reformation
and the reign of Charles IX, including the slaughter of the Huguenots; the crucifixion of Christ in Judea;
and the fall of Babylonia. The fourth tale is a turn-of-the-century "modern" story of a man unjustly accused
of murder.
It Happened One Night (1934)
Starring: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly,
Director: Frank Capra
Frank Capra's sparkling, legendary, madcap, screwball romantic comedy based on the
story Night Bus by Samuel Hopkins, with movie legends Clark Gable and Claudette
Colbert. When Ellie Andrews (Colbert), a millionaire's (Connolly) high-society
daughter, marries a man her father dislikes, the heiress runs away. She travels incognito,
northward from Florida by bus - a fugitive from high society - where she meets enroute a
sexy, brusque, dumb-but-loveable, out-of-work news correspondent (Gable).
Unbeknownst to Ellie, the ruthless reporter hopes to recover his employment by selling
her story to his former boss. As they teach each other about life, the antagonistic couple
have a series of hapless adventures and comic misunderstandings, leading them to the
realization that they were made for each other. Contains the legendary "Walls of Jericho" scene and a hitch-
hiking technique scene. Academy Award Nominations: 5. Academy Awards: 5, including Best Picture,
Best Director, Best Actor--Clark Gable, Best Actress--Claudette Colbert, Best Adapted Screenplay.
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Travers
Director: Frank Capra
Sweet-natured, sentimental, inspirational classic drama about a near-suicidal man learning the value of his
existence. A charitable, hard-working philanthropist George Bailey (Stewart), forced to remain in a small
town by unpredictable circumstances, becomes depressed after an accidental financial disaster at his loan
company benefits the miserly Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore). He is on the verge of committing suicide and
wishing that he had never been born - when his crusty-but-lovable guardian angel Clarence (Travers), who
is desperately trying to earn his wings, shows up to give him a tour of his town without his presence
(Bedford Falls becomes the decadent and hellish Pottersville), showing him how important he's been to the
lives of his loved ones. Moral courage, small-town American life, civic cooperation, and family love are
glorified while corporate greed and selfishness are condemned, climaxed by the man's rescue during an
idyllic Christmas card finale. Clarence earns his wings and George learns that wealth is measured in love
and friendship. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--James
Stewart, Best Film Editing, Best Sound.

J
Jaws (1975)
Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Director: Steven Spielberg
From the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley and with a thrilling, memorable and
rousing score by John Williams. A Great White Shark terrorizes a popular Massachusetts
resort, Amity Island, during the summer tourist season in this action/adventure/horror
classic, an early blockbuster film from Steven Spielberg. Surprise attacks on the New
England coast, in which the monstrous man-eater preys on the inhabitants and
vacationers alike, are truly frightening and scary. Three unlikely partners team up on a
suspenseful 'fishing trip' to hunt down the rogue and destroy it: the new chief of
police from New York (Scheider), a young university-educated oceanographer
(Dreyfuss), and a crusty, grizzled old-time fisherman (Shaw) resembling the
obsessed Ahab in the Moby Dick tale. Academy Award Nominations: 4,
including Best Picture. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Sound, Best
Original Score, Best Film Editing.

K
King Kong (1933)
Starring: Fay Wray, Bruce Cabot, Robert Armstrong
Director: Merian C. Cooper, Ernest B. Schoedsack
Classic horror-fantasy thriller, with ground-breaking technical effects (stop-motion animation), a beauty-
and-the-beast drama about a misunderstood, gigantic ape running wild in NYC - one of the masterpieces of
cinema. Fortune-hunters, including filmmaker Denham (Armstrong) and his crew and a lovely, nubile
starlet (Wray) travel to remote, fog-shrouded Skull Island to shoot a jungle movie. In search of the fabled
giant ape, the magnificent, exotic, and dangerous "King Kong," they stumble upon a prehistoric world
populated by dinosaurs and giant snakes. Enticing the fifty-foot gorilla with the lovely blonde - that the
natives have kidnapped and offered as a gift to the beast, they eventually subdue and capture the monstrous
creature with gas bombs. Denham brings him back to New York City as a sideshow attraction. The beast
breaks his 'civilized' chains, escapes and goes on a rampage, ransacking the city in search of the young
actress. The film climaxes with the hairy beast clinging to the top of the Empire State Building as pilots
shoot him down. "It was Beauty killed the Beast." No Academy Award nominations.

L
The Lady Eve (1941)
Starring: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Charles Coburn
Director: Preston Sturges
Considered Preston Sturges' best film, a breathlessly paced, still-fresh romantic sex comedy classic - an
Adam-and-Eve battle of the sexes. On a transatlantic ocean liner, two shipboard card-sharp con artists
(Stanwyck and Coburn) plot to separate a naive, millionaire snake-scientist Charles Pike (Fonda) from his
beer fortune. Plans go awry and Jean meets her match when she falls in love with the handsome young
tycoon who has fallen madly in love with her. When he discovers that she is a swindler and gold-digger,
however, Charles rejects her, leading Jean to plot revenge -- she reconquers her man's heart while
masquerading as a high-society English lady, and during their hilarious honeymoon train journey. Academy
Award Nominations: 1, Best Original Story.
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Starring: Peter O'Toole, Alec Guinness, Omar Sharif, Claude Rains, Jose Ferrer, Jack Hawkins
Director: David Lean
One of the greatest films of all time, with rich cinematography of the immense desert. A sweeping, breath-
taking, cinematic biographical epic that follows the true-life exploits of a famed British officer, T. E.
Lawrence (O'Toole in his first major film), and his transformation from an enigmatic eccentric to a hero in
WWI Arabia. Assigned there, he courageously unites the warring Arab fractions into a guerrilla front to
battle the Turks, Germany's allies. Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Actor--Peter O'Toole,
Best Supporting Actor--Omar Sharif, Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 7, including Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Color Cinematography.
Letter From an Unknown Woman (1948)
Starring: Joan Fontaine, Louis Jourdan
Director: Max Ophuls
An emotionally-complex, bittersweet, old-fashioned, tearjerker romance, told with
flashbacks, about Lisa Berndl (Fontaine), a beautiful young woman with a childhood
crush and doomed love for a charmingly suave, philandering concert pianist Stefan Brand (Jourdan) in 19th
century Vienna. The night before the cavalier, callow pianist is due to fight a duel for offending a lady's
honor with Lisa's husband, he receives a letter from a strange, unknown woman (who has since died).
Through the letter, he learns for the first time about the young girl, his next-door neighbor, and her undying
love that she felt for him through the years, including a pregnancy and son. No Academy Award
nominations.

M
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Starring: Tim Holt, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorehead, Dolores Costello
Director: Orson Welles
A classic period piece and costume drama based on the 1918 novel by Booth Tarkington about a
prominent, wealthy, 19th century Midwestern family grappling with changing times, progress and the
coming of the modern industrial age at the turn of the century. Eugene Morgan (Cotten) courts Isabel
Amberson (Costello) over many years, but her spoiled son George (Holt) ruins their chances, and the proud
family disintegrates into squabbling. Agnes Moorehead plays the romantically-frustrated Aunt Fanny. Like
the previous year's Citizen Kane, this second film masterpiece by Orson Welles was mutilated by RKO
studio executives before its release (with a sentimental, tacked-on ending), though it still remains a
director's film, with refinement of cinematic techniques including sound manipulation, long takes, a
complete rotation in a single shot, quick-cuts, and artistic cinematography. Academy Award Nominations:
4, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress--Agnes Moorehead, Best Art Direction-Set Direction,
and Best B/W Cinematography.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, Elisha Cook,
Jr.
Director: John Huston
A highly influential, prototypical film noir mystery about a hard-boiled private detective
tracking an elusive, sought-after black bird statue, based on the crime novel by Dashiell
Hammett. This was John Huston's directorial debut film. Hard-drinking, snarling
untrusting private eye Sam Spade (Bogart), hired by femme fatale Brigid O'Shaugnessy
(Astor), searches in a claustrophobic San Francisco for the priceless statuette while
evading greedy and duplicitous characters, conveyed with first-rate performances: the
gardenia-perfumed Mr. Cairo (Lorre), the scheming, jovially-sinister Fat Man
(Greenstreet), and an effete gunsel Wilmer (Cook). Academy Award Nominations: 3,
including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Sydney Greenstreet, and Best Screenplay (John Huston).

Meet Me In St. Louis (1944)


Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Leon Ames, Mary Astor, Lucille
Bremer
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli's classic slice of Americana - a fresh and upbeat,
captivating romantic musical about a turn-of-the-century St. Louis family -
divided into four distinct acts. The happy Smith family is threatened with
moving when the father (Ames) is offered a better job in New York City - just
as the 1903 World's Fair is coming to town and making St. Louis the place to
be. The two eldest girls, 17 year old Esther and Rose (Garland and Bremer)
are in love and dismayed that they may have to leave home and their
boyfriends. The mischievous younger daughter 'Tootie' (O'Brien) is
devastated and becomes hysterical. Some of Garland's greatest songs are integrated into the film,
including "The Trolley Song," "The Boy Next Door," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas"
and others. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Screenplay, Best Musical Score,
Best Song ("The Trolley Song"), Best Color Cinematography.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)


Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight
Director: John Schlesinger
An exceptional, provocative, gritty portrait of a naive, small-town Texan Joe
Buck (Voight) who becomes an unsuccessful male prostitute in Manhattan
and his befriended relationship with a slimy, tubercular, limping, homeless,
petty thief and con artist Ratso Rizzo (Hoffman) who dreams of making it
rich in sunny Florida. The two establish interdependent bonds of love and
trust in the big city, both hoping for a better life elsewhere. Once-
controversial because it was originally rated X, this Oscar-winning Best
Picture film was made on location in New York to portray seediness,
corruption, and big-city anonymity, and based on James Leo Herlihy's novel.
Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Actor--both Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight,
Best Supporting Actress--Sylvia Miles, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 3, Best Picture,
Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (Waldo Salt).

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)


Starring: James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Claude Rains
Director: Frank Capra
Based on Lewis R. Foster's novel The Gentleman From Montana, a
quintessential Frank Capra dramatic, political parable about a naive idealist
junior senator who confronts and exposes graft and pork-barrel corruption in
the US Senate. Patriotic, innocent, principled, and starry-eyed boy scout
leader Jefferson Smith (Stewart) is recruited, appointed, and exploited, by
crooked fat-cat political strategists, as he fills the seat of an expired Senator
as their rubber-stamping 'yes' man. On Capitol Hill, Smith joins with savvy
secretary Saunders (Arthur) to take a stand against the corrupt, eloquent
senator Joseph Paine (Rains), refusing during a filibuster to submit to
underhanded tactics while espousing patriotic American values. Academy Award Nominations:
11, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--James Stewart, Best Supporting Actor--
Harry Carey, Best Supporting Actor--Claude Rains, Best Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best
Original Story (Lewis R. Foster).

Modern Times (1936)


Starring: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
Director: Charlie Chaplin
A 'mostly silent,' funny and poignant comedy/satire in which Charlie Chaplin
bids farewell to silent comedy. The opening title: "Modern Times - A story of
industry, of individual enterprise - humanity crusading in the pursuit of
happiness." In the machine age, Chaplin is a victimized factory worker with a
'Big-Brother' tyrannical boss who spies on employees with a giant TV
monitor and demands greater speed and efficiency. He slaves on a
dehumanizing automated assembly line where he quickly has a nervous
breakdown, goes insane and is sent to a mental institution. The feeding-
machine sequence is priceless. In the Depression era of poverty and unrest, he
meets and falls in love with an orphaned street waif and fellow vagabond The Gamine
(Goddard), and the two dream of a contented, suburban existence. In one of the 'sound'
sequences, the Tramp impersonates a singing waiter. With a touching ending - a final farewell to
the Little Tramp character.
My Darling Clementine (1946)
Starring: Henry Fonda, Linda Darnell, Victor Mature, Walter Brennan, Cathy
Downs
Director: John Ford
One of John Ford's greatest westerns, semi-historically based on the famous
O.K. Corral gunfight. Henry Fonda stars as Wyatt Earp, a one-time outlaw
gunslinger who becomes the dedicated, law-abiding sheriff of Tombstone
during the 1880s, determined to clean up the rowdy frontier town where the
killers of his brothers, led by Old Man Clanton (Brennan) have fled. A visit to
the barber symbolizes Earp's transition from the western frontier to civilization.
He develops a relationship with the legendary consumptive Doc Holliday
(Mature), defends a drunken Shakespearean actor, and cultivates a romance with square dance
partner Clementine (Downs), the town's school teacher. No Academy Award nominations.

N
Nashville (1975)
Starring: Henry Gibson, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine,
Shelley Duvall
Director: Robert Altman
Altman's great country-music, Bicentennial epic length drama, set in the
capital city of Nashville - a microcosm of America, summed up in one of the
film's lyrics: "We must be doing something right to last 200 years." An
intricate, free-form, intertwining tale, tangentially linking together twenty-
four protagonists who have arrived on the scene to be part of the Nashville
showbiz crowd, and appear at a pop concert and a political rally for the
"Replacement Party." Colorful characters, both performers and audience
members in the mosaic-style film, converge in a massive traffic jam and are
present during a violent assassination scene by the film's conclusion: Presidential hopeful Hal
Philip Walker, frail, crooning country western sweetheart Barbara Jean (Blakley), singing rival
Connie White (Black), folk-singing lecherous lover Tom Frank (Carradine), BBC tele-journalist
Opal (Chaplin), a groupie from LA (Duvall), and master of ceremonies Haven Hamilton
(Gibson). A satirical film that comments upon religion, politics, sex, violence, and the
materialistic culture. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Supporting Actress--Ronee Blakley, Best Supporting Actress--Lily Tomlin. Academy
Awards, 1, Original Song "I'm Easy" by Keith Carradine.

A Night At The Opera (1935)


Starring: Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx, Chico Marx, Margaret Dumont
Director: Sam Wood
The first MGM-produced, big-budget Marx Bros. film, the 6th of their
thirteen films and considered by most critics to be their best film - and the
first without Zeppo. One of their typical madcap, humorous films, in which
the three wise-cracking brothers (Groucho is Otis B. Driftwood) stow away
on a New York bound ship accompanying an opera crowd. Driftwood has
been hired to introduce Mrs. Claypool (Dumont) to society. Famous routines
include the Groucho/Chico contract negotiation scene ("There ain't no Sanity
Claus!"), the ocean-liner stateroom scene, the bed-switching sequence, and
the insane concert hall scene at the film's conclusion.
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish
Director: Charles Laughton
The only film directed by actor and stage director Charles Laughton. A stark,
film noirish, black-and-white thriller, with a haunting, chilling lead performance
by Robert Mitchum as crazed psychopathic Preacher Harry Powell prowling the
Ohio River Valley. He personifies one polar end of the struggle between good
and evil The killer of rich widows, with tattoos of LOVE and HATE on the
fingers of both hands, weds a dead condemned killer's lonely widow (Winters),
and then relentlessly hunts his own innocent step-children across the Depression
Era Bible Belt to get at their father's stolen fortune of $10,000. The final
segment pits the Preacher against Lillian Gish as a symbol of protecting Goodness, rocking at
night on a porch with a shotgun across her lap, while he sings his perverse hymn in
counterpoint: "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms." Unbelievably not nominated for any Academy
Awards.

Ninotchka (1939)
Starring: Greta Garbo, Melvyn Douglas
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
The sparkling picture that was advertised as the film in which "Garbo
Laughs!", recalling the "Garbo Talks!" campaign of Anna Christie (1930). A
delightful, witty Lubitsch romantic comedy, with the director's characteristic
touches, about a stern and grim female Russian agent Nina Yakushova
(Garbo), a straight-laced Communist Party member, sent to Paris for two
purposes: to conclude the sale of the Grand Duchess Swana's stolen jewels
and check up on her three comrades who have easily been seduced and
converted to capitalism. While in Paris as she coldly resists Western
materialism, she succumbs to the suave, French charms of Swana's lawyer
and playboy lover (Douglas) and falls in love. Her icy heart melts and she laughs joyously, but
Ninotchka is blackmailed into leaving Paris by a jealous Swana. By the film's end, the two
lovers rendezvous in Turkey to be together. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best
Picture, Best Actress--Greta Garbo, Best Original Story, Best Screenplay.

North By Northwest (1959)


Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock's great suspense thriller, another mistaken-identity case involving a
Madison Avenue ad executive Roger Thornhill (Grant). He is targeted as a
US government agent (who doesn't actually exist) by international spies,
abducted, framed for murder, and chased cross-country. On the run
throughout the entire film, he is pursued by the foreign operatives, the head of
the spy ring Philip Vandamm (Mason), the CIA, the police, and a mysterious
blonde Eve Kendall (Saint). A literal plot-twisting cliff-hanger, with superb
sequences including the famous cropduster scene in an open field, and the
chase across the face of Mount Rushmore. Academy Award Nominations: 3,
including Best Story and Screenplay, Best Film Editing.
Notorious (1946)
Starring: Cary Grant, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Leopoldine Konstantin
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock's ninth Hollywood film, the highly acclaimed, post WWII noirish spy
thriller/romance set in Brazilian South America. An alluring, alcoholic playgirl
(Bergman), the daughter of a convicted Nazi agent, is reluctantly exploited and
drafted by the CIA to become a US government agent and secretly infiltrate into
a shady group of Axis Germans. Watchful American agent (Grant) turns chilly
toward her, uncertain of her love and loose-living past during a cruel love affair.
To spite him when he doesn't protest, she marries her Nazi espionage target
(Rains), a former friend of her father's, to acquire access to information,
including the MacGuffin (uranium in wine bottles) in the wine cellar. Trapped in her enemy's
home, where her husband is oppressed by his cold, domineering mother (Konstantin), Bergman
is slowly poisoned with arsenic and in mortal danger until rescued by guilt-ridden Grant. The
film features the most famous marathon screen kiss in film history, the zoom shot toward the
wine cellar key, the wine cellar sequence, and the staircase-descending finale. Academy Award
Nominations: Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor--Claude Rains.

O
On The Waterfront (1954)
Starring: Marlon Brando, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb, Karl Malden, Rod
Steiger
Director: Elia Kazan
A compelling, evocative, gritty drama about union corruption and violence on
the New York waterfront and the struggle of an ex-prize fighter against it.
Inarticulate ex-boxer champ Terry Malloy (Brando) witnesses the murder of a
fellow dock worker, a victim of gangster union boss Cobb's oppressive hold
over the longshoremen - punished for 'singing' to an investigation
commission. When Terry begins to fall in love with shy and frail Edie (Saint),
the dead man's sister, his allegiances are challenged. Contains the famous
Brando "I coulda been a contender" speech in the back seat of a taxi with his
crooked, scheming lawyer brother Charlie (Steiger). After his brother's murder, he defiantly
stands up against the hoodlums on the waterfront. Academy Award Nominations: 12, including
Best Supporting Actor (Cobb, Steiger, and Malden). Academy Awards: 8, including Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Marlon Brando, Supporting Actress--Eva Marie Saint, Best
Story and Screenplay.

O (continued)
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Brad Dourif, Will Sampson,
Director: Milos Forman
A compelling, socially-conscious portrait of mental institution patients pitted against a tyrannical, sinister
head nurse, cinematically adapted from Ken Kesey's celebrated 1962 novel. A free-spirited, ebullient,
rebellious convict Randle P. McMurphy (Nicholson) feigns insanity to avoid a jail sentence, and is
incarcerated in an insane asylum. His heroic, crazed struggles against oppression, conformity and the
manipulative, authoritarian nurse symbolize the rebellious 60's era, as he serves as a catalyst and
invigorating inspiration for the subdued, troubled patients. He is taken down and pays the ultimate price for
his messianic, outrageous non-conformity with a zombie-producing lobotomy. The strong and silent Indian
(Sampson) that he has befriended relieves his pitiful misery.
Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Supporting
Actor--Brad Dourif. Academy Awards: 5, including Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Jack Nicholson, Best
Actress--Louise Fletcher, Best Adapted Screenplay.

Out Of The Past (1947)


Starring: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Virginia Huston
Director: Jacques Tourneur
A beguiling, complex film noir from the post WWII period. This classic is laced with doom-laden
flashbacks from the shady past, about a laconic private detective who is caught in a deathly web - the
picture was AKA Build My Gallows High, and based on Geoffrey Homes' novel. Jeff (Mitchum), who has
moved to the country to find solitude. He is hired for one last assignment and brought out of retirement by
gangster Whit Sterling (Douglas). On the way to the job, he describes his past to his fiancee Ann (Huston),
and his journey to Acapulco where he first came under the lethal, erotic spell of femme fatale Kathie
(Greer) in an ill-fated affair. When the present action resumes, Jeff is doomed and seduced once again by
the same charming, but wicked woman he had once loved and lost - a return to the past and involvement in
a complex web of intrigue, passion, betrayal, double and triple-crosses and death. No Academy Award
nominations.

P
Paths of Glory (1957)
Starring: Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker, George Macready, Adolphe Menjou, Timothy Carey
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Stanley Kubrick's classic, powerfully bleak, anti-war drama on the hypocrisy of battle, based on Humphrey
Cobb's factual novel. The film is an effective denouncement of self-seeking, pitiless WWI French military
leaders whose strategy and mishandling of a failed mission are incomprehensible. During horrendous
trench warfare on the French front (filmed with realistic tracking shots), a vain and pompous French
General Mireau (Macready) orders his hapless group of soldiers to suicidally attack an obviously-
impenetrable German stronghold. When they predictably fail in the ill-conceived attack, he angrily
commands his own artillery to fire on the 'cowardly' troops. Further, he arbitrarily picks three blameless
men as scapegoats - at random - to stand trial and be court-martialed for cowardice - and face execution by
firing squad. Infantry commander and dissenting Army lawyer Colonel Dax (Douglas), aware of the
disgraceful cover-up and episode, unsuccessfully defends the condemned men. No Academy Award
nominations.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Starring: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard
Director: George Cukor
George Cukor's classic, witty romantic comedy - an outstanding film version of Philip Barry's hit play, a
sophisticated romantic farce about a socialite wedding. Recently divorced, wealthy, society girl heiress
(Hepburn) is torn between her new stuffy fiancee (Howard), her irresponsible ex-husband (Grant), and an
intriguing Spy Magazine suitor Macauley Connor (Stewart) who is present to cover the wedding with a
photographer Liz Imbrie (Hussey). The film was remade as the musical High Society (1956). Academy
Award Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress--Katharine Hepburn, Best
Supporting Actress--Ruth Hussey. Academy Awards: 2, Best Actor--James Stewart, Best Screenplay
(Donald Ogden Stewart).
Psycho (1960)
Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, John Gavin, Vera Miles, Martin Balsam
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
The greatest, most influential Hitchcock horror/thriller ever made and the progenitor of the modern
Hollywood horror film, based on Robert Bloch's novel. A classic, low budget, manipulative, black and
white tale that includes the most celebrated shower sequence ever made. Worried about marital prospects
after a lunch tryst with her divorced lover (Gavin), blonde real estate office secretary Marion
Crane (Leigh) embezzles $40,000 and flees, stopping at the secluded off-road Bates Motel,
managed by a nervous, amateur taxidermist son named Norman (Perkins). The psychotic,
disturbed "mother's boy" is dominated by his jealous 'mother', rumored to be in the Gothic house
on the hillside behind the dilapidated, remote motel. The story includes the untimely, violent
murder of the main protagonist early in the film, a cross-dressing transvestite murderer, insanity, a stuffed
corpse, and Oedipal Freudian motivations. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Supporting
Actress--Janet Leigh, Best Director, Best B/W Cinematography.

Q
The Quiet Man (1952)
Starring: John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Victor McLaglen, Barry Fitzgerald
Director: John Ford
John Ford's Irish romantic comedy/drama about an American ex-prizefighter (Wayne) who retires to his
native, childhood Ireland (the greenish town of Inisfree) to begin a new life and find an Irish lass for a wife.
Lushly filmed on location - a Taming of the Shrew tale in which Sean Thornton courts and subdues the
fiery, red-haired, strong-willed Mary Kate (O'Hara), and fights an epic marathon brawl with her
disapproving brother Will 'Red' Danaher (McLaglen) to secure her dowry and precious heirlooms. Along
the way, he is aided by the impish leprechaun-like matchmaker Michaeleen Flynn (Fitzgerald). Academy
Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Victor McLaglen, Best Screenplay.
Academy Awards: 2, Best Director, Best Color Cinematography.

R
Raging Bull (1980)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci
Director: Martin Scorsese
A magnificently visceral, vivid and real, black and white bio/docu-drama of the rise and fall of a violent,
suicidally-macho prize-fighter. Hard-headed, animalistic, unlovable slum kid Jake LaMotta (De Niro)
becomes the 1949 middle-weight champ. The boxer experiences bouts of ring and domestic violence with
brother Joey (Pesci) and second, beautiful teenage wife Vikki (Moriarty), and slowly but predictably
descends into fat slobbishness. Robert De Niro's transformation from a sleek professional boxer to an out-
of-shape, stand-up nightclub entertainer is simply remarkable. This film is regularly voted the Best Film of
the decade of the 80s. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Joe
Pesci, Best Supporting Actress--Cathy Moriarty, Best Director. Academy Awards: 2, Best Actor--Robert
De Niro, Best Film Editing.
Rear Window (1954)
Starring: James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Raymond Burr
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock's voyeuristic masterpiece - a suspenseful, nail-biting thriller about a
wheelchair-bound, immobilized photographer who believes he has witnessed a murder
during his convalescence. During a hot New York summer, photo-journalist L. B. 'Jeff'
Jeffries (Stewart) recuperates in his apartment from a broken leg. He wiles away the time
by observing - and spying on neighbors through his rear window (with binoculars and
his telephoto camera), while being cared for by his fashionable girlfriend Lisa (Kelly)
and nurse-therapist Stella (Ritter). He experiences all of life's extremes - a
honeymooning couple, dancer Miss Torso, spinsterish Miss Lonelyhearts, and the
bickering, intriguing Thorwalds. Dissuaded by his police detective friend, Lisa, and
Stella, he persists with attentive observations and suspicions about Thorwald (Burr) killing his wife.
Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Color Cinematography,
Best Sound Recording.
Rebecca (1940)
Starring: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock's debut American film and the only film for which he received a Best Picture Academy Award.
A Gothic mystery/romance that was adapted from Daphne Du Maurier's 1938 novel. The film opens with
the haunting line: "Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley again." An innocent, nameless shy young bride
(Fontaine) struggles to settle into the country estate - Manderley - of her new wealthy husband (Olivier), a
brooding English nobleman/widower who appears moody and haunted by the memory of his first wife. She
is tortured, anguished and fearful that she must compete with the ghostly memories of the first Mrs. De
Winter - a glamorous Rebecca, especially when tormented by the sinister housekeeper Mrs. Danvers
(Anderson). Mysterious family secrets about the first Mrs. De Winter, who was drowned at sea, are
eventually revealed and change her perspective on her husband and their love. Academy Award
Nominations: 11, including Best Director, Best Actor--Laurence Olivier, Best Actress--Joan Fontaine, Best
Supporting Actress--Judith Anderson, Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best B/W
Cinematography.
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Starring: James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo, Jim Backus
Director: Nicholas Ray
The classic, melodramatic film that made James Dean an anti-hero icon for generations
to come - this was the second of his three films and the best 50s film of its kind
regarding the generation gap. A story of rebellion and angst in the life of an unsettled,
teenaged, new-kid-in-town Jim Stark (Dean) who crosses paths with two other alienated,
misfit youth - Judy (Wood) and Plato (Mineo) - at a police station in the first sequence.
The outcast trio of juveniles forms a strong bond against both their insensitive parents
(completely unjust, dysfunctional, ineffectual, or callous) and their peers, and search for
their identities. After a deadly drag race and a confrontation with his milquetoast father
(Backus), Jim spends the night with Judy and Plato in a deserted mansion. The
adolescents find refuge and solace in their own company. In the tragic finale, Plato is killed by police when
he foolishly brandishes an unloaded gun. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Supporting
Actor--Sal Mineo, Best Supporting Actress--Natalie Wood, Best Motion Picture Story.
Red River (1948)
Starring: John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan, Joanne Dru, John Ireland
Director: Howard Hawks
A classic 40s Western, one of the best American westerns, from action director Howard
Hawks, featuring Montgomery Clift in his first film. The story of a father/son battle of
wills and the first monumental, historic cattle drive along the Chisholm Trail to Abilene.
Texas rancher Tom Dunson (Wayne), a self-made, dictatorial, vicious, authoritarian
father is stubbornly pitted against his adopted son Matthew Garth (Clift). Their vicious
confrontations, capped by Dunson's tyrannical, unbearably harsh treatment of deserters,
leads to a mutinous revolt - a western Mutiny on the Bounty - when the cowpokes
support the natural leader - Matt. Dunson vows to pursue and kill his son that climaxes
in an inevitable, brutal fist-fight and show-down. Academy Award Nominations: 2, Best
Motion Picture Story, Best Film Editing.
Roman Holiday (1953)
Starring: Gregory Peck, Audrey Hepburn, Eddie Albert
Director: William Wyler
An Oscar-winning story from Hollywood Ten blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo,
who was fronted by Ian McLellan Hunter. The delightful, old-fashioned, dramatic, fairy-
tale courtship film, a variation of Capra's It Happened One Night, was shot on location
and contains the first major starring role of the much-beloved Audrey Hepburn. A
modern-day Princess (Hepburn) is quickly bored with ceremonial protocol during an
official visit to Rome. After slipping away from her attendants and entourage, she goes
'incognito' and encounters an American newspaperman Joe Bradley (Peck) who sees an
opportunity for an exclusive scoop. However, romance blossoms between them during
their 'common people' adventures throughout the city, as they are pursued by
the journalist's photographer friend Irving (Albert) who takes candids. The
newspaperman's intentions change when he realizes he's falling in love.
Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best
Supporting Actor--Eddie Albert, Best Screenplay. Academy Awards: 2, Best
Actress--Audrey Hepburn, Best Motion Picture Story.

S
Schindler's List (1993)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Ben Kingsley, Ralph Fiennes
Director: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg's greatest dramatic, black and white masterpiece, based on a true story of an opportunistic
German businessman and charming womanizer Oskar Schindler (Neeson), who profits from WWII by
employing cheap labor from Polish Jews in his Cracow cookware factory during the Third Reich's
Holocaust, and provides them refuge from the horrors of the Nazis. The film also documents the hideous,
disturbing evil personified by Nazi Amon Goeth (Fiennes) - the Plaszow camp commandant, Schindler's
relationship with his Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern (Kingsley) and their list-making to courageously save
over 1,000 Jews from the senseless, brutal extermination in Auschwitz. Academy Award Nominations: 12,
including Best Actor--Liam Neeson, Best Supporting Actor--Ralph

S (continued)
The Searchers (1956)
Starring: John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, Natalie Wood, Ward Bond, Henry Brandon, Vera Miles
Director: John Ford
A complex, epic, 'psychological' Western story about a man's obsessive five year quest for revenge, set in
post-Civil War America. Based on the novel by Alan Le May. This film is unquestionably Ford's finest,
beautifully filmed in his most popular locale, Monument Valley. Raiding Comanche Indians, in retaliation,
massacre a frontier family and Chief Scar (Brandon) kidnaps the teenaged daughter Debbie (Wood). The
embittered, racist, anti-hero brother Ethan Edwards (Wayne), a mysterious Civil War Confederate veteran,
engages on a journey to pursue his niece - to kill the Chief who abducted her AND to kill his corrupted,
tainted, disgraced niece to 'save' her from her savage captors. During their extensive, perilous, grim search,
conveyed by a series of flashbacks, he is accompanied by half-breed adopted nephew Martin Pawley
(Hunter), who is equally determined to save the girl. This exceptional film was not nominated for Academy
Awards.
Shane (1953)
Starring: Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur, Jack Palance, Van Heflin, Emile Meyer, Ben Johnson, Brandon de
Wilde
Director: George Stevens
A classic adult Western based on the novel by Jack Schaefer, about a lone, handsome gunfighter Shane
(Ladd), who drifts into a beautiful 19th century Wyoming valley. As a hired hand for the pioneer
homesteading Starrett family, Marion (Arthur) and Joe (Heflin), Shane is goaded into valiantly defending
them and other farmers from vicious threats made by ruthless cattle ranch baron Ryker (Meyer), and hired,
black-outfitted gunslinger Wilson (Palance). The family's young son Joey (de Wilde) worships the heroics
and bravery of Shane, and is heartbroken when the nomadic loner rides off at the film's conclusion.
Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor--Brandon
de Wilde, Best Supporting Actor--Jack Palance, Best Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best Color
Cinematography.
Singin' In The Rain (1952)
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Cyd
Charisse Directors: Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
One of the all-time best Hollywood musicals that spoofs and satirizes the transitional
chaos surrounding the end of the silent film era and the dawn of the 'talkies.' Vaudeville, silent film
actor/dancer Don Lockwood (Kelly) and co-star actress Lina Lamont (Hagen) are at the height of box-
office popularity, but with the advent of sound, shrill-voiced Lina's first talkie The Duelling Cavalier with
swashbuckling Lockwood is laughable before studio preview audiences. His aspiring ingenue girlfriend
Kathy Selden (Reynolds) is recruited to rescue their first film - remade as a musical re-titled The Dancing
Cavalier, with Kathy secretly dubbing over Lina's voice. The voice-dubbing deception is ultimately
exposed, and love blossoms. With marvelous musical numbers including the title song "Singin' in the
Rain," and "You Were Meant for Me," "Make 'Em Laugh," "Broadway Melody," and "All I Do Is Dream
of You." Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Supporting Actress--Jean
Hagen, Best Musical Score.
Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Starring: Voices of Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Adriana Caselotti
Director: David Hand, Perce Pearce
Disney's first full-length, commercially-successful animated masterpiece, a classic,
adapted Brothers Grimm fairy tale with a vain, evil Wicked Queen (La Verne), the
Queen's beautiful step-daughter Snow White (Caselotti), seven gold-mining dwarfs
(Bashful, Sneezy, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy, Dopey and Doc) who whistle to and from
work at the diamond mines - and a Prince Charming (Stockwell). After the Queen is told
by her magic mirror that Snow White is "the fairest of them all," she orders the innocent
maiden murdered, but she is released by the Huntsman, and finds refuge in the home of
seven dwarfs. The jealous Queen takes a potion to disguise herself as an old hag and
offers the sweet girl a poisoned red apple. Snow White is awakened from a deep sleep by the kiss of a
young prince. With memorable songs, including "Heigh Ho," "Whistle While You Work," and "Someday
My Prince Will Come." Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Score. Recipient of Special Award.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
Starring: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, Joe E. Brown, George Raft
Director: Billy Wilder
Wilder's wonderfully-satirical, funny comedy. Two unemployed, 20's era Chicago jazz musicians, Joe
(Curtis) and Jerry (Lemmon) accidentally witness the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, and must flee from
gangsters. They masquerade as women - Jo-sephine and Daphne - and join Sweet Sue's all-girl band with
luscious, voluptuous singer Sugar Kowalczyk (Monroe) heading for Florida to elude the pursuit of
retaliatory bootleggers. Joe also disguises himself as a wealthy, impotent, Cary Grant-like yacht owner to
attract the loving attention of fellow band member Sugar, while Daphne (impressed with his own new sexy
image) distracts the real millionaire - a smitten, oft-wed Osgood Fielding III (Brown). The Chicago hitmen,
with dime-flipping, spats-wearing ringleader Spats Columbo (Raft) arrive at the Florida hotel for a
convention, disrupting their gender-bending escapades. With the greatest fade-out line in film history:
"Nobody's perfect." Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Actor--Jack Lemmon, Best Director,
Best Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best B/W Costume Design.
Stagecoach (1939)
Starring: John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell, George Bancroft, John
Carradine, Andy Devine, Donald Meek, Berton Churchill, Louise Platt
Director: John Ford
One of John Ford's earliest, genre-defining films, the first with John Wayne, who became
a major star as a result. A classic Hollywood Western about a perilous Overland
stagecoach journey from Tonto through hostile Indian territory to Lordsburg with a varied,
tense group of six passengers: a good-hearted but banished prostitute (Trevor), a timid
whiskey salesman (Meek), a Southern gentleman gambler (Carradine), an alcoholic doctor
(Mitchell), a pompous, embezzling banker (Churchill), and a pregnant 'lady' (Platt) - the
wife of a soldier, plus a sheriff (Bancroft) and a stage coach driver (Devine). Along the
way, Ringo Kid (Wayne) holds up the stage and joins the trip - he's an escaped convict seeking revenge for
the murder of his brother and father. An exciting Indian attack by Geronimo's marauders and
chase across Monument Valley, with amazing stunt action, provide part of the film's stirring
climax. The shunned prostitute finds romantic happiness with the respectful outlaw. Academy
Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best B/W Cinematography.
Academy Awards: 2, including Best Supporting Actor--Thomas Mitchell, Best Score.
A Star Is Born (1954)
Starring: Judy Garland, James Mason
Director: George Cukor
A classic tearjerker, the first re-make of William Wellman's non-musical, classic 1937
film starring Janet Gaynor and Fredric March. Young aspiring star Esther Blodgett's
(Garland) singing career is launched in Hollywood -as Vicki Lester, by a fading,
alcoholic film star Norman Maine (Mason) whose popularity is on the decline. Their
marriage is tested by the tragic consequences of his personal disintegration and loss of
fame, especially in the Oscars ceremony scene. His stunning suicidal demise is
inevitable, but duly honored by his wife onstage when she introduces herself as Mrs.
Norman Maine. Includes Garland's memorable songs: "The Man That Got Away" and
"Born In a Trunk." Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Actor--James
Mason, Best Actress--Judy Garland, Best Song, Best Musical Score.
Star Wars (1977) (tie)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, James Earl Jones, Alec Guinness, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing
Director: George Lucas
The first of a trilogy of fantasy films by writer/director George Lucas, and one of the most financially-
successful films of all time, with amazing technological effects. A sci-fi adventure saga "in a galaxy far, far
away", quasi-Western film, about a galactic battle between good (the rebel forces) and evil (the Imperial
Galactic Empire). The characters are proto-typical: a young farmboy hero Luke Skywalker (Hamill) on a
desert planet, a villainous, black-garbed sinister Lord Darth Vader (voice of Jones) - an aide to the leader of
the Empire Grand Moff Tarkin (Cushing), a wise Jedi knight Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness), a daring
starship pilot (Ford), a captured rebel Princess Leia Organa (Fisher), a furry Wookie and two robotic
droids. With two sequels, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. Academy Award Nominations:
10, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Alec Guinness, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.
Academy Awards: 6, including Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best Costume Design,
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Visual Effects. A Special Achievement Award for "creation of the
alien, creature, and robot voices."
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Starring: Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
Director: Elia Kazan
The powerful, frank dramatic adaptation of Tennessee Williams' Pulitzer Prize-winning
play, based upon Oscar Saul's adaptation. The story of two sisters: a neurotic, sensitive
southern belle Blanche DuBois (Leigh) who visits and remains with her sister (Hunter)
and her animalistic, earthy and vulgar brother-in-law Stanley Kowalski (Brando) in a
down-and-out New Orleans project in the French Quarter. Mitch (Malden), one of
Stanley's buddies takes an interest in Blanche until Stanley strips and ultimately reveals
the secrets of her embarrassing, lurid past. After being 'raped' by Stanley in a heavily-
censored and edited sequence, the vestiges of her shattered self are led away to a mental
institution. Academy Award Nominations: 12, including Best Picture, Best Actor--
Marlon Brando, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best B/W Cinematography. Academy Awards: 4,
including Best Actress--Vivien Leigh, Best Supporting Actor--Karl Malden, and Best Supporting Actress--
Kim Hunter.
Sunrise (1927)
Starring: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor, Margaret Livingston
Director: F. W. Murnau
An artistic, poignant, brilliantly-filmed, expressionistic, landmark silent regarding a love triangle. A farmer
(O'Brien) falls for the allure of a vampish seductress (Livingston) from the City, tempted by her under the
moonlight in a swamp. He devises a murderous plan to kill his pure, innocent wife (Gaynor) - by drowning
her during a trip to the City. At the moment of attempted murder in the rowboat, he realizes his
love for his wife and can't complete the act. In the City (of the Jazz Age), the couple makes up
and he wins her back - but on the way home, a storm looms up and takes her from him -a
seemingly-just punishment from Fate itself. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best
Interior Decoration. Academy Awards: Unique and Artistic Picture (a second 'Best Picture'
Award), Best Actress--Janet Gaynor, and Best Cinematography.
Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Starring: William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Jack
Webb
Director: Billy Wilder
Wilder's witty black comedy regarding a famed silent film star who refuses to accept the
end of her stardom. Opens with a shocking flashback narrated in voice-over by a dead
corpse - a victim floating face-down in a Sunset Boulevard mansion's swimming pool.
Aspiring, debt-ridden screenwriter Joe Gillis (Holden) hides from creditors while hired
to write a script for faded film queen Norma Desmond's (Swanson) impending
comeback. He takes advantage, encouraging her false hopes and moving in as her
gigolo. The once-great star lives in a secluded estate with butler/chauffeur Max (von
Stroheim). The ambivalent, 'kept man' scriptwriter balances his exploitative dependence upon the film star
with romantic attention toward young script-reader Betty Schaefer (Olson), creating a lethal situation. The
perverse, cynical film references Swanson's actual career, with excerpts from one of her unfinished films
(Queen Kelly, directed by von Stroheim) and cameos by other forgotten silent film stars (e.g., Buster
Keaton). Academy Award Nominations: 11, including Best Picture, Best Actor--William Holden, Best
Actress--Gloria Swanson, Best Supporting Actor--Erich von Stroheim, Best Supporting Actress--Nancy
Olson, Best Director. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Story and Screenplay.

T
Taxi Driver (1976)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Harvey Keitel, Albert Brooks, Peter Boyle
Director: Martin Scorsese
One of Martin Scorsese's greatest films, about a violent, alienated, unfocused, psychotic NYC taxi driver
fatalistically disturbed by the squalid, hellish urban underbelly of pimps, whores, winos, and junkies. Ex-
Marine Travis Bickle (De Niro) works the night shift through Times Square in his cab, encountering
nightmarish Gothic horrors, moral decay and lowlifes. Off hours during the day, he kills time by
frequenting sleazy porno houses and eating junk food. His one feeble attempt at social and emotional
contact - a date with a blonde political campaign worker Betsy (Shepherd) fails miserably when he takes
her to a porn film. His fantasized one-man campaign/mission to clean up the streets focuses on saving a
prepubescent child prostitute Iris (Foster). It ends with a failed political assassination attempt, and a rage-
filled, pent-up blood-bath massacre, including the killing of Iris' pimp "Sport" (Harvey Keitel). In the
aftermath, the repellent character emerges as a vindicated, folk savior-hero. Academy Award Nominations:
4, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Robert De Niro, Best Supporting Actress--Jodie Foster, Best Original
Score (Bernard Herrmann).
The Third Man (1949)
Starring: Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard
Director: Carol Reed
A British film noir thriller adapted from Graham Greene's famous novel, set in corrupt and desperate post-
WWII Vienna during the Cold War. With a haunting zither musical score and theme from Anton Karas. A
pulp Western novelist Holly Martins (Cotten) assumes the role of an amateur sleuth as he looks for old
friend Harry Lime (Welles) who has reportedly been killed in Vienna. He seeks to unravel the mystery of
the presumed-dead friend with a probing search, and an infatuation with Lime's girlfriend Anna Schmidt
(Valli). The first appearance of Lime is in a doorway, as a light suddenly illuminates his sardonic smile.
Includes the dramatic scene atop a ferris wheel, a suspenseful manhunt - into the underground city sewers
for the shadowy, marked man - a notorious black-market drug dealer who preys on the sick, and the famed
ending of Anna's stoic shunning of Martins. Academy Award Nominations: 3,
including Best Director. Academy Awards: 1, B/W Cinematography.

T (continued)
To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
Starring: Gregory Peck, Mary Badham, Philip Alford, John Megna
Director: Robert Mulligan
A poignant adaptation of Harper Lee's best-selling novel by screenwriter Horton Foote, set
in small-town 1930s Alabama. Narrated by the adult voice of Kim Stanley, a coming-of-
age, autobiographical story, seen from the perspective of a young southern girl Scout
(Badham), the daughter of a widowed Southern lawyer Atticus Finch (Peck), whose
innocence about racial bigotry and intolerance was changed forever. The Lincolnesque,
compassionate attorney decides to assume the unpopular stance of defending a black man -
Tom Robinson (Brock Peters), falsely accused of raping a 'white-trash' woman Mayella
Violet Ewell (Collin Wilcox). The film compellingly weaves the children's nightmares, personified by the
mute, mentally-retarded Boo Radley (Robert Duvall in his screen debut) with the prejudiced hatred of the
bigoted townspeople, led by Mayella's poor redneck father Robert E. Lee (Bob) Ewell (James Anderson).
Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress--Mary Badham, Best
Director, Best B/W Cinematography. Academy Awards: Best Actor--Gregory Peck, Best Adapted
Screenplay.
Top Hat (1935)
Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Helen Broderick, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes, Eric Blore
Director: Mark Sandrich
One of the best classic dance/musicals with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, their third film together from
a total of nine. Includes dancing and singing of a superb Irving Berlin score, with "No Strings," "Isn't This a
Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)?", "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails," and "Cheek to Cheek." A
typical amalgum of romantic comedy, complicated mistaken identity, and stylish Art Deco surroundings in
London and Venice. Dancer Jerry Travers (Astaire) experiences love at first sight and is amorously
attentive toward the lovely high-society Dale Tremont (Rogers), but she mistakes him for her best friend
Madge Hardwick's (Broderick) husband Horace (Horton). Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best
Picture, Best Song ("Cheek to Cheek"), Best Dance Direction.
Touch Of Evil (1958)
Starring: Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Janet Leigh, Marlene Dietrich, Joseph Calleia, Akim Tamiroff
Director: Orson Welles
An off-beat, twisted, dark and sweaty, film noirish thriller, with murder, police corruption, kidnapping,
betrayal, perversion and more in a squalid Mexican-American border town. Opens with a daring,
captivating single-take sequence, ending with the explosive, car-bomb murder of an American businessman
on the American side of the border. A self-righteous narcotics agent 'Mike' Vargas (Heston) becomes
snarled in the local investigation with a grotesque, police captain Hank Quinlan (Welles), ignoring his
honeymooning bride Susan (Leigh) who is meanwhile being terrorized in an out-of-the-way motel by a
menacing gang. The experienced, old-time cop Quinlan habitually fabricates evidence to convict the guilty
(even though his instincts are usually correct) and frames a young Mexican for the murder, putting him into
conflict with the narcotics detective. The corrupt, overweight police captain is finally brought down by
Vargas' persistent, perilous efforts with the cooperation of Quinlan's long-time partner Sgt. Pete Menzies
(Calleia). No Academy Award Nominations.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Huston, Tim Holt, Alfonso Bedoya
Director: John Huston
Director and screenwriter John Huston's classic adventure film about three American gold prospectors in
the Mexican wilderness - a tale of lustful greed, treachery, paranoia and suspicion. The three ill-matched
men include an innocent, honest young Curtin (Holt), a wise and experienced, fast-talking, grizzly,
toothless old-timer Howard (Huston, the director's father), and Fred C. Dobbs
(Bogart), a greedy, deranged, selfish bastard who distrusts everyone. Their
gold booty strike and fortune breeds violence, threatening Mexican bandits
led by Gold Hat (Bedoya), an end to their friendships, and the homicidal
undoing of the avaricious Dobbs when he is killed for his boots and mule.
Ends with an ironic climactic scene when the wind blows the gold dust away. Academy Award
Nominations: 4, including Best Picture. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Supporting Actor--Walter
Huston, Best Director, Best Screenplay.
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Starring: Herbert Marshall, Miriam Hopkins, Kay Francis
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Another exquisite, sophisticated, sparkling romantic comedy from Lubitsch. Two masquerading con artists
Gaston Monescu/La Valle (Marshall) and Lily Vautier (Hopkins) specialize in jewel theft. The pair of
crooks pose as nobility to practice their deceptive occupation among the gullible, upper-class elite of
European society from Venice to Paris. They scheme to rob a rich, sleek widow Mariette Colet (Francis) in
Paris, posing as her secretary and maid, but romantic complications ensue. By the time the subtle, wry film
ends, they realize their romantic and amoral affinity for each other. No Academy Award nominations.
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Starring: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, HAL 9000
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Kubrick's metaphoric, thought-provoking, grandiose, science-fiction landmark film, with space travel to
Jupiter, the mysterious appearance of enigmatic monoliths, and the presence of the film's major protagonist
- an omniscient super-computer. A three-act, visionary, visually dazzling, wide-screen masterpiece, with
mind-blowing special effects. The first monolith appears to prehistoric ape-men, awakening them to the use
of tools as killing weapons. Further monoliths on the Moon and floating in space somewhere near Jupiter,
seem to coax humankind to make evolutionary leaps and transcend bodily and technological limits. A team
of robotic-like astronauts Bowman (Dullea) and Poole (Lockwood), during a voyage to Jupiter to
investigate a radio transmission, are terrorized by the arrogant, humanistic, on-board computer HAL 9000
(voice of Douglas Rain). With the mission aborted and following a psychedelic light-show, Bowman is
reborn within an embryonic divine life form that floats in space. Academy Award Nominations: 4,
including Best Director, Best Story and Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best Special Visual Effects.

U
V
Vertigo (1958)
Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Arguably Hitchcock's most complex, most analyzed, compelling masterpiece, involving a man's
compulsive obsession to exploitatively manipulate and transform a woman to match his fantasy. Vertigo-
suffering, acrophobic detective John 'Scottie' Ferguson (Stewart) trails an old college friend Gavin Elster's
(Helmore) wife as she wanders around San Francisco - a cool, blonde named Madeleine (Novak).
Meanwhile, Scottie's friend 'Midge' Wood (Bel Geddes) expresses unrequited love for him. Madeleine's
obsession with a tragic ancestor Carlotta Valdez intrigues Scottie, and after saving her from a suicidal jump
into the Bay, he falls in love with her. When she falls to her death from a tower in an assumed suicide, he
spirals down into a deep depression. Haunted and obsessed with the dead woman, he meets her lower-class
double Judy (Novak again) and manipulates her into changing into the dead Madeleine's image - with mad
consequences in the uncompromising conclusion. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Art
Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound.

W
West Side Story (1961)
Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn,
George Chakiris
Director: Robert Wise, Jerome Robbins
An energetically-choreographed musical that is loosely based on Shakespeare's tale of ill-fated lovers,
Romeo and Juliet. A landmark, highly-honored, ground-breaking Broadway musical transposed to the big
screen and set on location in 1950s New York on the Upper West Side. With a memorable musical score
from Leonard Bernstein and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. Includes such popular songs as "The Jet Song,"
"America," "Cool," "I Feel Pretty," "Something's Coming," "Tonight," "One Hand, One Heart," and
"Maria." Two rival teenaged gangs, the Puerto Rican Sharks, led by Bernardo (Chakiris) and the white Jets,
led by Riff (Tamblyn) rumble with each other for turf on the sidewalks and streets of the city. Two young
people on opposing sides, Polish Jet member Tony (Beymer) and Bernardo's sister Maria (Wood) become
'star-crossed' lovers. His attempts at peace-making during a rumble accidentally lead to the deaths of both
gang leaders and further tragic circumstances in a tear-stained scene set on an outdoor basketball court.
Academy Award Nominations: 11, including Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 10, including
Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--George Chakiris, Best Supporting Actress--Rita Moreno, Best
Director, Best Sound, Best Musical Score.
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)
Starring: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis
Director: Mike Nichols
Nichol's debut film as director - of an adaptation of Edward Albee's scathing, dark, and vitriolic play - with
a bold use of expletives. Real-life married couple Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor portray a
dysfunctional couple's abusive, sado-masochistic, deteriorating marriage - as a weary, tortured,
disillusioned academic professor George and his frumpy, alcoholic, foul-mouthed, seductive and abrasive
wife Martha. The two invite a young teacher Nick (Segal) and his mousy wife Honey (Dennis) to their
home for a bitter and relentless evening of brutal, acerbic, verbal games that increase the hateful intensity
of their mismatched, love-hate relationship. Academy Award Nominations: 13, including Best Picture, Best
Actor--Richard Burton, Best Supporting Actor--George Segal, Best Director. Academy Awards: 5,
including Best Actress--Elizabeth Taylor, Best Supporting Actress--Sandy Dennis.
The Wild Bunch (1969)
Starring: William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Warren Oates, Ben Johnson, Robert Ryan, Emilio Fernandez
Director: Sam Peckinpah
A controversial, brutally-violent, late 60s Western about the demise of a desperate, small gang of aging
outlaws in the early 1900s that still clings to codes of honor, loyalty, and courage. Pike Bishop (Holden),
leader of the 'wild bunch,' is hired for their final job. In the stunning opening sequence, the gang - disguised
as US Cavalry soldiers, ride into a Texas town and rob the railway office's bank. The boss of the railroad
hires a mercenary, bounty-hunting posse, led by Pike's former buddy Deke Thornton (Ryan) to pursue
them, as the gang flees into Mexico, during the revolution of 1914. They are double-crossed by an anti-
revolutionary dictator/Generalissimo Mapache (Fernandez) after the hijacking of weapons from a US
ammunitions train. Attempting to redeem themselves by opposing an entire corrupt Mexican platoon, they
are massacred in the famous, ultra-violent, slow-motion, colorful bloodbath finale. Academy Award
Nominations: 2, including Best Story and Screenplay, Best Original Score.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Starring: Judy Garland, Ray Bolger, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Margaret Hamilton, Frank
Morgan, Billie Burke
Director: Victor Fleming
The ultimate fantasy, the perennial musical adventure film based on L. Frank Baum's 1900
book. With most characters playing dual roles, both in Kansas and in Oz. Kansas farm girl
Dorothy (Garland) and her dog Toto are transported from her home by a whirling tornado
to the magical, Technicolor Land of Oz, where she encounters little people Munchkins,
Glinda (Burke) - the Good Witch of the North, a Yellow Brick Road, a brainless, talking
Scarecrow (Bolger), a heartless Tin Woodsman (Haley), a Cowardly Lion (Lahr), the
Wicked Witch of the West (Hamilton) and a marvelously deceitful Wizard (Morgan) of Emerald City. Her
wishes to return home ("There's no place like home") are granted after she outwits and vanquishes the
Witch. Includes marvelous songs: "Over the Rainbow," "Ding Dong, The Witch is Dead," and
"If I Only Had a Brain." Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best Color
Cinematography, Best Special Effects. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Song ("Over the
Rainbow"), Best Original Score.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Starring: Merle Oberon, Laurence Olivier, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald
Director: William Wyler
The greatest melodramatic, brooding screen adaptation of Emily Bronte's 1847 romantic Victorian novel of
doomed lovers with inseparable spirits, set on the windy Yorkshire moors of pre-Victorian England.
Orphaned gypsy Heathcliff (Olivier) is adopted by Mr. Earnshaw on the streets of London and brought
home to be the stable boy, where he falls in love with the young daughter Cathy (Oberon). Their love is
thwarted and abandoned when Cathy marries a wealthy, refined neighbor Edgar Linton (Niven). After
leaving for America, the financially-successful but dark and troubled Heathcliff returns years later and
seeks revenge by marrying and mistreating Edgar's sister Isabella (Fitzgerald). The long-hindered,
passionate love of Cathy and Heathcliff emerges in death. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best
Picture, Best Actor--Laurence Olivier, Best Supporting Actress--Geraldine Fitzgerald, Best Director, Best
Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, B/W Cinematography--Gregg Toland.

Y
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Starring: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Rosemary DeCamp
Director: Michael Curtiz
The rousing, morale-boosting, flag-waving musical biography of legendary American composer/song-
writer and entertainer George M. Cohan. Includes his memorable tunes "Over There," "You're a Grand Old
Flag," "Give My Regards to Broadway," and the film's rousing title number. The film, presented in
flashback, follows the vaudevillian Cohan family, led by father Cohan (Huston) and mother (DeCamp)
from its early days, with the energetic Irishman Cohan (Cagney) as the triumphant song-and-dance man,
and his marriage to Mary (Leslie). A White House visit with FDR salutes his career, when he wins the
Congressional Medal of Honor and subsequently dances down the White House staircase. Academy Award
Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Walter Huston, Best Director. Academy
Awards: 3, including Best Actor--James Cagney, Best Sound, Best Musical Score.

A
Adam's Rib (1949)
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Judy Holliday, Tom Ewell,
David Wayne, Jean Hagen
Director: George Cukor
A great, sophisticated, battle-of-the-sexes comedy, one of Hollywood's greatest
comedy classics, about husband-and-wife lawyers who take opposite sides of a
court case, from a forward-looking screenplay with snappy dialogue by Ruth
Gordon and Garson Kanin - the husband and wife's second collaboration with
director George Cukor. Often rated as the best pairing of the nine films of the
legendary screen team of Tracy and Hepburn - it was their sixth film together.
The film was originally titled Man and Wife. Chauvinistic District Attorney
Adam Bonner (Tracy) prosecutes a 'dumb blonde' Doris Attinger (Holliday in her debut role) for
attempted murder. The bombshell vengefully shot and wounded her philandering, two-timing
husband Warren (Ewell) with mistress Beryl (Hagen). His savvy wife Amanda Bonner
(Hepburn) victoriously defends the woman with feminist, women's rights arguments, upsetting
sexist double standards. At film's end, Adam conclusively admits the profound differences
between males and females: Vive la difference. Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Story and
Screenplay.
Alien (1979)
Starring: Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean
Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright
Director: Ridley Scott
A grisly, futuristic, suspenseful, atmospheric, memorable and popular science
fiction/horror film about the intergalactic journey of a claustrophobic,
commercial space cargo freighter, the Nostromo. With terrific sets designed by
surreal artist H. R. Giger. The crew includes warrant officer heroine Ripley
(Weaver in her starring debut role), Kane (Hurt), Dallas (Skerritt), Ash (Holm),
and others, who are awakened from hyper-sleep to investigate a distress signal on a mysteriously
bleak, dead planet with a crashed alien spacecraft. In its interior, a lifeform with tentacles clings
to Kane's helmet/face, incubates inside his host body, and ultimately bursts from his gut. The
hideous, indestructible, carnivorous creature grows in size and hides within the hyper-tech
spacecraft, menacing and picking off one crew member after another until self-reliant,
resourceful Ripley outsmarts the primal, lethal monster in the explosive conclusion. Followed by
three sequels, including James Cameron's Aliens (1986), Alien3 (1992), and Alien Resurrection
(1997). Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.
Academy Awards: 1, Best Visual Effects.
American Graffiti (1973)
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, Mackenzie
Phillips, Charles Martin Smith, Harrison Ford, Candy Clark, Paul Le Mat,
Suzanne Somers
Director: George Lucas
In pre-Kennedy assassination America and in the pre-Vietnam War era, a time
of innocence, this nostalgic, coming-of-age story features the songs of its era, in
a classic sound-track provided by Wolfman Jack's Rock 'n' Roll radio show.
Director George Lucas memorialized his own teenage years in Modesto,
California in this episodic, idealized, low-budget tale of a bygone era with
numerous subplots. On their final summer night after their Class of 1962
graduation, two clean-cut, college-bound California high schoolers Curt (Dreyfuss) and Steve
(Howard) - with girlfriend Laurie (Williams), cruise the streets of their N. California town in
their hot rods, and eat at Mel's Diner. Other characters include hot-rodders John (Le Mat) and
Falfa (Ford), nerdy Terry the Toad (Smith), pre-teen Carol (Phillips), a mysterious girl in a white
T-Bird (Somers), and an experienced Debbie (Clark). Inspired the popular TV situation comedy
Happy Days and helped position Lucas for his greatest film of all time - Star Wars. Academy
Award Nominations: 5, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actress--Candy
Clark, Best Original Story and Screenplay, Best Film Editing.
The Apartment (1960)
Starring: Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Jack Kruschen
Director: Billy Wilder
A classic, caustically-witty, satirically cynical, melodramatic comedy about
corporate politics - and a bitter-sweet romance. In a bid to get ahead, an
ambitious, lowly, misguided and young insurance clerk C. C. Baxter (Lemmon)
generously lends out the keys to his NYC apartment to his company's higher-
up, philandering executives for romantic, adulterous, extra-marital trysts,
including to his callous married boss J. D. Sheldrake (MacMurray). Baxter's
own budding crush toward his building's elevator operator - melancholy, and
vulnerable Fran Kubelik (MacLaine) turns ugly when he discovers he has been
outsmarted - she is the latest conquest of his boss - and has attempted suicide in his apartment.
Baxter's next-door, philosophizing doctor/neighbor Dr. Dreyfuss (Kruschen) convinces Baxter to
confront the craven ethics of his superiors - and he wins the affections of Fran. Academy Award
Nominations: 10, including Best Actor--Jack Lemmon, Best Actress--Shirley MacLaine, Best
Supporting Actor--Jack Kruschen, Best B/W Cinematography, Best Sound. Academy Awards:
Best Picture, Best Director, Best Story and Screenplay, Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration,
Best Film Editing.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
Starring: Sterling Hayden, Sam Jaffe, Louis Calhern, Jean Hagen, Marilyn
Monroe
Director: John Huston
A classic noirish thriller, an adaptation based on a novel by W. R. Burnett,
about a mastermind, aging, ex-convict criminal Doc (Jaffe), who comes out of
retirement (prison) for one last jewel robbery with an assemblage of underworld
characters - Kentucky horse-farm loving Dix Handley (Hayden) with tough-
girlfriend Doll (Hagen), and sleazy lawyer partner Alonzo Emmerich (Calhern)
who plans to fence the jewels to support his expensive habits (e.g., an affair
with seductive mistress Monroe - in a cameo role). The heist unravels quickly
and everything falls apart when an alarm accidentally sounds and the safecracker is mortally
wounded by a stray bullet. While Emmerich commits suicide, and others are either jailed or
wounded, Doc's creepy voyeurism for a young girl dooms him during his escape. Dix reaches
his childhood Kentucky farm but expires in a field surrounded by horses. Academy Award
Nominations: 4, including Best Supporting Actor--Sam Jaffe, Best Director, Best Screenplay,
Best B/W Cinematography.
The Awful Truth (1937)
Starring: Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Ralph Bellamy, Joyce Compton, Alexander
D'Arcy, Esther Dale
Director: Leo McCarey
A fast-paced, classic screwball romantic comedy of the 30's, starring Cary
Grant and Irene Dunne in their first on-screen pairing. Jerry and Lucy Warriner
(Grant and Dunne), a married, high-society couple who are convinced of
infidelities (based on misunderstandings and other ridiculous reasons), file for
divorce and separate for six months after a custody battle for their dog (Asta of
The Thin Man films). During the interim, they verbally spar, sabotage and ruin
each others' new relationships and romances - with handsome voice teacher
Armand Duvalle (D'Arcy) and mother-dominated, millionaire Oklahoma rancher-hick Daniel
Leeson (Bellamy), and singer Dixie Belle Lee (Compton). Before their divorce is finalized, they
ultimately cannot resist each other and discover their mutual love. Academy Award
Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best Actress--Irene Dunne, Best Supporting Actor--
Ralph Bellamy, Best Screenplay, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 1, Best Director.

B
The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
Starring: Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell, Gloria Grahame, Walter
Pidgeon, Barry Sullivan
Director: Vincente Minnelli
A scathing melodrama and dark expose of sordid backstage Hollywood, with
memorable performances by both Turner and Douglas. An ambitious, cruel,
driven, amoral, egotistical producer Jonathan Shields (Douglas), begins as a
maker of low-budget westerns and horror films. His manipulative and ruthless
victimization of others is seen, in flashback, from the viewpoints of three
former associates that he betrayed, double-crossed, and caused emotional pain -
a star actress and ex-lover Georgia Lorrison (Turner), award-winning
screenwriter James Lee Bartlow (Powell) and his faithless, southern belle wife Rosemary
(Grahame), and director Fred Amiel (Sullivan). Now that they have furthered their careers, they
tell their stories to film studio executive Harry Pebbel (Pidgeon), who has been asked to
convince the individuals to join the despised Shields on his next project - they all disown him
and hope that he will fail. In the final scene, the three listen - with a phone to their ear - when the
exiled Shields calls from Europe. Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Actor--Kirk
Douglas. Academy Awards: 5, including Best Supporting Actress--Gloria Grahame, Best
Screenplay--Charles Schnee, Best B/W Cinematography, Best B/W Art Direction/Set
Decoration, Best B/W Costume Design.
Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Starring: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Ernest Borgnine, Lee Marvin, Anne
Francis, Dean Jagger, Walter Brennan
Director: John Sturges
A suspenseful, powerful, 50's, Western-like drama, a mystery-thriller set in an
isolated, southwestern desert town in 1945, and based on Howard Breslin's novel.
A mysterious, one-armed veteran John J. MacReedy (Tracy) arrives in the tiny
town of Black Rock by train, to fulfill a promise made to a Japanese-American
soldier who died fighting in WW II. He searches for the whereabouts of the local
Japanese-American father, Komoko, of his soldier/friend who saved his life, to bestow the
deceased man's posthumously-presented medal of honor to the family - but encounters only a
conspiracy of silence. His awkward questions cause the uneasy, hostile local inhabitants to
confront their guilty consciences and threaten his life , led by menacing, sinister town boss Reno
Smith (Ryan) and his henchmen - a racially-prejudiced Coley Trimble (Borgnine) and Hector
David (Marvin). They retaliate with violence, putting his life at risk. Some town members,
including a drunken sheriff (Jagger), a doctor (Brennan), and gal in town (Francis), become the
stranger's allies. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Director, Best Actor--Spencer
Tracy, Best Screenplay.
Badlands (1973)
Starring: Martin Sheen, Sissy Spacek, Warren Oates
Director: Terrence Malick
Inspired and based on the murder spree of a killing, loving couple, Charles
Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate, in the late 1950's in Nebraska and
bordering states - a daring, directorial film debut for Terrence Malick. Social
outcast and misfit, James Dean look-alike ex-garbage collector Kit Carruthers
(Sheen) romances a naive, lackadaisical, starry-eyed, celebrity magazine-
addicted 15 year old teenager Holly Sargis (Spacek) (who narrates the film in a
deadpan tone), kills her disapproving father (Oates), and then embarks on a
state-wide flight - and shocking, emotionally-apathetic and casual, homicidal
binge - into the badlands of South Dakota and Montana. The disturbing, complex character study
observes the twisted, strange actions of the couple as they are hunted down and apprehended. No
Academy Award nominations.
The Bank Dick (1940) (tie)
Starring: W. C. Fields, Cora Witherspoon, Franklin Pangborn, Una Merkel,
Grady Sutton, Shemp Howard
Director: Eddie Cline
One of the best comedies ever made - and the best of W. C. Fields' latter films -
a witty, zany, madcap, rambling comedy classic written by Fields himself
(under the pseudonym 'Mahatma Kane Jeeves'). In Lompoc, California, Fields
stars as eccentric, henpecked, loafing, unemployed Egbert Sousè (pronounced
with a French accent as Soo-zay), a lush who 'directs' a low-budget film
production, accidentally trips a bank robber, foils the bank robbery, and as the
town's local hero is awarded the job of bank guard. On the job (when he isn't
frequenting the Black Pussy Cat Cafe and downing stiff drinks from the bartender (Howard)), he
manages to embezzle bank funds, under the watchful eye of bank examiner J. Pinkerton
Snoopington (Pangborn), to foolishly finance a boondoggle - a worthless mine operation, and he
marries his daughter Myrtle (Merkel) to a dimwitted Og Oggilby (Sutton). Concludes with one
of the greatest chase sequences in film history - a funny, Mack Sennett-like cops/robbers chase.
No Academy Award nominations.
The Big Heat (1953)
Starring: Glenn Ford, Gloria Grahame, Lee Marvin, Alexander Scourby,
Jocelyn Brando
Director: Fritz Lang
A dark, very brutal and violent, classic, expressionistic film noir/melodrama
and gangster film that explores the seamy underworld of American organized
crime. Following the suicide of a guilt-stricken, supposedly-honest fellow
cop, homicide Sgt. Dave Bannion (Ford) is determined to discover the truth.
A car bomb meant for him accidentally kills his wife Katie (Brando).
Suspended from duty on the force, he tenaciously avenges the mob's murder
of his wife, confronting the city crime ring to uncover the truth. A hard-
hitting showdown is destined with ruthless, meglomaniacal kingpin Mike
Lagana (Scourby), aided by a sadistic, psychotic thug Vince Stone (Marvin). One of the film's
most celebrated scenes is the coffee-scalding scene - an enraged Stone hurls his boiling coffee
into the face of his moll girlfriend Debby Marsh (Grahame) - in retribution, she courageously
aids Bannion's search for the culprits and returns the coffee-scalding favor to Vince. No
Academy Award nominations.
Blue Velvet (1986)
Starring: Isabella Rossellini, Kyle MacLachlan, Dennis Hopper, Dean
Stockwell, Laura Dern
Director: David Lynch
A controversial, disturbing, off-beat cult film drama that explores the corrupt,
malevolent under-side of small town, suburban Americana. Following the
collapse of his father in a colorful opening sequence, a college boy Jeffrey
Beaumont (MacLachlan) returns to middle-class hometown Lumberton, where
he finds a severed human ear in an overgrown vacant field. With the help of an
innocent, sweet high school teenager Sandy Williams (Dern), he investigates
the bizarre mystery of the ear, finding himself involved (and participating) in a
frightening, nightmarish world of voyeurism, violent sex, perversion, drug-addiction, and
depraved degradation. He encounters nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens (Rossellini) (who
repeatedly sings Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet") enslaved by her sadistic, demoniacal, obscenity-
shouting, sexual tormentor and drug-dealer Frank Booth (Hopper), who psycho-sexually
blackmails her while holding her husband and child hostage. Academy Award Nominations: 1,
Best Director.
Brazil (1985)
Starring: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm,
Bob Hoskins, Kim Greist
Director: Terry Gilliam
An offbeat, satirical ultra-dark comedy of an oppressive, alternative future,
with visually-imaginative references to Kafka's The Trial, Orwell's 1984 and
A Clockwork Orange. Mild-mannered and meek bureaucratic statistician Sam
Lowry (Pryce), a civil servant Everyman works in the regulatory Ministry of
Information (MOI), jammed with paperwork and filled with endless
pneumatic tubes. When a literal beetle is squashed in an office teletype printer
and causes a typographical error that alters an arrest record, it unjustly
identifies an innocent citizen Mr. Buttle as suspected terrorist Harry Tuttle
(De Niro). When Lowry investigates the case of mistaken identity and attempts to unravel it, he
escapes to become a silver-winged hero in the clouds who rescues a dreamlike fantasy girl Jill
Layton (Greist). A similar-looking female truck driver inspires him to win her love, but
meanwhile, he has become the subject of study by the totalitarian regime. Academy Award
Nominations: 2, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration.
Brief Encounter (1946)
Starring: Celia Johnson, Trevor Howard
Director: David Lean
Based on a Noel Coward play - a poignant, restrained British melodramatic romance,
about two married strangers, Dr. Alec Harvey (Howard) and housewife Laura Jesson
(Johnson), who have a chance meeting one Thursday on the platform of a train station.
Their casual friendship soon turns into a romantic relationship and they fall in love. The
romanticism of the film is enhanced by Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 musical
score. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Director, Best Actress--Celia
Johnson, Best Screenplay.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)


Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Katharine Ross Director: George
Roy Hill One of the most-
popular, appealing, beguilingly star-driven, tragi-comedy Westerns ever made. About two
charming, turn-of-the-century, train-robbing outlaws - with comedy, drama, action, a
witty script, and two handsome leads. The romanticized buddy film is loosely based on
real-life, legendary outlaws Robert Leroy Parker (Butch Cassidy) and Harry Longbaugh
(The Sundance Kid) and the Hole in the Wall gang. The film's early 1900's anti-heroes
are free-wheeling, non-chalant Butch (Newman) and sharpshooting Sundance
(Redford), both with human fallible traits - their specialty is robbing trains, until they bungle their second
attempt on the Union Pacific Express and are relentlessly pursued by authorities in a posse. With
Sundance's beautiful, school-teacher lover Etta Place (Ross), they flee to Bolivia to seek further wealth. In
the end, they are outnumbered and die in a blazing, hail of bullets, freeze-frame shootout, reminiscent of
Bonnie and Clyde. Features the song "Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head" while Etta and Butch share a
bicycle ride. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound. Academy
Awards: 4, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Cinematography, Best Song
("Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head"), Best Original Score.

C
Cabaret (1972)
Starring: Liza Minnelli, Joel Grey, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Marisa Berenson, Fritz
Wepper
Director: Bob Fosse
Set in a cabaret in sexually-charged, decadent, 1930s pre-war Berlin, one of the greatest
musicals ever produced, adapted from the Kander-Ebb Broadway stage musical from John
Van Druten's play (and movie) I Am a Camera, which, in turn, was based on Christopher
Isherwood's Berlin Stories. Young, bisexual Englishman Brian Roberts (York) becomes
involved with free-spirited, promiscuous Kit Kat Klub singer and American expatriate
Sally Bowles (Minnelli in her first singing role on-screen). Unbeknownst to her, he also
shares her with wealthy German baron playboy/homosexual Maximilian von Heune
(Griem). The seedy and sleazy Kit Kat Klub is presided over by a sinister, leering, androgynous
emcee/master of ceremonies (Grey). After Sally's abortion and the end of her affair, she sings: "Life is a
cabaret, old chum, only a cabaret..." The show 'must go on' night after night as the monstrous Nazis come
to power, anti-Jewish persecution and propaganda increases (the subplot of the love affair between Roberts'
Jewish friends Fritz and Natalia) and the horror of war appears on the horizon. Academy Award
Nominations: 10, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 8,
including Best Director, Best Actress--Liza Minnelli, Best Supporting Actor--Joel Grey,
Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Adapted
Song Score, Best Film Editing. Camille (1936)
Starring: Greta Garbo, Robert Taylor, Lionel Barrymore, Henry Daniell
Director: George Cukor
An adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' play - a tragi-romantic film with the radiantly-luminous Greta Garbo in
her most famous role as a doomed, star-crossed, dying French courtesan who falls in love with a young
nobleman. Marguerite Gautier (Garbo) is a Parisian courtesan, supported by Baron de Varville (Daniell),
but she falls in love with a naive, shallow gentleman Armand Duval (Taylor). When his concerned father
(Barrymore) thwarts them and objects to their love affair, she selflessly renounces and sacrifices her own
happiness and breaks off her relationship. In the film's finale, Armand returns to her deathbed where she is
dying of tuberculosis - the camera lingers on her face as she dies in her lover's arms. Academy Award
Nominations: 1, Best Actress--Greta Garbo.

Cat People (1942)


Starring: Simone Simon, Kent Smith, Tom Conway, Jane Randolph
Director: Jacques Tourneur
One of the greatest, low-budget horror films, the first produced by the legendary Val Lewton,
known for his haunting, understated, suggestive, psychologically-eerie films. A young,
beautiful, Serbian-born immigrant bride Irena Dubrovna (Simon), a fashion sketch
artist/dress designer living in NYC, marries American architect Oliver Reed (Smith). Unable
to consummate the marriage, she is tormented by the fear of sexual frigidity and by the
folklore belief that she suffers from an ancient, supernatural Balkan curse - whenever
emotionally, passionately, or sexually aroused, she will be transformed into a lethally vicious black cat-
panther. When he confides in his female co-worker Alice Moore (Randolph), Irena's jealousy is aroused
and unseen - she stalks Alice through a foreboding Central Park and later at a darkened indoor swimming
pool. A disbelieving clinical psychiatrist Dr. Louis Judd (Conway) is unable to cure her and suffers a
painful death. No Academy Award nominations.

A Clockwork Orange (1971)


Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee
Director: Stanley Kubrick
Provocatively adapted from the famous novel by Anthony Burgess. A glossy, stylish,
graphically-violent, controversial, futuristic, science-fiction satire about the effects of
crime and punishment (aversion therapy and brainwashing against violence) on a British
teenaged punk. After a night of hooliganism with his vicious gang of droogs, including
gang rapes and beatings, a sadistic Alex (McDowell) is captured. In a grim, unorthodox
governmental experiment, he is re-programmed, through his love for Beethoven's music,
to reject violence, but he is dehumanized in the process of being cured. Vengeance is
revisited upon him by his former victims after he is released into the society. Academy
Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Adapted Screenplay.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)


Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Melinda Dillon, Cary Guffey, Teri Garr
Director: Steven Spielberg
A science-fiction epic and adventure story about the mysteries of UFO and extra-
terrestrial appearances. A Middle-American from Indiana Roy Neary (Dreyfuss), a
utilities lineman, is confronted by a UFO on a deserted road at night as he investigates a
power outage - a near-religious, life-transforming experience. Afterwards, he becomes
obsessed with unexplained, mountainous shapes, and five musical notes. By piecing
together clues, he is ultimately led to a rendezvous on Devils Tower in Wyoming with
Jillian (Dillon), a mother whose young boy Barry (Guffey) was kidnapped by the aliens.
There in the exhilarating climax, they witness an arriving spacecraft, the dazzling
mother-ship, greeted by a top-secret scientific establishment led by Claude Lacombe
(Truffaut). Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Supporting Actress--Melinda Dillon, Best
Director, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, Best
Visual Effects. Academy Awards: 1: Best Cinematography. Also a Special Achievement Award for Sound
Effects Editing.
The Conversation (1974)
Starring: Gene Hackman, John Cazale, Frederic Forrest, Cindy Williams, Harrison Ford
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
A brilliant thriller and murder mystery that was made during the Watergate Era, and
coming at the height of Coppola's fame for his two Godfather films. One of the best
films of the 70s. A professional, reclusive, alienated, and paranoid surveillance expert
Harry Caul (Hackman), assisted by Stan (Cazale) is hired by the 'director' (Robert Duvall
in a cameo) of an anonymous business, in a seemingly-routine job, to secretly wiretap
the conversations of two employees - an unfaithful wife and her lover (Cindy Williams
and Frederic Forrest). After repeatedly playing back the tape, he realizes that he has
captured a terrifying conversation with clues about an impending tragedy - a death
sentence. He feels compelled to intercede and circumvent fate with disastrous
consequences. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best
Sound.

Cool Hand Luke (1967)


Starring: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, Jo Van Fleet
Director: Stuart Rosenberg
Based on Donn Pearce's novel and one of the great prison-chain-gang films. A spirited,
irreverent, social misfit Luke (Newman) is arrested for destroying parking meters and
imprisoned in a tough Southern prison farm, commanded by a sadistic, prison officer
Captain (Martin). After boxing with the chain-gang boss Dragline (Kennedy), he
eventually becomes a hero to his fellow inmates, earning the title "Cool Hand Luke"
because his will cannot be broken. A visit by Luke's dying mother (Van Fleet) reveals
facts about his past. The stubborn, unruly and independent rebel refuses to submit and
continually and cooly defies the authorities with repeated escape attempts. As the
inmates start worshipping him as a folk hero, he risks everything in order to live up to
their expectations, and is sacrificed in the tragic climax. With the memorable line of dialogue: "What we
have here is failure to communicate," and the classic egg-eating scene. Academy Award Nominations: 4,
including Best Actor--Paul Newman, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Music Score. Academy Awards: 1,
Best Supporting Actor--George Kennedy.

D
Days of Heaven (1978)
Starring: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard, Linda Manz
Director: Terrence Malick
Director Terrence Malick's second feature film, an original, lyrical and gorgeously-
photographed work of art. A tragic, turn-of-the-century tale of a hot-headed Chicago
steel worker (Gere) who flees to the wheat fields of the Texas Panhandle following the
accidental murder of the mill foreman, with his lover-girlfriend (Adams) and his younger
13 year-old sister (Manz) (who provides the film's raw commentary). He takes up
itinerant work for the fall harvest with a wealthy and prosperous but terminally-ailing
and lonely farmer (Shepard). When an unusual love triangle develops, the farm-hand
pretends that his girlfriend is his sister and encourages her marriage to the farmer,
hoping that they can escape from poverty. The plot includes a plague of locusts, fire, and
the tragic consequences of greed and jealousy. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Score, Best
Costume Design, Best Sound. Academy Awards: 1, Best Cinematography.
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Starring: Robert De Niro, John Cazale, John Savage, Christopher Walken, Meryl Streep
Director: Michael Cimino
Michael Cimino's disturbing, emotionally powerful film about three friends who are
forever changed by imprisonment during the Vietnam War. Michael (De Niro), Nick
(Walken), and Steven (Savage) are three close buddies from the steel mill town of
Pittsburgh who hang out in bars and hunt deer. Steven is getting married while Michael
and Nick compete over the affections of Linda (Streep). Their lives are turned upside
down when they are drafted into the airbourne infantry to fight in Vietnam, and are soon
captured by the enemy. There, among other things, they are forced to endure a game of Russian Roulette in
the P.O.W. camp. Michael and Steven manage to escape and return home, but each of their lives are forever
changed by the experience. Cimino's second film, he'd previously made a name for himself with
Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (1974), a cult crime caper starring Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges as the titular
characters. However, his career was destroyed by the disastrous epic Heaven's Gate (1980), and would
make only five more films to date. Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Actor--Robert De
Niro, Best Supporting Actress--Meryl Streep, Best Cinematography--Vilmos Zsigmond, Best Original
Screenplay. Academy Awards: 5, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Christopher Walken, Best
Director--Michael Cimino, Best Film Editing, Best Sound.

Dodsworth (1936)
Starring: Walter Huston, David Niven, Mary Astor, Maria Ouspenskaya, Ruth
Chatterton, Paul Lukas, Gregory Gaye
Director: William Wyler
A bittersweet, intelligent drama - a film adaptation from Sinclair Lewis's 1929 novel of the
same name, about the disintegration of a troubled marriage during a European trip.
Following his retirement, a retired, reserved, self-made, wealthy auto tycoon and
manufacturer Samuel Dodsworth (Huston) travels to Europe with wife Fran (Chatterton).
His vain, pampered, selfish and shallow wife, unwilling to confront her middle-age, is
seduced by the aristocratic, charming lifestyle she finds there, and flirts with and enters
into affairs with British officer Lockert (Niven) and an international adventurer/banker
Arnold Iselin (Paul Lukas). As their marriage fails, she asks for a divorce so that she can marry an
impoverished, mother-dominated Austrian nobleman Kurt von Obersdorf (Gaye), but the man's mother
(Ouspenskaya) blocks their marriage. Fran returns to her husband, unremorseful and none the wiser. Sam
turns disconsolate until discovering love - he finally abandons his shrewish wife for a kind, young widow
Edith Cortright (Astor) whom he met on the Queen Mary. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best
Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Walter Huston, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress--Maria
Ouspenskaya, Best Sound Recording. Academy Awards: Best Interior Decoration.

Don't Look Now (1973)


Starring: Donald Sutherland, Julie Christie
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Based on a short story by Daphne De Maurier - a supernatural, mysterious, eerie,
psychological thriller about a British couple in Venice. Following the tragic, accidental
drowning of their daughter, John and Laura Baxter (Sutherland and Christie) travel to
Venice where he works on restoring a church, still shattered and haunted by their child's
death. In the off-season resort, they meet two elderly sisters, Wendy and Heather, one of
whom is blind but claims to be psychic. She insists that, in visions, she sees the spirit of
the Baxters' red-coated daughter, and possesses a message of warning from the dead
child. While John is skeptical and resistant, he catches a flashing glimpse of a red-
raincoated child darting around a dark street corner alley - and he sees Laura and the
sisters on a funeral gondola drifting down a Venetian canal. No Academy Award nominations.
D (continued)
Dracula (1931)
Starring: Bela Lugosi, Helen Chandler, Dwight Frye, Edward Van Sloan
Director: Tod Browning
The classic horror film, the first screen version of Bram Stoker's famous tale,
that launched Bela Lugosi's career in his most famous role as the
Transylvanian, blood-sucking vampire. Begins with a masterful twenty
minutes, in the Carpathian Mountains at Count Dracula's castle, and Dracula's
lugubrious introduction: "I...am...Dracula." British real-estate salesman
Renfield (Frye) arrives at the dark castle to arrange for the sale of an English
manor house to Count Dracula (Lugosi). Renfield becomes Dracula's demented
slave as they return to London, where Dracula is smitten by Mina Seward
(Chandler), but is fought off by vampire-hunter Van Helsing (Van Sloan). Followed by the
sequel Dracula's Daughter. No Academy Award nominations.

E
The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (tie)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Billy Dee Williams
Director: Irvin Kershner
The second in the famous Star Wars trilogy of fantastic science-fiction films,
often rated as the best in the trilogy, with stunning special-effects, great
characters and a rich, comic-bookish storyline. Again, evil Darth Vader
continues to aid the emperor to determinedly crush the Rebel forces. The Rebel
Alliance, on the frozen and icy planet Hoth, are threatened by troops attacking
from the Galactic Empire, and space jockey Han Solo (Ford) and Princess Leia
Organa (Fisher) - with the Wookie Chewbacca and the two robotic droids
(R2D2 and C3PO) - flee to Cloud City ruled by ally Lando Calrissian
(Williams). Meanwhile, young Luke Skywalker (Hamill) is mentored about the wise ways of the
Force and Jedi Knights by the last great Jedi Master, a gnome-like, swamp-dwelling Yoda on the
planet Dagobah. The film culminates with a show-down between Luke and Darth Vader.
Followed by Return of the Jedi (1983). Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Art
Direction/Set Decoration, Best Original Score. Academy Awards: 1, including Best Sound. Also
a Special Achievement Award for Visual Effects.

The Exorcist (1973)


Starring: Ellen Burstyn, Linda Blair, Jason Miller, Max von Sydow
Director: William Friedkin
A disturbing, shocking, exploitative, and frightening film adaptation of
William Peter Blatty's best-selling, blockbuster book about satanic demon
possession. A sweet pre-teenaged girl Regan (Blair) becomes possessed by an
evil spirit - and is soon transformed and disfigured into a head-rotating,
levitating, green vomit-spewing, obscenity-shouting creature. Her divorced
mother Mrs. MacNeil (Burstyn) is at wit's end, until she calls on a dedicated,
faith-questioning Jesuit priest Father Karras (Miller) to exorcise the
malevolent devil from her daughter's body. An elderly priest Father Merrin
(von Sydow), whose archaeology project released the Satanic being, also
risks his life to administer rites of exorcism with incantations and holy water. Academy Award
Nominations: 10, including Best Picture, Best Actress--Ellen Burstyn, Best Supporting Actor--
Jason Miller, Best Supporting Actress--Linda Blair, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best
Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Adapted
Screenplay, Best Sound.
F
Fargo (1996)
Starring: Frances McDormand, William H. Macy
Director: Joel Coen
An offbeat, clever, kidnap whodunit-caper and black comedy, a tale of greed and
crime, involving a financially-stricken Midwestern car salesman Jerry Lundegaard
(William H. Macy) who ineptly schemes to kidnap his own wife Jean (Kristin
Rudrid). When his hired henchmen Carl and Gaear (Steve Buscemi and Peter
Stormare) botch the kidnapping, their murderous plan is persistently investigated
by Marge Gunderson (Frances McDormand), the pregnant police chief of
Brainerd, Minnesota. Academy Award nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Film
Editing, Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins), Best Director, Best Supporting Actor --
William H. Macy. Academy Awards: 2, Best Actress (Frances McDormand), Best Original
Screenplay (Ethan and Joel Coen).

Five Easy Pieces (1970)


Starring: Jack Nicholson, Karen Black, Susan Anspach, Sally Struthers
Director: Bob Rafelson
An existential, off-beat road movie and character study of classical concert
pianist-turned-oil rigger who must reluctantly return home. A talented musician-
pianist Robert Dupea (Nicholson) abandons his privileged, well-to-do family
background, becoming the black sheep of his family as a crass, drifting, redneck,
rough, beer-drinking oil worker in Southern California. After a period of twenty
years, he confronts his past when he returns home to Washington State (Puget
Sound) to his artistic, upper-class family and his dying father's deathbed, accompanied by his
adoring but clinging, dim-witted, pregnant girlfriend Rayette (Black). With the most-famous
scene in the road-side restaurant when he orders a chicken-salad sandwich from a stubborn,
strict waitress. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Jack
Nicholson, Best Supporting Actress--Karen Black, Best Adapted Screenplay.

Frankenstein (1931)
Starring: Boris Karloff, Colin Clive, Dwight Frye
Director: James Whale
The classic horror film, adapted from Mary Shelley's famous 1818 novel, from
the great director James Whale. With his hunchbacked, twitchy assistant Fritz
(Frye), fanatical mad scientist Dr. Frankenstein (Clive) steals bodies from
graves to assemble a creature - a mute, lumbering, flat-headed and browed
Monster (Karloff) with visible facial scars, bolts in his neck and sunken eyes.
Frankenstein shouts: "It's alive! Alive!" during the fantastic creation scene in
his castle, when the hulking body comes alive with electricity harnassed from
lightning. The revived, childlike brute with a criminal brain is misunderstood,
and while playfully tossing flowers into a lake heaves in an innocent eight-year-old girl - who he
imagines as another flower - to her drowning death. No Academy Award nominations.

The French Connection (1971)


Starring: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel
Bozzufi
Director: William Friedkin
An action-packed, intense, gritty crime thriller filmed on location and based on a
true story, starring two hard-nosed, vulgar New York City police cops who expose
an international, heroin-smuggling operation based in Marseilles - headed by
suave, elusive, mastermind crime boss Alain Charnier (Rey). Passionate, tough,
pushy, and unorthodox narcotics detective Jimmy "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman) recklessly and
obsessively fights crime with partner Buddy Russo (Scheider). With the breath-taking, famous
elevated-railway scene of Doyle fearlessly chasing a runaway train - with Charnier's henchman
Pierre Nicoli (Bozzufi) in a borrowed car while narrowly dodging traffic and bystanders. A
sequel four years later chased Charnier to Marseilles. Academy Award Nominations: 8,
including Best Supporting Actor--Roy Scheider, Best Cinematography, Best Sound. Academy
Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor--Gene Hackman, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay,
Best Film Editing.

From Here to Eternity (1953)


Starring: Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed,
Frank Sinatra, Ernest Borgnine
Director: Fred Zinnemann
Based on James Jones' best-selling, hard-hitting novel of on-duty/off-duty
military life among recruits in the pre-Pearl Harbor era of 1941 - on the eve of
WWII. A combination romance, combat and melodramatic film set at the
Schofield Barracks Army base on Oahu. Sensitive bugler Pvt. Robert E. Lee
"Prew" Prewitt (Clift) is dealt harsh treatment when he stubbornly refuses to
fight for the company's boxing team. The bored company commander's wife
Karen Holmes (Kerr) engages in a torrid affair with the good-guy Sgt. Milton
Warden (Lancaster) - their embrace in the pounding surf is indelibly imprinted in cinematic
history. Pruitt falls in love with a nightclub "hostess" (prostitute) Alma (Lorene) (Reed).
Meanwhile, Prew's Italian friend Angelo Maggio (Sinatra) is tormented by sadistic stockade Sgt.
"Fatso" Judson (Borgnine). Academy Award Nominations: 13, including Best Actor--
Montgomery Clift, Best Actor--Burt Lancaster, Best Actress--Deborah Kerr, Best Dramatic
Score, Best B/W Costume Design. Academy Awards: 8, including Best Picture, Best Supporting
Actor--Frank Sinatra, Best Supporting Actress--Donna Reed, Best Director, Best Screenplay,
Best B/W Cinematography, Best Sound Recording, Best Film Editing.

G
GoodFellas (1990)
Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Lorraine Bracco
Director: Martin Scorsese
Based on Nicholas Pileggi's non-fiction book Wiseguys - a definitive and
stylish, violent gangster film, with a soundtrack that chronicles the passage of
time through three decades of crime (the 50s to the 70s) in the life of a mid-
level, aspiring mobster Henry Hill (Liotta). Raised on the streets of a Brooklyn
neighborhood, he marries Karen (Bracco) and slowly advances up and climbs
the Mafioso ladder. With superb performances by Joe Pesci as meanly
psychotic wiseguy Tommy DeVito, and Robert DeNiro as paranoid James
Conway. In the end as his life unravels, after dealing narcotics and becoming
hooked, Hill protects himself and his wife by testifying and becoming part of the federal witness
protection program - and being left in anonymous, suburbanized exile. Academy Award
Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress--Lorraine Bracco, Best
Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 1, Best Supporting
Actor--Joe Pesci.
Gun Crazy (1950)
Starring: Peggy Cummins, John Dall
Director: Joseph H. Lewis
A cult, noirish love-on-the-run tale based on MacKinlay Kantor's story, pre
Bonnie and Clyde, about a reckless couple fatally attracted to their firearms -
and each other. One of the best B films ever made. After serving in the Army,
gun-loving Bert Tare (Dall) meets trick sharp-shooter femme fatale Annie
Laurie Starr (Cummins), portraying Annie Oakley in a Wild West carnival
side-show - they are perfect companions. The two wild, amoral lovers marry -
when financially strapped, they turn to a series of exciting cross-country
robberies. One unnerving sequence is shot non-stop from a camera planted in
the back seat of their getaway car. Their amour fou ultimately leads to their
tragic end in a foggy swamp, brought down by their violent, jarring, reckless natures. No
Academy Award nominations.

H
The Heiress (1949)
Starring: Olivia de Havilland, Montgomery Clift, Ralph Richardson, Miriam
Hopkins
Director: William Wyler
A great romantic drama based on Henry James' 1881 novella Washington
Square, with an icy musical score from Aaron Copland. In 19th century New
York City, a plain, repressed, shy and virginal 'heiress' daughter Catherine
Sloper (de Havilland) of a wealthy, arrogant, imperiously abusive, and
domineering, widowed, patriarchal physician Dr. Sloper (Richardson) becomes
a spinster, after her young, first love toward a handsome, but penniless,
mysterious suitor and mercenary, scheming fortune hunter Morris Townsend
(Clift) is thwarted by her stern, tyrannically-selfish father, who denies the bride-to-be her
inheritance. Pitifully, she is jilted on the night of their elopement. Over many years, her anger is
suppressed and simmers, and surfaces when insincere scoundrel Townsend returns and again
asks for her hand in marriage. With rational, cold, controlled rage, she turns the tables on him in
the final, chilling scene. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Supporting Actor--Ralph Richardson, Best B/W Cinematography. Academy Awards: Best
Actress--Olivia de Havilland, Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Dramatic Score,
Best B/W Costume Design.

How Green Was My Valley (1941)


Starring: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, Sara Allgood,
Roddy McDowall
Director: John Ford
A compelling, classic, heart-wrenching drama of a Welsh coal-mining family
over a fifty-year period, adapted from a story by Richard Llewellyn. Told in
voice-over narration and flashback as intelligent and sensitive 10 year-old
Huw Morgan (McDowall) nostalgically looks back on a bygone way of life.
Huw is the youngest of seven children (six sons and one beautiful daughter
Angharad (O'Hara)) in the Morgan family, led by elderly Mr. and Mrs.
Morgan (Crisp and Allgood). Tensions in the family grow at the beginning of
the 20th century, during periods of labor unrest and workers' strike. When
stern Mr. Morgan resentfully refuses to join a miners' union, calling it "socialist nonsense," the
family is split and the older brothers depart for a boarding house. Among other crises and losses
that devastate the community, Angharad's romantic love for the local preacher Mr. Gruffydd
(Pidgeon) is ultimately thwarted. The film concludes with Huw's understanding of the vanished
old way of life. Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Supporting Actress--Sara
Allgood, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording, Best Dramatic Score, Best Film Editing.
Academy Awards: 5, including Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor--Donald Crisp, Best
Director, Best B/W Cinematography, Best B/W Interior Decoration.

The Hustler (1961)


Starring: Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott
Director: Robert Rossen
A dramatic, realistic character study based on Walter Tevis' novel. A young,
arrogantly-cocky, anti-hero, pool-hall hustler, "Fast Eddie" Felson (Newman),
challenges acclaimed, cool, professional Minnesota Fats (Gleason) in Ames
Billiards Room in New York City. The naive, talented, and ultimately self-
destructive challenger loses. Defeated and self-pitying, he meets and falls in
love with another loner - alcoholic, desperate, waifish cripple Sarah Packard
(Laurie) - whom he ultimately forsakes. He attracts the attention of slimy,
calculating, venal, and repulsive promoter Bert Gordon (Scott). With
financial backing from the pimpish entrepreneur, Felson struggles to get back
on top - at a great cost to his own self-esteem and soul. Reprised twenty-five years later, with
Paul Newman as an older, wiser Eddie Felson in director Martin Scorsese's Color of Money.
Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Paul
Newman, Best Actress--Piper Laurie, Best Supporting Actor--Jackie Gleason, Best Supporting
Actor--George C. Scott, Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 2, including Best B/W
Cinematography, Best B/W Art Direction/Set Decoration.

I
I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
Starring: Paul Muni, Glenda Farrell, Helen Vinson, Edward Ellis, Hale
Hamilton
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
A graphic portrayal of post-WWI chain gang conditions - in the first of
Warner Bros.' social conscience films. A discontented veteran-drifter (Muni)
finds unemployment after the war. He is wrongly convicted after a diner
robbery, and imprisoned in a Southern (state not specified) prison farm at
hard labor for ten years under inhumane conditions. He escapes in a thrilling
sequence, assumes an alias in Chicago, and becomes a well-respected bridge
construction engineer, until his blackmailing, gold-digging landlady (Farrell)
forces him into marriage. Based upon the real-life story of Robert E. Burns and his best-selling
autobiographical book. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Actor--Paul Muni, Best
Sound, Best Picture.

In a Lonely Place (1950)


Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Gloria Grahame
Director: Nicholas Ray
A mature, bleak and dramatic 1950 film noir from maverick director Nicholas
Ray - from a complex script by Andrew Solt. World-weary, acerbic, self-
destructive, hot-tempered, depression-plagued Hollywood screenwriter and
laconic anti-hero Dixon Steele (Bogart), while planning to adapt a trashy best-
selling romance novel, becomes the prime suspect in a murder case of a night-
club hat-check girl Mildred Atkinson (Martha Stewart). After he invites her to
his apartment to discuss the book that he hasn't read, she is found brutally
murdered the next morning. His romantic relationship with a lovely
neighbor/would-be starlet Laurel Gray (Grahame) in the housing complex grows stronger when
she confirms his alibi, but ultimately is put to the test as she becomes increasingly suspicious of
his disintegrating self. No Academy Award Nominations.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)


Starring: Kevin McCarthy, Dana Wynter
Director: Don Siegel
An allegorical, intensely paranoid, chilling science-fiction parable of alien
possession, based on Collier's Magazine's serialized story The Body Snatchers
by Jack Finney - one of the greatest low-budget 50's films that can be
interpreted as philosophical commentary upon the spread of McCarthyism or
Communism. Set in the idyllic small town of Santa Mira, California and told in
flashback. Physician Dr. Miles Bennell (McCarthy) begins to become paranoid
and suspicious when his patients report that their loved ones, friends, and
relatives are not themselves but emotionless shells, replicas, or imposters.
Actually, the town is being surreptitiously invaded by strange, alien plant forms called 'pods,'
that take over or replicate the likenesses, personalities and identities of human beings while they
sleep. Miles and old girlfriend (now recently divorced) Becky Driscoll (Wynter) fight to stay
awake and battle the changes that may overtake them. When they flee to escape a similar fate
and are chased into an abandoned mine shaft, Becky momentarily falls asleep - and her
unresponsive kiss is revelatory. As the last 'human' being, he hysterically screams warnings
while running down the middle of a highway, reaching the refuge of a hospital in San Francisco.
No Academy Award nominations.

It's a Gift (1934) (tie)


Starring: W. C. Fields, Jean Rouveral, Kathleen Howard, Charles Sellon,
Tommy Bupp
Director: Norman Z. McLeod
One of W. C. Fields' earlier comic masterpieces - starring Fields as a victim of
small-town family life in a series of vignettes. Harold Bissonette - pronounced
'Bee-soh-nay' - (Fields) endures hardships at home in Wappingers Falls, New
York with his shrewish, status-conscious wife (Howard), and selfish children -
daughter Mildred (Rouveral) and young son Norman (Bupp). To escape his
travails, he dreams of a California orange ranch he has purchased with an
inheritance. At work, as the fumbling proprietor of a grocery store, where blind
and hard-of-hearing Mr. Muckle (Sellon) crashes through his front door, he anxiously helps
customers. Attempting to sleep on his outer porch, he is tormented by a noisy milkman, a grape-
throwing baby (Baby Dunk) on a higher level, an annoying insurance salesman looking for Carl
LaFong, a rolling cocoanut, and a broken chain on his porch swing. Finally, the family packs up
and travels westward, picnicking on (and littering) the lawn of a private estate along the way,
and finding that the California orange grove is a ramshackle house on an unproductive lot. The
film ends with Harold's dream of the 'good life' intact. No Academy Award nominations.

J
The Jazz Singer (1927)
Starring: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer
Director: Alan Crosland
Legendary, revolutionary film, known as the first sound motion picture - literally,
the first feature film to utilize Synchronous Sound. In actuality, it was a part-talkie
with only a few musical sequences and one ad-libbed, conversational sequence.
With Al Jolson in his film debut. Precipitating a split with his cantor father
(Oland) and mother (Besserer), young Jewish son Jakie Rabinowitz (Jolson)
leaves his home, takes a new name - Jack Robin - and enters show business as a
Broadway singer of popular/secular music. When his father falls ill on Yom Kippur, Jakie takes
his father's place in the synagogue and performs the Kol Nidre. Contains the classic line: "You
ain't heard nothin' yet!" Tunes include "My Mammy," "Dirty Hands, Dirty Face," "Toot, Toot,
Tootsie Goodbye" and "Blue Skies." Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Adapted
Writing, Best Engineering Effects. Special Award to "Warner Bros., for producing...the pioneer
outstanding talking picture, which has revolutionized the industry."

Jezebel (1938)
Starring: Bette Davis, Henry Fonda, Fay Bainter, Margaret Lindsay
Director: William Wyler
Set in the mid-1800s New Orleans, a stylish, classic romantic melodrama about a
headstrong, flamboyant Southern belle. To arouse the jealousy of her beau Preston
Dillard (Fonda), willful, spiteful, tempestuous Julie Marsden (Davis)
thoughtlessly and selfishly insists on wearing a scarlet red gown (rather than a
virginal white one customarily worn by unmarried women) to the Olympus Ball -
a major social function, defying social customs. She disgraces herself and is jilted
by her embarrassed fiancee, who returns to Julie's plantation a year later. Without knowing that
her estranged man has brought his new Yankee wife Amy (Lindsay), she surrenders to him. In
further scheming, she rebounds and marries Southern gentleman Buck Cantrell (Brent), who
dies in a duel unintentionally caused by her. Later, when Pres contracts deadly 'yellow jack'
(yellow fever), she heroically redeems and atones for her transgressions by pleading with Amy
to nurse his illness during the epidemic. In the final scene, she rides off with him in a wagon to
certain death. Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best Picture, Best Cinematography,
Best Score. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Actress--Bette Davis, Best Supporting Actress-
-Fay Bainter.

K
The Killers (1946)
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Sam Levene, Albert
Dekker, Charles McGraw, William Conrad
Director: Robert Siodmak
A classic, definitive film noir, from a short story by Ernest Hemingway, told in
eleven taut flashbacks after a bravura opening murder sequence. Two hit men
Al (McGraw) and Max (Conrad) enter a greasy-spoon diner in Brentwood New
Jersey, asking the manager about Ole 'Swede' Andersen (Lancaster, in his film
debut) - a gas station attendant. The doomed 'Swede' (an ex-boxer), who has
been hiding in town under an alias for six years, is warned in a nearby
boardinghouse. Indifferent, he expects their arrival and calmly, passively awaits
their deadly approach. Insurance investigator Jim Reardon (O'Brien) pieces together and
unravels the plot and reconstructs the life of the victim through interviews and detective work.
He discovers a complex tale of crime and treacherous betrayal - all revolving around a
beautifully-glamorous, mysterious, double-crossing femme fatale Kitty Collins (Gardner) - who
sings "The More I Know of Love." Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Director,
Best Screenplay, Best Dramatic Score, Best Film Editing.

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)


Starring: Ralph Meeker, Albert Dekker, Maxine Cooper, Gaby Rodgers,
Cloris Leachman
Director: Robert Aldrich
A paranoid, suspenseful, noirish, melodramatic crime film brimming with
apocalyptic, Cold War paranoia. Based on Mickey Spillane's pulp fiction novel.
The nihilistic film opens on a dark night when flashy, sleazy, hard-hitting
private eye Mike Hammer (Meeker) picks up an almost-naked, barefoot,
trenchcoat-wearing hitchhiker Christina (Leachman), who is panting heavily
and running down the highway. Villainous thugs force them off the road and
gruesomely torture the mysterious girl to death (semi off-screen) as the detective lies semi-
conscious. During his own brutal, pursuit of the criminals, recalling her haunting words
"Remember me," Hammer - with the help of his limber secretary Velda (Cooper) who frames
men for infidelity - pursues the trail to a strange young lady named Lily (Rodgers), the key to an
atomic, 'glowing' box containing the Great Whatsit, and a sinister conspirator Dr. Soberin
(Dekker). In the controversial, fiery melt-down climax at Soberin's beach hideout, Lily greedily
opens the Pandora's Box, releasing the deadly secret and incinerating herself, as a wounded
Hammer frees the kidnapped Velda and stumbles with her into the cooling ocean waters. No
Academy Award nominations.

L
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Starring: Timothy Bottoms, Jeff Bridges, Cloris Leachman, Cybill Shepherd,
Ben Johnson, Ellen Burstyn, Clu Gulager
Director: Peter Bogdanovich
Based on the novel by Larry McMurtry. A bleak, black and white cinematic
modern-day classic, set in the small, northwestern (fictional) Texas town of
Anarene in the period between the end of World War II and the Korean War in
the early 50s. A poignant, coming-of-age tale of the loss of innocence for
teenagers in the slowly-dying town, symbolized by the closing of the local
picture palace, owned by Sam the Lion (Johnson). The story is about a pair of
HS football players, seniors Sonny Crawford (Bottoms) - who has an affair
with the lonely football-basketball coach's wife Ruth Popper (Leachman), and Duane Jackson
(Bridges) - who dates the sexy, self-centered, spoiled student beauty Jacy Farrow (Shepherd in
her film debut) and enlists after being dumped. Other desperate townsfolk are also having affairs
- Jacy's loose mother Lois (Burstyn) with oilfield worker Abilene (Gulager). Academy Award
Nominations: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best
Supporting Actor--Jeff Bridges, Best Supporting Actress--Ellen Burstyn, Best Cinematography.
Academy Awards: 2, including Best Supporting Actor--Ben Johnson, Best Supporting Actress--
Cloris Leachman.

Laura (1944)
Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price, Judith
Anderson
Director: Otto Preminger
Based on the novel by Vera Caspary. A great murder-mystery film noir, about
the supposed murder of the beautiful title heroine, ad executive femme fatale
Laura Hunt (Tierney), with a shotgun blast to the face. The film opens with
voice-over narration by acidic, cynical newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker
(Webb), Laura's patron/mentor: "I shall never forget the weekend Laura
died..." In the course of his investigation, police detective/necrophiliac Mark
McPherson (Andrews) obsessively falls in love with the dead woman -
through her painted portrait. Suspects in the murder include ne'er-do-well
Kentuckian playboy Shelby Carpenter (Price), Lydecker, Laura's middle-aged aunt Anne
Treadwell (Anderson) - and Laura herself! Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best
Supporting Actor--Clifton Webb, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best B/W Interior Decoration.
Academy Awards: 1, Best B/W Cinematography.
Little Caesar (1930)
Starring: Edward G. Robinson, Glenda Farrell, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr., Ralph
Ince, Thomas Jackson
Director: Mervyn LeRoy
A landmark, classic gangster/crime film - an adaptation of W. R. Burnett's
novel about the rise and fall of an ambitious mobster in the underworld.
Small-time hood Caesar Enrico "Rico" Bandello (Robinson), ugly, viciously
cruel, and ruthless - is modeled after 1920s gangster Al Capone. After a
night-time robbery of a gas station, Rico moves to the city to advance from
"just another mug" to being a big-shot - with his nightclub dancer friend Joe
Massara (Fairbanks, Jr.). Joe's girlfriend Olga Strassoff (Farrell) pressures
him to turn on his gangster pal. Rico thwarts other rival gang leaders,
challenges crime boss Pete Montana (Ince), and opposes efforts of Sgt. Flaherty (Jackson), but
meets his fate behind a billboard sign, crying out: "Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Rico?"
Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Adapted Writing.

The Lost Weekend (1945)


Starring: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva
Director: Billy Wilder
Based on Charles Jackson's 1944 novel by co-screenwriters Charles Brackett
and Billy Wilder and filmed in NYC. A classic, melodramatic, realistically-
grim and uncompromising "social-problem" film of the 1940s, about the
controversial subject of alcoholism, told partially in flashback. Rather than join
his brother Wick (Terry) on a weekend outing to the country, talented New
York aspiring novel writer Don Birnam (Milland) - a chronic alcoholic with
writer's block - spends a 'lost weekend' on a wild, self-destructive drinking
binge. Eluding his persistently supportive girlfriend Helen St. James (Wyman),
he desperately trudges down Third Avenue on Yom Kippur attempting to find an open
pawnshop to hock his own typewriter for another drink. In Bellevue Hospital's alcohol
detoxification ward, he awakens to shrieking inmates suffering the DT's, and in his apartment
experiences hallucinations of a mouse attacked by a bat. He narrowly avoids committing suicide
in the 'optimistic' ending. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Film Editing, Best
B/W Cinematography, Best Dramatic Score. Academy Awards: 4, including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Actor--Ray Milland, Best Adapted Screenplay.

M
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, James Gregory,
Leslie Parrish, John McGiver
Director: John Frankenheimer
Based on Richard Condon's novel, and adapted by George Axelrod. A complex, realistic
depiction of brainwashing in a frightening, satirical psychological thriller. An American
platoon fighting in the Korean War is captured and brainwashed by Communist North
Koreans in Manchuria. Upon their return to the US, one of the veterans Major Bennett
Marco (Sinatra) is haunted by recurring nightmares about their frightening incarceration.
He slowly realizes that fellow hero and Congressional Medal of Honor winner Sgt.
Raymond Shaw (Harvey), controlled and manipulated by his spy-agent "Queen of
Diamonds" ambitious mother (Lansbury) (the wife of right-wing, McCarthyite demagogue Senator John
Iselin (Gregory)), is behind the sinister plot to assassinate political enemies. The mind-controlled operative
Shaw murders his own wife Jocie (Parrish) and his father-in-law, liberal Senator Thomas Jordon
(McGiver). In the tense climax, Marco uncovers the programmed killer's fiendish plans to assassinate the
presidential nominee. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Film Editing, Best Supporting
Actress--Angela Lansbury.

Manhattan (1979)
Starring: Woody Allen, Diane Keaton, Meryl Streep, Mariel Hemingway, Michael
Murphy, Karen Ludwig, Anne Byrne
Director: Woody Allen
A mature, B/W, tragi-romantic comedy enhanced by a George Gershwin score about
infidelity, romances and relationships set in Allen's beloved urban NYC and within a
group of intellectual Manhattanites. Neurotic TV comedy writer Isaac Davis (Allen)
turns from comedy to serious novels, and lives with an sweet, innocent, high-school-
aged drama student Tracy (Hemingway), 25 years younger than he is. His lesbian,
divorced ex-wife Jill (Streep), who is writing an expose about their marriage/divorce
(entitled Marriage, Divorce, and Selfhood), lives with Connie (Ludwig). Davis meets
Mary Wilke (Keaton), the pseudo-intellectual mistress of his guilt-torn best friend Yale
(Murphy) - who is married to Emily (Byrne). Initially, he disapproves of the extra-marital affair and Mary's
personality but then becomes attracted and fascinated by her and begins his own affair with her. In a soda
fountain, he must confess his affair to a tearful Tracy. Academy Award Nominations: 2, Best Supporting
Actress--Mariel Hemingway, Best Original Screenplay.

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)


Starring: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles, Lee Marvin, Lee Van Cleef, Strother
Martin
Director: John Ford
Another B/W Ford film about the passing of the Old West, one of the master's last
westerns. In 1910, respected but timid Senator Ransom Stoddard (Stewart) from the East
journeys westward by train with his wife Hallie (Miles) and returns to the city of
Shinbone to attend the funeral of his old friend Tom Doniphon (Wayne). Told in
flashback to a local newspaper editor, he remembers his life and career in the wild town
and how he was reputedly known as "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." As an
eastern law school graduate, he set up a law practice and had to contend with outlaw
Liberty Valance (Marvin). Idealistic Ransom (called "Pilgrim") is contrasted to the
rugged cowboy frontiersman Doniphon, and accorded fame and credit for taming the West and civilizing
the town, but it was Doniphon who killed tyrannical outlaw Liberty Valance (Marvin). Academy Award
Nominations: 1, Best B/W Costume Design.

McCabe and Mrs. Miller (1971)


Starring: Warren Beatty, Julie Christie
Director: Robert Altman
A classic, dark-toned, moody anti-Western from iconoclastic and offbeat director Altman,
based on the novel McCabe by Edmund Naughton. At the turn of the century, a mysterious,
roguish, small-time, frontier drifter/gambler John McCabe (Beatty) opens up a brothel/casino
in the great northern, wintry wilderness settlement of Presbyterian Church - a grimy, lamp-lit
and shoddy mining town. Amiable braggart McCabe has entrepreneurish ambitions and
partners with opium-smoking, British whorehouse madame Constance Miller (Christie) who
helps to stabilize the operation and make it a successful enterprise. McCabe refuses to sell out to a
corporation, leaving him vulnerable to hired bounty hunters who track him down in the tragic finale. With
great cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond. Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Actress--Julie Christie.

Mean Streets (1973)


Starring: Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Amy Robinson, David Proval, Richard
Romanus, Cesare Danova
Director: Martin Scorsese
Scorsese's third full-length film with energizing early 60s rock 'n' roll - a low-budget,
semi-autobiographical, realistic tale about four struggling, small-time hoods in New York's Little Italy
trying to establish themselves. Tony (Proval) owns the neighborhood bar, and Michael (Romanus) makes
deals and rips off naive teenagers from Brooklyn. Ambitious punk Charlie Calla (Keitel) befriends violent
Johnny Boy (De Niro), who irresponsibly and recklessly incurs gambling debts and becomes dangerously
obligated to a loan shark. Charlie's uncle Giovanni (Danova) is the local Mafia boss and grooming his
nephew for 'respectable' gang life by having him collect for a protection racket. Unclear and confused about
his life's direction and loyalties, Charlie wrestles with his devout Catholic guilt, the temptations of the
Mafia, and his feelings for Teresa (Robinson), Johnny Boy's epileptic sister. No Academy Award
nominations.

Metropolis (1927)
Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge
Director: Fritz Lang
A stylized, visually-compelling, melodramatic silent film set in the 21st century city of
Metropolis - Lang's German Expressionistic masterpiece helped develop the science-
fiction genre. The luxurious, futuristic city of skyscrapers and bridges is stratified and
divided into an upper, elite, privileged class and a subterranean, nameless, oppressed,
ant-like worker/slave class. Freder (Frohlich), the young son of a ruling, aristocratic
capitalist Master John Fredersen (Abel), discovers the miserable life of the proletariat
when he notices a beautiful young woman Maria (Helm) with a group of worker children
and pursues her into the squalid, labyrinthine underground slums. The wistful, Christ-
like young woman urges her comrades to peacefully await their salvation. After
discovering their meeting, Freder's father instructs mad scientist Rotwang (Klein-Rogge) to create an evil
robotic Maria look-alike that will manipulate the workers, preach rebellion, and cause their elimination.
The false Maria goes beserk and incites the workers to revolt, causing a cataclysmic flood. Freder and the
real rescued Maria lead the worker children out of danger, and John Fredersen is convinced to reconcile
with the workers - Capital and Labor united in Love.

Mildred Pierce (1945)


Starring: Joan Crawford, Jack Carson, Ann Blyth, Zachary Scott, Bruce Bennett
Director: Michael Curtiz
One of the best melodramatic, 'women's pictures' and film noir classics of the 1940s -
and Joan Crawford's comeback film. Adapted from James M. Cain's novel. Begins with
the murder of Monte Beragon (Scott) in a beach house. Suspect Mildred Pierce
(Crawford) is interrogated by police for the killing of her second husband. In flashback,
housewife Mildred is divorced from her husband Bert (Bennett). The hardworking,
dowdy woman obsessively dotes on her two daughters, especially rotten, spoiled elder
daughter Veda (Blyth), so she is forced to become a waitress. Through determination
and will-power, she opens up a small restaurant, develops it into a successful chain,
receives assistance from realtor/rebuffed beau Wally Fay (Carson), and marries socially-
prominent playboy Monte Beragon. The petulant, selfishly-ungrateful Veda romances her own step-father
behind the restaurateur's long-suffering back. The murder mystery concludes with a resolution to the
question - who murdered Monte? Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best Picture, Best
Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress--Eve Arden, Best Supporting Actress--Ann Blyth, Best B/W
Cinematography. Academy Awards: 1, Best Actress--Joan Crawford.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Starring: Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur, George Bancroft, Lionel Stander
Director: Frank Capra
Capra's populist romantic screwball comedy based on Opera Hat, a Saturday Evening
Post story by Clarence Budington Kelland. Mandrake Falls, Vermont greeting-card
poetry-writing, tuba-playing rube Longfellow Deeds (Cooper) inherits $20 million from
his wealthy NYC uncle, but eccentrically decides to be philanthropic and give it to
Depression-Era needy. A hot-shot news reporter Babe Bennett (Arthur) poses as an out-
of-work stenographer to get close to him for a story - calling him "The Cinderella Man."
She falls in love, defending him when he is declared insane and goes to trial, and is accused of being
'pixilated.' Eventually, he defends himself and is acquitted by the judge: "...you are not only sane but you're
the sanest man that ever walked into this courtroom." Academy Award Nominations: 5, including Best
Picture, Best Actor--Gary Cooper, Best Screenplay, Best Sound Recording. Academy Awards: 1, Best
Director.

Murder, My Sweet (1944)


Starring: Dick Powell, Claire Trevor, Mike Mazurki, Anne Shirley, Otto Kruger,
Douglas Walton
Director: Edward Dmytryk
Original release titled Farewell, My Lovely - the second screen adaptation of Raymond
Chandler's second novel of the same name, a 1940 hard-boiled tale that was a superb,
complex, shadowy film noir of murder, corruption, blackmail, double-cross and double
identity, with witty dialogue and cynical voice-over narration. The film opens in wartime
Los Angeles, where tough yet vulnerable, blindfolded/bandaged gumshoe detective
Philip Marlowe (played by 30s musical crooner Powell in a dramatic role switch) is
grilled under a bright light by police interrogators. In flashback, he tells a convoluted,
bewildering tale. He was hired by recently-released, brutish, urgent ex-con Moose
Malloy (Mazurki) to search for his missing ex-girlfriend/lover Velma Valento (Trevor) who sold him out
eight years earlier. And then he was also commissioned as a bodyguard to accompany an effeminate gigolo
Lindsay Marriott (Walton) (associated with underworld Jules Amthor (Kruger)) during a ransom payoff for
stolen jewels. When Marriott is killed and Marlowe is blackjacked unconscious ("a black pool opened up"),
he becomes the prime suspect for the murder. Millionaire's daughter Ann Grayle (Anne Shirley) reveals her
interest in the case, which brings Marlowe for a visit to the Grayle mansion in Brentwood where he meets
Mr. Grayle (Miles Mander) and his much younger wife Helen (Trevor again). During his investigation,
Marlowe is drugged and experiences drug-induced hallucinations and nightmares ("a crazy, coked-up
dream") when pursued through a series of identical doors by a man with a giant hypodermic needle (filled
with truth serum), after being roughed up by master-crook Jules Amthor (Otto Kruger). Amthor is a
blackmailer, involved in setting up rich women as targets for Marriott. The owner of the jewels -
mysterious, flirtatious and slinky Helen Grayle, also hires the detective to locate the stolen jade necklace
(which she later reveals is not actually stolen). Marlowe navigates through a perilous world, becoming
further entangled with and threatened by despicable high- and low-class criminals. The final showdown
occurs at the Grayles' beach house, where Helen is killed by her husband. [The final shoot-out revealed that
mysterious, flirtatious, gold-digging double-identity Mrs. Helen Grayle - also known as Velma Valento,
had set up numerous individuals over the theft of jade jewelry, and was indeed a murderous femme fatale.]
Both Moose and Mr. Grayle also shoot and kill each other. (It is also revealed that Moose had murdered
Amthor). A witness to all the killings, Ann Grayle is able to clear temporarily-blinded Marlowe of all
charges - and accompanies him home in the back seat of a taxi - where they share a kiss. No Academy
Award nominations.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)


Starring: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, Dudley Digges
Director: Frank Lloyd
The oft-filmed (1962 and 1984), classic adventure tale of the famous, historical 1788 British
naval vessel the HMS Bounty and its mutiny on the high seas. Based on Nordhoff and Hall's
novel. Partially filmed on location in Tahiti. One of MGM's glossiest and biggest box-office
successes. On a journey from Portsmouth, England to Tahiti to procure breadfruit trees, the
crew suffers under the merciless chastisements of the tyrannically-cruel and mean Captain
William Bligh (Laughton). After an idyllic interlude on the exotic island, where the crew
romances native women, the crew on the return voyage rebels under the courageous, noble leadership of
First Mate Fletcher Christian (Gable) following the Captain's brutal insistence that the ship's elderly doctor
Bacchus (Digges) come topside to witness the flogging of five crew members. The despicable Captain is
set adrift in an open lifeboat with no sail, compass or food, for an amazing 4,000 mile voyage to safety. In
the final scene, Roger Byam (Tone) is brought to trial. Academy Award Nominations: 8, including three
Best Actors (Gable, Laughton, and Tone), Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Film Editing, and Best
Score. Academy Awards: 1, Best Picture.

My Fair Lady (1964)


Starring: Rex Harrison, Audrey Hepburn, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Gladys
Cooper, Theodore Bikel
Director: George Cukor
One of the best and most popular musicals of all-time, from Lerner and Loewe - based on
George Bernard Shaw's 1913 play Pygmalion. Arrogant, fastidious, linguistics Professor
Henry Higgins (Harrison repeating his Tony Award-winning performance on Broadway)
wagers fellow linguist Colonel Hugh Pickering (Hyde-White) that he can transform a
Cockney flower-selling, street urchin Eliza Doolittle (Hepburn) - a 'guttersnipe' - into a
proper lady with prescribed diction/elocution lessons. The irrepressible 'guttersnipe' is scrubbed, dressed,
and tutored, in time to attend the Ascot races and a society ball. In the end, he reluctantly falls in love with
Eliza. Includes songs "On the Street Where You Live," "Get Me to the Church on Time," and "I Could
Have Danced All Night." Academy Award Nominations: 12, including Best Adapted Screenplay, Best
Supporting Actor--Stanley Holloway, Best Supporting Actress--Gladys Cooper, Best Film Editing.
Academy Awards: 8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--Rex Harrison, Best Color
Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Score, Best Color Costume
Design.

My Man Godfrey (1936)


Starring: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Mischa Auer, Gail Patrick
Director: Gregory La Cava
A great, classic, madcap screwball comedy from the 30s, based on the story 1101 Park
Avenue by Eric Hatch. Two spoiled daughters of the wealthy but dysfunctional, zany
Bullock family, sultry, scheming Cornelia (Patrick) and younger, endearing nit-wit Irene
(Lombard) search for a "forgotten man" during a high-society scavenger hunt. They
discover dishevelled tramp Godfrey Parke (Powell) in the city dump, and ultimately the
down-and-out man is hired to be the Manhattan family's butler. His high-minded, decent,
suave sophistication is contrasted to the antics of concerned father Alexander (Pallette),
his dizzy wife Angelica (Brady) and her protegé Carlo (Auer). A mysterious man,
Godfrey's real identity (and wealth) is finally revealed after he transforms and teaches the confused family
about life, money, and happiness and wins Irene's love. Academy Award Nominations: 6, including Best
Director, Best Actor--William Powell, Best Actress--Carole Lombard, Best Supporting Actress--Alice
Brady, Best Supporting Actor--Mischa Auer, Best Screenplay.

N
Network (1976)
Starring: Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Peter Finch, Beatrice Straight, Robert
Duvall, Ned Beatty
Director: Sidney Lumet
A prophetic, explosive, provocative satire from screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky about the
medium of network television and its abusive, self-prostituting quest for ratings. Chief
UBS TV (a fourth-rated fictional broadcasting system) veteran news anchorman Howard
Beale (Finch) is driven insane when told that he will be fired after twenty-five years
because of low ratings. On the air, the beserk newsman tells his audience that he will
committ suicide during his final live broadcast. A ratings-mad, cold-blooded, ambitious
programming VP Diana Christensen (Dunaway) exploits the furor when ratings zoom.
Messianic hero and cult celebrity Beale continues to report the news and evangelistically
urges his viewers to go to their windows and yell: "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not gonna take it anymore!"
The craggy, dissenting head of the news division Max Schumacher (Holden) is fired, as the network is
overtaken by a multinational conglomerate and alliances are made with urban guerrilla terrorists for
programming ideas. Married Schumacher, in a mid-life crisis, has a May-December affair with Diana and
leaves his wife (Straight). Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best
Actor--William Holden, Best Supporting Actor--Ned Beatty, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing.
Academy Awards: 4, including Best Actor--Peter Finch (awarded post-humously), Best Actress--Faye
Dunaway, Best Supporting Actress--Beatrice Straight, Best Original Screenplay.

N (continued)
Now, Voyager (1942)
Starring: Bette Davis, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid, Gladys Cooper, Bonita
Granville, Janis Wilson
Director: Irving Rapper
From the novel by Olive Higgins Prouty and enhanced by Max Steiner's
score. A classic soap-operaish, melodramatic tearjerker from Hollywood's
Golden Era. Repressed, middle-aged, frumpy, 'ugly duckling' spinster
Charlotte Vale (Davis), from a wealthy Boston family, is controlled by her
domineering, unloving mother (Cooper). During counseling at a sanitarium
with a kindly, esteemed psychotherapist Dr. Jaquith (Rains), the frightened,
frustrated, introverted woman is restored and transformed into a chic, more
attractive, self-confident person. During a suggested South American cruise,
she meets a handsome, suave unhappily-married architect Jerry Durrance (Henreid) and finds
love through a bittersweet shipboard affair and a befriending of his shy and troubled, withdrawn
daughter Tina (Wilson). Concludes with the famous line: "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon.
We have the stars" as the two share a cigarette smoke. Academy Award Nominations: 3,
including Best Actress--Bette Davis, Best Supporting Actress--Gladys Cooper. Academy
Awards: 1, Best Dramatic Score.

O
Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Starring: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Richard Barthelmess, Rita Hayworth,
Thomas Mitchell
Director: Howard Hawks
A classic Hawksian, entertaining adventure/action film - with romance - set in
Barranca, South America. About a group of mail pilots who fly treacherous
routes from Ecuador to Peru over mountain passes in the fogged-in Andes
Mountains. Stoic, cool, all-business Geoff Carter (Grant) leads a group of
dare-devil aviators that hazardously transport air freight, with their
headquarters in a saloon. Stranded, smart-talking, blonde showgirl Bonnie
Lee (Arthur) falls for Carter, but he initially ignores her advances. Disgraced
pilot Bat 'MacPherson' Kilgallen (Barthelmess) is married to Carter's
glamorous ex-lover Judy MacPherson (Hayworth). He remains guilt-ridden and under a cloud of
cowardice after causing the death, years earlier, of the brother of another tough, elderly pilot Kid
Dabb (Mitchell). Needing a replacement pilot, Carter is forced to hire the discredited Bat who
wants to redeem himself. Carter's close friend Kid Dabb volunteers to fly a dangerous mission
and is killed. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including B/W Cinematography, Best Special
Effects.
The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)
Starring: Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Harry Morgan, Anthony Quinn,
Francis Ford, Frank Conroy
Director: William A. Wellman
From the novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark - a grim study of mob rule based
on a true story. In 1885 Nevada, two drifter-cowboys Gil Carter (Fonda) and
Art Croft (Morgan) ride into the town of Bridger's Wells. A report that a local
rancher has been shot by rustlers gathers a frenzied, angry lynch mob to
dispense vigilante frontier justice. The posse is led by sadistic ex-Confederate
officer Major Tetley (Conroy). Three tired homesteaders Donald Martin, Juan
Martines, and a senile old man (Andrews, Quinn, and Ford) are confronted as
the rustlers with circumstantial evidence and lynched by the hysterical mob - without a trial -
despite the objections of Carter and Croft. In a final poignant scene, after the suspected victims
have been declared blameless, Carter reads Martin's farewell letter to his family. Academy
Award Nominations: 1, Best Picture.

P
Pinocchio (1940)
Starring: Christian Rub (voice of Geppetto), Cliff Edwards (voice of Jiminy
Cricket), Walter Catlett (voice of J. Worthington Foulfellow), Dickie Jones
(voice of Pinocchio), Evelyn Venable (voice of the Blue Fairy)
Director: Ben Sharpsteen, Hamilton Luske
The second full-length animated feature classic from Walt Disney Studios -
about a wooden puppet who yearns to be a real boy. Based on a story written
by Carlo Collodi in the 1800's. Beautifully drawn with technically-superior
animation and memorable characterizations - Geppetto the kindly
woodcarver, Figaro the cat, Cleo the goldfish, Stromboli the puppeteer,
Monstro the whale, the Blue Fairy, Lampwick - and obviously Jiminy Cricket
and Pinocchio. The carver's creation - a puppet boy, is turned into a flesh-
and-blood boy, with the stipulation that he must be brave, unselfish, and learn right from wrong
in order to earn real life. The boy is accompanied by his conscience, Jiminy Cricket for his
adventures. Pinocchio is tempted by a conniving fox J. Worthington Foulfellow, exploited by a
puppet master Stromboli, and sent to Pleasure Island (where naughty boys are turned into
donkeys) for truly terrifying experiences and a daring rescue from the belly of a monstrous
whale. Includes Jiminy Cricket singing the future Disney theme song "When You Wish Upon a
Star." Academy Award Nominations: 2. Academy Awards: 2, including Best Original Score,
Best Song ("When You Wish Upon a Star").

A Place in the Sun (1951)


Starring: Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor, Shelley Winters
Director: George Stevens
An adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's novel An American Tragedy - a star-
crossed melodramatic romance. Low-born, ambitious George Eastman (Clift)
hitches a ride to his distant uncle's place, where he is given an assembly-line
bathing-suit factory job. The poor boy is entranced and infatuated by the
snobbish, beautiful, well-bred rich girl Angela Vickers (Taylor) and they fall
in starry-eyed love, but he also dates and impregnates poor, lower-class co-
worker Alice Tripp (Winters). On Labor Day weekend at the Vickers'
lakeside home, during a rowboat ride with Alice on a lake, George
contemplates and wills (if not actually commits) the murder of his fiancee
when she accidentally falls in and drowns - he falls from his 'place in the sun' when convicted
and executed. Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Picture, Best Actor--
Montgomery Clift, Best Actress--Shelley Winters. Academy Awards: 6, including Best Director,
Best Screenplay, Best B/W Cinematography, Best Dramatic Score, Best Film Editing, Best B/W
Costume Design.

Platoon (1986)
Starring: Charlie Sheen, Willem Dafoe, Tom Berenger
Director: Oliver Stone
A harrowing, visceral, realistic, visually-shattering Vietnam-war film, based
on the writer/director's own first-hand knowledge as a Vietnam combat
soldier. Young, naive, 19 year-old enlisted infantry soldier Chris (Sheen)
serves in Vietnam in a fragmented, schizoid, rifle platoon/troop under two
radically-different, veteran officers: pot-smoking, compassionate Sgt. Elias
(Dafoe) and boozing, fierce Sgt. Barnes (Berenger). In the violence of
combat, the two 'good' and 'bad' sergeants clash, forcing Chris to examine his
own loyalty and perspective toward violence. The first film in Vietnam
veteran Oliver Stone's Vietnam trilogy, followed by Born of the Fourth of
July (1989) and Heaven and Earth (1993). Academy Award Nominations: 8, including Best
Supporting Actor--Tom Berenger, Best Supporting Actor--Willem Dafoe, Best Original
Screenplay, Best Cinematography. Academy Awards: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director,
Best Sound, Best Film Editing.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)


Starring: Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway
Director: Tay Garnett
An adaptation of James M. Cain's torrid crime melodrama - one of the best
film noirs. Handsome drifter Frank Chambers (Garfield) is hired at the
California roadside Twin Oaks diner/restaurant as a handyman by kindly,
middle-aged proprietor Nick Smith (Kellaway) after one look at his sizzling,
lustfully hot (and unhappy), platinum-blonde waitress wife Cora (Turner).
The slow-burning fuse of sexual passion between Frank and Cora leads to
their plot to 'accidentally' kill her husband. After the murderous couple's plot
is executed following a failed first attempt, they betray each other and are
undone by their own uncontrollable, calculating natures, even as Cora admits
before her death in an automobile crash: "When we get home, Frank, then there'll be kisses,
kisses with dreams in them. Kisses that come from life, not death." No Academy Award
nominations.

The Public Enemy (1931)


Starring: James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Mae Clarke, Edward Woods, Leslie
Fenton, Donald Cook
Director: William A. Wellman
A definitive, brutal gangster film from the early 1930s with James Cagney's
effective portrayal of the rise and fall of a prohibition-era criminal. Two
young punks who grew up on the South Side of Chicago - Tom Powers
(Cagney) and Matt Doyle (Woods) - move from petty crimes to armed
robbery and bootlegging. They lead violent and lethal lives, slap their blonde
girlfriends around, and retaliate against rival hoodlums. (The film is most
notable for its scene in which Tom pushes his breakfast grapefruit into the
face of his moll girlfriend Kitty (Clarke).) They become associates of mobster
Nails Nathan (Fenton), self-destructively engage in gang warfares, and Tom takes a new
girlfriend Gwen Allen (Harlow). The final image of the delivery of Tom's 'mummified' bullet-
ridden body at his estranged family's door is bone-chilling. Academy Award Nominations: 1,
Best Original Story.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Starring: John Travolta, Bruce Willis, Samuel Jackson, Ving Rhames, Uma
Thurman, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Harvey Keitel
Director: Quentin Tarantino
A stylish, immensely-popular, violent, off-beat, modern B-movie cult classic
from writer/director Tarantino - his second feature, about corruption and
temptation. An interwoven series of three vignettes about low-life criminals,
thugs, drug-dealers, hitmen, a washed-up crooked boxer, and restaurant-robbing
lovers in the sleazy underworld of Los Angeles. Small-time hold-up artists -
"Pumpkin" (Roth) and "Honey Bunny" (Plummer) - plot a robbery in a
restaurant. Meanwhile, philosophically-talkative hit men Jules Winfield
(Jackson) and Vincent Vega (Travolta) carry out a hit for their vengeful, underworld boss
Marsellus Wallace (Rhames) against double-crossing college-aged kids. Vincent entertains
Marsellus' irresponsible wife Mia (Thurman) one evening - and then she overdoses on heroin.
By not taking a dive, boxer Butch (Willis) scams Marcellus during his last bout and plans to skip
town. The two hitmen call on gangland cleanup specialist The Wolf (Keitel) when their jobs get
messy. Academy Award Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Actor--John Travolta,
Best Supporting Actor--Samuel L. Jackson, Best Supporting Actress--Uma Thurman, Best
Director, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 1, Best Original Screenplay.

Q
Queen Christina (1933)
Starring: Greta Garbo, John Gilbert
Director: Rouben Mamoulian
A screen biography of the legendary 17th century Queen of Sweden Christina
(Garbo), from the directorial master Mamoulian. After rejecting an arranged
marriage for political advantage, the Queen fatefully meets newly-appointed
Spanish ambassador Don Antonio De la Prada (Gilbert) during a horseback
ride. To be incognito, she disguises herself as a man and visits with him in a
snowbound country inn. During a night in his shared room in a gorgeously
photographed sequence, she reveals her disguise and the two become
passionate, clandestine lovers. Later, she officially receives him in her court,
and in a shocking move, she relinquishes and abdicates herself from the
throne for her love. Concludes with the famous closeup of Garbo's face at the bow of the boat as
she faces her destiny. No Academy Award nominations.

R
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Starring: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen
Director: Steven Spielberg
Spielberg's thrilling, entertaining homage to 1930's cliff-hanging adventure
serials/films at Saturday matinees. One of the greatest action films ever made
- led to a trilogy. Mid-1930s, pre-WWII comic-bookish, globe-trotting, bull-
whip toting adventurer/archaeologist Dr. Indiana Jones (Ford) searches for
rare antiquities. The film's opening sequence is a white-knuckled experience
in a South American rainforest and cave with poisonous darts and a
threatening boulder. In a race with the Nazis, dashing Dr. Jones is enlisted to
locate the Biblical Ark of the Covenant before the evil agents of Hitler use its
powers to win the war. From Nepal to Cairo, the self-effacing hero is aided
by tough, hard-drinking, spunky and feisty ex-girlfriend Marion Ravenwood (Allen), as he
escapes one life-threatening situation, fight, scrape, and chase after another - especially
venomous snakes and the mysterious wrath of God in its finale. Academy Award Nominations:
8, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Score. Academy
Awards: 4, including Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best
Visual Effects. Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing.

The Red Shoes (1948)


Starring: Anton Walbrook, Moira Shearer, Marius Goring, Leonide
Massine, Albert Basserman, Robert Helpmann
Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
An exquisite musical tragedy, taken from Hans Christian Andersen's fairy
tale of the same name. An ambitious young English ballerina (Shearer) is
made a star by mentor impresario (Walbrook) of the Lermontov Ballet
Company. But she is soon torn between the struggling composer (Goring)
who can offer nothing but his love and the obsessed impresario who can
further her dancing career. Includes a wonderful 15-minute balletic
performance. From the masterful directing/producing team of Powell and
Pressburger, and filmed in breathtaking, gorgeous Technicolor. Academy Award nominations:
5, including Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Story (Pressburger). Academy Awards: 2,
Best Art Direction, Best Score.

R (continued)
Romeo and Juliet (1968)
Starring: Olivia Hussey, Leonard Whiting, Milo O'Shea, Michael York,
Paul Hardwicke, John McEnery, Pat Heywood, Laurence Olivier (narrator)
Director: Franco Zefferelli
The classic and immortal Shakespearean tale of forbidden, tragic, and star-
crossed love. Adapted in this modern and realistic version by Zefferelli for
the first time with two teenaged leads as the youthful, innocent, strong-
willed lovers Romeo (Leonard Whiting) and Juliet (Olivia Hussey). Their
warring families, the bitterly-hateful Montagues and Capulets, doom their
tender romance, with a first-time-ever scene of the nude couple on their
wedding night. In gorgeous Technicolor, shot on location in Italy and
enhanced by a memorable soundtrack from Nino Rota. Academy Award nominations: 4,
including Best Picture, Best Director. Academy Awards: 2, Best Cinematography, Best Costume
Design.

A Room With A View (1986)


Starring: Maggie Smith, Helena Bonham Carter, Denholm Elliott, Julian
Sands, Daniel Day-Lewis, Simon Callow, Judi Dench, Rosemary Leach,
Rupert Graves, Patrick Godfrey
Director: James Ivory
Producer: Ismail Ivory
A delightful comedy of errors tale of repressed Victorian romance and
British conceit, adapted from E.M. Forster's novel. A proper Edwardian
young girl (Carter) with her elderly, guilt-ridden spinster
chaperone/cousin (Smith) take a tourist holiday in Italy. There, she meets
a free-spirited suitor (Sands), but is whisked back to Surrey, England
when romance develops. Back home, she is engaged to a prissy, dispassionate, self-possessed,
intellectual gentleman (Day-Lewis). When she is reunited with the charming young man from
Florence, she must make a defiant decision regarding her marital plans. Academy Award
Nominations: 8, including Best Cinematography, Best Director, Best Picture, Best Supporting
Actor--Denholm Elliott, Best Supporting Actress--Maggie Smith. Academy Awards: 3, Best
Adapted Screenplay (Ruth Prawer Jhabvala), Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design.

Rosemary's Baby (1968)


Starring: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer
Director: Roman Polanski
Polanski's first American film, from Ira Levin's best-seller - a convincing,
creepy, psychological, Satanist horror/thriller about a young pregnant wife who
suspects and has strange premonitions about diabolical forces (a witches'
coven) threatening her unborn baby. Young newlywed couple Rosemary
(Farrow) and aspiring, out-of-work actor/husband Guy Woodhouse
(Cassavetes) move into a gothic NYC apartment complex, with intrusive,
elderly next-door neighbors Roman (Blackmer) and nosy Minnie Castevet
(Gordon). With a fertile imagination, Rosemary gradually believes that she
hasn't been impregnated by her husband but by the Devil. Academy Award Nominations: 2,
including Best Adapted Screenplay. Academy Awards: 1, Best Supporting Actress--Ruth
Gordon.

S
Scarface: The Shame of the Nation (1932)
Starring: Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, George Raft
Director: Howard Hawks
A landmark, classic crime-gangster film (one of the earliest) personally
produced by Howard Hughes about a brutal, homicidal hood during
Prohibition. Although the film was made before The Public Enemy and Little
Caesar, it was released after them due to censorship concerns and squabbling
between the director and producer - with an attached subtitle: The Shame of the
Nation. Its violence delayed its release and helped contribute to the creation of
the Production Code shortly thereafter in 1934. Notorious Chicago gangster Al
Capone's nickname is the title of the film that traces the rise and fall of Antonio
(Tony) Camonte (Muni), a maniac, reptilian killer who murders without hesitation on his way to
the top, with the aid of right-hand, coin-flipping thug Guino Rinaldo (Raft). Tony also has an
ambiguous, almost incestuous relationship with his beautiful, slinky sister Cesca (Dvorak).
Originally made with two endings, Hawks' original finale, and the Hays Office ending. No
Academy Award nominations.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)


Starring: Joseph Cotten, Teresa Wright, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Reportedly Hitchcock's own personal favorite, a chilling mystery thriller from
Thornton Wilder's co-written script, based on the real-life 1920s serial killer - the
Merry Widow - who cold-bloodedly murders wealthy widows for their jewels.
Charming Uncle Charlie (Cotten), a psychotic murderer, returns to his small
hometown in Santa Rosa, California for an extended visit with his sister Emma
Newton (Collinge) and her family, including her mystery-buff husband Joseph
(Travers) and namesake daughter Charlie (Wright). Young Charlie has wished for change and
excitement in her boring life, and is psychically linked to her favorite uncle - and then she
slowly begins to intuitively suspect that her beloved relative is a wanted mass murderer, through
clues including a newspaper article and an engraved ring stolen from a woman he murdered.
And when Uncle Charlie comes to recognize her suspicions... Academy Award Nominations: 1,
Best Original Story.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton
Director: Frank Darabont
An uplifting, engrossing, life-affirming drama/prison tale about the
relationship between two jailed prisoners, adapted from a Stephen King
novella titled "Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption." Wrongly
imprisoned for life in the Shawshank State Prison in the mid 1940s for
murdering his adulterous wife and her lover, innocent banker Andy Dufresne
(Robbins) meets another dignified lifer Red (Freeman) known for procuring
contraband. The evil, Bible-pounding Warden Norton (Gunton) uses Andy's
financial background to cover his nefarious activities, and Red obtains a
geological rock hammer and pinup of Rita Hayworth at Andy's request. The
passage of time over two decades is conveyed by the pin-ups on Andy's cell wall, which change
from Hayworth to Marilyn Monroe, and then to Raquel Welch. Serving as an inspiration to the
other convicts, Andy yearns for freedom and patiently plans for it. Academy Award
Nominations: 7, including Best Picture, Best Actor--Morgan Freeman, Best Adapted
Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Original Score, Best Film Editing.

She Done Him Wrong (1933)


Starring: Mae West, Cary Grant, Noah Beery, Sr.
Director: Lowell Sherman
Liberated Mae West's first starring film based on her infamous 1928 Broadway
stage play Diamond Lil. She stars as buxom, bawdy, double-entrendre-spouting
Lady Lou, a diamond-jeweled saloon chanteuse, the 'sweetheart' of owner Gus
Jordan (Beery) in the Naughty Gay '90s Bowery region. Handsome Captain
Cummings/"Hawk" (Grant), a detective poses as a Salvation Army missionary
crusader while investigating a corrupt, white slavery and counterfeiting ring in the
saloon. Includes West's singing of "Frankie and Johnny," "I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's
Gone," and "I Like a Man What Takes His Time," and her most famous line of dialogue: "Why
don't you come up sometime 'n see me? I'm home every evening." Academy Award
Nominations: 1, Best Picture.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Brooke
Smith
Director: Jonathan Demme
Ted Tally's screenplay was based on Thomas Harris' 1988 best-selling novel
of the same name (an earlier thriller, Michael Mann's Manhunter (1986), was
based on another Harris novel - titled Red Dragon). A genuinely-frightening,
violent, psychological thriller about the intimate exchanges between a
deranged, hypnotic serial killer and a raw, vulnerable FBI trainee. Novice
agent Clarice Starling (Foster) is sent by senior agent Jack Crawford (Glenn)
to conduct an interview with an insane, psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "the
Cannibal" Lecter (Hopkins), housed in a claustrophobic, underground prison
cell. In exchange for her haunting, deepest secrets and memories about her childhood and the
slaughter of lambs, she is supplied with clues about the identity and methods of another serial
killer Jame Gumb, dubbed Buffalo Bill (Levine), who skins his victims and is currently holding
victim Catherine Martin (Smith) - the daughter of a US Senator. Academy Award Nominations:
7, including Best Sound, Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 5, including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Actress--Jodie Foster, Best Actor--Anthony Hopkins, Best Adapted Screenplay.
Sons of the Desert (1933)
Starring: Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, Charley Chase, Mae Busch, Dorothy
Christy
Director: William A. Seiter
A classic, hilarious comedy - the funniest full-length feature from Laurel and
Hardy. The two boys Stan Laurel (Himself) and Oliver Hardy (Himself)
deviously plan to fool their wives by claiming to have gone on a prescribed
ocean voyage to Hawaii (to cure Ollie's illness), while instead attending the
national convention of their fellow Sons of the Desert lodge members in
Chicago, with mad-cap conventioneer Charley Chase (Himself). Their plan
fails miserably when the ship is reported sunk, and Mrs. Hardy (Busch) and
Mrs. Laurel (Christy) discover the truth, viewing their husbands in the
fraternal parade in a movie newsreel. In revenge, the two wives plot to test their exposed mates.
No Academy Award nominations.

The Sound of Music (1965)


Starring: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Peggy Wood
Director: Robert Wise
Based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein stage musical and the true story of
the von Trapp family - a lovely film with a mixture of comedy, romance, and
suspense - and a wonderful collection of musical tunes. Restless novice
postulant Maria at the Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg, Austria, first pictured
daydreaming on the hillside surrounded by the beautiful Alps, is persuaded by
the Reverend Mother (Wood) to take a governess position for the motherless,
singing family of stern widower Captain von Trapp (Plummer), who is
engaged to Baroness SchrÖder (Parker). The seven children include: 16 year-
old Liesl (Charmain Carr), 14 year-old Friedrich (Nicholas Hammond), 13
year-old Louisa (Heather Menzies), 11 year-old Kurt (Duane Chase), 10 year-old Brigitta
(Angela Cartwright), almost 7 year-old Marta (Debbie Turner), and 5 year-old Gretl (Kym
Karath). The children have a well-deserved reputation for scaring off caretakers, but Maria wins
them over, and falls in love with her employer, amidst the ominous Nazi occupation. Includes
the songs: "Maria," "The Sound of Music," "My Favorite Things," "You Are Sixteen, Going On
Seventeen," "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "Do-Re-Mi," and "Edelweiss." Academy Award
Nominations: 10, including Best Actress--Julie Andrews, Best Supporting Actress--Peggy
Wood, Best Color Cinematography, Best Color Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Color
Costume Design. Academy Awards: 5, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Sound, Best
Adapted Score, Best Film Editing.

Splendor in the Grass (1961)


Starring: Natalie Wood, Warren Beatty, Audrey Christie, Pat Hingle, Zohra
Lampert, Jan Norris
Director: Elia Kazan
A tragic, coming-of-age melodrama set in the mid-1920s in a small, rural Kansas
town, from playwright William Inge's original, award-winning script. Star-crossed,
teenaged sweethearts, poor HS senior Wilma Dean "Deanie" Loomis (Wood) and
rich Bud Stamper (Beatty in his film debut) fall deeply and passionately in love,
but are repressed by the sexual mores of the time, their class differences, and
disapproval from their parents - especially her prudish, puritanical mother (Christie) and his
rigid, domineering father (Hingle). Deanie's pent-up sexual longings cause her to almost go
insane in a memorable bathtub scene. Repercussions cause Bud to chase after slutty girl Juanita
Howard (Norris), and eventually marry Italian Angelina (Lampert), while Deanie is
institutionalized following a suicidal nervous breakdown. Years later, the two meet again and
she resolves her feelings about him. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Actress--
Natalie Wood. Academy Awards: 1, Best Original Story and Screenplay.
Strangers on a Train (1951)
Starring: Farley Granger, Robert Walker, Ruth Roman, Laura Elliot, Jonathan
Hale
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Another of Hitchcock's great suspense thrillers - co-scripted by Raymond
Chandler and based on the novel by Patricia Highsmith. During a 'chance'
meeting on a train enroute from Washington DC (a cleverly-choreographed
sequence in which the two sets of the strangers' shoes are highlighted), rich
psychopathic playboy Bruno Anthony (Walker) explains his macabre, morbid
theory of the perfect murder - an exchange or swap of murders and victims - to
professional champion tennis player Guy Haines (Granger). Bruno diabolically
proposes murdering Guy's clinging, stifling wife Miriam (Elliot) - since Guy wants to marry US
Senator's daughter Anne Morton (Roman) - in exchange for Guy murdering Bruno's spiteful
father (Hale) and his acquisition of an inheritance, without any trace of clues. Haines dismisses
the preposterous idea until Anthony kills his wife Miriam by strangulation at an amusement park
and he is expected to fulfill his part of the bargain - with threat of blackmail. With a few great
set pieces, including the tennis match, the cross-cutting sewer grating scene, the cocktail party
scene of how to commit a murder, and the out-of-control merry-go-round in the finale in which
Guy was finally cleared of the murder. Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best B/W
Cinematography.

Sullivan's Travels (1941)


Starring: Joel McCrea, Veronica Lake
Director: Preston Sturges
A landmark, sardonic film satire from writer/director Sturges about a successful
escapist comedy Hollywood director John L. Sullivan (McCrea) who has tired of
making light-hearted films. Sullivan is determined to make a serious-minded,
socially-responsible drama about poverty and hardship in America titled O
Brother, Where Art Thou? To research his new film project, he disguises himself
- for his 'Gulliver's Travels' journey through pre WWII America - as a down-and-
out tramp/bum to experience cruel adversity first-hand. After shaking off the hot pursuit of a
caravan of studio publicists, and being joined by a beautiful, out-of-work, failed blonde actress
The Girl (Lake), he serves time on a prison chain gang, where during the showing of a Disney
cartoon he gains a newfound appreciation that the down-trodden do indeed need laughter and
humor. No Academy Award nominations.

S (continued)
Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Starring: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner, Emile Meyer
Director: Alexander MacKendrick
A caustic, dark film noir based on the short story by Ernest Lehman titled Tell Me About It
Tomorrow, and filmed on location in NYC. MacKendrick's debut American film.
Opportunistic, vicious, hustling, slimy press agent Sidney Falco (Curtis) provides publicity
for showbiz clients, hoping for exposure in the syndicated columns. Ruthless, sadistic,
monstrously-manipulative newspaper columnist J. J. Hunsecker (Lancaster) unscrupulously
plots with Falco to disrupt and destroy the romantic relationship of his younger sister Susan
Hunsecker (Harrison) with a jazz musician Steve Dallas (Milner). Unethical and immoral but desperate to
please Hunsecker, Falco smears Dallas as a drug addict and Communist by planting evidence, but causes
Susan to become suicidal. Ultimately vengeful, she walks out on her 'incestuous' and obsessed,
overprotective brother, while a raging Hunsecker has Falco beaten up. No Academy Award nominations.
Swing Time (1936)
Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Betty Furness, Landers Stevens
Director: George Stevens
Another of the greatest Astaire-Rogers dance musicals, their sixth film together, with
lyrics and music by Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields. Hoofer/gambler "Lucky" Garnett
(Astaire) is late to his marriage to hometown socialite Margaret Watson (Furness). Her
father Judge Watson (Stevens) challenges his prospective son-in-law to return only after
earning a fortune of $25,000 in the big city. In a local dance studio, Lucky falls in love
with instructor Penny Carrol (Rogers). After many romantic misunderstandings,
complications and difficulties in the contrived plot, he finds his real life's partner. Songs
and dances include: "Pick Yourself Up," "The Way You Look Tonight," "Waltz in
Swing Time," "A Fine Romance," "Bojangles of Harlem" (Astaire's only blackface
number in a tribute to Bill Robinson), and the lengthy, romantic dance duet "Never Gonna Dance" in the
finale. Academy Award Nominations: 2, including Best Dance Direction. Academy Awards: 1, Best Song
("The Way You Look Tonight").

T
The Terminator (1984)
Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton
Director: James Cameron
A stylish, action-packed, low budget, beautifully-paced science-fiction film. Kyle Reece
(Biehn), a hunted, fugitive, freedom-fighting soldier-hero from the post-apocalyptic,
wasteland future of 2029 Los Angeles, where a race of machine-like cyborgs rule the
Earth and exterminate human beings, is sent back to present-day 1984 Los Angeles. In
pursuit through time travel is an invulnerable, ruthless, assassin-terminator cyborg
(Schwarzenegger), sent to kill the innocent young woman Sarah Connor (Hamilton)
destined to bear a son - John Connor - who will eventually become a liberator and lead
the revolt against the evil machines to prevent the world from being annihilated. Rebel
soldier Kyle's mission is to protect her, explain her destiny and the reason for the
Terminator's stalking - as he falls in love with her. No Academy Award nominations.

The Thin Man (1934)


Starring: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Maureen O'Sullivan
Director: W.S. Van Dyke
The first in a series of six charming and sophisticated who-dun-it "Thin Man" films
(between 1934 and 1947), teaming William Powell and Myrna Loy as a witty, mystery-
solving, sleuthing couple - with delightfully-affectionate, rapid-fire banter and chemistry
between the pair, and a wire-haired terrier named Asta. Based on Dashiell Hammett's
1932 novel. Retired and soused detective Nick Charles (Powell), now married to wealthy
heiress Nora (Loy), is commissioned by Dorothy Wynant (Maureen O'Sullivan) to
investigate the mysterious disappearance of her inventor father (Edward Ellis) - the "thin
man" of the film's title. Followed by the sequel, After the Thin Man (1936). Academy
Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor--William
Powell and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The 39 Steps (1935)


Starring: Madeleine Carroll, Robert Donat, Wylie Watson, Lucie Mannheim, Godfrey
Tearle, Peggy Ashcroft, John Laurie
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
One of Hitchcock's most entertaining, suspenseful British romantic/spy-mystery thrillers.
In 1930s London during a Palladium performance featuring Mr. Memory (Watson),
innocent vacationing Canadian tourist Richard Hannay (Donat) is thrown into the arms of
a mysterious secret agent Annabella Smith (Mannheim) who later informs him that she is being pursued by
a spy ring (led by a criminal mastermind later revealed as Prof. Jordan (Tearle) with a half little finger) and
agents code-named "the 39 steps" - Hitchcock's MacGuffin. In his rented flat, the woman is murdered and
Hannay becomes the prime suspect. He flees to Scotland with the police (and agents) on his trail to locate
the spies and clear his name, and meets lovely cool blonde Pamela (Carroll) on a train. His journey includes
an overnight stay in a crofter's cottage where the couple suffer an unhappy marriage (Laurie and Ashcroft),
a spontaneous improvised lecture in a political meeting, and handcuffing to a resentful, antagonistic
Pamela. The mystery is finally solved with a return to the London Palladium where it is discovered that
memory expert Mr. Memory is part of the spy organization that plans to smuggle valuable military secrets
out of the country for sale to an unknown enemy. No Academy Award nominations.

To Be or Not to Be (1942)
Starring: Jack Benny, Carole Lombard, Robert Stack, Stanley Ridges, Sig Rumann
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
A satirical, black comedy masterpiece set in occupied wartime Poland, controversial in its
time for providing serious social commentary on the Nazi regime. Trapped in Warsaw,
vain Joseph Tura (Benny), the lead Polish actor in a theatre troupe and his flighty actress
wife Maria (Lombard in her last role before her tragic death in an airplane crash) star in a
production of Shakespeare's Hamlet after their anti-Nazi play has been censored and shut
down. To outwit the occupying Nazis in the war effort, the actors become engaged in a
complex plot to help the Resistance Underground by having Tura first impersonate Nazi
Colonel "Concentration Camp" Ehrhardt (Rumann) and then traitorous Nazi spy Prof.
Alexander Siletsky (Ridges). One of the young fugitive pilots who requires protection, Lt. Stanislav
Sobinski (Stack), is in the midst of a platonic, idolizing affair with Maria. In a continuing joke, Joseph cues
the surreptitious lovers each night when he begins Hamlet's famous soliloquy "to be or not to be" and
Joseph noisily departs the theater's second row for a tryst in her dressing room. Academy Award
Nominations: 1, Best Comedy Score.

To Have and Have Not (1944)


Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall, Walter Molnar, Dolores
Moran
Director: Howard Hawks
Adapted from the 1937 novel by Ernest Hemingway, with a script by William Faulkner
and Jules Furthman - often considered a sequel to Casablanca. Noted for being the film
in which Bogart fell in love with much-younger Bacall. In Vichy-controlled Martinique
in 1940 after the fall of France, American charter boat captain Harry 'Steve' Morgan
(Bogart), with whiskey-soaked Eddie (Brennan) who continually asks "Was you ever bit
by a dead bee?", hires his vessel for professional fishing excursions. Although jaded,
Harry reluctantly agrees to become involved and aid the Free French Resistance
movement by smuggling an underground leader Paul De Bursac (Molnar) and his wife
Helene (Moran) off the island. Living in an upstairs apartment above a cafe where Cricket (Carmichael)
plays the piano, Harry meets and falls in love with a sultry and seductive young woman Marie 'Slim'
Browning (Bacall in her screen debut) - she teaches him how to whistle. No Academy Award nominations.

Tootsie (1982)
Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Sydney Pollack,
Bill Murray, Charles Durning, George Gaynes
Director: Sydney Pollack
A modern-day, appealing classic Hollywood comedy with witty dialogue about a NYC
actor who cross-dresses to find employment. Desperate out-of-work stage actor Michael
Dorsey (Hoffman), often considered temperamental, can only find part-time jobs. When
his girlfriend Sandy (Garr) is rejected for a role in a daytime TV soap opera
produced/directed by sexist Ron (Coleman), Michael disguises himself as 'Dorothy
Michaels' - a middle-aged feminist with padding, and wins the part. Soon, he becomes
wildly popular in the hit show, but his life becomes even more soap operish. Complications arise with his
insecure girlfriend, his nervous roommate Jeff (Murray), his exasperated agent George Fields (Pollack),
lecherous fellow actor John Van Horn (Gaynes), his new love interest - co-star Julie (Lange), and her
interested widowed father Les (Durning). Academy Award Nominations: 10, including Best Picture, Best
Director, Best Actor--Dustin Hoffman, Best Supporting Actress--Teri Garr, Best Original Screenplay, Best
Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Song ("It Might Be You"), Best Film Editing. Academy Awards: 1,
Best Supporting Actress--Jessica Lange.

12 Angry Men (1957)


Starring: Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, Martin Balsam, Ed Begley, E.G. Marshall, Jack
Klugman, Jack Warden, John Savoca
Director: Sidney Lumet
Sidney Lumet's debut directorial film, a taut courtroom drama based on Reginald Rose's
television play. In a hot summer courtroom in NYC, a teenaged Latino (Savoca) is on
trial for murdering his father with a switchblade knife, and faces the electric chair if
convicted. The twelve jurors assemble together to decide the fate of the minority
defendant after being given instructions from the judge about 'innocent until proven
guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.' In a seemingly open-and-shut case, the jurors rapidly
vote for conviction, but one lone liberal dissenter, Juror # 8 (Fonda) holds out for
innocence. In the sweaty, claustrophobic room, the tempers, prejudices and personalities
of the cranky, smoking men are displayed as they examine the evidence and deliberate their verdict.
Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay.

U
Unforgiven (1992)
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Jaimz Woolvett
Director: Clint Eastwood
Actor/director Clint Eastwood's magnificent Western masterpiece. Circumstances force a
retired, poor, notorious ex-bounty hunter William Munny (Eastwood), now a hog farmer,
to resume his former occupation. In the 1880s frontier town of Big Whiskey, Wyoming, a
prostitute's face has been brutally slashed by vicious cowboys, and her fellow co-workers
have raised a $500 bounty. Joined by former sidekick partner Ned Logan (Freeman) and
aspiring, cocky gunfighter 'The Schofield Kid' (Woolvett), they journey to the town to
confront the corrupt, sadistic and autocratic Sheriff "Little Bill" Daggett (Hackman), who
has denied justice to the brothel's women. In a deadly and bloody showdown, Munny's
nihilistic past is graphically brought back. Academy Award Nominations: 9, including Best Actor--Clint
Eastwood, Best Original Screenplay, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Sound.
Academy Awards: 4, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor--Gene Hackman, Best
Film Editing.

W
White Heat (1949)
Starring: James Cagney, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly, Virginia Mayo, Steve
Cochran
Director: Raoul Walsh
One of the most volatile, super-charged gangster-crime films ever made, about a psychopathic, homicidal,
mother-devoted gangster. Tough-guy, eccentric Cody Jarrett (Cagney) leads a gang of train robbers,
supported by the ministrations of his beloved Ma (Wycherly) and the love of wife Verna (Mayo) who is
unfaithful with gang member Big Ed Somers (Cochran). When imprisoned and he learns of his mother's
death, the mother-fixated Cody goes beserk. After an escape from prison during a riot, he is betrayed by an
undercover agent/informant Vic Pardo/Hank Fallon (O'Brien) during the payroll robbery of an oil refinery.
In the legendary finale, Jarrett is consumed in the flames of a holding tank explosion as he proclaims:
"Made it Ma! Top of the world!" Academy Award Nominations: 1, Best Motion Picture Story.

Winchester '73 (1950)


Starring: James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Millard
Mitchell, Charles Drake, John McIntire, Will Geer, Jay C. Flippert, Rock Hudson
Director: Anthony Mann
Unique and classic, noirish black and white "psychological" western film based on a
story by Stuart Lake - and the first of eight films pairing James Stewart with director
Mann. An obsessed, hard-bitten man (Stewart) participates in a Fourth of July shooting
contest in Dodge City to win back a prized 1873 Winchester repeating rifle. Although
he wins, the rifle is stolen by his surly, runner-up opponent (McNally) (and the
murderer of his father). The film follows the dogged, revenge-seeking search for the
cursed weapon, as the gun passes through the hands of many new "owners'' and their
stories are depicted. No Academy Award nominations.

Written on the Wind (1956)


Starring: Lauren Bacall, Rock Hudson, Robert Stack, Dorothy Malone, Robert Keith
Director: Douglas Sirk
A lush, psychosexual, trashy melodrama about wealth, greed and lust, acclaimed director
Douglas Sirk's best film, about the decline and self-destructiveness of a rich Texas oil
family. Adapted from Robert Wilder's novel. Told in flashback after an opening murder
scene, weak Texas millionaire/oil man Kyle Hadley (Stack), the ne'er-do-well son of
Texas dynasty magnate Jasper Hadley (Keith), marries beautiful executive secretary
Lucy Moore (Bacall) after an insistent romance. But he becomes suspicious of his best
friend Mitch Wayne (Hudson), a handsome, successful geologist, who has similar
affections - but only platonic - for Lucy. Kyle's trampy, nymphomaniacal sister Marylee (Malone), who
wants the unattainable Mitch, fuels Kyle's anxious jealousy, suspicions of his own sterility, and an habitual
bout with a bottle by suggesting that Lucy is pregnant with Mitch's child. An unfortunate confrontation
ensues, causing Lucy to have a miscarriage. Roaring drunk, gun-wielding Kyle threatens Mitch and ends up
dead. An inquest is held to determine Mitch's guilt or innocence, with Marylee's testimony holding his life
in the balance. Academy Award Nominations: 3, including Best Supporting Actor--Robert Stack, and Best
Song ("Written on the Wind"). Academy Awards: 1, Best Supporting Actress--Dorothy Malone.

The Third 100 Greatest Films (alphabetical)


Part 1
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Part 2
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)
Part 3
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Part 4
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Airplane! (1980)

All the King's Men (1949)

Amadeus (1984)

American Beauty (1999)

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)

Atlantic City (1981)

Babe (1995)

Baby Doll (1956)

Bambi (1942)

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Being There (1979)

The Birds (1963)

Blow-Up (1966)

Bull Durham (1988)

Bus Stop (1956)

Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989)

The Crying Game (1992)

Dark Victory (1939)

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

Deliverance (1972)

Dinner at Eight (1933)

Do the Right Thing (1989)

East of Eden (1955)


Enter the Dragon (1973)

Field of Dreams (1989)

A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

Footlight Parade (1933)

Freaks (1932)

The Freshman (1925)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Gaslight (1944)

Glory (1989)

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966)

The Great Dictator (1940)

Groundhog Day (1993)

Halloween (1978)

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)

A Hard Day's Night (1964)

Henry V (1944) and Henry V (1989) (tie)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Jailhouse Rock (1957)

JFK (1991)

Key Largo (1948)

The Kid (1921)

The Killing (1956)

The King of Comedy (1983)

Kings Row (1942)

Part 5
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)
Part 6
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Part 7
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Part 8
(Click on Part link above for all film titles in this column, including a brief film summary and link to longer review)

Koyaanisqatsi (1983)

L.A. Confidential (1997)

The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

The Last Emperor (1987)

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

The Letter (1940)

The Lion in Winter (1968)

A Man for All Seasons (1966)

The Man Who Would Be King (1975)

Marty (1955)

M*A*S*H (1970)

The Matrix (1999)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)

The Palm Beach Story (1942)

Patton (1970)

The Piano (1993)

Planet of the Apes (1968)

Poltergeist (1982)

The Producers (1968)

Pygmalion (1938)
Repulsion (1965)

The Road Warrior (1982)


(aka Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981))

Rocky (1976)

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)

The Scarlet Empress (1934)

Sherlock, Jr. (1924)

The Shining (1980)

Sleeper (1973)

Spartacus (1960)

Stairway to Heaven (1946) (aka A Matter of Life and Death (1946))

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

The Thing (From Another World) (1951)

This is Spinal Tap (1984)

Titanic (1997)

Toy Story (1995) and Toy Story 2 (1999) (tie)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Way Out West (1937)

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

When Harry Met Sally... (1989)


Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

The Wind (1928)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)

Young Frankenstein (1974)