One of the best of the elegiac Westerns with Western veterans Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott. The
movie begins with Scott in a carnival sideshow in the beginning, a cowboy whose time has come and gone. Sam Pekinpah mixes the Old West and the new times in a classic in which Steve Judd just wants to "enter his house justified."
This is a movie that gets better with each viewing.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
This exciting murder mystery had a great plot. Keeps you guessing all the way through.
The Good, The Bad and the Ugly (1966)
An offbeat, funky spaghetti Western that is a lot of fun to watch. Musical score adds to the unsettling
atmosphere. Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef all were great in this.
Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
A war story that is more about the personalities of the characters than about the war.
Animal Crackers (1930)
I have to watch this movie another dozen times before I will fully appreciate it. Jokes are fast and
12 Angry Men (1957)
One of the best ensemble performances in movie history. A subtle exploration of racism.
I didn't really appreciate this movie the first few times I saw it. I really think it addresses the universal issue of personal freedom vs. government intervention as well as any movie ever made. Particularly relevant today with reference to the Patriot Act. How much freedom are we willing to give up for our safety. It also opens a very interesting dialogue on what was a better world to live in : the 50's or the 90's.
Grave of the Fireflies (1988)
This is my favorite anime movie. I forgot it was a cartoon after a while. Very well done. Great anti-war
Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
Could have been one of the best movies ever made if it hadn't been chopped up by the studio. Another
good Joseph Cotten performance. Its almost painful to watch thinking how good it could have been.
Dead Man (1995)
Interesting Jim Jarmusch take on the West.
Children of Paradise (1945)
The story is almost overwhelming on a first viewing, but I can't wait to see it again.
Beau Geste (1939)
Gary Cooper was really good in old time adventure movie.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Henry Fonda made a great villain in this off beat spaghetti Western.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Another Frank Capra hit. Cary Grant was great in this screwball black comedy. Raymond Massey and
Peter Lorre had classic roles.
Wages of Fear (1953)
A great movie by Clouzet. It's a long, slow movie and I wish it went on even longer. It immerses you in a different time, a different way of life.
The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)
I liked everything about this movie. Deborah Kerr in three different roles.Just really, really good.
David Copperfield (1935)
I enjoyed W.C. Fields' Mr. Micawber as much as any character in the movies.
White Heat (1949)
Cody Jarrett is a great character.
Best American history movie ever made. Daniel Day-Lewis was tremendous.
Mean Streets (1973)
Early Scorsese is beautifully filmed and very powerful. Great characters. Neo-Neo- Realism? Can definitly see the inluence of Rosselini in this one.
Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
It’s hard to believe that this movie was made so many years ago and still holds up so well today.
Comedy, drama, love story ... this movie has it all.
Gunga Din (1939)
Cary Grant, Douglass Fairbanks Jr and Victor McLaglen make a great team. This and the group from
Jaws are my favorite trio. It is really a jingoistic, pro-imperialistic movie but that makes it more interesting in presenting England's pre-WWII world view. Nice companion piece to Last of the Mohicans. Here, the evil Guru, like Magua, should be viewed as the heroic, patriot character. The title character should probably be reviled as a collaborator and a traitor.
2001 : A Space Odyssey(1968)
One of the first movies that addresses the future of artificial intelligence. Slow, lingering, beautifully filmed story.
I Vitelloni (1953)
A great slice of life film. Diner set in Italy.
A Carl Dreyer movie about religion and faith that I found to be fascinating.
The Public Enemy (1931)
Along with White Heat the classic Cagney gangster movie.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
This revisionist Western tried to make up for all the negative images presented of the American Indians
all at once. In their place as the villain it puts the white intruders. Wes Studi was great in a small role as
a Pawnee. I'm beginning to enjoy it even more as I view it through a lens with Dunbar as the villain, a
modern Prometheus, who introduces a new, more deadly form of war fare to the natives.
Le Samourai (1967)
A great action movie with a great sense of style.
The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
This movie had some great characters. Sterling Hayden was really good in this pretty straight forward
robbery story. The style of the movie is what really makes it.
A Matter of Life and Death (1947)
Here Comes Mr. Jordan meets The Devil and Daniel Webster. Nicely done with a
Germany Year Zero (1948)
This movie gives a very real portrayal of what life must have been like in Germany in the aftermath of
WWII. Almost documentary like in its look and feel. Very, very powerful.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne at their best. A Western tragedy with one of the greatest flawed heroes
in all the movies. It also has a lot to say about the representation and interpretation of history.
High Noon (1952)
One of the great Westerns. Gary Cooper in his best role as Will Kane. The McCarthyism connection
makes it that much more interesting. If your back was to the wall and everyone abandoned you,
High Noon might be the movie you would write.
My Darling Clementine (1946)
A great retelling of the gunfight at the OK Corral. Henry Fonda and Victor Mature were both really
good in this.
She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949)
The middle movie in John Ford's cavalry trilogy is many people's favorite of the three. Beautifully
filmed. Some people see it as a propaganda war film that is persuading the American people to unite
against the "red" menace. Nathan Brittles hands are tied but he still manages to outwit the reds and
defuse the situation (horses = atomic bomb). It is an interesting angle on the movie in that many Indian
tribes united to fight the whites (domino effect in Europe).
It's a Gift (1934)
One of W.C.'s best.
I saw this again recently. I had forgotten how good it was. It really gives a great view of how crazy things got in the late 1960's. Anti-religion, ant-war, anti-government, ant-everything
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
I really enjoyed this movie, particularly the surprise twist at the end. Charles Laughton was as usual -
The Conformist (1970)
A great movie by Bertolucci about what lengths people will go to become part of the group.
Lonesome Dove (1989)
Robert Duvall is one of my favorite modern actors. He was just great in this and had great
chemistry with Tommy Lee Jones. This was my favorite mini-series on TV.
Au Revoir Les Enfants (1987)
One of the best movies on WWII and the Holocaust.
Warren Beatty and Jack Nicholson were very good in this and Diana Keaton was great. I also thought
John Reed's story was really interesting. The way Beatty cut into the narrative with interviews with
people who were there at the time was daring, and I thought it worked great.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
Another great James Stewart movie. This and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington are my favorite
The Man Who Would be King (1975)
Sean Connery and Michael Caine are very good in this Rudyard Kipling yarn.
A tour de force by George C. Scott playing a very interesting person explored in a great movie.
The Thin Man (1934)
Nick and Nora are a great couple. I always enjoy watching William Powell and Myrna Loy.
Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)
Great story with the best integration of real clips I have seen. Made Senator Joe a real character in this.
Kiss Me Deadly (1955)
This is a really different, dark movie. Noir, thriller, science fiction. Is a great reflection of the cynical,
paranoid times that were the mid 50's.
Trouble in Paradise (1932)
Ernst Lubitsch's best film. The grandfather of all the screwball comedies. Doesn't seem to have aged at all in eighty years.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
A very disturbing film. One of Kubrick's best.
Deer Hunter (1978)
There was some great acting in this movie. Deniro, Meryl Streep, John Cazale, Christopher Walken and
John Savage were all great. A play told in three acts. The war action sequences in the middle were
Open City (1946)
This was a very dramatic movie that really gave you the feeling of what it was to be in a Nazi occupied
territory. The way in which it was filmed adds to it sense of realism. Anotehr neo-realism classic.
La Strada (1954)
I really loved this movie. It was so different. Great music. Giulietta Masina who was also great in Nights
of Cabiria is a great, unique Chaplinesque figure. I never knew that Antony Quinn was so good of an actor.
The 400 Blows (1959)
Truffaut's masterpiece is almost documentary in style. A long way from the Hollywood movies of its
The Caine Mutiny (1954)
Just a great story with great acting. Captain Queeg is a classic character.
Touch of Evil (1958)
Even though I never really bought Charlton Heston as a Mexican, this movie has a great sense of style.
It has a sense of doom hanging over it starting with the great opening scene.
High and Low (1963)
Great detective/crime story from Kurosawa and Mifune.
The Exterminating Angel (1962)
A very entertaining and interesting movie. You can almost feel the same sense of entrapment that the
characters feel. After a while what they are doing seems to make sense.
Watching Olivier is always fun but Joan Fontaine was also really good in this great murder/mystery.
Mrs. Danvers was also a great character. Why am I always surprised by the ending?
In Virdiana, Bunel takes some good shots at the human condition. I'm not really sure he is taking shots at the Church. He is taking shots at false piety but he seems to imply that humans need a guiding hand or they will revert to savagery.
The Last Supper scene is classic.
Judy Holliday gives one of my favorite female performances. Broderick Crawford and William Holden
were also great in this great comedy / drama.
I really enjoyed this movie about contemporary racism in America society.
Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Great story and Charles Laughton is so good.
The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
Great conspiracy movie and a great McCarthyism allegory.
Bringing up Baby (1938)
Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn in a really funny screwball comedy. Not one of my favorite genres, and Hepburn is not one of my favorite actresses, but everything in this movie works.
Broadway Danny Rose (1984)
The actor playing Lou Canova is just great, although I guess he was just
playing himself. Like most of Allen's movie, a little uneven but it had some great scenes and some great
Not only about the shower scene. Good, suspenseful movie.
Ghost World (2001)
There are many things I like about this movie. Definitely not just a teen flick.
The Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Classic sci-fi movie that really makes you think. The dangers of conformity and the really points out how close the far right and the far left really are.
Miller's Crossing (1990)
This movie had a great sense of style and some great acting.
Rain Man (1988)
Dustin Hoffman is just such a good actor. This movie really had great writing and a great
Great period detail in one of Kurosawa's last movies. I'm not sure if it was a commentary on Japan's
participation in WWII, better to stay back and defend yourself (be a mountain) than to try and rush off
and conquer the world.
Local Hero (1983)
An invasion of a small town Scottish culture by the big city and the small town wins.
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
John Garfield and Lana Turner and a great story in one of the classic film noirs.
Wuthering Heights (1939)
Another great movie from 1939. Lawrence Olivier was very good in this interpretation of Bronte's
All the President's Men (1976)
This movie fascinated me when I first saw it and it still does. Even though I knew how it ended I
watched it like it was a mystery. Unfolds like a Greek drama - hubris strikes again. Redford and
Hoffman were great together.
It Happened One Night (1934)
Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert made a great team in this early screwball comedy by Frank Capra.
One of the best historical movies made about the US.
Taxi Driver (1976)
Another example of the influence of the neo-realists on Scorsese.
The Battle of Algiers (1965)
Probably the best political movie ever made. Reminded me of a polished version of neo-realist classics
like Germany Year Zero and Open City. What made this especially amazing was
that it was based on real events.
I didn't love this movie when I first saw it but the more I think about it the more I like it. I’m really
looking forward to seeing it again.
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
I finally saw the longer version of this movie and it was great. The plot was still a little muddled but the acting and the great scenes more than made up for it.
Out of the Past (1947)
Great film noir with Kurt Douglas and Robert Mitchum. Janice Greer was a great femme fatale in this also.
The Life of Brian (1979)
A lot of funny scenes in this movie. I don't think it was as funny as Holy Grail but the movie held
Red River (1948)
Another great John Wayne performance. Montgomery Cliff was also very good in this one. I wish it had stuck to its dark tone in the ending, could have been better.
Seven Beauties (1975)
Lina Wertmuller was the first woman director to be nominated as Best Director for this film. Giancarlo
Giannini was great in this comic/tragedy.
Marathon Man (1976)
Dustin Hoffman meets Lawrence Olivier. Just watching these two great actors from different
generations makes this movie worthwhile.
La Bete Humaine (1938)
A great French movie by Jean Renoir starring Jean Gabin. Had a lot of noir elements. A great femme fatale. Not as good as Double Indemnity but anticipated it in many ways. I thought the whole "madness" thing subverted the plot and kept this from being one of the truly great films.
For a long time I really didn't enjoy this movie because I thought there was no one to cheer for. But the more I watch it the more I realize what a victim and heroine Ingrid was.
My favorite movie, by one of my favrite directors, Patrice Leconte. A country lord does to the court of Loius XVI at Versailles to get some drainage work done in his province. The Marquis learns the way of the court and gets pretty good at surviving the ridicule he could have been subjected to.
Daybreak (Le Jour se leve)(1939)
I really liked this "poetic realism" film by Carne and Prevert who also did Children of the Paradise. Jean
Gabin was great and the supporting actors were also very good.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
A great cast and a great ensemble performance.
The Duellists 1977)
A beautifully filmed Ridley Scott movie with great acting by Harvey Keitel and Keith Carradine.
True Romance (1993)
This was a movie that shocked me when I first saw it. A little choppy but the dialog is great and it has half a dozen memorable scenes.
The Stranger (1946)
Orsen Welles and Edgar G. Robinson were really good in this interesting movie. Reminds me of
Double Indemnity. The audience knows the truth, we are just watching Edgar G. to see if
finds out too. To me, very underrated.
Four Feathers (1939)
I really enjoy this movie. C. Aubrey Smith stole most of the scenes he was in. Gave you a good feeling
about what the army was like at the time of the British Empire.
Annie Hall (1977)
Woody Allen and Diane Keaton made a great team in this movie. Woody at his paranoid best. .
The funniest of the sports comedies. Chevy Chase, Ted Knight and Rodney Dangerfield were very
good but Bill Murray steals the show.
The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945)
One of the great villains to grace the screen. George Sanders was so good in this.
Winchester '73 (1950)
A very strange Western in which brother’s battle to the death. An Anthony Mann / Jimmy Stewart
classic with a hard edged hero.
Stranger Than Paradise (1984)
Jarmusch's second film shows the stark simple style that he continued in his later more commercial
The Verdict (1982)
I think that this was Paul Newman's greatest role. James Mason was also really good. This movie had a
great plot and the tension at the end was something I really felt.
The Heartbreak Kid (1972)
Although this movie is a little uneven there are some scenes in it that are just so funny that I had to
include it . Charles Grodin was perfect for this role.
The Killing of a Chinese Bookie (1976)
An early movie by John Cassavetes that was evocative of the French New Wave. More concerned with
observation and style than plot. I watched the long version and was mesmerized by it.
The Apostle (1997)
Robert Duval is tremendous in this character study of a man who is both very religious and very
flawed. One of my favorite performances.
Stray Dog (1949)
Film noir from Japan in an early classic from Kurowsawa. Simple story but very interesting because of
the acting by Mifune and the portrayal of Japan in the immediate post-war years.
A Woman Under the Influence (1974)
This movie really had a great performance by Gena Rowland, maybe the best female performance ever. I thought the movie was also really good. As the movie went on I began to feel that Nick was crazier than Gena's character.
The Twilight Samurai (2002)
A beautiful story about a samurai who thought it was more important to be a father than it was to be a warrior.
Sullivan's Travels (1941)
On the eve of World War II Preston Sturges makes a pitch for the need for lighter movies in hard times. This is a really interesting opening to a dialogue on this subject. After WWII the French were drawn to the world of film noir, so maybe Preston was wrong.
In any case, this movie was great on any level.
Late Spring (1949)
This Ozu movie shows a culture that it very different from todays. It shows the way people could and should be. More interestingly it begins to show the breakdown of the old order of society as it begins to shift, regrettably, to new ways.
Lone Star (1996)
I've now seen this film twice and I really enjoyed it on the second viewing. It addresses one of the most important issues facing America, and like Crash has a lot to say on the subject. I think Sayles was saying that we have to forget the things that happened in the past and go on and try from here. Great story and style.
probably the best movie on American history despite flaws in accuracy. Denzel and Morgan
Freeman are great as usual. I am a little disappointed that Frederick Douglass' sons who were in the
54th weren't included in the movie. I think the truth would have made for a more interesting story.
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada (2005)
Like Lone Star, a great look at life at the border. In this one the different points of view are personified in the characters. Pete, as the American, willing to accept people for who they are. Melquiades, the immigrant, looking to make a better life for himself. Mike, the ignorant, unhappy border guard, who enjoys wielding power over those less fortunate. And Belmont, representing those who don't want to get involved.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Jules and Vincent. Tarantino took some real chances in the delivery and I think it worked. Great
Judgement at Nuremburg (1961)
A great historical movie that explores the topic of guilt about WWII. Nice performance by Burt
Swept Away (1974)
Another Lina Wertmuller movie with Giancarlo Giannini. Like in Seven Beauties she hits all
the right notes in this comedy/social commentary.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
William Powell and Carole Lombard made a good team in this early screwball classic.
Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982)
This spoof of film noir has scenes from some of my favorite movies.
Blood Simple (1984)
I really enjoyed this movie. Great twist and quirky Coen brothers
A look at four friends in Baltimore had some great young talent including Mickey Rourke, Steve
Gutenberg, Daniel Stern and Kevin Bacon.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
A different kind of Alfred Hitchcock movie. Joseph Cotten was very good as the evil/good Uncle
Three Days of the Condor (1975)
A very good movie made at a time when a lot of government conspiracy movies were being made. Robert
Redford was very good in this one.
Quest for Fire (1981)
The best of the movies about prehistoric man. When their fire goes out a "volunteer" sets out to find
fire again for his tribe.
The Freshman (1925)
I had heard how good this movie was and it held up to expectations. One of the opening cards said that Harold was going to Tate University which was a large football stadium with a college attached. It's amazing, but it doesn't seem to be dated at all.
Play it Again Sam (1972)
If you love Casablanca and Woody Allen than you have to love this film and I do.
The In-Laws (1979)
Peter Falk and Alan Arkin had great chemistry in this very funny movie. Loved the serpentine
A History of Violence (2005)
The more often I see this movie the more I enjoy it. Westerns are my favorite genre and this was really just a modern day Western. The plot has been done plenty of times before, but I think it was done very well here. There are a lot of parallels to one of my favorite movies, Unforgiven
The Departed (2006)
Great acting and a great story.
No Country for Old Men (2007)
The way things are going these days, you have to be lucky to get through it all and have a good life. Sets a bleak tone for the a 21st century world view.
Shoot the Piano Player (1960)
I've only seen it once but I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to seeing it again.
My favorite second favorite sports movie (after Raging Bull). Gene Hackman gives a great
performance in this movie based on a true story.
A very stylish murder mystery / love story. Detective falls in love with murdered woman and then
things start to get strange.
The Killing (1956)
One of the first non-linear movies and very well done. Fun to watch.
The Awful Truth (1937)
Cary Grant's facial expessions in this movie are as good as anything in the silent film era. Combine that with great dialogue, a wonderful Irene Dunne and Ralph Bellamy almost stealing the show and you have a great screwball comedy.
Fritz Lang classic silent science fiction. Robots and evil scientists. With great sets and great music.
Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
This is a campy horror movie that works as both comedy and horror.
Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)
Henry Fonda was great in this his portrayal of the young lawyer in Illinois. Another of the great movies released in 1939.
A look at a different culture inside the US that shows how much most of us are missing today in our
modern world. Good story and good acting particularly by Harrison Ford and Danny Glover.
Elevator to the Gallows (1958)
One of Louis Malle's first films. It has a great, ironic plot featuring split plots containing elements of Double Indemnity and Gun Crazy. It also has a great sound track featuring Miles Davis.
Hidden Fortress (1958)
I've only seen this once but I really enjoyed it. Kurosawa and Mifune, it doesn't get better than that.
Le cercle rouge (1970)
A slow moving, beautiful gangster movie by Jean-Pierre Melville. The movie stars Alain Delon in a heist film that takes a long time to set up and what seems like a longer time to carry out. The robbery scene is beautifully filmed.
Army of Shadows (1969)
Another great Jean-Pierre Melville film. This one draws on his experience with the French Resistance. Brutal, realistic and mesmerizing.
Angel Face (1952)
A great movie starring Robert Mitchum and Jean Simmons. Classic noir. Loved the unexpected ending.
Man on a Train (2002)
I had to put in a movie by Patrice Leconte because I love all of his movies. I've seen this one four times and each time I see it it gets better. I think of this movie every morning when I go to Dunkin Donuts and the girl asks me if I would like anything else.
The Big Lebowski (1998)
This movie gets better with each viewing. A modern day Raymond Chandler story with a great commentary on an era.
The battle of Gettysburg was a fascinating battle and this movie gives a great presentation of the
Ben Hur (1959)
My favorite historical epic. Some great scenes battle scenes on the ocean and the unforgettable chariot
races in the Coliseum.
Winter's Bone (2010)
Set deep in the Ozarks, which seems like a different world, Ree Dolly tries to findher missing, drug-dealing father to save the family farm. This movie had some great performances.
Looking For Eric (2009)
Eric Bishop is a soccer-loving Manchester postman on the brink of a nervous breakdown. As his life gets worse and worse he begins taking advice from his hero, former Manchester United star Eric Cantona. As he begins to take charge of his life things rapidly begin to improve.
The Virgin Spring (1960)
A movie by Ingmar Berman, set in 14th century Sweden. A young woman, is brutally raped and murdered by goat herders. Then the murderers ask for food and shelter from the dead girl's parents, who discover who they really are.