My Favorite Movies

So you clicked here. Your reward (or punishment) is a list of my favorite movies. At last count, there are 110 of them. I always was an overachiever (not really). Note that a lot of them are from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Also, there are quite a few 1950's Science Fiction Films. There's even a few silent films from the 1920's. As an old fogey, I don't think that the current films and filmmakers are nearly as good as the ones from back then. You'll only see a handful of films made after 1990, and most of those are the wonderful animations from Pixar and Miyazaki.

Science Fiction
2001 - A Space Odyssey1968The second best Science Fiction Film, ever. The special effects, sets, costumes, and cinematography blew me away when I first saw it in a theater, and are still amazing. The story by Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick is fascinating. It really has to be seen on a big screen though.
Brazil1985Terry Gilliam's sci-fi/black comedy masterpiece. A very strange, but very imaginative film
Fahrenheit 4511966A very good adaptation of the book by Ray Bradbury, so you know it's a great story
Forbidden Planet1956The BEST science fiction film, ever. My favorite movie. The sets, costumes, and special effects are still amazing, 50 years later. The story is an adaptation of Shakespeare's The Tempest and the acting, particularly by Walter Pidgeon is first class. Robbie the Robot is my hero.
Metropolis1927The restored version is amazing. The sets and special effects, 80 years old now, are incredible.
Star Wars1977The first one and the best one.
Star Wars, Return of the Jedi1983Also pretty good. Then things went downhill.
Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back1980Still a good one.
The Day the Earth Stood Still1951A compelling story and a good performance by Michael Rennie.
The Invisible Man1933Claude Rains' amazing "invisible" performance. Great effects for 1933. A great 1930's "horror" film, without blood and guts and gore.
The Thing from Another World1951One of the best 1950's sci-fi alien invasion flicks. Great directing and writing. The acting is so good that the dialogue appears natural and not acting at all.
The Time Machine1960A good adaptation of the H.G. Wells story. The effects are pretty good. Yvette Mimieux is beautiful.
The War of The Worlds1953Another good H.G. Wells adaptation.
Them!1954A great 1950's monster movie. Lots of fun, and starring Edmund Gwenn, James Arness and James Whitmore. There's a very, very, tiny role by a very young Leonard Nimoy.
This Island Earth1955A different kind of alien invasion film. Good story and good special effects.
Atlantis, The Lost Empire2001A box office disaster, but a masterpiece of animation. The scenes of the city of Atlantis are amazingly beautiful
Fantasia1940Disney's animation spectacular. This is still animation at its best.
Howl's Moving Castle2004Another instance of the incredible imagination of Hayao Miyazaki.
Monsters, Inc.2001The guys and gals at Pixar are geniuses. A fun movie with great characters, a good story, and Pixar's imagination and top-notch digital animation.
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind1985More of Miyazaki's imagination. It's amazing that he can think up these things.
Princess Mononoke1997One of Miyazaki's most popular films. Not as good as Spirited Away though, but still so imaginative.
Ratatouille2007I think this is Pixar's best film. A must see. The backgrounds alone are works of art.
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs1937Disney's masterpiece. The first full-length animated film, and some 70 year old animation that is wonderful.
Spirited Away2001Hayao Miyazaki's masterpiece. The imagination alone is mind-boggling, but the drawings and animation are the best being done today.
The Incredibles2004The geniuses at Pixar again. This is one of their best.
Wallace & Gromit: A Close Shave1995Nick Parks' third Wallace & Gromit short film. Very funny, and very imaginative. Gromit reads "War and Peace" by Dogstoyevsky
Wallace & Gromit: A Grand Day Out1989The introduction of Wallace & Gromit. Very funny.
Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers1993Nick Parks' stop-motion animation masterpiece. It's very, very funny. Gromit reads "Electronics for Dogs". The train chase at the end is hysterical and amazing, especially when you consider that it took months (or maybe years) to film it.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum1966Hysterically Funny. It has some of the best comedians of all time in an ensemble performance: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Jack Guilford, and an incredible performance by Buster Keaton.
Amelie (Le Fabuleux destin d'Amelie Poulain)2001A great, funny, romantic French film. Audrey Tatou is wonderful. Paris is wonderful too.
Annie Hall1977One of Woody Allen's last great funny films
Around the World in 80 Days1956A little dated, but still a fun movie.
A Thousand Clowns1965Another very funny, almost forgotten film. Jason Robards' performance is fantastic. The lovely woman who eventually became my lovely wife once asked me what my favorite film was. I told her that she probably never heard of it, and that it was called "A Thousand Clowns". She was astonished and said it was her favorite film also. So we got married.
City Lights1931A Charlie Chaplin film that will have you laughing one moment and crying the next
Duck Soup1933One of the Marx Brothers' funniest
Harvey1950James Stewart in a hilarious comedy, playing a hilarious role. Did you know he was a great comedic actor?
Kind Hearts and Coronets1949Alec Guinness plays 7 Parts,wonderfully
Manhattan1979Another great Woody Allen film, and a tribute to Manhattan. The cinematography and the score are great.
Mister Roberts1955A great comedy with a great cast: Henry Fonda, James Cagney, William Powell, and Jack Lemmon
Modern Times1936Another great Charlie Chaplin silent comedy
Monty Python and the Holy Grail1975Hysterically funny, and strange. Wait -- that describes anything by Monty Python.
Much Ado About Nothing1993A great, funny, romantic, Shakespeare movie, starring Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson in some wonderful performances.
My Man Godfrey1936A funny movie starring William Powell and Carole Lombard
Shakespeare in Love1998A funny love story with a great cast and great sets and costumes and a wonderful screenplay by Tom Stoppard. Gwyenth Paltrow gives an amazing performance, as does one of my favorite actors, Geoffrey Rush.
Sleeper1973Maybe the funniest Woody Allen film
Some Like It Hot1959Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe in a very funny film. Joe E. Brown has the best "last line" of any picture.
The Bank Dick1940W. C. Fields at his funniest
The General1927Buster Keaton's masterpiece, He did all the stunt work himself. Amazing
The Gold Rush1925Another great, funny, sad, Charlie Chaplin film
The Horse's Mouth1958A marvelous Alec Guinness performance in a very funny film.
The Man in the White Suit1951Another very funny Alec Guinness film
The Producers1968Possibly the funniest Mel Brooks film
Zelig1983An amazing Woody Allen film
Dracula1931The first, and still the best. Lugosi is the one and only Dracula.
Frankenstein1931Boris Karloff's triumph. This is the monster movie of monster movies.
King Kong1933A fun film, and much better than any of the remakes
The Bride of Frankenstein1935Better than the original. The sets and costumes are better. The music is terrific. The performances by Boris Karloff and Ernest Thesiger are fantastic.
The Mummy1932Another Boris Karloff treat
The Wolf Man1941A great story, some incredible make-up work by Jack Pierce, and some very good performances, particularly by Claude Rains (another of my favorite actors), and Lon Chaney junior.
An American in Paris1951Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Nothing else needs to be said
My Fair Lady1964Great music, and Julie Andrews.
Singin' In the Rain1952The Best Hollywood Musical. Gene Kelly, Singin' and Dancin' in the Rain
Yankee Doodle Dandy1942Did you know that James Cagney was a dancer? A great, fun film.
Raiders of the Lost Ark1981A 1930's serial-type adventure, made in the 1980's. Great Fun!
The Adventures of Robin Hood1938Three Strip Technicolor in all its glory. And Erroll Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Claude Rains, and Basil Rathbone. Wow!
The African Queen1951Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn, directed by John Huston. You can't get better than that. This, and a very few other films, are in my "must watch" list. If I'm flipping through the channels on the TV, and this comes on, I must watch it. Casablanca is another one on this list.
The Great Escape1963The best escape movie, with another great cast.
The Maltese Falcon1941Humphrey Bogart directed by John Huston, with Sydney Greenstreet and Peter Lorre. Marvelous.
The Man who would be King1975A old-fashioned adventure starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine. Another John Huston film. Great fun.
The Treasure of Sierra Madre1948Another John Huston film with Humphrey Bogart, this time, not a good guy
Yojimbo1961Another great Kurosawa film starring Toshiro Mifune
The Wizard of Oz1939The best fantasy/musical ever made. A perfect film.
La Belle et La Bete1946Jean Cocteau's visual masterpiece. It is stunning.
Lost Horizon1937A great adventure with Ronald Coleman and Sam Jaffe
Seven Faces of Dr. Lao1963An incredible performance, no -- Seven incredible performances by Tony Randall
Laura1944The best of the Noir. Dana Andrews and an incredibly beautiful Gene Tierney, directed by Otto Preminger. Also, an unusual, and masterful performance by Vincent Price
M1933Peter Lorre will send chills down your spine. Fritz Lang's masterpiece. Well -- one of two. The other is Metropolis.
Pandora's Box1929An incredible silent film starring a gorgeous Louise Brooks -- Wow!
The Third Man1949Incredible cinematography. Visually stunning. Great acting, and great directing, and a score that you can't forget.
Amadeus1984Great sets, great costumes, great music, but the best thing about this movie is the performance by F. Murray Abraham.
A Tale of Two Cities1935A wonderful performance by Ronald Coleman
Ben Hur1959A classic spectacle.
Casablanca1942The classic of classics. What a cast: Humphrey Bogart, an incredibly beautiful Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet. Romance and adventure at their best.
Chocolat2000An under-rated film that deserved better reviews. Juliette Binoche is wonderful, and beautiful. Alfred Molina, Judy Dench, and Johnny Depp are terrific. The story is great and very imaginative, and of course, has a happy ending. How could a film about chocolate not?
Citizen Kane1941Justifiably considered the best film ever made. Orson Welles was a genius. Every directing and cinematographic cliche was first done here, when it wasn't a cliche.
Das Boot1981A wonderful, engrossing, unusual war movie. It shows how horrible it must have been to be a submariner, on either side, during WW II.
Gandhi1982A spectacle, with an unbelievable performance by Ben Kingsley.
Hamlet1996Kenneth Branagh's remarkable filming of the complete Shakespeare play. The sets and costumes and cinematography are wonderful, but to paraphrase the bard, "The Acting's the thing".
High Noon1952I'm not usually a big fan of westerns, but this one is great. Gary Cooper is wonderful, and Grace Kelly is too, and I think she's nicer to look at. The score is unforgettable.
Inherit the Wind1960An intense dramatization of the Scopes Monkey Trial, this film is very powerful, and the performances by Spencer Tracy, Frederick March and Gene Kelly are exceptional.
Ivan the Terrible1944An amazing film by Sergei Eisenstein. Engrossing, and visually fascinating.
Lilies of the Field1963A great "little" film, with a performance that launched Sidney Poitier into stardom. Great fun.
Moby Dick1946A performance by Gregory Peck that is incredible. A great story, some great sets and costumes, and fantastic character actors. Another John Huston film, written by Ray Bradbury
Mutiny on the Bounty1935A great classic sea story, with wonderful performances by Charles Laughton, Clark Gable, and Franchot Tone.
My Dinner with Andre1981Just two guys talking over dinner, yet fascinating. The actors are playing themselves, using their real names.
Orphans of The Storm1921A D.W. Griffith and Lillian Gish silent masterpiece
Rashomon1950Another Kurosawa classic. The cinematography is wonderful, and the concept is fascinating. Toshiro Mifune is, as usual, amazing.
Red Beard1965Another incredible movie by Akira Kurosawa. Beautifully directed and photographed. A wonderful story about the good parts of the human spirit. The performance of Toshiro Mifune is spectacular. In many ways, one of Kurosawa's best.
Scrooge (A Christmas Carol)1951Much better than all the remakes. Alistair Sim was the best Ebenezer Scrooge ever. Trivia fact: the young Jacob Marley is played by Patrick Macnee, the later John Steed of Avengers fame.
Seven Samurai1954One of Kurosawa's Best. I have probably overused the word masterpiece, but this one definitely deserves the adjective. A must see.
Spartacus1960Another spectacular film, directed by Stanley Kubrick with great performances by Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier and Jean Simmons.
The Apartment1960Great performances by Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine in a terrific story. Shirley MacLaine never looked better.
The Grapes of Wrath1940A classic tale of the dust bowl. The performances are all wonderful. Of course Henry Fonda is amazing, but John Carradine does an amazing job here also.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame1939A great classic tale, with superb performances by the cast, including Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Hara and Cedrick Hardwicke, but Laughton's performance is not to be missed. This is the definitive version of this story.
The Miracle Worker1962Two performances that will knock your socks off by Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft. They both won Acadamy Awards. Patty Duke won the award for Best Supporting Actress at the age of 17, for playing a blind, deaf, and dumb girl! It is impossible to be unmoved by the "water pump" scene at the end.
The Red Shoes1948A very beautiful film, with an incredible dancing performance by Moira Shearer
The Red Violin1998A very unusual, beautiful, well written story, with a great ending and a wonderful performance by Samuel L. Jackson
The Sting1973A fun film, with a trick ending, and a great cast: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw, Eileen Brennan, and another one of my favorite actors, Harold Gould.
To Kill A Mockingbird1962A moving story, and an incredible performance by the wonderful Gregory Peck.
Twelve Angry Men1957A riveting drama that takes place entirely in a jury room. The contains some of the best actors of the time, with performances that nobody can duplicate today.
More Recent
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl2003The first "Pirates" movie, and, in my opinion, the best. Not a great masterpiece, but imaginative and a lot of fun. Johnny Depp, as always, is a great actor and he turns the character of Captain Jack Sparrow into a film legend.
Wall-E2008Yet another of Pixar's fantastic animated movies. The first half hour or so is an incredible tour-de-force of computer animation.
Up2009Still another of Pixar's fantastic animated movies. Great characters, and a very imaginative and fun story.
The Illusionist2010A wonderful little french animated movie, based on a story by the great French comedian Jacques Tati.
The King's Speech2010A great, "old school" movies, without massive special effects, CGI, car chases, or any of the other "requirements" of modern films. Just a good story, and great acting. One of my favorite current actors, Geoffrey Rush, is co-star here, and to see how good he is, compare his role in this movie to the one he plays in Pirates of the Caribbean.
Midnight in Paris2011I have to admit that I haven't liked most of the more recent films by Woody Allen, but this one is a big exception. A marvelously imaginative plot, wonderful sets and costumes, great cinematography and direction. A good, fun film, especially for lovers of literature, art, and Paris.
For the completeness-buffs among you, I have compiled a list of all the superlatives I used in the above capsule reviews:

amazing, beautiful, best, big, classic, comedic, compelling, definitive, engrossing, exceptional, fantastic, fascinating, fun, funny, gorgeous, great, happy, hilarious, hysterical, imaginative, incredible, intense, lovely, marvelous, masterful, mind-boggling, moving, original, perfect, popular, powerful, pretty, remarkable, riveting, romantic, sad, spectacular, strange, stunning, superb, terrific, top-notch, unbelievable, under-rated, unforgettable, unusual, wonderful

Yet another example of the useless things you can do with a computer!