Cool Classic Film Collection

by coolclassicseries | created - 27 Jan 2018 | updated - 28 Jan 2018 | Public
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1. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama, Horror

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 39,373

Love, sex, infidelity and vengeance at the Tartellini circus. Lover of the acrobat Cleopatra, Hans, the Lilliputian, abandons his fiancee, the microscopic rider Frieda. Cleopatra does a tour de force once she learn that Hans has this fortune that he inherited. But beware some serious shit could bite her in the ass. I went yesterday at my favourite UCG movie theatre to see the film cult Freaks finally digitized. We had that manager of the place who is going to be transfer at the end of April I was not crazy about him I hope they put an other one better and friendlier this time I told us that he wanted to buy a copy of this film so we could get to see it on the big screen before he got transfer. The dude here the cinema historian that we have here in France was there to talk about the film. He is like the one Robert Osborne on TCM. So he tells us that the film came out and that the people did not like it at all they were repulse by it. Browning who got penalised for this film got to do 4 more after that and had to retire. He is from the silent film era he later died of throat cancer and he could not talk however he never did an interview until the end where he said that he had fun to direct all those films and that he knew that Freaks was the film who got him out of the business. Funny how that is that a film director from the silent era did of throat cancer and towards the end he could no longer talk how nostalgic. Anyway for this film he hired real people who are deformed some dwarf etc…. In France however this sort of circus where Freaks were on display was not allowed however in the U.S. well it was. A terrific film here that works but back then people were not comfortable with it. Years later 30 years later some film buffs remastered this film for people to see. And thank god foe that. What a master piece.

2. Compartiment tueurs (1965)

95 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Six people travel in a railroad sleeping car from Marseilles to Paris. Upon their arrival, a woman is found dead in one of the berths. The police investigate the other five passengers, ... See full summary »

Director: Costa-Gavras | Stars: Catherine Allégret, Jacques Perrin, Simone Signoret, Michel Piccoli

Votes: 1,285

Six people share a sleeping-car on a Paris-bound train. When it reaches its destination, one of them is found murdered. As the police headed by Inspector Graziani (Yves Montand) frantically search for the killer soon after an other murder happens ,no!!! this can’t happen in Paris. It is the work of a serial killer? Or not. Well…. The thing is here is an other one of Gravas film that kick ass, it is his first film feature . It is in black and white and shot in Paris so cool. It is fun to watch those old film I get to see how Paris was back in the day plus I love the old cars. Gravas here has done a cool thriller frantic that moves quickly. But it is not your typical stylist thriller here it has been done differently , plus you will see a car chase with motorcycle throughout Paris. Michel Piccoli plays this unusual dude who is a little pervert sweaty and talking to himself. Yves Montand who plays the inspector does it with finest bit like a French Columbo. Simone Signoret does an outstanding job here. The director uses effective camera angles that create a sense of claustrophobia during suspense scenes. The appearance go the killer has his own style trench coat, hat, and lather gloves. Once the killer shoot ,he repeatedly does it until the victim is dead which the killer taking sufficiently long pauses in-between shots to allow for the frightened victims to struggle around and stare in terror at their assassin. Here Catherine Allégret and Jacques Perrin plays young lovers and yes their chemistry are fresh as a croissant from the oven. There a cool non stylist film noir.

3. Moana (I) (2016)

PG | 107 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

81 Metascore

In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches Moana's island, she answers the Ocean's call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.

Directors: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don Hall, Chris Williams | Stars: Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison

Votes: 236,448 | Gross: $248.76M

This cool Animation is for kids as well as adult I have to say they are getting good with animation and you can do a lot more with them that you can with movie. And yes it is a Disney animation. For a generation, Chief Tui has forbidden his people to explore the world beyond their island’s reef. The island begins to no longer be the resource-rich home it once was. And yes to spice things up the daughter Moan is the adventurous one and wants to go out of the island like her father when he was young she has a sense of adventure. She is forbidden by her father to leave the island. Despite all that she is the next in line to be chief after her father however her grandmother on her death-bed tells her to go. and yes she goes. She seeks out Maui. A demigod who, according to legend, thanks to him taking the heart of Tahiti, released a darkness onto the world which is why Moana’s people are facing the peril they are. Up she goes on the boat to find the demigod so he can put the heart back in Tahiti. Here is a colour full animation a trip on the boat with beautiful colours I like when she said the ocean is my friend and pop back up on the boat. fitting nicely into the traditional American hero myth of the adventurer willing to explore the unknown rather than choose the known safety . Moana is Disney’s latest attempt at diversity amongst their classic Princesses and it works here they are trying to reinvent the wheel. The animation bring joy and tears and the music is upbeat. fun to watch for kids and adults. Keep in mind it is going to be gorgeous experience.

4. The Magnificent Seven (1960)

Approved | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Western

74 Metascore

Seven gunfighters are hired by Mexican peasants to liberate their village from oppressive bandits.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Eli Wallach

Votes: 82,446 | Gross: $4.91M

A bandit terrorizes a small Mexican farming village each year. Several of the village elders send three of the farmers into the United States to search for gunmen to defend them. They end up with 7, each of whom comes for a different reason. They must prepare the town to repulse an army of 40 bandits who will arrive wanting food. An Americanisation of the film, Les Sept Samouraïs. When filming began in Mexico, problems arose with the local censors, who demanded changes to the ways that the Mexican villagers would be portrayed. Walter Newman, who had written the screenplay, was asked to travel to the location to make the necessary script revisions, but refused. The changes written in by William Roberts were deemed significant enough to merit him a co-writing credit. Newman refused to share the credit, though, and had his name removed from the film entirely. Yul Brynner was married on the set; the celebration used many of the same props as the fiesta scene. James Coburn (Britt) and Robert Vaughn (Lee) have only 11 and 16 lines in the entire film respectively. Although they were close friends for almost 50 years, this is their only film together. Pay close attention to Eli Wallach whenever he handles his gun. Whenever he puts the gun back into his holster, he always looks down at it. That was because Wallach wasn’t used to drawing the weapon and didn’t want to look foolish by missing the holster while putting his gun back, as Wallach would admit in the DVD Documentary.

5. Hollow Triumph (1948)

Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Pursued by the big-time gambler he robbed, John Muller takes a new identity, with ironic results.

Directors: Steve Sekely, Paul Henreid | Stars: Paul Henreid, Joan Bennett, Eduard Franz, Leslie Brooks

Votes: 2,075

Also know as The hollow triumph, or the man who murder himself. Johnny Muller (Paul Henreid) possesses both street smarts and an education. Having served some prison time, he is about to become a productive member of society, (well sort of) where a desk job awaits him in LA. But Muller wants to go back to his old ways. He devised a plan to rob a Casino with his friends operated by Rocky Stansyck (Thomas Browne Henry) the toughest guy in town. After a narrow escape from the robbery, Muller finds himself looking over his shoulder. Muller needs to disappear for good, and one day a dentist follows him once Muller finds out that he is followed he corners the dentist who looks like he saw a ghost. The dentist tells him……..Suddenly Muller has an idea to get rid of the gang that is after him. It is a film that not too many people know about and it is a film noir at its purest form. Sekely did this film out of the major studio he went with the independent film. It looks like an art film where were little light was used even the stars face was poorly lit. Done in purpose of course he also played with the shadows as any film noir was done back then. This film contain an moment of recognition when the lead protagonist realizes everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. A hint pay attention tot the mirror scene here a stroke of genius. The film is constructed not like any other noir film Sekely has taken an original story here. Director of photography is John Alton need I say more. The scar was based on the novel by Murray Forbes, adapted for the screen by Daniel Fuchs. The thing is that you can get it on DVD or see it on TCM. Do not miss this one.

6. Out of the Past (1947)

Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming

Votes: 29,843

Out of the Past (1947) is one of the greatest of all film noir, the story of a man who tries to break with his past and his weakness and start over again in a town, with a new job and a new girl. Mitchum plays Jeff Bailey, whose name was Jeff Markham when he was working as a private eye out of New York. He was hired by a gangster named Whit Sterling (Kirk Douglas, electrifying in an early role) to track down a woman named Kathie Moffat (Jane Greer) the sexy woman. Kathie shot Sterling four times, hitting him once, and supposedly left with $40,000 of his money. Sterling wants Jeff to bring her back. It’s not, he says, that he wants revenge: “I just want her back. When you see her, you’ll understand better.”Great lines there. The story is told in flashback. Here is a guy who is a sucker and blind romantically. He is drawn to Kathie who by the way is deceiving from left to right. Kathy i is pure evil, a sensuous woman who will do anything to get her own way. What I like about it that she is so deceiving but yet uses her beauty so the sucker like Mitchum won’t see her coming. She played the femme fatal of the femme fatal here and beautifully well I might have. Mitchum has made of making film noir have the greatest career of them all. kirk Douglas here is shinning he was just starting at the time. No surprise that he became the actor that he became. Well if you have not seen it yet, see it now.

7. The Bravados (1958)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, Western

A man is chasing four outlaws who killed his wife and finds them in a small town's jail, but they escape to Mexico.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Gregory Peck, Joan Collins, Stephen Boyd, Albert Salmi

Votes: 4,323

Jim Douglas has been relentlessly pursuing the four outlaws who murdered his wife, but finds them in jail about to be hanged. While he waits to witness their execution, they escape; and the townspeople enlist Douglas’ aid to recapture them. While filming Gregory Peck decided to become a cowboy in real life, so he purchased a vast working ranch near Santa Barbara, California – already stocked with 600 head of prize cattle. Gregory Peck stated that the movie was written as an attack on McCarthyism, which he strongly opposed.

8. Blonde Ice (1948)

Approved | 73 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A society reporter keeps herself in the headlines by marrying a series of wealthy men, all of whom die under mysterious circumstances.

Director: Jack Bernhard | Stars: Robert Paige, Leslie Brooks, Russ Vincent, Michael Whalen

Votes: 801

Here is a little jewel from the B-Series film noir that came out in 1948. It was lost and suddenly remastered and sold on DVD. Terrific film here where actually the actor knew how to act even in a B-Series film and became a cult classic. Leslie Brooks is well cast as Claire, who happily goes about marrying rich men so that she can kill them, get their money, and move on to her next victim. Simple story right but back then this kind of film was not done until now. They should call her Black window but the title here stick she is cold as ice. She will stop at nothing to get what she want. Killing is her thing but the man has to be rich. Leslie brooks delivers this intense role for her character and yes ice is running down her veins. One thing is for sure do not be blindsided by her love or you will pay for it. It is a terrific film noir here that should be watch as one said to me when it is misty, cloudy outside while drinking whiskey.

9. The Adventures of Arsène Lupin (1957)

104 min | Crime, Mystery

Arsène Lupin, the multifaceted gentleman thief, steals two masterpieces from the President of the Council. Some time later, posing as Monsieur Gilles, a winegrower who is marrying his only ... See full summary »

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: Robert Lamoureux, Liselotte Pulver, O.E. Hasse, Daniel Ceccaldi

Votes: 428

Here is a Jaques Beker film: Arsène Lupin who is the suave gentlemen but a thieves well a burglar who is a modern day Robin Hood, he is also a friend of the rich I know ironic. He lives in a mansion in the country in France and has a wallet. He has many disguises which bring me to say that he is a connoisseur of fine art. First I have to say that Robert Lamoureux is perfect for the role, mischievous, friendly, seductive, cunning, elegant, sparkling eye and very credible in the famous burglaries that have made the reputation of the famous Arsene Lupin. Of course the film is amusing as well as elegant, stylized, beautifully set and costumes. Here he has any kind of relationship with women, and it is when he seems to fall for one that he is at his most vulnerable. He has no identity of his own, he goes by several names. The thing is with Lupin is that he is having fun at all time. It is a light comedy crime caper film sort of speak but I guarantee you that you will have a good time.

10. A Kind of Loving (1962)

Not Rated | 112 min | Drama, Romance

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird, Bert Palmer

Votes: 1,458 | Gross: $0.00M

Director John Schlesinger’s gifted 1962 film is adapted by Willis Hall and Keith Waterhouse from Stan Barstow’s popular novel. Alan Bates stars as Vic Brown, a British Northern draughtsman in a Manchester factory who sleeps with a co-worker, a typist called Ingrid Rothwell (June Ritchie). It does not progress as love affair but when Ingrid is pregnant, they get married to make a go of it. The chaos soon follows them. Here is a terrific little film from the UK from the British New Wave Cinema that we know so little about. Also here Schlesinger manages to avoid the clichés and brings a warmth and sly humour to his film. This film is a moving portrait of the bumps on the road in a relationship. Here are two people who did even fell in love well Vic anyway but when she gets pregnant, he marries her. Well back in the day that was the thing to do, even though in the US they get married because they say it is the right thing to do. I hate to break it to you but in France even Europe now days 2 out of 8 people will get married for the most part they live together. So when Vic marries her he found out that he lost his freedom, for a young lad losing his freedom is not what you want. He does not seems to understand that he has responsibilities. I think women settle in quicker than men in the relationship, men tend to take a little time to get used to it. Although The hormones of a man kicks in at an early age unless like the woman her sexuality will peak at 30 or some years. I know what the hell. Terrific performances here and a perfect adaptation from the novel. It is in black and white with some great cinematography to go with it. The pressure and the tension is rising in this film that you can cut it with a knife. it is a trilogy John Schlesinger has followed it up by Billy the liar and Darling which I will review soon. Trust me they are great films. I saw all three.

11. Le Trou (1960)

Not Rated | 131 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

In prison four long-sentence inmates planning an elaborate escape cautiously induct a new inmate to join in their scheme which leads to distrust and uncertainty.

Director: Jacques Becker | Stars: André Bervil, Jean Keraudy, Michel Constantin, Philippe Leroy

Votes: 13,311 | Gross: $0.03M



Just as 4 cell-mates are about to launch their elaborate escape from a tiny cell, a detainee from a cell-block under repair is transferred in. The 4 all face certain conviction & long sentences. Does the young new jail-mate have the same incentive & if so can they trust him. Director Jacques Becker used mainly non-actors for purposes of authenticity. In fact, one of his choices was actually involved in the 1947 escape. Becker died two weeks after completing the film. La Sante prison was replicated right down to the smallest details, thanks to the help of the three actual members of the escape whom Becker hired to serve as production consultants. Shot over a period of 10 weeks. Jean-Pierre Melville regarded this as one of the greatest French films ever made and he is right.

12. Knock on Any Door (1949)

Approved | 100 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

An attorney defends a hoodlum of murder, using the oppressiveness of the slums to appeal to the court.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, John Derek, George Macready, Allene Roberts

Votes: 2,783

Andrew Morton is an attorney who made it out of the slums. Nick Romano is his client, a young man with a long string of crimes behind him. After he lost his pay check gambling, hoping to buy his wife some jewellery, she announced she was pregnant, Later he finds her dead from suicide. When he turns again to robbery he’s caught by a cop and Nick pumps all his bullets into him in frustration. Morton’s appeal to the court emphasizes the evils of the slums. Producer Mark Hellinger had owned the rights to the novel and was planning to film it when he opened his own production company in late 1947. Humphrey Bogart was to be a partner in Mark Hellinger Productions. However, Hellinger died in December 1947. It is probable that Bogart purchased the rights from Hellinger’s estate some time in 1948, and this film was the first production of Bogart’s independent company, Santana. This was the first film made by Humphrey Bogart’s independent production company, Santana. He chose Nicholas Ray to direct because he had greatly admired his directorial debut They Live by Night. When Humphrey Bogart was told that director Nicholas Ray wanted to film the entire ‘sentencing statement for the defence’ sequence in a single take, Bogart was concerned because he had never delivered such a long speech without cuts and feared he couldn’t do it. Ray calmed Bogart down, suggested several rehearsals, and much to Bogart’s surprise, Ray rolled during the rehearsals filming most of what has become the famous and well played sentencing sequence.

13. Beat the Devil (1953)

Approved | 89 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy

On their way to Africa are a group of rogues who hope to get rich there, and a seemingly innocent British couple. They meet and things happen...

Director: John Huston | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley

Votes: 7,593

A quartet of international crooks — Peterson, O’Hara, Ross and Ravello — is stranded in Italy while their steamer is being repaired. With them are the Dannreuthers. The six are headed for Africa, presumably to sell vacuum cleaners but actually to buy land supposedly loaded with uranium. They are joined by others who apparently have similar designs. At one point in the film, Ivor Barnard’s character is referred as the “galloping major”. This is the title of a film from 1951, also made by Romulus Productions, and starring Basil Radford. The Galloping Major in this other film is a racehorse. Humphrey Bogart was involved in a serious automobile accident during production of this film, which knocked out several of his teeth and hindered his ability to speak. John Huston hired a young British actor noted for his mimicry skills to rerecord some of Bogart’s spoken lines during post-production looping. Although it is undetectable when viewing the film today, it is Peter Sellers who provides Bogart’s voice during some of the scenes in this movie. John Huston was star/producer Humphrey Bogart’s first choice to direct. However, Huston had some scheduling conflicts – he was due to make a movie with Katharine Hepburn (which was never made, as Hepburn graciously stepped aside to help out Huston), not to mention that he had to finish his then-current project Moulin Rouge. Nicholas Ray, who Bogart had worked with twice before, was considered to direct in case Huston could not finish in time. This was the fifth and last movie that Humphrey Bogart would make with Peter Lorre. The other four were, The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, All Through the Night, and Passage to Marseille.

14. Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)

Not Rated | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

A one-armed stranger comes to a tiny town possessing a terrible past they want to keep secret, by violent means if necessary.

Director: John Sturges | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Robert Ryan, Anne Francis, Dean Jagger

Votes: 17,789

From the time John J. Macready steps off the train in Black Rock, he feels a chill from the local residents. The town is only a speck on the map and few if any strangers ever come to the place. Macready himself is tight-lipped about the purpose of his trip and he finds that the hotel refuses him a room, the local garage refuses to rent him a car and the sheriff is a useless drunkard. It’s apparent that the locals have something to hide but when he finally tells them that he is there to speak to a Japanese-American farmer named Kamoko, he touches a nerve so sensitive that he will spend the next 24 hours fighting for his life. According to director John Sturges’ commentary track on the Criterion laserdisc, this film was also shot simultaneously in a standard 4:3 ratio version (as well as CinemaScope), because MGM executives were unsure of the wide-screen version. It was never released. The opening shot with the train was added after preview audiences did not like the original version. The sequence was created by filming with a helicopter flying away from the train and running the film backwards. (Source – audio commentary by John Sturges on Criterion laserdisc.) The projectionist’s records have revealed that over the years this has become one of the most frequently shown films in the screening room of The White House. According to one biographer of Spencer Tracy, the script did not originally call for the lead character to be a one-armed man. The producers were keen to get Tracy but didn’t think he’d be interested, so they gave the character this disability with the idea that no actor can resist playing a character with a physical impairment. Don Siegel called the screenplay the best one he had ever read (to that point) and lobbied unsuccessfully to direct the film. In the original short story, Macready brandishes a Beretta and brags of his prowess with it, but in the movie, he uses judo – an idea meant to suggest that Macready is Japanese-American. The sign behind the hotel desk is a quote from English evangelist John Wesley: “Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.”

15. White Heat (1949)

Not Rated | 114 min | Action, Crime, Drama

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh | Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien, Margaret Wycherly

Votes: 25,935

Cody Jarrett is the sadistic leader of a ruthless gang of thieves. Afflicted by terrible headaches and fiercely devoted to his ‘Ma,’ Cody is a volatile, violent, and eccentric leader. Cody’s top henchman wants to lead the gang and attempts to have an ‘accident’ happen to Cody, while he is running the gang from in jail. But Cody is saved by an undercover cop, who thereby befriends him and infiltrates the gang. Finally, the stage is set for Cody’s ultimate betrayal and downfall, during a big heist at a chemical plant. All the locations and bearings radioed back and forth during the triangulation tracking of the gasoline truck, as it moves southwest across the Los Angeles basin, are accurate. They can all be found on a modern map of Los Angeles. Even the view of the Los Angeles City Hall shows up at the appropriate time. If the surprise expressed by James Cagney’s fellow inmates during “the telephone game” scene in the prison dining room appears real, it’s because it is. Director Raoul Walsh didn’t tell the rest of the cast what was about to happen, so Cagney’s outburst caught them by surprise. In fact, Walsh himself didn’t know what Cagney had planned; the scene as written wasn’t working, and Cagney had an idea. He told Walsh to put the two biggest extras playing cons in the mess-hall next to him on the bench (he used their shoulders to boost himself onto the table) and to keep the cameras rolling no matter what. The unusually close relationship between Cody Jarrett and his domineering mother was inspired by real life bank robbers Kate Barker (aka “Ma Barker”) and her sons. Ranked #4 on the American Film Institute’s list of the 10 greatest films in the genre “Gangster” in June 2008. The train robbery was filmed using the former Southern Pacific tunnel in Chatsworth, CA. The Line is now owned by Union Pacific and was the location of a tragic 2008 head-on collision that killed 25 people.

16. Alphaville (1965)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi

A U.S. secret agent is sent to the distant space city of Alphaville where he must find a missing person and free the city from its tyrannical ruler.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Eddie Constantine, Anna Karina, Akim Tamiroff, Valérie Boisgel

Votes: 20,883 | Gross: $0.05M

Lemmy Caution, an American private-eye, arrives in Alphaville, a futuristic city on another planet. His very American character is at odds with the city’s ruler, an evil scientist named Von Braun, who has outlawed love and self-expression. The line by Alpha60 that begins “Time is the substance of which I am made” is paraphrased from the 1946 essay “A New Refutation of Time” by famous Argentinean writer and fantasist Jorge Luis Borges, which reads: “Our destiny is not frightful by being unreal; it is frightful because it is irreversible and iron-clad. Time is the substance I am made of. Time is a river which sweeps me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger which destroys me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire which consumes me, but I am the fire. The world, unfortunately, is real; I, unfortunately, am Borges.” Inspired the name of the German rock group Alphaville. Despite the fact that the film is a work of science fiction and supposed to be in a city of the future, all the sets were existing locations in Paris in 1965, and all the weapons are conventional firearms.

17. Stalag 17 (1953)

Not Rated | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, War

84 Metascore

When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German P.O.W. camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss

Votes: 48,797

It’s a dreary Christmas 1944 for the American POWs in Stalag 17. For the men in Barracks 4, all Sergeants, they have to deal with another problem – there seems to be a security leak. The Germans always seem to be forewarned about escapes and in the most recent attempt the two men, Manfredi and Johnson, walked straight into a trap and were killed. For some in Barracks 4, especially the loud-mouthed Duke, the leaker is obvious: J.J. Sefton a wheeler-dealer who doesn’t hesitate to trade with the guards and who has acquired goods and privileges that no other prisoner seems to have. Sefton denies giving the Germans any information and makes it quite clear that he has no intention of ever trying to escape. He plans to to ride out the war in what little comfort he can arrange, but it doesn’t extend to spying for the Germans. The movie was shot in sequence (i.e., the scenes were filmed in the same order they’re shown). Many of the actors were surprised by the final plot twist. The authors of Stalag 17 sued the creators of the TV series Hogan’s Heroes for plagiarism, as they had submitted a proposal for a TV show based on their play in 1963 to CBS. The case was closed with an undisclosed settlement. The role of Sefton was originally written for Charlton Heston. But as the role evolved and became more cynical, William Holden emerged as the director’s choice. Holden was asked to see the play on which the movie was based. He walked out at the end of the first act. He was later convinced to at least read the screenplay. William Holden’s acceptance speech for Best Actor was the shortest in Academy history up until that time. He said only two words: “Thank You.” Holden hadn’t meant to be so brief, but the televised TV broadcast of the Academy Awards ceremony was running long, and was about to be cut off the air. Holden later took out an ad in the Hollywood trade publications thanking the people he had intended to thank in his speech. The briefness of Holden’s speech was later surpassed by Alfred Hitchcock (who accepted his Irving Thalberg Award in 1967 with a simple “Thanks.”) and by John Mills, who after playing a mute character in Ryan’s Daughter, accepted his 1971 Best Supporting Actor award with a simple smile and a thankful nod of the head. This film was one of the biggest hits of Billy Wilder’s career. He expected a big piece of the profits. The studio accountants informed him that since his last picture Ace in the Hole lost money, the money that picture lost would be subtracted from his profits on this film. Wilder left Paramount shortly after that.

18. Two Men in Manhattan (1959)

Not Rated | 84 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A French UN delegate has disappeared into thin air, sending reporter Moreau (Jean-Pierre Melville) and hard drinking photographer Delmas (Pierre Grasset) on an assignment to find him. Their only lead is a picture of three women.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Pierre Grasset, Christiane Eudes, Ginger Hall, Colette Fleury

Votes: 1,368

French director Jean-Pierre Melville is known for directing several classic films such as Bob le flambeur (1956) and Le samouraï (1967), but he also did some acting over the course of his career. However, his only starring role was in his own 1959 crime film Two Men in Manhattan, where he plays a journalist named Moreau who is assigned to find out why a French diplomat named Fèvre-Berthier was absent from a United Nations council meeting. With his photographer friend Delmas (Pierre Grasset), Moreau suspects a female lover might be involved and follows clues from woman to woman in the night of New York City, a place that never sleeps. There also seems to be a car following Moreau and Delmas…Said to be a combination of American film noir and the budding French New Wave movement, Two Men in Manhattan very neatly utilizes the good sides of both styles. The urban street views and skyscrapers look excellent in the glow of the bright ad signs on store marquees and the dark, stark lighting set up for interior scenes is a joy to the eye too. The laid-back jazz soundtrack is highly enjoyable, creating a mood softer than in hard boiled detective noirs, even though the seedy locations would fit in such flicks seamlessly as well.

19. Le Cercle Rouge (1970)

Not Rated | 140 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

91 Metascore

After leaving prison, master thief Corey crosses paths with a notorious escapee and an alcoholic former policeman. The trio proceed to plot an elaborate heist.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville | Stars: Alain Delon, Bourvil, Gian Maria Volontè, Yves Montand

Votes: 19,750 | Gross: $0.37M

Corey is a cool, aristocratic thief, released from prison on the same day that Vogel, a murderer, escapes from the custody of the patient Mattei, a cat-loving police superintendent. Corey robs Rico, his mob boss, then enlists Vogel and an ex-police sharpshooter, Jansen, in a jewel heist. While Corey is harried by the vengeful Rico, Mattei pressures Santi, a nightclub owner and pimp, to help him trap the thieves. Over all hangs the judgment of the police directeur, that every man is guilty. Captain Mattei, the role played by Bourvil, was originally offered to Lino Ventura; the role of Jansen, played by Yves Montand, was originally offered to Paul Meurisse; and Jean-Paul Belmondo was originally planned to play the role of Vogel ultimately played by Gian Maria Volonté. Jean-Pierre Melville said he originally wrote a version of the jewel heist scene in 1950, but after The Asphalt Jungle (and, later, Rififi) came out, he shelved the idea until 1970. Director Jean-Pierre Melville’s green Ford Mustang can be seen in the line of cars at the Corey’s (‘Alain Delon’) first border crossing. One of Aki Kaurismäki’s favorite films. The heist scene lasts 25 minutes, with no word being spoken. enjoy this one as I did.

20. Breathless (1960)

Not Rated | 90 min | Crime, Drama

A small-time thief steals a car and impulsively murders a motorcycle policeman. Wanted by the authorities, he reunites with a hip American journalism student and attempts to persuade her to run away with him to Italy.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Jean-Paul Belmondo, Jean Seberg, Daniel Boulanger, Henri-Jacques Huet

Votes: 66,459 | Gross: $0.34M

There was before Breathless, and there was after Breathless. Jean-Luc Godard burst onto the film scene in 1960 with this jazzy, free-form, and sexy homage to the American film genres that inspired him as a writer for Cahiers du cinéma. With its lack of polish, surplus of attitude, anything-goes crime narrative, and effervescent young stars Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg, Breathless helped launch the French New Wave and ensured cinema would never be the same. Michel Poiccard, an irresponsible sociopath and small-time thief, steals a car and impulsively murders the motorcycle policeman who pursues him. Now wanted by the authorities, he renews his relationship with Patricia Franchini, a hip American girl studying journalism at the Sorbonne, whom he had met in Nice a few weeks earlier. Before leaving Paris, he plans to collect a debt from an underworld acquaintance and expects her to accompany him on his planned getaway to Italy. Even with his face in the local papers and media, Poiccard seems oblivious to the dragnet that is slowly closing around him as he recklessly pursues his love of American movies and libidinous interest in the beautiful American. Despite reports to the contrary, Jean-Luc Godard did not shoot the film without a script; however, he did not have a finished script at the beginning, instead writing scenes in the morning and filming them that day. See also Pierrot le Fou. To give a more detached, spontaneous quality, Jean-Luc Godard fed the actors their lines as scenes were being filmed. Director Jean-Luc Godard couldn’t afford a dolly, so he pushed the cinematographer around in a wheelchair through many scenes of the film. He got the idea from Jean-Pierre Melville, who had used the same low-budget technique in Bob le Flambeur and Le silence de la mer. According to Jean-Pierre Melville, Godard asked him for consultation during the post-production stage because the first edit was too long for distribution. Melville suggested Godard remove all scenes that slowed down the action (his own turn as novelist Parvulesco included). But instead of excluding entire scenes, Godard cut little bits from here and there. This led to the “jump cut” technique this movie introduced. Melville declared the result to be excellent. The character of Michel Poiccard uses the name Laszlo Kovacs as an alias. It is often wrongly assumed this was an homage to the cinematographer of the same name: the film was made long before Kovacs established himself in the movie industry. It was actually a reference to the character played by Jean-Paul Belmondo in Claude Chabrol’s Leda, earlier the same year. Jean-Paul Belmondo was very surprised by the warm reception the film received. Immediately after production he was convinced it was so bad that he thought the film would never be released.

21. Faces (I) (1968)

R | 130 min | Drama

A middle-aged man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other.

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: John Marley, Gena Rowlands, Lynn Carlin, Seymour Cassel

Votes: 8,630

An old married man leaves his wife for a younger woman. Shortly after, his ex-wife also begins a relationship with a younger partner. The film follows their struggles to find love amongst each other. Steve Buscemi’s favourite movie, declared by himself. Probably one of the first films in cinema history to talk openly about cunnilingus. While filming a part on Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre, John Cassavetes saw Steven Spielberg lurking around the set, as he was then in the habit of doing. Cassavetes approached Spielberg and asked what he wanted to be. When Spielberg replied he wanted to be a director, Cassavetes allowed the young man to direct him for the day. He later invited Spielberg to work on this film (Faces), Spielberg serving as an uncredited production assistant for two weeks. Shot in John Cassavetes’s home.

22. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War

87 Metascore

British POWs build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors, oblivious of the Allies' plans to destroy it.

Director: David Lean | Stars: William Holden, Alec Guinness, Jack Hawkins, Sessue Hayakawa

Votes: 190,139 | Gross: $44.91M

A classic story of English POWs in Burma forced to build a bridge to aid the war effort of their Japanese captors. British and American intelligence officers conspire to blow up the structure, but Col. Nicholson , the commander who supervised the bridge’s construction, has acquired a sense of pride in his creation and tries to foil their plans. Shooting in the jungles of Ceylon was not always a happy experience for cast and crew. Living conditions were uncomfortable due to intense heat and humidity. The unit also had to co-exist with snakes, leeches and other indigenous creatures of the area. Illness was rampant. Adding to the discomfort was David Lean’s tendency to take many hours or even days to get a single shot. Carl Foreman wrote the screenplay with Humphrey Bogart in mind for the role of Shears, but Columbia Studios head Harry Cohn refused to allow Bogart out of another project. Cary Grant then was briefly considered to star as Shears, but his flop in a serious role in Crisis concerned the producer, Sam Spiegel. The role of Nicholson was offered to Laurence Olivier who turned it down. Alec Guinness was the next choice. At one point, Sam Spiegel wanted Humphrey Bogart to star and Nicholas Ray to direct. Howard Hawks was asked to direct, but declined. After the box-office failure of Land of the Pharaohs, he didn’t want a second one in a row, and he thought the critics would love this movie but the public would stay away. One particular concern was the all-male lead roles. Screenwriters Michael Wilson and Carl Foreman were on the blacklist of people with accused Communist ties at the time the film was made, and went uncredited. The sole writing credit, and therefore the Oscar for best adapted screenplay, went to Pierre Boulle, who wrote the original French novel but did not speak English. Clearly Pierre had not written the English script and this became a long-running controversy between the Academy and the actual authors to achieve recognition for their work. In 1984 the Academy retrospectively awarded the Oscar to Wilson and Foreman. Sadly Wilson did not live to see this; Foreman died the day after it was announced. When the film was restored, their names were added to the credits. When this film was first aired on commercial TV in the USA, on Sunday night, Sept. 25, 1966, ABC-TV pre-empted its entire evening’s schedule so the film could be aired in one night, as opposed to two parts on consecutive nights. This was considered a bold move at the time. It was the longest single network telecast of a film up to then (three hours and 10 minutes with commercials; Ford Motor Co. was the lone sponsor), beating the previous record set by Laurence Olivier’s Richard III, which was telecast by NBC over three hours on March 11, 1956. An estimated 60 million viewers watched the program. The title of the English translation of the French novel “Le pont de la rivière Kwai” was “The Bridge Over the River Kwai”. The actual Major Saito, unlike the character portrayed in the film by Sessue Hayakawa, was said by some to be one of the most reasonable and humane of all of the Japanese officers, usually willing to negotiate with the POWs in return for their labor. Such was the respect between Saito and the real-life Lieutenant-Colonel Toosey that Toosey spoke up on Saito’s behalf at the war-crimes tribunal after the war, saving him from the gallows. Ten years after Toosey’s 1975 death, Saito made a pilgrimage to England to visit his grave. The film’s story was loosely based on a true World War II incident, and the real-life character of Lieutenant Colonel Philip Toosey. One of a number of Allied POW’s, Toosey was in charge of his men from late 1942 through May 1943 when they were ordered to build two Kwai River bridges in Burma (one of steel, one of wood), to help move Japanese supplies and troops from Bangkok to Rangoon. In reality, the actual bridge took 8 months to build (rather than two months), and they were actually used for two years, and were only destroyed two years after their construction – in late June 1945. The memoirs of the ‘real’ Colonel Nicholson were compiled into a 1991 book by Peter Davies entitled The Man Behind the Bridge. The real life construction of the bridge over the River Kwai used about 100,000 conscripted Asian labourers. 12,000 prisoners of war died on the project. William Holden, then a major star, was brought into the project to provide “box office appeal” after Cary Grant turned down the role. He received $300,000 up front, and was guaranteed a 10% share of the profits, to be paid at the rate of $50,000 a year. This is one reason why Holden sued to stop the first American TV showing of the film in 1966, claiming it would hurt future box office receipts, on which he was dependent (The lawsuit was unsuccessful). Because the film made so much money, his shares eventually accumulated to the point where the studio was making more off the interest on the unpaid balance than Holden was paid per year. A settlement was reached where Holden was paid a lump sum, and any future payments were willed to a motion picture relief fund. After filming was completed on the exploding bridge sequence, which cost an enormous amount of money and time, rumour has it that the footage disappeared somewhere between Ceylon and London. It was finally discovered two weeks later, sitting in the intense heat out on the runway at the airport in Cairo, Egypt. Miraculously, the footage was undamaged.

23. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical American expatriate struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 488,036 | Gross: $1.02M

Casablanca is a classic and one of the most revered films of all time. Starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in a love triangle in the city of Casablanca which is a refuge for many fleeing foreigners looking for a new life during the war. Political romance with a backdrop of war conflict between democracy and totalitarianism. A landmark in film history. one of my favourite movie of all time. Studio publicity in 1941 claimed that Ronald Reagan and Ann Sheridan were scheduled to appear in this film, and Dennis Morgan is mentioned as the third lead. This was never the case, however, and the false story was planted, either by a studio publicist or a press agent for the three other actors, to keep their names in the press. Meanwhile George Raft was angling for the part with Jack L. Warner, but Hal B. Wallis had been assigned to search for what would be Humphrey Bogart’s next starring role. He wrote to Warner that he had found the next movie for Bogart and the role was perfect for him. Nobody else was ever considered for the part. The Allies invaded Casablanca in real life on 8 November 1942. As the film was not due for release until spring, studio executives suggested it be changed to incorporate the invasion. Warner Bros. chief Jack L. Warner objected, as he thought that an invasion was a subject worth a whole film, not just an epilogue, and that the main story of this film demanded a pre-invasion setting. Eventually he gave in, though, and producer Hal B. Wallis prepared to shoot an epilogue where Humphrey Bogart and Claude Rains hear about the invasion. However, before Rains could travel to the studio for this, David O. Selznick (whose studio owned Bergman’s contract) previewed the film and urged Warner to release it unaltered and as fast as possible. Warner agreed and the premiered in New York on November 26. It did not play in Los Angeles until its general release the following January, and hence competed against 1943 films for the Oscars. Michèle Morgan asked for $55,000, but Hal B. Wallis refused to pay it when he could get Ingrid Bergman for $25,000. Because the film was made during WWII they were not allowed to film at an airport after dark for security reasons. Instead they used a sound stage with a small cardboard cut-out airplane and forced perspective. To give the illusion that the plane was full-sized, they used little people to portray the crew preparing the plane for take-off. Years later the same technique was used in the film Alien, with director Ridley Scott’s son and some of his friends in scaled down spacesuits. Many of the actors who played the Nazis were in fact German Jews who had escaped from Nazi Germany. The movie’s line “Here’s looking at you, kid” was voted as the #5 movie quote by the American Film Institute In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #3 Greatest Movie of All Time. When the Epstein brothers won an Oscar for their script, they became the first (and as for 2007 the only) Academy Award winning twins. Humphrey Bogart’s wife Mayo Methot continually accused him of having an affair with Ingrid Bergman, often confronting him in his dressing room before a shot. Bogart would come onto the set in a rage. In fact, despite the undeniable on-screen chemistry between Bogart and Bergman, they hardly spoke, and the only time they bonded was when the two had lunch with Geraldine Fitzgerald. According to Fitzgerald, “the whole subject at lunch was how they could get out of that movie. They thought the dialogue was ridiculous and the situations were unbelievable… I knew Bogart very well, and I think he wanted to join forces with Bergman, to make sure they both said the same things.” For whatever reasons, Bogart and Bergman rarely spoke after that. The film’s success led to plans for a sequel, which was to be called Brazzaville. Ingrid Bergman was not available, so Geraldine Fitzgerald was considered for Ilsa before the project was killed. It was not until the late 1990s and Michael Walsh’s novel “As Time Goes By” that a true sequel ever came to pass. In the famous scene where the “Marseillaise” is sung over the German song “Watch on the Rhine”, many of the extras had real tears in their eyes; a large number of them were actual refugees from Nazi persecution in Germany and elsewhere in Europe and were overcome by the emotions the scene brought out.

24. Cool Hand Luke (1967)

GP | 127 min | Crime, Drama

91 Metascore

A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform.

Director: Stuart Rosenberg | Stars: Paul Newman, George Kennedy, Strother Martin, J.D. Cannon

Votes: 151,915 | Gross: $16.22M

Luke Jackson is a cool, gutsy prisoner in a Southern chain gang, who, while refusing to buckle under to authority, keeps escaping and being recaptured. The prisoners admire Luke because, as Dragline explains it, “You’re an original, that’s what you are!” Nevertheless, the camp staff actively works to crush Luke until he finally breaks. The movie’s line “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.” was voted as the #11 movie quote by the American Film Institute. Luke’s prison number (37) is a reference to the Bible – Luke 1:37. (“For with God nothing shall be impossible.”) Anthony Zerbe’s film debut. In the “road-tarring” sequence, the actors actually blacktopped a mile-long stretch of highway for the county. Jack Lemmon was the owner of Jalem Productions, which co-produced many of his films as well as Cool Hand Luke. The opening scene, where Luke is cutting off the heads of parking meters, was filmed in Lodi, California. After the filming, the city did not replace the meters, and for many years afterward, you could go there and see a block long row of metal posts, sans meters. A Southern prison camp was built for this movie just north of Stockton, California. A dozen buildings were constructed, including a barracks, mess hall, warden’s quarters, guard shack, and dog kennels.

25. The Big Clock (1948)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man for the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.

Director: John Farrow | Stars: Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, Charles Laughton, George Macready

Votes: 7,240

When powerful publishing tycoon Earl Janouth commits an act of murder at the height of passion, he cleverly begins to cover his tracks and frame an innocent man, whose identity he doesn’t know, but who just happen to have contact with the murder victim. That man is a close associate on his magazine whom he enlists to trap this “killer” George Stroud. It’s up to George to continue to “help” Janouth, to elude the police and to find proof of his innocence and Janouth’s guilt. A ‘fin’ is $5 in American slang. One of over 700 Paramount Productions, filmed between 1929 and 1949, which were sold to MCA/Universal in 1958 for television distribution, and have been owned and controlled by Universal ever since.

26. True Grit (1969)

G | 128 min | Adventure, Drama, Western

A drunken, hard-nosed U.S. Marshal and a Texas Ranger help a stubborn teenager track down her father's murderer in Indian territory.

Director: Henry Hathaway | Stars: John Wayne, Kim Darby, Glen Campbell, Jeremy Slate

Votes: 39,588 | Gross: $31.13M

Like I said did you see the movie Leo the professional Luc Besson rewrote true grit and made it an Urban cowboy story there is nothing wrong with that. The murder of her father sends a teenage tomboy, Mattie Ross, (Kim Darby), on a mission of “justice”, which involves avenging her father’s death. She recruits a tough old marshal, “Rooster” Cogburn (John Wayne), because he has “grit”, and a reputation of getting the job done. The two are joined by a Texas Ranger, La Boeuf, (Glen Campbell), who is looking for the same man (Jeff Corey) for a separate murder in Texas. Their odyssey takes them from Fort Smith, Arkansas, deep into the Indian Territory (present day Oklahoma) to find their man. Sally Field was up for the part of Mattie Ross. John Wayne had initially promised the role of Mattie Ross to his daughter Aissa Wayne, but director Henry Hathaway refused to cast her. Mia Farrow, among other well-known actresses, was approached to play Mattie, but she turned it down. Robert Mitchum had told her that Henry Hathaway was impossible to work with. She later said it was one of the biggest professional mistakes of her career. John Wayne had initially promised the role of Mattie Ross to his daughter Aissa Wayne, but director Henry Hathaway refused to cast her. Elvis Presley was considered for the role of La Boeuf, the Texas Ranger. However, “Colonel” Tom Parker, his manager, insisted that Presley should receive top billing. The part was given to Glen Campbell instead. The gang’s cave hideout (beds partially intact), snake pit, and various prop rocks can still be seen on private property outside Ouray, Colorado. Rooster Cogburn wields a Winchester 1892 rifle with a looped lever and a Colt 1873 SAA revolver. Le Bouef carries a Sharps single-shot rifle. Mattie uses a Colt-Walker 1847 “Dragoon” revolver. Chaney uses a Henry rifle. John Wayne was disappointed by the casting of Kim Darby as Mattie Ross, and the two hardly spoke at all off camera. He later said, “Christ, talk about having no chemistry with your leading lady! She was the goddamn lousiest actress I ever worked with.” Stunt double Jim Burk performed the entire scene where Rooster Cogburn charged Ned Pepper’s gang on horseback. John Wayne was only seen briefly in close-up, and he was riding on a trailer, not a horse.

27. The Possessors (1958)

92 min | Drama

Noël Schoudler is the head of a wealthy and powerful family in France. He manages his financial and commercial concerns with an iron grip, leaving little room for his son François to prove himself.

Director: Denys de La Patellière | Stars: Jean Gabin, Annie Ducaux, Jean Desailly, Françoise Christophe

Votes: 369

Jean Gabin (Noël Schoudler) is like a family-president in this movie by Denys de La Patellière based on a novel by Maurice Druon. His son François (Jean Desailly) is not competent to direct the family-business (a sugar factory), the banks, the press-company, or is he? At his opposite Simon, his future son-in-law (Bernard Blier) is the right hand of Schoudler and acts as Schoudler supposes an intelligent man does. At the end of the movie Lucien Maublanc, the nephew of Schoudler and driven by 20-years hate of him (Lucien is played by a magnificent Pierre Brasseur) shouts at his brokers in the Stock Exchange: “C’est bien la famille!”. Schoudler will make a mistake of judgment about his son with fatal consequences… This family-tragedy is told with the skill of a director who knows how to bring a novel into a movie.

28. Too Late for Tears (1949)

Not Rated | 99 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

Through a fluke circumstance a ruthless woman stumbles across a suitcase filled with $60,000, and she is determined to hold onto it even if it means murder.

Director: Byron Haskin | Stars: Lizabeth Scott, Don DeFore, Dan Duryea, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 3,228

One night on a lonely highway, a speeding car tosses a satchel of money, meant for somebody else, into Jane and Alan Palmer’s back seat. Alan wants to turn it over to the police, but Jane, with luxury within her reach, persuades him to hang onto it “for a while.” Soon, the Palmers are traced by one Danny Fuller, a sleazy character who claims the money is his. To hang onto it, Jane will need all the qualities of an ultimate femme fatale…and does she ever have them! Roy Huggins wrote the screenplay, which is based on his “Saturday Evening Post” serial. Reissued in 1955 under the title “Killer Bait”.



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