A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K -L - M -N -

O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Madness of King George. The

The last "King of America" starts to lose the plot which causes the State to ponder what to do with him. Fascinating (true) story and what great acting from Nigel Hawthorne in the lead, he takes the part with both hands and goes for it! Funny, historical and made on a low budget this is cracking stuff. Historical films are often a drag (to me at least) but this is fun all the way.

Magnificent Seven. The

Seven hired guns come together to save a Mexican village from banditos. Nothing really new here (remake of the Seven Samurai, etc.) and nothing that you couldn't have lived without seeing but an excellent example of why westerns work and the basic values of life and honour. For what it is worth, maybe the last film in my 200!

Maltese Falcon, The

Humphrey Bogart is private eye dragged in to the search for an antique. A classic, but a flawed classic, because it hasn't enough meat on the bone, and besides, the meat is far from fresh. Bogart makes the movie and the badies are just as cardboard as the Warner Brother sets. Needs to be seen though.

Man on The Moon

Bio-pic of a real comic genius Andy Kaufmann who was America's most original comic. How good is lead Jim Carey in this film? Who else has to go from immigrant simpleton to Elvis Presley and back in an instant? And what a part: Who else in show biz seemed to fight popularity rather than court it? We learn little new, but still the ride is great and maybe the film will get the recognition it deserves in time?


A TV gag writer quits his job on the spur of the moment and takes up with a teenager that is far too young for him. Art and life come together so much in Woody Allen comedies, and this seems very prophetic given he married his own adopted daughter later! Interesting look at the way we live today is all that is on the menu, but done with such style and panache that we really don't care. Another "about nothing" classic.


Surgeons in a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) in Korea keep up their moral by jokes and one-liners. What a unique approach to war and what a unique film to boot. The TV series has taken the edge of what we see here, but this is really "something new and revolutionary" cinema and it must have seemed a shock at the time. Still good today and still a footnote in cinema history.

Matter of Life And Death, A

A pilot is about to crash, but has no way of escaping his plane - or so it seems. He radios in his condition to a radio dispatcher who tries to help. Quite how it all holds together is a mystery, but it is a story of how love can conquer all and features breathtaking cinematography. A real treat that too many have never seen. Called Stairway to Heaven in the USA.

Mean Streets

Life as-it-is on the mean streets of New York. A mob gopher and his non-too-bright pal try and make the best of NY gutter life. Rough and tough tale of modern life is not always pleasant on the eye or on the ear; but rings true and features the star power of Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel. Very dated now though and even looks a bit amateurish at times.

Menace II Society

A double murder occurs in a Korean grocery store all captured by CCTV. A wonder of the modern world: A film that manages to be shocking, totally different and important. This is a cruel look at life, but as we all know, life can be cruel. Captures something that no one else has captured and yet remains totally moral about it. Crack for the senses that leaves you reeling - so don't make any plans for just after you have seen it!

Midnight Cowboy

A country boy comes to the big city to work as a male prostitute but finds big city life is not what he expected. Cruel and heartless look at New York City and its victims that is only partly enlivened by haunting music. No one can take away the acting or the sense of time and place - but not really a movie you can enjoy in the conventional sense.

Miller's Crossing

Various events lead to a grand climax at Miller's Crossing. Old-time Irish gangster films are not thick on the ground and this has a plot that seems to wander across the board from comedy to drama and then back again, but all very compelling. Cinema sometimes rises above its plot (silly or otherwise) to give a lasting memory. This is one such movie.

Monty Python And The Holly Grail

Low budget "epic" in which various knights go out on a mission in medieval England - or maybe they don't! Maybe the budget is low and the film uneven but it still has many great set pieces (the limb-losing fight scene is an all-time classic!) and jokes so funny you laugh recalling them later no matter at the time. One of the best comedy films ever and certainly the best one produced on a low budget.

Murder On The Orient Express

Various personages on the famous pan-European train have reason to have a fellow passenger dead. And guess what? Great crowd-pleasing plot idea and an all-star cast keep this fresh and exciting. Maybe the outcome is too well know nowadays to have any kind of mass appeal, but this is one of the best whodunits of all time - in both print as well as in film.

Night At The Opera, A

The Marx Brothers ride again, this time in to save an opera. Like all MB films a mixed bags of gags and situations, some of which are a real drag and some of which are the complete opposite. The usual silly fun.

Night of the Hunter, The

Stylised and haunting story of a family hunted by a mad "preacher" in search of the family fortune. Charles Laughton only directed one film (this one) and it just so happens to be a classic. Not seen that way at the time, but the passing decades have given it its rightful place in cinema history. Despite being the bad guy Robert Mitchum steals the show.

Nil By Mouth

Slice of roughhouse life in South London is not for everyone, but sheds some light on domestic violence and the causes of it. First-time director Gary Oldman dedicates this film to his late father whether as an insult (he was an alcoholic himself) or in praise only he can know. Kathy Burke is just so real and believable as the battered wife.

North By Northwest

Cary Grant is framed for murder and has to go on the run. Hitchcock was at a point in his career when he could do no wrong and here he shows that even with a cliché of a script he can create magic. Maybe too many all-too-obvious sets and pat situations but this is all about entertainment. The crop-spraying scene is one of the most famous in movie history

Oh Lucky Man!

A coffee salesman learns about life in the UK through his travels. What a different film this is, bringing in elements so strange and disturbing that you could almost call it a forerunner for Pulp Fiction. While very long and, at times, seemingly pointless this product etches itself in your head and you can't let it go. Interestingly lead Malcom McDowell was once a coffee rep in real life.

On The Waterfront

Expose of corruption and graft on the docks, but sadly did very little to wipe it out in real life. Brando was an actor out-on-his-own at the time and seems so real and vibrant that you can't take your eyes of him. There is not a lot to this film - beyond the headline facts above - and the central romance seems strange and forced. A powerful product all the same.

One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

A con tricks his way in to a mental hospital thinking it will give him an easier life than prison. Jack Nicholson's performance alone is worth the price of admission. He encourages the others to rise up against the status quo and fight for their rights. Comedy and tragedy are hard to play side-by-side but this movie does it with ease. One of the all-time greats.

Ordinary People

A family is torn apart by tragedy and the young son has need of a psychiatrist. Hitchcock never won a Best Director Oscar, Robert Redford won one with this, his directorial debut. Beat that for irony? While praising this movie it does seem that it was financed by the Psychiatrist's Guild. Indeed the answers all seem to come from this direction. Not a box office hit and not an easy movie to watch, although ultimately worthwhile.

Others, The

After World War II a young wife is trapped in an isolated Jersey (off the coast of England) house with her photosensitive (they blister if making contact with sunlight) children. Strange old fashioned horror chiller that seems slight in the telling, but very effective in the watching. A classic of the future.

Out Of Africa

A witty Danish adventurer has a romance in old-time Africa. Nothing that original on the written page, but a marvellous open-air adventure with two well cast stars (Robert Redford and Meryl Streep) and a sweeping soundtrack. The real stars are the animals and the background. A memorable and haunting Oscar winner.


A cowardly dentist marries (in ignorance) a brave female spy and goes on a series of adventures. One of the best of the Bob Hope vehicles and features the rough and tough - but sexy as hell - Jane Russell in full cry. Easy entertainment and easy laughs, but Hope was the best in the world with this kind of material. RIP.


Bio-pic of the famous "four star" American general that is non too flattering, but rings true and has plenty of drama. George C. Scott is brilliant in his Oscar winning role, although maybe a little too young to be perfect. A great war film and there isn't that many of them about.

Perfect Storm, The

A skipper and his first mate get caught in the middle of the "storm of the century" and have to find a way out. Hard to fault this film for special effects given that you feel you are in the boat with them, but maybe a little too obvious. Exciting yes, but I don't really get the point. The ride was exciting all the same.

Picture of Dorian Grey, The

A man has his portrait painted while still young and, through some unexplained trick, the painting ages but he stays the same! Oscar Wilde's only novel is a just a novelty act, but this is a wonderful recreation of Edwardian London and the pompous style suits the nature of the film. Great pay-off at the end.


The best Vietnam movie of the lot. While having nothing really new to add to the war movie pot Oliver Stone drags us in and keep us involved in a world that he knew from first hand experience. A classic that won't be topped. Take it from me. Both moving and thought provoking.

Player, The

Rich kid film producer gets in to trouble with a writer and becomes investigated for murder. Strange movie that doesn't seem to like Hollywood much, but was made by very people it satires. First class acting and the first time in a long while that Hollywood has turned its guns on its own kind. Not since Sunset Boulevard in fact.

Pride And Prejudice

Jane Austin's novelette gets the full movie treatment with a fine cast and a fine soundtrack. While not reaching the heights of other movies hereabouts this is so well acted that it has to be included just for that alone. Maybe a little slow for some, but almost like entering a time machine.


A young woman runs off with the firm's money and stays the night at the infamous Bates Motel. One of the most seen and discussed movies of all time, although few know it was made with a TV crew on a small budget. Hard to take when first viewing it and still powerful on the second. Shame that film makers returned to throw mud at it in the form of search-for-more-money sequels.

Pulp Fiction

Violent tale of modern day LA gangsters and corrupt hangers-on. What a script this is. Maybe the best of all time. I have seen this film six or seven times and I haven't finished with it yet. Like the Indian rope trick, I don't understand how it works, only that it does.


A professor of linguistics makes a bet that he can turn a Cockney flower seller in to a "duchess" in a matter of months. A back-of-a-cigarette-packet script with lots of nice actors working on nice sets. I love it because it is light and fun, like candyfloss. Later turned in to the musical My Fair Lady which some prefer - although not me.


A young man finds some fun and thrills - in his otherwise boring life - through the 1960's mod movement, but finds even this has its limits. The rock group The Who provided the money and the soundtrack and the British acting new wave provided the on-screen talent in this excellent look at a former generation. Gets a bit heavy and desperate at the end, but otherwise a rock solid look at British working class life.

Raging Bull

Life story of Jake La Motta, the "Ragging Bull" and one-time middleweight champion of the world. Very violent and very powerful with De Niro at the peak of his acting powers. Plenty of faults though, the main one being that I don't really believe the characteristics of the central character. Best film of the 1990's? Maybe. Filmed mostly in black and white.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Silly boys-own adventure story, but oh so well done! No film has to do anything but entertain, but this film goes out of its way to be extra silly. The hero even travels around the world on the back of a submarine! Action all the way and Spielberg has rarely been better than in this no-brainer.

Rear Window

A voyeur with a broken leg spends his ample free time watching the neighbours through a telescope. However one day he thinks he has seen a murder. A classic of bad taste - Stewart is obviously a total sex creep - has the sure hand of Alfred Hitchcock at the tiller. A crowd pleaser and The Master knew it.


A young girl marries a count, but is haunted by the ever-present ghost of her new husband's late wife. There is talent everywhere you look in this adaptation of a Daphne De Maurier classic and its huge success was not any kind of surprise. Off-screen it wasn't bad either with Hitchcock in the directors chair. Not totally moral, but a must-see piece of Hollywood cinema

Rebel Without A Cause

A teenager moves to a new town and doesn't seem to fit in. Out of circulation for almost a generation (the negative was thought lost) this was James Dean's biggest movie - shortly after he died in a motor accident. Not perfect and the plain fact is that Dean is clearly NOT a teenager at the time of filming. A pot-boiler yes, but a legendary one.

Red River

Cattlemen drive a herd across the country, but the head cattleman has family - as well as animal - problems. Superb adventure story that coins a few clichés and is a bit long; but thankfully also excellently cast - and in the clash of John Wayne and Monty Clift a piece of cinema history. Serves up the right things in the right portions.

Remains of the Day, The

Supremely well acted examination of (English) country house life. High production values, although not the kind of movie that everyone appreciates or has the patience for. Hopkins and Thompson are the most fey "romantic" couple in the history of movies!

Reservoir Dogs

A jewel robbery goes wrong, which leads to all kinds of intrigue and finger/gun pointing. Quentin Tarantino set the screen on fire with his this, his debut film and it still strikes gold today. Goes a bit too far at times and not always totally moral either. Something very different from most Hollywood product.


A club boxer is given the chance to fight for the World Heavyweight Championship (when there was but one!) as a kind of crazy publicity stunt. Based on a true incident (Chuck Webner V Ali) this film took back-street life to the masses and has a great climax in the fight itself. Best Picture Oscar winner. The many sequels besmirch what is achieved and was originally intended.


An ex CIA man De Niro (or is he!?) agrees to freelance for a robbery team looking to lift a mysterious briefcase. Even the back-of-a-postage-stamp plot can't damage this piece of Euro crash-bang-wallop. Lot of clichés (double cross, car chase, traitor in our midst, etc.) but so well done that you marvel at it. I have never seen a better car chase in a movie - worth it for that alone!

Ryan's Daughter

Around the time of the First World War a school teachers' wife in Ireland takes up with an English captain. Far too long and often regarded as second-rate David Lean this is actually a soap opera with classic set pieces. A whole village was built for this film. Not the director's best, true, but better than most other people's efforts.

Safety Last

Harold Lloyd demonstrates his climbing skills in this jaw dropping movie. The bit where he climbs on a clock and finds it falling apart on him is one of the most famous pieces of cinema ever. A comedian that I rate above Chaplin and Keaton in that he makes comedy look true to life. This guy had some of the best timing I have ever seen.

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning

A young English factory hand hates his job and lives for sex, pranks and pubs. Kitchen sink has never been better and Albert Finney is almost too real to bare as the "fighting pit prop that wants a pint of beer." Good look at the limits of working class life and every part cast to perfection. The background may have dated, but the moral hasn't.

Saving Private Ryan

On D-Day a private has to be pulled back from the midst of the action because he is the only surviving son of a family. Opening scenes are probably the best work that Speilberg has ever put on film, but slowly this becomes just a standard war film. Albeit a high standard of war film. A product with something to say and says it well. Bringing a tissue even if you haven't got a cold!

Schindler's List

A Nazi industrialist and a Jew hate what is going on in their country and do their little bit to prevent people being sent to death camps. Speilberg is trying to be an independent European film maker (!) and is not totally convincing at it, but the topic and the acting paper over the cracks. A great film and an important one, but hardly the last word on the subject.


Life in a English juvenile prison (borstal) is far from easy viewing and sometimes goes too far, but lots of messages and did something to highlight the closed world of the short-sharp-shock. Violent, but all violence has a purpose and a message. Even the rape. I have never been to such a place (thank god!), but people that have say it represented a true vision. Things may well have changed since then though.


A serial killer is leaving a paper trail and it up to two detectives to follow it. A bit silly and far-fetched it may be, but a very compulsive thriller with a fantastic twist pay off. Presents a horrible vision of the world and you want to take a bath after seeing it. The one film you could compare to the Alfred Hitchcock classic Psycho.

Secrets and Lies

A young black woman wants to trace her natural mother and having done so arranges a meeting by phone. Mike Leigh hitting another home (truth) run. Lots of quality acting make this a vision of life that you can believe in. We have been here before, but a film with a plot as well as a message about relationships. Brenda Blethin is a knockout as the mother with a secret.


Best of the blaxsplotation epics of the 1970's this has a wonderful soundtrack (from Isaac Hayes) and a wonderful lead in Richard Rowntree who both took off on the back of this picture. Doesn't play nice and looks a bit dated but - on release - something new and different and must have seemed like a breath of polluted Harlem air...

Shakespeare In Love

Young Will is having a bit of writers block but thankfully claps eyes on the lovely Gywneth Paltrow and is instantly inspired. Like a cod Shakespeare for those that don't like the real thing this is fun and throwaway - with groan-worthy word puns. Still a believable recreation of the famous Globe theatre in London and a touching love story. Culture with a small c.

Shinning, The

A couple with a young son take over a closed mountain hotel which leads to all kinds of strange going's on. A junk novel and a bit of a junk movie which is nothing but a load of clever visual set-pieces. Only Kubrick could make this work and very entertaining it is. A short ghost train ride in the snow.


A talking donkey and an ogre team-up for a mission in this new-style computer animation classic. Love this to pieces, with its in-jokes, satires on other movies and wonderful songs. Forget the technology this is great because the script is great and the songs are great. Bring on the sequel, even if it is half as good I'll still be first in line.

Silence Of The Lambs, The

A CIA operative seeks the help of a captured serial killer to find another still on the loose. Very creepy and not a little bit silly, this film managed to capture the Best Picture Oscar and a mass audience - the two things don't always go together. While praising it, it is a little bit overrated and gets very farfetched at the end; but Hollywood never wants to shut the door to a money making sequel!

Singing In The Rain

Movie people wonder if their careers are not over when sound pictures are about to be introduced. This film had to work its script around songs that were already written and thankfully some of them were classics. The title song for one. A simple minded audience pleaser it did (and does) just that. A real charmer of film from the era of cotton wool cinema.

Sixth Sense, The

A boy believes he can see ghosts and needs the help of a child psychiatrist. Audience pleasing little chiller with great performances, although the twist can be seen a mile off! Superb look at urban life in the cold city and is very restrained with chills that are so well timed: in terms of both length and position. Will still be doing the rounds in a hundred years - if the world is.


A man is frozen after an operation goes wrong and is woken up in the future to take part in a revolution. The Marx Brothers ride again in this Woody Allen comedy that goes hunting for easy laughs (visual and oral) and finds plenty. Light comedy is so hard to find that I included this one, even though it falls short of classic status. Strangely this movie had a script which featured Allen in the present day- but this was scrapped by the studio on cost grounds.


A hairdresser wants to marry a divorcee and goes to the old manor house to speak to her ex husband about it. Acting master class from Michael Caine, Lawrence Olivier and the strange and little known A.N Other that choses not to open up an obvious play, but doesn't suffer for it. Such a delicious piece of cat-and-mouse that you are sad to see finished.


In the back streets of modern London robbers and cons try and get their hands on a stolen diamond. A rock and roll black comedy that operates likes a pop video roller coaster with failed brakes. I love it though. Director Guy Ritchie has something and I am looking forward to seeing more of it.

Some Like It Hot

Two musicians witness a multiple murder and hide-out by dragging up and playing with an all-female band. Although unbelievable and a little bit too long this has lots of laughs and great performances from Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe and Jack Lemmon. Not the greatest comedy of all times (as many claim) but the kind of happy accident that is a joy to behold. The father and mother of fearless modern comedy.

Sound of Music, The

A nun leaves her order to become a governess to a large Austrian family just prior to WW II. Very well known, but still a very good, musical that took the world by storm. While not really my normal cup of tea it is charming and light and has a story of-sorts. The real life scenery and the songs make it a family classic.

Stalag 17

In a German prisoner of war camp one man says the only person that he is interested in is himself. But is this really true? The film that inspired the TV series Hoogan's Hero's is actually darker and more involved than the TV show and is probably William Holden's (boy does he get in some quality movies!) best ever role. Fantastic look at the human condition under stress.

Star is Born, A

Judy Garland was a star for a reason and watching this film you find out why. A hackneyed plot of a star on-the-rise and one on-the-fall should not distract you from what you are really seeing: One of the all-time greats on top from. Would have been a major star in any era and the best pair of lungs I have ever heard. Credit James Mason for playing an egotistical drunken backslider with gusto - but he was, unlike so many Hollywood types, a real actor.

Strangers On A Train

Two strangers meet on a train and come up with a plan to kill someone on each other's behalf. Only Hitchcock could make this kind of ultra black comedy in to a mainstream film and this plays as well today as it did back then. A fascinating story that I defy anyone to turn away from after they have started viewing.

Street Car Called Desire, A

Tennessee William's famous play about backstreet life is well recreated on the silver screen thanks to a stellar cast and great direction. Not actually one of my top favourites but still packs a punch and is a rare example of Hollywood going for real life rather than a cleaned up version. Brando in peak form makes it a must.

Sunset Boulevard

A Hollywood failure is lured in to the easy life as a "companion" of a delusional former star. Hard-as-nails look at Hollywood, so much so that you almost want it to ease off a little. Great surprise payoff at the end and the kind of film that you never forget. A great film for so many reasons. Golden (Robert) Holden strikes again!


Cary Grant may - or may not - be a lady killer. Only Hitchcock could get away with basing a film around such a shallow idea and even then involving one of the most charming men ever to appear on the silver screen. Not totally even and wants to keep the audience guessing right up until the end. Nonsense really, but fun while it lasts.

Taste of Honey, A

A young girl becomes pregnant by a black merchant seaman and forms a relationship with a homosexual who wants to play father. Kitchen sink and dated it might be, but everything that happens is believable and you have to be effected and moved by it. The dialogue seems to come from real life (trust me - I was there!) and Tushington is perfect as the girl next door.

Big Sleep

Philip Marlowe takes up a case of a runaway daughter that turns out to be trickier than he first imagined. Bogart turned the private eye in to a product all his own, no one will ever be able to top him. The film is a bit confusing (even to its creators!), but what we have here is solid gold. A strange dark world from which death jumps out at you at every street corner. Part of the effect is created by those Warner Brother's cheap sets!

There's Something About Mary

A young man employs a private eye to track down a girl he once loved: but he falls in love with her himself and tells a pack of lies to his client. Wild comedy that opened up a new genre of comedy, this is actually quite funny in a throwaway and childish kind of way. Cameron Diaz shows she may be a sexy girl, but she is also a good sport.

Third Man, The

Harry Lime has gone missing in post-war Vienna and is presumed dead, but is he really? Black and haunting with a score that stays with you, this has less going on in it than you might imagine. Apart from a few set pieces and a chase through the sewers this is all about atmosphere and great acting - Welles was an all-time great and he steals this by appearing on screen for only about ten minutes!

Thirty Nine Steps, The

What is the secret of the thirty nine steps and why would anyone kill over it? Nothing more than a chase movie with black comedy moments, but when Hitchcock sprinkles his gold dust over such material you have to marvel at it. What fun and what entertainment. Not a second of boredom from start to finish. Avoid the remake.

This is Spinal Tap

Despite everything an ageing English rock and roll band take on America. Mock documentary that has many small laughs and tells a lot of truths about the human condition in and out of the rock and roll scene. However it is a small movie and probably looks a bit thin and stretched out on the big screen. Many now classic set-ups and laughs.

This Sporting Life

A miner tries to better his life as a rugby league pro. Hard as nails look at northern (English) life and a rough-and-tough northern-based game. One of the great portraits of backslappers, hangers-on and sporting success ever put on the screen. Harris's love for a young widow is also very haunting and far from straight forward. Features many former greats of the game.

Three Colours: Blue

A young French woman loses her famous husband to a car wreck and tries to build a new life in Paris. Cold and yet very effecting look at human tragedy by the master (but late) Polish film maker Krzysztof Kieslowski. Not to everyone's taste, this a bit depressive and downbeat; but tells too many truths and has too much good cinematography to be ignored. A haunting, if slight, film.


James Bond is on the trail of another of his mega-baddies in this best-of-breed example of the modern(ish) thriller. The first film to treat killing as natural and matter-of-fact this took the series to another level. While a bit dated now, and the subject of a poor remake, the film still thrills and Connery still embodies the role of the attention-seeking (!) secret agent.

To Kill A Mockingbird

A southern lawyer has to defend a black man in court. Wears it liberalism on its sleeves and is a bit too neat and tidy but a fantastic adaptation of a classic book. While short of fireworks this is a film that everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. Gregory Peck never had a more perfect role.

Tom Jones

A young man of the 18th century lives for adventures and having a good time. Audience pleasing romp that got away with murder because it was set in another age. Still a lot of fun and the cast seem to be enjoying it more than you ever will. Dated, but the kind of light adventure that we don't get enough of with the ever underrated Albert Finney on top of his game.

Trading Places

Two Wall street vets make a bet that they can replace one of their top exec's with a street beggar and not be financially effected. Farfetched comedy that only scores with about half of its gags. It at least has a good premise and delivers on it. You look forward to finding out how it is going to all work out as well as chuckling. Eddie Murphy has probably never had a more suitable role for his talents while Ackroyd is merely his usual OK.


The drug business effects many people from users to suppliers to bystanders to law enforcement agents. Based on a (UK) TV series that really rocked this is clever with its screen time and shows all aspects of the argument without being particularly moral or preachy. A joy of grown up adult cinema, although uneven. The filters and shaky camera work don't add anything though.


In urban Scotland taking hard drugs is seen as part of normal life and nothing to get uptight about. Caused a storm when it first came out, this is a moral look at the subject that gives all sides to the story, but sweetens its pill with black comedy. Not much of a plot and features lots of people going nowhere other than the city morgue, but strangely effecting and memorable.

Treasure Island

Classic pirates and hidden treasure story told with gusto by a top notch cast with a studio budget to make it all happen. Robert Newton overacts for Britain and we get all the ingredients of the classic book. Easy entertainment and a good recreation of a book that every child should read at least once.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Adventurers search for gold in the mountains of the Sierra Madre, but greed and paranoia takes over. Very modern adventure story in that it has something to say about the human condition while providing us with thrills, chills and shoot-outs. Keeps you watching right up until the very end. Director John Houston near the top of his form.

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea

Captain Nemo despairs of life on the land and builds his own little world under the waves. Doesn't really make any more sense than Noah's Arc so the film makers try and play up the adventure part of the story and play down the ecological aspects. Mason is great as the mad captain and a fantastic (press ganged!) support crew.

Two Thousand And One

Life from the ape to the modern spaceman. Much mocked and imitated this vision of space is strangely real despite being made before it all became fact. Cold and occasionally boring, this could not be left out of any "Greatest Film" list, because it has too much going for it. A bit draggy though, especially the extended end part. Kubrick cemented his "genius" with this.


A prostitute is scarred for life and a fund is set up for the killing of the man responsible. Strange downbeat anti-western that wrapped up Clint Eastwood's western career with a neat bow and has the look and feel of a classic. Gene Hackman makes a fantastic baddie and the ending is thrilling and haunting. Best Picture Oscar winner of that year by a country mile.

Usual Suspects, The

A set of criminals are brought in together after a job, but the manner in which they are herded suggests - to the criminals - that something is afoot. Crazy thriller that found a forgiving audience and does have good acting as well as a puzzle to solve. Defines the word convoluted though.


Two children are stranded in the Australian outback after their father goes mad and kills himself. One-of-a-kind movie full of strange symbolism and a unique plot this could have been a better movie with more explanation and more linear film making; but still fantastic with what we have. A sense of time and place so vivid that you want to swish the flies from out of your face.

When We Were Kings

Documentary about the Ali versus Foreman fight - the so-called Rumble in the Jungle. Fantastic piece of sporting history that becomes more fascinating because it was not brought out at the time - the production ran out of money - but only twenty years later. Quite thrilling piece of work that drops you in to another world. Not just for boxing fans and a worthy Best "Documentary Oscar" winner.

Where Eagles Dare

The archetypal boys-own adventure story when crack troops take on a mountain strong hold. Pulp fiction at its best. Gets the job done very well and we do get a couple of twists - of sorts - when we get to where eagles do their business. Video game fun all the way. Forerunner and template for the modern action movie.

Whiskey Galore

A small Scottish island gets a windfall bounty when a ship carrying whiskey sinks near shore. Ealing comedy at its best this small tale of small people will be charming people for hundreds of years to come. Very British and very down to earth. Lovely.

Whistle Down The Wind

Some children think that an escaped prisoner hiding out at their farm is Jesus and set out to protect him. A little film about people and little situations effects more than most because it is so real and so well produced. Made the child actress Hayley Mills in to an overnight star and she was soon whisked off to Hollywood.

White Heat

James Cagney rips the screen apart as a mother-loving gangster. JC always said he hated playing criminals, but I doubt anybody has ever played them so well. At one point a engine driver remember his name (Codey) and JC says: "You have a good memory -- maybe too good" and then murders him in cold blood. Forty years before Pulp Fiction.

Wickerman, The

A Scottish policeman travels to a small island to investigate the disappearance of a girl. A small film, but a perfectly formed one. What a great plot and what a great payoff. We start by being on the side of the fun loving villagers, but slowly we see that things are darker and more sinister than we had first imagined. A largely unseen cult classic.

Wizard of Oz, The

A young girl gets whipped up by a whirlwind and transported to Oz: A strange place full of strange people. Making this a musical doesn't really make the product any lighter, indeed we are in a world of very wicked people who can do very wicked things. Not perfect, but very close. Judy Garland would be world famous if she had done nothing but this.

Women In Love

A group of friends gather to have fun, chat and go on adventures together. Nothing really earth shattering, but such fantastic acting and cross agendas that you become engrossed. A feminist statement of sorts, but more a study of how people act when in the throws of passion.

World of Susie Wong, The

In 1950's Hong Kong an executive decides to follow his dreams and become a painter. Through this he meets prostitute Suzie Wong. Soap opera that was very daring for its time (foreign settings always help!) still has its virtues of honesty and one man's struggle to become what he wants to be. A very unique movie with oriental lead - Nancy Kwan - putting on a very dignified performance.

Wuthering Heights

In 18th century Yorkshire a gypsy and country girl have a strange on-off romance that leads to obsession and tragedy. Not an easy novel to film and this probably does it as well as any; although skims over some of the chapters. The country background and intensity of Ralph Fiennes makes this so memorable. Bit hard going at times though.

Yankee Doodle Dandy

James Cagney plays George M. Cohan an old time song and dance man that he actually knew in his younger days. Boy does he fancy himself in this role. What a hoofer and what performer. A flag waver of a film, but what star power. It might be noted that real Cohan wasn't quite as clean living as portrayed here!

Young Frankenstein

A doctor Frankenstein rejects his family's past and wants to make a clean break of things, but he is drawn - almost against his own will - back to his late father's work. Mel Brooks hit solid gold with this film that actually is two films in one: A great Frankenstein follow up and a great comedy. Thrills, laughter and superb black and white cinematography. I never tire of it.


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