Part 2


by the Video Detective
(part 2, alphabetical)

The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
The second film by Orson Welles, about a wealthy Midwestern family that disintegrates under the wheels of progress, is a masterpiece. Beautifully shot and acted with the legendary controversy still surrounding the happy ending stuck on by the studio against Welles' wishes.

The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Considered by many critics to be one of the greatest detective films ever made, Huston was only 29 years old when he helmed this classic. He also wrote the screenplay which was based on the Dashiel Hammett novel and revolves around Sam Spade's (Bogart) complicated search for a priceless statuette.

The Manchurian Candidate (1961)
Rumored to have been secretly banned and buried after its completion, this film is just getting its due. The political thriller revolves around a Korean war officer who believes that he and his platoon were used in a secret communist plot involving brainwashing techniques and assassination. Full of gripping twists and turns.

Manhattan (1979)
Often hilarious, often poignant, story of a middle-aged writer who's desperately trying to move into more serious writing. His life is further complicated by his inability to choose between two women, one his own age, the other a high school senior.

M*A*S*H (1970)
A group of surgeons and nurses at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital in Korea combat the psychological damage the war is doing to them by throwing endless parties and playing bizarre practical jokes.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Gritty story about a young Texan who arrives in New York City with dreams of becoming a gigolo. Hanging in the 42nd Street district he's befriended by a sleazy con man who works as his 'manager' and both are dragged to the depths of life. The only X-rated film ever to win a Best Picture Oscar.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
A jolly old man who's hired as the Santa Claus for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade feels he's perfect for the job since he is, in fact, the real Kris Kringle. He tries to spread his holiday cheer and no one takes him seriously, including a little girl (Wood) who needs to see a miracle to truly believe in him.

Modern Times (1936)
A factory worker is driven to the edge of sanity by his monotonous job, his slave driving boss, and the oncoming technological revolution. A Chaplin masterpiece.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Stewart plays an innocent young man who is picked to stand in for an ill Senator. Once in Washington, he is besieged by corrupt politicians and forced to take a stand. Some classic screen moments result.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
Unforgettable picture about a needed rebellion, led by Gable, against a truly despicable sadistic Captain Bligh (Laughton). Not to be missed.

My Fair Lady (1964)
Professor Henry Higgins makes a bet with a friend that he can turn a lowly, unrefined flower girl into a sophisticated, elite woman. Audrey Hepburn plays the female in question. Lushly produced. Terrific tunes include 'I Could Have Danced All Night' and 'Wouldn't It Be Lovely.'

North By Northwest (1959)
Grant plays a New York ad executive who is mistaken for a spy and must run for his life. As if that's not a big enough problem, he's then framed for murder. Pic contains one of Hitchcock's most famous scenes. Grant getting frantically chased by a machine-gun firing crop duster through a corn field. Considered by many to be Hitchcock's best picture.

On The Waterfront (1954)
Marlon Brando gives one of his most famous performances as the brother of a corrupt mob lawyer who gets reluctantly caught up in union violence, greed, and deceit. Powerful, gripping drama.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Incredible story of a man convicted of statutory rape who chooses an asylum over prison, and then must call on all his emotional resources to stay sane inside insanity. One of the best films ever made, with endless classic scenes.

Ordinary People (1980)
Sutherland and Moore play parents whose one son dies in a swimming accident and whose other son fights a guilt-ridden suicidal desire. Their struggle in this emotional battlefield is heartfelt, moving, and extremely powerful.

Papillon (1973)
Steve McQueen portrays Henri Charriere, a man whose spirit cannot be broken as he relentlessly breaks out of prison after prison until he arrives at 'escape-proof' Devil's Island, where he attempts his most daring attempt for freedom.

Paths of Glory (1957)
Engrossing pic based on the true story of a French officer who strategized an absurd attack which failed miserably. Unable to accept his mistake, he picked out three soldiers, blamed them for the disaster, and had them tried for execution. Kirk Douglas plays an officer who is aware of the whole ugly affair and tries to stop it. One of the best war films ever made.

Patton (1970)
The military career of controversial General George S. Patton is brought to the screen with stunning results. Patton, a brilliant strategist, won battle after battle but lost a large amount of men. Scott won the Oscar but refused it. Written by Francis Ford Coppola.

The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Classic comedy with Hepburn playing a once-married socialite who plans to do it again but is interrupted by her suave ex-husband (Grant) and a goofy reporter (Stewart). One of the all-time great romantic comedies.

Psycho (1960)
A woman running from the law checks in at the Bates Motel, meets the mentally disturbed owner, and never checks out. Considered by many to be the greatest horror film ever made.

Raging Bull (1980)
Robert De Niro gives one of his greatest performances as fighter Jake LaMotta in this brilliant biography of a man whose only true emotional outlet was fighting. Beautifully photographed in rich black and white, and containing some of the most intense fight scenes ever filmed.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Archaeologist Indiana Jones' search for the Ark of The Covenant brings him up against runaway boulders, seas of snakes, evil swordsman, and more in this fast-paced action/adventure flick from legend Steven Spielberg.

Rear Window (1954)
A photographer who's laid up with a broken leg passes the time sitting at his window watching his neighbors. When he witnesses what he believes to be a man killing his wife, he decides to try to catch the fiend himself. Tense script, excellent direction, occasional Hitchcockian gallows humor.

Room with a View (1985)
A young lady, soon to be a victim of an arranged marriage, meets a free-thinking passionate man who changes her life forever. A beautiful cinematic achievement brought to the screen by the same people who made Howards End.

The Searchers (1956)
An ex-soldier spends five grueling years looking for his niece, who was kidnapped by Comanche Indians. As his journey becomes more and more involved, the viewer is not sure whether his reason for trying to find the girl is to help her or hurt her.

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
Uncle Charlie travels to California to visit some relatives. All's well until his niece comes to the realization that he's the notorious serial killer, the 'Merry Widow Murderer.' Hitchcock's own favorite.

Shane (1953)
A drifter who was once a great gunfighter comes to the rescue of a poor family who are being manhandled by a wealthy, corrupt land baron and his hired strong arm. Jack Palance gives a devilishly perfect performance as the bank-rolled bad man.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Incredibly suspenseful story about a female FBI agent trying to track down a horrific mass murderer with the help of an imprisoned legendary serial killer known as Hannibal 'The Cannibal' Lecter. (He earned his nickname from turning his victims into meals.) Anthony Hopkins' incredible performance turned the twisted character into a cult figure.

Singin' In The Rain (1952)
A satire on the panic that gripped Tinseltown when the motion-picture industry changed from silent films to sound. Contains one of the most famous scenes ever filmed, Gene Kelly singing and dancing around lightposts in the rain. One of the all-time top musicals. Songs include the title track and 'All I Do Is Dream Of You'.

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Classic fairy tale became the first animated feature ever made and Disney was given a special Oscar: one large statue and seven little ones. The beautiful Snow White, the evil Queen, the Prince, and the seven little guys are all present in this marvelous adaptation of the famous story.

Some Like It Hot (1959)
Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis play a couple of musicians who unwittingly become witnesses to the infamous St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Afraid of being 'eliminated,' they dress as women and become members of an all-girl band on its way to Florida. Marilyn Monroe also stars in this much acclaimed pic.

The Sound of Music (1965)
Music, comedy, and drama are woven perfectly into this beautiful film about a young lady who takes a job as governess for a large family, falls in love with the widowed father, and helps the family escape from Austria before the Nazi invasion.

Stagecoach (1939)
A stagecoach is threatened to be set upon by a group of murderous Indians. The passengers, strangers with nothing in common except the impending doom, must band together. Brought 'The Ringo Kid' character to the world, and the first teaming of Wayne and Ford.

Star Wars (1977)
Luke Skywalker and his band of space soldiers battle Darth Vader and the ruthless members of the Galactic Empire in one of the highest grossing sci-fi films of all time. Oddly enough, it's also one of the only science fiction films ever nominated for Best Picture. Filled with spectacular special effects.

The Sting (1973)
Redford and Newman are a magical team in this witty pic about two con men who take on a seemingly unbeatable mark in 1930s Chicago.

Sullivan's Travels (1941)
Preston Sturges' satire on a Hollywood director who is sick of making mindless comedies and dreams of producing a socially-aware masterpiece. In order to really get into it, he hits the road with only a few cents in his pocket to travel as a hobo and learn how the other half lives.

Taxi Driver (1976)
Insomniac Travis Bickle takes a job in NYC driving a cab 'anytime, anywhere.' His travels open up his eyes to the underworld of the city, pushes his mind to places it's never been and, after developing a sympathetic relationship with a 13 year-old prostitute, ultimately leads to extreme violence. An all-time classic.

Terms of Endearment (1983)
Debra Winger plays a wife and young mother of two who learns she has irreversible cancer. The film follows the effects of the disease on her family and friends with a simple yet stunningly realistic style. One of the most powerful films of the '80s.

The Third Man (1949)
Cotten plays an American writer who travels to post WWII Vienna for a job promised by his friend, Harry Lime. Once in Vienna, he learns that Lime is dead, or is he? Cotten needs to find out. Welles has the role of Lime, a black market drug dealer of the sleaziest nature. The underground sewer scene at the end of the film is considered by some to be a masterpiece.

Top Hat (1935)
Fred Astaire is trying to win the affections of Ginger Rogers but she's under the impression he's already taken by a friend. Probably Ginger and Fred's best pic. Songs include 'Cheek to Cheek.'

Touch Of Evil (1958)
An incredibly eerie and moody story about a lawman (Welles) who's tracking down some thugs that murdered a wealthy crime lord, using a load of dynamite. Heston plays a Mexican government official who, against the lawman's wishes, gets involved in the investigation that's taking place in a seedy border town. Considered by some critics to be a technical masterpiece.

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Two drifters take a job with a construction boss and meet an old-time gold prospector. The three take their earnings and head into the hills to mine for a fortune. They're doing quite well until a band of Mexicans, a new 'partner,' and greed cause the plan to unravel. A classic which many critics feel is one of the best films ever made.

12 Angry Men (1957)
If you're into courtroom drama, this is a great film to see. Eleven members of a jury are sure a young boy murdered his father. One member (Henry Fonda) thinks they've jumped to their conclusion and are convicting an innocent youth. A battle ensues.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Man, from prehistoric times to a futuristic space age, is eerily defined in this sci-fi classic. A trip to Jupiter turns grim when the main computer, HAL 9000, gets a mind of its own. Stunning images and imaginative script create an unforgettable viewing experience.

Vertigo (1958)
Stewart plays a detective whose fear of heights leads to a fatal accident of a partner and, possibly, the girl he is following. A while later, he meets the girl's double and a chain of bizarre, frightening events begin. Considered a masterpiece.

West Side Story (1961)
Two New York gangs fight and sing amidst the fighting and singing of young lovers Tony and Maria. Four star pic all the way around.

The Wild Bunch (1969)
William Holden plays the leader of an aging band of outlaws who are on the run from the law. But they're soon to meet a Mexican general and a brutal experience they'll never forget. One of the best films ever made and instrumental in its introduction of slow motion violence.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The mother of all family films about a girl whisked away during a tornado to the land of Oz populated by munchkins. She's told that if she wants to get back home, she must follow the Yellow Brick Road and see the wizard. Filled with classic scenes, like the army of flying monkeys, and the trees that come alive. Also crammed with great tunes including 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' and 'If I Only Had a Brain.'

Wuthering Heights (1939)
The mesmerizing moody story of ill-fated love on the Yorkshire Moors is brought to the screen in stupendous fashion. Critically hailed.

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Lavishly produced bio of early show biz icon George M. Cohan, from his first efforts at a song-writing career through his heyday as the King of Broadway. Cagney shines in title role. Tunes include title cut and 'Give My Regards to Broadway.'

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