List o’ the Week: Must-See Movies

After recently reading a 2004 book called The Idiot’s Guide to Classic Movies, I identified a whole slew of interesting-sounding films that I’d never seen before (and some that I’d never even heard of!). This week’s rather ambitious list consists of these films. How many have you seen? Are there any that you would especially recommend — or recommend that I skip altogether? Let me know!

A Man and a Woman is one of those I’d never heard of.

A Man and a Woman (1966)

A Taste of Honey (1961)

Attack! (1956)

Billy Budd (1962)

Faces (1968)

Harvey (1950)

In Which We Serve (1942)

Hombre (1967)

Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)

La Strada (1954)

I’ve given Harvey a try a couple of times, but never made it very far. Worth the effort?

Mutiny on the Bounty (1962)

Nights of Cabiria (1957)

On the Beach (1959)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

One, Two, Three (1961)

Paths of Glory (1957)

Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1960)

Seconds (1966)

Summertime (1955)                                            

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Having recently finished Ernest Borgnine’s autobiography, I’m especially looking forward to seeing The Dirty Dozen.

The Dirty Dozen (1967)

The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943)

The Pawnbroker (1964)

The Professionals (1966)

The Searchers (1956)

The Talking Moon (1968)

Two for the Road (1967)

Whistle Down the Wind (1966)

Will Penny (1967)

~ by shadowsandsatin on September 11, 2021.

20 Responses to “List o’ the Week: Must-See Movies”

  1. I’d put Paths of Glory and The Searchers at the top of your list.

  2. What a list! Ones that I strongly suggest as must-sees:
    La Strada – Fellini but without the theatrics often associated with him. A humane story with exquisite acting by his real-life wife and a touching performance by Anthony Quinn who learns to be a human at a cost.
    Paths of Glory – Kubrick’s sobering anti war statement which is heartbreaking, frustrating and exemplifies what we lose in warfare and still honors courage where it exists.
    Colonel Blimp – another Technicolor jewel from Powell & Pressburger which features a profound performance from Anton Wallbrook, and is filled with delightful cinematic innovations that have inspired Scorsese, Coppola and Spielberg.
    The Searchers – every frame is a masterpiece of cinematic beauty. John Wayne holds nothing back in a portrayal showing how repeated losses of all kinds, anger and ego can distort the human heart into one filled with hatred, vengeance and illogic. But John Ford also shows that human compassion can intervene and change a person, even if only incrementally. This film exposes racism but does not promote racism,
    Once Upon A Time…- worth the price of admission just to see Henry Ford play the opposite of his usual persona; his icy blue eyes have no humanity.
    The film creates an atmosphere of unreal reality and realistic fables. Heavenly score by Ennio Morricone.
    Others I recommend:
    Taste of Honey-doves into controversial portrayals unheard of in that time.
    Billy Budd-a treat to see the young, enigmatically attractive Terence Stamp.
    Faces-Cassavetes explores relationships often with raw authenticity.
    Kind Hearts..British wit and dark humor, an Alec Guinness tour de force.
    On The Beach-last survivors of nuclear attacks accept their ends differently.
    1,2,3- kooky but with Billy Wilder and James Cagney, you know it’s special.
    Sat Nite& Sun Morn-sad lives, sad social limits but strong actors carry it.
    Seconds-unusual, unsentimental, believable, stark, No Hollywood ending.
    Summertime-romance in gorgeous Venice, and Kate Hepburn.
    River Kwai-long, 2 intertwined stories. Painful POW camp scenes. Powerful.
    GOOD LUCk!

    • Thank you so much for your recommendations and insights, Deidra! I tried to watch Faces last night, and I just did not have a clue what was going on. I will try again, though, based on your suggestion, and stick it out this time! Hope all is well!

      • Faces is not clear, that’s for sure. Husbands is a little more linear. And best but most painful is the searing portrait of a family in A Woman Under the Influence. For some reason, watching a person struggle with mental health issues is more understandable than some other films. Best Wishes!

  3. It is easier for me to list those I haven’t seen and the few that I don’t think measure up because this guide is full of gems that I do recommend…

    Haven’t seen Attack! or The Talking Moon. I’d skip Hombre, Mutiny on the Bounty ’62 and Will Penny – though I haven’t seen any of these three for years (and years). Enjoy the rest!

    • Thank you so much, Patty! There was something about Will Penny that made me hesitate to include it — I don’t know why. Maybe I tried to watch it once before. I’m glad to know that I was on the right track! Same with Mutiny on the Bounty. The author spoke of it so glowingly, but I’ve never wanted to see it.

  4. Summertime!! I love this movie so much. And if you like Sweet Charity, try the original Nights of Cabiria.

  5. “Kind Hearts and Coronets” is a gem and, IMHO, Alec Guinness’ magnum opus. Smart and breathtakingly tongue-in-cheek British wry. He and Alastair Sim stand on pedestals for me just close enough for admiration and far away enough for veneration.

  6. My picks for you would be: Kind Hearts and Coronets, a hilarious black comedy.
    Once Upon a Time in the West is epic, an operatic western with gorgeous music, absolutely heavenly as the above comment says. If you feel like a macho double feature, The Dirty Dozen, a fun anti-war, and The Professionals, pure adventure thriller and great looking. Seconds is peak Rock Hudson, a “thinky” paranoid thriller. The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp is just plain excellent, beautiful and unique and moving.

    Quite a few here I need to watch too!

    • Thank you so much, Kristina! Besides The DIrty Dozen, I am especially looking forward to Once Upon a Time in the West (I started it but never got far) and Colonel Blimp (now that I’ve finally seen Black Narcissus).

  7. Definitely A Man and a Woman, La Strada and Night of Cabira and Colonel Blimp
    Do not watch Harvey
    If you have time Searchers
    Enjoy. Gammunyee

  8. One of my all time favorites is Harvey. James Stewart does a masterful job. Do watch it all the way through, Karen!

  9. Please do see The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, Whistle Down the Wind, Kind Hearts and Coronets, Will Penny and, for that dollop of Cold War Humor, One, Two, Three.

  10. […] but I also compiled a lengthy list of films that I now want to see. The list can be seen here; below are some of the many trivial tidbits that I picked […]

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