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David A. Schwinghammer

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20 of My Favorite Movies
By David A. Schwinghammer
Last edited: Saturday, May 05, 2012
Posted: Wednesday, May 02, 2012

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Anybody else out there disgusted by what passes for movies these days? How many comic book heroes and vampire movies do we have to put up with? Seems like movies were better when the studios ran the show. Anyway, here’s a list of my favorites.

1. Dr. Zhivago. David Lean, Julie Christie, and the Russian Revolution. You can’t get much better than that, although I would recommend you watch it on the big screen. It loses something outside the theatre.

2. Summer of ‘42. A coming of age movie set during World War II. A young boy falls in love with a soldier’s lonely wife. Jennifer O’Neil was super. Whatever happened to her?

3. Laura. A New York City detective (Dana Andrews) is investigating the murder of an advertising executive (Gene Tierney). He falls in love with the dead woman. Who wouldn’t fall in love with Gene Tierney?

4. To Kill a Mockingbird. Gregory Peck’s best movie for which he won an academy award. But it’s the kids who are the stars of this movie. Scout (Mary Badham) was amazing. It’s almost as good as the book.

5. Dirty Harry. Certainly Clint Eastwood did a fine job portraying Harry Callahan the homicide detective, but it’s Andy Robinson the killer who walks away with the plaudits here. Hands down the best villain prior to Hannibal Lector.

6. Silence of the Lambs. Hannibal Lector was so good that the author of the book got carried away and tried to turn him into a love interest for Clarice Starling in a future book.

7. 2001: A Space Odyssey. Very slow moving at first, but once HAL, the computer enters the picture, you will be riveted. You may also find yourself saying, “What the hell was that about?” when the film ends.

8. Looking for Mr. Goodbar. Scared the pants off me. A dedicated school teacher, of all people, spends her nights looking for progressively abusive men. Haunted me for days.

9. Midnight Cowboy. Dustin Hoffman plays a NYC street urchin who tries to hustle green-behind-the-ears Jon Voight, but they soon grow to like (love?) each other. Ratso Rizzo, the Hoffman character, gets sick and that’s when the tears start to flow.

10. Song of Bernadette. The nuns made us go to see this movie, but I loved it. I don’t know if I’d like it now, but it’s worth it just to see drop dead beautiful Jennifer Jones play the part of Bernadette.

11. M.A.S.H. These doctors are the coolest guys to ever hit the screen. Elliot Gould, Donald Sutherland etc. etc. It took me a while to relate to the TV version because they weren’t in it. “Suicide is Painless” has got to be one of the greatest scores ever.

12. Stand By Me. Another coming of age movie base on Stephen King’s short story. Best buds go looking for a dead kid and learn a lot about life on the way. River Phoenix played one of the kids; the fat kid was played by Sean Murray the actor who plays McGee on NCIS.

13. Anatomy of a Murder. Starring Jimmy Stewart, Ben Gazzara, and Lee Remick. Stewart plays a lawyer defending a young soldier who claims he has no recollection of murdering a man who raped his wife. Eve Arden (Our Miss Brooks) plays Stewart’s secretary. Lee Remick was another knock out.

14. Dances With Wolves. After hundreds of movies where the Indians are the bad guys, the Indians finally get to play the good guys, although there’s plenty of scalping going on.

15. The Deer Hunter. We see young men prior to service in Vietnam, during, and after. Some of the most riveting torture scenes ever filmed. Robert DeNiro plays a man who would never take more than one shot while hunting deer. After the war, he can’t shot them at all.

16. Saving Private Ryan. Only because Tom Hanks plays an English teacher.

17. Blackboard Jungle. Ed McBain wrote the screenplay. Vic Morrow played a thug. Sidney Poitier was one of the troublemakers. “Rock Around the Clock” was the theme song.

18. Unforgiven. Clint Eastwood’s best western. Gene Hackman is the villain. He really deserves a beating. Morgan Freeman is the sidekick.

19. Rocky. Sylvester Stallone should’ve quit when he was ahead. Some of the best fight sequences I’ve ever seen. Carl Weathers does a great impression of Muhammad Ali. “Yo, Adrian!”

20. Night of the Hunter. Has any leading man ever made a better villain than Robert Mitchum? I can’t think of one.  

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Reviewed by Jane Noponen Perinacci 5/2/2012
Good ones!!! I do agree with you about what is offered today.

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