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7 movie gems!

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7 movie gems (one per genre) that should not be missed  .... in the order of release:

 

 

  •  City Lights (1931) - Comedy: A Charlie Chaplin masterpiece. While some of his other films such as the Kid, the Gold Rush, Modern Times, and the Great Dictator can also make the list but this simple tale of love and laughter never fails to impress, and therefore gets the nod. Outside of Chaplin, an honorable mention to Kubrick's satire Dr. Strangelove. 

 

 

 

 

  • Vertigo (1958) - Suspense/Mystery: A representative of the suspense/mystery genre. While the master of suspense, Hitchcock, has served quite a few stunners including Rebecca, Notorious, and Psycho, Vertico incorporates all the Hitchcock trademarks to make it a perfect Hitchcock film. Additionally, it boasts of a great score by Bernard Herrmann. The intelligent use of colors adds more feathers to the film. 

 

 

 

 

  • Lawrence of Arabia (1962) - Epic: An epic among epics. Great cinematography, brilliant background score by Maurice Jarre, and superb direction by the master David Lean, along with presence of notable actors including O'Toole, Guiness, Sharif, Rains, and Quinn. A perfect film to be enjoyed on the biggest screen that you can find. 

 

 

 

 

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) - Sci-Fi: Any Kubrick film is a gem. But this one probably has Kubrick at his finest. A breathtaking sci-fi experience.  Kubrick concerted a presentation with dialogues kept at a minimum, letting the pictures tell a 1000 words. Since it is a Kubrick, cinematography and other technical aspects are top drawer.  Much like LoA, it is a film to be enjoyed on the largest canvas.

 

 

 

 

  • Enter the Dragon (1973) - Martial Arts: More than the film, it is a nod to one of the greatest martial arts superstar of all time. Like some of the others key actors/directors on this list, one of his other famous films could have been representative of his style as well but Enter the Dragon is on the list for being his biggest hit (and probably also the highest grossing inflation adjusted martial arts film of all time), combining zen philosophy with action, and sporting an iconic background score. A cult classic!  

 

 

 

 

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Adventure: An entry from the versatile Spielberg in the adventure category. Jaws competes for a place as well but the first Indiana Jones film kick started a wonderful series blending great locations, unique villains, supernatural elements, history, and action in a highly palatable manner. 

 

 

 

 

  • The Silence of the Lambs (1990) - Horror: Represents the horror thriller genre. There are a few gems in this genre but this best picture Oscar winner has memorable performances from Foster and Hopkins - both of them received Oscars too. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is unforgettable. The last act is terrific. 

 

 

 

Edited by zen

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Bonus!

 

  • The Sound of Music (1965) - Musical: Not my favorite genre but good musicals can be fun. Notable films include The Red Shoes (1948), The Phantom of the Opera (2004 and other versions), and Sweeney Todd (2007). However, the journey of van Trapp family during the Nazi occupation of Austria and with music a glue, The Sound of Music continues to be a major force.

 

 

 

 

Among foreign language musicals - The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964): One word - amazing. 

 

 

 

 

  • Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992) - Gothic. One of my favorite categories but good films can be rare in it and at times difficult to classify so will stick with period gothic. There are the Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920), Laurence Olivier's Wuthering Heights (1939), Gaslight (1944), and the Innocents (1961), but Bram Stoker's Dracula tells the classic tale in a poetic and visually striking fashion. 

 

 

 

 

  • The Dark Knight (2008) - Superhero: A popular genre with many good films. However, the Dark Knight edges ahead for foraying into the dark side and showcasing memorable performances from the likes of Heath Ledger. I still recall everyone clapping in cinema after the movie ended! 

 

 

 

Edited by zen

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  • Gone With The Wind (1939) - Historical Romance Epic: The highest grossing film of all time (inflation adjusted) with almost painting like visuals: 

 

 

 

 

PS Talking about films with painting like visuals, there is Kubrick's Barry Lyndon (1975)

 

 

Edited by zen

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  • King Creole (1958) - Elvis Presley: I have not watched Elvis Presley films in a long time. They tend to be formulaic and geared towards timepass fun. Didn't recall watching King Creole, which the king rates as his favorite among his films. It is directed by Michael Curtiz (Casablanca) and sports a good support cast. When Paramount Presents, which brings its catalogue films back to life, restored the film in 4K, I had to check it out. Unlike many of Presley's fun films, this one is a solid drama combining various elements including film noir and pleasing photography of New Orleans in B&W. I have to say that the king delivers a strong performance and also agree with him that King Creole is probably his best film. Also a great way to experience the Elvis Presley brand of entertainment: 

 

 

Edited by zen

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