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

À bout de souffle

A car thief accidentally kills a policeman and needs to collect on a debt in order to skip town. The setting of 1960's Paris and the down-to-earth dialogue makes this a bit special, although maybe not as new and exciting as when it was premiered. Much imitated but never actually matched this is the best - and most well known - of the "French New Wave." Avoid the Richard Gere remake which is an insult.

Abba: The Movie

A journalist tries to understand the huge popularity of the band Abba while they are on tour in Australia. Rare chance to see a super group in concert and creating in their own Swedish studio. Good music, but for Abba fans only.

African Queen, The

A grizzled sea captain and an old maid team up to fight the Germans in Africa. First major chalk-and-cheese action movie and very good entertainment it is. Featuring first class performances by the two leads Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn. Great climax too.


Extra silly goings on at an airport when a plane is found to have a bomb aboard. Anything-goes visual comedy that manages to ape many well know films of the time (not only airport ones) and have a plot too. So many belly laughs that you need to watch it twice to get them all. Launched a whole new genre of comedy.


Young London swinger gets to learn some hard lessons about life and sex. First male lead to talk straight to camera without seeming false and a morality play of-sorts. Made very cheaply and turned Michael Caine in to a world star. Bit dated, but still lots of fun.

All The President's Men

Recreation of the Watergate scandal using the chasing Washington Post reporters as the central plot device. Would seem hard to create drama out of events both recent and well known but this film manages it. Shame the dialogue seems hard to catch at times. Leads Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford will never have such juicy roles again.

American Graffiti

Single day and night in a "anywhere" small American town just prior to Vietnam. Nothing more than a collection of clichés and small jokes, but so well done that you marvel at it. Looks and sounds so real that you feel that you are there. Director George "Star Wars" Lucas before percentage points on lunch boxes took over his life.

American Psycho

An 1980's stockbroker is also a serial killer by night - or is he? A wild-at-heart black comedy that surprises, puzzles, shocks and entertains all at the same time. Great to see a movie that doesn't want to play by the rules or fear offending conservatives. Solid gold satire, but for strong stomachs and open minds only.

Annie Hall

A New York professional couple - Woody Allen and Diane Keaton - have a brief Summer fling. Proof that the best films are all about nothing. Lots of clever film making and good performances make this Best Picture Oscar winner a pure delight from opening shot to last. I doubt very much Allen will make a better film.

Bank Dick. The

An incompetent man with family problems foils a bank robbery and gets a new job as its guard. The only really good film W.C Fields ever made is still short of a classic, but has plenty of small laughs and manages to frame a star that should never be forgotten.

Barry Lyndon

An 18th century Irishman sets out on a life of adventure before falling in to a marriage of financial convenience. Wonderful cinematography - maybe even the best ever - make this film so special. Special lenses were even made to film in low light. Maybe a bit too long for most tastes and a questionable lead in the cold and enigmatic Ryan O'Neil.

Bedsitting Room, The

In the aftermath of a nuclear war survivors mill around in their half destroyed world trying to hang on to the vestiges of their former lives. Mad as a hatter comedy, but strangely effective and haunting. Probably Spike Milligan's most impressive and profound written work is brought to the screen. A totally one-of-a-kind movie.

Betty Blue

A going nowhere young handyman meets an unhinged young women who encourages him to be a writer. Touching French comedy that manages to be funny, sexy and believable. Probably just a lucky break of a movie, but very enjoyable and has a message about keeping hold of your dreams.

Big Chill, The

Former college friends gather for a funeral and lament how their ambitions have been compromised by reality. Funny and down-to-earth little film with good actors that seems more European than American. Set the tone for quite a number of quality television series, but maybe a bit forced at times. The soul soundtrack may help or alienate depending on taste.

Billy Liar

A young North of England funeral clerk is bored with his life and creates a world of lies to make up for it. One of the best films of the sixties still rings true: with the classic book opened up to show our hero in the middle of his many fantasies. Funny and true. At times a little bit too true.

Black Hawk Down

A helicopter crash in the third world causes a major international incident. Clever film making that manages to convey the nature and horror of modern urban warfare while having an exciting plot. Cracking film making with a fantastic Oscar winning soundtrack. A new breed of war movie - almost like a documentary - for a new breed of war.

Blade Runner

Humanoids and humans get mixed up in this version of the future, with a throwback private detective having to hunt the robots down. What a strange (and very wet!) world and what a strange film, but very haunting. A classic although it is merely Raymond Chandler set in the future. The voice-over and happy ending are a mistake though - and they may have been dumped it from the version you get to see.

Blazing Saddles

Wild comedy about a bigoted town that gets its first black sheriff. This satire on westerns, racism and movies generally has plenty of easy laughs - some on the edge of bad taste. Lots of fun after a hard day at the office, although the cast look to be having more fun than any audience ever will.

Bonnie and Clyde

In depression hit Middle America two losers go on a bloody crime spree that shocks the whole of the country. Heavily fictionalised, but very involving, true-crime drama that conveys a sense of time and place. Great acting all round and a real keeper. One of the best movies of the 1960's and even started a throwback fashion movement.

Born Free

True life story of how a couple protect orphan lions in Africa. The lions steal every scene to the point where we barely know that the actors are present! A wonderful family film with a hit soundtrack that seals the effect. For wild life lovers only.

Boyz in the Hood, The

Life is very rough and tough in modern-day East LA. Not a perfect film by any means, but very believable vision of modern life with a plot as well as a message. Impersonated quite a number of times since, but never matched. A surprise mainstream hit.

Bugsy Malone

Gangster spoof with all the parts played by children. Very much one-of-a-kind experience with all the sets scaled to match. The songs are good, but not great, but I loved it as a kid because it was a rare movie aimed purely at my generation. Everyone looks like they are having the time of their lives. Director Alan Parker recently said that "Jodie Foster could have directed the movie no matter starred in it!"


In pre-war Berlin cabaret is one of the few places where politics can be mocked. Knock you down dead look at a time and a place. Also manages to look like a real seedy night-club, not a Hollywood vision of the same. Musical remake of "I Am A Camera" - another film worth checking out. My favourite musical, although heavy handed and simple minded in its politics. Cold, real and ever-so-slightly sleazy.


Rick opens a night-club in Africa, but is haunted by an old flame. Happy accident of a movie with great actors and - in Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman - the most romantic couple in the history of movies. Everything a movie should be and a classic from opening frame to last. The only bum note is the obvious cheap sets. At the time of production seen as just another product from the Warner Brother's factory production line.


Bio-pic of how the mob won and then lost Las Vegas is far from perfect and contains far too much violence, but is a cracking little story with great actors. Interesting portrait of a man (Robert De Niro as Ace Rothstein) having to deal with the overworld as well as the underworld. Director Martin Scorsese near top form, but not quite at his best. Shame about the need for voice-over when so much of what is said is superfluous and obvious.

Cat and the Canary, The

Bob Hope gets trapped in a haunted house. Best of breed movie with Hope managing to wisecrack while scared. Not very original, but the lead excels in this type of production. A black and white gem worth watching over and over again.

Chariots of Fire

Two Britons challenge for gold medals at the 1924 Olympics in Paris. Strange film in that it involves two lead characters that don't really intertwine and features events not of any great modern significance, however good acting and an Oscar winning score bring home the bacon. The kind of film that grows on you and a wonderful view of Scotland for those that never go there!

China Syndrome, The

A TV crew just happen to be in a nuclear power station when an emergency breaks out. Amazing that the film was released just days before a real life emergency (Long Island), but that isn't the reason why it is so good. However, be warned, it wears its politics on its sleeves and - more strangely - doesn't have a music soundtrack. Features Jack Lemmon's only on screen death!

Citizen Kane

Fictionalised life and times of one of the world's first media magnets (Randolph Hurst). Whole books have been written about this film and certainly a fantastic piece of entertainment. However Welles did not write the screenplay, although claims full credit for it! Still a classic and a must-see, although you have read that a hundred times before.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

The world prepares for the first encounter between aliens and humans with music being used to communicate. On the big screen one of the great experiences in the history of cinema (like Lawrence of Arabia): on the small one, merely OK. The plot drifts a bit, but the climax with the mothership is one of the greatest pieces of cinema ever. Breathtaking.

Con Air

A group of cons take over a prison flight with the intent of crashing it over Las Vegas. Best of breed thick-ear drama that manages to sustain a climax over a long period of time. Great knockabout fun, although not really a classic and Nic Cage's role is only one of running and jumping.

Day At The Races, A

The Marx Brothers get up to their usual high-jinx at the track. Not perfect by any means, but when the Marx's get going you have to laugh. On set Chico bet on a horse that was in the script to lose because "the odds were just too good." We will remember them always.

Day In The Country, A

A French family have a day out in the country, but one of their number sees something she likes. Perfect films are often about nothing and this is a good example; capturing a time and place without anything earth shattering happening. Often called the best film ever made, it really isn't, but a magic carpet ride to anther time and another place.

Days of Heaven

A small tale of adventures in the American Midwest didn't capture an audience, but is a lovely outdoor film. Richard Gere has never been better and there is just enough story to keep you involved and watching. A real sleeper of a movie.

Doctor In The House

A young man wants to become a doctor without knowing what that will involve. The cast are clearly overage and the situations too pat to really believe them, but this look at health in the 1950's tells a lot of truths about life and medicine. Quite charming and resulted in many sequels and even a TV series.

Doctor Strangelove

A military operation goes wrong when a US bomber is sent to drop a nuclear load over Russia. Probably the best comedy of all time and certainly the most amazing. Drama and comedy mixing so readily. Peter Sellers plays multi-parts for no real reason other than he was the best character actor of all time!

Dog Day Afternoon

A bank robbery goes wrong and a hostage scenario is played out. Pacino plays the mad robber with gusto and everything that happens rings true. While maybe just short of a classic this tells a lot of truths about people that are in a crisis and has too much good acting to be ignored. Based on a true story.

Don't Look Now

A couple lose their daughter to a pond accident and try to forget all their troubles on a working visit to a wintry Venice. What an atmosphere and what a film that sets a tone of horror without a great deal happening to justify it. Cracking climax that sends shivers down the spine of anyone with a pulse. Fantastic stuff.

Doors, The

Life and times of Jim Morrison as interpreted by Oliver Stone. Not a perfect film and maybe a little bit two dimensional at times, but still the best example of a rock and roll crash-and-burn lifestyle put on film. The concert scenes seem so real and Kilmer is fantastic in the lead - no one could have done better.

Duck Soup

The Marx Brothers return as rulers of countries about to go to war. Silly, very silly, but silly is what the brother's do best. No one ever directed two Marx Brothers films and no one claims that their movies are not flawed, but we have classic set pieces and strong laughs along the way.

Ed Wood

Bio-pic of a tenth rate movie maker that manages to be both funny and literate. Good look at the underbelly of Hollywood and the world of people that never made it for reasons all-too-obvious. A very different vision of tinseltown and more like most people's actual experience of it. Shot in black and white.

Elephant Man, The

A deformed freak is exploited by a circus sideshow, but is rescued by a kindly doctor. Based on a true story this film has very few tricks up its sleeves - and might have been made as a horror movie - but effects because it is about human values and human dignity. Almost a perfect movie in all departments from directing downwards. Shot in black and white.

English Patient, The

A Hungarian spy and the wife of a diplomat have a fling in wartime Africa. Fantastic modern epic that looks like it is directed by the ghost of David Lean. Action, adventure, music and romance fuse against a colourful and original set of backdrops. One or two draggy bits and cod drama prevent it from being perfect but a film that treats you as a grown up.

Enter The Dragon

A martial arts expert spy goes to a mysterious island for a karate championship. Bruce Lee exploded on to the screen like no actor has ever done before or since, what a wow of a performance he puts in here. The plot is cod James Bond, but that is not the point. Lee died soon after making this cementing his legend in the same manner as James Dean.


An extra terrestrial lands on earth but is rescued and protected by a little girl and her family. A classic from the opening moments to the last this wrangles emotions out of even the hardest hearts. A fantastic production that might be Spielberg's greatest ever work. The only real problem is the heavy-handed John Williams soundtrack - although plenty seem to disagree!

Fight Club

A sickly young man takes comfort from self-help groups but learns of a mysterious club for people just like himself. Silly plot, but yet such a good and exciting film that builds to a ground breaking and (historically) extra frightening climax. Yes it is unbelievable nonsense, but good entertainment while it lasts.

Fourty Eight Hours

A cop gets a con out of the pen to help him track down a killer. Good acting from Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte as the mismatched couple that shout, argue and fight their way through their allotted two days; but finally work together to crack the case. Yes it is Hollywood nonsense, but well done Hollywood nonsense. Avoid the sequel which is more a remake than a new movie.


A mad doctor makes a monster out of spare body parts, but quickly regrets it. A well regarded book but one of these products that works even better as a film. Very scary indeed and at times almost too scary to bare. Must have been hell on earth to witness in the cinema when it first came out. You can just imagine women passing out in the isles.

French Connection, The

Popeye Doyle is on the case of a heroin shipment in the real back streets of NY. Dirty, gritty and non too flattering look at police and thieves on the streets of the Big Apple. Features a car chase that will be remembered forever. The sequel is totally lame and pointless. Gene Hackman's greatest role and he is still referred to as Popeye in the street today!

Gambler, The

A professor is secretly a gambling addict playing one bookie against the other. The best self-destruction film ever made and a must for all those that like to gamble themselves. If you don't then what goes on might leave you cold. Fantastic performance by James Caan, maybe the best of his whole career and a great support cast.

General, The

Buster Keaton steals a train and saves the day in this American Civil War drama. A master of images at work and some of the best gags ever put on film. Should be shown at film schools to indicate how good visual comedy can be. A comedy masterpiece.


Two friends have a bet on who can get to Brighton the quickest travelling only by vintage car. Oh so very British and oh so very friendly and polite. Merely spending a short time with some lovely people and having some quiet laughs along the road to the coast and back. I wish they made films like this today. Timeless and charming.

Get Carter

A mob enforcer returns to his native North East to sort out the suspicious death of his brother. Michael Caine has never been better and England has never look grittier than portrayed here: A real treat for gangster film lovers and a movie that doesn't play nice or fair. The American remake isn't in this movies' class.


Life story of a lawyer whose simple ideas united the whole Indian nation. What a life and what a film to capture it. While a bit "armchair liberal" this manages to be both entertaining as well as educational. Not the kind of stuff you want to sit down to in the wrong mood, but a first class product with a fantastic backdrop.

Glengarry Glenross

Tricky-dicky salesmen start to come under pressure to sell-sell-sell in this modern urban tragedy. Acting master class with every part played by a star and with all emotions, characters and actions a hundred percent believable. Lemmon has the best part of his whole career and rips the screen apart - four letter words an' all...

Go-Between, The

A poor 18th century schoolboy is sent to the country and becomes a message passer between a well-to-do young lady and a rough farmer that is her secret lover. A dip in to another world and a very welcome one at that. Nothing very important happens, but the scene and acting are a treat to behold. Works on so many levels.

Godfather Part One, The

A young Turk has to learn to be a ruthless killer in this much discussed Best Picture Oscar winner. Yes this is a bit slow and yes it is very immoral - in not being totally honest about the violence that built the power base - but what a product and what acting. You wish you could see a film as good as this every week of the year.

Godfather Part Two, The

The only sequel ever to be as good as the original and maybe even better! Look at the early life of the old Don and how power was taken and not given: Making it more honest than Part One. A bit confusing on first viewing, but still a great film to be enjoyed over and over again. Part three was a huge let down, but you can't expect to strike gold three times in a row.

Gone With The Wind

A young girl has to overcome the American Civil War and an on-off romance. What a film this is. This was the first product to show what cinema could be when it got it all right and it remains, today, quite frightening in its achievements. One of the golden greats although it is a bit of a soap opera at times.


A boy grows up in a bad neighbourhood and gets dragged in to the world of crime and easy money. One of the my "desert island movies" this plays like a street level Godfather and tells more truths about modern living than any film I know. Dynamite from start to finish.

Graduate, The

A college boy returns home from his graduation and takes up with an older woman AND her daughter. Uneven and features an over-age star in Dustin Hoffman, but a landmark in cinema history. Great music helps us through the more draggy parts of the film.

Grapes of Wrath, The

Farmers try and escape the dust bowl and start a new life. A classic from the moment it was released to the present day. There is not one single thing wrong with this great American tragedy. Henry Fonda never did better work than here.

Great Escape, The

Prisoners plan a mass escape from their WW II prison camp by digging a tunnel. Boys-own drama based on real events. Hard to knock it for entertainment or thrills although it does have a very downbeat ending. A cast to die for and sure to be in heavy-rotation on any classic movie station.

Hard Days Night, A

The Beatles travel down to the Capital from Liverpool for a TV special with their grumpy old granddad in tow. Thank you Mr Richard Lester for capturing a time and a place in the story of one the greatest bands of all time. Good showcase of their personalities; although they were still a bit rough around the edges and yet to write their greatest songs. A must-see for music fans.


A tough cop and a hardened robber go head-to-head over a score. Nothing but one big roller coaster that never stops and an example of how even old plots can be spiced up to provide thrilling entertainment. Very enjoyable to watch, but it all seems a bit farfetched afterwards.

Henry V

Larry Olivier defies World War II rationing and hardships to bring us the story of an old English king and his victory over foreign foes. Works on all levels from acting to drama to message and opens up an obvious play to make it an action picture! A triumph for all concerned.

High Hopes

A old lady locks herself out of her house and has to ask the snobbish neighbours for help. We should be grateful that Mike Leigh brings us great cinema in a style all of his own. This true-to-life comedy makes you groan as well as laugh as modern urban types try and come to terms with their lot.

High Noon

A sheriff is due to be gunned down by bandits arriving on the midday train, but finds back-up hard to find. This classic one-man-against-the-mob picture is actually a bit thin in the watching - especially with the near silent Cooper in the lead role. However one of the great westerns and one of the great climaxes in cinema history.

Hill, The

A career soldier is thrown in the "glass house" (military prison) for not obeying orders but carries on his defiance even behind bars. Connery's best work and hard to take if you are not in the mood for sweaty soldiers shouting at one another. Very real story about human values and human spirit against a harsh backdrop.

His Girl Friday

Cary Grant plays a newspaperman who needs his soon-to-be-ex-wife for an important job. No one could do quick-fire dialogue like Grant and when given the script he could be fantastic. Here he eats up the screen as a cynical, and yet funny, media man. Classic stuff and all the evidence you need as to why the Bristol born actor stayed at the top so long.

Hot Shots!

Silly spoof on Top Gun and other US airforce movies. This might not be a true classic, but it made me laugh out loud. Yes it is stupid and at times crass, but if you have seen enough of the original(s) then you know how much they deserved this treatment. Builds to a climax that is as crazy as the rest of the film.

Howard's End

Slow, life in a country house, drama that manages to cross-section a lifestyle as well as give some plot development. However superb acting right down the cast list. Companion piece to Remains of the Day.

Hustler, The

A young buck lives by pretending to be a pool sucker. Gives such a sense of time and place that is almost frightening, as if you are watching a documentary - although the people involved are dirty, lazy and dishonest. A happy memory, but doesn't have enough scope to be a true classic. Sort-of returned to in Scorsese's Color of Money - for which Paul Newman won the Oscar he should have been given the first time!

I'm All Right Jack

A middle class air-head gets a job in a factory over which the union has a strong hand. Classic social comedy that portrays all sides of the argument as dishonest and clown-like. Peter Sellers is a knockout as the trade union boss in love with Russia and Peter Carmicheal is perfect as the hapless clown that lodges in his house.

I Am A Fugitive From A Chain Gang

A man is wrongly convicted of a crime and escapes from a chain gang to start a new life. Based on a real story this as-it-really-is drama shocked America and lead to criminal reform. A bit dated now, but still packs a punch as well as telling an intriguing story.

In the Heat of the Night

A black man at a railway station is suspected of a recently committed crime, but turns out to be a fellow policeman. Liberal drama that paints its intentions and colours too brightly, but still produces an OK thriller. The central character clash is the main feature of the movie although, sadly, the case they join forces on is nothing at all special.

In Which We Serve

A British warship is sunk and we go back in time to find out how and why. One of the great war pictures this throws away a lot of the obvious drama and tries to get under the skin of the various ranks that make a warship function. The final speech by Coward to his men is one of the greatest moments in British film history. My all-time favourite war film.

It's A Wonderful Life

A man considers suicide but, through a strange trick of fate, learns what life would have been without him. What a little crowd pleaser, but I am part of the crowd too. Maybe a little too schmaltzy at times but Stewart is a knockout as the lead and you cannot suppress a tear at the end. Will be shown on TV every Christmas from now to Armageddon.

Judgement At Nuremberg

Cold blooded and cold eyed look at the famous post WW II war trials where top Nazi's were put in the dock. In reality nothing more than a kangaroo court that wasn't acting on any known laws and besides how can you backdate laws? Fascinating and historical all the same though. Great cast give it there all - including, most surprisingly, Judy Garland!

Jungle Book, The

A "man cub" gets lost in the jungle and is brought up by animals. The Kipling book is thrown away (on Uncle Walt's instructions!), apart from the title, and there is nothing really much of a plot, but a fun cartoon with catchy songs and a light sprinkling of adventure. Very short, but also very sweet. Walt Disney's last hands-on project.

Jurassic Park

A mad scientist brings back dinosaurs using their DNA. Nothing more than a rewrite of Frankenstein this only works by cashing-in on new technology. Followed by several sequels that simply rehashed what went on here, but that seemed enough for most people. Very frightening for a film with such an open age certificate.

Killers, The

A ex-gangster is hold up in a small town waiting patiently for the people that he has crossed to catch up with him. Through the film we learn this reasoning and why he doesn't run. Film noir at its best and an interesting flashback plot device. Burt Lancaster grabs the role with both hands.

Kind Hearts And Coronets

A whole family is murdered one-by-one in order for one man to claim an inheritance. Alec Guinness - in various roles - has never been better. Moves along at a fair old clip to disguise its lack of taste, but a classic of black comedy and oh so very British. Guinness was known as the "man with a thousand faces" watch this film to find out why!

King Kong

Scientists travel to Africa to capture a giant gorilla. Wooden acting and a beast whose scale changes dramatically cannot destroy the wonder of this film: which is perhaps one of the most frightening non horror film ever. The finale on top of the Empire State Building has become a legend. The modern remake wasn't up to this standard so avoid it like the plague.

Krays, The

In the East End of London two twin brothers start to get control - through strong arm tactics - of the local underworld. Not perfect by any means, but a fascinating and quite deep look at two real life villains and their nemesis. Hard as nails, but still fails to convey the terror they imparted in real life. Not for the faint of heart.

Lady Vanishes, The

Fey early Alfred Hitchcock which shows that while the production values may not have been high (toy train, etc.) he was even then a master of his trade. A lady disappears on a moving train, but how? And why? Only a little time passer, but the work of a master craftsman. The modern remake isn't as good, but has its charms too.

Last Exit To Brooklyn

Life is rough-and-tough in 1950's Brooklyn and it becomes even tougher during a factory strike. A real chilling film that, while violent and sex filled, manages to be both real and pertinent. Nothing really happens of any great note, but we observe life as people really live, not as Hollywood would have us believe they live. Totally absorbing and climax to remember. Filmed in (West) Germany - although you would never guess it!

Last Picture Show, The

A small Texas town loses its last cinema due to television and lack of audience numbers. Cold and nostalgic vision of life in a windswept nowhere-ville in the late 1950's. A film like no other with good acting from an ensemble cast. The sequel, set in the 1980's, is as bad as this is good. Nostalgia is not what it used to be.

Lavender Hill Mob, The

A banker comes up with a plan to rob his own bank. Fun-all-the way Brit comedy that manages to be both funny and thrilling. A small film but a very memorable one and very much due for a remake.

Lawrence of Arabia

A low ranking British soldier unites rebel tribes to expel the Turks from their own unmapped land. Based on a true story this must be one the most perfectly realised films of all time. Frightening how well this all works and fits together. David Lean at the top of his game producing a movie that the word epic was coined for. Astonishing.

Life Is Sweet

Slice-of-life in a dysfunctional North London family. Mike Leigh should be treated like a national treasure, he produces films that are so true-to-life that it is scary. There are times when you cannot laugh because the joke is too close to home! Like most of his films, not a great deal happens, but hundreds of small truths are told.

Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The

A borstal boy (an English juvenile prison) is only good at running and finds some escape through it. Kitchen sink at its very best this slice of life drama has both a plot and a payoff. Might not work so well if you are not from the UK and some of the background is heavily dated.

Long Good Friday, The

A London gangster returns home from a short break abroad and finds that someone has it in for him. Hoskins took off like Apollo 13 on the back of this crowd-pleasing British thriller that plays more like a violent whodunit than a standard gangster film. The only bad thing is the over-the-top score that damages the atmosphere.

Lust For Life

Life and times of the mad Dutch painter Van Gogh played with passion by Kirk Douglas. Good drama, good acting and a fantastic story to tell of a painter who failed in his own lifetime and yet made billions for others after his death. A Vincente Minnelli masterpiece.

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 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! A 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 female 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. A film that leaves you reeling - so don't make any plans for just after you have seen it!

Midnight Cowboy

A wide-eyed 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! 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 film 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 good in her role 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 and boy is it delivered. 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. 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, 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 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.


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