Nan's Essential List

I've watched a lot of movies and these are the one's I'm grateful to have seen and saw more than once... in no particular order. Some I loved, some are profound, and some are just plain silly.
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1.
Avatar (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A paraplegic marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home. (162 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Some people like to compare this movie with Dances With Wolves. I have seen that movie and liked it, but Avatar is better. ” - nanstamps
 
2.
Swing Time (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer. (103 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
“ All the Astaire/Rogers movies are good, this one is my favorite. ” - nanstamps
 
3.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ This movie has in it the epitome of witty reparte. ” - nanstamps
 
4.
Destry Rides Again (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
When a tough western town needs taming, the mild-mannered son of a hard-nosed sheriff gets the job. (94 mins.)
Director: George Marshall
“ A good western. ” - nanstamps
 
5.
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself. (112 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
6.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
7.
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A private detective takes on a case that involves him with three eccentric criminals, a gorgeous liar, and their quest for a priceless statuette. (100 mins.)
Director: John Huston
 
8.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. (103 mins.)
“ The best of Gene Kelly ” - nanstamps
 
9.
Three Violent People (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
When Confederate officer Colt Saunders returns to his Texas ranch after the war he finds his lands wanted by carpetbaggers and by corrupt provisional government commissioners Harrison and Cable. (100 mins.)
Director: Rudolph Maté
 
10.
We're No Angels (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
Three Devil's Island escapees hide out in the home of a kindly merchant and repay his kindness by helping him and his family out of several crises. (106 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ One of my all time favorite Christmas movies! ” - nanstamps
 
11.
White Christmas (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A successful song-and-dance team become romantically involved with a sister act and team up to save the failing Vermont inn of their former commanding general. (120 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
 
12.
The Court Jester (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A hapless carnival performer masquerades as the court jester as part of a plot against an evil ruler who has overthrown the rightful king. (101 mins.)
“ Danny Kaye at his best ” - nanstamps
 
13.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An astronaut crew crash-lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved. (112 mins.)
 
14.
Bell Book and Candle (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A modern-day witch likes her neighbor but despises his fiancée, so she enchants him to love her instead, only to fall in love with him for real. (106 mins.)
Director: Richard Quine
 
15.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
In future Britain, charismatic delinquent Alex DeLarge is jailed and volunteers for an experimental aversion therapy developed by the government in an effort to solve society's crime problem - but not all goes according to plan. (136 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
“ Adults Only ” - nanstamps
 
16.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A bounty hunting scam joins two men in an uneasy alliance against a third in a race to find a fortune in gold buried in a remote cemetery. (161 mins.)
Director: Sergio Leone
 
17.
Seven Samurai (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves. (207 mins.)
Director: Akira Kurosawa
“ The Magnificent Seven comes from this great movie ” - nanstamps
 
18.
Lost Horizon (1937)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
A plane crash delivers a group of people to the secluded land of Shangri-La -- but is it the miraculous utopia it appears to be? (97 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Ronald Coleman had the best speaking voice in Hollywood. ” - nanstamps
 
19.
Amadeus (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
The incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri - now confined to an insane asylum. (160 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ Love, hate, envy, and the most beautiful music in the world. ” - nanstamps
 
20.
Erik the Viking (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Erik the Viking and his men travel across the sea to find Valhalla to ask the gods to end the Age of Ragnarok. (107 mins.)
Director: Terry Jones
“ Perception and belief made funny ” - nanstamps
 
21.
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader. (121 mins.)
Director: George Lucas
“ When the adds for this came out I was determined to see it before it disappeared. It stayed a while and it did not disappoint. ” - nanstamps
 
22.
Jurassic Park (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. (127 mins.)
 
23.
Overboard (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A cruel but beautiful heiress screws over a hired carpenter, who later is the first one to find her when she gets amnesia. Looking for a little revenge he convinces her that she's his wife. (106 mins.)
Director: Garry Marshall
“ Silly but fun ” - nanstamps
 
24.
Splash (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is. (111 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
 
25.
Braveheart (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England. (178 mins.)
Director: Mel Gibson
“ Best War movie ” - nanstamps
 
26.
Galaxy Quest (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
The alumni cast of a space opera television series have to play their roles as the real thing when an alien race needs their help. (102 mins.)
Director: Dean Parisot
“ Comfort movie..."run, before they kill Guy"... ” - nanstamps
 
27.
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead. (143 mins.)
Director: Gore Verbinski
“ Pirates....arrrrrhhhh ” - nanstamps
 
28.
The Lion King (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Lion cub and future king Simba searches for his identity. His eagerness to please others and penchant for testing his boundaries sometimes gets him into trouble. (89 mins.)
 
29.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
30.
Starman (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An alien takes the form of a young widow's husband and asks her to drive him from Wisconsin to Arizona. The government tries to stop them. (115 mins.)
Director: John Carpenter
“ This is the movie that Jeff Bridges should have got the Oscar for but it was hard to compete with Amadeus. ” - nanstamps
 
31.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
Archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones is hired by the U.S. government to find the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis. (115 mins.)
“ Silly fun ” - nanstamps
 
32.
Help! (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Ringo finds himself the human sacrifice target of a cult and the band must try to protect him from it. (92 mins.)
Director: Richard Lester
“ Silly fun with good music ” - nanstamps
 
33.
Gettin' Square (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Gettin' Square is about starting over, keeping clean and going straight. Barry Wirth is fresh out of... (100 mins.)
“ Fun Australian romp starring Sam Worthington ” - nanstamps
 
34.
Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to 20th century Earth to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it, humpback whales. (119 mins.)
Director: Leonard Nimoy
 
35.
Winter's Bone (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her drug-dealing father while trying to keep her family intact. (100 mins.)
Director: Debra Granik
 
36.
Pride & Prejudice (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Sparks fly when spirited Elizabeth Bennet meets single, rich, and proud Mr. Darcy. But Mr. Darcy reluctantly finds himself falling in love with a woman beneath his class. Can each overcome their own pride and prejudice? (129 mins.)
Director: Joe Wright
“ Not bad for a short version ” - nanstamps
 
37.
Stargate (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
An interstellar teleportation device, found in Egypt, leads to a planet with humans resembling ancient Egyptians who worship the god Ra. (116 mins.)
Director: Roland Emmerich
“ Fun ” - nanstamps
 
38.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town, discovers Christmas Town, but doesn't quite understand the concept. (76 mins.)
Director: Henry Selick
“ Tim Burton at his best ” - nanstamps
 
39.
Edward Scissorhands (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation. (105 mins.)
Director: Tim Burton
“ Sweet ” - nanstamps
 
40.
Die Hard (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. (131 mins.)
Director: John McTiernan
 
41.
The Terminator (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs. (107 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
 
42.
The Sixth Sense (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A boy who communicates with spirits that don't know they're dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist. (107 mins.)
 
43.
Holiday (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young man falls in love with a girl from a rich family. His unorthodox plan to go on holiday for the early years of his life is met with skepticism by everyone except for his fiancée's eccentric sister and long suffering brother. (95 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
44.
Unbreakable (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident. (106 mins.)
 
45.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard, Baby. (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
46.
Dirty Harry (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
When a mad man calling himself 'the Scorpio Killer' menaces the city, tough as nails San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan is assigned to track down and ferret out the crazed psychopath. (102 mins.)
Director: Don Siegel
“ Do ya feel lucky punk...do ya? ” - nanstamps
 
47.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
King Arthur and his knights embark on a low-budget search for the Grail, encountering many, very silly obstacles. (91 mins.)
“ Ni ” - nanstamps
 
48.
Life of Brian (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brian is born on the original Christmas, in the stable next door. He spends his life being mistaken for a messiah. (94 mins.)
Director: Terry Jones
“ We are all individuals! ” - nanstamps
 
49.
Love Actually (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Follows the lives of eight very different couples in dealing with their love lives in various loosely interrelated tales all set during a frantic month before Christmas in London, England. (135 mins.)
Director: Richard Curtis
“ Another cute Christmas movie ” - nanstamps
 
50.
Terminator Salvation (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
In 2018, a mysterious new weapon in the war against the machines, half-human and half-machine, comes to John Connor on the eve of a resistance attack on Skynet. But whose side is he on, and can he be trusted? (115 mins.)
Director: McG
“ Sam Worthington is good in everything he is in ” - nanstamps
 
51.
Army of Darkness (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A man is accidentally transported to 1300 A.D., where he must battle an army of the dead and retrieve the Necronomicon so he can return home. (81 mins.)
Director: Sam Raimi
“ You have to watch Evil Dead first but this is a fun horror movie ” - nanstamps
 
52.
Innerspace (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A hapless store clerk must foil criminals to save the life of the man who, miniaturized in a secret experiment, was accidentally injected into him. (120 mins.)
Director: Joe Dante
“ Silly fun ” - nanstamps
 
53.
The Quiet Man (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A retired American boxer returns to the village of his birth in Ireland, where he finds love. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ Romantic fun ” - nanstamps
 
54.
The Beastmaster (1982)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
A sword-and-sorcery fantasy about a young man's search for revenge. Armed with supernatural powers, the handsome hero and his animal allies wage war against marauding forces. (118 mins.)
Director: Don Coscarelli
“ Marc Singer is so yummy in this silly fun movie ” - nanstamps
 
55.
The Wicker Man (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there. (88 mins.)
Director: Robin Hardy
“ A good horror movie ” - nanstamps
 
56.
Léon: The Professional (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
Mathilda, a 12-year-old girl, is reluctantly taken in by Léon, a professional assassin, after her family is murdered. Léon and Mathilda form an unusual relationship, as she becomes his protégée and learns the assassin's trade. (110 mins.)
Director: Luc Besson
 
57.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Classic ” - nanstamps
 
58.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young man is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
 
59.
Memento (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A man creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle. (113 mins.)
 
60.
Gladiator (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge. (155 mins.)
Director: Ridley Scott
“ Great costume movie ” - nanstamps
 
61.
Up (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Seventy-eight year old Carl Fredricksen travels to Paradise Falls in his home equipped with balloons, inadvertently taking a young stowaway. (96 mins.)
 
62.
Star Trek (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The brash James T. Kirk tries to live up to his father's legacy with Commander Spock keeping him in check as a vengeful, time-traveling Romulan creates black holes to destroy the Federation one planet at a time. (127 mins.)
Director: J.J. Abrams
 
63.
Time After Time (1979)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
H.G. Wells pursues Jack the Ripper to the 20th Century when the serial murderer uses the future writer's time machine to escape his time period. (112 mins.)
Director: Nicholas Meyer
“ good time travel movie ” - nanstamps
 
64.
Time Bandits (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A young boy accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from era to era looking for treasure to steal. (116 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ fun Pythonesque movie ” - nanstamps
 
65.
Shane (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A weary gunfighter attempts to settle down with a homestead family, but a smoldering settler/rancher conflict forces him to act. (118 mins.)
Director: George Stevens
 
66.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler...but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye. (94 mins.)
Director: Gregory La Cava
 
67.
A Night at the Opera (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies. (96 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Marx Brothers! ” - nanstamps
 
68.
The Princess Bride (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
While home sick in bed, a young boy's grandfather reads him a story called The Princess Bride. (98 mins.)
Director: Rob Reiner
“ I don't think that word means what you think it means ” - nanstamps
 
69.
The Matrix (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (136 mins.)
 
70.
Groundhog Day (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A weatherman finds himself living the same day over and over again. (101 mins.)
Director: Harold Ramis
 
71.
Highlander (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An immortal Scottish swordsman must confront the last of his immortal opponent, a murderously brutal barbarian who lusts for the fabled "Prize". (116 mins.)
Director: Russell Mulcahy
“ guilty pleasure ” - nanstamps
 
72.
Spirited Away (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
During her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts. (125 mins.)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
 
73.
The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A comic allegory about a traveling Bushman who encounters modern civilization and its stranger aspects, including a clumsy scientist and a band of revolutionaries. (109 mins.)
Director: Jamie Uys
“ My favorite slapstick ” - nanstamps
 
74.
The Tall Guy (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Dexter King plays straight man to unpleasant comedian Ron Anderson. He falls in love with Kate, a pretty... (92 mins.)
Director: Mel Smith
“ Great early Emma Thompson ” - nanstamps
 
75.
District 9 (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An extraterrestrial race forced to live in slum-like conditions on Earth suddenly finds a kindred spirit in a government agent who is exposed to their biotechnology. (112 mins.)
Director: Neill Blomkamp
 
76.
Adventures in Babysitting (1987)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A babysitter must leave her safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city to rescue a stranded friend, unaware of the perilous adventures that await her and the kids she's looking after who have tagged along. (102 mins.)
Director: Chris Columbus
“ Fun and sweet romp ” - nanstamps
 
77.
Beau Geste (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire. (112 mins.)
 
78.
Keeping Mum (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A pastor preoccupied with writing the perfect sermon fails to realize that his wife is having an affair and his children are up to no good. (99 mins.)
Director: Niall Johnson
“ fun dark comedy ” - nanstamps
 
79.
Holiday Inn (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer. (100 mins.)
Director: Mark Sandrich