The Third-Best Moviesby dusky-1 | created - 04 Jul 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
These films are not quite ready for my second-best list, but still easily recommended to the curious.
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Not Rated | 90 min | Drama, Romance
A frail waif, abused by her brutal boxer father in London's seedy Limehouse District, is befriended by a sensitive Chinese immigrant with tragic consequences.
5. Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925)
Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
A Jewish prince seeks to find his family and revenge himself upon his childhood friend who had him wrongly imprisoned.
Votes: 6,447 | Gross: $12.45M
8. Grass: A Nation's Battle for Life (1925)
Passed | 71 min | Documentary
The struggles of a hardscrabble Iranian nomadic tribe as they journey through bleak country to reach the grasslands that will save their livestock.
9. The General (1926)
Not Rated | 67 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
When Union spies steal an engineer's beloved locomotive, he pursues it single-handedly and straight through enemy lines.
15. The Public Enemy (1931)
Not Rated | 83 min | Crime, Drama
A young hoodlum rises up through the ranks of the Chicago underworld, even as a gangster's accidental death threatens to spark a bloody mob war.
16. Grand Hotel (I) (1932)
Passed | 112 min | Drama, Romance
A group of very different individuals staying at a luxurious hotel in Berlin deal with each of their respective dramas.
Votes: 14,254 | Gross: $1.24M
17. Million Dollar Legs (1932)
Passed | 64 min | Comedy, Sport
A small country on the verge of bankruptcy is persuaded to enter the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as a means of raising money. Either a masterpiece of absurdity or a triumph of satire, ... See full summary »
22. King Kong (1933)
Passed | 100 min | Adventure, Horror, Sci-Fi
A film crew goes to a tropical island for an exotic location shoot and discovers a colossal ape who takes a shine to their female blonde star. He is then captured and brought back to New York City for public exhibition.
Votes: 69,332 | Gross: $10.00M
23. Wild Boys of the Road (1933)
Approved | 68 min | Adventure, Drama
In the depths of the Depression, two teenage boys strike out on their own in order to help their struggling parents and find life on the road tougher than expected.
24. The Black Cat (1934)
65 min | Adventure, Crime, Horror
American honeymooners in Hungary become trapped in the home of a Satan-worshiping priest when the bride is taken there for medical help following a road accident.
Votes: 7,265 | Gross: $0.24M
27. A Tale of Two Cities (1935)
Not Rated | 128 min | Drama, History, Romance
A pair of lookalikes, one a former French aristocrat and the other an alcoholic English lawyer, fall in love with the same woman amongst the turmoil of the French Revolution.
28. Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Not Rated | 75 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi
Mary Shelley reveals the main characters of her novel survived: Dr. Frankenstein, goaded by an even madder scientist, builds his monster a mate.
29. Captain Blood (1935)
Not Rated | 119 min | Action, Adventure
After being wrongly convicted as a traitor, Peter Blood, an English physician, is sent to exile in the British colonies of the Caribbean, where he becomes a pirate.
31. Mad Love (1935)
Passed | 68 min | Horror, Romance, Sci-Fi
In France, an insane surgeon's obsession with an actress from England leads him to replace her pianist husband's hands that got mangled in an accident with the hands of a late knife murderer which still have the urge to throw knives.
33. Fury (1936)
Not Rated | 92 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When a wrongly accused prisoner barely survives a lynch mob attack and is presumed dead, he vindictively decides to fake his death and frame the mob for his supposed murder.
34. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Approved | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Longfellow Deeds, a simple-hearted Vermont tuba player, inherits a fortune and has to contend with opportunist city slickers.
36. Black Legion (1937)
Approved | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When a hard-working machinist loses a promotion to a Polish-born worker, he is seduced into joining the secretive Black Legion, which intimidates foreigners through violence.
37. Easy Living (1937)
Passed | 88 min | Comedy, Romance
During the Great Depression, a wealthy banker throws away his wife's expensive fur coat; it lands on the head of a stenographer, leading to everyone assuming she is his mistress and has access to his millions.
38. The Life of Emile Zola (1937)
Not Rated | 116 min | Biography, Drama
The biopic of the famous French muckraking writer and his involvement in fighting the injustice of the Dreyfuss Affair.
39. Lost Horizon (1937)
Unrated | 97 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
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?
40. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.
Votes: 149,011 | Gross: $184.93M
41. A Star Is Born (1937)
Not Rated | 111 min | Drama
A young woman comes to Hollywood with dreams of stardom, but achieves them only with the help of an alcoholic leading man whose best days are behind him.
Votes: 5,793 | Gross: $4.36M
42. The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (1938)
Approved | 87 min | Crime, Drama
Black comedy about a brilliant Park Avenue doctor who becomes a criminal in order to do research into the criminal mind.
43. The Citadel (1938)
Passed | 110 min | Drama
Andrew Manson, a young, enthusiastic doctor takes his first job in a Welsh mining town, and begins to wonder at the persistent cough many of the miners have. When his attempts to prove its ... See full summary »
46. Bachelor Mother (1939)
Approved | 82 min | Comedy, Romance
Polly Parrish, a clerk at Merlin's Department Store, is mistakenly presumed to be the mother of a foundling. Outraged at Polly's unmotherly conduct, David Merlin becomes determined to keep ... See full summary »
47. Beau Geste (1939)
Passed | 112 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Three adopted English brothers join the French Foreign Legion in North Africa, after one of them steals their adoptive family's famous heirloom sapphire.
49. The Four Feathers (1939)
Not Rated | 129 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
Resigning his commission on the eve of his unit's deployment against Egyptian rebels, a British officer seeks to redeem his cowardice by secretly aiding his former comrades - disguised as ... See full summary »
50. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939)
Not Rated | 117 min | Drama, Romance
In 15th century France, a gypsy girl is framed for murder by the infatuated Chief Justice, and only the deformed bellringer of Notre Dame Cathedral can save her.
51. Ninotchka (1939)
Passed | 110 min | Comedy, Romance
A stern Russian woman sent to Paris on official business finds herself attracted to a man who represents everything she is supposed to detest.
Votes: 15,720 | Gross: $1.19M
52. On Borrowed Time (1939)
Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
Young Pud is orphaned and left in the care of his aged grandparents. The boy and his cantankerous old grandfather become inseparable friends. But Gramps is concerned for his grandson's ... See full summary »
53. Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
Not Rated | 121 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
At a remote South American trading port, the manager of an air freight company is forced to risk his pilots' lives in order to win an important contract.
54. Stagecoach (1939)
Not Rated | 96 min | Adventure, Western
A group of people traveling on a stagecoach find their journey complicated by the threat of Geronimo and learn something about each other in the process.
56. Christmas in July (1940)
Passed | 67 min | Comedy, Romance
When the co-workers of an ambitious clerk trick him into thinking he has won $25,000 in a slogan contest, he begins to use the money to fulfill his dreams. What will happen when the ruse is discovered?
57. Gaslight (1940)
Not Rated | 84 min | Thriller
Twenty years after the murder of Alice Barlow, her house is finally occupied again. However, the husband of the couple who have moved in has a secret which he will do anything to keep hidden.
59. The Mark of Zorro (1940)
Approved | 94 min | Action, Adventure, Romance
A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California.
60. Night Train to Munich (1940)
Not Rated | 90 min | Thriller, War
When Germany invades Czechoslovakia, the German and the British intelligence services try to capture Czech scientist Axel Bomasch, inventor of a new type of armor-plating.
61. Pinocchio (1940)
Approved | 88 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Votes: 103,079 | Gross: $84.25M
62. The Sea Hawk (1940)
Approved | 127 min | Action, Adventure, History
Geoffrey Thorpe, a buccaneer, is hired by Queen Elizabeth I to nag the Spanish Armada. The Armada is waiting for the attack on England and Thorpe surprises them with attacks on their galleons where he shows his skills on the sword.
63. Ball of Fire (1941)
Passed | 111 min | Comedy, Romance
A group of professors working on a new encyclopedia encounter a mouthy nightclub singer who is wanted by the police to help bring down her mob boss lover.
65. High Sierra (1941)
Passed | 100 min | Action, Adventure, Crime
After being released from prison, notorious thief Roy Earle is hired by his old boss to help a group of inexperienced criminals plan and carry out the robbery of a California resort.
66. The Lady Eve (1941)
Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Romance
A trio of classy card sharps targets the socially awkward heir to brewery millions for his money, until one of them falls in love with him.
67. Man Hunt (1941)
Not Rated | 105 min | Drama, Thriller, War
British hunter Thorndike vacationing in Bavaria has Hitler in his gun sight. He is captured, beaten, left for dead, and escapes back to London where he is hounded by German agents and aided by a young woman.
68. Meet John Doe (1941)
Passed | 122 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A man needing money agrees to impersonate a nonexistent person who said he'd be committing suicide as a protest, and a political movement begins.
70. The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Not Rated | 88 min | Comedy, Romance
An inventor needs cash to develop his big idea. His wife, who loves him, decides to raise it for him by divorcing him and marrying a millionaire.
71. Random Harvest (1942)
Passed | 126 min | Drama, Romance
An amnesiac World War I veteran falls in love with a music hall star, only to suffer an accident which restores his original memories but erases his post-war life.
Votes: 5,719 | Gross: $10.14M
72. Saboteur (1942)
Approved | 109 min | Thriller, War
Aircraft factory worker Barry Kane goes on the run across the United States when he is wrongly accused of starting a fire that killed his best friend.
73. This Gun for Hire (1942)
Passed | 81 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
When assassin Philip Raven shoots a blackmailer and his beautiful female companion dead, he is paid off in marked bills by his treasonous employer who is working with foreign spies.
74. Bataan (1943)
Approved | 114 min | War
In 1942, in the Bataan peninsula of the Philippines, a ragtag American unit commanded by Sergeant Bill Dane attempts to blow-up a bridge in order to slow the Japanese advance.
75. Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)
Passed | 101 min | Comedy, War
Woodrow is discharged from the military for hay fever, but fabricates receiving a heroic honorable discharge before returning home.
77. Ministry of Fear (1944)
Not Rated | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.
79. The Uninvited (1944)
Not Rated | 99 min | Fantasy, Horror, Mystery
A composer and his sister discover that the reason they are able to purchase a beautiful gothic seacoast mansion very cheaply is the house's unsavory past.
80. And Then There Were None (1945)
Approved | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
Seven guests, a newly hired personal secretary and two staff are gathered on an isolated island by an absent host and someone begins killing them off one by one. They work together to determine who is the killer?
81. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Unrated | 126 min | Drama
At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.
Votes: 5,872 | Gross: $21.30M
82. Story of G.I. Joe (1945)
Approved | 108 min | Biography, Drama, War
During WW2, Pulitzer prize winner and war correspondent Ernie Pyle joins the army and writes articles about his comrades in his daily columns.
83. The Big Sleep (1946)
Approved | 114 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
Private detective Philip Marlowe is hired by a rich family. Before the complex case is over, he's seen murder, blackmail, and what might be love.
84. Black Angel (1946)
Approved | 81 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Mystery
When Kirk Bennett is convicted of a singer's murder, his wife tries to prove him innocent...aided by the victim's ex-husband.
85. Green for Danger (1947)
Approved | 91 min | Crime, Mystery, Thriller
After the nurse who declares that a recent surgical death was a murder dies also, an enigmatic Scotland Yard inspector arrives to investigate.
87. Tomorrow Is Forever (1946)
Not Rated | 104 min | Drama, Romance, War
An American World War I soldier, whose disfigured face is reconstructed by Austrian plastic surgeons, returns home after twenty years, but no one recognizes him, his widow is married to another man, and his son is a grown young man.
Votes: 1,850 | Gross: $3.25M
88. The Bishop's Wife (1947)
Not Rated | 109 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
An angel in human form enters the life of a bishop in order to help him build a new cathedral and repair his fractured marriage.
92. Out of the Past (1947)
Not Rated | 97 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.
93. Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)
Passed | 83 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man.
94. The Big Clock (1948)
Approved | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
After murdering someone, a magazine tycoon tries to frame an unknown, innocent man of the murder instead, while the innocent man tries to solve the murder himself.
95. Key Largo (1948)
Unrated | 100 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A man visits his old friend's hotel and finds a gangster running things. As a hurricane approaches, the two end up confronting each other.
98. State of the Union (1948)
Approved | 124 min | Comedy, Drama
An industrialist is urged to run for President, but this requires uncomfortable compromises on both political and marital levels.
99. Home of the Brave (1949)
Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War
During WW2, a reconnaissance platoon is sent to map out a Japanese-held island but racial tensions arise between the white soldiers and the only black member of the group.