One of Hitchcock’s most popular and iconic films, this 1959 suspense drama tells the story of a New York ad executive (played by Cary Grant) who finds himself in a deadly game of mistaken identity after a mysterious organization comes to believe he is a government agent out to reveal their secrets. SERIES: ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS
An elderly man reads the book “The Princess Bride” to his sick and thus currently bedridden adolescent grandson, the reading of the book which has been passed down within the family for generations. The grandson is sure he won’t like the story, with a romance at its core, he preferring something with lots of action and “no kissing”. But the grandson is powerless to stop his grandfather, whose feelings he doesn’t want to hurt. The story centers on Buttercup, a former farm girl who has been chosen as the princess bride to Prince Humperdinck of Florian. Buttercup does not love him, she who still laments the death of her one true love, Westley, five years ago. Westley was a hired hand on the farm, his stock answer of “as you wish” to any request she made of him which she came to understand was his way of saying that he loved her. But Westley went away to sea, only to be killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts. On a horse ride to clear her mind of her upcoming predicament of marriage, Buttercup is kidnapped by a band of bandits: Vizzini who works on his wits, and his two associates, a giant named Fezzik who works on his brawn, and a Spaniard named Inigo Montoya, who has trained himself his entire life to be an expert swordsman. They in turn are chased by the Dread Pirate Roberts himself. But chasing them all is the Prince, and his men led by Count Tyrone Rugen. What happens to these collectives is dependent partly on Buttercup, who does not want to marry the Prince, and may see other options as lesser evils, and partly on the other motives of individuals within the groups. But a larger question is what the grandson will think of the story as it proceeds and at its end, especially as he sees justice as high a priority as action.
This 1935 screwball musical comedy stars the incomparable pairing of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. The story of an American dancer trying to impress his British co-star features songs by Irving Berlin and a number of song classics. SERIES: MASTERPIECE MUSICALS
Ranked as one of the top ten films ever made, this 1958 psychological thriller from Alfred Hitchcock tells the story of an ex-police officer who suffers from an intense fear of heights. He is hired to prevent an old friend’s wife from committing suicide, but all is not as it seems. SERIES: ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS
This 1962 drama was directed by John Ford, the master of the western, and stars John Wayne and James Stewart. Stewart plays a lawyer who teams up with the cowboy Wayne to kill the outlaw leader Liberty Valance (played by Lee Marvin). SERIES: AMERICAN MYTHMAKING THRU WESTERNS
A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist. Shortly after the plan takes place, events take a crazy turn.
One of history’s most famous comedies that is still relevant today, this 1964 political satire was directed by the legendary Stanley Kubrick, and stars Peter Sellers, George C. Scott and Slim Pickens. The shape-shifting Sellers plays three wildly different roles: Royal Air Force Captain Lionel Mandrake, timidly trying to stop a nuclear attack on the USSR ordered by an unbalanced general (Sterling Hayden); the ineffectual and perpetually dumbfounded U.S. President Merkin Muffley, who must deliver the very bad news to the Soviet premier; and the titular Dr.Strangelove himself, a wheelchair-bound presidential adviser with a Nazi past. SERIES: FILMS OF STANLEY KUBRICK
This 1954 film noir classic, directed by Billy Wilder, tells the tale of an aging silent film actress who refuses to accept that her stardom has ended. She hires a young screenwriter to help set up her movie comeback but they develop a dangerous relationship that leads to violence, madness, and death. SERIES: NOIR CLASSICS
In this classic film noir from Oscar winner Billy Wilder, insurance salesman Walter Neff (played by Fred MacMurray) gets tangled up in a murderous scheme when he falls for the sensual Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck), who is intent on killing her husband (Tom Powers). Their plan hits a major roadbump when the insurance investigator Barton Keyes (Edward G. Robinson) starts looking into the case.
NINOTCHKA is a classic romantic comedy, with a witty script and the legendary Greta Garbo in her first official American comedy. The charming film about clashing ideologies (Soviet communism vs. capitalism) tells the story of a no-nonsense diplomat of the Soviet Union, Nina Ivanovna “Ninotchka” Yakushova (Greta Garbo), who comes to Paris to ensure the sale of jewels seized during the Russian Revolution. At the same time, the carefree bachelor Count Leon d’Algout (Melvyn Douglas) tries to intercept the jewels on behalf of their former owner, the Grand Duchess Swana (Ina Claire). Despite their clashing allegiances, the icy Ninotchka soon warms to Leon’s charms, reluctantly going against her better judgment.
The sparkling screenplay that satirizes the Communist political system with clever innuendos was written by Billy Wilder (before he became a director), Charles Brackett and Walter Reisch, based on a screen story by Melchior Lengyel.
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