Films on US television: capsule reviews from the WSWS

4 September 2008

Listed below in alphabetical order are the nearly one thousand capsule film reviews, written and compiled by Marty Jonas and David Walsh, that appeared on the World Socialist Web Site between March 24, 1998 and December 24, 1999. They include most of the classic Hollywood films that show up on basic cable television in the US. They are posted here as a permanent resource.

12 Angry Men (1957)—Gripping film that takes place in only one room as 12 jurors struggle to reach a verdict. During the process each reveals his character. Great cast headed by Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, and E.G. Marshall. Directed by Sidney Lumet. (MJ)

20,000 Years in Sing Sing (1933)—Michael Curtiz' prison drama, with Spencer Tracy as a hardened criminal and Bette Davis as his girl-friend. (DW)

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)—Stanley Kubrick's science fiction epic. A space vehicle heads for Jupiter in search of aliens. One critic, somewhat unfairly, called it a project "so devoid of life and feeling as to render a computer called HAL the most sympathetic character in a jumbled scenario." Despite silly ending, the film is worth seeing. (DW)

2010 (1984)—A nuts-and-bolts sequel that tries (and fails) to answer the riddles of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Though it holds one's interest and is well made, it lacks the vision, magic, and mystery of the first film. With Keir Dullea, Roy Scheider, and John Lithgow. Directed by Peter Hyams. (MJ)

3:10 to Yuma (1957)—A modest, yet suspenseful western with Glenn Ford as an outlaw and Van Heflin as the farmer, in need of money, who agrees to watch him until the train arrives. Directed by Delmer Daves. (DW)

400 Blows, The (1959)—François Truffaut's semi-autobiographical film about a young boy in Paris suffering the slings and arrows of everyday, lower middle-class life. With Jean-Pierre Léaud. (DW)

42nd Street (1933)—Classic 30s musical, with Warner Baxter as ailing director and Ruby Keeler as the newcomer who is called on at the last moment when the star injures her ankle. With Dick Powell, directed by Lloyd Bacon. (DW)

5,000 Fingers of Dr. T, The (1953)—Charming fantasy film based on designs by chidren's book author Dr. Seuss. With Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Tommy Rettig, and the manic Hans Conried. (MJ)

99 River Street (1953)—The underrated Phil Karlson directed this crime drama. John Payne is a taxi driver who gets mixed up with jewel thieves and has to clear himself of a murder charge. With Evelyn Keyes, Frank Faylen. (DW)

Abominable Dr. Phibes, The (1971)—Vincent Price stars in this very strange, baroque horror film about a man who devises imaginative forms of revenge. Price's character has been injured in an accident, so he speaks but never moves his lips—an eerie touch. Directed by Robert Fuest. (MJ)

Abraham Lincoln (1930)—D.W. Griffith, director of the notorious pro-Ku Klux Klan Birth of a Nation, made this biography of the US president who freed the slaves. One commentator noted that his "art had become so deceptively simple by the time of Abraham Lincoln (1930) that most critics assumed he was in a state of stylistic decline." (DW)

Ace in the Hole (1951)—Billy Wilder's highly bitter film about a down-on-his-luck reporter who exploits a man trapped in a deep cave for the sake of a big story. Fifty years later, with the media even more ravenous and cynical, the film is still timely. Kirk Douglas is outstanding in the kind of snarling role he perfected. With Jan Sterling. Also known as The Big Carnival. (MJ)

Across the Pacific (1942)—World War II spy and action drama, with Humphrey Bogart as an army officer cashiered so that he can make contact with pro-Japanese forces. John Huston directed. (DW)

Act of Violence (1949)—Fred Zinnemann directed this well-meaning effort. Robert Ryan is a crippled, former soldier in pursuit of a former officer who betrayed his men while a prisoner. With Van Heflin, Janet Leigh, Mary Astor. (DW)

Actress, The (1953)—The film is based on the experiences of Ruth Gordon struggling to be a stage performer in the early part of the century in Massachusetts. With Jean Simmons, Spencer Tracy, and a youthful Anthony Perkins. George Cukor directed. (DW)

Adam's Rib (1949)—One of the stronger Spencer Tracy-Katharine Hepburn films, in which the two find themselves on opposing sides in the court case of a woman (the wonderful Judy Holliday) who has shot and wounded her philandering husband (Tom Ewell). Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin wrote the script; George Cukor directed. (DW)

Adventures of Baron Munchausen, The (1989)—The tall tales of the German baron are retold by Terry Gilliam in his typical brilliant but sprawling style. With John Neville and too much Robin Williams. (MJ)

Adventures of Robin Hood, The (1938)—Lively, eye-catching version of the Robin Hood story, with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Haviland, Basil Rathbone and Claude Rains. Directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, with an award-winning score by Wolfgang Korngold. (DW)

Affair to Remember, An (1957)—Leo McCarey directed this remake of his own 1939 Love Affair (Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer), this time with Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A shipboard romance has unexpected complications on land. Sentimental, but it has something. (DW)

After Hours (1985)—Griffin Dunne is a young upwardly mobile professional who has a rough night in lower Manhattan in Martin Scorsese's not terribly funny comedy. (DW)

After the Thin Man (1936)—Nick and Nora Charles (William Powell and Myrna Loy), the urbane detectives, go after a murderer in San Francisco. Based on the characters created by Dashiell Hammett. James Stewart is in this one, one of the better in the series. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. (DW)

Against All Odds (1984)—Decent remake of the 1947 film noir Out of the Past. Good performances by Jeff Bridges, Rachel Ward, and James Woods. Directed by Taylor Hackford. (MJ)

Age of Innocence, The (1993)—Martin Scorsese's disappointingly flat, unironic filming of Edith Wharton's extraordinary novel about New York society in the 1870s. Worth seeing, however. (DW)

Ah, Wilderness! (1935)—Based on the relatively lighthearted Eugene O'Neill play about turn-of-the-century small-town life. Directed by Clarence Brown, with Wallace Beery, Lionel Barrymore and Mickey Rooney. (DW)

Air Force (1943)—An early American World War II film, about the inner workings of a bomber crew. Typical Howard Hawks concern with a group of professionals at work. With Arthur Kennedy, John Garfield, George Tobias, Harry Carey. (DW)

Alexander Nevsky (1938)—Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein's famous film, about a 13th century Russian prince (Nikolai Cherkassov) who leads an army that repels Germanic invaders, obviously paralleling the contemporary situation. Some brilliant moments, but the Russian nationalism is hard to take. (DW)

Alfie (1966)—Somewhat unpleasant film about cockney playboy, played memorably by Michael Caine, from the play by Bill Naughton. With Shelley Winters, Jane Asher and Eleanor Bron, among others. Directed by Lewis Gilbert. (DW)

Algiers (1938)—John Cromwell directed this remake of the French Pepe Le Moko, about an elusive criminal living and loving in the casbah in Algiers. Police official uses Hedy Lamarr to lure Pepe (Charles Boyer) out of the quarter. (DW)

Alice Adams (1935)—Katharine Hepburn as social-climbing girl in George Cukor's filming of Booth Tarkington's novel. Memorable dinner-table scene, as Hepburn embarrassingly tries to impress wealthy Fred MacMurray. (DW)

Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More (1975)—Martin Scorsese directed this film about a widow, with a young son, who longs for a singing career and ends up a waitress in Phoenix. With Ellen Burstyn, Kris Kristofferson, Harvey Keitel, Jodie Foster. (DW)

Alien (1979)—A bloodthirsty alien creature pursues the crew members of a merchant space vessel. Beautifully done, one of the most frightening films ever made. Sigourney Weaver plays Ripley, one of the first smart and resourceful heroines in modern film. With Yaphet Kotto, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, and John Hurt. (MJ)

All About Eve (1950)—Joseph Mankiewicz wrote and directed this classic about backstabbing in the world of the theater. The dialogue is nonstop witty and incisive. Memorable performances by George Sanders and Bette Davis. (MJ)

All I Desire (1953)—Barbara Stanwyck is a woman who abandoned her family for a career on the stage and returns to her hometown for her daughter's graduation in this Douglas Sirk melodrama. (DW)

All My Sons (1948)—Irving Reis directed this adaptation of Arthur Miller's play about a returning soldier discovering his father's shady business practices. With Burt Lancaster and Edward G. Robinson. (DW)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)—Film adaptation of Erich Maria Remarque's anti-war novel about German youths' experiences as soldiers in World War I. Some memorable sequences, although the overall effect is not as strong as one would like. Directed by Lewis Milestone, with Lew Ayres. (DW)

All That Heaven Allows (1955)—Extraordinarily perceptive view of postwar America. Jane Wyman plays a rich woman in love with a gardener. Her children and friends do everything to disrupt the relationship. The scene in which her children give her a television as a present is a classic. Directed by Douglas Sirk, the basis for R.W. Fassbinder's Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. (DW)

All That Jazz (1979)—Choreographer/director Bob Fosse's overwrought autobiographical film about his mental and physical crackup. Not strictly speaking a musical, but it is filled with musical numbers—including a bizarre one occurring during the main character's open-heart surgery. With Roy Scheider and Ben Vereen. (MJ)

All the King's Men (1949)—Classic film about the rise and fall of a demagogic, opportunist politician in the South. Based on the life of Huey Long, the Louisiana populist who wielded great power in the 1930s before he was assassinated. Written and directed by Robert Rossen, from the novel by Robert PennWarren. Excellent performances by Broderick Crawford, Mercedes McCambridge, and John Ireland. (MJ)

All These Women (1964)—Somewhat heavy-handed Ingmar Bergman comedy, in which a womanizing musician agrees to have a biography written about him. The women in his life intrude on the process. With Jarl Kulle, Harriet Andersson, Bibi Andersson. (DW)

Alternate title: Heaven and Hell.

Amarcord (1974)—Fellini's semi-autobiographical work about a small town in Italy under Mussolini. An extraordinary film. (DW)

America, America (1963)—Elia Kazan's account of the immigrant experience, based on his uncle's emigration in the late 19th century. (DW)

American Friend, The (1977)—One of German director Wim Wenders' most interesting films, about the problem of American influence in Europe. Dennis Hopper's Ripley, a shady character, and Bruno Ganz's German picture-framer are thrown together in a criminal enterprise. Based on the novels of Patricia Highsmith. With Lisa Kreuzer and Gerard Blain. (DW)

American Gigolo (1980)—Paul Schrader wrote and directed this flawed but fasinating study of an upscale male prostitute. Starring Richard Gere. (MJ)

American Graffiti (1973)—A film that probably had a negative effect on the course of American film-making, this is director George Lucas' entertaining fantasy about teenage life in California in the 1950s. With Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul LeMat, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark. (DW)

American in Paris, An (1951)—Classic MGM musical directed by Vincente Minnelli and built around its Gershwin score; Alan Jay Lerner wrote the screenplay. Gene Kelly is an artist torn between gamine Leslie Caron and wealthy Nina Foch. With the irrepressible Oscar Levant. (DW)

Anatomy of a Murder (1959)—Otto Preminger directed this absorbing courtroom drama. James Stewart is the defense lawyer; Ben Gazzara, Lee Remick and Arthur O'Connell co-star. Duke Ellington wrote the score. Rather daring in its day. (DW)

Andersonville (1996)—John Frankenheimer's made-for-television film about the Confederate prison camp where 13,000 Union soldiers died from disease, starvation and brutality. (DW)

Andromeda Strain, The (1971)—One of the first techno-thrillers, by veteran director Robert Wise, about a terrestrial virus that could wipe out humankind. (MJ)

Angel Face (1952)—An extravagant Otto Preminger melodrama, about a murderous girl who does in her father and stepmother. With Jean Simmons, Robert Mitchum, Herbert Marshall. Described as "a lyrical nightmare" by one critic. (DW)

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)—Michael Curtiz directed this story of gangsters and slum kids. James Cagney is the gangster who pretends to be a coward on his way to the electric chair to scuttle his reputation with the kids. (DW)

Anna Christie (1930)—Greta Garbo is charming, in her first speaking part, as the woman with a past who returns to her father and the sea, and falls in love. Based on the Eugene O'Neill play. Directed turgidly by Clarence Brown; with Charles Bickford. (DW)

Anna Karenina (1935)—A superficial and turgid version of the Tolstoy novel. But anything with Greta Garbo is of interest. Clarence Brown, for some reason Garbo's favorite, directed the film. (DW)

Annie Hall (1977)—Woody Allen's first serious effort, a semi-autobiographical film about his life and loves, likes and dislikes. Diane Keaton memorably plays his girlfriend. (DW)

Apache (1954)—Pro-Indian film about an Apache (Burt Lancaster) who wages a one-man war against the US government and military for his tribe's rights. With Jean Peters and John McIntire. (DW)

Apartment, The (1960)—Billy Wilder's cynical-sentimental comedy-drama about a corporate lackey (Jack Lemmon) who tries to climb the company ladder by loaning his apartment to his bosses for their trysts. He falls for Shirley MacLaine. Fred MacMurray is memorable as a particularly unpleasant company executive. (DW)

Apocalypse Now (1979)—Overrated and overblown Vietnam war film by Francis Ford Coppola, based loosely on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. Special agent Martin Sheen is sent into Cambodia to find maverick US officer, played by Marlon Brando, and dispatch him. The film perhaps says more about Coppola and his circle than it does about Vietnam. Worth viewing. (DW)

Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, The (1974)—Richard Dreyfuss, in an early role, plays a canny, upwardly striving young man in the Jewish section of Montreal. Ted Kotcheff directed, and Mordecai Richler wrote the screenplay from his own novel. (MJ)

Arch of Triumph (1948)—Charles Boyer and Ingrid Bergman falling for each other in wartime France, from the novel by Erich Maria Remarque. Directed by the stolid Lewis Milestone. (DW)

Arise My Love (1940)—Odd film with Claudette Colbert rescuing Ray Milland from a Spanish firing squad as World War II begins. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett wrote the script, Mitchell Leisen directed. (DW)

Arizona Dream (1993)—Yugoslav director Emir Kusturica (Underground) directed this self-consciously offbeat film about a drifter (Johnny Depp), his car salesman uncle (Jerry Lewis), and an oddball mother and daughter (Faye Dunaway and Lili Taylor). (DW)

Arsene Lupin (1932)—Jack Conway directed this trifle about detectives and jewel thieves in Paris. The first film pairing of John and Lionel Barrymore; with Karen Morley. (DW)

Artists and Models (1955)—An extravagant Frank Tashlin cartoon, with Jerry Lewis, Dean Martin, Dorothy Malone and Shirley MacLaine. (DW)

As You Desire Me (1932)—Fairly inept version of a Pirandello play, directed by George Fitzmaurice, about an amnesiac returning to a husband she doesn't remember. Greta Garbo has some memorable moments as the woman, with Melvyn Douglas and Erich von Stroheim. (DW)

Asphalt Jungle, The (1950)—One of the best jewel heist films, and one of director John Huston's best. With Sterling Hayden and Louis Calhern (who has the best line: "Crime is nothing but a left-handed form of endeavor"). (MJ)

Assassination of Trotsky, The (1972)—Former Stalinist Joseph Losey's superficial and distorted account of the last year in the life of the great Russian revolutionary, with Richard Burton. (DW)

At Long Last Love (1975)—Burt Reynolds and Cybill Shepherd can neither sing nor dance—they are definitely not Astaire and Rogers. Still, it's fun to watch them mangle Cole Porter's beautiful music and lyrics. Peter Bogdanovich's glitzy, expensive film proves that a warm affection for 1930's film musicals is not enough. One of the great bombs. With Madeline Kahn (often funny, despite her material) and John Hillerman. (MJ)

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)—Mike Myers plays a double role in this consistently amusing sendup of James Bond movies and the manners and styles of the 1970s. (MJ)

Autumn Sonata (1978)—Ingrid Bergman (in her last film) is a concert pianist who faces the daughter she's neglected in this somewhat tired and cliched.work by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. (DW)

Avanti! (1972)—One of Billy Wilder's later films, about an American millionaire (Jack Lemmon) who travels to Italy to claim his dead father's body and falls for the latter's mistress. (DW)

Awful Truth, The (1937)—Classic screwball comedy. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne divorce, and plan to re-wed. Each does his or her best to interfere in the other's life. Ralph Bellamy is memorable as Dunne's would-be Oklahoman of a husband. Perhaps Leo McCarey's best film. (DW)

Babes in Arms (1939)—One of the original "Hey, kids, let's put on a show" movies, with Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland as teenagers of vaudeville parents. Busby Berkeley directed with his customary energy. (DW)

Bachelor Mother (1939)—Ginger Rogers plays a sales clerk who discovers an abandoned baby and is assumed to be its mother. David Niven plays the store-owner's son in this fairly sharp-eyed work, directed by Garson Kanin. (DW)

Back Street (1941)—One of the great tear-jerkers of all time in its second and lesser version, directed by Robert Stevenson. Margaret Sullavan is the "back street" woman having an affair with married Charles Boyer. (DW)

Badlanders, The (1958)—A minor, but well-made Delmer Daves Western, with Alan Ladd and Ernest Borgnine planning a gold robbery in Arizona at the turn of the century. Each attempts to outsmart the other. With Katy Jurado and Claire Kelly. (DW)

Badlands (1973)—Terrence Malick's strangely idyllic recounting of a killing spree in the 1950s Midwest. Martin Sheen plays the main character, based on killer Charles Starkweather, and Sissy Spacek plays his teenaged girlfriend, who narrates the film with naive, romantic passages from her diary. Beautifully photographed. (MJ)

Band of Angels (1957)—A remarkably complex look at black-and-white relations in Civil War America. Clark Gable plays a Southern gentleman with a past as a slave trader, Yvonne DeCarlo is a Southern belle who discovers she has black ancestors and Sidney Poitier is an educated slave. Directed by Raoul Walsh, from the novel by Robert Penn Warren. (DW)

Band Wagon, The (1953)—Superior Fred Astaire vehicle about a film star trying to make a comeback on Broadway. This is the film that featured the song "That's Entertainment!" Some sharp satire on Broadway pretensions of the time. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. With Cyd Charisse and Jack Buchanan (particularly good). (MJ)

Bank Dick, The (1940)—Eddie Cline directed, but the mastermind here is W.C. Fields, who wrote the screenplay and starred. Fields is a lowlife who gets a job as a bank guard; Grady Sutton is his prospective son-in-law, Franklin Pangborn a put-upon bank inspector. (DW)

Barbarians at the Gate (1993)—James Garner is outstanding in this saga of the 1980s, about the corporate piracy that led to the takeover of RJR Nabisco. Larry Gelbart wrote the witty screenplay for the made-for-cable film. (MJ)

Barefoot Contessa, The (1954)—A trashy effort by Joseph L. Mankiewicz that pretends to tell some hard truths about Hollywood. Great fun, though, and some memorable lines. With Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart, and Edmond O'Brien. (MJ)

Baron of Arizona, The (1950)—In the great Samuel Fuller's intense film, a swindler tries to use forged land grant documents to grab the entire Arizona Territory. With Vincent Price, Ellen Drew, and Reed Hadley. (MJ)

Barretts of Wimpole Street, The (1934)—Sidney Franklin directed this stolid and tasteful MGM production, the story of the romance between poets Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett in Victorian England. With Norma Shearer, Fredric March and Charles Laughton. (DW)

Barry Lyndon (1975)—An intelligent adaptation of William Thackeray's novel about an 18th-century scoundrel who gets his comeuppance, directed by Stanley Kubrick. (DW)

Barton Fink (1991)—One of the Coen brothers' weakest and most inadvertently revealing efforts, a cynical look at a socially conscious playwright working in Hollywood in the 1930s, and the "American reality" he uncovers. With John Turturro, John Goodman. (DW)

Battle Cry (1955)—Raoul Walsh World War II melodrama, about the lives and loves of a group of Marines getting ready for battle, with Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, Tab Hunter and Dorothy Malone. (DW)

Battleground (1949)—William Wellman directed this dramatic reenactment of World War II's Battle of the Bulge. The large cast includes Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Ricardo Montalban and George Murphy. (DW)

Battleship Potemkin (1925)—Sergei Eisenstein's monumental film about the naval mutiny and the consequent participation of the masses in pre-Revolutionary Russia. Exciting and essential viewing. (MJ)

Beat the Devil (1954)—Humphrey Bogart, Robert Morley and Peter Lorre team up in this cynical John Huston film about a group of lowlifes planning to acquire land rich in uranium deposits. (DW)

Beau Geste (1939)—A story of the French Foreign Legion, filmed two other times. William Wellman directed this version, with Gary Cooper, Ray Milland and Robert Preston. (DW)

Before Sunrise (1995)—A remarkable work. An American man and a French woman (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) meet on a train going through Germany, and she agrees to get out in Vienna to wait with him for his U.S. flight the next morning. The whole film is then filled with their conversation and eventual lovemaking (which is low-key and unsensational). Much of the talk is banal and young, but it centers on the universal subjects of birth, death, love, and sex. The film creates its own special moment in Vienna; and when the couple first decide never to see each other again, but then resolve to meet at the same place next year, we are uncertain and know it could go either way. Like life, the film wanders in all directions and has no certain resolution. Directed by the talented Richard Linklater. (MJ)

Beggar's Opera, The (1953)—Laurence Olivier in something of an oddity, John Gay's 18th century work, brought to the screen by famed theater director Peter Brook ( Marat/Sade et al). Play that inspired Brecht/Weill's Threepenny Opera. (DW)

Beguiled, The (1971)—Don Siegel directed this film about a wounded Confederate solider (Clint Eastwood) who meets his emotional and physical match when he is tended to by a school full of women. Geraldine Page and Elizabeth Hartman co-star. (DW)

Bells Are Ringing (1960)—Delightful Comden-Green musical about an operator at a telephone answering service who falls in love with one of her clients. Starring Judy Holliday, whose early death robbed us of a significant musical talent. With Dean Martin. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. (MJ)

Bells of St. Mary's, The (1945)—If you can bear the sentimentality of this Leo McCarey film about the doings of priests and nuns, it has its pleasures. With Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman. The sequel to Going My Way. (DW)

Ben-Hur (1959)—Turgid retelling of Lew Wallace's "epic." Charlton Heston stars as the Jew Ben-Hur and Stephen Boyd as Messala, who remains loyal to Rome. Famous for its chariot-race. Directed by William Wyler. (DW)

Bend of the River (1952)—Excellent Anthony Mann-James Stewart collaboration. Stewart is former outlaw guiding wagon trains west; Arthur Kennedy is his ex-partner in crime who now steals settlers' supplies. Remarkable moral drama about what violent events do to people and the choices they have. (DW)

Berlin Express (1948)—Spy drama set in postwar Germany, as agents from a number of countries attempt to rescue politician kidnapped by Nazi underground. With Robert Ryan, Merle Oberon and Paul Likas. Directed by Jacques Tourneur. (DW)

Best Intentions, The (1992)—Bille August directed this film, written by Ingmar Bergman, about the courtship and marriage of Bergman's parents, in early 20th century Sweden. With Samuel Froler, Pernilla August. (DW)

Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946)—William Wyler's occasionally affecting drama about ex-servicemen in postwar America. With Fredric March, Dana Andrews, Myrna Loy, Virginia Mayo and Teresa Wright. (DW)

Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970)—A Russ Meyers extravaganza, more or less about a female rock trio trying to make it in Hollywood. Not for the tastefully inclined. (DW)

Bhowani Junction (1956)—Stewart Granger and Ava Gardner as star-crossed lovers in this melodrama about postwar India. Directed by George Cukor. (DW)

Bicycle Thief, The (1948)—Vittorio de Sica's great film helped usher in the period of neo-realism in Italy. A poster hanger's bicycle—essential to his livelihood—is stolen, and he and his son search the streets of Rome for the thief. It is all set against the background of widespread postwar unemployment. A beautiful and moving film. With Lianella Carell, Lamberto Maggiorani, and Enzo Staiola. (MJ)

Big Carnival, The (1951)—Billy Wilder's highly bitter film about a down-on-his-luck reporter who exploits a man trapped in a deep cave for the sake of a big story. Fifty years later, with the media even more ravenous and cynical, the film is still timely. Kirk Douglas is outstanding in the kind of snarling role he perfected. With Jan Sterling. Also known as Ace in the Hole. (MJ)

Big Clock, The (1948)—Reporter investigating a murder case finds he is actually hunting himself; the murderer, his publisher, has set him up. Excellent suspense film, directed by John Farrow, adapted from the novel by poet Kenneth Fearing. With Ray Milland, Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Sullivan, and George Macready. (MJ)

Big Heat, The (1953)—Fritz Lang film about a policeman (Glenn Ford) who sets out to break up a crime ring and pays a heavy price. Lee Marvin is chilling as a tough guy, Gloria Grahame is excellent as a mob girl who turns good. (DW)

Big House, The (1930)—Called by one critic "the most powerful prison movie of all time," the film, directed by George Hill, stars Wallace Beery and Chester Morris. Prisoners stage such a powerful revolt that army tanks have to be called in. The censors would never again allow "such massive violence in the screen's penal system." (DW)

Big Knife, The (1955)—Robert Aldrich turns Clifford Odets' overheated play about the ruthless treatment by a Hollywood producer of a talented screen star into a fine film. Jack Palance gives a good, intense performance as the star; Rod Steiger goes all out as the venomous, manipulative white-haired producer (apparently based on Sam Goldwyn); and Wendell Corey plays the producer's weasely flunky. With Ida Lupino. (MJ)

Big Lebowski, The (1998)—A lovable, sprawling mess of a film by the Coen brothers about mistaken identity and bowling. Generally hilarious. With Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, and Steve Buscemi. (MJ)

Big Parade, The (1925)—King Vidor directed this powerful silent work about World War I, with John Gilbert as an American soldier who comes of age in the fighting. With Renee Adoree, Hobart Bosworth and Claire McDowell. (DW)

Big Picture, The (1988)—A recently graduated film student tries to succeed in Hollywood. Many hilarious moments. Starring Kevin Bacon, Martin Short, and J.T. Walsh. Directed by Christopher Guest. (MJ)

Big Red One, The (1980)—Sam Fuller's war film, semi-autobiographical, about an infantry squadron doing battle in World War II. A vivid account. With Lee Marvin. (DW)

Big Sky, The (1952)—One of Howard Hawks' most unsettling Westerns. For the first hour and a half the film seems simply to be a picturesque adventure story, then Hawks makes something different out of it. With Kirk Douglas, Dewey Martin, Arthur Hunnicutt and Elizabeth Threatt. (DW)

Big Sleep, The (1945)—Howard Hawks' version of Raymond Chandler novel, with a script again by Faulkner. Detective Philip Marlowe (Bogart) becomes involved with wealthy girl (Bacall) and her spoiled, irresponsible sister. Don't bother to figure out who did the murders, the director reportedly wasn't certain. (DW)

Big Steal, The (1949)—Crime drama, in which Robert Mitchum is chasing a payroll robber and is, in turn, chased by William Bendix. Jane Greer provides the love interest. Directed by Don Siegel. (DW)

Big Trail, The (1930)—An early sound picture, with John Wayne, in his first starring role, shepherding a flock of pioneers westward. Somewhat stiff and awkward, but with very nice touches. Directed with his customary vigor by Raoul Walsh. (DW)

Bill of Divorcement, A (1932)—Early George Cukor film about a man released from a mental institution who meets his strong-willed daughter. Katharine Hepburn's film debut. (DW)

Birds, The (1963)—Alfred Hitchcock's terrifying drama about swarms of birds attacking humans in a small northern California town. With Rod Taylor, Tippi Hedren and Jessica Tandy. (DW)

Birth of a Nation, The (1915)—D.W. Griffith directed this film about events before and after the Civil War. The film, impossibly racist, revolutionized Hollywood film-making. With Lillian Gish. (DW)

Black Angel (1946)—Woman tries desperately to prove that her husband did not kill another man's wife. Based on a story by Cornell Woolrich and directed by Roy William Neill, the film stars Dan Duryea, June Vincent, Peter Lorre, Broderick Crawford and Wallace Ford. (DW)

Black Fury (1935)—A fascinating film, a little bit of Proletarian Culture created in Hollywood. Paul Muni is a immigrant coal miner at war with the union. In the end, he stages his own one-man sit-down strike. With Karen Morley, Barton MacLane, J. Carrol Naish. Directed by Michael Curtiz. (DW)

Black Orpheus (1958)—Much was made of this French-Brazilian film at the time, a version of the Orpheus-Euridice story, set in Rio during carnival. Romance between a street-car conductor and a country girl. Directed by Marcel Camus. (DW)

Blackboard Jungle, The (1955)—Glenn Ford is a high school teacher in an inner-city school in this social realist film. He deals with violence, racism and threats against his family. With Anne Francis, Vic Morrow, Sidney Poitier, Louis Calhern, Richard Kiley; directed by Richard Brooks. (DW)

Blood and Wine (1996)—Jack Nicholson plays a bankrupt wine merchant pulling off a jewel heist with an over-the-hill, nerved-up safecracker (Michael Caine, in an unusual role as a murderous heavy). With Judy Davis and Stephen Dorff. Another neglected film by underrated director Bob Rafelson. (MJ)

Blowup (1966)—Vanesse Redgrave and David Hemmings in Michelangelo Antonioni's film about art, artists, and truth. A photographer spots a killing in one of his shots, but the picture disappears. (DW)

Blue Angel, The (1930)—Josef von Sternberg's classic, adapted from a novel by Heinrich Mann, about a middle-aged professor (Emil Jannings) who falls for a night-club singer (Marlene Dietrich). (DW)

Blue Collar (1978)—Paul Schrader (screenwriter of Taxi Driver, among other films) wrote and directed this work about corruption in an auto union in Detroit. Richard Pryor and Harvey Keitel co-starred. (DW)

Blue Dahlia, The (1946)—Raymond Chandler scripted this melodrama which sees discharged serviceman Alan Ladd come home to his unfaithful wife. When she is murdered, he becomes a suspect. With Veronica Lake and William Bendix. George Marshall directed the film, and John Houseman produced. (DW)

Blue Velvet (1986)—This is the quirky film that launched director David Lynch's career. It was then a short jump to his influential, idiosyncratic TV series "Twin Peaks." And then he flickered out like a shooting star. With Dennis Hopper. (MJ)

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)—Paul Mazursky's comic, perceptive look at the sexual mores of the American middle class in the 1960s. With Robert Culp, Natalie Wood, Elliott Gould, and Dyan Cannon. (MJ)

Body Double (1984)—Another homage to Hitchcock by the talented Brian De Palma—this time, however, unnecessarily violent, especially in the early scenes. (MJ)

Body Heat (1981)—Lawrence Kasdan directed this latter-day film noir, with William Hurt as a Florida lawyer manipulated by femme fatale Kathleen Turner (in her debut). Not as good as any of the films it pays homage to, but better than most of the other imitations. (DW)

Body Snatcher, The (1945)—One of the Val Lewton-produced thrillers, with Henry Daniell as a doctor forced to deal with the nefarious Boris Karloff to obtain cadavers for his work. Based on the Robert Louis Stevenson short story; directed by dull Robert Wise. (DW)

Bonjour Tristesse (1958)—A critical and disturbing look at post-war morals and manners, with a memorable performance by Jean Seberg as a selfish teen-ager determined to break up her playboy father's romance. (DW)

Border Incident (1949)—US and Mexican officials team up to crack down on smuggling of immigrants across the border. Anthony Mann directed, with Ricardo Montalban, George Murphy, Charles McGraw. (DW)

Bound (1996)—A fine first film by brothers Andy and Larry Machowski. Cinematically, it's a bit of a show-off, but it all works, re-mining familiar film noir elements. A mob money-launderer's mistress and her ex-con lesbian lover conspire to run off with the mobster's loot. Played broadly, and often with humor, by Jennifer Tilly, Gina Gershon, and Joe Pantoliano. (MJ)

Boys in Company C, The (1978)—One of the better realistic films about the Vietnam War. Avoids the cliches of most other war films. With James Whitmore, Jr. and Stan Shaw. Directed by Sidney J. Furie. (MJ)

Brazil (1985)—Brilliant, undisciplined satire by Terry Gilliam about a future dystopia that strangely resembles the Great Depression of the 1930s and other bleak periods of the recent past. Starring Jonathan Pryce and Michael Palin. (MJ)

Breakdown (1997)—Suspenseful thriller in which the wife of a meek computer programmer (played by Kurt Russell) disappears during a cross-country trip. One of the last performances by the late, great character actor J.T. Walsh. (MJ)

Breaker Morant (1979)—Australian film, directed by Bruce Beresford, about three soldiers in Boer War court-martialed for murdering prisoners. With Edward Woodward and Bryan Brown. (DW)

Breaking Away (1979)—Intelligent story of group of "townies" in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. Directed by Peter Yates. (DW)

Bride Wore Black, The (1967)—On the day of their marriage, a woman's husband is shot dead in front of the church. From that day on, the bride (Jeanne Moreau) methodically devotes herself to finding and punishing the snipers. A suspenseful film about obsession and revenge, directed by François Truffaut from the novel by Cornell Woolrich. (MJ)

Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)—Tedious David Lean epic about British soldiers, prisoners of the Japanese, who are forced to build a bridge. Alec Guinness is their obsessive commander. (DW)

Brigadoon (1954)—Vincente Minnelli's rendition of the Lerner and Loewe musical about two hikers (Gene Kelly and Van Johnson) in Scotland who happen upon a village that comes to life every 300 years. Colorful and charming, but suffers badly from being shot on an obvious Hollywood soundstage. Also starrring Cyd Charisse. (MJ)

Bright Leaf (1950)—Michael Curtiz directed this interesting saga about the tobacco industry in the 19th century. Gary Cooper, seeking revenge on old enemies and old lovers, builds a cigarette empire. With Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal, Jack Carson. (DW)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)—Classic screwball comedy, with Katharine Hepburn as bedazzling, eccentric heiress and Cary Grant as the sedate zoologist whose life she turns upside down. Howard Hawks directed this comedy of sex and morals. (DW)

Brink of Life (1958)—Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's look at the lives of three women in a maternity ward awaiting childbirth. Each faces a critical point in her life. With Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson. (DW)

Broadway Melody of 1936 (1936)—Eleanor Powell's astonishing and slightly intimidating tap-dancing highlights this revue. Insofar as there is a story, it concerns gossip columnist Jack Benny's efforts to frame producer Robert Taylor. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. (DW)

Broadway Melody of 1938 (1938)—Eleanor Powell tap-dances her way to immortality and Judy Garland sings show-stopping "Dear Mr. Gable" in this star-studded film. With Robert Taylor, Buddy Ebsen, Sophie Tucker, Robert Benchley et al. (DW)

Brothers McMullen, The (1995)—In the suburbs of New York City, three brothers, temporarily living in the same house, struggle to make sense of their relationships with the women in their lives. This small, independent film is strong on character and full of well-written, often funny dialogue, primarily about sexual relationships, family, love, and the Catholic Church. The brothers are played by Edward Burns (who also wrote and directed), Mike McGlone, and Jack Mulcahy. (MJ)

Browning Version, The (1951)—Michael Redgrave gives a remarkable performance as maligned teacher in Anthony Asquith's film. (DW)

Brute Force (1947)—Jules Dassin's prison drama with Burt Lancaster, Charles Bickford, Yvonne DeCarlo and Hume Cronyn as brutal prison official. Scripted by Richard Brooks. (DW)

Buccaneer, The (1938)—Cecil B. DeMille presided over this film about Jean LaFitte, the pirate who aided the American side in the War of 1812. With Fredric March, Franciska Gaal, Margot Grahame and Akim Tamiroff. (DW)

Buchanan Rides Alone (1958)—Another of the renowned Budd Boetticher-Randolph Scott-Harry Joe Brown westerns. This time Scott battles a corrupt family in a town on the Mexican border. (DW)

Bullets over Broadway (1994)—Woody Allen film set in the 1920s about a playwright who will do practically anything to have his play produced, including casting a gangster's girl-friend. Overdone and not as funny as it should be. With John Cusack, Dianne Wiest, Jennifer Tilly, Chazz Palminteri. (DW)

Burglar, The (1956)—A forgotten, suspenseful film about a heist—full of stunning visual effects, some obviously inspired by Orson Welles. Starring Dan Duryea (a frequent talent in film noir) and Jane Mansfield. From the novel by David Goodis. Directed by Paul Wendkos. (MJ)

Burnt by the Sun (1994)—Nikita Mikhalkov's film, in which he plays the leading role, about a Soviet leader in 1936 brought face to face with the realities of Stalinism. (DW)

Caged (1950)—In the words of one critic, a "minor classic of repression." A prison drama, with Eleanor Parker, Agnes Moorehead and Hope Emerson. Directed by John Cromwell. (DW)

Call Northside 777 (1948)—A solid, matter-of-fact drama about a reporter (James Stewart) righting a wrong: proving that a convicted killer is innocent. With Richard Conte and Lee J. Cobb. (DW)

Cameraman, The (1928)—A late silent film with Buster Keaton as a love-sick newsreel cameraman. Edward Sedgwick directed, and this is not considered one of Keaton's major films, but none of his films should be missed. (DW)

Camille (1937)—Perhaps Greta Garbo's finest film. She plays Dumas' tragic courtesan, forced to give up her love, a young man from a "good family," for the sake of his family's honor. Robert Taylor and Lionel Barrymore are adequate, but Henry Daniell enlivens the proceedings as the villain. Directed by George Cukor. (DW)

Canadian Bacon (1995)—To divert attention from domestic problems the US president (Alan Alda) and his advisers cook up a scheme to launch a war against a most unlikely enemy, Canada. John Candy has several marvelous moments as a red-blooded American patriot, but, all in all, Michael Moore's script and direction are too buffoonish. (DW)

Canyon Passage (1946)—Stylish Jacques Tourneur directed this Western set in Oregon about settlers facing Indian attacks and the consequences of white man's greed. With Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward and Dana Andrews. (DW)

Cape Fear (1962)—Robert Mitchum is the best thing about this film, playing a menacing ex-convict in a Southern town who blames lawyer Gregory Peck for his jailing, and plots revenge. Directed by J. Lee Thompson; with Polly Bergen and Martin Balsam. Based on a John D. MacDonald novel, music by Bernard Herrmann. (DW)

Cape Fear (1991)—Martin Scorsese directed this ambitious, but overblown and generally unsuccessful remake of the 1962 J. Lee Thompson-Robert Mitchum-Gregory Peck film. This time Nick Nolte is a lawyer whose family is stalked by a vicious ex-convict (Robert De Niro). Jessica Lange is Nolte's wife, Juliette Lewis his daughter. (DW)

Captain Horatio Hornblower (1951)—Raoul Walsh directed this sea epic set in the Napoleonic wars, based on the C.S. Forester novels, in his vivid, muscular style. Some remarkable sequences. The normally dull Gregory Peck is well-cast as Hornblower. (DW)

Captain Lightfoot (1955)—Rock Hudson is a somewhat unlikely 19th century Irish rebel in Douglas Sirk's costume drama. With Barbara Rush and Jeff Morrow. Made in Ireland with Sirk's usual visual precision and beauty. (DW)

Carnival of Souls (1962)—Effective very low-budget horror film shot with an unknown cast at a deserted amusement park in Lawrence, Kansas. Directed by Herk Harvey. (MJ)

Carousel (1956)—Hollywood turned a great dark Broadway musical into a perky feel-good film. Most of the Rodgers and Hammerstein songs are intact, however. Starring Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones. Directed by Henry King. (MJ)

Carrie (1976)—Director Brian De Palma can never entirely restrain himself, but this film is more interesting than most of his others. Sissy Spacek plays a high school misfit, equipped with telekinetic powers, who wreaks revenge on her tormentors. Piper Laurie, a fine actress, is memorable as her mother. (DW)

Casablanca (1942)—The Michael Curtiz classic about life and love in wartime Morocco, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. (DW)

Casino (1995)—Martin Scorsese directed this story about gambling and thugs in Las Vegas in the 1970s. The first ten minutes are spectacular. The drama never really gets going, in the director's typical fashion. With Robert De Niro, Sharon Stone, Joe Pesci, James Woods. (DW)

Cat People (1942)—The first of the Val Lewton-produced horror films, directed with considerable elegance by Jacques Tourneur. Extraordinary moments of psychological terror. (DW)

Champ, The (1931)—Wallace Beery is an over-the-hill boxer and Jackie Cooper his adoring son in this sentimental, but very moving work, directed by King Vidor. (DW)

Champion (1949)—Effective boxing drama, with Kirk Douglas as selfish, ambitious fighter determined to get to the top and stay there. Paul Stewart is his friend whom he betrays. Directed by Mark Robson. (DW)

Charade (1963)—Delightful Hitchcockian light thriller directed by Stanley Donen. Starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, and Walter Matthau. (MJ)

Charge of the Light Brigade, The (1936)—Historically distorted, but surprisingly moving account of British soldiers in colonial India and the Crimean War. With Errol Flynn and Olivia de Haviland, directed by Michael Curtiz. (DW)

Charley Varrick (1973)—A modest, intelligent Don Siegel action picture, superior to most films of the 1970s. Varrick is a smalltime crook who robs money from the Mob by accident. With Joe Don Baker, as a menacing hitman, Sheree North and John Vernon. (DW)

Charlie Bubbles (1968)—British actor Albert Finney's directing debut, about a married and unhappy writer who begins an affair with Liza Minnelli, as his secretary. It has moving moments. (DW)

Children of Paradise (1945)—Famous film begun during the Nazi occupation of France; director Marcel Carné and screen writer Jacques Prévert tell story of 19th century French acting troupe and its star (Arletty), loved by three men. Legendary Jean-Louis Barrault plays the mime who achieves great fame. (DW)

Chimes at Midnight (1966)—Orson Welles directed this synthesis of five of ShakespeareÕs plays, and stars as the rotund, knavish character Sir John Falstaff as well. It remains one of the best film adaptations of Shakespeare. The battle scenes, mostly occurring in the mud, are especially harrowing. With Jeanne Moreau, John Gielgud, and Margaret Rutherford. (MJ)

Chinatown (1974)—The best example of modern film noir. A convoluted tale of incest, corruption, and the fight over access to southern California water. Jack Nicholson plays the private detective. With Faye Dunaway, John Huston. Directed by Roman Polanski. (MJ)

Christopher Strong (1933)—Katherine Hepburn stars as an aviatrix in love with a married man. A dated film, the work of one of Hollywood's first female directors, Dorothy Arzner. (DW)

Cimarron (1931)—Dated early sound Western epic; a version of Edna Ferber's account of an American family living on the frontier in Oklahoma 1890-1915. Wesley Ruggles directed; with Richard Dix hamming it up, and Irene Dunne. (DW)

Cincinnati Kid, The (1965)—Norman Jewison directed this film about a big poker game in New Orleans. The performances of Steve McQueen, Tuesday Weld and Edward G. Robinson are the best things in the film. (DW)

Circus, The (1928)—Underrated film, with Chaplin accidentally joining a circus troupe and falling in love with the bareback rider. (DW)

Citadel, The (1938)—King Vidor's moving and insightful adaptation of the A. J. Cronin novel about an idealistic doctor who experiences a few disappointments in a mining village and opts to treat the wealthy and hypochondriacal instead. With Robert Donat and Rosalind Russell. (DW)

Citizen Kane (1941)—Orson Welles' classic work, the tragic story of a newspaper tycoon with delusions of grandeur. Based loosely on the life of millionaire William Randolph Hearst, the film was essentially suppressed when it came out. (DW)

City Lights (1931)—Chaplin's tramp in love with a blind flower girl. Sentimental, but unforgettable. (DW)

City of Industry (1997)—Harvey Keitel gives an excellent performance (almost a reprise of his role in Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs) as an old-school criminal at the end of his career. Otherwise, this is a competently made film about a jewel heist and its aftermath, set in the rundown Los Angeles that is becoming familiar to moviegoers. Directed by John Irvin. (MJ)

Clash by Night (1952)—Fritz Lang directed this melodrama which sees Barbara Stanwyck, as a woman bored with her fisherman husband Paul Douglas, suddenly taken with Douglas' cynical friend (Robert Ryan). Clifford Odets wrote the story. (DW)

Clock, The (1945)—A charming wartime story set in New York City. Robert Walker, a soldier on two-day leave, meets and falls for Judy Garland. They spend the day and night (innocently) together. Vincente Minnelli directed with extraordinary style. (DW)

Clockwork Orange, A (1971)—Stanley Kubrick's brilliant but thoroughly nasty film about a sadistic young street thug (Malcolm McDowell) in the near future turned into a passive, spiritless citizen by means of a cruel form of aversion therapy. In the process, he also loses his ability to enjoy Beethoven. Kubrick adapted this from the novel by Anthony Burgess, and Burgess always hated the result. (MJ)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)—Steven Spielberg's special-effects-filled take on UFO sighting as a religious experience. Starring Richard Dreyfuss. (MJ)

Cluny Brown (1946)—Ernst Lubitsch's comedy about the relationship between Jennifer Jones, an orphan, and Charles Boyer, a Czech refugee and professor, in England before the Second World War. Anything by Lubitsch should be seen. (DW)

Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)—Sissy Spacek, who did her own singing, is excellent in this slightly sanitized biography of country singer Loretta Lynn, born in poverty in Kentucky. Tommy Lee Jones as her husband, Beverly D'Angelo as Patsy Cline and Levon Helm as her coal-miner father also stand out. Directed by Michael Apted. (DW)

Cold Comfort Farm (1995)—Hilarious made-for-TV film by John Schlesinger sends up all the books and films that have romanticized British rustic life. A young woman (Kate Beckinsale) in London, recently orphaned, decides to move in with eccentric relatives at Cold Comfort Farm (down the road from the Hanged Man Tavern) in order to experience life as it is really lived. The farm is horribly run down, the inhabitants' existence is brutish and depressed, and the young relative from the city decides to change their lives. Ian McKellen is particularly good as a Bible-thumping preacher, as is Joanna Lumley playing the sophisticated friend in the city. Stephen Fryer keeps popping up as an aesthete who quotes Jane Austen and D.H. Lawrence. From the novel by Stella Gibbons. (MJ)

Coma (1978)—A paranoid view of doctors as body snatchers. Directed by Michael Crichton (trained as a doctor, went on to create the TV show "ER"), starring Genevieve Bujold, Richard Widmark, and Michael Douglas. (MJ)

Compulsion (1959)—Richard Brooks' fictionalized account of the Leopold-Loeb "thrill" killings of the 1920s. Best thing about the film is Orson Welles in Clarence Darrow role. (DW)

Confessions of a Nazi Spy (1939)—One of Hollywood's first anti-Nazi films. Edward G. Robinson is a government agent investigating spy ring in the US. Paul Lukas is a pro-Nazi German-American. With George Sanders and Francis Lederer, directed by Anatole Litvak. (DW)

Contact (1997)—An intelligent, refreshingly non-xenophobic film on the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. Jodie Foster plays the single-minded astrophysicist in this adaptation from the novel by the late Carl Sagan. Unfortunately, toward the end the film becomes mushy-minded and tries to make its peace with religion. (MJ)

Conversation, The (1974)—A security specialist involved in bugging and other surveillance begins to have qualms about his profession. Francis Copolla's detailed, disturbing look at the milieu and practices of the security business is one of his best films. Starring Gene Hackman and the late John Cazale. (MJ)

Coogan's Bluff (1968)—A good action film, directed by veteran Don Siegel, concerning an Arizona lawman (Clint Eastwood) who comes to New York City to pick up a prisoner (Don Stroud); complications ensue. (DW)

Cornered (1945)—A postwar film noir with Dick Powell as a Canadian flyer tracking down Nazis in Argentina. Directed by future HUAC informer Edward Dmytryk. (DW)

Cotton Club, The (1984)—Richard Gere stars in Francis Coppola's sometimes successful attempt to capture the music and gangster violence of Harlem in the 1930s. The production was riddled with problems and the often-rewritten screenplay is by novelists William Kennedy and Mario Puzo. (MJ)

Count the Hours (1953)—Don Siegel directed this modest melodrama about a migrant worker accused of a double murder. Macdonald Carey is his lawyer; Teresa Wright and Jack Elam co-star. (DW)

Court Jester, The (1956)—Classic Danny Kaye farce of confused identities in the Middle Ages. Lots of witty verbal humor. Directed by Melvin Frank and Norman Panama. (MJ)

Cracker (1995)—The remarkable British-made TV crime series starring Robbie Coltrane as "Fitz," a police psychologist whose own personal problems are vast. Coltrane is amazing in the role—incisive, often intuitive, but always precise in interrogation of a suspect. (MJ)

Cries and Whispers (1972)—A drama about a dying woman, her sisters and a servant, directed by Ingmar Bergman. With Harriet Andersson, Ingrid Thulin, Liv Ullmann. (DW)

Crimson Pirate, The (1952)—A swashbuckling adventure, with Burt Lancaster at his most athletic. The German emigré Robert Siodmak directed. (DW)

Criss Cross (1949)—Wonderful film noir tale of betrayal, with Burt Lancaster as the fall-guy, Yvonne DeCarlo as the object of his desire and Dan Duryea as a gangster. Directed by Robert Siodmak. (DW)

Crowd Roars, The (1932)—James Cagney is a race car driver in this early sound film, directed by Howard Hawks. With Joan Blondell and Ann Dvorak (who was to star in Hawks's immortal Scarface the same year). (DW)

Crumb (1994)—Remarkable portrait of family of cartoonist Robert Crumb. His two dysfunctional brothers prove to be considerably more interesting than he. Directed by Terry Zwigoff. (DW)

Crusades, The (1935)—A Cecil B. DeMille extravaganza about the holy wars of the Middle Ages, with Loretta Young as a queen abducted by non-believers. Richard the Lion-Hearted (Henry Wilcoxon) must save her. (DW)

Cry Terror! (1958)—Andrew L. Stone and his helpful wife-editor made this little suspense drama about psychopath Rod Steiger who kidnaps and bombs to blackmail an airline. With James Mason, Inger Stevens, Angie Dickinson and Neville Brand. (DW)

Culpepper Cattle Company, The (1972)—An unjustly forgotten film about a naive young man joining up with a cattle drive. Grittily realistic depictions of the daily working life of cowboys—the kind of detail rarely shown in Westerns. A gem. With Gary Grimes, Billy "Green" Bush, and Geoffrey Lewis. Directed by Dick Richards. (MJ)

Curse of Frankenstein, The (1957)—A scary, well-done thriller from the legendary Hammer Films studios of England. Starring Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing. (MJ)

Curse of the Cat People, The (1944)—Not a horror film at all, this is the story of a lonely girl who conjures up a vision of her father's mysterious first wife (Simone Simon from Cat People). Val Lewton produced, Robert Wise made his directorial debut. (DW)

D.O.A. (1950)—Rudolph Maté directed this film noir about a man (Edmond O'Brien) who discovers he has been poisoned and attempts to find out why and who has done it in the time he has left. With Pamela Britton, Luther Adler. (DW)

Daisy Kenyon (1947)—One of Otto Preminger's interesting postwar melodramas. Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews and Henry Fonda form a love triangle. (DW)

Dallas (1950)—A story set in post-Civil War Dallas, with Gary Cooper seeking revenge on those who wronged him. Ruth Roman and Steve Cochran co-star. Directed by Stuart Heisler. (DW)

Dark City (1950)—Charlton Heston in his film debut, as a cynical lowlife who, along with a few accomplices, takes Don DeFore in a card game, with unforeseen consequences. Future Dragnet co-stars, Jack Webb and Harry Morgan, are two of Heston's pals. With Lizabeth Scott and Viveca Lindfors. Directed by William Dieterle. (DW)

Dark Command (1940)—Raoul Walsh directed this lively Hollywood version of the rise and fall of the murderous Quantrill raiders, active in Kansas during the Civil War. Walter Pidgeon plays William Quantrill, John Wayne is the marshal with whom he clashes. (DW)

Dark Passage (1947)—Bizarre film, with Bogart as an escaped convict who undergoes plastic surgery and then tries to uncover a murderer. Directed by Delmer Daves. (DW)

Dark Victory (1939)—Bette Davis is a socialite who learns she has a terminal illness. George Brent is her brain surgeon husband. Directed by Edmund Goulding. (DW)

Darling (1965)—Mostly memorable as the opportunity for Julie Christie to make a lasting impression on the film-going public, John Schlesinger's film was "Britain's answer to La Dolce Vita," in the words of one critic. (DW)

Das Boot (1982)—Life on board a German submarine in World War II. Claustrophobic and harrowing, the film (directed by Wolfgang Petersen) follows the daily life of the crew as the vessel becomes the hunted as well as the hunter. Amazing sound editing. With Jurgen Prochnow. Best seen with subtitles in the wide-screen version. (MJ)

David Copperfield (1935)—W.C. Fields as Mr. Micawber and Basil Rathbone as Murdstone are highlights of this lavish film version of the Dickens novel. Freddie Bartholemew is the young David Copperfield. Directed by George Cukor. (DW)

Dawn Patrol, The (1938)—Remake of Howard Hawks' 1930 film about World War I flyers. Officer Basil Rathbone is forced by circumstances to send up novices Errol Flynn and David Niven. Edmund Goulding directed. (DW)

Day at the Races, A (1937)—Marx Brothers' foolishness. Set in a sanatorium where rich and hypochondriacal Margaret Dumont is the most prominent patient. Directed by Sam Wood. (DW)

Day the Earth Stood Still, The (1951)—A visitor from another galaxy visits our planet to issue a stern warning. Robert Wise's film is a liberal plea for peace and understanding; as such, it defied the McCarthyite xenophobia and bellicosity dominating Hollywood at the time. It stands up surprising well almost 50 years later. Starring Patricia Neal and Michael Rennie. (MJ)

Days of Wine and Roses (1962)—Blake Edwards' somber film about alcoholic Jack Lemmon who drags Lee Remick into his orbit. (DW)

Dazed and Confused (1993)—Richard Linklater's evocative, unsentimental portrait of the last day of school at a suburban Texas high school in 1976. A variety of narrative strands, too many to mention. With Jason London, Milla Jovovich, Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Parker Posey, among others. (DW)

Dead Again (1991)—Visually exciting film (with debts to Hitchcock and Welles) set in Los Angeles is a murder mystery in which reincarnation is the key. Kenneth Branagh directed and plays two roles, as does Emma Thompson. (MJ)

Dead End (1937)—The first appearance of the Dead End Kids (Huntz Hall, Leo Gorcey et al) in a film about the Lower East Side slums of New York. Scripted by Lillian Hellman, directed by William Wyler. (DW)

Dead Ringers (1988)—David Cronenberg's remarkable film about twin gynecologists, played by Jeremy Irons, and their descent into madness. With Genevieve Bujold as an actress who comes between them. (DW)

Dead, The (1987)—John Huston's deeply felt adaptation of James Joyce's short story, one of the best in the English language. This was Huston's last film; it ended his great career on a high note. With Anjelica Huston and Donal McCann. (MJ)

Deadline U.S.A. (1952)—Humphrey Bogart as a crusading editor, trying to keep a big city newspaper alive. Ethel Barrymore plays the paper's owner. Directed by Richard Brooks. (DW)

Death in Venice (1971)—To Gustav Mahler's music, Dirk Bogarde, a writer in pre-World War I Venice, considers art, beauty and death. Luchino Visconti's film, based on the Thomas Mann novella, is perhaps self-indulgent, but it is beautiful and sad. Bogarde is a great actor. (DW)

Decision at Sundown (1957)—One of the series of modest westerns starring Randolph Scott, directed by Budd Boetticher, produced by Harry Joe Brown, highly regarded by critics. Boetticher has been described as "one of the most fascinating unrecognized talents in the American cinema." (DW)

Deconstructing Harry (1997)—Woody Allen's film is mean-spirited, misanthropic, bitter, cynical, crude, and foul-mouthed, but it is deliberately provocative, often funny, and one of his best films of recent years. A writer (Allen) confronts the friends and family members that he has cruelly featured in his novels, as well as their fictional representations. Also, Allen and his character confront their horror at growing old. Compare this film with the one preceding it, the light-hearted romantic musical Everyone Says I Love You (1996), which this film seems to rebut. (MJ)

Deep Valley (1947)—A convict from a prison camp barges in on an isolated farm. With Ida Lupino, Chester Morris and Dane Clark—an excellent cast for a modest, well-made film noir.. (DW)

Deer Hunter, The (1978)—Michael Cimino's somewhat strained portrait of a group of Pennsylvania steelworkers, their experiences in Vietnam and back home again. With Robert De Niro, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, Christopher Walken, John Savage. (DW)

Defiant Ones, The (1958)—Stanley Kramer, "the most extreme example of thesis or message cinema," directed this tale of two escaped convicts, one black and one white, chained together as they try to make their way in the South. With Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier. (DW)

Destry Rides Again (1939)—James Stewart and Marlene Dietrich have memorable moments in this western comedy, directed by George Marshall. Dietrich sings the classic "See What the Boys in the Back Room Will Have." (DW)

Detective Story (1951)—William Wyler's somewhat dated film about the activities inside a New York City police station. Kirk Douglas is a bitter cop, Eleanor Parker his wife, William Bendix another detective. The good cast also includes Horace McMahon, Lee Grant and Joseph Wiseman. (DW)

Detour (1945)—Edgar G. Ulmer, German expatriate and legendary denizen of Hollywood's Poverty Row, directed this remarkable low-budget work. Tom Neal is a drifter who becomes tragically involved with Ann Savage—and Fate—while hitch-hiking from one coast to the other. Not to be missed. (DW)

Devil and Daniel Webster, The (1941)—Longwinded, but interesting version of Stephen Vincent Benet's story about a New England Faust defended against the devil's claims by Daniel Webster. Edward Arnold is Webster and Walter Huston a marvelous Mr. Scratch (the devil). Directed by the German emigré William Dieterle. (Also, Thursday at 5:00 pm.) (DW)

Devil's Advocate, The (1997)—Satan (portrayed in an over-the-top performance by Al Pacino) runs a white-shoe law firm in New York City. Keanu Reeves, as an ambitious young lawyer, makes a Faustian bargain and suffers for it. A very funny horror film that trades on the public's distrust of the legal profession. (MJ)

Devil's Doorway (1950)—Robert Taylor is an Indian who served in the Civil War and finds ill-treatment back home. Sympathetic handling of this question was relatively rare in Hollywood at the time. Directed by Anthony Mann, with Louis Calhern and Edgar Buchanan. (DW)

Devil's Eye, The (1960)—Somewhat heavy-handed comedy by Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. Upset by a woman's chastity, the devil sends Don Juan back to earth to win her affections. With Jarl Kulle, Bibi Andersson. (DW)

Dial M for Murder (1954)—A lesser film by Alfred Hitchcock, with Ray Milland as a husband who plots his wife's death. Grace Kelly is the wife who, when the plot fails, falls under suspicion of murder. With Bob Cummings. (DW)

Diary of a Chambermaid (1964)—Luis Bunuel shows, perhaps too elliptically, the rise of fascism in 1930s France; at the same time, he skewers the bourgoisie, its foibles and perversions. Jeanne Moreau plays a chambermaid in a French rural estate, during which time a child is brutally murdered by an overseer who is a leader of Action Francaise. Well done, but the motivations are vague and and it is too diffuse to be powerful. (MJ)

Diner (1982)—Barry Levinson wrote and directed this sympathetic account of a group of young men who hang out in a diner in 1950s Baltimore. With Steve Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Mickey Rourke, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly, Ellen Barkin. (DW)

Dinner at Eight (1933)—A collection of individuals from various social classes, all facing a crisis, prepare to dine at eight. George Cukor directed this MGM version of the George Kaufman-Edna Ferber play, with Jean Harlow, Marie Dressler, Wallace Beery and John Barrymore. (DW)

Dirty Dozen, The (1967)—Twelve convicts, serving life sentences, are recruited for a suicidal commando raid in Robert Aldrich's film. (DW)

Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie, The (1972)—Described by one critic as famous Spanish director Luis Bunuel's "most completely achieved fusion of satire, comedy, fantasy and (controlled) emotion." (DW)

Dodge City (1939)—One of the Errol Flynn-Olivia de Haviland cycle of films, usually directed by either Michael Curtiz or Raoul Walsh. Curtiz directed this one, a rousing, lively Western. With the Warner Bros. company of character actors. (DW)

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)—Based on a true story about a man who held up a Brooklyn bank to raise the money for his lover's sex-change operation. With Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning. Directed by Sidney Lumet. (DW)

Don Juan (1926)—A historical curiosity, with John Barrymore in a silent, swashbuckling role. With Mary Astor, Barrymore's love of the time, Warner Oland, Estelle Taylor, early Myrna Loy. Directed by Alan Crosland. (DW)

Don't Bother to Knock (1952)—Marilyn Monroe, in an early role, is a demented baby-sitter who threatens to kill the child in her care. With Richard Widmark, Anne Bancroft, Jim Backus. Directed by Roy Ward Baker. (DW)

Don't Make Waves (1967)—Tony Curtis is a swimming-pool salesman in this satire about life in southern California. He gets involved with beauty queens and body builders; with Sharon Tate and Claudia Cardinale. Alexander Mackendrick directed. (DW)

Double Indemnity (1944)—Billy Wilder's marvelous and sinister version of the James M. Cain novel about a wife (Barbara Stanwyck) who connives with an insurance agent (Fred MacMurray) to murder her husband. Devastating picture of greed and amorality. Scripted by Raymond Chandler. (DW)

Dr. Strangelove (1963)—Classic satire on nuclear annihilation. Though heavyhanded in parts, it stll retains its incisive humor and impact. Peter Sellers is incredible playing several parts, including the President of the United States. Memorable line: "You can't fight in here—it's the War Room!" Directed by Stanley Kubrick. (MJ)

Dreams (1955)—Ingmar Bergman directed this film about two women—a photo agency boss and a model—and their dreams, pleasures and crises. With Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand. (DW)

Drowning Pool, The (1975)—Paul Newman, as private detective Harper, becomes entangled in a murder case. Joanne Woodward is his ex-wife. Based on the Ross MacDonald novels. Directed by Stuart Rosenberg. (DW)

Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)—The story of American colonials in upstate New York during the Revolutionary War. With Henry Fonda and Claudette Colbert, in one of John Ford's more modest works. (DW)

Duel (1971)—Steven Spielberg's first major film effort, about a businessman (Dennis Weaver) on a lonely stretch of highway who realizes a truck driver is determined to drive him off the road. Empty, but entertaining. (DW)

Duel in the Sun (1946)—King Vidor's intense Western psychodrama. Jennifer Jones, a "half-breed," is caught between two brothers (Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotten). With Lionel Barrymore, Lillian Gish, Herbert Marshall, Charles Bickford and Walter Huston. (DW)

East of Eden (1955)—Elia Kazan's treatment of the John Steinbeck novel about a young man, after World War I, who finds his mother runs a brothel. With James Dean. (DW)

Easy Living (1949)—Victor Mature is a retired professional football player married to a grasping woman (Lizabeth Scott). Irwin Shaw wrote the screenplay; directed by the stylish Jacques Tourneur. With Lucille Ball, Lloyd Nolan, Paul Stewart. (DW)

Easy Rider (1969)—Dennis Hopper's film about drugs, motorcycles and the search for the "real America." Does it stand up at all? (DW)

Effi Briest (1974)—Somewhat self-conscious and slow-moving, but extremely thoughtful, insightful adaptation of Theodor Fontane's novel about a young woman in 19th century Prussia suppressed by marriage, family and her own conformism. Hanna Schygulla is wonderful as Effi; with Wolfgang Schenck, Karl-Heinz Böhm, Irm Hermann. Directed by Rainer Werner Fassbinder. (DW)

El Dorado (1967)—Robert Mitchum, a drunken sheriff, and John Wayne, a gunfighter, join forces to defeat a rapacious rancher and keep peace on the range. Directed by Howard Hawks. (DW)

Elephant Man, The (1980)—David Lynch's moving film about society's cruelty toward John Merrick, the grossly deformed "elephant man," set in the context of the brutality of the Industrial Revolution in London at the turn of the century. John Hurt plays Merrick. With Anthony Hopkins, Anne Bancroft, and John Gielgud. (MJ)

Elmer Gantry (1960)—Burt Lancaster is the salesman who becomes a fire-and-brimstone preacher, joining evangelist Jean Simmons' crusade, in this critical look at fundamentalism and fakery in 1920s America. Richard Brooks directed, based on the novel by Sinclair Lewis. (DW)

Empire of the Sun (1987)—Steven Spielberg directed this version of the J.G. Ballard autobiographical novel about a young British boy during World War II stranded in China. With Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson. Tom Stoppard wrote the script. (DW)

Enchanted Cottage, The (1945)—Robert Young, as a disfigured man, and Dorothy McGuire, as an unattractive woman, who grew beautiful in an enchanted locale. Directed by John Cromwell. (DW)

End of St. Petersburg, The (1927)—Soviet director Vsevelod Pudovkin's film about a peasant from the provinces swept by the great events of 1917. With Ivan Chuvelov, Vera Baranovskaya, A.P. Christiakov. (DW)

Endless Love (1981)—Franco Zeffirelli made a very bad film out of Scott Spencer's very good novel. With Brooke Shields, Martin Hewitt, Shirley Knight, and Richard Kiley. (MJ)

Enemies, A Love Story (1989)—Set in post-World War II Brooklyn and the Catskills, Paul Mazursky's faithful adaptation of Isaac Bashevis Singer's novel has Herman, a Jewish intellectual married to the Polish woman who sheltered him during the war, carrying on an affair with a seductive married woman. Then his first wife, presumed dead in Poland, appears at his door. Mazursky's film is humorous and, at the same time, sad, with superb performances by Ron Silver, Anjelica Huston, and Lena Olin. (MJ)

Escape from Alcatraz (1979)—Clint Eastwood plays a convict determined to break out of Alcatraz, the supposedly inescapable prison. Based on a true story, the film methodically follows Eastwood's efforts. Directed by Don Siegel. (DW)

Eternally Yours (1939)—David Niven is a magician, Loretta Young his wife who thinks he is straying from her, in Tay Garnett's quirky film. With Billie Burke, C. Aubrey Smith. (DW)

Everyone Says I Love You (1996)—Woody Allen at his most romantic and artificial. In this, Allen's only musical, people break into song (not unnaturally) and seem to have a genuinely good time, in a cliquish kind of way. The locales are Venice, Paris, and (of course) the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and very quickly the upper-crust, smug liberal values of the jet set characters become insufferable. With Edward Norton, Goldie Hawn, and Alan Alda. (MJ)

Excalibur (1981)—John Boorman directed this lush adaptation of the King Arthur legend at fever pitch. As with all of Boorman's work, it is carefully made and embodies his unique, fantasic vision. Starring Helen Mirren, Nigel Terry, and Nicol Williamson (outstanding as a sardonic, antic Merlin). (MJ)

Executive Suite (1954)—A power struggle erupts after the death of a major executive. Interesting to compare the corporate culture of the 1950s (and Hollywood myths about them) with today's. With William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, June Allyson, Fredric March, Walter Pidgeon. Robert Wise directed. (DW)

Exorcist II: The Heretic (1977)—One of the best bad movies ever made. Preposterous and misguided, it is nonetheless rich with images and vision. Nominally the sequel to the original Exorcist, this film bears only a thin relationship to it. Starring Linda Blair, Max Von Sydow, James Earl Jones, and Richard Burton. Directed by John Boorman. (MJ)

Fabulous Baker Boys, The (1989)—Real-life brothers Jeff Bridges and Beau Bridges play musician brothers in this emotionally gripping story of sibling rivalry. With Michelle Pfeiffer. Directed by Steve Kloves. (MJ)

Face in the Crowd, A (1957)—Andy Griffith, in his film debut, as country boy made into a huge television star. With Lee Remick, also in her debut. Directed by Elia Kazan, script by Budd Schulberg (same team as On the Waterfront). (DW)

Face/Off (1997)—Hong Kong action director John Woo lets out all the stops in this exciting, humorous, and (of course) preposterous film about a government agent (John Travolta) and his terrorist nemesis (Nicolas Cage) exchanging faces. (MJ)

Fahrenheit 451 (1966)—François Truffaut's adaptation of the Ray Bradbury dystopian science fiction story about a world in which firemen are sent around to set fire to books, which are banned items. Oskar Werner plays a fireman who rebels; with Julie Christie. (DW)

Fallen Idol, The (1948)—A young boy idolizes a household servant accused of killing his wife in this valuable film by Carol Reed, with Ralph Richardson as the butler. From a story by Graham Greene. (DW)

Fallen Sparrow, The (1944)—John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara star in a pro-Loyalist film about a Spanish Civil War veteran tracked by Nazis in New York City. Richard Wallace directed; with Walter Slezak. (DW)

Family Plot (1976)—Late and mild-mannered Alfred Hitchcock, but still worth watching. Barbara Harris is a fake medium who unwittingly gets involved in a murder plot. William Devane is the mastermind. (DW)

Far Country, The (1955)—James Stewart, Ruth Roman, Walter Brennan and John McIntire co-star in this Anthony Mann western about a cattleman who brings his herd to Alaska and encounters many difficulties. As always with Mann, the Albert Bierstadt of movie directors, the exteriors are magnificent. (DW)

Fargo (1996)—A kidnaping goes terribly wrong in Minnesota, and a pregnant, low-key, small-town sheriff (Frances McDormand) tries to solve it. Grotesque, satirical, sometimes cartoonish, often funny, this is one of the Coen brothers' best films. With Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Peter Stormare, and Harve Presnell. (MJ)

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)—A lightweight film, but some lively performances by a remarkable group of young actors: Sean Penn, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Robert Romanus, Phoebe Cates, Forest Whitaker, Anthony Edwards, Nicholas Cage. (DW)

Fat City (1972)—John Huston adapted Leonard Gardner's novel about a down-and-out boxer trying for another chance in the ring. A bleak look at the fight game, this is a film that deserves more attention. Starring Stacy Keach, with a remarkable performance by Susan Tyrell. (MJ)

Father of the Bride (1950)—Spencer Tracy is the father and Elizabeth Taylor the bride in Vincente Minnelli's look at the American marriage ritual. Amusing, and sometimes pointed. With Joan Bennett. (DW)

Father's Little Dividend (1951)—Amusing follow-up to Father of the Bride, with Spencer Tracy as the father and Elizabeth Taylor as the bride. Vincente Minnelli directed. (DW)

Fearless (1993)—Jeff Bridges experiences the eerie effects of having survived a jetliner crash. Stunning performance by Rosie Perez. Directed by Peter Weir. (MJ)

Fifth Avenue Girl (1939)—Ginger Rogers is an unemployed girl who is hired by a millionaire (Walter Connolly) to teach his family a lesson. Directed by Gregory LaCava. (DW)

Fifth Element, The (1997)—Vacuous, silly science fiction film in which the future of the universe hinges on a Brooklyn cabdriver (played in proletarian style by Bruce Willis) finding something called "the fifth element." Worth seeing only for its imaginative settings and special effects. Typical scenery-chewing villainy by Gary Oldman. Directed by Luc Besson. (MJ)

Finders Keepers (1984)—The underrated Richard Lester directed this hilarious farce involving a chase after stolen money. The pace is frenetic, as it was in his other films, A Hard Day's Night and The Ritz. With David Wayne, Beverly D'Angelo, and Michael O'Keefe. (MJ)

Fine Madness, A (1966)—Sean Connery is a poet in this amusing, if idealized and sanitized look at non-conformism. Joanne Woodward, Jean Seberg, Colleen Dewhurst and Renee Taylor make things interesting. Directed by Irvin Kershner. (DW)

Finian's Rainbow (1968)—Petula Clark sings beautifully, Fred Astaire is miscast as her dreamy dad, and Tommy Steele quickly wears out his welcome as the broad-smiling, hyperactive leprechaun in Francis Copplola's flat version of the hit populist Broadway musical. In the course of this unrelentingly upbeat film, a tobacco-growing commune struggles for survival and a bigoted Southern senator is turned into an African-American. However, the songs by E.Y. Harburg retain their charm. (MJ)

Firm, The (1993)—Another film that takes a shot at the legal profession. In this paranoid potboiler, a young, ambitious lawyer finds out that his high-toned firm is totally owned by organized crime. An unremarkable film is saved by a remarkable performance by Gene Hackman (always dependable), playing a cynical partner. From the bestseller by John Grisham. (MJ)

Fistful of Dollars, A (1964)—In the first of Sergio Leone's Italian Westerns Clint Eastwood, in the role that made him a star, plays the Man With No Name. The story, a remake of Kurosawa's Yojimbo, involves warring families in a border town. Ennio Morricone's score is striking. With Gian Maria Volonte and Marianne Koch. (DW)

Five Easy Pieces (1970)—Early Jack Nicholson film that helped define his sardonic screen persona. He plays a concert pianist from a wealthy family who opts to work on an oil rig. Watch for the memorable scene in the diner between Nicholson's character and a waitress. Directed by the underappreciated Bob Rafelson. With Karen Black, Billy "Green" Bush, and Susan Anspach. (MJ)

Five Fingers (1952)—James Mason stars as a valet doing espionage in World War II. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz. (MJ)

Five Graves to Cairo (1943)—Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett wrote the screenplay for this North African wartime intrigue drama; Wilder also directed. Franchot Tone stars. (DW)

Fixed Bayonets (1951)—Samuel Fuller, the "authentic American primitive," directs this Korean War drama about a unit cut off from the rest of its outfit. Be prepared for Cold War politics, visual audacity and emotional intensity. (DW)

Flame of New Orleans, The (1941)—One of French director René Clair's American films. Marlene Dietrich, the principal reason to watch the film , has to choose between wealthy Roland Young and hard-working Bruce Cabot. (DW)

Flamingo Road (1949)—Michael Curtiz directed this political melodrama about a stranded carnival performer who runs up against a corrupt local politician when she marries into a distinguished family. With Joan Crawford, Zachary Scott and Sydney Greenstreet. (DW)

Fly, The (1986)—David Cronenberg's film about a scientist (Jeff Goldblum) who experiments on himself and evolves into a human fly. Cronenberg apparently saw his character's condition as a metaphor for AIDS. Geena Davis is the woman who stands by him. As usual, Cronenberg gets caught up in the machinery of his conceits and loses track of his theme. (DW)

Flying Down to Rio (1934)—Early Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film with wonderful dance sequences. The musical number with the chorus girls dancing high over Rio on the wings of flying planes is amazing. Directed by Thomas Freeland. (MJ)

Follow the Fleet (1936)—One of the more mediocre Rogers-Astaire films, with a plot involving a double romance (Randolph Scott and Harriet Hilliard (Nelson) form the other pair). The film's highlight is Irving Berlin's "Let's Face the Music and Dance." Directed by Mark Sandrich. (DW)

For a Few Dollars More (1966)—The sequel to A Fistful of Dollars. One of the more memorable "spaghetti Westerns"; with Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Gian Maria Volonte, directed by Sergio Leone. (DW)

Force of Evil (1948)—The principal film effort of director Abraham Polonsky, soon to be blacklisted. A parable about American capitalism. John Garfield plays the lead, a crooked lawyer from the wrong side of the tracks, who faces a moral crisis over a Fourth of July holiday. With Thomas Gomez and Beatrice Pearson. (DW)

Foreign Affair, A (1948)—Billy Wilder directed this story of post-war Germany, with Jean Arthur, an American provincial, sent to investigate conditions in Berlin, but falling in love. With Marlene Dietrich in fine form. (DW)

Foreign Correspondent (1940)—Joel McCrea is the correspondent caught up in a spy intrigue in Alfred Hitchcock's film, with George Sanders, Robert Benchley, Herbert Marshall, Laraine Day. (DW)

Fort Apache (1948)—One of John Ford's classic cavalry trilogy. Henry Fonda is an unbending officer who can't get along with his own men, or the neighboring Apaches. With John Wayne and Shirley Temple. (DW)

Fortune Cookie, The (1966)—Billy Wilder's ultra-cynical story about a television cameraman (Jack Lemmon) injured during a football game and the attempts by his shyster lawyer (Walter Matthau) to sue for millions. (DW)

Fountainhead, The (1949)—King Vidor directed Ayn Rand's adaptation of her own reactionary novel in hyperbolic style, reaching extremes that are often hilarious. Gary Cooper plays the heroic, unbending, individualist architect, Patricia Neal the heiress who carries on a love-hate relationship with him. (MJ)

Four Daughters (1938)—The Lane Sisters, with Claude Rains as their musical father, star in this film about small-town life. The four young women have their lives changed by four young men. Directed by Hungarian émigré Michael Curtiz. (DW)

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The (1921)—The famous silent antiwar epic, directed by Rex Ingram, about two brothers who end up enemies in World War I. With Rudolph Valentino. (DW)

Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The (1962)—Vincente Minnelli directed this melodrama about a wealthy Argentine family all of whose members are caught up in World War II. With Glenn Ford, Ingrid Thulin, Charles Boyer and Lee J. Cobb, among others. (DW)

Four Wives (1939)—A Michael Curtiz film, sequel to Four Daughters, about a quartet of women in small-town America. Sentimental, but well directed and acted. With Claude Rains, John Garfield and the Lane sisters (Priscilla, Rosemary and Lola.) (DW)

Frantic (1988)—Roman Polanski's failed attempt to make a Hitchcock-type suspense film. With Harrison Ford. (MJ)

Freaks (1932)—Tod Browning's astonishing film, really a revenge drama, about a traveling sideshow and its performers. Once described as the most compassionate film ever made. With Olga Baclanova and Wallace Ford. (DW)

French Connection, The (1971)—Gene Hackman is fine as a New York City policeman chasing drug traffickers. William Friedkin directed the proceedings at a breakneck pace. His subsequent work shows that this film was overrated at the time. With Roy Scheider, Tony LoBianco. (DW)

Frenzy (1972)—An innocent man is accused of being the "necktie murderer" in London. Suspenseful film by Alfred Hitchcock has great menace and wonderful moments, but is marred by some cheap effects. With Jon Finch and Barry Foster. (MJ)

Friendly Persuasion (1956)—William Wyler directed this film about a family of Quakers and, therefore, pacifists, trying to survive with dignity during the Civil War. With Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire and Anthony Perkins. (DW)

Friends of Eddie Coyle, The (1973)—Peter Yates directed this lively version of the George V. Higgins novel about Boston lowlifes. A little too colorful for its own good at times. With Robert Mitchum, Peter Boyle, Richard Jordan. (DW)

From Here to Eternity (1953)—Fred Zinnemann directed this generally overrated work, based on the James Jones novel, about life on an army post in Hawaii on the eve of Pearl Harbor. With Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Donna Reed, Frank Sinatra. (DW)

Fugitive, The (1947)—Henry Fonda is a unorthodox priest wanted by the government in Mexico. He is turned in by a man who once helped him, in this John Ford film. (DW)

Full Confession (1939)—John Farrow, father of Mia, directed this melodrama about a priest (Joseph Calleia) who receives a confession of murder (from Victor McLaglen) and finds himself in an obvious quandary. (DW)

Full Metal Jacket (1987)—Stanley Kubrick directed this film about the Vietnam war, which in its first half—Marine training at Parris Island—may be the most harrowing depiction of military life ever put on film (mainly due to the presence of ex-drill instructor Lee Ermey). However, as a coherent anti-war film, it does not equal Kubrick's own Paths of Glory. (MJ)

Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, A (1966)—Richard Lester directed this film version of the Broadway musical comedy (with a score by Stephen Sondheim) about ancient Rome. The wonderful Zero Mostel plays a slave in a jam. Frenzied and trying too hard. (DW)

Fury (1936)—German director Fritz Lang's first US work, a powerful statement against injustice and mob hysteria. Spencer Tracy as a traveler in a small town, mistaken for a murderer and apparently lynched. (DW)

Gabriel over the White House (1933)—A political oddity, made in the early days of the Depression, with fairly sinister overtones. Walter Huston is a crook who becomes US president, experiences a mysterious transformation and assumes extraordinary powers. (DW)

Gallipoli (1981)—Peter Weir's antiwar film about Australian soldiers caught in a major battle of World War I. With a young Mel Gibson. (MJ)

Gang's All Here, The (1943)—Delightful Busby Berkeley film, with the usual lush and intricate musical sequences, but this time in rich Technicolor. Watch for the not-so-subliminal chorus line of bananas in Carmen Miranda's "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat" number. (MJ)

Gas Food Lodging (1992)—Amiable film about a waitress (Brooke Adams) at a diner in Laramie, New Mexico, trying to get by, with two daughters. Directed by Allison Anders; with James Brolin, Ione Skye, Fairuza Balk. (DW)

Gaslight (1944)—Charles Boyer tries to drive Ingrid Bergman mad in George Cukor's period thriller. (DW)

Gattaca (1997)—In this future capitalist society, your place in the productive process is determined by your genetic makeup—which is mapped at birth and stays with you as your main ID for life. One man rebels against the system. Andrew Niccol wrote and directed this intelligent film, highly derivative of the fiction of Philip K. Dick. (MJ)

Gay Divorcee, The (1934)—One of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals. Not famous for its plot, but for its musical numbers, including "Continental" and Cole Porter's "Night and Day." Directed by journeyman Mark Sandrich. (DW)

Gentleman Jim (1942)—Errol Flynn makes a dashing Jim Corbett, early boxing champion, in this biography directed by Raoul Walsh. Ward Bond plays John L. Sullivan with panache. Scripted by Vincent Lawrence and Horace McCoy (author of They Shoot Horses, Don't They?, among other hard-boiled works). (DW)

Gentlemen's Agreement (1947)—Gregory Peck is a writer who pretends to be Jewish to gauge anti-Semitism. Moss Hart wrote the relatively tame script; Elia Kazan directed. (DW)

Germinal (1993)—Claude Berri's expensive, turgid adaptation of the famous Zola novel (1884), about French coal miners, their struggles and personal dramas. With Gerard Depardieu, Miou-Miou, Laurent Terzieff and many others. (DW)

Getaway, The (1972)—Steve McQueen as a convict who gets out of jail and immediately takes part in a bank robbery. With Ali McGraw. Directed by Sam Peckinpah, from the novel by Jim Thompson. (DW)

Gettysburg (1993)—Ronald Maxwell's meticulous recreation of the great Civil War battle. With Tom Berenger, Jeff Daniels, Martin Sheen, Sam Elliott and many others. (DW)

Giant (1956)—George Stevens directed this work, described by many as "epic," about two generations of a Texas family. With Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean in his last role. (DW)

Gilda (1946)—Rita Hayworth is spectacular (singing "Put the Blame on Mame") in Charles Vidor's drama about a love triangle in postwar South America. George Macready is a shady casino owner, Hayworth his restless wife and Glenn Ford a new employee. (DW)

Glass Key, The (1942)—Stuart Heisler directed this version of the Dashiell Hammett novel about a hard-nosed operator (Alan Ladd) who tries to defend his boss (Brian Donlevy), a wardheeler, against murder charges. Veronica Lake is the object of Ladd's affections. (DW)

Glenn Miller Story, The (1954)—By no standard a great film—it is burdened with a sentimental and largely fictitious story, as well as insipid June Allyson as Miller's wife—but everything by Anthony Mann of this period is worth seeing. Beautifully done. James Stewart is fine as Miller. (DW)

Gloria (1980)—Gena Rowlands as ex-mob mistress who takes off with young boy after his parents are killed by gangland hitmen. Directed by Rowlands' husband, John Cassavetes. (DW)

Glory Alley (1952)—Fine character actor Ralph Meeker is a boxer who quits just prior to the big fight. Flashbacks explain his story. Directed by Hollywood veteran Raoul Walsh, with Leslie Caron, Gilbert Roland and an appearance by Louis Armstrong. (DW)

Godfather, Part II, The (1974)—A rarity—a sequel that measures up to its predecessor. The origins of the enterprising, murderous Corleone family. With Robert De Niro, Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, and Diane Keaton. Directed by Francis Coppola. (MJ)

Godfather, Part III, The (1990)—Not the best of the Godfather trilogy, but a cut above most current films. This time, the Corleone family, led by Michael (Al Pacino), gets involved with the sinister machinations of the Vatican and international finance. With Andy Garcia, Diane Keaton, and Sophia Coppola. Directed by Francis Coppola. (MJ)

Godfather, The (1972)—Francis Coppola's classic film about the Mafia as a form of capitalist endeavor. With Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan, and Robert Duvall. (MJ)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)—Busby Berkeley did the spectacular, mind-boggling dance numbers, connected by the usual thin and negligible plot. Highlights in this film—one of Berkeley's best—are "the Ballad of the Forgotten Man" and "We're in the Money" (sung partly in Pig Latin), both of which are sardonic comments on the great Depression. With Dick Powell, Ginger Rogers, and Joan Blondell. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. (MJ)

Graduate, The (1967)—Important coming-of-age film about a young man (Dustin Hoffman, in his first big role) deciding whether to throw in his lot with the adult world. Should he cast off his rebelliousness and join the prospering middle class of the late sixties—i.e., go into "plastics"? Anne Bancroft is the memorable middle-aged seductress (and mother of his fiancee) Mrs. Robinson. Excellent music by Simon and Garfunkel. Directed by Mike Nichols. (MJ)

Grapes of Wrath, The (1940)—John Ford's version of the John Steinbeck classic novel, about the Joad family, driven from their home in the 1930s "Dust Bowl." Henry Fonda plays Tom Joad. With Jane Darwell, John Carradine. (DW)

Gray's Anatomy (1996)—One of actor Spalding Gray's filmed monologues. This time he describes his efforts to find alternative treatments for an eye ailment. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. (DW)

Great Dictator, The (1940)—Chaplin plays the twin role of a Jewish barber and Adenoid Hynkel of Tomania, in this extraordinary attack, which also manages to be very funny, on Hitler and Nazism. Jack Oakie is Benzino Napaloni of Bacteria. (DW)

Great Escape, The (1963)—Steve McQueen and James Garner stand out in this World War II prisoner-of-war escape film. Routine in many ways, directed by John Sturges. (DW)

Great Gatsby, The (1974)—A pallid, but occasionally interesting film, based on the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel about the "careless" rich and their gangster friend, on Long Island in the 1920s. Robert Redford is too placid as Jay Gatsby, Mia Farrow too jittery as Daisy Buchanan. (DW)

Great McGinty, The (1940)—Preston Sturges' fable about a derelict (Brian Donlevy) who, with the help of the political machine, makes it to the governor's mansion and then tries to turn honest, with catastrophic consequences. (DW)

Grifters, The (1990)—One of the best adaptations of Jim Thompson's gritty, bleak novels, this one about mother-and-son con artists, played by Angelica Huston and John Cusack. With Pat Hingle. Directed by Stephen Frears. (MJ)

Groundhog Day (1993)—Bill Murray plays a weatherman who must live the same day over and over and over in a very dull town. Funny and somewhat disturbing. Directed by Harold Ramis. (MJ)

Gun Fury (1953)—Rock Hudson goes after the villains (including Neville Brand and Lee Marvin) who stole his fiancée (Donna Reed) in this fastpaced Raoul Walsh Western. (DW)

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957)—Spirited acting (by Burt Lancaster and Kirk Douglas) and direction (by John Sturges) make this one of the more memorable films of the legendary clash. (MJ)

Gunfighter, The (1950)—A famous gunfighter tries to retire and find peace in his later years, but his reputation follows him like a curse. A young gunslinger, eager to make a name for himself, challenges the older man to a final shootout. One of the best westerns, somber and tragic, with fine performances by Gregory Peck and Skip Homeier. Directed by Henry King. (MJ)

Gunga Din (1939)—If one sets aside the history and politics of this film, about the heroic British army fighting off thuggee cult in 19th century India, "the most entertaining of the juvenile Kipling movies." Directed by George Stevens. (DW)

Gunman's Walk (1958)—Phil Karlson directed this western. Van Heflin wants his sons, Tab Hunter and James Darren, to go straight, but circumstances and personalities intervene. (DW)

Guy Named Joe, A (1943)—Spencer Tracy is a World War II pilot who is killed and comes back to earth to whisper advice in the ear of his replacement, Van Johnson, in the affections of Irene Dunne. Sentimental as can be, but affecting. Directed by Victor Fleming. (DW)

Gypsy (1962)—Unfortunate film adaptation of the great Jule Styne-Stephen Sondheim-Arthur Laurents musical. Rosalind Russell does not have the necessary fire in her belly for the role of Mama Rose. Worth seeing for the music, but look for the recent, far better, made-for-TV version with Bette Midler. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. Also starring Natalie Wood and Karl Malden. (MJ)

Hail the Conquering Hero (1944)—A Preston Sturges comedy. Eddie Bracken, rejected by the military, is mistaken for a war hero by his hometown. William Demarest is marvelous. (DW)

Hallelujah! (1929)—"A classic" of King Vidor's "humanistic museum period," according to one critic. Story of cotton-picker who finds religion. (DW)

Hamlet (1996)—Kenneth Branagh starred in and directed this long, unabridged film of Shakespeare's play. It is exciting and lucid, and it dispenses with the oedipal nonsense of other recent versions. Branagh is strong in the part, and Derek Jacobi is the definitive Claudius. Also starring Julie Christie and Kate Winslet. (MJ)

Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)—The affairs and careers of neurotic, middle class New Yorkers. Barbara Hershey is excellent, as are Mia Farrow and Dianne Wiest. One of Woody Allen's serious efforts—how successful an effort, let the viewer decide. (DW)

Hard to Handle (1933)—Mervyn LeRoy directed this Depression-era comedy about a fast-talking public relations man (James Cagney) who promotes a series of fads and courts Mary Brian. (DW)

Harlan County, U.S.A. (1977)—Powerful documentary by Barbara Kopple about the mineworkers strike in Harlan County, Kentucky. (MJ)

Harper (1966)—Competently made private eye film, with Paul Newman as detective hired by Lauren Bacall to find her missing millionaire husband. With Julie Harris, Shelley Winters, Arthur Hill, Pamela Tiffin. Directed by Jack Smight, based on Ross Macdonald's The Moving Target. (DW)

Has Anybody Seen My Gal? (1952)—Charles Coburn is marvelous in Douglas Sirk's film about a millionaire in 1920s small-town America planning to leave his money to the family of a woman who once rejected his marriage proposal. (DW)

He Walked by Night (1948)—Officially credited to Alfred L. Werker, Anthony Mann directed some of the most visually interesting scenes in this film noir about the police hunt for a psychotic killer, excellently played by Richard Basehart. (DW)

He Who Gets Slapped (1924)—Swedish Victor Seastrom, possibly "the world's first great director, even before Chaplin and Griffith," made this silent film in Hollywood, based on Leonid Andreyev's despairing play, about a brilliant scientist who becomes a circus clown. With Lon Chaney, Norma Shearer, John Gilbert. (DW)

Heaven Can Wait (1943)—Don Ameche stars as a dead man seeking entry to hell, who recounts in flash back what he thinks has been a life full of sin. With Gene Tierney and Charles Coburn. Directed by Ernst Lubitsch. (DW)

Heaven Can Wait (1978)—Warren Beatty stars as a football player who dies before his time and returns to earth in another body, that of a millionaire businessman. Julie Christie is a social activist who awakens his conscience. With Jack Warden. Directed by Beatty and Buck Henry. Good-natured, but not extraordinarily insightful. (DW)

Heaven Help Us (1985)—On-the-mark depiction of life in a Catholic high school in 1960s Brooklyn. With Donald Sutherland, Andrew McCarthy, and Wallace Shawn. Directed by Michael Dinner. (MJ)

Heavenly Creatures (1994)—Odd, compelling film, based on fact ansd set in 1950s New Zealand. Two inseparable teen-age girls kill the mother of one to prevent their being parted. Directed by Peter Jackson. With Melanie Lynskey and Kate Winslet. (MJ)

Heiress, The (1949)—William Wyler directed this screen version of the stage play based on Henry James' Washington Square. Some memorable moments, with Olivia de Haviland as the poor, neglected heroine, Ralph Richardson as her monstrous father, and Montgomery Clift as her fortune-hunting suitor. Score by Aaron Copland. (DW)

Hell to Eternity (1960)—Remarkable account of US World War II hero Guy Gabaldon, who had been raised by Japanese foster parents. With Jeffrey Hunter, David Janssen, Vic Damone. Directed by underrated Phil Karlson. (DW)

Hell's Angels (1930)—An oddity, one of the two films directed by Howard Hughes (the other, The Outlaw, is famous for Jane Russell's decolletage). James Whale apparently wrote and directed a good portion of the film, a World War I aviation story. The film also propelled Jean Harlow to fame. (DW)

Henry V (1989)—Kenneth Branagh's exuberant production of the great Shakespeare historical play about Britain's warrior-king. "He which hath no stomach to this fight,/Let him depart..." (DW)

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)—Amusing tale of a boxer (Robert Montgomery) called to heaven too soon, who has to return to earth in another body. With Evelyn Keyes, Claude Rains, Edward Everett Horton. Confusingly, Warren Beatty and Buck Henry's 1978 Heaven Can Wait is a remake of this film and not Ernst Lubitsch's 1943 Heaven Can Wait. (DW)

High Anxiety (1978)—Uneven, to say the least, Mel Brooks comedy, but with rewards for the patient. Brooks is the new chief of a sanitarium, in this homage to and spoof of Hitchcock. With Madeline Kahn, Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman. (DW)

High and Low (1962)—Kidnappers take a chauffeur's son, thinking he is the child of the chauffeur's rich employer. The industrialist (played by the great Japanese actor Toshiro Mifune) decides to pay the ransom, though the huge amount jeopardizes an important financial deal. This rarely seen film by Akira Kurosawa shows the great gulf between the classes in Yokohama as the police hunt down the kidnapers. Adapted from the crime novel King's Ransom by the American writer Ed McBain (Evan Hunter).

High Noon (1952)—Gary Cooper stars in this Fred Zinnemann-directed Western about a sheriff who, on his wedding and retirement day, has to confront a gunman seeking revenge. With Grace Kelly, Thomas Mitchell, Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado et al. (DW)

High Plains Drifter (1973)—Clint Eastwood directed (and stars in) this excellent spaghetti western tale of revenge, into which he poured everything he learned from his mentors Sergio Leone and Don Siegel. (MJ)

High Sierra (1941)—Wonderful, hard-boiled Raoul Walsh film about an ex-convict (Humphrey Bogart) and the two women in his life, a lame girl, Joan Leslie, whose treatment he pays for, and the tough, no-nonsense Ida Lupino. Final chase sequence in the mountains captures something essential about America. Written by John Huston and W.R. Burnett. (DW)

High Society (1956)—Glossy musical version of The Philadelphia Story has music and lyrics by the great Cole Porter. Starring Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Louis Armstrong. Directed by Charles Walters. (MJ)

His Girl Friday (1940)—Marvelous film version of Ben Hecht-Charles MacArthur's The Front Page, co-scripted by Hecht, with Cary Grant as scheming editor and Rosalind Russell as his star reporter trying to get married to Ralph Bellamy. Directed by Howard Hawks. (DW)

His Kind of Woman (1951)—A lively tale, as Robert Mitchum heads off to Mexico for a routine pay-off and finds out a gangster boss (Raymond Burr) has plans to kill him and take his identity. Jane Russell is in top form and Vincent Price is amusing as a ham actor. Directed by John Farrow. (DW)

History of the World—Part I (1981)—An example of Mel Brooks' scattershot humor. Many jokes are forced and lame, and most routines just limp along, but the Spanish Inquisition sequence, staged as a Busby Berkeley water ballet, is hilarious and worth staying for. (MJ)

Hold Back the Dawn (1941)—Charles Boyer is a European refugee living in a Mexican border town. He woos unmarried Olivia de Haviland in an effort to get into the US. Mitchell Leisen directed with a certain flair. Billy Wilder co-wrote the script, basing it in part on his own experiences as a German refugee. (DW)

Hollywood or Bust (1956)—Frank Tashlin directed this Dean Martin-Jerry Lewis film (their last together), about a simpleton and a gambler out to make it in Hollywood. With Anita Ekberg. (DW)

Hombre (1967)—Martin Ritt directed, from an Elmore Leonard story, this film about Indian-raised Paul Newman trying to survive in Arizona in the 1880s. With Diane Cilento, Fredric March, Richard Boone. (DW)

Home of the Brave (1949)—Mark Robson directed this well-meaning film about black GI suffering abuse from fellow US soldiers in the Pacific during World War II. One of the first to deal with racial discrimination. (DW)

Horatio Hornblower (1999)—This series—based on the novels of C.S. Forester—first appeared on British TV and then on A&E on US cable TV. The four episodes follow the career of young Horatio Hornblower from midshipman in the royal navy to commissioned lieutenant, in the context of the French Revolution and the subsequent war between France and England. The series is distinguished by superior acting (especially by Ioan Griffuld as Hornblower and Robert Lindsay as Captain Pellew) and scrupulous attention to historical detail. It has some of the best battles at sea ever put on film. The episode "The Wrong War" is particularly good at showing the class issues at stake in the French Revolution. (MJ)

Horse Feathers (1932)—Marx Brothers madness, directed by Norman McLeod. "Groucho: You're a disgrace to the family name of Wagstaff, if such a thing is possible." (DW)

Horse Soldiers, The (1959)—Another classic John Ford western, with John Wayne as a cavalry officer leading Union troops into Confederate territory during the Civil War. (DW)

Hospital, The (1971)—Exposé of the workings of a big city hospital. George C. Scott as a doctor on the verge of cracking up. Arthur Hiller directed, Paddy Chayevsky wrote the long-winded script. (DW)

House of Games (1987)—Disappointing film about the world of con artists. David Mamet wrote and directed, and (as usual) his characters talk in a peculiar, stilted way. Much promise, but short on delivery. With Lindsay Crouse and Joe Mantegna. (MJ)

How Green Was My Valley (1941)—John Ford's powerful film about Welsh coal miners. With Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Donald Crisp, and Roddy McDowall. (MJ)

How I Won the War (1967)—British director Richard Lester's somewhat overdone and fragmented comic anti-war film. A self-important middle-aged veteran recounts his experiences in the war. Michael Crawford, Roy Kinnear, Jack MacGowran and John Lennon, in one of his few acting roles. (DW)

How the West Was Won (1963)—An "epic" saga, with more weaknesses than strengths, about three generations of western pioneers. Henry Fonda, Carroll Baker, Gregory Peck, George Peppard and countless others star. Co-directed by John Ford, Henry Hathaway, and George Marshall. (DW)

Hudsucker Proxy, The (1994)—In this madcap comedy (with many fantasy elements) by the Coen brothers, an office boy (Tim Robbins) is promoted to head of a gigantic company. Hilarious satire on capitalist intrigue. Paul Newman is interestingly cast against type as a corporate villain. (MJ)

Human Factor, The (1979)—Underrated film by Otto Preminger about a double agent in British espionage. Definitely not a thriller. From the novel by Graham Greene. With Nicol Williamson, Iman, and Derek Jacobi. (MJ)

Humoresque (1946)—A remarkable performance by John Garfield, as a classical violinist from the slums, who falls for a wealthy society lady. With Joan Crawford, Oscar Levant. Directed by Jean Negulesco. (DW)

Hunchback of Notre Dame, The (1939)—Not a great, but a remarkable, sensual and disturbing film. Charles Laughton is Victor Hugo's Quasimodo, the deformed bell-ringer. Maureen O'Hara is unforgettable, in her US film debut, as Esmerelda. (DW)

Hustler, The (1961)—Basically a boxing film, but set among serious pool sharks. Robert Rossen's movie is beautifully shot and capably acted, but the dialogue is full of stagey, pseudo-profound, high-proletarian language. With Paul Newman, Piper Laurie, George C. Scott, and Jackie Gleason. MJ)

I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)—Heavy-handed, but powerful expose of conditions on prison farms. Mervyn LeRoy directed Paul Muni as the innocent man framed up by the justice system. (DW)

I Confess (1953)—Alfred Hitchcock's tale of priest, played by Montgomery Clift, who hears a confession of a murder and later becomes accused of the crime. Filmed in Quebec. (DW)

I Remember Mama (1948)—George Stevens, in his first film after returning from war, directed this saga of Scandinavian immigrants in San Francisco. With Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes and Oskar Homolka, among others. (DW)

I Shot Jesse James (1949)—Samuel Fuller's remarkable film—done mostly in close-ups—about the shooting of Jesse James by Robert Ford, "that dirty little coward." With Reed Hadley and John Ireland. (MJ)

I Walk Alone (1948 )—Interesting film noir, with Burt Lancaster as a man out of prison after 14 years, looking to settle some scores or at least make sense of things. With Lizabeth Scott, Kirk Douglas, Marc Lawrence and Wendell Corey. Byron Haskin directed. (DW)

I Walked with a Zombie (1943)—One of the Val Lewton-Jacques Tourneur collaborations, a stylish horror film about a nurse who turns to voodoo to cure a patient. Francis Dee and Tom Conway co-starred. (DW)

I Want to Live! (1958)—Susan Hayward is prostitute-crook Barbara Graham, framed up, according to the movie, and sent to the gas chamber. A remarkable anti-death penalty film made at a time when opposition to capital punishment was gaining strength in the US. Directed by Robert Wise. (DW)

I Was a Male War Bride (1949)—Cary Grant is a French officer marrying a WAC (Ann Sheridan) and encountering a series of dilemmas. The film is very funny, and it also provides director Howard Hawks an opportunity to examine sexual roles, and subvert them. (DW)

Ice Storm, The (1997)—Excellent film by Ang Lee of aimlessness and disillusionment in the 1970s. As the middle class disintegrates in suburbia, we see the disintegration of the White House playing out in the background as the Watergate crisis runs its course. The fine cast includes Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Joan Allen, Jamey Sheridan, and Christina Ricci. (MJ)

Imitation of Life (1959)—Douglas Sirk directed this work, "A big, crazy film about life and death. And a film about America." Lana Turner is a career-driven actress; Juanita Moore is her black maid. Moore has a daughter (Susan Kohner) who wants to pass for white. The characters' thoughts, wishes and dreams "grow directly out of their social reality or are manipulated by it" (R.W. Fassbinder). (DW)

Impromptu (1991)—A group of Parisian bohemians spend a weekend at the country estate of a bourgeoise dilettante, in a story resembling Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night and Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music. The film is a delightful portrait of the overheated lives of artists, writers, and composers in the mid-nineteenth century—Frederick Chopin, Eugene Delacroix, Alfred de Musset, Franz Liszt, and George Sand (played by the remarkable Judy Davis, like a force of nature). Starring Hugh Grant, Mandy Patinkin, Bernardette Peters, Emma Thompson, and Julian Sands. Directed by James Lapine (a frequent collaborator of Sondheim's). (MJ)

In a Lonely Place (1950)—Nicholas Ray film in which Humphrey Bogart plays a tormented, abusive Hollwood screenwriter. With Gloria Grahame and Frank Lovejoy. (MJ)

In Cold Blood (1967)—Good adaptation by Richard Brooks of Truman Capote's "non-fiction novel" about two men (Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) who kill an entire family in the course of a burglary. Filmed in stark black-and-white documentary style on location in Kansas. (MJ)

In the Good Old Summertime (1949)—This musical remake of The Shop Around the Corner is one of the fine films from MGM's Golden Age. With Judy Garland and Van Johnson. Directed by Robert Z. Leonard. (MJ)

In This Our Life (1942)—John Huston's second effort at directing. Bette Davis steals her sister's husband and eventually ruins her own life. Based on the novel by Ellen Glasgow. With Olivia de Haviland and George Brent. (DW)

In Which We Serve (1942)—Noel Coward and David Lean directed this patriotic war film, told in flashback, about a crew on a British destroyer and on leave. Coward co-stars, with John Mills, Bernard Miles, Celia Johnson and Richard Attenborough (the latter two making film debuts). (DW)

Indochine (1992)—A fine film that sets its overwrought love story in the context of the developing revolution in Indochina. It spans the period from the birth of the Indochinese Communist Party to the defeat of the brutal French colonialists and the division of Vietnam at the 1954 Geneva Conference. Catherine Deneuve gives a remarkable performance as the owner of a rubber plantation. With Vincent Perez. Directed by Regis Wargnier. (MJ)

Inherit the Wind (1960)—A film version of the Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play based on the the Scopes trial, the 1925 case of a Southern schoolteacher charged with teaching evolutionary theory. Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Gene Kelly starred. Stanley Kramer, with his customary earnestness, directed. (DW)

Inner Circle, The (1991)—A meek movie projectionist (Tom Hulce) finds himself suddenly a favorite of Stalin's. A harrowing picture of life during the purges. With Lolita Davidovich and Bob Hoskins. Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky. (MJ)

Inside Daisy Clover (1966)—Natalie Wood stars as a rising movie star in the 1930s. Uneven film, directed by Robert Mulligan. With Robert Redford, Christopher Plummer, Roddy McDowall and Ruth Gordon. (DW)

Interlude (1957)—A soap opera, but executed with style. Unfortunately, June Allyson stars as an American falling in love with a European composer Rossano Brazzi. Directed by Douglas Sirk. (DW)

Intruder in the Dust (1949)—Black man is accused of murder in a Southern town; gathering mob waits to lynch him. Directed by Clarence Brown. (DW)

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)—Don Siegel's classic parable about conformity in 1950s America. After a meteor lands nearby, inhabitants of a small town are quietly replaced by "pod people" who look like them but act mindlessly as members of a communal hive. With Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter. (MJ)

Invisible Man, The (1933)—Claude Rains made his film debut as the mad scientist who discovers a method of being invisible and terrorizes a British village. James Whale directed this version of the H.G. Wells story. (DW)

Isadora (1968)—Occasionally silly biography of the modern dancer Isadora Duncan (1878-1927), starring a young Vanessa Redgrave, who, unfortunately, couldn't dance very well. Directed by Karel Reisz. (DW)

Ishtar (1987)—One of the most famous failures in recent Hollywood history, Elaine May directed this $40 million picture, which stars Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman. Interesting as an historical curiosity. (DW)

Jane Eyre (1944)—Robert Stevenson directed this version of the Charlotte Bronte classic about a poor governess thrown into a mysterious household. Joan Fontaine is Jane and Orson Welles an unforgettable Rochester. (DW)

Jezebel (1938)—Bette Davis again, as an antebellum Southern belle causing trouble with her willful behavior. Also Henry Fonda. Directed by William Wyler. (DW)

John Grisham's the Rainmaker (1997)—Francis Coppola took a John Grisham potboiler and made it into an engrossing but pedestrian film. Nonetheless, it is rich in characters, with particularly good work by Danny DeVito and Mickey Rourke (in a surprising stand-out performance as an ultra-sleazy lawyer). Also starring Matt Damon, John Voight, and Claire Danes. (MJ)

Journey into Fear (1942 )—A traveling engineer unwittinly becomes involved in international intrigue. From the novel by Eric Ambler. Credited to Norman Foster, but generally considered to be directed by Orson Welles (who also plays a Turkish general under much makeup). Very good, but not one of Welles's best. With Joseph Cotten and Dolores del Rio. (MJ)

Ju Dou (1990)—Young peasant woman (Gong Li) is forced to marry an elderly factory owner and commences an affair with his nephew, in this story about China in the 1920s. Directed by Zhang Yimou, the film was banned in China. (DW)

Judex (1963)—French director Georges Franju's homage to the serial thrillers made early in the century by Louis Feuillade. This stunning film is filled with beautiful images that verge on surrealism. Judex, the magician hero, rights wrongs and dispenses justice. With Channing Pollock and Edith Scob. (MJ)

Jules and Jim (1962)—One of the films that made a name for the French New Wave. Jeanne Moreau, Oskar Werner and Henri Serre as an unusual love triangle, whose relations change over the years. Directed by François Truffaut, from the novel by Henri-Pierre Roché. DW)

Julia (1977)—Vanessa Redgrave won an Oscar for her performance as the anti-fascist Julia based on Lillian Hellman's autobiographical work, Pentimento. With Jane Fonda, Jason Robards; directed by Fred Zinnemann. (DW)

Julius Caesar (1953)—Joseph L. Mankiewicz's intelligently filmed version of Shakespeare's tragedy. James Mason as Brutus, John Gielgud as Cassius, Louis Calhern as Caesar and Marlon Brando as Antony. (DW)

Kansas City (1996)—Uneven period piece by Robert Altman. Worth seeing for the fine jazz music playing throughout, and for the excellent performances by Miranda Richardson and Harry Belafonte (as a mellow but bitter black mobster who utters trenchant comments about racism in America). But the plot is ridiculous, and Jennifer Jason Leigh provides the annoying grimaces and mannerisms we have come to expect from her. (MJ)

Key Largo (1948)—A brutal gangster (Edward G. Robinson) holds a group of people hostage in a hotel during a hurricane. Humphrey Bogart is a returning veteran. Based on Maxwell Anderson's play, script by John Huston (who directed) and Richard Brooks. With Claire Trevor. (DW)

Kid Galahad (1937)—Classic hard-boiled, no-nonsense Warner Bros. film of the 1930s. Edward G. Robinson is the boxing promoter, Wayne Morris is the fighter on the rise, Bette Davis is the girl who comes between them. Michael Curtiz directed with his customary efficiency and flair. (DW)

Killers, The (1946)—Robert Siodmak directed this film adaptation of the Ernest Hemingway story about a gangster waiting for two hitmen to kill him. The film explains why. With Burt Lancaster in his film debut, Ava Gardner, Edmond O'Brien, Albert Dekker, Charles McGraw, Sam Levene. John Huston, uncredited, contributed to the script. (DW)

Killing Floor, The (1985)—A young black farmer comes up from Mississippi to work in the Chicago slaughterhouses in 1917 and becomes a leader of the meatpacking workers' union. An unflinchingly pro-union film, originally made for PBS's American Playhouse, that shows the strength of a united working class as well as the racial divisions within the class that threaten to cripple it. The film also vividly illustrates the role of the meatpacker bosses in fomenting the Chicago race riots of 1919. Powerful acting by Damien Leake, Alfre Woodard, the great Moses Gunn, and others. Directed by Bill Duke. (MJ)

Killing, The (1956)—An early effort by Stanley Kubrick, about an elaborate racetrack heist. With Sterling Hayden, Marie Windsor and Elisha Cook. (DW)

King Kong (1933)—Beauty and the Beast story, with Fay Wray as the former and an animated ape as the latter. Last ten minutes are worth waiting for. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack. (DW)

King Lear (1987)—Jean-Luc Godard's singular version of the Shakespeare. Not for anyone expecting the original. With Burgess Meredith, Norman Mailer, Molly Ringwald, Godard, Woody Allen. (DW)

King of Marvin Gardens, The (1972)—Overlooked film by Bob Rafelson about the American dream and those who foolishly pursue it. Jack Nicholson atypically plays an introvert. With Bruce Dern, Ellen Burstyn, and Scatman Crothers. (MJ)

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)—Ralph Meeker is Mike Hammer, Cloris Leachman and Albert Dekker also star, in this startling film noir, directed by Robert Aldrich. In many ways, a very frightening film, and not simply because of its explosive conclusion. (DW)

Kiss Me Kate (1953)—Vulgar, brassy production of Cole Porter musical, with Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson, based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. Directed by George Sidney. (DW)

Kiss of Death (1947)—Perhaps best known for Richard Widmark's turn as a giggling, psychopathic killer. Victor Mature is a criminal who goes to work for the authorities. Directed by Henry Hathaway. (DW)

La Strada (1954)—Federico Fellini directed this work about a brutal carnival strongman (Anthony Quinn), his long-suffering girl-friend (Giuletta Masina) and a kindhearted acrobat (Richard Basehart). (DW)

Ladies of Leisure (1930)—Remarkably frank film, early Frank Capra, about the relationship between the poor and somewhat loose Barbara Stanwyck, who gives a luminous performance, and Ralph Graves, an artist and a playboy. (DW)

Lady Eve, The (1941)—Barbara Stanwyck, as a conman's daughter, and Henry Fonda, as a rich young man who happens to love snakes, slug it out in this battle of the sexes directed by Preston Sturges. "Snakes are my life," says Fonda. "What a life!," replies Stanwyck. (DW)

Lady for a Day (1933)—Frank Capra directed this story about an apple vendor transformed into a society lady by a kindhearted hoodlum. With May Robson and Warren Williams. (DW)

Lady from Shanghai, The (1948)—Orson Welles wrote and directed this crime thriller, which, like all of his films, is a cinematic tour de force. Welles plays an Irish seaman (with a brogue that comes and goes), and Glenn Anders and Everett Sloane are two grotesque characters. The two most memorable scenes are of Sloane, as a lawyer, cross-examining himself on the stand, and of the shoot-out in the amusement park hall of mirrors. Also starring Rita Hayworth. (MJ)

Lady in the Lake (1946)—Robert Montgomery directed himself as Raymond Chandler's private detective Philip Marlowe. The camera, as a novelty, takes the first-person (Montgomery's) point of view. (DW)

Lady Killer, The (1933)—James Cagney is a mobster who becomes a Hollywood movie star, and has to choose between the two professions. Mae Clarke is his girl-friend. Directed by Roy Del Ruth. (DW)

Lady with a Dog (1959)—Josif Heifits's film about the joy and bleakness of an adulterous affair is a model of adaptation. Taken from Anton Chekhov's great short story, and photographed beautifully in black-and-white, it translates perfectly the style, settings, and mood of the original. Like the short story, the film is a marvel of succinctness. (MJ)

Ladykillers, The (1955)—A band of bank robbers plan their next job while staying at a rooming house and posing as a chamber music group. The landlord, a wonderfully innocent old woman (played by Katie Johnson), takes them at their word and keeps intruding on them good-naturedly, bringing them tea and asking them to play for her. This British comedy classic stars Alec Guinness (with grotesque teeth) as the group's leader and features Peter Sellers in his first important screen role. (MJ)

Land of the Pharaohs (1955)—Howard Hawks' historical epic is full of the typical Hollywood hokum, but the scenes of the building of the pyramids are truly impressive. William Faulkner helped write the screenplay. With Jack Hawkins and Joan Collins. (MJ)

Last Action Hero (1993)—Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle that proves to be a delight. A boy goes to a movie theater and meets his idol—an action hero—who steps out of the screen and takes him back in. A good action film that spoofs the genre and plays with the tension between movies and reality. It also includes hilarious sendups of Olivier's Hamlet and Bergman's The Seventh Seal. Directed by John McTiernan. (MJ)

Last Detail, The (1973)—Hal Ashby directed this sometimes moving and amusing account of the last days of freedom of a young sailor (Randy Quaid) who faces years in the brig for a minor infraction. Jack Nicholson and Otis Young are the career sailors who decide to show him a little fun. (DW)

Last Hurrah, The (1958)—John Ford adapted this film about US big-city machine politics from the novel by Edwin O'Connor, which was based on the career of Boston's rogue mayor, James Curley. The great Spencer Tracy is perfect in the lead role, as Mayor Frank Skeffington. (MJ)

Last Time I Saw Paris, The (1954)—Director Richard Brooks' strained effort to capture F. Scott Fitzgerald's story, now set in post-World War II Europe. A tale of disillusionment and loss. With Elizabeth Taylor and Van Johnson. (DW)

Last Waltz, The (1978)—Martin Scorsese directed the filming of the last concert performance by The Band, with friends and colleagues Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, Ronnie Hawkins et al. (DW)

Last Year at Marienbad (1961)—Alain Resnais' enigmatic film is one of the classics of French cinema. It asks questions (never answered) about the nature of time and memory. A marvelous film to watch, with its energetically mobile camera and lengthy tracking shots down ornate corridors. (MJ)

Late Show, The (1977)—An amusing twist on the private eye film, with Art Carney as an aging detective, who has to take a bus to get around, hooked up with Lily Tomlin as a slightly loopy client. Robert Benton directed, with Bill Macy. (DW)

Laura (1944)—A murder mystery about a woman believed to be dead who suddenly makes an appearance. Otto Preminger directed an extraordinary cast, including Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Vincent Price and Clifton Webb. (DW)

Leave Her to Heaven (1945)—Extraordinary melodrama by John Stahl, about a woman (Gene Tierney) consumed by jealousy and possessiveness, to the point of madness and murder. With Cornel Wilde and Vincent Price. (DW)

Left-Handed Gun, The (1958)—Based on a television play by Gore Vidal, Arthur Penn directed this off-beat version of the Billy the Kid legend. (DW)

Leopard Man, The (1943)—Val Lewton-Jacques Tourneur thriller about a series of murders in a border town blamed on a leopard. (DW)

Lesson in Love, A (1954)—An obstetrician starts an affair, and so does his bored wife, with her husband's best friend, in Ingmar Bergman's film. With Gunnar Bjornstrand, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson. (DW)

Life Is Sweet (1990)—Allison Steadman and Jim Broadbent are a British suburban, working class couple in Mike Leigh's moving, occasionally irritating film. Jane Horrocks is remarkable as their self-loathing daughter; Claire Skinner is her sister. (DW)

Life of Emile Zola, The (1937)—A stolid and not particularly accurate version of the life of the French writer (Paul Muni). The final speech, in Zola's own words, is moving. Directed by William Dieterle. (DW)

Lifeboat (1944)—Alfred Hitchcock's tale of shipwreck survivors during World War II. With Tallulah Bankhead, William Bendix, and Walter Slezak as a Nazi taken aboard. (DW)

Light That Failed, The (1939)—Ronald Colman is an artist going blind, determined to finish the portrait of his love, in this version of the Rudyard Kipling story. Directed by William Wellman. With Walter Huston and Ida Lupino. (DW)

Lilith (1964)—Warren Beatty and Jean Seberg starred in this work about a therapist who falls for a troubled patient. One critic called it director Robert Rossen's "noblest and most lyrical failure." (DW)

Limelight (1952)—Chaplin is a washed-up music hall comic who saves Claire Bloom from suicide in this exquisitely painful look at the art of performance. Chaplin and Buster Keaton, two immortals, team up in one memorable scene. (DW)

Little Caesar (1930)—Mervyn LeRoy directed Edward G. Robinson as a smalltime hood who rises to the top of the crime world. From the novel by W.R. Burnett. (DW)

Little Fugitive (1953)—Odd independent film, directed by Morris Engel, about a young boy who thinks he's killed his brother and gets lost in Coney Island. Interesting shots of 1950s New York City. (DW)

Little Women (1933)—George Cukor's film version of the Louisa May Alcott classic, perhaps the best of the lot. Four sisters growing up in Civil War America, with Katharine Hepburn and Joan Bennett. (DW)

Little Women (1949)—Mervyn LeRoy directed this, the second version of Louisa May Alcott's novel about a quarter of sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War. This version is inferior to George Cukor's 1933 film. June Allyson, Margaret O'Brien, Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh co-star. (DW)

Lives of a Bengal Lancer, The (1935)—Gary Cooper and Franchot Tone star as British soldiers in colonial India. Reactionary as history, but a lively and colorful film, directed by Henry Hathaway. With Richard Cromwell, C. Aubrey Smith and Douglas Dumbrille. (DW)

Living in Oblivion (1995)—Sometimes amusing look at the making of a (relatively) low-budget film, with Steve Buscemi as the harassed director. James Le Gros as a spoiled, self-important rising star (allegedly based on director Tom DiCillo's experiences with Brad Pitt) is the highlight of the film. (DW)

Local Hero (1983)—Peter Riegert is an American oil company agent commissioned to buy up a Scottish village whose land is needed for an oil refinery. Directed by Bill Forsyth; with Burt Lancaster, Fulton MacKay. (DW)

Locket, The (1946)—A drama about a woman (Laraine Day) with psychological problems who ruins the men who fall for her. One of several "mood-drenched melodramas" directed by John Brahm. With Brian Aherne, Robert Mitchum, Gene Raymond. (DW)

Lodger, The (1944)—John Brahm's atmospheric retelling of the Jack the Ripper story, with Merle Oberon and George Sanders, among others. (DW)

Lolita (1962)—Relatively daring film version of the Vladimir Nabokov novel about a middle-aged English academic who develops a passion for a young girl. Stanley Kubrick directed James Mason, Sue Lyon, Shelley Winters and Peter Sellers. (DW)

Lone Star (1996)—John Sayles wrote and directed this well-done, politically astute film about the ethnic divisions in Texas. Unfortunately, it suffers from a contrived, hard-to-believe ending. With Chris Cooper and Elizabeth Pena. (MJ)

Loneliness of Long Distance Runner, The (1962)—One of the prime examples of Britain's "neo-realist" cinema of the 1960s, directed by Tony Richardson. The story of a young man (a remarkable Tom Courtenay) in a reform school, who takes up running. An uneven work, but it has stirring moments. With Michael Redgrave. (DW)

Long Good Friday, The (1980)—Gripping, brutal gangster film has mob head (Bob Hoskins) trying to find who is sabotaging all of his enterprises. Volatile, memorable performance by Hoskins, early in his career. With Helen Mirren and Pierce Brosnan. Directed by John Mackenzie. (MJ)

Long Trail, The (1930)—John Wayne leads a wagon trail across the country in this early epic sound film, directed by Raoul Walsh. Rough, but interesting. Tyrone Power Sr. plays a part. (DW)

Long Voyage Home, The (1940)—Sentimental, murky, but enormously moving account of sailors at sea, adapted by screenwriter Dudley Nichols from four short plays by Eugene O'Neill. John Ford was the director, Gregg Toland (who shot Citizen Kane the following year) the cinematographer. (DW)

Longest Yard, The (1974)—A prison comedy-drama, with Burt Reynolds, as a former football player, who directs a team against warden Eddie Albert's squad. Directed by Robert Aldrich. (DW)

Looking for Richard (1996)—Al Pacino directed this good-humored, casual documentary about the making of a film of Richard III. It popularizes but never cheapens Shakespeare. Interviews with actors, academics, and passersby on the street are interwoven with cast discussions, rehearsals, and sequences from the production. Enjoyable and educational. With Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Vanessa Redgrave, James Earl Jones, Peter Brook, and many others. (MJ)

Lost in America (1985)—Yuppies, played by Albert Brooks (who also directed) and Julie Hagerty, give up their good corporate jobs to tour the country in an RV, with disastrous (and funny) results. (MJ)

Lost Patrol, The (1934)—An interesting John Ford film about a squad of British soldiers stranded at a desert outpost somewhere in the Mesopotamian desert during World War I, and picked off one by one. With Victor McLaglen, Boris Karloff, Wallace Ford, Reginald Denny, Alan Hale. (DW)

Lost Weekend, The (1945)—Ray Milland is a drunk, an unrelenting drunk, in Billy Wilder's bleak film. With Howard da Silva as a bartender, Jane Wyman and Frank Faylen. (DW)

Louise Brooks: Looking for Lulu (1998)—A profile of the silent screen actress Louise Brooks, one of the most extraordinary figures of the 1920s, the devastating star of Pandora's Box (1928). (DW)

Love and Anarchy (1973)—One of Italian director Lina Wertmuller's first misguided efforts, with Giancarlo Giannini as a bumpkin who attempts to assassinate Mussolini. (DW)

Love Happy (1949)—A sad end to the Marx Brothers' film career. The comedy routines are tired (except for one with Harpo on New York City rooftops), and Groucho never appears in the same scenes as Chico and Harpo, but anything with the Marx Brothers is worth seeing. Directed by David Miller. (MJ)

Love in the Afternoon (1957)—Billy Wilder directed this film about the affair between a young Parisian woman (Audrey Hepburn) and a middle-aged American businessman (Gary Cooper). Maurice Chevalier is her father, a private detective. This was Wilder's first film cowritten with I.A.L. Diamond. (DW)

Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)—Melodrama set in Hong Kong during the Korean War, with Jennifer Jones as a Eurasian doctor who falls for William Holden. Directed by Henry King. (DW)

Love Letters (1945)—Joseph Cotten plays a soldier writing letters to his friend's fiancée, Jennifer Jones. Later he cures her amnesia. Directed by William Dieterle. Ayn Rand wrote the script! (DW)

Love on the Run (1979—A fairly slight effort by François Truffaut, part of his series of films, loosely autobiographical, about the character Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud). Doinel divorces his wife and goes on another search for love. With Marie-France Pisier, Claude Jade. (DW)

Love with the Proper Stranger (1963)—Natalie Wood is pregnant and Steve McQueen is her musician boy-friend in this occasionally affecting film shot on location in New York's Greenwich Village. Directed by Robert Mulligan. (DW)

Lusty Men, The (1952)—A film about rodeo cowboys, with Robert Mitchum as the ex-champion who becomes a mentor to newcomer Arthur Kennedy. Mitchum then falls for Kennedy's wife, Susan Hayward. Full of moral ambiguities, directed by Nicholas Ray. (DW)

M (1931)—Fritz Lang's gripping expressionist film about a German child murderer pursued not only by the police but by the underworld. With Peter Lorre. (MJ)

M*A*S*H (1970)—The film that brought Robert Altman his first major success, a cynical and sometimes facetious look at the Korean War and the military in general. Made in the midst of the Vietnam War. With Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman. (DW)

Macao (1952)—Not one of Josef Von Sternberg's finer efforts, but still worth watching. With Robert Mitchum as an adventurer and Jane Russell a singer, acting out a melodrama in the Portuguese enclave off the coast of China. (DW)

Macbeth (1948)—Orson Welles shot this low-budget version of Shakespeare's play in 23 days for Republic Pictures, which usually made cheapie westerns. The lack of money and the unadorned sets reduced the film to basics—dark, primitive, brutal, in a unidentified barbaric era. Welles (who plays Macbeth) called it a "charcoal sketch" of the play. Undoubtedly influenced by the just-concluded World War II, it shows a shadow-filled world in which murderers rule. With Jeanette Nolan, Dan O'Herlihy, and Roddy McDowall. (MJ)

Macbeth (1971)—Roman Polanski directed this version of Shakespeare's play about an ambitious minor Scottish nobleman, and his even more ambitious wife. With Jon Finch and Francesca Annis. (DW)

Madame Bovary (1949)—Vincente Minnelli's film version of the Gustave Flaubert novel about a bored provincial wife who thinks she has found true love. Jennifer Jones is Emma Bovary, with Van Heflin, James Mason. (DW)

Magnificent Ambersons, The (1942)—Considered by some to be Orson Welles's finest work. The film, based on a Booth Tarkinson novel, examines the impact of social and economic change on a small town family. Joseph Cotten, Ray Collins, Agnes Moorehead are brilliant. The film was taken out of Welles's hands and an ending added. (DW)

Magnificent Obsession (1954)—The first, and perhaps least ironic, of Douglas Sirk's extraordinary 1950s melodramas, starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. (DW)

Major and Minor, The (1942)—Remarkable film by Billy Wilder, with Ginger Rogers, posing as a 12-year-old to save train fare, becoming involved with Ray Milland. (DW)

Make Way for Tomorrow (1937)—A remarkable portrait of an aging couple (Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi) in the Depression years, shunted aside by their ambitious children. Directed by Leo McCarey. (DW)

Maltese Falcon, The (1941)—John Huston classic, based on the Dashiell Hammett novel, with Humphrey Bogart as private detective Sam Spade. Sydney Greenstreet, Mary Astor and Peter Lorre brilliantly co-star. (DW)

Man from Laramie, The (1955)—Top-notch Anthony Mann western, with James Stewart looking for the man who killed his brother. Morally ambiguous, as Mann's best films generally are. With Arthur Kennedy, Donald Crisp, Cathy O'Donnell, Alex Nicol. (DW)

Man from the Alamo (1953)—Not a great film, but an interesting study of a man (Glenn Ford) branded, by mistake, as a deserter. Directed with energy by the talented Budd Boetticher. Perhaps a comment on the McCarthy witch-hunts? (DW)

Man Hunt (1941)—Suspenseful film directed by Fritz Lang about a hunter who gets Hitler in his sights but doesn't pull the trigger; from that point on, he himself is hunted by the Nazis. With Walter Pidgeon, Joan Bennett, and George Sanders. (MJ)

Man of the West (1958)—Gary Cooper is a former outlaw, trying to reform, is forced to join forces with his sadistic ex-boss (Lee J. Cobb) in a bank robbery to save himself and his companions. With Arthur O'Connell and Julie London. Directed by Anthony Mann. (DW)

Man on the Roof (1973)—Swedish director Bo Widerberg adapted one of the excellent series of left-wing police procedural novels written by the husband-and-wife team of Per Wahloo and Maj Sjowall. In a bloody act of vengeance, a brutal cop is killed and the police then stage a manhunt in Stockholm. In the course of the film, the dark side of Swedish society is exposed. Well directed, with fine characterizations. (MJ)

Man Who Knew Too Much, The (1956)—An American couple (James Stewart and Doris Day) become involved in an international conspiracy when their child is kidnaped in London and they try to find him. Good remake by Alfred Hitchcock of his 1934 has its high points (the assassination attempt during an Albert Hall concert) and its low points (Ms. Day singing "Que Sera, Sera"). (MJ)

Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, The (1962)—One of John Ford's best films. The story of a man who rises to fame because he shot a notorious outlaw, though the shooting was done by someone else, embodies Ford's philosophy of myth and the West. Starring Jimmy Stewart and John Wayne, in fine performances. (MJ)

Man Who Would Be King, The (1975)—John Huston's adaptation of Rudyard Kipling's novel is a rousing, enjoyable adventure film—one of his best. Sean Connery and Michael Caine have great chemistry as the buddies who try to steal the riches of the kingdom of Kafiristan by pretending that one of them is a god. Christopher Plummer makes an appearance as Kipling. (MJ)

Man with Golden Arm, The (1955)—Otto Preminger directed this film about a heroin addict (Frank Sinatra), the woman who loves him (Kim Novak) and the lowlifes he consorts with. Based on the book by Nelson Algren. (DW)

Man Without a Star (1955)—King Vidor-directed western, with Kirk Douglas as a drifter, Jeanne Crain as a manipulative rancher. (DW)

Manchurian Candidate, The (1962)—A Korean War hero (Laurence Harvey) returns to the US, brainwashed by his Chinese captors and programmed to kill a presidential candidate. Ostensibly a cold war conspiracy thriller, this film turns around and becomes an intense satirical attack on right-wing politics. Angela Lansbury gives a superb performance as the war hero's villainous mom, as does James Gregory, playing a politician based on Senator Joe McCarthy. The baroque direction is by John Frankenheimer, from the novel by Richard Condon. With Frank Sinatra and Janet Leigh. (MJ)

Manpower (1941)—Lesser Raoul Walsh, but memorable for performances of Edward G. Robinson, Marlene Dietrich and George Raft. (DW)

Marathon Man (1976)—Exciting, convoluted spy thriller about stolen jewels, Nazis hiding out in the US, and the CIA. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Roy Scheider. Laurence Olivier is particularly effective as a sadistic Mengele-type dentist. Directed by John Schlesinger. (MJ)

Marie Antoinette (1938)—Lavish MGM spectacle about the life of the doomed queen of France. Criticized in its time, it stands up to a certain extent. Robert Morley is memorable as Louis XVI; Norma Shearer is Marie. Directed by W. S. Van Dyke. (DW)

Mark of the Vampire (1935)—One of Tod Browning's remarkable and obsessive horror films. A vampire terrorizes a small village. With Bela Lugosi, Lionel Barrymore and Lionel Atwill. (DW)

Marnie (1964)—Tippie Hedren is a woman who can't stop stealing and Sean Connery is her employer, and admirer, who is trying to figure out why. The story traces her problem to psychological trauma. Alfred Hitchcock directed. (DW)

Marriage of Maria Braun, The (1978)—R.W. Fassbinder's epic film of postwar German economic and emotional life: a woman whose husband goes missing in World War II builds a business empire at a considerable cost. With the remarkable Hanna Schygulla. Essential viewing. (DW)

Married to the Mob (1988)—Michelle Pfeiffer is the widow of a Mafia hitman, trying to change her life. Dean Stockwell is the crime boss who lusts for her. With Matthew Modine. A semi-amusing, semi-conformist film, directed by Jonathan Demme. (DW)

Mary of Scotland (1936)—John Ford's sympathetic and largely fanciful, from an historical point of view, account of the last years in the life of Mary Queen of Scots, Catholic queen and rival of Elizabeth I of England. Based on the play by Maxwell Anderson. Katharine Hepburn is Mary. (DW)

Mask of Dimitrios, The (1944)—Not as good as the wonderful political drama/suspense novel by Eric Ambler, about inter-war intrigue in the Balkans (eerily echoed in today's headlines), but a solid film in its own right. With Zachary Scott, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet; directed by Jean Negulesco. (DW)

Mean Streets (1973)—Excellent, highly influential film by Martin Scorsese about growing up in New York's Little Italy. With Robert De Niro and Harvey Keitel, both very young, (MJ)

Meet John Doe (1941)—Gary Cooper as John Doe, the barefoot Everyman, suspicious of ideas and doctrines, in Frank Capra's populist fable. (DW)

Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)—Vincente Minnelli's sentimental, but very evocative musical about turn-of-the-century family life in St. Louis, set during the World's Fair of 1903. Judy Garland is memorable; she sings "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song," among others. Margaret O'Brien is her younger sister. With Leon Ames and Mary Astor. (DW)

Melvin and Howard (1980)—Jonathan Demme's amusing look at the story of Melvin Dummar, the man who claimed to be the beneficiary of Howard Hughes' will. Excellent performance by the underrated Paul LeMat as Dummar. (DW)

Men in War (1957)—The seriously underrated Anthony Mann directed this film about the Korean War. With a cast of stalwart character actors, including Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray and Vic Morrow (father of Jennifer Jason Leigh). (DW)

Men of Respect (1991)—Fascinating but largely unsuccessful attempt to translate Macbeth into a modern gangster milieu. Starring John Turturro, Peter Boyle, and Rod Steiger. Directed by William Reilly. (MJ)

Mephisto Waltz, The (1971)—Effective, eerie film about a journalist (Alan Alda) who makes a deal with the devil to become a great concert pianist. With Curt Jurgens. Directed by Paul Wendkos. (MJ)

Merrill's Marauders (1962)—It's questionable how much this has to do with real history, but engrossing war film directed by Samuel Fuller; Jeff Chandler as commander of US soldiers fighting Japanese in Burmese jungle. (DW)

Merry War, A (1998)—An advertising man in 1930s London abruptly leaves his job to become "a poet and a free man." He works in a bookshop and lives in squalor, but vows never to give in to the world of money. Richard E. Grant plays the disagreeable Gordon Comstock, and Helena Bonham Carter his patient girlfriend. This witty film version of George Orwell's novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying punctures the pretensions of the British middle class. Directed by Robert Bierman. (MJ)

Merry Widow, The (1925)—Erich von Stroheim's cynical silent version of the Franz Lehar operetta about a prince (John Gilbert) forced to woo a rich American widow (Mae Murray). (DW)

Merry Widow, The (1934)—Ernst Lubitsch directed this version of the Franz Lehar operetta. Described by one critic as "the last musical of a certain spirit and style to be made on this planet." (DW)

Mickey One (1965)—Arthur Penn's interesting film about a nightclub comic (Warren Beatty) in trouble with the mob. An American attempt at a French New Wave film. (DW)

Midnight (1939)—Very clever film, directed by Michell Leisen and written by Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett, about penniless Claudette Colbert pretending to be an aristocrat in Paris. Memorable scene with Don Ameche, a taxi-driver. (DW)

Midnight Clear, A (1992)—Strong anti-war film about a squad of US soldiers in France near the end of World War II. Ethan Hawke, Peter Berg, Kevin Dillon, Gary Sinise starred. Directed by Keith Gordon, from William Wharton's novel. (DW)

Midnight Cowboy (1969)—Jon Voight is a would-be gigolo from a small town who develops a strong bond with lowlife Dustin Hoffman in John Schlesinger's film. Both actors chew up the scenery, but mean well. (DW)

Midsummer Night's Dream, A (1935)—Famed German theater director Max Reinhardt oversaw this oddity, with James Cagney as Bottom and Mickey Rooney as Puck in Shakespeare's magical play. (DW)

Milagro Beanfield War, The (1988)—Robert Redford directed this story of a conflict between a poor farmer and a rich land developer in New Mexico. With Chick Vennera, Richard Bradford, Ruben Blades and Sonia Braga. From the novel by John Nichols. (DW)

Mildred Pierce (1945)—Powerful melodrama, directed by Michael Curtiz, about a woman (Joan Crawford) who goes from rags to riches and her ungrateful daughter. Based on the novel by James M. Cain. (DW)

Milky Way, The (1969)—The past and the present are interwoven in Luis Bunuel's funny, often surrealistic film of two tramps making a pilgimage to a holy place in Spain. Throughout, the Catholic Church is held up to ridicule, as when two noblemen fight a duel over the question of free will and when a mad priest and a policeman argue whether God is literally or symbolically present in the host. (MJ)

Miller's Crossing (1990)—The Coen brothers do their version of the Red Harvest (Dashiell Hammett) story: gangsters wage a civil war for control of a city. Overblown and self-conscious, but it holds one's attention. With Gabriel Byrne and Albert Finney. (DW)

Ministry of Fear (1944)—Suspenseful, complicated Fritz Lang wartime thriller set in London. With Ray Milland trying to unravel an espionage plot. Dan Duryea also stars. (DW)

Miracle of Morgan's Creek, The (1943)—One of Preston Sturges' wonderful comic looks at American morals and manners. Eddie Bracken, Betty Hutton and William Demarest. (DW)

Miracle Worker, The (1962)—Patty Duke and Anne Bancroft co-starred in this version of William Gibson's play about the early life of Helen Keller. Arthur Penn directed with his normal sensitivity to acting performances. (DW)

Misfits, The (1961)—The last film of both Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable. John Huston directed this sour tale, written by Arthur Miller, of divorcee Monroe and some unhappy cowboys. With Montgomery Clift, Thelma Ritter, Eli Wallach. (DW)

Mission to Moscow (1943)—Pro-Stalin propaganda film, made in Hollywood at President Roosevelt's behest, to soften the American public's attitude toward the Soviet Union as a World War II ally. Fraudulent, vicious portrayal of the Moscow Trials defendants as liars and traitors. From the memoirs of U.S. Ambassador Joseph E. Davies (played by Walter Huston). Directed by Michael Curtiz. (MJ)

Mississippi Masala (1992)—Mira Nair's story of cross-cultural romance between Denzel Washington and Indian-born Sarita Choudhury, set in Greenwood, Mississippi. (DW)

Mister Cory (1957)—Tony Curtis is excellent as poor boy turned rich gambler in Blake Edwards' drama. (DW)

Mister Roberts (1955)—Henry Fonda is an officer aboard a World War II cargo ship, contending with an eccentric captain (James Cagney). Remarkable cast includes William Powell, Jack Lemmon, Ward Bond and Nick Adams. John Ford began as director, but was replaced by Mervyn LeRoy. (DW)

Moby Dick (1956)—John Huston's not entirely successful adaptation of Herman Melville's classic novel. Gregory Peck is an unexciting Captain Ahab; Richard Basehart is Ishmael. Huston and Ray Bradbury wrote the screenplay. (DW)

Modern Romance (1981)—Occasionally amusing film, directed by and starring Albert Brooks as a neurotic film editor obsessed with Kathryn Harrold. (DW)

Modern Times (1936)—Chaplin on the machine age. Consistently funny and perceptive, with Paulette Goddard. Chaplin's last silent film. (DW)

Mogambo (1953)—A remake of Victor Fleming's Red Dust (1932), with Clark Gable playing the same role, Ava Gardner replacing Jean Harlow and Grace Kelly stepping in for Mary Astor. John Ford directed the film, about big-game hunting and a love triangle in Africa. (DW)

Molly Maguires, The (1970)—Sean Connery and Richard Harris co-starred in this well-meaning film about the secret organization of Irish-born miners in Pennsylvania in the 1870s. Directed by Martin Ritt. (DW)

Money Trap, The (1966)—Glenn Ford is a policeman who goes bad in this modest murder story. Rita Hayworth co-stars in one of her later performances. Walter Bernstein, formerly blacklisted, wrote the script and Burt Kennedy directed. (DW)

Monkey Business (1952)—Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers in Howard Hawks' comedy about a chemistry professor who comes up with youth serum. Marilyn Monroe and Charles Coburn costar. (DW)

Monsieur Verdoux (1947)—Chaplin plays a Parisian Bluebeard who murders women for their money. His famous courtroom speech, in which he describes himself as a small fry among mass murderers, did not endear him with US authorities. With the unlikely Martha Raye. (DW)

Moonfleet (1955)—A Fritz Lang film, with Stewart Granger as an 18th century smuggler seeking a lost gem. With Jon Whiteley, George Saunders, Viveca Lindfors and Joan Greenwood. (DW)

Morning Glory (1935)—Katharine Hepburn is a small-town girl who tries to make it as an actress in New York City. Hepburn, according to one critic, displays "a self-mocking irony and delirious rapture that few actresses have ever attempted, much less achieved." Directed by Lowell Sherman. (DW)

Mortal Storm, The (1940)—One of Frank Borzage's anti-Nazi films. The family of a prominent academic (Frank Morgan) is torn apart by Nazi ascendancy. The politics are murky, but Margaret Sullavan, as the professor's daughter, and James Stewart, as her fiancé, are magnificent. (DW)

Moulin Rouge (1952)—John Huston's engrossing account of the life of 19th century French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, with Jose Ferrer. (DW)

Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990)—James Ivory directed this touching film that follows a reserved Kansas City couple through several decades, revealing much of what really goes on under the surface of their long, seemingly placid relationship. Starring real-life husband and wife Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in quiet, sensitive performances. Adapted—with inevitable changes and abridgements—from the brilliant but unfilmable pair of novels by Evan S. Connell, Jr. (MJ)

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)—Alfred Hitchcock's somewhat misguided effort at screwball comedy. Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard discover their marriage is invalid; mayhem ensues. At least one marvelous scene in a restaurant, in which Montgomery, attempting to impress Lombard, from whom he is now estranged, pretends to speak into the ear of a woman seated next to him. (DW)

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)—Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur play the leading roles in one of Frank Capra's Depression parables. Longfellow Deeds (Cooper) has twenty million dollars and wants to give it away to those in need; Arthur is the hard-boiled reporter trying to figure him out. (DW)

Murder, My Sweet (1944)—Worthy, hardboiled adaptation of Raymond Chandler's Farewell My Lovely, with Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe. Directed by future HUAC informer Edward Dmytryk. (DW)

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)—Charles Laughton is memorable as the abominable Captain Bligh on board a British ship bound for the South Seas. Clark Gable is Fletcher Christian. Directed by Frank Lloyd. (DW)

My Darling Clementine (1946)—John Ford directed this Western about the lead-up to the gunfight at the O.K. Corral. Henry Fonda is Wyatt Earp and Victor Mature Doc Holliday. With Ward Bond, Tim Holt, Walter Brennan. (DW)

My Fair Lady (1964)—George Cukor's beautiful film of the Lerner and Loewe musical adapted from Shaw's Pygmalion. Memorable costumes and sets by Cecil Beaton. Starring Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn (whose singing is actually done by Marni Nixon). (MJ)

My Favorite Wife (1940)—Amusing film, directed by Garson Kanin, with Irene Dunne, thought dead, returning to find husband Cary Grant married to another woman (Gail Patrick). Produced and co-written by Leo McCarey. (DW)

My Favorite Year (1982)—Richard Benjamin directed this uneven look at early television. In 1954 a young man has the job of chaperoning the star (Peter O'Toole) of that week's show. Joseph Bologna plays a Sid Caesar type. (DW)

My Little Chickadee (1940)—W.C. Fields costars with Mae West in this odd western, directed by Eddie Cline. One critic suggested that the pairing "was more funny/peculiar than funny/ha ha." (DW)

My Man Godfrey (1936)—A millionaire invites a tramp (William Powell) to be his butler in this Gregory LaCava screwball comedy. Carole Lombard is the millionaire's daughter. (DW)

Naked City, The (1948)—A "neo-realist" treatment of a murder case, filmed self-consciously on the streets of New York. Barry Fitzgerald and Howard Duff play leading roles. The film provided the basis for the subsequent television series. Directed by Jules Dassin and co-scripted by Albert Maltz, both soon to be blacklisted. (DW)

Naked Dawn, The (1955)—Poverty Row director, German-born Edgar Ulmer made this Mexican crime drama, with Arthur Kennedy and Eugene Iglesias. (DW)

Naked Jungle, The (1954)—Above-average jungle adventure directed by Byron Haskin, with Charlton Heston and Eleanor Parker. (DW)

Naked Spur, The (1953)—One of the best westerns of the 1950s. James Stewart is a bounty hunter in post- Civil War US, bringing in Robert Ryan. Janet Leigh is Ryan's girl-friend. To Stewart, Ryan is simply a congealed amount of cash; apparently he will do anything for the money. Shot beautifully in the Rockies. Directed by Anthony Mann. (DW)

Name of Rose, The (1986)—A murder mystery set in a medieval monastery (the MacGuffin is a lost book by Aristotle). Though lacking much of the rich detail of Umberto Eco's fine novel, the film stands well on its own. Sean Connery is perfect as the monk-detective, John of Baskerville. With Christian Slater, F. Murray Abraham, and William Hickey. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. (MJ)

Narrow Margin, The (1952)—A policeman has to transport a gangster's widow to a trial to testify. They have to avoid various attempts to kill them. With Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor, both B-movie standouts. Directed by Richard Fleischer. (DW)

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)—Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo star in this often hilarious low comedy about a quintessentially middle-class family's cross-country trip to the Wally Land theme park. The sequences with Imogene Coca are especially funny. Directed by Harold Ramis. (MJ)

National Velvet (1944)—Elizabeth Taylor is dazzling as teenager determined to enter her beloved horse in the Grand National Steeplechase. With Anne Revere, Donald Crisp and Mickey Rooney; directed by Clarence Brown. (DW)

Network (1976)—Heavyhanded satire on the TV industry. News anchorman (Peter Finch) has a psychotic episode on a national broadcast; his formless rage is taken up by the general populace. He is then regarded as a prophet. Sidney Lumet directed the Academy Award-winning script by Paddy Chayefsky. Starring Peter Finch as the mad newsman. (MJ)

New Age, The (1994)—The super-yuppie Witners both lose their high-paying jobs during the Recession. To maintain their spoiled, Southern California lifestyle they join various cults, consort with bizarre gurus, and open a trendy boutique that rapidly goes under. They are no longer invited to parties because failure is depressing. Michael Tolkin wrote and directed this cutting satire in manic style. Peter Weller and the always remarkable Judy Davis play the frantic couple. (MJ)

New Leaf, A (1971)—Elaine May's first directing effort in which she also co-starred as a clumsy, introverted heiress wooed by Walter Matthau, a playboy who has run through his fortune. The final cut was taken out of May's hands and she disclaimed it. (DW)

Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976—A young man (based on the director, Paul Mazursky) moves from Brooklyn to Greenwich village to pursue a career as an actor. He falls in with an assortment of colorful characters. This fond reminiscence of Greenwich Village in the 1950s is unfortunately marred by a stereotyped, overdone Jewish-mother performance by Shelley Winters. With Lenny Baker, Christopher Walken and Ellen Greene. Watch for a brief, performance by then-newcomer Jeff Goldblum, who steals the scene he's in. (MJ)

Niagara (1953)—Marilyn Monroe is an adulterous wife planning to kill her husband (Joseph Cotten) on their honeymoon at Niagara Falls, in this somewhat overwrought, but tense film, directed by Henry Hathaway. (DW)

Night and the City (1992)—Fair remake of the superb 1950 film noir by Jules Dassin. In this version, directed by Irwin Winkler, Robert De Niro takes the Richard Widmark part, and the scene is shifted from London to New York City. The shady world of boxing promotion is well captured in the screenplay by Richard Price. (MJ)

Night at the Opera, A (1935)—Along with Duck Soup, one of the Marx Brothers' best efforts. Unfortunately, a silly, uninteresting love story occasionally gets in the way. Directed by Sam Wood; with the inimitable Margaret Dumont, also Kitty Carlisle and Alan Jones. (DW)

Night Falls on Manhattan (1997)—Another of Sidney Lumet's tales of police corruption. They are usually incisive, with a good feel for urban realities, but this one, with Andy Garcia as a cop turned crusading DA, is a bit paint-by-numbers. (MJ)

Night Moves (1975)—Superior mystery in which a good deal is happening under the surface, and things are not what seem. Gene Hackman plays a weary private eye searching for an actress's spoiled missing daughter. Directed by Arthur Penn. (MJ)

Night of Hunter, The (1955)—Robert Mitchum is a sinister religious fanatic in pursuit of a couple of children and the money their father stole, in the only film Charles Laughton ever directed. James Agee wrote the screenplay, from a novel by Davis Grubb. With Lillian Gish, Shelley Winters. (DW)

Night to Remember, A (1958)—Well-made film about the sinking of the Titanic, directed by Roy Ward Baker. With Kenneth More, David McCallum, Jill Dixon, Laurence Naismith. Novelist Eric Ambler wrote the script based on the book by Walter Lord. (DW)

Night Train to Munich (1940)—Rex Harrison is a British intelligence operative sent to rescue Czech scientist who has attempted to escape Nazi grasp. With Margaret Lockwood and Paul Henreid. Directed by Carol Reed. (DW)

Ninotchka (1939)—Greta Garbo is an unlikely Soviet official in Paris, who gets seduced by Melvyn Douglas and the pleasures of capitalism, in Ernst Lubitsch's comedy. (DW)

No Highway in the Sky (1951)—James Stewart gives a remarkable performance as an aviation engineer who tries to persuade the authorities that planes should be grounded after a given time. With Marlene Dietrich. (DW)

No Time for Sergeants (1958)—Occasionally funny film about hillbilly Andy Griffith and his adventures in the US Air Force. Myron McCormick is memorable as his harried sergeant. With Nick Adams and Don Knotts. Directed by veteran Mervyn LeRoy. (DW)

North by Northwest (1959)—One of Alfred Hitchcock's wondrous late-1950s color pieces, with Cary Grant as an ad executive turned into a wanted and hunted man. (DW)

Northwest Passage (1940)—King Vidor's vivid film about Rogers' Rangers, an elite corps opening up territory in pre-Revolutionary America. Spencer Tracy is Rogers, with Robert Young and Walter Brennan. (DW)

Nothing Sacred (1937)—Fredric March is a cynical reporter who sets out to make headlines with the story of a Vermont girl (Carole Lombard) supposedly dying from radium poisoning. Ben Hecht wrote the script and William Wellman directed. (DW)

Notorious (1946)—One of Alfred Hitchcock's best. American counterespionage agents convince the patriotic daughter of a convicted Nazi spy to marry a Nazi agent in South America. Very suspenseful (especially the sequence with the dwindling champagne bottles), and with complex characterizations. Wonderful chemistry between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman, and an oddly sympathetic performance by Claude Rains as the Nazi agent. (MJ)

Now, Voyager (1942)—A well-done melodrama with a remarkable cast. Bette Davis is an isolated, neurotic woman helped by psychiatrist Claude Rains, and falling in love with Paul Henreid. Directed by Irving Rapper. (DW)

Nun's Story, The (1959)—Audrey Hepburn is a nun undergoing a crisis in Fred Zinnemann's stolid film. She serves in the Belgian Congo and later leaves the convent. (DW)

Obsession (1976)—This Brian De Palma pastiche of Hitchcock, mostly of Vertigo, is very good in its own right. Excellent performances by Genevieve Bujold (in two roles), Cliff Robertson, and John Lithgow, and a haunting musical score by Bernard Herrmann. (MJ)

Of Human Bondage (1934)—Bette Davis stars as the waitress with whom doctor Leslie Howard becomes "inexplicably" enamored. An interesting film, directed by John Cromwell, but W. Somerset Maugham's story is pretty stupid and insensitive. (DW)

Oklahoma! (1955)—Fred Zinnemann's tepid film adaptation of the watershed 1943 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. The performances (by Gordon MacRae and Shirley Jones) do not measure up to those of the original Broadway production, but the dance sequences are spectacular, especially the dream ballet choreographed by Agnes DeMille. (MJ)

Old Dark House, The (1932)—A group of travelers comes together in a sinister house. Cast includes Charles Laughton, Boris Karloff and Melvyn Douglas. Directed by James Whale. (DW)

Oliver! (1968)—Excellent, spirited film version of the musical based on Dickens' Oliver Twist. There is no pulling back on the harshness of life in Victorian England. Outstanding costumes, sets, and choreography. With Oliver Reed, Ron Moody, and Mark Lester. Directed by Carol Reed. (MJ)

Olympia (1936)—Nazi propagandist Leni Riefenstahl, under official commission from Hitler and Goebbels, made this massive documentary about the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Despite its obscene origins and its flattering shots of Hitler, the film remains a brilliant paean to the human body. (MJ)

On the Riviera (1951)—Danny Kaye does his one-of-a-kind humor and plays a dual role in this farce about mistaken identities. Directed by Walter Lang. (MJ)

On the Town (1949)—Memorable MGM musical—three sailors with 24 hours' leave in New York City. Based on the show by Betty Comden-Adolph Green-Leonard Bernstein, with Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Vera-Ellen and Betty Garrett. Directed by Stanley Donen and Kelly. (DW)

On the Waterfront (1954)—Elia Kazan's famed film, with Marlon Brando as an ex-boxer working on the docks, Rod Steiger as his crooked brother, Lee J. Cobb as a corrupt union boss, Karl Malden as a crusading priest, Eva Marie Saint as Brando's girl-friend. Kazan was seeking to justify his role as an informant to HUAC; a good movie made for the wrong reasons. (DW)

Once More, My Darling (1949)—Robert Montgomery directed himself in this story about a middle-aged movie star and the young girl (Ann Blyth) infatuated with him. (DW)

Once Upon a Time in the West (1969)—Sergio Leone's drawn-out classic anti-Western, with Claudia Cardinale as the owner of land made valuable by the impending arrival of the railroad. Henry Fonda is a cold-blooded killer. With Jason Robards and Charles Bronson. Memorable score by Ennio Morricone. (DW)

One Sunday Afternoon (1948)—Raoul Walsh directed this musical version of the 1933 Gary Cooper vehicle of the same name and his own The Strawberry Blonde (1941), the genial story of a turn-of-the-century dentist in love with a glamorous girl. (DW)

One-Eyed Jacks (1961)—Marlon Brando's only directing effort. He plays an outlaw seeking revenge on Karl Malden, a former friend, now a sadistic sheriff. (DW)

Organizer, The (1964)—This film, directed lovingly by Mario Monicelli, is one of the best about the labor movement. An itinerant schoolteacher (played with compassion by the great Marcello Mastroianni) comes to Turin and organizes the embattled and exploited factory workers. He fights to bring them class consciousness and unity against great odds. A gem, not to be missed. (MJ)

Othello (1952)—Beautiful, terrifying version of Shakespeare's work, directed by and starring Orson Welles. Operating on a shoe-string budget, Welles reportedly filmed one sequence in a bath-house because he had no money for costumes. Micheal MacLiammoir is a chilling Iago. (DW)

Our Man in Havana (1960)—Alec Guinness is a vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba who allows himself to be recruited as a British spy, to make a little extra income, and discovers he is in over his head. Carol Reed directed, based on the Graham Greene novel. (DW)

Out of the Past (1947)—"A civilized treatment of an annihilating melodrama," in one critic's words, Jacques Tourneur's elegant film noir is the story of Robert Mitchum, a decent man, who gets mixed up with the wrong girl (Jane Greer) and the wrong guy (Kirk Douglas). (DW)

Ox, The (1991)—Ingmar Bergman's famed cinematographer Sven Nykvist directed this work about a poor family's struggle for survival in Sweden in the mid-19th century. (DW)

Palm Beach Story, The (1942)—Preston Sturges' delirious film about a wife (Claudette Colbert) who leaves her husband (Joel McCrea) because of their financial woes. She heads for Palm Beach, where millionaires congregate. With Rudy Vallee, Mary Astor. (DW)

Pandora's Box (1928)—The film, directed by G.W. Pabst, is based on two plays by German playwright Franz Wedekind. It is the story of Lulu, also the subject of Alban Berg's opera, who unwittingly brings about the destruction of several men. The film is unforgettable because of the performance, the presence of Louise Brooks, one of the most extraordinary film actresses of the 1920s. (DW)

Panici in the Streets (1950)—One of Elia Kazan's best films. Two gangsters roam the streets of New Orleans, and one of them is carrying pneumonic plague. Great suspense. Jack Palance and Zero Mostel play the thugs, and Richard Widmark is a public health doctor. With Barbara Bel Geddes. (MJ)

Parallax View, The (1974)—An exceptional, haunting conspiracy film from director Alan Pakula. Journalist (Warren Beatty) investigates a political assassination and the murders of all witnesses to it. He finds himself completely involved and his life in peril. Marvelous vertiginous beginning at the top of the Space Needle in Seattle. With Paula Prentiss, Hume Cronyn, William Daniels. (MJ)

Party, The (1968)—Peter Sellers is an Indian actor attending a fashionable Hollywood party in this uneven film by Blake Edwards. With Claudine Longet. (DW)

Passage to India, A (1984)—A decent approximation of the great E.M. Forster novel about British colonialialism in India—its effects on both the oppressed Indians and the clueless British settlers. A hapless Indian is put on trial for the rape of a British woman. The power of the novel, however, is 90% in its language and rhythms, and no film could be expected to capture that. Directed by David Lean. Starring Judy Davis, Victor Banerjee, Peggy Ashcroft, and the irrepressible Alec Guinness. (MJ)

Pat and Mike (1952)—Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy play a leading female athlete and her manager, respectively, in this lightweight piece. Directed by George Cukor. (DW)

Paths of Glory (1957)—Stanley Kubrick's fine film about military insanity. In World War I, when a suicidal advance that he ordered has failed, a French officer selects three of his men to be tried and shot for cowardice. With Kirk Douglas, Ralph Meeker and Adolphe Menjou. (DW)

Pawnbroker, The (1965)—Sidney Lumet's strained tale of pawnbroker (Rod Steiger) with memories of concentration camps. (DW)

Pennies from Heaven (1982)—Excellent, daring musical adapted by the great British television writer Dennis Potter from his TV miniseries. During the Great Depression, an unhappy traveling salesman of sheet music and the rural schoolteacher he seduces sustain themselves on dreams and illusions, which they express by pantomiming recordings of the popular tunes of the period—to remarkable effect. Starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters in fine performances. Directed by Herbert Ross. (MJ)

People Will Talk (1951)—Odd film, directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, with Cary Grant as a philosophizing doctor, married to Jeanne Crain. He is accused of malpractice and has to defend himself. (DW)

Persona (1966)—Liv Ullmann is an actress, now mute, cared for by nurse Bibi Andersson. They exercise extraordinary influence over one another. With Gunnar Bjornstrand. Directed by Ingmar Bergman. (DW)

Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, A (1995)—Director Martin Scorsese shows the history of American film through the filter of his own experiences as an obsesssive filmgoer. Originally done for the British Film Institute and shown on British TV, this is a compelling, intelligent exploration of the art and the industry by a passionate filmmaker. (MJ)

Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)—Underrated film about a jazz band in the 1920s and its fight against being taken over by the mob, as told by the trumpet player (Jack Webb, who also directed). Excellent jazz score. Director Webb made good use of the wide screen, so the film is best seen in letterbox format. With Peggy Lee (who won an Academy Award). (MJ)

Phantom Lady (1944)—Unsettling film noir, perhaps emblematic of the genre, about a man convicted of a murder and the search for an elusive witness. With Franchot Tone, directed by Robert Siodmak. (DW)

Philadelphia Story, The (1940)—George Cukor directed this film adaptation of Philip Barry's stage play about a spoiled mainline socialite yearning for—well, what exactly? One critic calls it "simply the breaking, reining, and saddling of an unruly thoroughbred," i.e., Katharine Hepburn. (DW)

Pink Panther, The (1964)—The first of the series, with Peter Sellers as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau chasing the famous jewel thief, The Phantom. With David Niven, Claudia Cardinale, Capucine, Robert Wagner. Directed by Blake Edwards. (DW)

Pirate, The (1948)—One of Vincente Minnelli's classic MGM musicals, with his wife, Judy Garland. Gene Kelly is a circus clown she mistakes for a pirate. Cole Porter wrote the songs. (DW)

Place in the Sun, A (1951)—A George Stevens film based on Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy. Not very faithful to the book, but valuable in its own right. Elizabeth Taylor is extraordinary as Montgomery Clift's dream girl. (DW)

Plainsman, The (1936)—Absurd from the point of view of historical fact, Cecil B. DeMille's film—which brings together Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Buffalo Bill and Abraham Lincoln—still says something about American society and mentality. (DW)

Play It Again, Sam (1972)—Woody Allen's very funny homage to Bogart and Casablanca. Starring and written by Allen, but directed by Herbert Ross. With Diane Keaton. (MJ)

Play Misty for Me (1971)—Clint Eastwood directed and starred as a jazz-playing disc jockey who jilts a woman (Jessica Walter) and is then stalked by her. With Donna Mills. (DW)

Player, The (1992)—Another film from the uneven output of prolific director Robert Altman. This one exposes the venality of Hollywood dealmaking. A producer murders a writer and tries to cover it up. Brilliant in parts, it often descends into puerile humor. With Tim Robbins, along with many familiar filmland faces wandering by the camera. (MJ)

Point Blank (1967)—A brilliant crime thriller, directed by John Boorman. Robber (Lee Marvin) seeks revenge on those who left him for dead. A challenging film, often nonlinear in form. With Angie Dickinson, Carroll O'Connor, and John Vernon. (MJ)

Police (1984)—Gerard Depardieu and Sophie Marceau star in this film about a brutal policeman who falls for Marceau, involved in the narcotics trade. Directed by talented French director Maurice Pialat. (DW)

Poseidon Adventure, The (1972)—Of interest because it was made when disaster films were peopled by real actors and not filled with ultra-expensive special effects, cartoonish characters, and pretty faces. The preposterous story has a luxury liner and its passengers being turned over by a gigantic ocean wave; the passengers must find their way out of the upside-down vessel. The good cast includes Gene Hackman, Roddy McDowell, Shelley Winters, Ernest Borgnine, and Jack Albertson. Directed by Ronald Neame. (MJ)

Postcards from the Edge (1990)—Occasionally amusing and occasionally telling film, based on a presumably semi-autobiographical novel by Carrie Fisher, about an aspiring actress (Meryl Streep), battling drug problems and living in the shadow of a famous, fairly impossible mother (Shirley MacLaine). Mike Nichols directed intelligently, but as always, with a certain amount of calculation. (DW)

Postman Always Rings Twice, The (1946)—John Garfield and Lana Turner play the illicit and doomed lovers in the film based on James M. Cain's novel. They kill her husband, the owner of a roadside diner, and suffer the consequences of nearly getting away with it. Tay Garnett directed. (DW)

Pride and Prejudice (1940)—Hollywood's version of the Jane Austen classic about five sisters in early 19th century England. Laurence Olivier is the standout as the proud Darcy; Greer Garson plays the "prejudiced" Elizabeth Bennett. Robert Z. Leonard directed; Aldous Huxley helped write the screenplay. (DW)

Prime Cut (1972)—An enforcer (Lee Marvin) from Kansas City confronts a crooked, brutal slaughterhouse owner (Gene Hackman) who is cheating the mob. Some remarkable sequences, such as the enforcer being chased through cornfields by a tractor driven by a blond, innocent-looking thug in bib overalls. A dark, ironic crime film by the talented director Michael Ritchie in which Lee Marvin's hit man character ends up being a kind of knight. Cissy Spacek's film debut. (MJ)

Primrose Path (1940)—An uneven, but occasionally affecting film, about a poor girl (Ginger Rogers), from a really dissolute family, who becomes involved with an ambitious young man (Joel McCrea). Gregory La Cava directed. (DW)

Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, The (1970)—Billy Wilder's bittersweet account of the case the great detective couldn't solve. Of all the pastiches of Sherlock Holmes, this one is the best. Wilder probes into the personality of Holmes and finds him very human, a melancholy man whose life is thrown off-base by a beautiful, mysterious woman. Fine performances by Robert Stephens as Holmes and Colin Blakeley as Watson. (MJ)

Private Lives (1931)—Sidney Franklin directed this version of Noel Coward's play, with Norma Shearer and Robert Montgomery. Hollywood's attempt at Anglicized gentility. (DW)

Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, The (1939)—Stylishly done version of romance between Queen of England (Bette Davis) and Earl of Essex (Errol Flynn). Directed by Michael Curtiz, from play by Maxwell Anderson. (DW)

Producers, The (1968)—Mel Brooks wrote and directed his funniest film, about two producers whose plan—to mount a deliberately awful Broadway musical that will flop and thereby bring them a tax bonanza—backfires. Starring Gene Wilder and the great, rarely seen (because of blacklisting) Zero Mostel. (MJ)

Public Enemy, The (1931)—James Cagney as a Prohibition gangster in William Wellman's crude, but energetic film. Mae Clarke gets a grapefruit pushed in her face in a famous scene. (DW)

Purple Noon (1960)—René Clement directed this tense adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's superb psychological novel The Talented Mr. Ripley. Alain Delon plays the young American, Tom Ripley, who kills a friend and assumes his wealth and identity. Delon's impassive, porcelain face conveys perfectly the amorality and sexual ambiguity of Ripley. Luminous Mediterranean cinematography by the great Henri Decae. Look for the recent, restored version. (MJ)

Purple Rose of Cairo, The (1985)—Woody Allen combines Keaton's Sherlock Jr. and Fellini's White Sheik to come up with a satisfying tale about a drab housewife (Mia Farrow) romanced by a character (Jeff Daniels) who literally steps out of the movie screen. (MJ)

Queen Christina (1933)—Greta Garbo is memorable as the 17th century Swedish queen who gave up her throne for love. John Gilbert, one of her real-life amours, plays her aristocratic lover. Rouben Mamoulian directed. (DW)

Queen of Spades, The (1949)—Beautiful, lush rendition by British director Thorold Dickinson of the Alexander Pushkin story about a Russian officer obsessed with learning the secrets of winning at cards. Excellent costumes, sets, black-and-white photography, and acting come together in this rarely shown masterpiece. With Edith Evans, Anton Walbrook, and Ronald Howard. (MJ)

Quiet Man, The (1952)—John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara star in this John Ford film about an Irish-American boxer who goes back to his native country. (DW)

Raging Bull (1980)—Martin Scorsese directed Robert De Niro in this film biography of the boxer Jake La Motta. An interesting work, even if its themes are somewhat obscure. With Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci. (DW)

Rain (1932)—W. Somerset Maugham story about the South Sea island tramp (Joan Crawford) and the preacher (Walter Huston) who, at first, is determined to save her soul. This film has been made numerous times. Lewis Milestone directed this version. (DW)

Rain Man (1988)—Barry Levinson's anti-Reaganite work, with Dustin Hoffman as an autistic man and Tom Cruise, a 1980s Babbitt, as his yuppie hustler brother. (DW)

Rain People, The (1969)—One of Francis Ford Coppola's first efforts: an unhappy housewife takes off and picks up a football player on the road. With Shirley Knight, James Caan and Robert Duvall. (DW)

Ran (1985)—Akira Kurosawa's epic version of Shakespeare's King Lear, about a warlord who provokes a conflict between his sons by handing over power to the eldest. (DW)

Rancho Notorious (1952)—A Western like no other, except possibly Johnny Guitar. Arthur Kennedy gets work at a ranch, really a bandit hideout, run by Marlene Dietrich, to find his girl-friend's killer. With Mel Ferrer. (DW)

Random Harvest (1942)—Ronald Colman is a World War I veteran who loses his memory. Greer Garson is a music-hall entertainer who brings him back to life. Hard to take in parts, but it has perceptive moments. Directed by Mervyn LeRoy. (DW)

Rapture, The (1991)—In this strange, compelling film, writer-director Michael Tolkin considers the Apocalypse literally but non-religiously. A promiscuous woman joins a religious cult, marries, has a child, and awaits the Second Coming in the desert. With David Duchovny. (MJ)

Rashomon (1950)—Well-known work by Japanese master Akira Kurosawa. In medieval Japan, four people give differing accounts of violent attack by a bandit on a nobleman. With Toshiro Mifune. (DW)

Razor's Edge, The (1946)—An overlong film, with some embarrassingly silly moments, but also some extraordinarily believable ones. With Tyrone Power, looking for the meaning of life, Gene Tierney, Anne Baxter. Directed by Edmund Goulding, from the novel by Somerset Maugham. (DW)

Real Life (1979)—Albert Brooks' occasionally amusing account of film-maker who sets out to record the life of a "typical" American family. (DW)

Reap the Wild Wind (1942)—Cecil B. DeMille directed this intriguing film about 19th century salvagers off the coast of Georgia. Ray Milland and John Wayne fight over Paulette Goddard, as a spirited Southern belle. (DW)

Rebecca (1940)—Alfred Hitchcock's first US-made film, with Joan Fontaine as the second wife of nobleman Laurence Olivier. The first wife's presence hovers over the place. Judith Anderson is memorable as the sinister housekeeper, loyal to the first wife. (DW)

Rebel Without a Cause (1955)—Nicholas Ray's socially conscious portrait of disaffected youth, with James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo. Memorable scene in a planetarium. (DW)

Reckless (1935)—Chorus girl (Jean Harlow) marries a drunk of a millionaire and finds herself in deep water. With William Powell and Franchot Tone. Directed by Victor Fleming. Remade as Written on the Wind in 1957. (DW)

Red Badge of Courage, The (1951)—John Huston's intelligent adaptation of Stephen Crane's Civil War novel, about a young soldier in the Union army who runs from his first encounter with the enemy, but comes to terms with his fear. (DW)

Red River (1948)—Montgomery Clift is a young cattleman who rebels against his guardian/father figure, John Wayne (in a relatively rare unsympathetic role), in Howard Hawks' extraordinary Western. With Walter Brennan, Joanne Dru and John Ireland. (DW)

Red Rock West (1993)—Modern attempt at film noir, only partially successful, with Nicholas Cage, Dennis Hopper, and the late (great) J.T. Walsh. Directed by John Dahl. (DW)

Reds (1981)—Warren Beatty's account of the life and times of John Reed, American socialist and author of Ten Days that Shook the World, the authoritative chronicle of the October Revolution of 1917. With Diane Keaton and others. (DW)

Regeneration (1915)—An historical curiosity, a very early silent film directed by Raoul Walsh. An Irish hood is influenced by a young woman who has given up a life of ease to toil as a social worker in the slums. Filmed on location in New York City's Bowery district. (DW)

Remains of Day, The (1993)—James Ivory directed this story of 1930s England, with Emma Thompson as a housekeeper and Anthony Hopkins as the repressed, self-abnegating butler in the service of a pro-fascist aristocrat (James Fox). (DW)

Report from the Aleutians (1942)—A rarity. One of the three World War II documentaries directed by John Huston. (DW)

Repulsion (1965)—Catherine Deneuve starred as a sexually repressed girl who goes homicidal when her sister leaves her on her own in an apartment for a few days. Startling at the time, it seems dated today. Directed by Roman Polanski. (DW)

Return to Oz (1985)—Sequel to The Wizard of Oz (1939), but with none of the characters from that film other than Dorothy. Highly imaginative but very disturbing (the film opens with Dorothy being threatened with shock therapy), this is definitely not a film for very young, impressionable children. Dorothy is played by the remarkable child actress Fairuza Balk (who grew into a remarkable but underemployed adult actress), and Nicol Williamson is the quack who tries to ÒcureÓ her in his sanitarium. Characters include a talking duck, a flying couch, the Nome King, and Jack Pumpkinhead. Will Vinton supplied the excellent Claymation sequences. Directed by Walter Murch. (MJ)

Rhapsody in Blue (1945)—"Biography" of the great American composer George Gershwin, heavy on the schmaltz. Robert Alda plays Gershwin. Directed by Irving Rapper. (MJ)

Richard III (1955)—Laurence Olivier's version of one of Shakespeare's greatest plays. Whether one approves of Olivier's interpretation or not, the film should be seen. (DW)

Ride the High Country (1962)—Sam Peckinpah directed this anti-Western, with Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, as two aging gunfighters guarding a gold shipment shipped from a remote mining town. (DW)

Ride the Pink Horse (1947)—Robert Montgomery directed himself as a man coming to a New Mexico town to blackmail a gangster (Fred Clark) during a fiesta. Interesting film noir type, with Wanda Hendrix and Thomas Gomez. (DW)

Riff Raff (1991)—A Ken Loach film. The trials and tribulations of building workers in London, with Robert Carlyle (of Full Monty). Some moving moments and performances. (DW)

Rio Bravo (1959)—Classic Howard Hawks western, with John Wayne as a sheriff, Angie Dickinson as a dance-hall girl, Dean Martin as a drunk and singer Ricky Nelson joining forces to thwart a jail-break and other crimes. Much first-rate dialogue by Leigh Brackett and Jules Furthman. (DW)

Rio Grande (1950)—One of John Ford's great cavalry films. John Wayne is an officer with family problems. Claude Jarman, Jr., is his son, Maureen O'Hara his wife. (DW)

Rio Lobo (1970)—Howard Hawks' last film (he died in 1977), something of a disappointment. John Wayne is an ex-Union colonel who discovers a gold shipment and uncovers a traitor. Jennifer O'Neill was not up to the task in this film. (DW)

River of No Return (1954)—Otto Preminger directed this interesting, relatively somber story. Robert Mitchum rescues a man (Rory Calhoun) and a woman (Marilyn Monroe) from drowning. Calhoun promptly steals his horse and takes off. Vengeful Mitchum, with his young son, and Monroe pursue him by raft. (DW)

Road to Glory, The (1936)—Howard Hawks directed this film about a hardened officer (Warner Baxter) who discovers his father (Lionel Barrymore) is serving under him in France in World War I, with Fredric March and June Lang. William Faulkner co-wrote the script. (DW)

Roaring Twenties, The (1939)—James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart as rival crime bosses in this Raoul Walsh classic. Script is cliched, but action and finale are not. (DW)

Robin and Marian (1976)—Likable, evocative film about the later years of Robin Hood. After years in exile, Robin (Sean Connery) returns to Sherwood Forest, takes up with Marian (Audrey Hepburn) again. Richard Lester directed; James Goldman wrote the script. (DW)

Rocky Horror Picture Show, The (1975)—A cult film that is actually quite good, in a campy way. The performance by Tim Curry is particularly outrageous. (MJ)

Romeo and Juliet (1936)—Norma Shearer and Leslie Howard were a good deal too old for their starring roles, but they perform admirably, in George Cukor's version of the tragedy. (DW)

Romeo and Juliet (1968)—Franco Zeffirelli's lush version of the famous love tragedy. Overwrought and simplified, but entertaining. With 17-year-old Leonard Whiting and 15-year-old Olivia Hussey in the leading roles. (DW)

Rosa Luxemburg (1986)—Margarethe von Trotta's evocative, if sometimes a little pat, biographical portrait of the great Polish Marxist and co-founder of the German Communist Party, murdered in 1919. With Barbara Sukowa. (DW)

Rosemary's Baby (1968)—John Cassavetes is excellent as ambitious actor who involves himself in diabolical activities to advance his career. Mia Farrow is his unsuspecting wife. Roman Polanski wrote the screenplay, based on the Ira Levin potboiler, and directed. (DW)

Ruby in Paradise (1993)—A film about a young woman who leaves her Tennessee home and tries to make her way in Panama City, Florida. Occasionally interesting, with a fine performance by Ashley Judd. Victor Nunez directed. (DW)

Ruggles of Red Gap (1935)—Charles Laughton is an English butler won in a poker game by an uncouth American westerner. Amusing film directed by Leo McCarey. Laughton's recitation of the Gettysburg Address is memorable. (DW)

Ruling Class, The (1972)—In a career of over-the-top roles, this is Peter O'Toole at his most unrestrained. It includes bizarre musical numbers and long stretches where the character believes he is Jesus Christ. Not for everyone. Directed by Peter Medak. (MJ)

Run of the Arrow (1957)—Samuel Fuller, American primitive, wrote and directed this tale about a Confederate soldier (Rod Steiger) who joins up with Sioux Indians after the defeat of the South. Not for the literary-minded. (DW)

Saboteur (1942)—Excellent Alfred Hitchcock film, with Robert Cummings as an innocent munitions plant worker accused of sabotage. With Priscilla Lane. (DW)

Salesman (1969)—Albert and Davis Maysles's exceptional cinéma verité documentary follows four Bible salesmen around the Midwest. Much of it is very sad as they sit around in drab motel rooms discussing their futile day and try to think up new selling strategies. (MJ)

Santa Fe Trail (1940)—A very peculiar film. Hollywood's marketing strategy, at this time, included adapting itself to pro-Southern sensibilities. Purportedly a film about the pursuit of John Brown after the Harper's Ferry raid. Errol Flynn plays Jeb Stuart and Ronald Reagan is George Custer, West Point classmates and rivals for the affection of Olivia de Haviland. Raymond Massey plays a maniacal, but finally sympathetic, Brown. Michael Curtiz presided over the goings-on. (DW)

Saturday Night Fever (1977)—A hardware store salesman in Brooklyn becomes a champion disco dancer on weekends. This is the film that launched John Travolta's film career, and he is a marvel as a dancer. Music by the Bee Gees. Directed by John Badham. (MJ)

Sawdust and Tinsel (1953)—A circus owner (Ake Gronberg) faces a series of moral dilemmas, involving the wife he deserted and his sexually driven mistress (Harriet Andersson). Directed by Ingmar Bergman. (DW)

Scaramouche (1952)—Lively swashbuckling in 18th century France, with Stewart Granger and Eleanor Parker; also Janet Leigh and Mel Ferrer. The film, directed by George Sidney, boasts the longest sword fight in movie history. (DW)

Scarlet Letter, The (1926)—Lillian Gish is memorable as Hester Prynne, punished for her adulterous affair, in early Swedish director Victor Seastrom's version of the Nathaniel Hawthorne novel about Puritan New England. (DW)

Scenes from a Marriage (1973)—Essentially a soap opera, treating ten years in a relationship, from marriage through divorce and beyond. Ingmar Bergman directed Liv Ullmann and Erland Josephson and Bibi Andersson. (DW)

Sea of Love (1989)—New York City cop searches for serial killer. Directed by Harold Becker from an excellent screenplay by novelist Richard Price, this was Al Pacino's comeback film after a long period of unwise role choices. (MJ)

Search, The (1948)—In post-war Germany, an American GI (Montgomery Clift) looks after a child; meanwhile his mother desperately searches for him. Fred Zinnemann directed. (DW)

Searchers, The (1956)—John Ford classic. John Wayne and Jeffrey Hunter search for Wayne's niece, taken by Indians. Natalie Wood plays the girl. An essential American film. (DW)

Seconds (1966)—A middle-aged executive (John Randolph) exchanges his aging body for a new one, and gets a new name and lifestyle in the bargain. A haunting film with many moving moments, especially at the end. Directed by John Frankenheimer in the good years before his decline. Rock Hudson, in one of his best roles, plays the executive after the operation. Stunning photography by James Wong Howe, one of the great Hollywood cinematographers. With Salome Jens and Murray Hamilton. (MJ)

Seminole (1953)—Modest film, about an army officer, Rock Hudson, doing his best to help an Indian tribe preserve itself against the advances and intrusions of the white man's civilization. (DW)

Sergeant Rutledge (1960)—Woody Strode plays a black US cavalry officer charged with rape and murder in post-Civil War America. John Ford directed. With Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers. (DW)

Serial Mom (1994)—Middle-aged suburban mom (played with relish by Kathleen Turner) kills to preserve traditional American values, like rewinding before you return your tape to the video store and not wearing white shoes after Labor Day. This hilarious satire was directed by John Waters. (MJ)

Serpico (1973)—Al Pacino plays a loner cop taking on corruption in the New York Police Department. As always, director Sidney Lumet captures the texture of New York City. (MJ)

Set-Up, The (1949)—Dull Robert Wise directed this story about a washed-up fighter refusing to give up or throw a fight. Robert Ryan, an underrated actor, is excellent as the boxer. With Audrey Totter, George Tobias and Wallace Ford. (DW)

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)—A lively musical directed by Stanley Donen. When Howard Keel decides to find a wife, his brothers follow suit. With Jane Powell, Russ Tamblyn, Virginia Gibson. A Johnny Mercer-Gene DePaul score and Michael Kidd's choreography. (DW)

Seven Chances (1925)—Buster Keaton has until seven o'clock that evening to find a bride if he wants to inherit a fortune. He ends up being pursued by thousands of women. Some famous sequences in this silent film, directed by Keaton. (DW)

Seven Samurai, The (1954)—Classic Kurosawa film about a village in medieval Japan that hires samurai warriors to defend them against bandits. (DW)

Seven Sinners (1940)—Lively film, with Marlene Dietrich and John Wayne, about the US sailors somewhere in the tropics. Dietrich is definitely one of the sinners. With an excellent supporting cast, including Broderick Crawford, Mischa Auer, Billy Gilbert. (DW)

Seven Women (1966)—John Ford's last hurrah as a director, a melodrama about missionaries in China in the 1930s. With Anne Bancroft, Sue Lyon, Margaret Leighton, Flora Robson, Mildred Dunnock. Better than its reputation. (DW)

Seventh Cross, The (1944)—Seven men are pursued by Gestapo, after their escape from a concentration camp. Directed by Fred Zinnemann, with Spencer Tracy. (DW)

Seventh Seal, The (1957)—This is the film, much-parodied, in which Max von Sydow, a knight returning from the Crusades, plays Death in a chess game. Somewhat ridiculous, but still fascinating. Directed, of course, by Ingmar Bergman. (DW)

Seventh Victim, The (1943)—Unusual film about a satanic cult in midtown Manhattan. One of the better Val Lewton productions. With Kim Hunter and Tom Conway. Directed by Mark Robson. (MJ)

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)—Teresa Wright is a young girl who comes to realize that her amiable uncle is the Merry Widow murderer, in this remarkable Alfred Hitchcock work. Playwright Thornton Wilder helped write the script. (DW)

Shall We Dance (1937)—A Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers film, directed by Mark Sandrich. A tedious story-line, but graced by such Gershwin melodies as "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off," "They Can't Take That Away from Me," and "They All Laughed." (DW)

She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949)—The second part of John Ford's cavalry trilogy, with John Wayne as an officer about to retire, drawn into campaign against a group of Indians. With Joanne Dru, Ben Johnson, Victor McLaglen. (DW)

Shepherd of Hills, The (1941)—One of Henry Hathaway's more unusual efforts. An Ozark Mountain man lives under a curse: he has promised to kill the man who left his mother. With John Wayne, Berry Field, Harry Carey and Beulah Bondi. (DW)

Sherlock Jr. (1924)—A work of genius, made by Buster Keaton. A projectionist walks into a movie screen and becomes part of the action. Not to be missed. (DW)

Shining, The (1980)—Stanley Kubrick departed from Stephen King's bestselling thriller and came up with a film totally his own about slow madness in a snowbound hotel in the Rockies and the violent dissolution of a family. With Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, and Scatman Crothers. (MJ)

Ship of Fools (1965)—Ponderous film that attempts to show the social elements responsible for the rise of Nazism in the microcosm of a ship bound for Hamburg in 1933. By the self-important liberal producer/director Stanley Kramer—the Oliver Stone of his day. Even a star-filled cast (Vivien Leigh, Oskar Werner, Simone Signoret, José Ferrer, Lee Marvin) can't keep this wooden boat from sinking. Interesting only because it shows what passed for serious film in the mid-1960s. (MJ)

Shock to the System, A (1990)—A middle-aged advertising executive being kicked off the corporate ladder by younger men discovers how easy it is in our society to literally get away with murder. He then begins—with some glee—to dispose of those who stand in his way. This very dark comedy—reminiscent of Chaplin's classic Monsieur Verdoux (1947)—has a marvelously deadpan performance by Michael Caine as the murderous executive. With Elizabeth McGovern, Peter Riegert, and Swoosie Kurtz. Directed by Jan Egleson. (MJ)

Shootist, The (1976)—John Wayne plays a gunfighter dying of cancer who returns to his home town for a last bit of peace. James Stewart is the doctor. This excellent, moving film was Wayne's last. Directed by Don Siegel. (MJ)

Shop Around the Corner, The(1940)—James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan are co-workers who, unbeknownst to themselves, have entered into a romance through letters. Marvelous Ernst Lubitsch film, occasionally precious, but deeply felt. (DW)

Shot in the Dark, A (1964)—Blake Edwards directed the second of the Inspector Clouseau films, starring the inimitable Peter Sellers. With Elke Sommer, George Sanders and Herbert Lom. (DW)

Show Boat (1936)—Paul Robeson is unforgettable singing "Old Man River" in James Whale's version of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical about riverboat entertainers. Helen Morgan is also memorable singing "Bill." With Irene Dunne, Allan Jones. (DW)

Sid and Nancy (1986)—Flawed, but relatively unsentimental study of the relationship between punk-rocker Sid Vicious (Gary Oldman) and girl-friend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). Directed by Alex Cox. (DW)

Side Street (1949)—Anthony Mann directed this story about a young man driven to theft, whose troubles multiply. The same stars as Nicholas Ray's They Live By Night (1949): Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell. (DW)

Silk Stockings (1957)—A Soviet agent (Cyd Charisse) falls in love with an American film producer (Fred Astaire) in Paris. Fair adaptation of the minor Cole Porter Broadway musical, which was itself adapted from the 1939 film Ninotchka (starring Greta Garbo). Directed by Rouben Mamoulian. (MJ)

Singin' in the Rain (1952)—Is there anyone who hasn't seen this film by now? Anyway, it's a remarkable musical, with Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, about the days of silent film. Stanley Donen and Kelly directed. (DW)

Sirens (1994)—Beautifully photographed, inscrutable tale of sexuality and mythology in a modern, sylvan setting. With Hugh Grant. (MJ)

Sliding Doors (1998)—Charming, likable light comedy hinges on a gimmick that works well: the film shows the two paths the main character's life could take depending on whether or not she misses her train. A vehicle for the talented Gwyneth Paltrow, performing with a flawless British accent. (MJ)

Smash Up, The Story of a Woman (1947)—Susan Hayward, in her film breakthrough, does a remarkable turn as a nightclub singer who sinks into alcoholism. Stuart Heisler directed and John Howard Lawson wrote the script, based on a story by Dorothy Parker and Frank Cavett. (DW)

Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)—One of Ingmar Bergman's most delightful works, about a group of people on a weekend at a country estate, set in the late 19th century. With Ulla Jacobsson, Eva Dahlbeck, Harriet Andersson, Gunnar Bjornstrand. (DW)

Smilla's Sense of Snow (1997)—In Copenhagen, a half-Inuit scientist (Julia Ormond) investigates the suspicious death from falling of a young Inuit boy. A quiet, brooding film with beautiful photography of Denmark and Greenland is marred by a conventional melodramatic ending with a conventional corporate villain (overplayed by Richard Harris with evil white hair). Also starring Gabriel Byrne. (MJ)

Sodom and Gomorrah (1963)—Robert Aldrich directed this above-average Biblical epic. Starring Stewart Granger and Pier Angeli. (MJ)

Some Came Running (1958)—Remarkable melodrama, directed by Vincente Minnelli, about disillusionment in a small town after World War II; more generally, this is an extraordinary film about disillusionment with postwar America. With Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Shirley MacLaine, Martha Hyer. (DW)

Some Like It Hot (1959)—Marilyn Monroe, Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis in Billy Wilder's black comedy about musicians and gangsters during Prohibition. (DW)

Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956)—Robert Wise directed this competent biography of New York-born boxing champion Rocky Graziano. Paul Newman plays Graziano; with Pier Angeli, Everett Sloane and, in his film debut, Steve McQueen. (DW)

Something Wild (1986)—Melanie Griffith, in one her rare performances of substance, turns out to be trouble for Jeff Daniels, an uptight businessman. Ray Liotta is her psychotic boy-friend. Not a great film, but it has its moments. Directed by Jonathan Demme. (DW)

Song of Bernadette, The (1943)—Jennifer Jones is a 19th century French girl who sees visions and stirs up a storm in her village, in Henry King's version of the Franz Werfel novel. (DW)

Sorcerer (1977)—Three trucks driven by desperate men run all kinds of hazards to bring volatile shipments of explosives to an oil field fire in Latin America. William Friedkin directed this underrated, highly suspenseful remake of the French classic The Wages of Fear. Starring Roy Scheider. (MJ)

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)—Barbara Stanwyck is an invalid who overhears a conversation on the phone about a murder plot and discovers she is the intended victim. With Burt Lancaster and Wendell Corey; directed by Anatole Litvak. (DW)

Spaceballs (1987)—Mel Brooks' send-up of the Star Wars saga. Rick Moranis is Dark Helmet and Daphne Zuniga is Princess Vespa. Other characters include Pizza the Hut. (DW)

Spartacus (1960)—Large-scale epic, which goes on too long, about the great slave rebellion of ancient Rome, directed by Stanley Kubrick (and some scenes by Anthony Mann). With Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, Tony Curtis, Jean Simmons, Laurence Olivier, Peter Ustinov, Charles Laughton, and a cast of thousands. (DW)

Spawn of the North (1938)—Henry Hathaway directed this intense and well-acted film about the Canadian fisheries. George Raft, Henry Fonda, Dorothy Lamour, John Barrymore and Akim Tamiroff starred. (DW)

Spellbound (1945)—Psychiatrist Ingrid Bergman attempts to unravel patient Gregory Peck's dilemmas. Has he committed a murder? Alfred Hitchcock directed. (DW)

Spiral Staircase, The (1946)—Taut thriller with Dorothy McGuire as a deaf-mute servant employed in a household in 1906 New England. Directed by Robert Siodmak. (DW)

Spirit of St. Louis, The (1957)—James Stewart, a little long in the tooth, plays Charles Lindbergh in this mediocre Billy Wilder film about the first trans-Atlantic flight in 1927. (DW)

Splendor in the Grass (1961)—Warren Beatty and Sandy Dennis made their debuts in Elia Kazan's film about a small-town Kansas girl (Natalie Wood) in the 1920s suffering the consequences of sexual repression. (DW)

Springfield Rifle (1952)—Andre de Toth's film about a Union officer (Gary Cooper) who goes undercover to expose a Confederate horse-stealing ring. Dark and spare, with an exemplary performance by Paul Kelly as the chief villain. (DW)

Spy Who Came in from Cold, The (1965)—Cold War melodrama of double- and triple-agents, based on the John Le Carre novel, with Richard Burton as the embittered British agent and Oskar Werner. Directed by Martin Ritt. (DW)

Stage Door (1937)—Amusing, lively comedy-drama set in a theatrical boarding-house. Extraordinary cast includes Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Franklin Pangborn and Jack Carson. Directed by Gregory La Cava. (DW)

Stagecoach (1939)—Famed western, directed by John Ford, about a group of disparate passengers thrown together on the same eventful journey. Starring John Wayne, Claire Trevor, Thomas Mitchell, John Carradine. Dudley Nichols wrote the script. (DW)

Stalag 17 (1953)—Billy Wilder's World War II prison-camp film, with William Holden as a cynical GI accused of being a collaborator with the Germans who then uncovers the real traitors. (DW)

Star Is Born, A (1954)—Judy Garland is the star on the way up and James Mason the unfortunate drunk on the way down, in George Cukor's version of the tragic tale. A remake of the 1937 film made by William Wellman, with Fredric March and Janet Gaynor. (DW)

Star Witness (1931)—William Wellman directed this film about a family that witnesses a gangland shoot-out and then comes under pressure not to testify. Walter Huston is the district attorney. (DW)

Star, The (1952)—Stuart Heisler directed this film about a movie star whose career is a thing of the past, with Bette Davis, Sterling Hayden and a young Natalie Wood. (DW)

Starman (1984)—Basically the same story as Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)—an alien creature tries to return to his home in another galaxy—but far superior to that children's film. Jeff Bridges, in another fine performance, plays the alien, who takes on the appearance of a woman's dead husband. During a long trip by car to find his spaceship, she (Karen Allen) falls in love with him. Sensitive and moving, this is probably John Carpenter's best film, many notches above his usual pulp output. (MJ)

Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)—One of Buster Keaton's later silent films, not directed by him (Charles F. Riesner). Buster must prove his toughness to his father, a steamboat captain. Anything with Keaton is essential viewing. (DW)

S teel Helmet, The (1951)—Gene Evans stars in this Samuel Fuller war drama about US troops behind enemy lines in Korean War. (DW)

Stepfather, The (1987)—Gruesome slasher film that is actually a clever attack on the values of the Reagan era. A psychotic killer goes from city to city, marrying widows with children. When they fail to meet his high standards of a perfect family, he slays them all and moves on. A sleeper that shouldn't be missed. Starring Terry O'Quinn as the stepfather. Directed by Joseph Ruben. (MJ)

Sting, The (1973)—A pair of conmen (Paul Newman and Robert Redford) pull an intricate scam on a gangster during the Depression. Good, playful, with lots of surprises. Memorable score made up of Scott Joplin ragtime music. With Robert Shaw. Directed by George Roy Hill. (MJ)

Story of Louis Pasteur, The (1936)—Paul Muni stars as the legendary French 19th-century scientist in this well-meaning biography. Directed by German emigre William Dieterle. (DW)

Strange Cargo (1940)—One of the strangest films ever to come out of Hollywood. Prisoners escape from Devil's Island, and it turns out that one of them may or may not be Jesus Christ. With Clark Gable, Joan Crawford, and Ian Hunter. Directed by Frank Borzage. (MJ)

Stranger, The (1946)—Orson Welles' thriller in which the director plays a Nazi war criminal living in a sedate Connecticut town. With Edward G. Robinson. (DW)

Strangers on a Train (1951)—Hitchcock classic, with Farley Granger as a callow tennis player and Robert Walker as a psychopath, based on the Patricia Highsmith novel, co-scripted by Raymond Chandler. (DW)

Strawberry Blonde, The (1941)—Evocative film about turn-of-the-century New York, with James Cagney as a dentist who loves Rita Hayworth, and married Olivia de Haviland. Raoul Walsh directed. (DW)

Streetcar Named Desire, A (1951)—Elia Kazan's version of the Tennessee Williams drama about the strong and the weak in a New Orleans tenement. Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter and Karl Malden. (DW)

Strong Man, The (1926)—Frank Capra made his directorial debut with this silent. Early comedy star Harry Langdon is a World War I veteran in search of the girl with whom he corresponded. (DW)

Stroszek (1977)—A group of misfits move from Germany to Wisconsin to find the good life. Instead, they end up in a second-hand trailer and everything quickly goes downhill. This trenchant attack on American culture is one of the best by the important German director Werner Herzog. (MJ)

Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The (1927)—A minor silent film by Ernst Lubitsch, a version of the Sigmund Romberg operetta. With Ramon Novarro and Norma Shearer. (DW)

Such Good Friends (1971)—A woman (Dyan Cannon), prsesumably happily married, discovers her husband's address book while he is in the hospital. He has been anything but faithful—especially with her friends. Marvelous New Yorkish black comedy written by Elaine May and directed by Otto Preminger. With Louise Lasser, William Redfield, Sam Levene, and Burgess Meredith. (MJ)

Sullivan's Travels (1941)—A classic Preston Sturges satire. A Hollywood director (Joel McCrea) suddenly discovers a social conscience and sets out to make a "serious" film, much to the consternation of the film studio. Veronica Lake is the working-class girl he meets on his travels. (DW)

Summer Interlude (1951)—In this Ingmar Bergman film, also known as Illicit Interlude, a prima ballerina is obsessed with her former lover, now dead. Their romance is told in flashbacks. With Maj-Britt Nilsson. (DW)

Sun Also Rises, The (1957)—Star-filled adaptation of the Hemingway novel. Glossy and inadequate. Directed by Henry King. (MJ)

Sunrise at Campobello (1960)—This biographical work about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt is not a great film, but worth seeing for its historical content. Directed by Vincent J. Donehue, with Ralph Bellamy and Greer Garson. (DW)

Sunset Boulevard (1950)—Billy Wilder's classic about illusions hanging on, and the old Hollywood versus the new. A once-glamorous star of the silent screen living in a gothic Hollywood mansion takes a younger, cynical screenwriter as a lover. One of the great films. With Gloria Swanson, William Holden, Eric von Stroheim, and Buster Keaton. (MJ)

Super Mario Brothers (1993)—Underrated, highly imaginative film version of the popular video game, to which it bears only a slight resemblance. The two plumber brothers (Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo) visit an alternate universe in which evolution took a different course, leaving dinosaurs as the dominant species. Dennis Hopper overacts wonderfully as the dinosaur dictator of this world. (MJ)

Suspicion (1941)—Joan Fontaine is a new bride who believes her husband, Cary Grant, is trying to kill her. According to the book, he was, but Hollywood's production Code forbid it. With Nigel Bruce; directed by Alfred Hitchcock. (DW)

Sweet Smell of Success (1957)—A remarkably frank look at the public relations and gossip column rackets, with Tony Curtis as a press agent who makes a deal with an egomaniacal columnist (Burt Lancaster) to break up the romance of the latter's sister. Directed by the talented Alexander Mackendrick (DW)

Swing Time (1936)—Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in top form, but at a time when their popularity had begun to decline. Immortal songs by Jerome Kern include "The Way You Look Tonight," "A Fine Romance," and "Never Gonna Dance." George Stevens directed. (DW)

Sylvia Scarlett (1935)—Disconcerting, interesting film about a father (Edmund Gwenn) and daughter (Katharine Hepburn), who take to the road with a touring show, which later includes Cary Grant. Hepburn disguises herself as a boy, which turns all sorts of social and sexual relationships upside down. George Cukor directed. (DW)

Symbol of the Unconquered (1921)—A rarity on television, a silent film directed by Oscar Micheaux, an early black director. A black woman encounters prejudice when she goes to claim a mine she has inherited. With Lawrence Chenault, Iris Hall. (DW)

Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949)—The last film made by famed musical extravaganza director Busby Berkeley. A relatively restrained work about a baseball team, with Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly as its stars, taken over by Esther Williams. (DW)

Take Me To Town (1953)—Ann Sheridan as a showgirl on the run and Sterling Hayden as a widowed small-town preacher who falls for her. The very talented Douglas Sirk, who had little choice in his scripts, directed. (DW)

Tale of Two Cities, A (1935)—Ronald Colman provides some outstanding moments in this film version of Charles Dickens' novel about the French Reign of Terror. An extravagant MGM production, directed by Jack Conway. With Edna May Oliver, Basil Rathbone and Reginald Owen. (DW)

Tall Guy, The (1989)—Moderately funny film about an American actor (Jeff Goldblum) trying to make it in British theater. Highlights are the daffy musical version of Elephant Man and Rowan Atkinson's insired mugging. Also with Emma Thompson. Directed by Mel Smith. (MJ)

Tall Target, The (1951)—Dick Powell is a detective investigating a plot to kill Abraham Lincoln in 1861 in this suspenseful drama. With Adolphe Menjou, Paula Raymond and Ruby Dee. Directed by Anthony Mann. (DW)

Tarnished Angels, The (1958)—One of a series of remarkable melodramas directed by Douglas Sirk. This one, in black and white, is based on William Faulkner's Pylon, about a stunt pilot (Robert Stack), his wife (Dorothy Malone) and a newspaperman (Rock Hudson) in the 1930s. (DW)

Tarzan, the Ape Man (1932)—The original Tarzan, with Johnny Weissmuller and Maureen O'Sullivan (Mia Farrow's mother). Directed by "One-Take" W. S. Van Dyke. (DW)

Taxi Driver (1976)—Paul Schrader wrote and Martin Scorsese directed this bleak, obsessive classic that looks at the underside of New York City. Starring Robert De Niro, Jody Foster, and Harvey Keitel. Great score by Bernard Herrmann. (MJ)

Tender Trap, The (1955)—Likable film, real 1950s fare, about a "swinging" bachelor (Frank Sinatra) and a determined young woman (Debbie Reynolds) out to ensnare him. Charles Walters directed; memorable Cahn-Van Heusen title song. (DW)

Tennessee Johnson (1942)—Van Heflin plays US President Andrew Johnson, who became president upon the assassination of Lincoln and came into conflict with Congress, in this biopic. With Lionel Barrymore, Ruth Hussey, Marjorie Main; directed by William Dieterle. (DW)

Tension (1949)—A gem of a film noir, directed by John Berry, soon to be blacklisted. Pharmacist Richard Basehart plots to kill his wife's lover, only to discover someone has beaten him to it. With Audrey Trotter and Barry Sullivan. (DW)

That Man From Rio (1964)—Jean-Paul Belmondo stars in this lightweight action comedy, mostly memorable for the performance of Françoise Dorleac, Catherine Deneuve's older and more talented sister, who died in a car accident only three years later. Directed by Philippe De Broca. (DW)

Thelma & Louise (1991)—Ridley Scott directed this film about two women who inadvertently become fugitives from the law and take off across America in their convertible. The script tries too hard to combine the road-movie genre with its feminism and fails to convince, but Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis are memorable as the pair. (DW)

Them! (1954)—One of the extraordinary 1950s black-and-white science fiction films, products of Cold War paranoia and insecurity, among other things. This one is about giant ant mutations terrorizing the Southwest and ultimately Los Angeles. Directed by Gordon Douglas. James Whitmore and Edmund Gwenn co-star. (DW)

They Died with Their Boots On (1941)—Hollywood's version of the George Custer story. Surprisingly sympathetic to the Indians, in fact. Custer is made out to be an opponent of the campaign that led to his death. The last of the Errol Flynn-Olivia de Haviland cycle of films; directed vividly by Raoul Walsh, with a score by Max Steiner. (DW)

They Drive by Night (1940)—Intense, vivid portrait of two truck-driving brothers (Humphrey Bogart and George Raft) and their lives, and the woman they come up against, played passionately by Ida Lupino. With Ann Sheridan and Alan Hale. Directed by Raoul Walsh. (DW)

They Live by Night (1949)—Wonderful, tragic film directed by Nicholas Ray about doomed young lovers during the Depression. Based on Edward Anderson's Thieves Like Us, remade, under that title, in 1974 by Robert Altman. With Farley Granger and Cathy O'Donnell. (DW)

They Were Expendable (1945)—An extremely well-done film: the story of an American PT boat squadron, directed by John Ford. John Wayne and Robert Montgomery are the squadron's officers, but equally memorable is Donna Reed, as a nurse in love with Wayne's character. (DW)

Thief of Bagdad, The (1940)—Thoroughly enchanting version of the tale of magic and heroism based on Arabian Nights. Dazzling Technicolor, superb Miklos Rosza score. With Sabu, Conrad Veidt, and Rex Ingram (as the genie). Directed by Ludwig Berger, Tim Whelan, and Michael Powell. One of the fine films produced by Alexander Korda. (MJ)

Thin Man, The (1934)—The first of the films featuring husband-and-wife detection team of Nick and Nora Charles, with more than a touch of madcap comedy. With William Powell and Myrna Loy as the duo. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. (MJ)

Thing, The (1951)—Remarkable, tense science fiction film about an Arctic outpost threatened by a creature that inadvertently gets thawed. Christian Nyby is the nominal director, but the Howard Hawks touch is unmistakeable. With Kenneth Tobey, Dewey Martin and James Arness, as the creature. (DW)

Things Change (1988)—A poor Italian-American shoemaker willingly takes the rap for a mobster. David Mamet wrote and directed this disappointing, poorly resolved film that is distinguished by a remarkable performance by the elderly Don Ameche. With Joe Mantegna. (MJ)

Things to Come (1936)—Visionary for its time, this film spans the coming world war, the descent into barbarism, and the technocratic rebirth of civilization. The sets are stunning and the music by Arthur Bliss is magnificent. The screenplay by H.G. Wells is a blend of his social-democratic ideas, his optimism about science and technology, and his weakness for dictatorships. Uniformly excellent acting by Raymond Massey, Cedric Hardwicke, and Ralph Richardson. Directed by William Cameron Menzies. (MJ)

Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995)—Bizarre crime thriller about horrific revenge exacted by mob boss (played with extreme creepiness by Christopher Walken in a motorized wheelchair) upon local hoods. With Andy Garcia and Steve Buscemi. Directed by Gary Fleder. (MJ)

Third Man, The (1949)—Carol Reed directed this sharp look at life in post-World War II Vienna, impoverished and corrupt, where the Cold War is beginning to take shape. Orson Welles plays the mysterious Harry Lime and, one suspects, contributed to the overall feel of the film. Score, played on the zither by Anton Karas, is justly famous. (DW)

This Boy's Life (1993)—Based on the novel by Tobias Wolff, about a young boy, his mother and his volatile stepfather, set in remote Washington state in the 1950s. With Robert DeNiro, Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Barkin. (DW)

This Gun for Hire (1942)—Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake are striking in this adaptation of the Graham Greene novel, about a hitman who goes after the big-shots who hired him. Frank Tuttle directed; script by W.R. Burnett and Albert Maltz. (DW)

This Is Spinal Tap (1984)—Rob Reiner directed this mock documentary about a fading rock band on its final tour. He also appears as filmmaker Marty DiBergi, with Harry Shearer, Christopher Guest, and Tony Hendra playing members of the band, in this hilarious parody of all the solemn, pretentious films about rock groups. (MJ)

This Land Is Mine (1943)—One of French director Jean Renoir's weaker Hollywood efforts, the story of a mild-mannered schoolteacher (Charles Laughton) who becomes a hero under the Nazi occupation. With Maureen O'Hara, George Sanders. (DW)

Three Godfathers (1948)—John Ford's version of the story of the Three Magi, with three lowlifes coming upon and taking care of an infant whose mother dies in the desert. John Wayne, Pedro Armendariz and Harry Carey, Jr. (DW)

Through a Glass Darkly (1961)—Four unhappy people spend a summer together on a remote island. A study of mental disintegration, by famed Swedish director Ingmar Bergman. (DW)

Thunder Road (1958)—Robert Mitchum masterminded and starred in this film about moonshiners in the South. He is at war with both federal agents and organized crime. With Gene Barry, Keely Smith and Mitchum's son, Jim. Mitchum also wrote the title song, which came a hit record. (DW)

Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)—A highly embellished biography of composer Jerome Kern (played by Robert Walker). Rich with musical numbers, well performed by MGM stars such as Judy Garland, Lena Horne, and Frank Sinatra. The shortened version of Show Boat is especially good, far better than the full-length version made by MGM several years later. Directed by Richard Whorf. (MJ)

Time to Love and a Time to Die, A (1958)—Director Douglas Sirk was saddled with two terrible actors, John Gavin and Lilo Pulver, as lovers in this World War II drama, but he managed to salvage a fascinating film. From the novel by Erich Maria Remarque. (DW)

Tin Men (1987)—Barry Levinson's comedy-drama about the aluminum-siding business, set in Baltimore in 1963, with Richard Dreyfuss and Danny DeVito. (DW)

To Be or Not to Be (1942)—Ernst Lubitsch's classic black comedy about an acting troupe in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Jack Benny is superb as the conceited ham who heads the troupe, and Carole Lombard is his faithless wife. Not to be missed. (MJ)

To Die For (1995)—Gus Van Sant's uneven film, starring Nicole Kidman and Matt Dillon, loosely based on the case in New Hampshire in which a teacher allegedly seduced a student and egged him on to shoot her husband. Van Sant turns it into an examination of the American fascination with fame and television. It has a few moments. (DW)

To Each His Own (1946)—Wartime drama, with Olivia de Haviland as an unwed mother giving up her child and pretending to be his aunt. John Lund plays both her lover and her son. Directed by Mitchell Leisen with some finesse. (DW)

To Have and Have Not (1944)—Howard Hawks classic, based (very loosely) on a short story by Ernest Hemingway, with Bogart as an apolitical fishing boat captain who gets dragged in to French Resistance efforts. Lauren Bacall is outstanding in her debut. Dialogue by William Faulkner and Jules Furthman. (DW)

Tom, Dick and Harry (1941)—Ginger Rogers is a woman considering three marriage proposals, in Garson Kanin's comic look at love and marriage. (DW)

Tommy (1975)—The Who's rock opera done with dazzling, overheated images that assault and often insult your eyes. Often hard to take, but for once director Ken Russell has found a work for which his often annoying style is suitable. Filled with stars such as Jack Nicholson, Tina Turner, Ringo Starr, and Eric Clapton. (MJ)

Tootsie (1982)—Dustin Hoffman is amusing as an actor who can't find work as a man, but finds great success as the female star of a television soap opera. Sidney Pollack directed; with Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman. (DW)

Top Hat (1935)—One of the finest of the Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals, directed by Mark Sandrich. The plot, for those who care, involves mistaken identity. It is the songs by Irving Berlin and the dance numbers that count here, including "Cheek to Cheek," "Isn't This a Lovely Day To Be Caught in the Rain," and "Top Hat, White Tie and Tails." (DW)

Topaz (1969)—A lesser Hitchcock film involving US intelligence, French intelligence, Cuba, and the Soviet Union—muddled but still worth watching. It contains an unfortunate cartoonish sequence of Fidel Castro's stay at the Hotel Theresa in Harlem right after the revolution; he and his followers are presented as crude, ignorant buffoons. (MJ)

Touch (1987)—Interesting but disappointing film written and directed by Paul Schrader about faith healing in the South. With Christopher Walken and Bridget Fonda. (MJ)

Touch of Evil (1958)—One of Orson Welles's greatest films. He plays a corrupt police chief in a border town who plants evidence to convict the "guilty"—in this instance a hapless young Mexican. A tale of moral, physical, and political corruption that is rich in every way. With Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, Joseph Calleia, and Akim Tamiroff, and uncredited cameos by Joseph Cotten, Marlene Dietrich, and Mercedes McCambridge. (MJ)

Tous les Matins du Monde (1991)—The mystical, obsessive master of the viol Sainte-Colombe takes the younger Marin Marais as his student in 17th-century France. After a long, successful apprenticeship, however, Marais betrays his master by becoming a court composer at Versailles. Alain Corneau's film is a beautiful evocation—visually and aurally—of the world of early music. It explores the conflict between creating music for God (Saint-Colombe) and for the King (Marais). Marin Marais is played effectively by Gerard Depardieu, and as a young man by his son Guillaume; Sainte-Colombe is played by Jean-Pierre Marielle. (MJ)

Treasure Island (1934)—A solid version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic tale of pirates and treasure. With Wallace Beery and Jackie Cooper, directed by Victor Fleming. (DW)

Treasure Island (1950)—Robert Newton's enjoyably overdone portrayal of Long John Silver ("Har, har, Jim Horkins!") is the highlight of this Disney version of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. With Bobby Driscoll as Jim Hawkins. (MJ)

Treasure of Sierra Madre, The (1948)—John Huston directed this bitter version of the B. Traven story about three prospectors searching for gold in Mexico. Humphrey Bogart, Tim Holt and Huston's father, Walter, make up the trio. (DW)

Trial, The (1962)—Orson Welles's delirious, over-the-top version of the Franz Kafka novel, much of it shot in an abandoned railroad station. Hard to take at times, but its Expressionist paranoia and terror are fascinating. (DW)

Trouble with Harry, The (1955)—Fair black comedy by Alfred Hitchcock about a dead body (Harry's) that keeps turning up in differents spots in a New England village. With Shirley MacLaine, Edmund Gwenn, and John Forsythe. (MJ)

Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988)—The pioneer auto-maker (played by Jeff Bridges) and his company are destroyed by the giants of the auto industry. Director Francis Coppola obviously meant this as a parable about the independent artist versus the film industry, with Tucker standing in for Coppola. The whole thing seems oversimplified. Good performance by Martin Landau. (MJ)

Twilight (1998)—Crisp dialogue and good plotting carry this film about an elderly detective (Paul Newman) solving murders in Hollywood. Excellent cast also includes Gene Hackman, Susan Sarandon, and James Garner. Many smart observations about growing old. Directed by Robert Benton, from a screenplay by Benton and novelist Richard Russo. (MJ)

Two for the Road (1967)—Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney play a couple whose marriage has gone sour after 12 years. They reminisce as the film skips around in time, with clever, effective editing, to explore the good times and bad times of their relationship—mostly on trips through Europe. At the end they realize just how bound to each other they are. Superb performances, along with a screenplay by Frederic Raphael that is more witty than moving. Directed by Stanley Donen. (MJ)

Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970)—The formerly blacklisted Albert Maltz wrote the script, from a story by director Budd Boetticher, about a drifter (Clint Eastwood) who helps a "nun" (Shirley MacLaine) stage an uprising in Mexico. Veteran action filmmaker Don Siegel directed. (DW)

Two O'Clock Courage (1945)—Tom Conway, George Sanders' brother, plays an amnesiac who finds himself a suspect in a murder case. With Ann Rutherford as a helpful cab driver. One of Anthony Mann's first directorial efforts. (DW)

Two Rode Together (1961)—James Stewart and Richard Widmark are an army officer and a marshal negotiating with Comanches about the return of some prisoners. John Ford directed. (DW)

Two Seconds (1932)—This takes literally the notion that your life flashes before you as you face death. Mervyn LeRoy directed this film that tells the life-story of Edward G. Robinson in the two seconds it takes for him to die in the electric chair! With Vivienne Osborne and Preston Foster. (DW)

Two Weeks in Another Town (1962)—Vincente Minnelli's adaptation of Irwin Shaw's novel about the making of a film in Rome. A "garish drama" with Kirk Douglas, Edward G. Robinson, Cyd Charisse, George Hamilton. (DW)

Ulee's Gold (1997)—Peter Fonda gives a strong, sensitive performance as a Florida beekeeper who struggles to keep his troubled family from spinning apart. The film is weakened by a neat, uplifting ending. Directed by Victor Nunez. (MJ)

Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The (1964)—Jacques Demy's masterpiece of both color and music. A young couple (Catherine Deneuve and Nino Castelnuovo) pledge lasting love to each other though he must go off to the Algerian War. He returns to find she has married someone else. The emotional musical score (by Michel Legrand, with lyrics by Demy) is sung through, with no spoken dialogue. Every frame of this film is perfect. Look for the recently restored version. (MJ)

Under the Volcano (1984)—John Huston's adaptation of Malcolm Lowry's novel: the last few days in the life of an alcoholic British diplomat in Mexico in late 1930s, with Albert Finney. (DW)

Undercurrent (1946)—In the Gaslight genre: a woman (Katharine Hepburn) discovers her husband is evil and conniving. Robert Mitchum is her ultimate savior. Directed by Vincente Minnelli. (DW)

Underworld U.S.A. (1961)—A petty thief (Cliff Robertson), obsessed with getting revenge on the mobsters who murdered his father, collaborates with a D.A.Õs investigating committee. Director Samuel Fuller makes stunning use of closeups and expressionist cinematography. Robert Emhardt (usually in a bathrobe by the swimming pool like a Roman emperor) is particularly effective as the syndicate head. (MJ)

Unfaithfully Yours (1948)—Not Preston Sturges at his best, but still amusing. Rex Harrison is a symphony conductor convinced of his wife's (Linda Darnell's) infidelity. (DW)

Unfinished Business (1941)—A remarkable film in many ways, despite its conventional story. Irene Dunne is an aspiring singer from a small town who goes to the big city. Rejected by one brother (Preston Foster), she marries the other (Robert Montgomery) on the rebound. Early scene on the train between Dunne and Foster is remarkable for its sexual frankness. Gregory La Cava directed. (DW)

Union Pacific (1939)—Cecil B. DeMille's epic about railroad-building, with Barbara Stanwyck, Joel McCrea, Robert Preston and many others. (DW)

Vacation from Marriage (1945)—Robert Donat and Deborah Kerr are a married couple whose wartime adventures have woken them from a deep emotional sleep. Directed by Hungarian emigré Alexander Korda. With Glynis Johns and Ann Todd. (DW)

Valley of Decision, The (1945)—Tay Garnett directed this interesting film about romance and labor strife. Greer Garson is a maid who becomes involved with Gregory Peck; his family owned a mine in which her father and brother were killed. Laid in Pittsburgh in 1870. (DW)

Vanya on 42nd Streeet (1994)—Louis Malle directed this film, his last, about a group of actors rehearsing an adaptation of Chekhov's Uncle Vanya. Andre Gregory is the director; writer Wallace Shawn plays the lead character. (DW)

Vertigo (1958)—Pivotal Alfred Hitchcock film, one of his best, about murder, impotence, and obsession. Must be seen. With James Stewart, Kim Novak, and Barbara Bel Geddes. Great relentless score by Bernard Herrmann. (MJ)

Victor/Victoria (1982)—Julie Andrews masquerades as a man to make a career for herself in Paris night-clubs in the 1930s. Director Blake Edwards wants to say something about sexual roles, but the results seem a little weak. With James Garner. Lesley Ann Warren is painful to watch. (DW)

Virgin Spring, The (1959)—One of Ingmar Bergman's most somber works. A girl from a religious family is raped and murdered by itinerants, in medieval Sweden. With Max von Sydow, Brigitta Valberg, Gunnel Lindblom. (DW)

Virginia City (1940)—Intriguing Michael Curtiz Civil War drama, the follow-up to Dodge City, with Miriam Hopkins as a Confederate spy posing as a dancehall girl, Errol Flynn, Randolph Scott. (DW)

Viva Villa! (1934)—Wallace Beery does a lively job of portraying the Mexican revolutionary, Pancho Villa. Ben Hecht wrote the script, which plays fast and loose with historical fact. Directed by Jack Conway. (DW)

Vivacious Lady (1938)—Not director George Stevens at his best, but an entertaining film about a college professor (James Stewart) marrying a night-club singer (Ginger Rogers), and having to let his strait-laced family in on the news. (DW)

Wag the Dog (1997)—A US president hires a PR team to distract attention from a sex scandal by fabricating a war with Albania. Barry Levinson's film has bite, and the screenplay by David Mamet is sinister and funny. Great ensemble acting by Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman, Denis Leary, and Anne Heche. (MJ)

Walk in the Sun, A (1945)—Earnest Lewis Milestone directed, from a screenplay by earnest Robert Rossen, this study of American soldiers attacking a Nazi entrenchment in Italy. (DW)

Wall Street (1987)—Oliver Stone directed this film about Wall Street sharks and their comeuppance with his usual subtlety and restraint. With Charlie Sheen, Martin Sheen and Michael Douglas. (DW)

Wanderers, The (1979)—Philip Kaufman's film is an excellent adaptation of Richard Price's fine novel about youth gangs in the Bronx in 1963. With Ken Wahl. (MJ)

War and Peace (1956)—An intelligent, if not inspired, version of Tolstoy's masterwork about Russian society, directed by King Vidor. With Audrey Hepburn, Henry Fonda and Mel Ferrer. (DW)

Warriors, The (1979)—Walter Hill's bizarre and exciting retelling of Xenophon's ancient Greek classic March Up-Country. Set in nighttime New York City, the film shows members of a juvenile gang fighting their way back to the Bronx. (MJ)

We All Loved Each Other So Much (1974)—Director Ettore Scola's celebration of Italian cinema. The film follows the friendship and diverging paths of three friends and the woman they all love, for three decades, starting with their camaraderie as partisans in World War II. Various Italian cinematic styles are used during the different periods of the story. T he great director Federico Fellini makes a cameo appearance, filming his La Dolce Vita. With Vittorio Gassman, Nino Manfredi, Satta Flores, and Stefania Sandrelli. (MJ)

Wedding, A (1978)—Robert Altman doing what he does bestÑdirecting a large ensemble of actors. Carol Burnett stars in this amusing, farcical film. (MJ)

West Side Story (1961)—Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins co-directed this screen version of the remarkable Leonard Bernstein-Stephen Sondheim musical. Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer are dull, Rita Moreno, Russ Tamblyn and George Chakiris are memorable. Romeo and Juliet set in New York City of the 1950s. (DW)

What Price Glory? (1952)—Minor John Ford film, which he transformed from its pacifistic silent original (1926, directed by Raoul Walsh), into "a nostalgic celebration of military camaraderie. With James Cagney, Corinne Calvet and Dan Dailey. (DW)

What Price Hollywood? (1932)—Early critical view of Hollywood, with Constance Bennett as a waitress who becomes a movie star and Lowell Sherman as an alcoholic film director. George Cukor directed. (DW)

What's New, Pussycat? (1965)—Silly, but sometimes very funny film directed by Clive Donner and written by Woody Allen (in his first such effort), about fashion editor Peter O'Toole who goes to psychiatrist Peter Sellers for advice. Mayhem ensues. (DW)

What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)—Woody Allen's first film is actually a hilarious redubbing of an atrocious Japanese spy thriller. With music by the Lovin' Spoonful and the voices of Allen and Louise Lasser. (MJ)

White Balloon (1995)—Iranian film-maker Jafar Panahi directed this beautiful film about a little girl determined to buy a goldfish on New Year's Day. Fellow film-maker Abbas Kiarostami wrote the script. (DW)

White Heat (1949)—Not-to-be-missed crime drama about criminal with a serious mother complex. James Cagney is unforgettable in Raoul Walsh's film. (DW)

Wild Strawberries (1957)—The life, filled with disappointments, of an elderly professor (Victor Sjšstrom), told in flashbacks. One of Ingmar Bergman's most renowned works. (DW)

Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? (1957)—Jayne Mansfield, at her most disproportionate, and Tony Randall star in this Frank Tashlin film about an ad man who tries to persuade a glamour girl to endorse one of his products. A satire of advertising, television and 1950s morals, based on a George Axelrod play. (DW)

William Shakespeare's "Romeo + Juliet" (1996)—Inventive and exciting modern-dress version of the play. Starring Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio. (MJ)

Winchester '73 (1950)—Remarkable Western, directed by Anthony Mann, about a man (James Stewart, in the first of his films with Mann) tracking down a stolen Winchester rifle and the man who took it. The gun is the connection between the different episodes. With Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea and Stephen McNally. Script by Robert L. Richards and Borden Chase. (DW)

Wings (1927)—Silent film, directed by William Wellman, about two American flyers, in love with the same girl, who enlist in US forces during World War I. Flying sequences are famous. With Clara Bow, Charles "Buddy" Rogers, Richard Arlen and Gary Cooper. (DW)

Wings of Eagles, The (1957)—John Ford directed this biographical film about Frank "Spig" Wead (John Wayne), an aviator who turned to screenwriting (for Ford and others) after an accident. With Maureen O'Hara, Dan Dailey, Ward Bond. (DW)

Witness for the Prosecution (1957)—Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power and Charles Laughton in Billy Wilder's filming of an Agatha Christie courtroom potboiler. Power's last film. (DW)

Woman in Window, The (1945)—Top-notch Fritz Lang melodrama, with Edward G. Robinson as a respectable married man who becomes involved with the model (Joan Bennett) of a painting he sees in a window and a lowlife, Dan Duryea. (DW)

Woman of Affairs, A (1928)—A late-silent melodrama with Greta Garbo as a reckless rich girl who goes from one man to the next and finally dies in a car crash. With Lewis Stone and John Gilbert; directed by Clarence Brown, Garbo's favorite. (DW)

Woman of the Year (1942)—Katharine Hepburn as a globe-trotting political commentator and Spencer Tracy as a sports reporter, in their first film together. Entertaining film, directed by George Stevens, marred by a conformist ending. (DW)

Woman's Face, A (1941)—Joan Crawford is a vengeful woman, whose face has been disfigured. Not a consistently good film, but it has some moments. With the wonderful Conrad Veidt. George Cukor directed. (DW)

Woman's Vengeance, A (1948)—Hungarian-born Zoltan Korda directed an intelligent Aldous Huxley script about a philandering husband suspected of murdering his wife. With Charles Boyer, Ann Blyth, Jessica Tandy, Cedric Hardwicke. (DW)

Words and Music (1948)—Colorful, upbeat, less-than-true "biography" of the great Broadway musical team of Richard Rodgers (Tom Drake) and Lorenz Hart (Mickey Rooney). From the Golden Age of the MGM Musical. Helped by exhuberant acting by Drake and Rooney, and by great musical performances by Gene Kelly, Judy Garland, and Lena Horne. Directed by Norman Taurog. (MJ)

Working Girl (1988)—Mike Nichols' relatively superficial look at a working class girl (Melanie Griffith) from Staten Island who aspires to yuppiedom. Harrison Ford is the object of her affections, Sigourney Weaver her boss. (DW)

World in His Arms, The (1952)—Gregory Peck is an American ship's captain wooing an aristocratic Russian woman (Ann Blyth) in San Francisco in the 1850s. Raoul Walsh directed with his customary vigor. (DW)

Written on the Wind (1956)—One of Douglas Sirk's extraordinary films about 1950s America and its discontents. Robert Stack is a drunken heir to an oil fortune, Dorothy Malone his restless sister. They destroy themselves and others without ever understanding why. Not to be missed. (DW)

Wuthering Heights (1939)—Laurence Olivier, as Heathcliff, is the one to watch in William Wyler's filmed version of Emily Bronte's classic novel. With Merle Oberon. Script by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur. (DW)

Yank at Oxford, A (1937)—A lighthearted film, with Robert Taylor as an American trying to adjust to life at the English university. With Maureen O'Sullivan and a young Vivien Leigh; directed by Jack Conway. (DW)

Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)—Exuberant James Cagney in a lively biography of showman George M. Cohan. Directed by Michael Curtiz. (DW)

Year of Living Dangerously, The (1983)—Love story set against the background of the military bloodbath against the Communist Party in Indonesia in 1966. The political scenes are very powerful. Linda Hunt is marvelous as the diminutive photographer Billy Kwan, for which she deservedly won an Academy Award. Starring Mel Gibson and Sigourney Weaver. Directed by Peter Weir. (MJ)

Year of the Dragon (1985)—Michael Cimino directed this violent, wildly uneven film about a New York cop, a Vietnam veteran, going up against the Chinese mafia. It contains both convincing and unconvincing elements. Mickey Rourke, John Lone, Ariane. Oliver Stone wrote the script. (DW)

Yolanda and the Thief (1945)—Fred Astaire is a conman in this Vincente Minnelli musical, trying to convince Lucille Bremer, a Latin American heiress, that he is her guardian angel. With Frank Morgan. (DW)

You Can't Take It With You (1938)—Frank Capra's version of the George S. Kaufman-Moss Hart comedy about the antics of an eccentric during the Depression. Starring James Stewart and Jean Arthur. (DW)

Young Frankenstein (1974)—One of Mel Brooks' funnier and more successful parodies, this time of the classic horror film by James Whale. Particularly effective because it uses many of the original sets. With Peter Boyle (as the monster) and Gene Wilder (as Dr. Frankenstein). (MJ)

Young Mr. Lincoln (1939)—John Ford's account of Abraham Lincoln's early years as a frontier lawyer, starring Henry Fonda. (DW)

Z (1969)—Fictionalized account of the assassination of Greek liberal politician Gregorios Lambrakis and the government coverup. Director Costa-Gavras has made this into an ominous, sinsister political thriller. With an all-star French and Greek cast headed by Yves Montand. (MJ)

Zardoz (1973)—Odd saga spanning thousands of years in the future, with Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling. A good-bad film bursting with half-baked ideas and marvelous images. Directed by John Boorman, an exceptional director who takes chances. (MJ)