Satirizing both rock stars and documentary film, This Is Spinal Tap is ranked as one of the funniest movies ever made. The rock music mockumentary was written, scored by, and starred Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Michael McKean and Harry Shearer. Much of the dialogue was ad-libbed, and that improvisation produced over 100 hours of footage, which was cut down to 83 wacky minutes.
“You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow.” Sultry Lauren Bacall’s 1944 film debut in the wartime classic To Have and Have Not, based on the novel of the same name by Ernest Hemingway, catapulted her into instant stardom.
“I don’t want to sell anything, buy anything, or process anything as a career. I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought, or processed, or repair anything sold, bought, or processed,” said John Cusack as Lloyd Dobler in the smart and charming romantic comedy Say Anything.
Diane of Fiction/AV/Teen services suggests Now, Voyager…
Hollywood cranked out women’s pictures, or weepies, with excessive emotional fervor from the 1930s to 1950s. For many historians, 1942’s Now, Voyager starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, and Claude Rains, is the definitive weepie. Davis portrays Charlotte Vale, a dowdy Boston spinster, oppressed and driven to a nervous breakdown by a domineering mother. She recovers with the help of a kindly psychiatrist, played by Claude Rains, who runs a mental health sanitarium. After leaving the doctor’s care, Charlotte takes an ocean voyage where she finds self-confidence and love through a romance with an unhappily-married man, played by Paul Henreid, and ends up taking his emotionally troubled daughter under her wing.
For more movies featuring Bette Davis as the headstrong lead try…
Dark Victory follows the life of a fast moving Long Island socialite who skids to a stop when she discovers that she has less than a year to live.
Set on a rubber plantation in Malaya, The Letter centers on a woman’s reasons for killing a man who was a close family friend.
Headstrong, beautiful Tina has nothing but disdain for her Aunt Charlotte, in The Old Maid, but unloved, unlovable Aunt Charlotte is really Tina’s mother, whose romance with a Civil War soldier that didn’t return resulted in Tina’s birth.
World War II has separated pianist Christine Radcliffe from her great love, cellist Karel Novak. Thinking Karel has been killed in action, she is unexpectedly reunited with him. Pulling off the ultimate Deception, she’ll lie to keep her shameful past as the mistress of a wealthy composer a secret.
In The Great Lie, tempestuous and ambitious concert pianist Sandra shares a bond with down-to-earth Maggie and her little boy, Pete. No one knows that Pete is Sandra’s son – the son of the heroic aviator both women love.
It’s 1976, the last day of school in Austin, Texas, the music is rocking, the keg is tapped, and Matthew McConaughey is “All right, all right, all right.” Join the party in Dazed and Confused, the coming of age cult comedy film written and directed by Boyhood’s Richard Linklater.
“Goodness, what beautiful diamonds!”
“Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”
For snappy, tongue-in-cheek dialogue written by Mae West herself, try West’s 1932 film debut Night After Night . The queen of the double entendre rules all five movies in the Mae West Glamour Collection with bawdy charm.
“I just love finding new places to wear diamonds,” said Marilyn Monroe in the 1953 musical comedy Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. Director Howard Hawks’ style and Jane Russell’s sharp delivery, with Marilyn’s iconic performance of “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” make this female buddy film a lighthearted pleasure.
I was a member of the audience for the premier of Big Eden at the world famous Castro Theatre in June 2000 and happily joined in the thunderous 10 minute standing ovation. Big Eden is a winsome gay romantic comedy which turns stereotypes upside down with humor and a heart-warming romance.
Are you hooked on Downton Abbey? Did you know the series was inspired by Robert Altman’s film Gosford Park? Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, won the Oscar for Best Screenplay for Gosford Park. Check out Maggie Smith as Countess of Trentham before she became Downton Abbey’s Countess of Grantham!