1) To Kill a Mockingbird
Easily one of the best book to film adaptations out there. To Kill A Mockingbird stars Gregory Peck in the role of Atticus Finch a single father and small town lawyer. When a black man is accused of the rape of a white girl Atticus steps in to defend him. Watching this occur through innocent eyes in Scout and her brother Jem. Chalk full of timeless life lessons and quotes to always have with you. To Kill A Mockingbird did the book by Harper Lee from which it is adapted justice. Peck in the role of Finch wasn’t just acting it was the man in a role he was born to play. There is no other film that has captured the scathing truth of social injustice and the people that fight against it in the south.
Psycho was the film that introduced me to Alfred Hitchcock. I remember the first time I had the pleasure of seeing this gem. I was 13 years old and my love of film was growing. Flipping through the channels and there it was. My parents immediately recognized it and it had barely even started. I was entranced from the moment I started watching. The audience feels Janet Leigh’s paranoia as she leaves with an envelope full of cash. When she arrives at the infamous Bates Motel she meets Norman Bates played by Anthony Perkins. A suspense classic that is often cited as one of the first slasher films, though some don’t agree.
Laura stars Gene Teirney in the title role. One of the first Film Noir’s that I discovered on my own Laura is a must watch for any fans of the genre. Also starring Dana Andrews as the detective that begins to fall for Laura through the stories and the painting that hangs above her fire place. Vincent Price in a leading male role and Clifton Webb as Newspaper columnist Waldo Lydecker. After the death of an unknown women in Laura’s home everyone believes that it is her that is dead. It is not until she arrives home to find Detective Mark McPherson in her place. While falling in love with Laura he learns more about her past as he continues to investigate the death of Redfern. Though a modern audience may be able to come to the conclusion of who did it soon into the film, the audience upon its release was shocked by it’s ending. A great mystery, paired with an amazing cast makes Laura one of the top film noirs in film history.
4) The Court Jester
Danny Kaye stars in The Court Jester a musical-comedy set in medieval England. One of the defining moments in my childhood came the first time I saw this film. An important part of my childhood The Court Jester was the beginning of my love for film. Especially those made far before I was even born. Funny and memorable Danny Kaye’s performance is one of the most underrated in the world of film. If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing The Court Jester please do yourself a favor and watch it. You’ll laugh and you will laugh some more.
5) The Apartment
Starring the worlds favorite every man, Jack Lemmon portrays Bud a lonely man that allows himself to be used by his office mates. Fred MacMurray stars as one of those office mates who also happens to use Fran an elevator girl at the office. The men in the office use Bud’s apartment to hookup with their mistresses. While Bud tries to get in good standing in the office. His reputation is in taters at his home and things get worse when Fran attempts suicide. There friendship grows as she stays with him and a great partnership is born. An amazing cast is to be expected in a Billy Wilder film and this stands as my number one is a long list of gems by the famed Director. If you are looking for a great film that is funny and dramatic all in one this is the one for you.