Oscar Winners

[6.5] Producer Walt Disney brings Jules Verne’s adventure to the big screen in his first live-action feature, one that nearly bankrupted the studio and ended up being the most expensive movie ever made up to that time. James Mason stars as Captain Nemo, who uses his advanced submarine, the Nautilus, to destroy war-faring vessels. After one such attack, he picks up a sailor, a professor, …

[7.0] A pair of New York city narcotics cops try to bust a big heroin deal being brokered between suspected mobsters and a French connection. But one of the cops, ‘Popeye’ Doyle (Gene Hackman), has a history of recklessness and threatens to lead his partner (Roy Scheider) down another dangerous rabbit hole in his obsessive pursuit of the drug dealers. Based on a true story …

[6.5] Maestro Billy Wilder directs Ray Milland as a drunk writer circling the drain in the multi-Oscar-winning The Lost Weekend. Milland’s character is supposed to begin recovery on a long holiday weekend with his brother (Phillip Terry) and gal pal (Jane Wyman), but after he steals money to spend at his favorite bar, he gets drunk and misses their departure time. Things get progressively worse …

[8.0] Alec Baldwin takes on the mantle of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan in the action-thriller The Hunt for Red October. One of the joys of this movie is seeing Baldwin, previously known mostly for co-starring in Beetlejuice, become a leading man before your very eyes. And a smart one, at that. Sharing the screen with him is Sean Connery as a Russian captain whose new …

[6.5] Eddie Murphy plays an overweight professor who invents a potion that sheds the pounds in a dramatic fashion. Problem is, the transformation also comes with a personality change of Jekyll and Hyde proportions. Murphy thinks he needs the potion to court a young teacher played by the beautiful Jada Pinkett, not realizing that the new alter ego plans to vanquish the professor’s fatter, friendlier …

[6.5] Writer/director Joseph L. Mankiewicz (All About Eve, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir) won his first two Academy Awards for writing and directing this drama about three wives who reflect on their marriages when they learn a fourth woman has just left town with one of their husbands. Mankiewicz can always be relied upon for great dialogue and pitch-perfect casting. All six principles (the fourth …

[7.5] Bette Davis stars as Charlotte Vale, a nervous young woman whose emotionally abusive mother (Gladys Cooper) causes her to submit herself to a sanitarium. Under the care of her doctor (Claude Rains), Charlotte begins to gain the confidence to stand up for herself and appreciate her self worth. On an ocean-liner cruise she meets a man named Jerry (Casablanca‘s Paul Henreid) and falls in …

[6.0] Norma Shearer, ‘the First Lady of MGM,’ won her Academy Award for The Divorcee. Shearer plays against Chester Morris, happily married until she discovers Morris had a fling with a floozy a few months in the past. While he’s away on a work trip, her despair sees her into the arms of another man. When the couple try to reconcile their indiscretions with each …

[7.0] Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine star in this romantic comedy from Billy Wilder. Lemmon’s a police officer and MacLaine is the prostitute he falls in love with. After he loses his job, she takes him in and provides for him. In an effort to get her to retire, he impersonates a wealthy British man who negotiates a lucrative, monogamous relationship with her. But the …

[7.0] Some of the most enduring films from silent cinema were directed by F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu). One of those classics is Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, about a man (George O’Brien) who is coerced by a lascivious city girl to kill his neglected wife (Janet Gaynor) so they can be together. The man tries to follow through with the plan while sailing with his …

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