Best Actor

[10] The day before her second wedding, a priggish socialite (Katharine Hepburn) entangles with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a tabloid journalist (Jimmy Stewart), causing an identity crisis that threatens to derail the ceremony. Does she really want to marry a man who sees her as an infallible goddess? Or does she want someone who will let her put her hair down and love her …

[7] Katharine Hepburn had never acted with Henry Fonda before, and Fonda had never acted with his daughter Jane. On Golden Pond united the three screen legends for their first and only film together. Hepburn and the elder Fonda play an old couple vacationing at a rustic lake cabin. Fonda has had heart problems and is preoccupied with his own mortality, while Hepburn enjoys picking …

[7] Daniel Day-Lewis (My Left Foot, There Will Be Blood) won his third Oscar for his convincing portrait of America’s 16th president during the final months of the Civil War. Lincoln is a decades-long pet project for director Steven Spielberg, who chose Angels in America scribe Tony Kushner to make Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln the foundation …

[8] Stanley Kramer (Inherit the Wind, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner) directs an impressive roster of talent in this dramatization of four Nazi judges on trial for war crimes in occupied Germany. Spencer Tracy leads the cast as the American judge summoned to preside over the case. While considering passionate arguments from the prosecution (Richard Widmark) and defense (Maximilian Schell), he spends his evenings developing …

[4] Cliff Robertson stars as Charly, a mentally disabled man who agrees to have an experimental operation that makes him more intelligent. But just as the experiment’s success is announced to the scientific world, Charly learns he will soon regress to his original state. Robertson gives an fairly effective performance here, but Charly, based on the required junior high school reading title, Flowers for Algernon, …

[5] George C. Scott’s charisma is the best thing Patton has going for it. The film is a pastiche of the famous (and infamous) army general’s career through World War II, including his successful invasion of Sicily, media blunders resulting in military reprimand, and his eventual aid in the fall of the Third Reich. The film initially paints Patton as a hard-ass who gets the …

[7] 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] 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] On its surface, Joker is an origin story about Batman’s arch-nemesis. So at first glance, you might mistake it for ‘just another superhero’ movie. But writer/director Todd Phillips and actor Joaquin Phoenix have actually made a film that transcends the comic book genre. Joker works as a disturbing character study, an all-too timely allegory, and a provocative meditation on a theme — something we …

[7] Broderick Crawford plays a small-town hick who attracts a populist following that takes him all the way to the governor’s mansion, even though his ascent is riddled with corruption and crime. All the King’s Men is really about Crawford’s support team and how they weather his immorality. John Ireland and Mercedes McCambridge play the two key supporters. They begin the film bright-eyed and full …

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