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The 25 Best Films I've probably never seen

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Okay. So I've enjoyed classic film my entire life, but it's only been in the last 3 years or so that I've become addicted to TCM and started to turn a casual interest into a full-fledged hobby.


Since I work and am quite busy IRL, I've really tried to focus my efforts over the past couple of years...with the help of my TiVo. As a result, I've seen almost all of the classic films on the AFI's 'top 100' list, as well as focusing alot of effort on seeing a large chunk of films done by the following actors:


Humphrey Bogart (and Lauren Bacall, to a degree as well)

Cary Grant

Charles Boyer

Clark Gable

Bette Davis

Ingrid Bergman

Greta Garbo

Katharine Hepburn (and Spencer Tracy, to a degree as well)


Now, I've seen alot of other films too during this time as well...but the above might give you a basic idea of where I've been focusing at least a good chunk of my energies.


And so my question is this:


To those of you who have been passionate about this for years, what in your opinion, are some of the 'hidden treasures' out there? What are some lesser known films that are just really outstanding? The 'must see's, so to speak.


I'm not talking about the "Gone With the Wind"'s, "North By Northwest"'s and the "Casablanca"'s of the world. I'm talking about really outstanding films that don't necessarily get that level of attention. The ones which are not household words, but which are really excellent nonetheless.


Thanks for any and all suggestions. :)

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I'm sure you'll gets lots of replies on this one! Here are some-obviously reflecting my personal prejudices! No particular order:

Portrait Of Jennie-Jennifer Jones-Joseph Cotton

Letter From An Unknown Woman-Joan Fontaine -Louis Jourdan

Annie Get Your Gun-Betty Hutton -Howard Keel

The Big Carnival(AKA Ace in the Hole) Kirk Douglas-Jan Stirling

Love Me Or Leave Me-Doris Day-James Cagney

Vertigo-James Stewart-Kim Novak

Waterloo Bridge-Vivien Leigh-Robert Taylor

A Star is Born-Garland-Mason

The Pumpkin Eater-Bancroft-Mason

The Cat People- Simone-Simon

The Seventh Victim-Kim Hunter

The Marrying Kind-Judy Holliday-Aldo Ray

His Girl Friday-Russell-Grant

Caged-Eleanor Parker

The Virgin Spring-Ingmar Bergman masterpiece


The Manchurian Candidate-the original with the wonderful Angela Lansbury

All Fall Down-Lansbury again, Eva Marie Saint

The Innocents-Deborah Kerr



There are tons more--but I'll give you a rest for now!!

Happy Viewing and Welcome to the world of Classic Film!!


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Hi Shelly,


Thanks very much for your reply. I've seen a few of those, but most I've not seen yet. So I very much appreciate the suggestions!


And yeah, I'm hoping to get a really good list going, so hopefully others will respond.


There are just so many movies out there! You can turn on the TV and watch whatever happens to be on, I suppose (and sometimes, I do that!)...but given my time limitations and the fact that I can TiVo whatever I like and so am not limited by TV schedules and real-life commitments, I'd like to get a list of films to watch out for and grab on TiVo when they come up in the schedule. Then I can watch them at my leisure. :)

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It's a bit eclectic but here goes:


The Big Heat

The Haunting (the 1960s version)

Say Anything


The 39 Steps (Alfred Hitchcock version)

Somewhere in Time

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

The Mark of Zorro (Tyrone Power)


Those Lips, Those Eyes

The Thin Man

Field of Dreams

The Killers (1946)

The Conversation

Blow Up

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Judgement at Nuremberg

My Darling Clementine

The Prisoner of Zenda (1937)

A Double Life (1947)

Of Mice and Men (1939)

A Place in the Sun

The Bad and the Beautiful

The Music Man

L.A. Story

Footlight Parade

White Heat

Elmer Gantry

Ball of Fire



Lady from Shanghai

Robin and Marian

Sweet Smell of Success

Seven Days in May

Sullivan's Travels

The Searchers

Meet John Doe


Notting Hill

King Solomon's Mines (1950)

Duck Soup


A Fish Called Wanda

Nightmare Alley

Witness for the Prosecution


Brief Encounter (1945)

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Here are some films that I am glad to say I have seen and would recommend without hesitation.


1. Scarface -1932. (Did you ever hear about the "X's forshadowing the killings?)

2. Trouble In Paradise - 1932. (Lubitsch)

3. Twentieth Century - 1934

4. Lost Horizon - 1937

5. Beau Geste - 1939

6. Young Mr. Lincoln - 1939 (New Criterion DVD is being reviewed alot lately.)

7.The Great McGinty - 1940 (Sturges)

8. The Westerner - 1940

9. In This Our Life - 1942 (Huston, Davis & deHavilland)

10. Force Of Evil - 1948

11. All The King's Men - 1949

12. Rififi - 1954

13. Hobson's Choice - 1954 (David Lean w/ Charles Laughton!)

14. One, Two, Three - 1961 (Classic film references abound.)

15. Sweet Bird Of Youth - 1962


and to add a pair of recent films that a classic film lover should enjoy...

16. Avalon - 1990

17. King Of The Hill - 1993


Hope you have a film guide around to help you research these (and all the other titles others are going to send your way.


Regards -

Kyle in Hollywood

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Gosh pktrekgril! I wish I only had 25 to watch!!! LOL I understand about not having enough time to watch everything I wish I could. (working girl and musician-takes alot of time!) I'll add my few favorites.


Peeping Tom-1960, Michael Powell director

Wages Of Fear -1953, Henri-Georges Clouzot director

Out Of the Past Robert Mitchum

The Roaring Twenties James Cagney

Curse of The Demon Dana Andrews


I'd better stop...I'll be here all night!

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Kyle in Hollywood...Thanks for the tip on Scarface...I'll have to give it a spin again and see if I see the X's. Does that show up on the DVD, or just the tape?? I'm so glad you listed Rififi!!! I love that film. I recently handed my copy of All the Kings Men to someone at work to watch. Haven't heard what they thought of it, but it's one of my favorites too.

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Hello Huntress,

I learned about the "X"'s from a PBS documentary series called American Cinema. Martin Scorsese brings it up in a discussion in the episode "The Hollywood Style".


The film begins with a large "X" across the screen behind the opening titles. And "X"'s are seen throughout the film - on street signs, keeping score in a bowling alley, made by shadows - each marking Scarface's victims. But my favorite is the 'cross-target' that marks Scarface at the beginning. These aren't some subliminal flash. They are there in the sets and scenery, etc.


Glad to know you appreciate some of my choices. I hope pktrekgirl does too. I wanted to suggest films off the beaten path that one often only finds from the recommendation of others. (I almost added "Diabolique" but was glad to see you suggested Clouzot's "Wages of Fear" for her.)



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Diabolique is incredible. After watching it, I realized how many films it influenced. I thought I'd share some of my "guilty pleasure" favorites that aren't as high-brow!


Atomic Submarine (Total Cheese! I love it!)

Predator (Jesse steals the show)

Star Trek-Original Series-The Doomsday Machine

I remember my mom watching that on TV, and I was hiding behind the wall in the hallway because that glistening ice cream cone monster was on the screen! Now I can recite most of the dialog! LOL

Kronos-Ravenger of Planets (Who thought a watertower could walk?)


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I have been passionate about movies for over thirty five years now. I love movies from all decades. Here are some of the not so "classics" I have enjoyed (in no particular order and trying not to repeat those already listed):


Footlight Parade (James Cagney, Joan Blondell)

The Winning of Barbara Worth (early Gary Cooper)

Wagonmaster (Ward Bond and Ben Johnson)

The Rains Came (Tyrone Power and Myrna Loy)

Mystery of the Flying Fish (Doug Fairbanks, Sr)

Hearts of the West (Jeff Bridges and Blythe Danner in a tribute to early filmmaking)

Nickelodeon (Bogdanovich tribute to early filmmaking)

SOB (Blake Edwards best tribute to filmmaking and actors)

Ace in the Hole (Kirk Douglas in an incredibly cynical Billy Wilder film- hard to find)

Wait Until the Shine Shines, Nellie (David Wayne)

Steamboat 'Round the Bend (Will Rogers)

And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (Antonio Banderas)

An Unmarried Woman

Harry and Tonto

Ride the High Country (Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott)

Junior Bonner (Steve McQueen)

Love Me or Leave Me (Doris Day and James Cagney)

The Strawberry Blonde (James Cagney and Olivia DeHaviland)

The Petrified Forest (Bogie and Bette Davis and Leslie Howard)

Four Daughters (John Garfield)

Dead End (Joel McCrea and Sylvia Sidney)

Fury (Spencer Tracy and Sylvia Sidney)


Hope that helps!


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There is something I really like in movies and that is when people say things only with their eyes, such as Myrna Loy in ?The Rains Came?, when she realized she had accidently caught the plague. That takes a good actor, a good director, a good cameraman, and a good editor, all working together.

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I agree.


As I stated in my opening post, I've seen most of Bogie's films, including this one. Oddly enough, I think that by chance, this film was the first Bogart film I ever saw after Casablanca, The African Queen, The Maltese Falcon, and the 4 films with Bacall.


It's very good, and I enjoyed it alot!


But then, I tend to find something I love in all of Bogart's films. :)

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I would also second some of following films that filmlover and kyle recommended:


The Big Heat

The Conversations

Inherit the Wind

My Darling Clementine

A Place in the Sun

The Bad and the Beautiful

The Music Man

Robin and Marian

Sweet Smell of Success

Scarface -1932

The Westerner - 1940

All The King's Men - 1949


Both their lists contain films not highlighted here that are some of my favorites.


Lastly, Night of the Hunter and for recent films LA Confidential.


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pktrekgirl -


http://filmsite.org/ is a website you will probably find very interesting and useful. I have recommended it many times around here and others are probably tired of me mentioning it but it can be very helpful when trying to choose what to watch. And you can become film literate in the process too.


Especially useful is this page -




Let me know what you think as I never know if others have found it as useful as I.


Kyle in Hollywood

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lzcutter -


Thanks for the affirmation on a few of my selections for the new kid in town. I feel validated when it comes from someone as respected as you.


I noticed you liked to recommend films about filmmaking and/or Hollywood and was wondering what you think of "The Day of the Locust" and "The Last Tycoon". I wouldn't say either is a loving tribute to early days of Hollywood but I think they are fascinating nonetheless. (I also caught "The Big Knife" recently. I think I prefer it to "The Bad and The Beautiful" as a drama about the movies.)


And it is too bad "Nickelodeon" isn't being shown next month with the other Peter Bogdanovich films on the 2nd of March. I'd like to catch that one again.



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Filmlovers list contains just about every one of my favorite lesser known films. Actually thought that I was the only person that loved 1776.


If I may I would like to add a couple.


All My Sons - Edward G Robinson

Summertime - Katharine Hepburn

The Last Hurrah - Spencer Tracy


Two a little better known that you may have missed.


Paths of Glory - Kirk Douglas

In A lonely Place - Humphrey Bogart

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I have a fondness for films about the yearly days of filmmaking ever since I saw "Hollywood", Kevin Brownlow's muti-episode documentary on the silent days.


I find "Locust" and "Tycoon" interesting movies but very cold and especially with "Tycoon" disengaged.


So much of Bogdanovich's work is hit and miss and "Nickelodeon" is far from perfect but it is infused with warmth for its characters and story, much of which, if memory serves (it's been years since I have seen it) is based on men and stories that the original silent stars and directors told to Bogdanovich when he was the new kid in town back in the late 1960s before he had hit the big time with "Picture Show".


HBO Films are always hit and miss but "And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself" is enjoyable to watch because of the actors and the basic story behind it about going to Mexico to film Villa and the Revolution is based on Raoul Walsh's adventures. Kevin Brownlow is one of the advisors on the film. Alan Arkin and the young guy who plays the Walsh like character are quite good as well.


Brownlow's "Hollywood" series is supposedly coming to DVD later this year and I recommend it for anyone that has an interest in the early days of filmmaking and the free wheeling, go for broke atmosphere that was party of the every day enviroment.


There are some great stories in it and it is great to be able to watch our National Art form take shape and fly.


Thanks for the compliments!

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"If I may I would like to add a couple.


All My Sons - Edward G Robinson"


Since I decided Robinson was my favorite actor and discovered his role in "All My Sons" one of his best, I've wanted to see "All My Sons". I have looked and the movie is only for sale as a used VHS--asking a minimum of 50 dollars!


I posted a question about "All My Sons" a few months ago and it has been broadcast but, on a channel I do not receive.


I am going to hold my breath until..."All My Sons" is put on DVD!



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