Ball of Fire (1941)

In this modern take on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, eight scientist, each an expert in his field, have been working on an encyclopedia on slang for the past nine years.  One day they realize that their slang isn’t current, so they send out their youngest scientist (Gary Cooper) whos’ expertise is in vocabulary.  While collecting information, he meets Sugar Puss O’Shae (Barbara Stanwyk), the fast talking girlfriend of a notorious gangster (Dana Andrews).  When it looks like Sugar Puss might have to turn states evidence against Andrews, she decides to hide out with the “old mothballs,” as she calls the scientists.

Featuring an endearing cast of characters, this is a charming comedy where sometimes even if you know all the words you just can’t seem to find the right ones.

1hr. 41min.

Suspicion (1941)

Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine star in Alfred Hitchcocks suspenseful tale of a young wife who begins to suspect that her husband is going to kill her for her life insurance.

At first everything seems perfect; a whirlwind courtship between shy young Lina (Fontaine) and debonair Johnny (Grant). It soon becomes apparent that Johnny is a compulsive gambler and spendthrift. After embezzling in order to gamble Johnny becomes desperate. Then when a business deal goes down the drain, he becomes fascinated with the idea of a perfect murder.

Remember the Night (1940)

This film, written by Preston Sturges, tells the funny and poignant story of a thief named Lee (Barbara Stanwyk) and her prosecuting attorney John (Fred MacMurry). Taken into court just days before Christmas on a charge of shoplifting, Lees’ case is postponed by John who, through different circumstances, descides to take her to his families’ home for Christmas. Once there, she receives all the love she never knew as a child.

1hr. 40min.

Random Harvest (1942)

Beginning at the end of WWI, this film tells the story of an amnesia afflicted soldier (Ronald Coleman) and the woman (Greer Garson) whom he befriends and then marries.  Their happiness is cut short when, one day he slips on the rain soaked streets and suddenly regains his memories, but remembers nothing of the last three years of his life.  He returns back to his old life, but still feels the loss he can not remember, his only clue is an unnumbered key in his pocket.

The moving ending to this film is (I feel) on the same level of Charlie Chaplins’ classic City Lights. 

2hrs. 8min.

Captain America; the first Avenger (2011)

Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) is always trying to stand up for people who can’t defend themselves, but plagued with chronic bad health he is unable to persue his dream of joining the army and fighting the Nazis in WWII.  When he is approached by a mysterious scientist (Stanely Tucci) who holds the key to a marvelous strength serum, Steve is willing to take a chance.

With his newfound physical appearance and strength he is able to be the hero he always wanted to be and already was.

2hrs. 4min.

Casablanca (1943)

Set in Northern Africa during WWII, the small city of Casablanca becomes a melting pot for a variety of desperate individuals trying to escape the dangers of war.  Rick (Humphrey Bogart) is a bitter night club owner who one night has Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman), a woman from his past, walk back into his life as she literally walks through the clubs doors.

This atmospheric masterpiece was filmed almost entirely on just three sets, while the script was being handed out as it was written daily, giving the film the sense of urgency and uncertainty that has made it one of the greatest films of all time.  Caping it off is the unforgettably romantic and poignant theme song “As Time Goes By”.

1hr. 42min.

Gone with the Wind (1939)

David O Selznick produced this sweeping epic, which spans twelve years in the life of a spoiled, clever and beautiful southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara, played to perfection by Vivian Leigh.  The story begins during the heyday of the plantation owners in the Deep South, continues through the horrors of the civil war and concludes with the rebuilding of more than homes during the post war era. Clark Gable also stars as the rogue and hero, Rhett Butler.

This film swept the oscars that year, winning eight academy awards. It was the first film to do so.

3hrs. 45min.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

When young Milly (Jane Powell) agrees to marry Adam (Howard Keel) she has little idea that he is bringing her to his ranch AND 6 younger brothers.  Not wanting to be cook and cleaner to all of them, she decides to clean them up and teach them some manners so they can find wives of their own.  Milly is not quite prepared for the mayhem that follows as the girls in town do indeed fall for the backwoods brothers, much to the jealousy of the townsmen.

Filmed on location in Oregon, this film features memorable songs and show-stopping dance numbers.

1hr. 42min.

Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Gnomeo and Juliet are at last together and are starting a new life in a new garden, when suddenly they find themselves in the middle of a crime wave involving the kidnapping of garden gnomes.  When their families are taken, Gnomeo and Juliet must join forces with the legendary Sherlock Gnome and the faithful Watson.  As their search takes them across London, Gnomeo and Juliet learn some timeless lessons about friendship and love.

Featuring the voice talents of James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Johnny Depp and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

1hr. 26min.