North and South (2004)

When Margaret Hales’ (Daniela Denby-Ashe) father is suddenly sent to work in a distant town, they must quickly adjust to a completely different social and economical life. Almost at once Margaret finds herself at odds with the stern mill owner, John Thorton (Richard Armitage). As the two begin to get to know each other, they also begin to have their eyes opened to other points of view.

With a large ensemble cast this saga shows the highs and lows of regular people trying to find a life and happiness.

3hr. 55min.

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

In 1927, with the advent of “Talking Pictures”, superstars Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) suddenly have to deal with the fact that Linas’ voice doesn’t match her beautiful, silent, screen persona.  Their studio has already started trying to pump out another picture to cash in on the new fad, so Don and his best friend Cosmo (Donald O’Connor) come up with a plan where the unknown actress Kathy (Debbie Reynolds) will secretly redub all of Lina’s dialogue.

Highlighted with some of the most memorable songs and dances of all time, this musical is easily one of the best movies ever made and continues to influence films today.

1hr. 43min.

Scaramouche (1952)

Set in the turbulent times leading to the French Revolution, Andre (Stewart Granger) isn’t very interested in politics or the current unrest.  It’s not until his firebrand friend Philippe (Richard Anderson) is taunted into a duel with a master swordsman Noel (Mel Ferrer) and easily killed, that Andre decides to not only take up Philippes’ political mantel but also train in swordsmanship so that he is able to one day challenge Noel and avenge his friend.

The climatic duel set in an opera house is one of the finest in cinematic history.

1hr. 55min.

Dangerous Crossing (1953)

Mere moments after boarding a cruise ship on her honeymoon, Ruth (Jeanne Crain) realizes that not only can she not find her husband John (Carl Betz), but she can’t seem to find anyone who’s seen him at all.  As her sanity begins to come in question she is aided by the kindly ships doctor Dr. Manning (Michael Rennie).  At first just sympathetic to her plight, Manning begins to realize that a far more sinister plot is in motion.

Filmed in an impressive 17 days, the film utilized the set for the 1953 big budget Titanic to double for their cruise ship in this intense thriller.

1hr. 15min.

The Lady Vanishes (1938)

Right before boarding a train, Iris (Margaret Lockwood) meets Miss Foy (Dame May Whitty) a kindly old lady who helps Iris when a planter box falls from a window hitting Iris on the head.  After some tea Miss Foy encourages Iris to take a nap, but when she wakes up Miss Foy is nowhere to be found.  In fact, all the other passengers in their compartment don’t seem to remember seeing the old lady at all.  With the help of musician/writer Gilbert (Michael Redgrave) Iris begins to unravel a complicated plot involving Miss Foy.

One of Alfred Hitchcocks’ earlier works, set the stage for his future Hollywood thrillers.

1hr. 37min.

Moontide (1942)

When a drifting sailor Bobo (Jean Gabin) passes through a small fishing town he isn’t looking for or expecting much.  His life begins to change when he rescues Anna (Ida Lupino) from suicide and the two begin a cautious relationship.  Just as they begin to build a life together, a local murder threatens their fragile happiness.

1hr. 34min.

Lost Horizon (1937)

Set on the brink of WWII, this story follows 5 foreigners caught up in the civil unrest of China, who make it out with their lives on the last plane. Only to find themselves kidnapped and eventually crashing in a remote mountain region deep in the Himalayas. There they’re saved by a mysterious people who live in a fertile mountain valley called Shangri-La. Ronald Colman stars as a decorated writer, soldier and diplomat who may have just discovered a place where he can finally have peace.

Directed by Frank Capra, in a departure from his normal midwest small town setting. It still delves deep into personal drama as well as lofty and simple ideas of peace and goodwill towards our fellow man.  Dimitri Tiomkins’ ethereal and sweeping score perfectly matches the mystery and epic power of this timeless tale.

2hr. 12min.

The African Queen (1951)

Set in Africa right at the beginning of WWI, this story follows salty steamboat captain Charlie (Humphrey Bogart) and prim missionary Rose (Katherine Hepburn). They are thrown together when German officers destroy the village that Rose and her brother were witnessing to (as well as causing the brothers death). Charlie agrees to take Rose down the river to safety, but she has another plan: somehow get down the Ulanga River and destroy a large German ship that is anchored there. Their journey down the river is at times humourous, touching and exciting as they struggle to survive the elements and eachother.

Shot on location, this film captures Hepburn and Bogart at their best.

1hr. 45min.

Great Expectations (1989)

This epic mini series follows the fortunes of young Pip, from a simple act of kindness to an escaped convict, then the invitations of a strange old woman to play with her cold and cruel ward, to his sudden windfall of an inheritance that raises him up to a place in society that he only had dreamt of.

The myriad of colorful characters that he meets along the way are a testament to the brilliant story writing of Charles Dickens as well as the screenwriter who adapted this tome of a book.

5hr. 0min.

In Love & War (2001)

After a mission has gone wrong, British solider Eric Newby (Callum Blue) is captured in WWII Italy.  When Italy is about to be liberated, he and his fellow captives are set to be moved but he injures his ankle and is left behind. He is then taken under the wing of the Italian citizens who hide him. Their kindness and courage in helping him changes his life, as does the love of a lovely Italian girl.

Based on a true story.

1hr. 38min.