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.

Johnny Belinda (1948)

Set during the beginning of the 20th century, the story tells of a young doctor (Lew Ayres) who comes to a small fishing community in Nova Scotia to set up his practice. There he meets mute Belinda (Jane Wyman) the daughter of a gruff farmer (Charles Bickford), who believes that Belinda is witless. The young doctor quickly realizes the girls intelligence and is able to teach her sign language. Belindas’ father is begining to warm towards her when tragedy strikes.

Jane Wymans portrayal of the sweet, deaf-mute girl won her the academy award.

1hr. 42min.

Prince Valiant (1954)

Valiant is the son of a viking king and queen who have been driven into exile by a traitor. So, Valiant decides to become a knight for King Arthur in order to be able to take back his father’s throne. He finds another villain in Camelot in the person of the mysterious Black Knight. It isnt long before he realizes the culprit is someone from inside the palace, who has a long range plan.  It also isnt long before Valiant has another complication; his falling in love with a beautiful princess (Janet Leigh). Robert Wagner stars as the title character in this exciting adventure film.

1hr. 40min.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959)

This is the classic Jules Verne tale of a group of people who penetrate the core of the earth.  When Professor Lindenbrough (James Mason) finds a 300 year old message from another professor who, in his time, claimed the center of the earth could be reached, it’s only a moment before Lindenbrough is off. Soon though his quest for science quickly becomes one of survival. With him is young Alec (Pat Boone), Carla (Arhlene Dahl) and Hans (former athlete David Thayer).

With groundbreaking special effects this film brings to life the wonders and possibilities that could be “right under our feet”.

2hr. 10min.

Quo Vadis (1951)

The setting; Rome. The time; the reign of Nero. The Christians are being persecuted and Roman centurion Marcuss Viniceus (Robert Taylor) could care less. Then one day, while visiting a friend, he meets Lygia (Deborah Kerr), a beautiful girl who’s a Christian. After the burning of Rome, Nero (Peter Ustinov) decides if the people want someone to blame he’ll make it be the Christians. It is in the midst of the terror and the tragedy of the arena, that Marcuss’ lust for Lygia and his skepticism of christianity begins to change.

2hr. 50min.

Romance in Manhattan (1935)

When immigrant Karel Novak (Francis Lederer) arrives in New York he’s filled with optimism for his new life, but a change in rules is going to have him sent back home.  Acting on impulse he literally jumps ship and makes it back to the city.  With no money and nowhere to go, he runs into chorus girl Sylvia (Ginger Rogers) who decides to help him.  Sylvia, her brother and Karel are able to make something of a family together as they struggle to survive in this little gem.

1hr. 17min.