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.

The Major and the Minor (1942)

Susan Applegate (Ginger Rogers) has been living in New York for the past year and has decided she wants to return to her hometown in Iowa. Unfortunately the train fare has gone up and not wanting to stay in NYC a day longer she decides to pose as a 12 year old to get a half priced ticket.  She is befriended by a kindly solider Major Philip Kirby (Ray Milland) and when the train is stranded because of a mud slide, he decides to take the “little girl” with him to his fiancé home. All chaos breaks out, when her home turns out to be amidst an all boy West Point like school, who are all too eager to impress young Susan. Things get more complicated when Susan starts to develop feelings for Philip.

1hr. 40min.

36 Hours (1964)

This film traces the days leading up to the invasion of Normandy in 1944.  The Nazis are desperate to know the location of the impending invasion and the Allies want to know exactly what the Nazis do or do not know about it.  So, they send in Major Jefferson Pike (James Garner) to find out.  Unbeknownst to them, a brilliant Nazi doctor (Rod Taylor) has devised an ingenious plan for getting Pike to tell them everything he knows about the invasion.  Eva Marie Saint rounds out the cast, as she plays a concentration camp survivor, who’s being forced to help the doctor with his scheme.

1hr. 55min.

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

This post-WWII film tells the story of three men who have come home from the war;  A military man, (Frederich March), who’s come home to his wife (Myrna Loy) and their now grown children (Teresa Wright and Micheal Wilding).  A flier (Dana Andrews) who’s come home to a wife he hardly knows (Virginia Mayo).  And a wounded sailor (Harold Russell) who’s trying to adjust to his disability as well as coming back to his family and childhood sweetheart (Cathy O’Donnell).  The three men’s lives intertwine, as they try to make sense of their changed lives in this touching drama.

2hr. 52min.

Little Boy (2015)

Young Pepper wants nothing more than his best friend, his father, to come home from the war.  With the help of a kindly priest, Pepper is given the tasks to fulfill that will do just that.  When one of his tasks is to befriend an outcast, he must overcome his own prejudices to be able to befriend a lonely Japanese man named Hashimoto, who lives on the edge of the small fishing community.

With a little faith, one little boy will change himself and a town.

1hr. 47min.

The Amazing Mrs. Holliday (1943)

This musical stars Deanna Durbin as a young schoolteacher from China, who, through the help of an aging sea captain, Mr. Holliday (Harry Davenport), evacuates nine war orphans.  Bound for America, the ship is torpedoed and Mr. Holliday is presumably killed.  The trouble begins when they reach America and none of the children are citizens.  So, the natural solution to the problem at hand (according to the wily Barry Fitzgerald), is for Durbin to pose as Mrs. Holliday!

This film was originally intended to be Durbin’s dramatic debut, but the studio insisted on songs being added.  The score was nominated for an Academy Award.

1hr. 37min.

The Clock (1945)

A young soldier (Robert Walker), far from home, is given a 48hr furlough in NYC.  Almost as soon as he gets off the train in Grand Central Station, he literally get’s tripped over by a young stenographer (Judy Garland).  There is an immediate attraction between the two and as circumstances keep pulling them back to each other, they end up spending almost the entire 48hrs together; seeing the city and falling in love.

One of the few films that Judy Garland made at the height of her career that wasn’t a musical, this film is full of charm, humor and romance.

1hr. 31min.

The Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (1944)

This wartime film is set in a small town called Morgan’s Creek.  It tells the story of an over patriotic young woman (Betty Hutton), who while attending a farewell party for some soldiers, becomes intoxicated and marries one of ‘the boys’.  The next day he’s gone and she can’t remember his name or where they got married.  More complications arise when she realizes that’s she going to have a baby.  She gets help from her sister (Diana Lynn) and her ever faithful friend (Eddie Bracken).

This film expertly mixes comedy and drama and was nominated for best original screenplay.  It was written and directed by Preston Sturges.

1hr. 38min.