Thursday, June 9, 2011

The 'Grade B' Movie List

No movie or book is absolutely perfect.  But still, among the thousands of films out there only a few rise above the pack to become true classics.   I wrote about my favorite movies here.

However, there are still many, many movies worth watching.  Though they are flawed in certain ways, the story and characters are interesting enough to keep my attention.  Since these movies rarely make the "Best Of" lists, they are prone to slip into the cracks.   I call these movies “Grade Bs”.  So with that introduction out of the way, here is my list of the “Grade B” Movies:

300 (2007) - CGI aside, this is a movie about sacrifice for ideals - something that seems to be lacking these days.

Battleground (1949) - the 101st Airborne is trapped inside Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

Blow-Up (1966) - A London photographer accidentally photographs a murder - or has he?

The Cruel Sea (1953) - The harrowing journeys of a British Convoy escort ship during WWII.

Death Wish (1974) - Charles Bronson becomes a vigilante after his wife is brutally murdered.

Dirty Harry (1971) - Clint Eastwood tracks down a serial-killer in San Francisco.

Dodge City (1939) - Errol Flynn brings law and order to a wide-open cattle town, while trying to gain the love of  Olivia de Havilland.

Dog Soldiers (2002) - in the Scottish wilderness, a squad of soldiers fight for their lives against a pack of werewolves.

Double Indemnity (1944) - A murder and insurance fraud goes wrong.

The Driver (1978) - a professional wheel-man gets setup by a crooked police detective.

The Duellists (1977) - over their honor, two French officers duel several times during the Napoleonic age.

Earth vs. The Flying Saucers (1956) - as man starts to fly into space, aliens decide to invade.

Fantastic Voyage (1966) - in order to rescue an important diplomat, a team of rescuers are shrunk inside a submarine that is injected into the body.

Fiend Without a Face (1958)- a new form of life is created through nuclear and telekinetic powers.

The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) - Robert Mitchum stars in this gritty movie, playing an aging gangster who snitches in order to stay out of jail.

Gallipoli (1981) - an emotional WWI movie about the Australian detachement sent to Gallipoli.

The Getaway (1972) - Steve McQueen goes on the run after a bank heist goes bad.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2009) - a forty-old case dredges up more than expected in this Swedish thriller.

The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974) - perfect rainy Sunday popcorn fare.

Great Expectations (1946) - Dickens classic - a humble orphan becomes a gentleman.

Green for Danger (1949) - a classic British murder-mystery set during WW2.

The Haunting (1963) - an evil mansion with a history of death is investigated.

Infernal Affairs (2004) - An undercover cop is inside the mob, while the mob has a cop working for them.  They are both have the same objective - to find the snitch.

The Iron Giant (1999) - an alien robot plummets to earth, befriending a small-town boy.

Jaws (1975) - a gigantic shark terrorizes a small coastal village.

Journey to the Center of the Earth (1959) - a small band of adventurers reach the middle of the Earth.

The Killer (1989) - a professional killer is targeted by the mob, resulting in a cascade of bullets.

The Lady Vanishes (1938) - an elderly lady disappears from a moving train, leaving a rich playgirl to solve the mystery.

Lonely Are the Brave (1962) - Kirk Douglas plays a cowboy who gets himself locked in prison to rescue a friend. 

A Man for All Seasons (1966) - Thomas More refuses to break from the Catholic Church and take the side of the king.

Manhunter (1986) - a retired FBI agent is brought back in to track down the 'Tooth Fairy', a brutal serial-killer.
The Man Who Never Was (1956) - a corpse is used to fool the Germans into moving troops away from the invasion point.

My Bloody Valentine (1981) - a serial-killer stalks a small mining town.

Night of the Demon (1957) - black magic summons the power of the demons.

North Dallas Forty (1979) - a cynical comedy about the politics of football.

Out of the Past (1947) - Robert Mitchum plays a detective whose past catches up with him.

Pale Rider (1985) - Clint Eastwood plays a preacher who protects prospectors from an evil mining company.

Planet of the Apes (1968) - Charlton Heston is an astronaut who returns to Earth and finds it run by apes.

Point Blank (1967) - A left-for-dead gangster has his single-minded revenge.

Porco Rosso (1992) - Animated movie where a pig mercenary pilot discovers his true self again.

The Road (2009) - post-apocalyptic movie about a father's love for his son.

The Rutles (1978) - a snarky Eric Idle movie parodying the Beatles.

Saturday Night Fever (1977) - a frustrated young man finds solace through the power of disco.

The Seven-Ups (1973) - an elite undercover police unit tackles the mob and a group of kidnappers.

The Silent Partner (1978) - a battle of wits between a bank clerk and a robber.

Sink the Bismarck (1960) - the epic WWII tale of the sinking of Germany's greatest battleship.

Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) - another Sunday afternoon favorite.

Stalag 17 (1953) - a P.O.W. camp has a German snitch who is giving away secrets.

A Tale of Two Cities (1935) - "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.'"

Terminator (1984) - an unstoppable cyborg transports from the future, trying to kill the mother of the soon-to-be resistance leader.

Three Days of the Condor (1975) - a CIA researcher get entangled in a murderous plot.

Tremors (1990) - campy horror movie about giant underground creatures terrorizing a small desert community.

The War of the Worlds (1953) - H.G. Well's classic novel of alien invasion.

The Warriors (1979) - a street gang are framed for murder and must fight their way back to their turf.

When Worlds Collide (1951) - a planet will soon collide with the Earth, destroying everything.

Zeiram (1991) - an alien bounty-hunter comes to Earth to capture the ultimate fighting machine.


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