50 lesser, but still significant and fabulous "runners-up" films which must be seen by all movie-lovers:
- The Great Race (1965) .. Blake Edwards
Giddy homage to early slapstick is packed with joy.
- Whistle Down the Wind (1961) .. Bryan Forbes
Moving, occasionally sly and cynical slice of childhood.
- Sleeping Beauty (1959) .. Clyde Geronimi
Walt Disney's austerely composed mix of old-fashioned laughs with modern animation.
- Dark Victory (1939) .. Edmund Goulding
The very best of the Bette Davis/Warner Bros. heavy-breathers.
- Up the Sandbox (1972) .. Irvin Kershner
Bravura, unblinking look at life and marriage through a distorted lens.
- La Luna (1979) .. Bernardo Bertolucci
Brave, certainly, but also ballsy, complicated; Jill Clayburgh digs deep within as an actress.
- How To Steal a Million (1966) .. William Wyler
Another great '60s heist film, this one with the added pleasure of Audrey Hepburn.
- The Love Cage (1964) .. René Clément
Criminally underrated psychological study of conflicted lives from French director René Clément.
- Teacher's Pet (1958) .. George Seaton
Clark Gable putting the moves on Doris Day; pure fun!
- Carrie (1976) .. Brian De Palma
It has stood the test of time well; performances from Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie unbeatable.
- Funny Girl (1968) .. William Wyler
The unveiling of Barbra Streisand, a musical from William Wyler almost as fresh today as in 1968.
- Lenny (1974) .. Bob Fosse
Unshakable, unsettling Lenny Bruce biography from Bob Fosse.
- Pollyanna (1960) .. David Swift
Feel-good whimsy from Mr. Disney; irrepressible characters and unending charm.
- Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) .. Paul Mazursky
Disarming, unsettling, voyeuristic, and very funny.
- Tommy (1975) .. Ken Russell
Provoking, passionately eccentric, surprisingly human, and amazingly acted by Ann-Margret.
- Dream Lover (1986) .. Alan J. Pakula
A chilly gem from Alan J. Pakula; needling and unsentimental.
- Interiors (1978) .. Woody Allen
Woody Allen's brittle, Bergmanesque view of entangled lives; an actor's dream.
- Moonstruck (1987) .. Norman Jewison
Big voices, grand gestures, small and lovely pleasures.
- The Sheepman (1958) .. George Marshall
Easily one of the best, most enjoyable westerns of the era; Glenn Ford is irresistible.
- You Only Live Twice (1967) .. Lewis Gilbert
Peak James Bond, imitated but seldom equaled; eye-popping art direction.
- Kansas City Bomber (1972) .. Jerrold Freedman
B-movie idea turned into a tough, gritty character study; Raquel Welch's 'Raging Bull'.
- I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can (1982) .. Jack Hofsiss
Profound addiction-drama providing Jill Clayburgh with another bravura turn.
- Melvin and Howard (1980) .. Jonathan Demme
Jonathan Demme's early triumph.
- Husbands and Wives (1992) .. Woody Allen
An amazing showcase for a great cast; lumpy towards the end, yet still pretty terrific.
- Coma (1978) .. Michael Crichton
For lovers of medical dramas, mysteries, and conspiracy thrillers, this one is hard to beat.
- The Greengage Summer (1961) .. Lewis Gilbert
Youthful emotions gone terribly wrong; a scintillating film.
- The Stepford Wives (1975) .. Bryan Forbes
Paranoia thriller-cum-quirky black comedy; imminently watchable and well-acted.
- That Darn Cat! (1965) .. Robert Stevenson
Slapstick and sleuthing in suburbia, Disney style; utterly beguiling and charming.
- Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) .. George
Julie Andrews right where she needs to be; not exactly self-effacing, but exuberant.
- Slither (1973) .. Howard Zieff
James Caan in a black comedy about mercenary crooks and kooks; one-of-a-kind.
- Second Best (1994) .. Chris Menges
Little-seen movie about a bachelor who wants to adopt; William Hurt's best work in years.
- Brokeback Mountain (2005) .. Ang Lee
A bittersweet gem.
- Resurrection (1980) .. Daniel Petrie
Flawless acting by Ellen Burstyn is the centerpiece of an unforgettable human story.
- Tiger Bay (1959) .. J. Lee Thompson
Nearly-perfect wise-child melodrama superbly captured.
- Cinderella (1950) .. Clyde Geronimi & Wilfred Jackson &
The movie that saved Walt Disney in the post-WWII years; gleaming and glossy.
- Atlantic City (1980) .. Louis Malle
Crafty criminal exploits in the modern age; sneaks up on you.
- The Glass Bottom Boat (1966) .. Frank Tashlin
Spy-spoof with slapstick; an unappreciated blend, but highly entertaining.
- The Sugarland Express (1974) .. Steven Spielberg
The changes in tone caught audiences off-guard; today, it amazes with its depth.
- The Wicked Lady (1945) .. Leslie Arliss
Elegant, rollicking rogue-comedy from Leslie Arliss.
- Defending Your Life (1991) .. Albert Brooks
Albert Brooks' very best film; a giddy high for clumsy romantics.
- Funny Lady (1975) .. Herbert Ross
Streisand didn't want to do it, but the raucous spirit and sandpaper sentiment makes it one of her best.
- Doctor Faustus (1967) .. Richard
& Nevill Coghill Burton
Maniacal poetry meets mad-scientist filmmaking; stunning.
- All That Jazz (1979) .. Bob Fosse
Almost made my list last time; an amazing high-wire act from Bob Fosse.
- The Fastest Gun Alive (1956) .. Russell Rouse
Glenn Ford western is more than quick on the draw--a rousing audience-pleaser.
- The Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox (1976) .. Melvin Frank
Tasty, bawdy western romp, laugh-filled larceny from start to finish.
- The Moon-Spinners (1964) .. James Neilson
Disney's entry in the Hitchcockian sweepstakes; beautifully made.
- Airport (1970) .. George Seaton
Elegant disaster epic from super-sudsy producer Ross Hunter.
- Caprice (1967) .. Frank Tashlin
DorisDay goes mod, hooks Richard Harris; marvelous nonsense.
- Irreconcilable Differences (1984) .. Charles Shyer
Manages to be both funny and insightful.
- Black Widow (1987) .. Bob Rafelson
Femme match of wits; a perfect showcase for Debra Winger.
Also considered: The Quiet Man, Cactus Flower, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Crash (2005), Max Dugan Returns, Peter Pan (1953), Sweet November (1968), Mahogany, Only When I Laugh, Houseboat, The Misfits, Old Acquaintance.