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Casablanca
Perfect 73 Points 1942

The best movie ever is still fresh, funny, romantic and captivating after all these decades. Try it as a date movie, perfect for him and for her. After all, “we’ll always have Paris.”

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Double Indemnity
Perfect 66 Points 1944

Want to hear what perfect dialog sounds like? Listen to Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity. Credit Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and director Billy Wilder, three legendary writers who didn’t get along but nonetheless birthed “the paradigmatic film noir.”1

A perfect…

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WikChip Video MacMurray & Stanwyck speak perfect di...
The House on Te...
OK 66 Points 1951

The House on Telegraph Hill is a triumph of art direction. That’s good. It’s also unintentionally campy. That’s bad. The result is a just OK movie, yet one that belongs in the San Francisco Cinema Hall of Fame.

The views are marvelous. And the views are the thing with San Francisco real…

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WikChip Image Grt Views, Lrg House, fake Telegraph ...
Dial M for Murder
Good 66 Points 1954

Dial M for Murder is lesser Hitchcock, yet worth watching for its classic tropes, timeless title and for Grace Kelly. But, the convoluted and constrained plot is insufficiently removed from its stage play roots.

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WikChip Image Hitch loved blond: Grace Kelly's Gold...
Rear Window
Perfect 88 Points 1954

A lavish Hitchcock treat, full of glamour, suspense and wit. The establishing scene is a virtuoso display of filmmaking all by itself, while Grace Kelly graces – there is no other word for it – the silver screen like a goddess amongst mortals.

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River of No Return
Great 66 Points 1954

Marilyn Monroe didn’t want to appear in River of No Return, nor did Otto Preminger want to direct it, especially if Marilyn was to star. Studio contracts forced them into it and we’re all the better for it today. River of No Return is a fine mid-Fifties Western, with surprising Italian root…

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WikChip Video Marilyn sings: Let it wash over you.
Vertigo
Really Great 78 Points 1958

Hitchcock’s classic thriller, dizzying as ever, still packs enough punch to make girls scream. While tame by the crude standards of the past thirty years, the movie doesn’t lack for intrigue, glamour and surprise.

That said and though Vertigo is widely acclaimed as Hitchcock’s masterpiece, …

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WikChip Image Hey, is that Kim Novak out front?
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Charade
Perfect 66 Points 1963

What we have here is movie magic sans modern FX. Instead Charade conjures its allure from a couple of nonpareil moviestars delivering sparkling dialog in an idealized Paris while a seductive theme song plays in the background. Such an intoxicating mix makes it easy to fall in love with Cary Gr…

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WikChip Video Moviestar Magic Incarnate
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From Russia wit...
Good 66 Points 1963

The best Bond? Hardly, notwithstanding its haughty reputation and terrific title.

Connery’s in rare form, granted. However the Bond girls are … who are they again? Former beauty queen Daniela Bianchi and a pair of Gypsies. Hardly Ursula Andress, Halle Berry or Jane Seymour.

The übervi…

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WikChip Image Connery & Miss World Runner-Up
Judith
Great 66 Points 1966

Judith features Gentile moviestars playing Jewish freedom fighters during Israel’s War of Independence. It’s amazing how glamorous a story centered on early kibbutz life at the end of the British Mandate can be.

To that end, Judith is a fabulous Sophia Loren movie. The great Loren stars a…

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WikChip Image Kibbutznick Extraordinaire