GERTRUD (1964)

A story about one woman’s refusal to compromise, by a director who spent his career refusing to compromise. It is also entirely long shots of people talking in rooms.

GIANT (1956)

This sweeping story of a huge Texas cattle ranch over several decades lives up to its name, but I think falls short of its clear ambition to be “Gone With the Wind, but as a Western.”

DANCES WITH WOLVES (1990)

Probably the best known movie about Native Americans, directed by and starring a very laconic white guy who I’m not sure can actually act. But I think it mostly works?

HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE (1987)

Somewhere between a social satire and sketch comedy resides this weird late-80s time capsule that I thought was funny but not necessarily notable.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

This “jukebox musical” of patriotic Broadway hits showcases James Cagney’s powerhouse performance, but that’s basically the only part of the movie that works for me.

THE GODFATHER (1972)

Francis Ford Coppola’s mafia epic is now fixed in American culture.

BLAZING SADDLES (1974)

Mel Brooks takes a western pastiche and pushes the boundaries of comedy about racism. Oh, and it’s super funny.

SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959)

I had, um, some issues with this comedy about cross-dressing and/or dudes that want to sleep with Marilyn Monroe.