RIO BRAVO (1959)

A very well-made, enjoyable western with John Wayne as a stoic small-town sheriff and Dean Martin as his alcoholic deputy.

THE ASPHALT JUNGLE (1950)

Maybe the first great heist movie, for me it still works just as well today as it did 70 years ago.

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)

A well-produced musical extravaganza starring Gene Kelly, with the music of George Gershwin, it still left me surprisingly cold.

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.”

JIM THORPE: ALL-AMERICAN (1951)

Our Summer Games Film Festival continues with this biopic of a great Native-American athlete of the early 20th Century that doesn’t quite succeed at making any sense out of a messy human life.

JOURNEY TO ITALY (1954)

Italian Robert Rossellini directs his Swedish wife, Ingrid Bergman, in English in this surprisingly modern take on a marriage which, finding itself in unfamiliar territory, immediately disintegrates.

SANSHO THE BAILIFF (1954)

A classic Japanese film where every frame looks like a classical painting. From a plot perspective, the weepiest of weepies.

IMITATION OF LIFE (1959)

This over-the-top melodrama about mothers and daughters from director Douglas Sirk was considered populist trash at the time and is today seen as high art.

THE BAREFOOT CONTESSA (1954)

A Hollywood satire decades ahead of its time, but also in my opinion a total mess as an actual movie.

DET SJUNDE INSEGLET (1957)

Ingmar Bergman’s allegorical classic about the absence of God during a plague really, really hit home with me on this viewing. Wonder why?