#1. "THE NATURAL" -- I have loved this movie ever since the first time I saw it. Every camera shot has a meaning, and the score by Randy Newman is first-rate, a very American feel to it.
#2. "AMADEUS" -- The story of composer Wolfgang Mozart, it made me a fan of his music. If you like classical music or not, this is one movie you've got to see at least once. I got very caught up in it the first time I saw it.
3. "CITIZEN KANE" -- Orson Welles was still a young man when he wrote, directed, and starred in this masterpiece revolving around the search for "Rosebud". If you don't already know what that is, see the movie before someone tells you. It is quite a revelation at the very end.
#4. "VERTIGO" -- I am a big fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies, and to me, this is the best. Jimmy Stewart and Kim Novak give startling performances that never really give away what is going on. When the whole thing comes to fruition, you can't help but be surprised.
#5. "GONE WITH THE WIND" -If you like movies on a grand scale, then this is the one for you. Consider that it was made in 1939, without the use of computer technology for special effects. I have seen it four times in theaters, and if you have only seen it on TV, you're missing something special.
#6. "THE RIGHT STUFF" - I read the book, then was afraid the movie wouldn't live up to it. Well, I was wrong. This movie that chronicles the early days of the American space program is wonderful to watch, and makes you feel quite patriotic.
#7. "IT'S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD" - To me, one of the funniest movies ever made. Someday I should count the number of famous people who just happened to do cameos. Buddy Hackett and Jonathan Winters are my favorites among many looking for 350,000 dollars under the Big "W."
#8. "STAR WARS" -- The original is always the best, I like to say, and this is the best of the series because of its innocence. I own the trilogy, but this one I've seen more than 30 times.
#9. "WEST SIDE STORY"- It won the best picture academy award, and is my all time favorite movie musical. Every time I see it, I end up singing along. The funny thing is, it's an awful lot like Romeo and Juliet.
#10. "E.T. THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL" - Steven Spielberg will never make another movie that touches so many people the way this one did. I cried tears of sorrow, of joy and relief. In my opinion, this was the best film of 1993.
#11. "REAR WINDOW"- It's another Hitchcock classic with Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly. This movie shows the genius of Hitchcock better than any other. It shows that movie terror doesn't have to be hack-n-slash. Suspense is just as scary as blood and gore.
#12. "DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID"- A lot of people laugh when they see this entry. Steve Martin plays a 40's style gumshoe working alongside real footage of classic movie stars like Humphrey Bogart, Alan Ladd, and Burt Lancaster. The way this film is edited is worth seeing, and it has a lot of really funny moments.
#13. "AIRPLANE!" -- You've got to include at least one slapstick comedy, and surely you can quote at least one line from this one. And stop calling me Shirley.
#14. "THE SOUND OF MUSIC" - Another musical best picture winner. Julie Andrews' best movie performance, she was luminescent. The music is the best ever in a motion picture.
#15. "TOY STORY" -- A new addition to this list, it showed what computers can do to help the motion picture industry, but it also had a wonderful story line, and the best possible voices with Tom Hanks and Tim Allen. To Infinity and Beyond!!
#16. "HELP!" -- Most people seem to prefer "A Hard Day's Night", but I like this one better. It's a lot more fun, as the Beatles try to escape from a cult that's trying to kill Ringo because he is wearing a large ring signifying the wearer is meant to be sacrificed to the gods. What a plot!! And what great music, too.
#17. "STAR TREK 2, THE WRATH OF KHAN" - Since I am a self-admitted Trekker, you knew one of those movies would be on this list. This one is generally accepted as the best of the bunch, and I have to agree.
#18. "WHITE CHRISTMAS" - I'm not exactly sure why, but this movie, more than any other makes me feel like it's Christmas time, even though very little actually takes place at that time of year. The talent of Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen make this one enjoyable film.
#19. "NORTH BY NORTHWEST" - Yet another Hitchcock film, with Cary Grant running from the bad guys down the faces of Mount Rushmore, but that's just the icing at the top of a large cake. It's amazing how much suspense a case of mistaken identity can cause over the course of two hours. This is the first of Alfred's films I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked.
#20. "ALIENS"- Remember when I said the original is always the best? It does not apply to this series. The first Alien was terrific, and the third one was awful, but this one is head and shoulders above either one. A rip-roaring, exciting science fiction adventure, as Sigourney Weaver and the Marines attempt to wipe out the aliens living on LV426. Bill Paxton plays my favorite character, Hudson, who has all the best lines, including the infamous "Game Over Man!!!!"
Finally, a recommendation....If you buy any of these movies, try to get them in widescreen editions, also known as letterboxed. After a few minutes, you get used to the black strips at the top and bottom of the screen, and you end up seeing much more of what was originally filmed. Enjoy!!