There’s light at the end of the tunnel as I roll out my 8th edition of Patrick’s 100 Movies. Here are 10 more of my favorites.
A few years back, when I launched Patrick’s 100 Movies, I never actually finished the list. That’s why I decided to reboot the whole thing, starting from Part 1. This time, I’m determined to run all 10 parts.
Here’s the 8th. If you missed part 7, check it out here.
As before, these are in no particular order.
71. ‘The Fog’ (1980)
John Carpenter, who brought us 1978’s Halloween, directed this supernatural thriller. For a small coastal California town, a dense fog brings ghosts from a shipwreck.
Antonio Bay’s priest discovers his grandfather’s diary hidden in the church. The diary explains that 100 years earlier, the town’s founders deliberately sank a clipper ship and stole its treasure to build the town. The fog now carries that ship, the Elizabeth Dane, and its long-dead crew who are seeking vengeance.
72. ‘Jaws’ (1975)
Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel became the basis for this 1975 Steven Spielberg thriller. A New England summer resort town’s tourist industry finds its livelihood threatened by the presence of a great white man-eating shark.
What’s fascinating about this movie is how late into the film you actually see the shark, prompting one of the most famous lines in movie history:
As the story goes, a series of mechanical failures led to the decision to delay the shark’s on-screen debut. But this seems to have worked in the film’s favor, only adding to the suspense.
73. ‘Death on the Nile’ (1978)
What happens when you take Murder on the Orient Express and move the action to a steamer traveling up the Nile River? You might just come up with this Agatha Christie mystery.
I know that many fans of her sleuth Hercule Poirot love David Sachet’s portrayal. But based on the time I grew up, the only acceptable Poirot for me is Peter Ustinov. (I know, his physical appearance doesn’t ring true to Christie’s description. But that doesn’t matter to me.)
74. ‘Evil Under the Sun’ (1982)
I include this second Ustinov portrayal of Poirot, which is actually my favorite of the two. This one involves the murder of a starlet at an exclusive resort on the Adriatic. Everyone has a motive, but no one had the opportunity.
So Poirot, the great detective, must again use those famous “little gray cells” to weed out the red herrings and find the real killer…and a stolen diamond.
75. ‘Sleuth’ (1972)
Anthony Shaffer’s play became a suspense-mystery with Sir Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. The movie seems a bit dated, yes, but the performances more than make up for that.
An aristocrat (Olivier) invites a hairdresser (Caine) to his countryside home to confront him about carrying on an affair with his wife. Olivier’s character comes up with a strange proposal that launches a bizarre series of games and one-upping each other.
As the film progresses, you have to ask yourself if there was a murder…and if so, who killed whom?
You actually have to wait till the very last seconds to get the real answer.
76. ‘Deathtrap’ (1982)
Michael Caine makes his second appearance this week’s portion of 100 movies and in another suspense-mystery. This time, he’s a playwright who’s aspiring protégé crafts a murder mystery that’s a little too true-to-life. It even includes the plot to kill the playwright’s wife, which the two writers actually committed in real life.
So viewers find themselves in an entertaining play about where truth ends and where fiction begins…and vice versa.
77. ‘The Shining’ (1980)
I don’t know anyone who has seen this movie and can forget that scene of the blood pouring from the elevator doors. It’s an iconic shot in the world of movie thrillers.
Stephen King wrote the novel on which the movie is mostly based. Jack Nicholson plays the aspiring writer who takes a job as caretaker of an old resort hotel. His wife and young telepathic son join him where they’ll all spend the brutal winter alone in the old hotel.
But things take a terrifying turn as an evil takes hold of Nicholson’s character and he begins terrorizing his family.
Few scenes are scarier than his breaking through the door, shouting “Here’s Johnny!” or the chase through the hedge maze.
78. ‘The In-Laws’ (1979)
Alan Arkin plays a Manhattan dentist whose daughter is about to be married. Peter Falk plays the CIA agent who’s the father of the groom.
But these two in-laws wind up on an adventure the button-downed dentist couldn’t imagine and the laughs come throughout the movie.
I know there was a more recent remake of this film, but trust me: You want to go with the original here.
79. ‘Driving Miss Daisy’ (1989)
This film explores the relationship between a stubborn, independent-minded widow and the man her son hires as her driver.
Jessica Tandy plays Miss Daisy and Morgan Freeman plays her driver, Hoke.
She resents having a driver, fearing it’ll appear to others she’s putting on airs. But Hoke is determined to live up to the job.
Over decades together, the two form an unlikely friendship. Daisy comes to depend on Hoke, even calling him her best friend. And he’s there for her long after there are no more road trips to take.
80. ‘My Fair Lady’ (1964)
I don’t tend to enjoy most musicals, but this one is a rare exception. Audrey Hepburn is English flower girl Eliza Doolittle who hears Professor Henry Higgins (Rex Harrison) boast that he can turn a commoner into an aristocrat. So she seeks speech lessons.
What ensues is a hilarious trial for Higgins in trying to meet his ultimate goal: to pass off Eliza at a ball. But Higgins and Doolittle begin to slowly fall in love along the way, leading to more hilarity as the confirmed old bachelor takes her for granted then realizes (almost too late) his mistake.
If you’ve never seen this movie — and I can’t believe a film as good as this one could be missed — do yourself a favor and watch!
Look for the remaining 20 of Patrick’s 100 Movies in my list over the next few weeks.