Year Released: 1994
This film is arguably one of the best prison drama films ever made, and potentially one of the best dramas period. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins star as two inmates serving life sentences in a rough prison. Unfortunately, one of the men (Robbins) didn’t actually commit the murders he was accused of, which makes his life particularly tough.
It’s kind of surprising that The Shawshank Redemption didn’t win more awards than it received, which didn’t include any Oscars or Golden Globes. It was, however, nominated for several of each, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay.
Year Released: 1964
This 1964 film, which is also known as it’s full title: Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, is directed by Stanley Kubrick and stars George C. Scott and Peter Sellers. Sellers, who plays three separate roles throughout the production, was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his work in the film.
The movie was nominated for four Oscars in total, along with six BAFTAs. Of the six, Dr. Strangelove took home four wins, including Best Film from Any Source and Best British Film.
The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Year Released: 1966
This 1966 epic Western stars Clint Eastwood, who teams up with an outlaw in the Southwest during the Civil War to take out a sinister villain. It has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes and is widely regarded as the best of all Spaghetti Western films.
Many more recent films have paid tribute to the classic western. One of them is Quentin Tarantino's 1992 movie Reservoir Dogs, when he creates a cinematic nod to the famed standoff scene. Stephen King also said that the film was his inspiration behind his novel, The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Year Released: 1957
This 1957 epic war film is based on the 1952 novel of the same name written by Pierre Boulle. With a 95% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it follows a group of British POWs in a Japanese prison camp who are forced to build a bridge across the river Kwai.
The film won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Film, and Best Director. It also won three Golden Globes the same year; Best Motion Picture, Best Director of a Motion Picture, and Best Actor in a Motion Picture. It is widely regarded as one of the best movies of its time, and in film history, period.
On the Waterfront
Year Released: 1954
Marlon Brando stars as an up-and-coming boxer/dockworker who gets wrapped up with the mob in this 1954 crime drama. Roger Ebert gives the film a 4/4 rating, calling Brando’s performance “extraordinary.” Neil Minow of Common Sense Media says it’s an, “excellent, thoughtful drama.”
On the Waterfront received an impressive number of Oscars and Golden Globes, including both the Academy and Globe for Best Director, and Best Picture/Motion Picture.