Year Released: 1967
Roger Ebert gave this 1967 film a 4/4-star rating. In his review, he goes on to say that Playtime is “one of a kind,” and, “complete in itself.” And he’s not the only one. With a 98% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s highly recommended by both critics and audience members.
The film was the most expensive ever produced in French history, and, even though it was very well-received, it didn’t end up being very successful at the box office. It did, however, win a silver prize at the 6th Moscow International Film Festival, and made the British Film Institute’s director’s list of the “50 Greatest Films of All Time.”
The Grapes of Wrath
Year Released: 1940
Film legend Henry Fonda stars in this 1940 film, which is based on the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by John Steinbeck. It can be risky business to adapt a novel into a screenplay, as you risk irritating fans of the original. But The Grapes of Wrath film was well-received by audiences and critics and followed the novel closely.
Film critic Bosley Crowther called the movie “one of the best fifty films ever made.” The Film Daily’s 1940 poll called it the second-best film of the year (Rebecca was first.)
Touch of Evil
Year Released: 1958
This 1958 film noir stars Orson Welles, who also happens to be the movie’s writer and director. It tells the tale of corrupt law enforcement officers in Mexico, and, aside from Welles, stars Janet Leigh, Charlton Heston, Akim Tamiroff, and Joseph Calleia. It is commonly referred to as one of Welles’ best motion pictures.
The Library of Congress selected it for preservation in the U.S National Film Registry in 1993, and it continues to impress those who see it for the first time in the 2020’s, which is evidenced by its 96% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
All Quiet on the Western Front
Year Released: 1930
This 1930 epic anti-war film is directed by Lewis Milestone, and tells the story of a group of young German Army recruits in the midst of World War I. It is often regarded as the best anti-war film in history and has been praised by critics all over the world.
Of course, Hitler and the Nazis didn’t appreciate the film, so they stooped so low as to toss sneezing powder and mice in movie theaters to keep people from viewing it. All Quiet on the Western Front was nominated for four Academy Awards and won two of them; Best Director and Outstanding Production.
Year Released: 1938
This romantic Golden Age comedy stars the powerful on-screen co-stars Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. It didn’t make a ton of money in theaters, but critics loved it. Time Out London said that it was one of director George Cukor’s best films.
Holiday was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and carries a 100% rating (out of 24 reviews,) on Rotten Tomatoes.