#81 NO WAY OUT (1987)
Kevin Costner – Gene Hackman – Will Patton
A really intriguing and clever spy/murder thriller set in the Pentagon. Costner is at his best for this and Hackman is his usual brilliant self, ably supported by an oily Will Patton. Sean Young looks good – but who cares?
#82 GET SHORTY (1995)
John Travolta – Gene Hackman – Danny de Vito
Travolta is ideally cast as the enforcer who is also a movie fanatic in this sideswipe at movie-making (and movie-makers) in Hollywood. The script is witty throughout and everybody contributes to a fun time. Scarcely a dull moment.
#83 SINCE YOU WENT AWAY (1944)
Claudette Colbert – Joseph Cotten – Jennifer Jones
There are quite a few sugary scenes in this WW2 home front drama, but it also contains some rich characterizations that strike home. Made during the war, it seems to bring the conflict’s impact home to those like me who were born after its conclusion.
#84 OPERATION PETTICOAT (1959)
Cary Grant – Tony Curtis – Joan O’Brien
A thoroughly enjoyable comedy featuring two stars (Grant and Curtis) who play off each other with professional ease. War was never as much fun as this, of course, but how many movies have you seen where a submarine torpedoes a truck?
#85 CHARADE (1963)
Cary Grant – Audrey Hepburn – James Coburn
A first class romantic comedy (and ‘whodunnit?’) all rolled into one. Hepburn is delightful and Grant, although a lot older than her, provides the romantic interest and plenty of genuine laughs. Most enjoyable and has not dated.
#86 THE DAY REAGAN WAS SHOT (2001)
Richard Crenna – Richard Dreyfuss – Colm Feore
Anyone doubting whether or not truth is stranger than fiction should watch this tele-movie. Anyone convinced that the world is in safe hands with US politicians in the driving seat should not.
#87 AN IDEAL HUSBAND (1999)
Cate Blanchett – Rupert Everett – Jeremy Northam
If you like Oscar Wilde you will love this richly casted version of one of his better stories.
#88 THE FINAL COUNTDOWN (1980)
Kirk Douglas – Martin Sheen – Charles Durning
An interesting time-travel concept has the USS Nimitz caught in a time warp that places it off the coast of Hawaii on December 7, 1941, just hours prior to the Japanese sneak attack that brought America into WW2.
#89 KISS ME KATE (1953)
Howard Keel – Ann Miller – Keenan Wynn
Music-wise, the best musical ever made simply because the songs are the best ever written. No surprise, given that they were penned by the inimitable Cole Porter. Only Kathryn Grayson spoils the picture. Her hideous screeching voice (both in song and dialogue) grates as usual.
#90 GLADIATOR (2000)
Russell Crowe – Joaquin Phoenix – Oliver Reed
The ultimate ‘Roman’ movie. What a rare treat these days to find a Best Picture winner that does not require a sex scene or foul language to be a success. Russell is superb and surely deserved his Best Actor gong.
#91 BULLITT (1968)
Steve McQueen – Jacqueline Bisset – Robert Vaughn
Steve McQueen is perfect as the world-weary detective in a cleverly conceived cop story set in San Francisco. Vaughn makes a great ambitious and sleazy DA, and what is generally the best filmed car chase in cinema history takes place here as well. Bisset is gorgeous, of course.
#92 CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER (1994)
Harrison Ford – Willem Dafoe – Joaquim de Almeida
The best of the Jack Ryan action-thrillers, this one is set (mostly) in South America and has enough action, violence and nasty individuals (many of whom are supposed to be good guys) to keep the picture bouncing along.
#93 FATHER GOOSE (1964)
Cary Grant – Leslie Caron – Trevor Howard
A light-weight comedy set in the Pacific during WW2 in which Grant is trapped into coast-watching by the British Navy and finds himself nurse-maid to a French governess and some refugee schoolchildren.
#94 RIO BRAVO (1959)
John Wayne – Dean Martin – Walter Brennan
Another John Wayne western that is easy to watch, contains some humorous dialogue, eccentric characters, a love story, and just enough action. What’s not to like?
#95 PLATOON (1986)
Charlie Sheen – Tom Berenger – Willem Dafoe
By far the best Vietnam War drama so far. Berenger’s Oscar-nominated turn as Sgt. Barnes is a highlight, and even Charlie Sheen is good. The plight of the American foot soldier in Vietnam and his treatment of the Vietnamese is vividly captured in this stark film.
#96 HOMBRE (1967)
Paul Newman – Richard Boone – Diane Cilento
This is one of those rare westerns where the superb script makes everything else superfluous. Everybody gets to utter great lines of dialogue which probably accounts for the strong cast of highly respected performers.
#97 TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY (1991)
Arnold Schwarzenegger – Linda Hamilton – Robert Patrick
James Cameron’s snappy direction makes the first two Terminator thrillers a cut above most sci-fi pictures. Added to this is the brilliant CGI use that turned special effects on its head. Patrick as T-1000 provides one of the best ever villains.
#98 THE FIRM (1993)
Tom Cruise – Gene Hackman – Hal Holbrook
Regardless of his ditzy religious persuasion, Cruise really does deserve recognition for the quality of his work, especially in this. Perhaps, he knows how to choose the right vehicles, but either way, many of his movies are well put together and memorable.
#99 HEART AND SOULS (1993)
Robert Downey Jr – Charles Grodin – Tom Sizemore
A fun fantasy about four souls trapped in limbo who are attached to a baby born at the moment their Earthly lives ended.
#100 GUNFIGHT AT THE O.K. CORRAL (1957)
Burt Lancaster – Kirk Douglas – Rhonda Fleming
Beautifully photographed, a great theme song running through it, an excellent script, strong performances, but as a history lesson it is a complete waste of time, especially the legendary gunfight.