A definitive reference book for all film buffs, The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter by Jeremy Arnold highlights films from the golden age through the end of the 20th century. Indulge in a classic movie fest and read about stirring performances, dazzling musical numbers and bold directorial visions. The book and films are available to borrow from the Lititz Public Library.
City Lights (1931)
The little tramp loves a poor blind girl and, in his own bumbling way, raises the money for the operation that will restore her sight.
The Thin Man (1934)
A private eye and his wife investigate embezzlement and the disappearance of an eccentric inventor.
The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
Dr. Praetorious blackmails Baron Frankenstein into reviving his monster and building a mate for it.
Swing Time (1936)
A New York gambler, intent on raising $25,000 in order to marry his hometown fiancé, meets a dancing teacher and complications arise.
The Lady Eve (1941)
A conniving father and his gold-digging daughter meet the wealthy heir to a brewery fortune and attempt to bamboozle him on a cruise ship.
Now, Voyager (1942)
A young woman escapes the smothering influence of her wealthy mother through the help of a psychiatrist and an ocean cruise where she finds love.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Musical story of a family at the 1903 World’s Fair.
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
An extremely possessive woman will do whatever it takes to keep her husband to herself, even murder.
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
Three returning veterans of WWII attempt to pick up the threads of their lives.
Out of the Past (1947)
A former private detective tries to lead a quiet life but his past comes back to haunt him and he is framed for murder.
Winchester ’73 (1950)
An engaging frontiersman attempts to track down his father’s murderer and the whereabouts of his one-of-a-kind rifle.
Roman Holiday (1953)
A modern-day princess rebels against her royal obligations and, exploring Rome on her own, meets an American newspaperman who pretends ignorance of her identity.
On the Waterfront (1954)
An ex-fighter gets a job working on the gang-ridden waterfront under a crooked gangster boss.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
Spores fall from space over San Francisco bringing beautiful plants that creep over people as they sleep, devouring their bodies and stealing their identities.
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
A black homicide expert is asked to help solve the murder of a wealthy businessman in a small Southern town.
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
A vicious villain coldly wipes out an entire family and allows another man to be falsely accused of the slaughter.
An underdog gets his million-to-one shot at love, self-respect and the world heavyweight-boxing crown.
Annie Hall (1977)
Portrait of an amorous but ultimately mismatched relationship is a satirical look at modern romance.
This Is Spinal Tap (1984)
A one-hit-wonder band clings to some glint of their lost glory as they embark on an accident-plagued tour across America.
November 3, 2017