Christian Toto’s participation in the movie blog alphabet soup meme started by blogcabins inspired me to create my own alphabetical list of movie titles. My theme is “the second 200” — these are movies that may not be in my top 100 list, but would all find a place just below it. And they’re all wonderful choices for family movie nights.
Amistad This underrated historical drama about the trial of a rebellious slave is a brilliant exploration of America’s most fundamental principles and its most tragic compromises.
Ball of Fire One of the wittiest romantic comedies ever made, with a sizzling performance from Barbara Stanwyck.
Charade One of the glossiest romantic thrillers ever made with Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, and a swooningly romantic score by Henry Mancini.
The Defiant Ones Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis are escaped prisoners manacled together in an early Civil Rights-era drama.
The Emperor’s New Groove A refreshingly unpretentious animated film about a spoiled prince.
Fly Away Home A young girl goes to live with a father she barely knows and finds herself responsible for teaching a flock of geese to flow south for the winter in this beautiful film inspired by a true story.
Gregory’s Girl A sweet Scottish high school romance filled with adorably quirky characters and some quiet insights.
Holiday Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn star in this bittersweet romance about a wealthy girl who falls for her sister’s fiancee.
I Love You Again William Powell and Myrna Loy star in this hilarious comedy about a con man from the city who awakes from amnesia to find himself married to a beautiful small-town woman.
Jezebel Bette Davis plays the fiery Civil War-era Southern belle shocks her community by wearing a red dress to a ball where unmarried ladies always wear white.
Kiss Me Kate Brush up your Shakespeare with this musical version of “Kiss Me Kate” with dances by Bob Fosse and music by Cole Porter. In a word: Wunderbar
Ladyhawke This medieval romance has a heroic couple under a terrible enchantment. Michelle Pfeiffer is Lady Isabeau, who becomes a hawk by night. Rutger Hauer is the handsome captain who becomes a wolf by day.
Magnificent Obsession Rock Hudson is the reckless playboy carelessly causes the death of a beloved doctor abd discovers that the meaning of life is what one gives to others.
Ninotchka Greta Garbo laughs in this lovely romantic comedy about a stern Soviet who meets a dashing Parisian.
October Sky This true story of a boy from a small town who dreams of becoming a rocket scientist is one of the best films ever made about the thrill and hard work of science and a great family movie.
The Pirate Gene Kelly plays an actor who masquerades as a dreaded pirate to woo Judy Garland. It’s sly humor was lost on many audiences when it was first released but it is a treasure.
The Quiet Man Technicolor was invented for the green of the Irish hills and the red of Maureen O’Hara’s hair in this tempestuous love story starring John Wayne, with one of the greatest fight scenes in movie history.
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles A Japanese man estranged from his dying son makes one last gesture to show how much he cares when he goes to China to complete his son’s promise to film an opera and fathers and sons connections resonate through the quietly powerful story.
Stranger Than Fiction In this witty meta-movie, Will Ferrell is terrific in a quiet role of an IRS investigator who may be a character in a novel. Co-stars Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman are magnificent and there is a sweet love story to boot.
The Thief And The Cobbler This neglected gem with stunning visuals and a sweet story was the life’s work of a brilliant animator named Richard Williams.
Up the Down Staircase Sandy Dennis plays an idealistic teacher in this film based on the autobiographical novel.
The Visitor One of this year’s loveliest films (with four of this year’s most beautiful performances) is the story of a lonely professor who tries to help some illegal immigrants. It raises many questions, not the least of which is which character is referred to by the title.
The World of Henry Orient There is no more evocative version of middle school friendships and other passions than this 1960’s story of two girls in New York. It has wonderful supporting work from Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Phyllis Kirk, and Tom Bosley, but the stars are the girls, the city, and the sparkling score.
X-Men Marvel heroes come to life in this super-charged super-hero story of mutants who must fight prejudice as well as super-villains.
Yellow Submarine The Beatles rescue the gentle citizens of Pepperland from the Blue Meanies and remind everyone that “All You Need is Love.”
Z Costa-Gavras political thriller would be gripping as fiction but it is all true.
Be sure to check out Christian Toto’s list and the lists from the other participants collected by Blogcabin.