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  • A+, A, A-
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List: Movies for World Habitat Day

posted by Nell Minow

Today is the United Nations’ World Habitat Day, dedicated to the principle that affordable, adequate housing should be a priority everywhere. Take a moment today to be grateful for your home, for the warmth and comfort it provides for you […]

List: Movie Mom’s Favorites for Halloween

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jennifer Kachler, Adam Donald, Daniel Sheppard, Brian Gonzalez, my homegirl Laine Kaplowitz, and everyone at the fabulous Bethesda Row Theatre.

Great Movie Teachers, Part 3: Grade and Middle School

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the first day of school, I am reposting my list of some of my favorite movie teachers in elementary and middle school. Note that not all movies about kids this age are intended to be viewed by […]

Life After Divorce: The Movie Version

posted by Nell Minow

As “Eat Pray Love’s” saga of Elizabeth Gilbert finding herself after a devastating divorce comes to theaters, Slate has a terrific gallery of classic post-divorce movie moments, with women signaling their liberation through dancing, revenge, substance abuse — and of […]

Movie Blogs: Best of the 80’s and You Pick the Classics

posted by Nell Minow

On The 80’s Movie Project you can weigh in with your thoughts on the best, the worst, and the most outrageous from the decade that included “American Gigolo,” “Anaimalymics,” and “Every Which Way You Can.” And Baltimore Examiner movie critic […]

My Most Inspiring Film-Makers

posted by Nell Minow

Many thanks to Jennifer Kachler, Adam Donald, Daniel Sheppard, my homegirl Laine Kaplowitz, and everyone at the fabulous Bethesda Row Theatre.

Top Christian Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Check out Kris Rasmussen’s list of the Ten Best Christian Movies of all time. It has some of my favorites like “Dead Man Walking” “Lilies of the Field,” and “Chariots of Fire.” I’d also include the allegorical “Strange Cargo,” the […]

Kim Novak: DVD Treasury

posted by Nell Minow

Kim Novak was one of the sultriest stars of the 1950’s. She is probably best remembered for her role in the Alfred Hitchcock film Vertigo as the mysterious women (or is it woman?) who drove Jimmy Stewart crazy. He plays […]

List: My Favorite Ghost Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Last week’s release of Charlie St. Cloud, with Zac Efron as a young man who visits every day with the ghost of his younger brother, made me think of some of my favorite movie ghosts. What are yours? 1. “The […]

Star of the Day Month on TCM

posted by Nell Minow

I love Turner Classic Movies. When I was invited, with a small group of film critics, to meet with Martin Scorsese, I was delighted to hear that he keeps it on a lot of the time and frequently calls out […]

Beliefnet Gallery: The Best Movie Weddings

posted by Nell Minow

Dena Ross has put together a gorgeous gallery from my list of great movie weddings. It makes me want to throw some rice!

Summer Camp Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Nametapes ironed on? Bugspray and sunscreen packed? As kids depart for camp, it is fun to watch some classic movies about the joys and terrors of life among the bunk beds and color wars. 1. Meatballs Bill Murray was the […]

Happy Birthday ‘Airplane!’ and ‘Back to the Future’

posted by Nell Minow

Two movie classics celebrate big birthdays this week. “Back to the Future” turns 25 and “Airplane!” turns 30. Both helped to define their eras and stood the test of time as enduring favorites. One of my favorite critics, Ali Arikan, […]

1776

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1972
A
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1972

Happy Independence Day! This rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already know how it all turned out. William Daniels is […]

Fantasia

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:2010
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: 2010

Disney’s glorious “Fantasia” and its sequel, “Fantasia 2000″ are out for a limited time in a spectacular 4-DVD blu-ray package. Considered a failure on its original release, “Fantasia’s” eight-part combination of images and music is now indisputably a classic. Musicologist […]

Great Movie Dads for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Father’s Day! 1. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) in “To Kill a Mockingbird” The last line of the movie says it all: “He turned out the light and went into Jem’s room. He would be there all night and he […]

Great Dads on Film and TV

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery of great movie dads and list of daddy-daughter movies include wonderful films for families to watch together and talk about the great fathers in their own families. Some of the best dads on film appear on television, which […]

25 Years of ‘The Goonies’

posted by Nell Minow

Hey you guys!!! Can it really be 25 years since the release of The Goonies? It is not exactly a classic. It is probably best remembered as an early effort from people like teen-ager Josh Brolin and director Richard Donner […]

Spellbound

posted by rkumar
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date:2003
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
Movie Release Date: 2003

In honor of this week’s Scripps Spelling Bee finals, every family should see this m-a-r-v-e-l-o-u-s movie about the national spelling bee because it is about so much more. It is about the strength of American diversity and the commitment of […]

More for Memorial Day

posted by Nell Minow

A thoughtful commenter named Richard S. Webster added some superb suggestions to the list I published for Memorial Day, and I wanted to post them for families to have as they salute the courage and sacrifice of our armed forces. […]

Movies to Salute Our Armed Forces

posted by Nell Minow

Reposting from 2008: In honor of Memorial Day, take a break from picnics and sales and share one of these great films about American soldiers, sailors, and Marines. And be sure to take time thank the military and veterans in […]

The Adventures of Robin Hood

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1938
DVD Release Date:2002
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1938
DVD Release Date: 2002

Errol Flynn is the definitive Robin Hood in this glorious Technicolor version of the classic story, one of the most thrillingly entertaining films of all time. King Richard the Lion-Hearted, off fighting in the Crusades, has been captured and held […]

Movies That Take Place in One Night

posted by Nell Minow

Rotten Tomatoes picked the five best movies that take place in one night. Some other one-night movies: “Can’t Hardly Wait” and “Dazed and Confused” — like “American Graffiti,” both stories of the celebration of the end of school/start of the […]

List: Librarians in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate National Library Week! This year’s chairman is “Coraline” author Neil Gaiman. Visit your public library to take a look at what’s available in books, DVDs, and audio — and to thank your librarian. A special thank you shout-out from […]

Beliefnet’s List of Great Movie Marriages

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out Ten Movies that Celebrate Marriage by Kris Rasmussen. There are a zillion movies that celebrate falling in love but relatively few take on the more challenging task of showing what happens next — what living […]

Movie Mom Q&A

posted by Nell Minow

Q: Movie begins in black and white in a small, conservative town with an “Ozzie & Harriet”-type family and a drug store/soda fountain owner who receives a beautiful book about contemporary painting which begins to show color. He begins to […]

Movies About Writers

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Kaitlyn Cole for sending me this list of 50 great movies about writers. I especially like the way it is broken down into categories — about writing (“Wonder Boys”), writers being bad (“Sunset Boulevard,” “The Shining”), and real-life […]

Four Great New International Thrillers for Grown-Ups

posted by Nell Minow

It’s been a while since Hollywood has given us a great thriller for grown-ups. Fortunately, there are currently four from outside the US that are in theaters now and well worth seeing. [NOTE: These films include very intense, brutal, and […]

List: Spiritual Movie Families

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet’s “How Spiritual is Your Family” quiz made me think of these movie families, among the very few on screen who are unabashedly spiritual. 1. The Blind Side Based on a true story, this movie makes it clear that a […]

List: Movies About and for Spring

posted by Nell Minow

My beloved spoke, and said unto me: ‘Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away. For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing is […]

Clash of the Titans — the Original

posted by Nell Minow

Get ready for the upcoming release of the new “Clash of the Titans” by taking another look at the original, starring Harry Hamlin as Perseus and Laurence Olivier as Zeus, now available on Blu-Ray and on iTunes. It is an […]

House Party — 20 Years Later

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly movie critic Owen Gleiberman takes another look at 1990’s House Party and finds it both a relic of a lost era and as completely winning as ever. It takes place in a world so wildly removed from our […]

List: Women Directors

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of “The Hurt Locker’s” Kathryn Bigelow, who became the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director last night, and International Women’s Day, here’s a list of pioneering women movie directors. 1. Penny Marshall, who started as […]

Oscar Classics for Families

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks very much to the Chicago Tribune for asking me which Oscar-winning classics I’d recommend to families. “It’s never too early to teach children what is possible in terms of quality of performance, writing, direction and cinematography,” says Nell Minow, […]

Nora Ephron’s List of the Most Romantic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Nora Ephron knows a few things about romantic movies. She wrote and/or directed “When Harry Met Sally,” “You’ve Got Mail,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “Julie & Julia.” And her parents wrote the delightful Tracy and Hepburn classic, “Desk Set.” For […]

Quiz: Romantic Movies for Valentine’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Get in a romantic mood for Valentine’s Day with a quiz on some of the classic movie love stories. And then pick one to watch with your valentine! 1. A bookkeeper falls for a baker though she is engaged to […]

List: Winter Sports

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the Olympics, take a look at these classics about winter sports competitions: The Cutting Edge A spoiled figure skater (named Kate as in “Taming of the Shrew”) and a working class hockey player team up in this […]

List: Movie Weddings

posted by Nell Minow

Ann Hornaday has a marvelous article in the Washington Post about one of the most popular themes in movies: weddings. And why shouldn’t Hollywood love a good wedding? With its swirl of heightened emotions, its simmering leitmotifs of love and […]

The First Olympics

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1986
DVD Release Date:July 21, 2012
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1986
DVD Release Date: July 21, 2012

As we prepare for the London games, I highly recommend: The First Olympics: Athens 1896, one of my very favorite sports movies ever, is a made-for-TV miniseries about the first modern-day Olympics. We take the Olympics as a given now, […]

Contest: Emma and Cranford

posted by Nell Minow

This is a very special contest with not one but two utterly delectable DVD sets, both series based on classic books and both originally shown on PBS. Emma (2009) is based on the novel by Jane Austen (already filmed with […]

Once Upon a Mattress

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2005
DVD Release Date:2005
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2005
DVD Release Date: 2005

“Once Upon a Mattress,” a musical version of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorites. Carol Burnett became a star for her portrayal of the kind-hearted but rather loud princess when it premiered on Broadway and she […]

Movie Prognostications: How Well Can Movies Predict the Next Decade?

posted by Nell Minow

Rotten Tomatoes has a great list of movies about the future. According to the movies, this year we should be traveling to the moons of Jupiter (“2010″), having Charlize Theron (and don’t forget the woman with hands for feet) in […]

Heartwarming Movies for Chilly Weather

posted by Nell Minow

Too cold to go outside? This is a great time of year for families to spend some quality time together with some stories to warm the spirit. These are some of my favorite movies when I need some cinematic vitamin […]

Passing Strange

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date:January 12, 2010
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: August 28, 2009
DVD Release Date: January 12, 2010

Spike Lee’s latest movie is a film version of the Tony Award-winning musical autobiography, something between a concert and a play, about, by, and starring the one-named musician named Stew. He heads up the on-stage band, which functions somewhere between […]

50 Most Important Religion Movies: Film Snobbery

posted by Nell Minow

Take a look at Phil Hall’s great list of the most important religious films of all time from website Film Snobbery. My favorite film about the life of Jesus, “The Gospel According to St. Matthew” is number 2 on the […]

List: The Most Inspiring Movies of the Decade

posted by Nell Minow

The first decade of the 21st century has given us many great films. Here are a dozen I found especially inspiring. From documentaries to fantasies, from real-life heroes to an animated fish, these are the stories that help to show […]

Uncross the Stars

posted by Nell Minow

This is an affecting little film that is worth a look on DVD. Dan Gillies (“Spider-Man 2″) plays Troy, a young widower bereft and isolated by the death of his wife. A letter she left asking him to build a […]

List: The Best Glove Movies

posted by Nell Minow

At Thanksgiving, my mother brought out a collection of about 30 pairs of gloves, most of them her mother’s but a few my sisters and I had when we were little girls back in the days when young ladies wore […]

Clancy

posted by Nell Minow

An abused girl with a gentle soul and a belief in Jesus changes the life of a homeless veteran in this movie from writer-director Jefferson Moore. While the movie is uneven in quality, it is good to see a story […]

A Thanksgiving Treat

posted by Nell Minow

One of my very favorite movies begins with Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the original Miracle on 34th Street. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Best wishes to you and your families, and please know how grateful I am for the chance to be […]

Kevin McCarthy Blogs the AFI 100

posted by Nell Minow

My friend and colleague Kevin “BDK” McCarthy is going old school, working his way through the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 American films and blogging his reaction to each one. It is a lot of fun to […]

The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1998
DVD Release Date:1998
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1998
DVD Release Date: 1998

In honor of the World Series, take a look at this documentary about baseball star Hank Greenberg. Brilliant documentary-maker Aviva Kempner has created a gem of a movie to lift the spirit of anyone who cares about baseball — or […]

List: Great Movie Coaches

posted by Nell Minow

The athletes have worked harder than they ever imagined, pushing themselves to the limits of their endurance. They’ve learned how to run faster and hit, kick, or shoot harder. They’ve watched tape of the other team, the champions, the ones […]

List: Halloween Movie Tricks and Treats!

posted by Nell Minow

Halloween gives kids a thrilling opportunity to act out their dreams and pretend to be characters with great power. But it can also be scary and even overwhelming for the littlest trick-or-treaters. An introduction to the holiday with videos from […]

Monster Lessons from Paul Asay

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Asay has a terrific gallery list of life lessons from movie monsters. It is witty, erudite, and very insightful. Indeed, I think he has done a good job of setting out the reasons that monster movies are among the […]

Maurice Sendak on DVD

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: 2008

If you saw Where the Wild Things Are this week and loved it — or if your children are too young for it but want to enjoy Sendak on film, try the Sendak collection from my favorite Scholastic Storybook series. […]

Roller Skating on Film

posted by Nell Minow

Rotten Tomatoes salutes “Whip It” with a list of the best roller skating scenes in movies. My favorite is this one, with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers skating to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” And I also love Gene […]

List: Movies About Courtesy

posted by Nell Minow

As I noted last week in my discussion of the recent outbreak of rudeness, courtesy is a neglected virtue, often dismissed as tangential or even hypocritical. But courtesy is sincere, based on a recognition of the dignity deserved by all […]

A Movie With A Prayer for Peace: ‘Friendly Persuasion’

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe today’s International Day of Peace and A Million Minutes for Peace, an initiative to get 1 million people to pledge to pray for peace, I would like to recommend a film called Friendly Persuasion, set in the […]

Beany and Cecil

posted by Nell Minow

Parents and some grandparents will remember the old “Beany and Cecil” show about the boy with the propeller hat and his friend the sea-sick sea serpent and their adventures in outsmarting the dastardly Dishonest John. I’m very pleased that these […]

Back to School Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Last year, I made lists of great movie college professors, and high school and grade school teachers. In honor of the first week of school, here are some of my other favorite and family-friendly classroom classics: 1. The Magic School […]

Murder Mystery Classics on Film

posted by Nell Minow

TCM has come out with a terrific collection of four of the all-time best classic murder mystery movies, the TCM Greatest Classic Films Collection: Murder Mysteries, featuring: “The Maltese Falcon” Humphrey Bogart, Sidney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Mary Astor are […]

List: 12 Movie Heroes

posted by Nell Minow

Humanity’s earliest stories were about heroes. I’m sure that the same people who created those breathtaking cave paintings up to 25 thousand years ago sat around the campfire telling stories of people who triumphed over charging sabertooth tigers or assaults […]

Movie References in ‘Inglourious Basterds’

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to Cinematical for referring me to Scarecrow Video’s exhaustive list of all the movie references in Quentin Tarantino’s “Inglourious Basterds.” A nice reminder of why “independent, brick & mortar video stores that employee real people” are not “outmoded and […]

Celebrate Mary Shelley’s Birthday: Watch Frankenstein!

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Shelley, daughter of two leading intellectuals and wife of a brilliant poet, was a teenager when she was challenged to write a ghost story and came up with one of the most enduring and often-filmed scary stories of all […]

Angels in Movies and Television: Before 1970

posted by Nell Minow

Ellen Leventry’s list of post-1990 angels on movies and television got me thinking about some of my favorites from the old days. Hard to believe that performers from Jack Benny to Cary Grant to Donald Duck have taken on an […]

Tim Gordon’s Romantic Movie List

posted by Nell Minow

My dear friend and fellow critic Tim Gordon always has something interesting to say about movies. I love to talk to him after screenings about what we’ve just seen and how it compares to some of our favorites (and least […]

Moon Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Salute the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon mission with some moon-y movies (but my favorite is Monday’s DVD pick of the week, so stay tuned). 1. Moonstruck Cher won an Oscar for her performance in one of the most […]

I’m Through With White Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date:2008
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, including some sexual references
Movie Release Date: 2008
DVD Release Date: 2008

Another unexpected pleasure I came across on cable recently is a light romantic comedy with some shrewd and audacious commentary on race and gender, whose full title is “I’m Through with White Girls (The Inevitable Undoing of Jay Brooks).” Anthony […]

Harry Potter: Looking Back

posted by Nell Minow

As we get ready for the new Harry Potter movie and look forward to the final two, it’s a good time to remember where it all started. Look at how young the stars were in the first film, Harry Potter […]

List: Angel Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My fellow Beliefnet blogger Susan Gregg, has a new post about her favorite angel characters in movies and a link to a Beliefnet gallery about angels in movies and television in the past 20 years. These are all good choices […]

Summer Camp Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Nametapes ironed on? Bugspray and sunscreen packed? As kids depart for camp, it is fun to watch some classic movies about the joys and terrors of life among the bunk beds and color wars. 1. Meatballs Bill Murray was the […]

List: Great Comedy Duos

posted by Nell Minow

As I was watching Year One, I thought about why the Michael Cera/Jack Black teaming does not work very well. They are both very funny guys, and they have that yin/yang element that propels most comedy teams, with one expansive […]

List: Happiness Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I believe that happiness is a choice, and one that requires courage and honesty. And I believe that happiness is a moral choice. We spend so much time thinking that we would be happy if we only had this or […]

Beliefnet Movie Highlights: Movie Underdogs

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out Kris Rasmussen’s great gallery on the top Hollywood underdogs (if that’s not a contradiction in terms). She includes some of my favorite movies, like “October Sky” and “Babe.” Some of my other favorite movie underdogs […]

The Original: The Taking of Pelham 123

posted by Nell Minow

The 1974 version of “The Taking of Pelham 123″ is one of my favorite thrillers, with a brilliant cast that includes Robert Shaw, Walter Matthau, and Jerry Stiller and a terrific score by David Shire. I’m hoping that this week’s […]

List: Daddies and Daughters in Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Eddie Murphy’s new release, “Imagine That,” Father’s Day, and the two best dads I know, my own dear father and my darling husband, here’s a list of great movie dads and daughters. 1. A Little Princess I […]

More Great Movie Mothers

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Tim Gordon salutes five of of the all-time great movie mothers on his blog, FilmGordon. I was especially glad to see that he mentioned “Claudine,” a neglected gem that is very dear to my heart. I love that […]

10 Great Movie Moms

posted by Nell Minow

Re-posting from 2008–Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers and children! Here are 10 great movie mothers every family should enjoy. Many were based on real-life mothers, with stories and screenplays in some cases written by their grateful families. And don’t […]

Trekkies/Galaxy Quest

posted by Nell Minow

It was a failed television series 40 years ago, but it has become something between an industry and a cult. The original “Star Trek” show lasted for four seasons but only became a hit after it was canceled and went […]

List: Movie Judges

posted by Nell Minow

As President Obama thinks about his selection to replace Supreme Court Justice David Souter, it is a good time to take a look at some memorable movie judges. 1. Anatomy of a Murder Real-life lawyer — and real-life American hero […]

Lessons from 90’s Teen Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Jezebel has a marvelous list of 90’s teen movies and the lessons we learn from them and it includes some of my favorite guilty pleasures like The Craft, Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, and Can’t Hardly Wait. An alert […]

List: Rainy Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Douglas Howe has a great list of rain scenes in movies over on Idol Chatter, including two of my favorites, “Singin’ in the Rain” with Gene Kelly and “Say Anything” with John Cusack. Cusack for some reason is always getting […]

The First of May

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:G
DVD Release Date:May 7, 2008
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: G
DVD Release Date: May 7, 2008

Cory (Dan Byrd) is not enthusiastic about meeting Dan (Tom Nowicki) and Michele (Robin O’Dell), his new foster parents. Clearly, he has already decided it makes no sense to allow himself to get close to people. He responds to their […]

Happy Birthday William Shakespeare!

posted by Nell Minow

It’s Shakespeare’s birthday! Try to talk like Shakespeare. Or check out Turner Classic Movie Channel’s list of their favorite Shakespeare adaptations. Can you name three movies inspired by Shakespeare set in high school? Two that became Broadway musicals? Or one […]

Warner Brothers Shares Classic Treasures

posted by Nell Minow

One of the things I find most thrilling about movies is that they are timeless. Watch a movie and you can see the same performance your grandparents watched when it was first released. We will never know what it was […]

List: Movies About Corporate Governance

posted by Nell Minow

The New York Times interviewed me for its “Corner Office” section and asked me for a list of my favorite movies about corporate governance. “Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room” (2005). Must viewing for an almost operatic rise-and-fall story […]

I Could Never Be Your Woman

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
Movie Release Date:2007
DVD Release Date:2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
Movie Release Date: 2007
DVD Release Date: 2008

Usually when a movie has a limited release with no ad support it means that test audiences hated it and the studio has decided to cut their losses. But once in a while it has nothing whatsoever to do with […]

List: Body-Switching Movies

posted by Nell Minow

This week’s release of “17 Again,” starring Zac Efron and Matthew Perry, about a middle-aged man who finds himself turned back into a teenager, reminded me of some of my favorite “body-switching” movies. 1. Freaky Friday Both feature film versions […]

List: Crunchy Conservative Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My fellow blogger (and movie maven) Ron Dreher is compiling a list of Crunchy Con movies on his blog, which promotes the ideas of traditionalist conservatives who support environmental conservation, frugal living, and the preservation of traditional family values. Take […]

Tribute: Maurice Jarre

posted by Nell Minow

Maurice Jarre wrote soundtracks for movies that became the soundtracks for our lives. The lush romantic score for Dr Zhivago (known as “Somewhere My Love”) is inseparable from the snowy vistas of the story. The sweep of his score for […]

Movie Aliens

posted by Nell Minow

Be sure to check out Paul Asay’s great gallery of movie aliens. I was very pleased to see that he included my beloved Galaxy Quest along with classics like E.T., “Cocoon,” and the original The Day the Earth Stood Still. […]

The Big Bad Swim

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Adult
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:2006
DVD Release Date:2007
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Adult
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 2006
DVD Release Date: 2007

I am a bit of a softie when it comes to those movies about diverse groups of people who come together to learn something new like tap dancing (“Stepping Out” with Liza Minnelli) or ballroom dancing (“Shall We Dance” with […]

Happy Birthday Doris Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Mary Anne von Kappelhoff — better known as Doris Day — turns 87 today! She could do it all — comedy, drama, music, romance. She is best known for her light romantic comedies but her signature song comes from a […]

Bedtime for Frances

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:March 31, 2009
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: March 31, 2009

The wonderful Scholastic series has a very special new release, Bedtime for Frances, with three animated stories about the beloved little badger. Author Russell Hoban’s Frances stories are filled with gentle humor and perceptive insights about the way children see […]

List: Inspiring Quotes from the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Movies have enormous power to inspire us and some of their best lines stay with us long after we leave the theater. Here are some of the lines that always make me try a little harder, risk a little more, […]

‘Law of Attraction’ Movie Gallery

posted by Nell Minow

Brent Marchant has written a book called Get the Picture: Conscious Creation Goes to the Movies, about movies that demonstrate the the idea that “that through our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings, we create our own reality.” For Beliefnet, he has […]

The Thrill of it All

posted by Nell Minow

Cinematical has a great tribute to one of my favorites, Doris Day’s “The Thrill of it All.” Day was so wholesome that it is easy to forget how talented she was, but she could do it all — sing, dance, […]

Gulliver’s Travels

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1939
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1939
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

A cringe-inducing catastrophe with all of the appeal of fingernails on blackboard, this movie’s first early warning sign should have been the omission of Jonathan Swift from the opening credits. I thought at first it was an arrogant oversight. Now […]

More Comfort Films: LA Times List

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve already provided some of my favorite comfort movies, one from Cinematical, and a list from Idol Chatter’s Kris Rasmussen. Want some more ideas? Take a look at this list of comfort movies from Betsy Sharkey of the LA Times. […]

Pinocchio

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1940
DVD Release Date:March 10, 2009
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1940
DVD Release Date: March 10, 2009

This week Disney is releasing a glorious new edition of its most most gorgeous, splendid, and fully realized of all of its animation classics, the high point of painstakingly hand-painted animation, before the use of photocopiers and computers. Every detail […]

Jesus on Screen

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly has a list of 12 memorable cinematic portrayals of Jesus. After centuries of telling the story of Jesus in paintings, sculpture, and theater, the 20th century provided an opportunity to show him on screen and this list includes […]

Snow Day

posted by rkumar
B
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Movie Release Date:2000
B
Lowest Recommended Age: Preschool
Movie Release Date: 2000

This engaging kid-eye view of “the real winter miracle” is good family fun. It has something for both littler and bigger kids and is very endurable for parents. The theme of the movie is that “anything can happen on a […]

List: Black History Month

posted by Nell Minow

Every family should observe Black History Month and movies like these are a good way to begin discussions and further study. 1. Glory The true story of the US Civil War’s first all-black volunteer company, fighting prejudices of their own […]

List: NR’s Best Conservative Movies of the Last 25 Years

posted by Nell Minow

The National Review has updated its 1994 list of the top conservative movies with selections from the best conservative movies of the past 25 years, including films like The Incredibles, 300, Forrest Gump, and Braveheart. As with their last list, […]

The Best Political Movie?

posted by Nell Minow

This Week with George Stephanopolous is conducting a poll on the best-ever movies about politics. Visit the site to vote — and I’d like to hear your picks as well. Mine would include “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” “State of […]

List: More Valentine Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Mark Jordan Legan of NPR has a great list of Valentine movies.

The Uninvited (1944)

posted by Nell Minow

The new release called “The Uninvited,” based on a Korean horror film, reminded me of the unrelated (but very spooky) 1944 movie of the same name, starring one of my favorites, Ray Milland. The original The Uninvited is the story […]

Funny Face

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1957
DVD Release Date:2009
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1957
DVD Release Date: 2009

My second DVD pick of the week for Valentine’s Day is the other new Audrey Hepburn release, “Funny Face,” a gorgeous musical set in Paris with Fred Astaire and songs by Gershwin. The title tune, and “How Long Has This […]

‘Haunting’ Movie Moments from Idol Chatter

posted by Nell Minow

On Idol Chatter, Kris Rasmussen has come up with a two-part list of haunting moments in movies that is well worth exploring and every one of the films and those added by the commenters is a worthy addition to your […]

Memorable Movie Nuns

posted by Nell Minow

I love Beliefnet’s gallery of Memorable Movie Nuns from Paul Asay. He includes some of my favorites like Lilies of the Field, with Sidney Poitier building a chapel under the direction of flinty Lilia Skala and Susan Sarandon as real-life […]

Windy Day — Short from John and Faith Hubley

posted by Nell Minow

Writing about the original version of “The Electric Company” reminded me of one of my all-time favorite short films by John and Faith Hubley, who later went on to work on the “Letterman” segments of that show. It is the […]

Tribute: Ricardo Montalban

posted by Nell Minow

Mexican-born leading man Ricardo Montalban died this morning at age 88. He may be best remembered now for his commercials for the Chrysler Cordoba (with the “rich Corinthian leather) and for Maxwell House coffee, but that is because even at […]

Five Children and It

posted by Nell Minow

One of my favorite books is Five Children and It, the E. Nesbit classic about children who discover a magical creature and have a series of adventures when he gives them one wish a day. The movie, starring Kenneth Branagh […]

The Top 10 Jewish Movie Characters from Esther Kustanowitz

posted by Nell Minow

Esther Kustanowitz posted her list of the top 10 Jewish movie characters on Idol Chatter. Some are a bit of a stretch — Obi-Wan Kenobi? Melanie Griffith in “A Stranger Among Us?” Aside from the fact that she is only […]

My List of Comfort Movies

posted by Nell Minow

My gallery about the best movies to watch when you’re in bed with the sniffles or flu has been posted. The right movies can help you pass the time until you feel better. They can even help you recover faster, […]

Viva Las Vegas

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:Not rated
Movie Release Date:1964
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: Not rated
Movie Release Date: 1964

Happy birthday, Elvis! In honor of The King’s birthday this week, we present one of his best movies, the delirious Viva Las Vegas, co-starring the combustible Ann-Margret. Elvis plays a race-car driver named Lucky who meets a spirited girl named […]

Tribute: Eartha Kitt

posted by Nell Minow

Eartha Kitt, who died this week, was an electrifying performer. The warm reminiscences about her incendiary performances on and off-stage are as entertaining as the legendary actress/singer was herself. The Washington Post had Will Haygood’s hilarious recounting of the most […]

Neglected films of 2008

posted by Nell Minow

Before the year is out I’d like to mention some independent films that did not get much attention in 2008 but are worth a look. These are not easy to summarize because they don’t follow the usual formulas. Some of […]

Two More Neglected Christmas Classics

posted by Nell Minow

We’re No Angels (the original with Humphrey Bogart, not the remake with Sean Penn) is an off-beat Christmas story about three escaped convicts who end up solving the problems of a middle-class French family with the help of a pet […]

Which Character Would You Like to Be?

posted by Nell Minow

Entertainment Weekly asked its readers which movie character’s life they would like to have and got some wonderfully wide-ranging answers. Yes, some wanted to have lives with lots of money, lots of superpowers, and lots of smooching with very attractive […]

‘The Band Wagon’ — on CWB’s Amazon Advent Calendar 2008

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks so much to my dear friend Lilah Lohr for showing me Andy Ihnatko’s wonderful blog Celestial Waste of Bandwidth and especially his Amazon Advent Calendar. I love his tribute to the classic musical “The Band Wagon,” which he bravely […]

Holiday Movie Moments

posted by Nell Minow

I love Kris Rasmussen’s list of favorite holiday movie moments from Idol Chatter. Some of my favorites are included and I was especially happy to see one most people overlook, the Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn movie “Holiday:” Made by the same […]

Tribute: Van Johnson

posted by Nell Minow

Van Johnson, one of the best light comedian/song and dance men of the 1940s-50s, died this week at age 92. His boyish, All-American good looks made him a popular choice for musicals, romantic comedies, and some dramatic roles as well. […]

List: Functional Families on Film

posted by Nell Minow

Sometimes it seems that every movie family is dysfunctional. That is because it is much easier to create drama — and comedy — from failures of communication and absence of support. But the movies have also given us some wonderfully […]

Vote for Your Favorite Holiday Movie

posted by Nell Minow

New York’s Paley Center for Media is asking visitors to select their favorites from a list of classic Christmas television specials. The top five vote-getters will be screened at the Paley Center in New York and Los Angeles between December […]

Movie Alphabet Soup

posted by Nell Minow

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 […]

Idol Chatter’s Comfort Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Kris Rasmussen’s comfort movie list from Idol Chatter is filled with great choices, including You’ve Got Mail (and don’t miss the two earlier versions, The Shop Around the Corner with Jimmy Stewart and In the Good Old Summertime with Judy […]

Interview: Darby Hinton of ‘Daniel Boone’

posted by Nell Minow

Darby Hinton played Israel, the son of Daniel Boone on the classic 1960’s television series starring Fess Parker. From the moment he got on the phone to talk with me about the series and its new release on DVD he […]

Hollywood Veterans

posted by Nell Minow

A salute to three of Hollywood’s distinguished vets: 1. James Doohan of Star Trek landed in Normandy with the U.S. Army on D-Day. 2. George C. Scott of Patton was a decorated U.S. Marine. 3. James Stewart of “Strategic Air […]

Dana Stevens on the Melancholy Beauty of the Charlie Brown Specials

posted by Nell Minow

Slate’s Dana Stevens has a lovely essay on “Why I love the melancholy Peanuts holiday specials,” in honor of a new holiday collection dvd set. Those specials–at least the big three: the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas shows that were recently […]

Tribute: Michael Crichton

posted by Nell Minow

I was very sorry to hear about the loss of author/director Michael Crichton. He was a man of astonishing range and accomplishment. He wrote best-selling novels, including Jurassic Park and the The Andromeda Strain. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, […]

David Thomson’s top 1000 Films

posted by Nell Minow

David Thomson is one writer whose appraisals are as riveting and entertaining as the films and performances he describes. His The New Biographical Dictionary of Film is one of the dozen or so indispensable reference works every film fan needs. […]

Alice Upside Down

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades

Based on the popular series of books by Phylis Reynolds Naylor, this understated but sensitive and warm-hearted film is funny, touching, and wise. Middle school is miserable enough, but for Alice (Alyson Stoner) there are complications that are even more […]

List: Election Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of one of the most exciting elections in American history, here is a list of ten classic documentaries about elections and politics. 1. Primary This pioneering political documentary from Robert Drew, the first in a trilogy, shows candidate […]

Beliefnet’s Movies about Faith in Love

posted by Nell Minow

Idol Chatter has a great post with a list of the best movies about putting your faith in love (and cry in the process). I don’t agree with all of the choices — I find “The Other Sister” and “Stepmom” […]

Please Vote for Me

posted by Nell Minow

There is no better way to make elections real to kids than this award-winning documentary about the first-ever election in a third-grade classroom in China. In Please Vote for Me , the children are completely unfamiliar with even the concept […]

Meet Me in St. Louis

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1944
DVD Release Date:2000
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1944
DVD Release Date: 2000

This episodic story of the Smith family in the St. Louis of 1903 is based on the memoirs of Sally Benson.  Its pleasures are in the period detail, the glorious songs (including standards “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a […]

Economic Crisis and the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Hundreds of news articles are referring to our current economic crisis as the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930’s. Movies were just coming of age in that decade. The first talkie was “The Jazz Singer” in 1927 and […]

Talking to Children about Poverty

posted by Nell Minow

Families may find that their children have picked up some of the concerns about the economy from the news or overheard adult conversations. They will need to be reassured that even if their families have suffered some financial setbacks, they […]

Sleeping Beauty

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1958
DVD Release Date:October 7, 2014
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1958
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2014

Disney’s gorgeous “Sleeping Beauty” is out in a magnificent new Diamond edition this week. This classic should be in the library of every family and every animation fan. The King and Queen happily celebrate the birth of their daughter, Princess […]

A Month of Halloween Horror from The Movie Boy

posted by Nell Minow

The Movie Boy Dustin Putman knows horror, and he salutes it this month with a new review every day. For the entirety of October, TheMovieBoy.com will be updated daily with all-new content, including at least thirty-one full-length reviews of horror […]

Contest Reminder: Faerie Tale Theatre

posted by Nell Minow

Don’t forget that Tuesday the 30th is the deadline for entering the contest for a full DVD set of Shelly Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre. The series has just been re-released on DVD and I have FOUR copies to give away! […]

Tribute: Paul Newman

posted by Nell Minow

Paul Newman died yesterday at age 83 after a long struggle with cancer. This tribute from Slate by Dahlia Lithwick describes Newman’s unassuming generosity in contributing a quarter of a billion dollars, 100% of the profits from his food companies, […]

Great Movie Elephants and Donkeys

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the upcoming election, a bi-partisan listing of classic movies featuring those two symbols of the political parties, the elephant and the donkey, with a tip of the hat to cartoonist Thomas Nast, who first assigned those animals […]

Happy Talk Like a Pirate Day!

posted by Nell Minow

Arrrrrrrrrrr! Avast me hearties, it be Talk Like a Pirate Day! If you have not read the classic Dave Barry tribute to this most wonderfully silly of holidays, you are in for a treat. And what better way to celebrate […]

List: Cinematical’s ‘Comfort Movies’ (and a few of mine)

posted by Nell Minow

Scott Weinberg of Cinematical is recovering from oral surgery, which is of course the perfect time to watch some “comfort movies.” I often say that movies should be rated on two scales — good to bad, of course (and we […]

‘The Outsiders’ 25th anniversary

posted by Nell Minow

Last week, I wrote about movies with all-star casts. Some movies have all-star casts — retrospectively. When they are made, the actors are not well known but soon afterward many or most of them become superstars. One classic example is […]

Contest: Shelley Duvall’s Faerie Tale Theatre

posted by Nell Minow

From 1982-1987 actress Shelly Duvall produced and hosted a series of fairy tales on Showtime, starring some of Hollywood’s top performers. Christopher Reeve and Matthew Broderick played very charming princes, and princesses included Bernadette Peters as Sleeping Beauty, Susan Sarandon […]

Do All-Star Casts Live Up to Their Billing?

posted by Nell Minow

Loyal reader jestrfyl left a provocative comment about my post on the 1939 and 2008 versions of “The Women.” He’s a skeptic about all-star casts. He writes: There is no Constellation that is made of all first magnitude stars, and […]

Ballet at the Movies: The Red Shoes, Ballet Shoes, and More

posted by Nell Minow

The Sunday New York Times had a great tribute in honor of the 60th anniversary of one of the most lyrically lovely movies ever made, The Red Shoes. As the title indicates, it is inspired by the classic fairy tale […]

The Women

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1939
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1939

It isn’t so much that they have updated or re-invented the brilliantly acidic Claire Boothe Luce play that was adapted for a classic 1939 movie; they completely misunderstood it. The surface details of the original may need updating but its […]

Explaining Economic Issues

posted by Nell Minow

My selection of David Copperfield as the book to best help people understand the current economic situation is included in this Washington Post round-up of recommended books by people with a background in business, economics, or finance. All of the […]

List: Alaska Movies (and one television show)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the new Republican nominee for Vice-President, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, here’s a list of movies that take place in Alaska: 1. North to Alaska This easy-going comic “Northern” (that’s a western set up north) stars John Wayne […]

List: NPR on Movies about Politics

posted by Nell Minow

Just in time for the political conventions, NPR lists the best political movies. Bob Mondello divides them into three categories: manipulating the media, manipulating the candidate, and manipulating the process. Well, if someone isn’t manipulating something, there’s no need for […]

List: Movies About Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Inspired by “Tropic Thunder,” Keith Demko of Reel Fanatic created a superb list from one of my favorite categories: movies about making movies. On his list: critic-turned-director Francois Truffaut’s bittersweet Day for Night, the trenchant satire Living in Oblivion, the […]

List: the Hendricks’ Top Relationship Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Authors and consultants Kathlyn and Gay Hendricks (Conscious Loving, Attracting Genuine Love, Five Wishes, and The Corporate Mystic) teach seminars in conscious relationships and “bodymind vibrance.” They have complied a list of their top relationship movies, movies that combine “artistic […]

Adventures in Faith, Honesty, and Courage

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
DVD Release Date:August 12, 2008
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
DVD Release Date: August 12, 2008

The great “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” animated series has three new releases today: Adventures in Faith, Adventures in Honesty and Adventures in Courage. These are classic stories that have thrilled audiences through the ages because they are about […]

Wired’s 25th Anniversary Tribute to ‘Wargames’

posted by Nell Minow

I recently included War Games in my list of great movie computers. Wired Magazine has a fascinating salute to the movie’s 25th anniversary and the way it influenced a generation of proto-geeks in the current issue, featuring interviews with the […]

List: The Top 25 Law Movies

posted by Nell Minow

The magazine published by the American Bar Association has assembled a list of the 25 best movies about the law, with another 25 on the list of runners-up. I am a lawyer from a family of lawyers and we all […]

Lists: Great Sports Documentaries

posted by Nell Minow

10. The Heart of the Game A dedicated girls’ basketball coach and a talented player with some daunting challenges make this an unforgettable story. 9. 16 Days of Glory Bud Greenspan’s documentary series about the Olympics give you a front-row […]

Beliefnet’s Most Inspiring Sports Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet has assembled a great gallery of the most inspiring sports movies. Most are based on true stories, like Miracle (the 1980 Olympic hockey team), Seabiscuit (horse-race champion), Friday Night Lights (Texas high school football team), The Rookie (middle-aged teacher […]

William Holden Salute at Lincoln Center

posted by Nell Minow

The Film Society of Lincoln Center completes its salute today to one of my favorite movie stars, William Holden. Michael Atkinson writes on the Museum of the Moving Image’s wonderful Moving Image Source site that Holden was: on the surface […]

Mandela

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:March 21, 1997
A
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: March 21, 1997

Celebrate the 90th birthday this week of one of history’s greatest leaders, Nelson Mandela, with one of the fine films about his extraordinary perseverance, vision, courage, and leadership. The story of the massive social change he achieved without violence is […]

Tribute: Thomas M. Disch

posted by Nell Minow

Science fiction writer Thomas M. Disch, who died on the 4th of July, wrote one movie for families, the wonderful animated film, The Brave Little Toaster. It is the Toy Story-style tale of a group of appliances left behind by […]

Wall?E’s Favorite Movie: Hello Dolly

posted by Nell Minow

Wall∙E’s curiosity about the world and capacity to feel loneliness is part of what makes him such a vivid character in Pixar’s latest hit. And nothing in the film conveys those qualities more effectively than his affection for the 1969 […]

Shipwrecked

posted by rkumar
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:1991
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: 1991

A Norwegian boy named Hakon (Stian Smestad) is being pushed around by some bullies. He warns them that his father will take care of them when he gets back from sea, and they tell him his father owes so much […]

American Dream Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Idol Chatter has posted a list of the five best movies celebrating the American Dream. All good choices: Avalon and An American Tail (about the immigrant experience), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington about an idealistic young Senator, and Rocky, the […]

American Girls

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR

Get ready for the upcoming release of the first American Girls feature film, “Kit Kittredge: An American Girl,” starring Abigail Breslin, with the DVD series, The American Girl Movie Collection, including “Samantha – An American Girl Holiday,” “Felicity – An […]

Schoolhouse Rock

posted by Nell Minow

Just after the Children’s Television Workshop realized that if children could memorize advertising jingles they could learn the alphabet and numbers and other important lessons through lively short films for PBS, a group of advertisers and educators got together to […]

Prince Edward Island and Anne of Green Gables

posted by Nell Minow

This week we are visiting Canada’s Prince Edward Island, well known to fans of classic children’s books as the home of Anne of Green Gables and the author who created her, L. M. (Lucy Maud) Montgomery. When I was in […]

AFI Salutes Warren Beatty

posted by Nell Minow

The American Film Institute’s Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony for Warren Beatty will be broadcast tonight at 9 pm EST on the USA Network. Beatty’s notorious romantic life and political activism has sometimes distracted the media from his achievements as an […]

The Sword in the Stone

posted by Nell Minow
A-
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:G
Movie Release Date:1963
DVD Release Date:June 17, 2008
A-
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: G
Movie Release Date: 1963
DVD Release Date: June 17, 2008

Based on the book by T.H. White, this is the story of the early years of King Arthur. Nicknamed “Wart,” the future King Arthur is squire to a knight when he meets Merlin the magician, who promises to take on […]

Movies about Values

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet has posted my gallery of movies that illustrate important values like integrity, courage, courtesy, learning, and peace. Movies are our sagas, our myths, our touchstones, and our collective cultural heritage. They are also one way that we teach ourselves […]

Tribute: Cyd Charisse

posted by Nell Minow

USA Today’s Jim Cheng said it best: “Talk about a career with legs.” The beautiful dancer from Hollywood’s golden age died today at age 86. Born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas, she was a professional ballerina at age 16 […]

Movies about the End of the World

posted by Nell Minow

Beliefnet’s Paul Asay has put together a gallery list of movies about the apocalypse or the end of the world. Some are better as movies than others — I thought “The Day After Tomorrow” was pretty poor. Some deal with […]

The Best Fathers in Movies and Television

posted by Nell Minow

Check out my Gallery of 10 of my all-time favorite movie dads. And check out Idol Chatter’s list of the best TV dads. I love all the fathers on all the list and in the comments, especially Andy Griffith. I […]

Best Twist Endings (Entertainment Weekly)

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie The Happening, Entertainment Weekly has prepared a list of the all-time best movies with twist endings. Don’t worry — the twists will not be revealed unless you ask for them. It’s a […]

Bedazzled (both versions)

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Movie Release Date:2000
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sex-related humor, language and some drug content
Movie Release Date: 2000

This week, both versions of the Faustian comedy Bedazzled are being released in one DVD and both are worth watching. The 1967 original, directed by Stanley Donen (“Singin’ in the Rain”) and starring British comedy duo Peter Cook and Dudley […]

Five Movie Computers

posted by Nell Minow

Computers can sometimes be full characters in movies — they play an important part in stories of all kinds — adventure, science-fiction, even romance. The one thing movie portrayals of computers seldom are is accurate and people who actually work […]

Salon asks for the Best Family Films

posted by Nell Minow

I like Salon movie critic Andrew O’Hehir very much. He covers the less mainstream films, independent, foreign, and festival fare and I always enjoy his take on what he sees. He is on vacation this week and in something of […]

DVDs for Father’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

Dad does not need a new tie! Make him some breakfast in bed and a hand-made card and then how about some DVDs the family can share and enjoy together? If Dad is in his 50’s, he’ll enjoy some of […]

Great Movie Teachers, Part 2: High School

posted by Nell Minow

As promised, here is my follow-up to the list of great movie professors, great movie high school teachers. Another list of grade school teachers is in the works so stay tuned. 10. Dead Poets Society Robin Williams inspires his students […]

Documentary Therapy: Families Use Cameras to Create Conversations (and Confrontations)

posted by Nell Minow

Last week I saw a documentary called Bigger Stronger Faster* (The Side Effects of Being an American). The film, produced by some of the people behind Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling for Columbine, ties the use of steroids and other performance-enhancing […]

The Great Race

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
Movie Release Date:July 1, 1965
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
Movie Release Date: July 1, 1965

Dedicated to “Mr. Laurel and Mr. Hardy,” this movie is both a spoof and a loving tribute to the silent classics, with good guys, bad guys, romance, adventure, slapstick, music, wonderful antique cars, and the biggest pie fight in history. […]

Thanks for the Memories: Bob Hope memorabilia auction

posted by Nell Minow

Bob Hope’s daughter has announced that some of the memorabilia from her father’s collection will be auctioned off for charity. All of his papers will go to the Library of Congress and much of his collection is being given to […]

Happy 100 Jimmy Stewart!

posted by Nell Minow

Jimmy Stewart, number 3 on the American Film Institute’s list of the top 100 male movie stars of all time, was born 100 years ago today in Indiana, Pennsylvania. The Oscar he won for The Philadelphia Story was on display […]

Gregory’s Girl

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:PG
Movie Release Date:May 26, 1982
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: PG
Movie Release Date: May 26, 1982

Gregory (John Sinclair) is a gangling but amiable Scottish teenager who is mildly befuddled by just about everything, especially Dorothy (Dee Hepburn), who takes his place on the soccer team. In contrast, the girls he knows, including his ten-year-old sister, […]

I Remember Mama

posted by Nell Minow
A
Lowest Recommended Age:All Ages
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1948
DVD Release Date:2004
A
Lowest Recommended Age: All Ages
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1948
DVD Release Date: 2004

Kathryn Forbes’ memoirs of her Norwegian immigrant family are lovingly brought to life in this classic, often found on television on Mother’s Day. Mama is played by the luminous Irene Dunne, far from the sophisticated comedies and glossy romances she […]

Great Characters: Eve Arden

posted by Nell Minow

You know the character of the leading lady’s wisecracking best friend? No one ever filled that role better than Eve Arden (real name: Eunice Quedens), whose birthday we celebrate today. Seen-it-all but not cynical, she was the ideal sidekick for […]

The Red Balloon

posted by Nell Minow
B+
B+

Two recent films showed the influence of this classic French film about a little boy befriended by a red balloon and now the original is available on DVD for the first time. “CJ7″ from China and “The Flight of the […]

List: Five Movies for Earth Day

posted by Nell Minow

Celebrate Earth Day with some of these great films about our planet, its beauties and its challenges: 1. An Inconvenient Truth Al Gore’s Oscar-winning documentary makes a powerful case for the dire effects of climate change — and an even […]

List: The 20 Greatest Movie Fights of All Time

posted by Nell Minow

Tim Ryan of Rotten Tomatoes picks the 20 greatest movie fights of all time, and as you can imagine, it has prompted some impassioned arguments, you might even say fights, in the comments. I love its scope — it even […]

List: Great Movie Professors

posted by Nell Minow

Ann Hornaday’s excellent Washington Post essay on college professors in movies included some of my favorites. I especially liked the comments from first-time screenwriter Mark Jude Poirier, the son of a college professor, who has spent time teaching himself. His […]

The Miracle Worker

posted by Nell Minow
A+
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:May 23, 1962
A+
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: May 23, 1962

Today is the 142nd anniversary of the birth of one of the most extraordinary teachers in American history, Annie Sullivan, who gave a little blind and deaf girl the power of language. William Gibson, who wrote two plays about the […]

List: April Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Spring! Celebrate with these wonderful films, all with “April” in the title: 1. Enchanted April Four women in post-WWI London get away from winter chill when they take a villa in Italy. All of their lives are transformed through […]

Mythos from Joseph Campbell

posted by Nell Minow
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Joseph Campbell believed there was “one great story of mankind” and he spent his life collecting the great myths and parables of world cultures and religions and showing us the connections between them. His work has influenced everyone from Hollywood […]

Remembering Charlton Heston

posted by Nell Minow

Charlton Heston, who died this morning at age 84, had the screen presence for larger than life, heroic roles, and often appeared in films with religious themes. He will be best remembered for his Oscar-winning performance as Ben-Hur and for […]

List: Gilmore’s Best Baseball Films

posted by Nell Minow

My friend Hoppy Gillmore of Fargo’s Froggy 99.9 has posted his list of the all-time best baseball movies, one for each inning. Here’s his list, with some comments from me in italics. 9. The Bad News Bears Anyone who played […]

Remembering Jules Dassin

posted by Nell Minow

Writer/director Jules Dassin died this week at age 96. He is perhaps most fondly remembered as a key figure in establishing the genres of film noir (Naked City) and the heist film (Topkapi and “Rififi”) and for the marvelous Never […]

Previous Posts

Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQqWgdF1z0[/youtube] Tune in tonight to watch A Capitol Fourth on PBS, featuring Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, and Lang Lang, and hosted by Bradley Whitford. And ...

posted 12:00:57pm Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
Happy 4th of July! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/34606761[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:38:56am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETroXvRFoKY ...

posted 7:00:25am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

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