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Movie Mom

Neglected gem Archives

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Happy 99th Birthday, Olivia de Havilland!

posted by Nell Minow

Two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland turns 99 years old today. She was one of the biggest stars of the Golden Age of Hollywood, appearing memorably opposite Errol Flynn eight times, most memorably in “The Adventures of Robin Hood.” She […]

My Ebook on Movie Dads is Free This Weekend for Father’s Day!

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Father’s Day, my eBook, 50 Must-See Movies: Fathers is FREE through Monday, June 22, 2015. What do “Wall Street” and the “Star Wars” saga and, seemingly, about half the movies ever made have in common? They are about […]

Today on TCM: Go Back in Time With Time Travel Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Tonight Turner Classic Movies has some time travel treats, including George Pal’s classic version of H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine,” starring Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimieux. Also on the schedule is “Time After Time,” with Malcolm McDowell as Wells himself, […]

Want to See A Movie With Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, and Olaf the Snowman’s Josh Gad?

posted by Nell Minow

I am quite fond of a little film from 2008 called “The Rocker,” starring Rainn Wilson. And it’s even more fun now, as three of its actors have become big stars. Wilson plays a drummer who was let go just […]

A Tribute to Unlikeable Women in the Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I really enjoyed the recent series on “Unlikeable Women” from the folks at Bitch Flicks. I remember a panel of women filmmakers at Comic-Con all agreeing that the code word for making female characters meek and pliable (and giving all […]

List: The Best Movie Con Games and Grifters

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “Focus,” here are some of my favorite movies about con games and grifters. Remember that “con” comes from “confidence.” A con man (or woman) makes you believe in them and have confidence in […]

Movies to Reconsider: Rogerebert.com’s “Unloved” Series

posted by Nell Minow

Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan make a great romantic movie team, don’t they? “You’ve Got Mail” and “Sleepless in Seattle” are two of the most popular romantic comedies of the 90’s. But hardly anyone loves — or even remembers — […]

New Additions to the National Film Registry: 2014

posted by Nell Minow

The Library of Congress has announced this year’s additions to the National Film Registry. 25 “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant titles are added each year, under the terms of the National Film Preservation Act. The films must be at least […]

After You’ve Watched White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol, and A Christmas Story…..

posted by Nell Minow

I love the Christmas classic movies and watch as many as I can every year.  But there are many great Christmas films that don’t get mentioned as often and I like to remind families that these are worth making time […]

List: The Greatest Acts of Kindness on Film

posted by Nell Minow

I love this list of the most touching and inspiring moments of kindness in movies from BFI, including my favorite:

The 100 Best Action Movies: Time Out

posted by Nell Minow

Time Out Magazine went to the experts — action directors and stars — to make a rock ’em sock ’em list of the all-time best action films. I immediately guessed #1, did you? Here’s a hint — it was featured […]

CriticWire: Our Favorite Movies About Making Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Thanks to CriticWire for including me in this great survey about one of my favorite categories of movies: Movies About the Art, Craft, and Business of Movie-Making. There are some great choices here, including:

Veteran’s Day 2014: Paying Tribute

posted by Nell Minow

As we remember and thank those who have served our country and defended our freedom, these movies help us begin to understand their contribution. The Messenger One of the finest young actors working today, Ben Foster, stars with Woody Harrelson […]

List: My Favorite Movie Ghosts

posted by Nell Minow

Happy Halloween! Here are ten of my favorite movie ghosts.  (NOTE: Some of these have inferior remakes — stick with the originals.) Topper Cary Grant and Constance Bennett are the most sophisticated, witty, and glamorous ghosts ever in this delightful […]

List: Sam Rockwell

posted by Nell Minow

Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile leading me in Hollywood. This week, he stars with Keira Knightley in “Laggies,” playing a single dad. Here are some of my favorite Sam Rockwell performances: Moon Rockwell takes on the biggest […]

Best Movies About Writers

posted by Nell Minow

Flavorwire has put together a great list of the 50 best movies about writers. It’s always tricky to make a writer interesting on film. On one hand, you have the advantage of a character who is likely to be witty […]

Limited Time Offer from Amazon: Warners Best, 100 Films for About $2 Each

posted by Nell Minow

This is an amazing deal. For a limited time, Amazon is offering a collection of 100 Warner Brothers classics at 75 percent off. Best of Warner Bros 100 Film Collection, including 22 Best Picture winners, a limited edition 27 x […]

Tuesdays in September on Turner Classic Movies: The Jewish Experience on Film

posted by Nell Minow

This month, TCM has an excellent series of films about the Jewish experience, every Tuesday. TCM proudly presents The Projected Image: The Jewish Experience on Film, a weekly showcase of movies focusing on Jewish history and heritage as portrayed onscreen. […]

List: Movies About Chefs

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release about competing chefs, “The Hundred Foot Journey,” I’ve put together a list of some of my favorite movies about cooks and chefs. Julie & Julia Meryl Streep plays legendary chef Julia Child and Amy Adams […]

Summer Movie Catch-Up: Lists for Kids, Couples, and Hipsters

posted by Nell Minow

Summer is a great time to catch up on some classic and even not-so-classic films, the movie version of beach books.  The nice folks at Entertainment Weekly have come up with a terrific list of films all children should see […]

Our Second Pre-Code Series Starts Tomorrow with Barbara Stanwyck’s “Ladies They Talk About”

posted by Nell Minow

Margaret Talbot and I will kick off our second series of Pre-Code films at Washington, D.C.’s Hill Center tomorrow night with “The Ladies They Talk About.” As Margaret says, it’s Depression-era “Orange is the New Black,” much of it set […]

Musical Chairs on HBO

posted by Nell Minow

Try to find time to catch the touching “Musical Chairs” on HBO this month from director Susan Seidelman (“Desperately Seeking Susan”).  EJ Bonilla, Leah Pipes, and Laverne Cox (“Orange Is The New Black”) star in this inspiring romance about a wheelchair […]

What’s the Biggest, Baddest Disaster Film Disaster?

posted by Nell Minow

The Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum is conducting a survey: What’s the biggest disaster movie of all time?  Zombies?  Comets?  Flood?  Fire?  Sharknado? You can pick one from their list of 25 action-packed greats or write in your favorite. 2012, 2009 28 […]

Free Movies Online

posted by Nell Minow

Open Culture has a great list of free movies available online, from cult rarities (Jean Genet’s only film, “A Song of Love”) to early works by top directors (Wes Anderson’s early short version of “Bottle Rocket”).  One of my favorites […]

Must-See Movie Moment: The April Fools

posted by Nell Minow

Happy April! This is from my book, 101 Must-See Movie Moments. The April Fools is a 1969 film starring Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve that, if remembered at all, is thought of as a dated mid-life crisis romance and a […]

A Place to Find Positive, Uplifting Films

posted by Nell Minow

Like movies? Like doing good? Check out www.eflixir.com. There are thousands of uplifting films and a portion of every fee goes to charity.

Some Great Irish Movies for St. Patrick’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

These are some of my favorite movies set in Ireland. 1. The Quiet Man John Wayne plays American Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to in Innisfree, the small, beautiful Irish village where he was born, to buy his family’s old home. […]

President Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Why have there been no great films about George Washington? And why are there so many films featuring Abraham Lincoln? From the John Ford classic Young Mr. Lincoln, starring Henry Fonda, to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, there is something about the […]

Free This Weekend: My eBook on Must-See Movie Weddings

posted by Nell Minow

This weekend only: the Kindle version of my book, 50 Must-See Movies: Weddings is free! What’s your favorite movie wedding scene?

Family Movies for the Olympics

posted by Nell Minow

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, but there were 1500 years between the time of the […]

National Film Registry Additions 2013 Include “Mary Poppins” and “The Quiet Man”

posted by Nell Minow

Think of it as the Hall of Fame or a Historic Landmark designation. This year’s additions to the National Film Registry at the Library of Congress: Bless Their Little Hearts (1984) Part of the vibrant New Wave of independent African-American […]

Ten Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature the Grinch, Tiny Tim, Bing Crosby, Lassoing the Moon, or a Dog Eating the Turkey

posted by Nell Minow

It is wonderful to share holiday classics like “A Christmas Carol,” “White Christmas,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” “A Christmas Story,” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and family favorites should be a family tradition.  But make some time for some […]

Jews Telling Jokes and Stories: Doc Club

posted by Nell Minow

“Jews Telling Jokes & Stories” on Doc Club in December The Jewish legacy of storytelling and humor enlivens December Doc Club’s  diverse selection of films on IFC’s SundanceNOW, a virtual destination for streaming independent films online. From classic Jewish comedy to a look into […]

List: Sister Movies!

posted by Nell Minow

As the oldest of three girls, I have a soft spot for movies about sisters, and this week’s release of Frozen made me think of some of my favorites. If you haven’t seen these, give them a try. If you […]

For Election Day: The Great McGinty

posted by Nell Minow

This delicious political satire from the incomparable Preston Sturges is the story of a homeless man whose enterprising attitude (offered $2 to vote for a machine candidate, he votes 37 times) leads to his rise in politics all the way […]

The Uninvited: Now on Criterion

posted by Nell Minow

Just in time for Halloween, one of my very favorite ghost stories has been released in a beautifully restored edition from the wonderful folks at Criterion. It is The Uninvited, starring Ray Milland (“Love Story”) and Ruth Hussey (“The Philadelphia […]

Looking for Movies to Inspire You?

posted by Nell Minow

Aware Guide is a terrific resource for “life-changing media,” with documentaries about the environment, consciousness, health and wellness, social issues, and causes, some free. It’s a very intriguing collection of films you won’t see at the multiplex.

Dancing! Tributes on Slate and at the National Portrait Gallery

posted by Nell Minow

Washington DC’s National Portrait Gallery is one of my favorite museums, and yesterday I had the great treat of visiting a special exhibit on the history of dance with photos, paintings, drawings, and video.  Josephine Baker’s famous banana dance shows […]

List: Movies About Racing Cars

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “Rush,” based on the real rivalry of Formula One drivers James Hunt and Niki Lauda, take a look at these movies about racing, some featuring actors who raced cars off screen as well. […]

List: Witness Protection Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “The Family,” check out some of these movies about characters in the witness protection program.  And no, I am not going to suggest the movies starring Tyler Perry, Larry the Cable Guy, or […]

Labor Day Movies 2013

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of the people who brought us the 40 hour work week, weekends off, and major advances in workplace safety and all those who work to contribute to society and care for their families: Harlan County, U.S.A. This classic […]

Cloudburst

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:2013
DVD Release Date:July 29, 2013
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 2013
DVD Release Date: July 29, 2013

Two of the all-time great actresses play a long-time couple who must find a way to cope with the indignities of aging — and the greater indignities of the way they are treated by their families and the legal system. […]

Great Movie Duos: Bette Davis and Miriam Hopkins

posted by Nell Minow

I’m delighted to be participating in the classic movie blogathon about great film duos.  My choice is Miriam Hopkins and Bette Davis, who co-starred in two classics, “The Old Maid” and “Old Acquaintance.”  They were natural opposites, and their battles […]

Five Great Movie Robots

posted by Nell Minow

Did you know that the word “robot” was invented by Czech writer Karl Capek for a play produced in 1920 called R.U.R? In honor of today’s release of “Pacific Rim,” take a look at some of the other great movie […]

At Long Last: At Long Last Love

posted by Nell Minow

“At Long Last Love” was one of the most derided films of its era, mostly for reasons that had nothing to do with the film.  Director Peter Bogdanovich had left his wife for his star, Cybill Shepherd, and ticket-buyers were […]

See “Star Trek: Into Darkness” Stars in This Underrated British Gem

posted by Nell Minow

Long before they starred in this week’s “Star Trek: Into Darkness,” Benedict Cumberbatch and Alice Eve appeared in the sweet indie romantic comedy “Starter for 10,” also featuring James McAvoy (“X-Men First Class”) and Rebecca Hall (“Iron Man 3″).

Mother’s Day Movies

posted by Nell Minow

For Mother’s Day, share some of these movies featured in my book, 50 Must-See Movies: Mothers. Claudia Before they went on to co-star in the luminous romance, “The Enchanted Cottage,” Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young played a young married couple […]

For Tax Day: The Mating Game and Stranger Than Fiction

posted by Nell Minow

In celebration of tax day, enjoy two romantic comedies about IRS agents. “The Mating Game” stars Tony Randall and Debbie Reynolds in a rollicking story about a warm-hearted farm family that never pays taxes because they do everything on the […]

The Best Movie Versions of Books — From The Marshall Plan

posted by Nell Minow

The Marshall Plan has a terrific Pinterest featuring their list of the best book-to-movie adaptations.  There have been so many disappointments, it’s great to see this reminder of the good ones.

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 the unexpected […]

Movies to Celebrate Ireland for St. Patrick’s Day

posted by Nell Minow

St. Patrick’s Day is this weekend and one way to celebrate is to watch one of these great movies from or set in Ireland: 1. The Quiet Man John Wayne plays American Sean Thornton (John Wayne), who returns to in Innisfree, the […]

Which Classic 20th Century Fox Film Should Be on Blu-Ray?

posted by Nell Minow

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment announced today a one-of-a-kind campaign, VOICE YOUR CHOICE, allowing film enthusiasts to decide which classic films they would like to see digitally restored and transferred to Blu-ray for the very first time. The program celebrates […]

Angels and Ghosts Today on TCM

posted by Nell Minow

Turner Classic Movies starts off the new year with a day of movies about angels and ghosts, including some of my favorites: “A Guy Named Joe” Spencer Tracy is a fighter pilot who is killed in action and returns as […]

2012 Additions to the National Film Registry

posted by Nell Minow

Each year, the Library of Congress announces the names of films added to the National Film Registry — an assortment that are “culturally, historically, or aesthetically” significant.  This year’s selections bring the number of films in the registry to 600. […]

“Becoming Santa” — OWN Documentary

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful, poignant OWN documentary “Becoming Santa” is now available on DVD.  I wrote about the movie when it was shown on OWN.

More Christmas Movies You Might Not Know But Should

posted by Nell Minow

My lists of 12 Christmas movies that don’t feature Tiny Tim, Linus, Bing Crosby, the Grinch, or Clarence the Angel, or a Leg Lamp, Twelve More Great Christmas Movies Without Santa, Tiny Tim, or a Message from Ovaltine, and Worst Christmas […]

Leslie Combernale’s Top 10 Little-Seen Zombie Movies

posted by Nell Minow

I am not a horror fan, but I still like to read about horror films, and I was delighted to see that my friend and fellow critic Leslie Combernale has put together a list of little-seen zombie films she thinks […]

“Sneakers” Rediscovered

posted by Nell Minow

I have fond memories of the neglected gem Sneakers, with Robert Redford as the leader of a ragtag group of quirky geniuses, written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who wrote “Field of Dreams.”  This has some of the same off-beat […]

List: Scottish Movies and Actors

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of Pixar’s “Brave,” this week’s release about a Scottish princess, here are some of my favorite films about Scots and Scotland and some of my favorite Scottish performers. 1. Brigadoon Lerner and Lowe’s first musical is the fanciful story […]

Movie Critics’ Advice on Films for a Bright 14-Year-Old

posted by Nell Minow

Indiewire asked its panel of critics to respond to a great question from a critic who is mentoring a film-loving 14-year-old. “I mentor a 14-year-old from Harlem and nothing would make me happier then to have her enjoy ‘art house’ […]

List: June Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Happy June!  Here are some of my favorite movie Junes. 1. Carousel One of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most joyous songs is this tribute to the sixth month. 2. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers The girls captured by the seven Pontipee brothers […]

List: Snow White and the Seven Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Somewhere around 100 films have been inspired by the fairy tale about the princess with skin as white as snow and the evil stepmother who tried to kill her with a poison apple.  One is a historic and artistic milestone, […]

Today on TCM: Strange Cargo

posted by Nell Minow

“Strange Cargo,” starring Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, is on the surface the story of prisoners escaping from a Devil’s Island penal colony.  But it is also a powerful and moving spiritual allegory with a Jesus-like character played by Ian […]

List: The Best Movie Moms

posted by Nell Minow

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 forget my […]

A Movie For Tax Day: The Mating Game

posted by Nell Minow

A romantic comedy about an audit from the IRS?  Yes, it’s “The Mating Game,” with Tony Randall as the straight-laced, pencil-sharpening auditor who thinks he understands the value of things until he meets up with a genial farmer who does […]

Watch “The Jackie Robinson Story” on the Anniversary of His First Major League Game

posted by Nell Minow

Today Major League Baseball celebrates the 65th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game as a Brooklyn Dodger.  Continuing a tradition begun in 2007, all uniformed personnel in the league wear Robinson’s number 42.  Branch Rickey (soon to be played by […]

A Night to Remember — The Other Titanic Movie

posted by Nell Minow

On the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic this week, I want to recommend the other Titanic movie, “A Night to Remember” with Clifton Webb. And here is the striking memorial in Washington DC, put up by the […]

Lists: The Funniest Movies and the All-Time Best

posted by Nell Minow

I always quote Mrs. Miniver when the subject of making “best of” lists of movies.  She wasn’t talking about movies but her comment is applicable in many contexts: “Indefensible but irresistible.”  And they’re a great way of finding some good […]

“The Best Man” and My Dad’s Un-Conventional Idea

posted by Nell Minow

I’m very proud of my dad’s piece in Politico today about the advantages of a brokered convention. I’ve been at a brokered convention and worked for a candidate who came out of it. Even though my candidate lost the general […]

TCM Salutes Sisters on Screen

posted by Nell Minow

I’m the oldest of three girls and so I have always had a special fondness for movies about sisters.  I was delighted to see that Turner Classic Movies has a full schedule of sister movies today, from the classic Meet […]

List: Amnesia Movies

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s romantic, fact-based movie, “The Vow,” here are some of my favorite movies featuring memory loss.  You know what I’m going to say — the characters may lose their memories, but these movies are unforgettable. I […]

Movies for Black History Month

posted by Nell Minow

I have previously published a list of movies about famous historical figures for Black History Month, and all of those movies are well worth watching.  In addition I suggest some movies that are themselves a part of the history of African-Americans as well […]

Next Stop Wonderland

posted by Nell Minow

Brad Anderson made two small romantic gems and I was delighted to see that one of them, “Next Stop Wonderland,” is now available on Netflix streaming. Hope Davis plays a nurse named Erin from Boston who has just been dumped […]

Period of Adjustment — Tonight on Turner Classic Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Tennessee Williams’ only comedy is this neglected gem of a movie about two couples at Christmas. It has never been available on DVD so your only chance to see it is tonight on Turner Classic Movies. It stars a very […]

Twelve Christmas Movies That Don’t Feature Tiny Tim, Linus, Bing Crosby, the Grinch, Clarence the Angel, or a Leg Lamp

posted by Nell Minow

I love the Christmas classic movies and watch as many as I can every year.  But there are many great Christmas films that don’t get mentioned as often and I like to remind families that these are worth making time […]

The Next Voice You Hear

posted by Nell Minow
B
Lowest Recommended Age:4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1950
DVD Release Date:November 28, 2011
B
Lowest Recommended Age: 4th - 6th Grades
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1950
DVD Release Date: November 28, 2011

I was pleased to see that Turner Classic Movies will be showing “The Next Voice You Hear” this afternoon at 2:30 Eastern.  It’s a sweet little film with a timely message.  It was made in 1950, when the primary technology […]

Hand in Hand

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to see that one of my favorite childhood films, Hand in Hand (1960), is now available on DVD.  This is the very sweet story of an Irish Catholic boy and a Jewish girl who become friends in early […]

Holiday Gift Opportunity for the Movie-Lover

posted by Nell Minow

Barnes & Noble is offering all of the Criterion Collection DVDs at 30% off for a limited time.  As all serious film lovers know, the Criterion series are the best of the best — the best films and the best […]

The 5th of July

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1982
DVD Release Date:July 5, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Mature High Schooler
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1982
DVD Release Date: July 5, 2011

This filmed version of Lanford Wilson’s Fifth of July is a brilliantly acted story of the complicated relationships of a group of friends and relatives who get together over the 4th of July holiday.  It centers around the relationship of Kenneth […]

The Other Summer Movies: Documentaries to Make You Gasp, Laugh, Cry, and Cheer

posted by Nell Minow

I love summer movies with their crashes, chases, explosions, superheroes, and sequels as much as anyone, but after a while they all run together.  But good documentaries are unforgettable.  There is something about real-life characters inviting us into their lives […]

Happy Birthday, Marilyn Monroe!

posted by Nell Minow

Happy birthday to Marilyn Monroe, that star of stars.  She continues to bewitch us nearly a half century after her death.  Yet another movie about her is currently in the works, with Michelle Williams as the former Norma Jean Baker. […]

Remembering Our Military

posted by Nell Minow

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 your life for […]

Meet Your Match — And A Movie

posted by Nell Minow

The popular dating site for Jewish singles, J-Date, helps its clients “find friendship, romance, and lifelong partners within the Jewish faith.” And, with some help from Film Movement, a movie. Michael Cieply writes in the New York Times about “North […]

Happy Mother’s Day!

posted by Nell Minow

I’ve written about my favorite moms on television and my favorite movie moms.  But the best movie to share on Mother’s Day is the one your mother picks because she loves it.  My best to all the mothers out there […]

List: Movies with a Touch of Brazil

posted by Nell Minow

In honor of this week’s release of “Rio,” an animated film set in Brazil, put on some samba music and think about some of these Brazilian-flavored films for your Netflix queue.  (No, I am not including the superb film actually […]

List: Civil War Movies

posted by Nell Minow

As we observe the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, a defining moment for good and bad in American history, it is a good time to watch some of these great films that show how we continue to try to […]

Between Two Worlds

posted by Nell Minow

Between Two Worlds, released in 1944, is the story of a mysterious voyage from London to America. As they sail, each of them guesses or is told that they are dead and on their way to where they will be […]

‘Stairway to Heaven’ on Hulu

posted by Nell Minow

I was delighted to find the neglected gem “Stairway to Heaven” (sometimes known as “A Matter of Life and Death”) available on Hulu. Fans of classic movies and spiritual themes should be sure to take a look. It is a […]

Nora Ephron’s Valentine Movie List

posted by Nell Minow

Nora Ephron (“You’ve Got Mail,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Julie & Julia”) made a list of her top 11 romantic Valentine’s Day movies to the Daily Beast. You can see the inspiration for her witty, sophisticated love stories in the […]

Contest: Five Classic Romantic DVDs for Your Valentine

posted by Nell Minow

Sharing a romantic movie with the one you love is one of life’s greatest pleasures. The fabulous Warner Archive has made more of their most beloved movies about romance available for the first time, including one of my all-time favorites, […]

List: A Tribute to Ronald Reagan

posted by Nell Minow

As we celebrate the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan this week, most of the focus will be on his years in politics. But it is also a good opportunity to take another look at some of his best performances as […]

Night Catches Us

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:High School
MPAA Rating:Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
DVD Release Date:February 1, 2011
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: High School
MPAA Rating: Rated R for language, some sexuality and violence
DVD Release Date: February 1, 2011

Writer-director Tanya Hamilton and two of today’s most gifted actors have produced a sensitive drama with a powerful conclusion. Night Catches Us takes on some of the most complicated and painful issues of the era that saw the struggle for […]

Black History Month Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Instead of the usual list of movies about famous historical figures, I thought this year I would suggest some movies that are themselves a part of the history of African-Americans as well as a part of the history of movies […]

Turner Classic Movies Salutes the Oscars

posted by Nell Minow

Every year, Turner Classic Movies salutes the Oscars with a month full of classics and rarely-seen gems that were nominated for or won Oscars, not just for the acting and directing awards but for costume design, cinematography, and more. Today […]

Johnny Belinda

posted by Nell Minow
B+
Lowest Recommended Age:Middle School
MPAA Rating:NR
Movie Release Date:1948
DVD Release Date:2006
B+
Lowest Recommended Age: Middle School
MPAA Rating: NR
Movie Release Date: 1948
DVD Release Date: 2006

Celebrate the birthday of Jane Wyman with her Oscar-winning performance in the classic Johnny Belinda. Belinda (Jane Wyman) lives with her father and aunt on a farm on an island off the coast of Nova Scotia. Her father, Black McDonald, […]

Twelve More Great Christmas Movies Without Santa, Tiny Tim, or A Message from Ovaltine

posted by Nell Minow

I love the classics, but if you’ve seen them all and want to try something new, take a look at these holiday gems: Desk Set Before smart phones and Google, there were people like the character played by Katherine Hepburn […]

Giveaway: ‘Flipped’

posted by Nell Minow

I am delighted to have five copies of one of my favorite family movies of the year to give away. Flipped, directed by Rob Reiner has wonderful performances by Madeline Carroll and Callan McAuliffe in a story set in the […]

Happy 350 to Film Threat’s ‘Bootleg Files’

posted by Nell Minow

Congrats to Phil Hall on the 350th in his “Bootleg Files” series on the Film Threat website. His tributes to the off-beat and off-the-beaten track gems is a pleasure to read and a great source of ideas for not-on-Netflix treasures […]

List: The Best Fall Movies

posted by Nell Minow

Salon has a great gallery of the all-time best autumn movies, including “Rushmore” and one of Hitchcock’s most underrated films, “The Trouble With Harry,” Shirley MacLaine’s feature film debut. Here are some of my favorites: 1. “The Four Seasons” Alan […]

An Unusual Role for a Black Man in 1940

posted by Nell Minow

I love catching up with old films on Turner Classic Movies, so when I saw one called “Third Finger Left Hand” starring two of my favorites, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas, released in 1940, I set my DVR. It turned […]

The 100 Best First Films

posted by Nell Minow

The Online Film Critics Society has published our list of the 100 best FIRST films. Number one is, of course, “Citizen Kane,” which usually tops the list of best films in any category. The list includes some neglected gems by […]

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 […]

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.

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 […]

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!

Five Movies about College Basketball

posted by Nell Minow

Now that most people’s NCAA brackets are blown up and they’re getting ready to enjoy the final game, it might be a good time to take another look at some fictional college basketball teams in the movies. 1. The Absent […]

Classic MGM Films and TV via CreateSpace DVD on Demand

posted by Nell Minow

Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment today announced that it will be offering 27 additional MGM titles, including never-before-released award-winning classic films, made-for-TV movies and television shows via CreateSpace’s DVD on Demand service. The list includes some neglected gems like Gore […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

‘Henry Poole’ — Now Family-Friendly

posted by Nell Minow

A lovely film that was neglected on its release last year will now be available in a slightly edited version that is suitable for family viewing. It is called “Henry Poole is Here,” and it is the story of a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Bye Bye Braverman

posted by Nell Minow

The wonderful Warner Archive has released another movie I remember fondly, Bye Bye Braverman. Director Sidney Lumet, showing the same feel for the city evident in his other films like “Dog Day Afternoon” and “Serpico,” made this film about four […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Why is SpongeBob in a Sexy Commercial?

posted by Nell Minow

What were they thinking? The latest Burger King ad for a Kids Meal featuring a SpongeBob Squarepants toy is a booty-shaking adaptation of Sir Mix-a-Lot’s famous musical salute to ladies’ rear ends. This is what the Campaign for a Commercial-Free […]

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 […]

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Trailer: Glitch
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Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
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Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
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The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
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