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Groundhog Day. Harold Ramis. This movie is a sleeper. You see it the first time and you just think its funny later do you realize it stands for so many things in your own life. The message of this movie is good and incites you to try to be a better person. Ramis and Murray deliver this message perfectly, you are amused by everything yet never in a corny way. I think this movie is a classic and has become a phrase in common discussions. Just yell Groundhog day whenever you are having another bad day and people will know what you mean. That is how strong this movie is. Classic. (1993)

Touchez pas au grisbi. Jacques Becker. This movie is tough and damn good. Made in 1954 it was way ahead of its time and the movies that followed the film noir hype it set off. The story is good, the acting is good but its the direction and flatout boldness of it that makes it better than most that followed. This movie had balls for its time and still stands up against many current gangster movies. In fact, I think this movie is underestimated for its good script and tenacity and guts. I reckon in the next decades, it will be rediscovered as a blue print for the film noir era that followed, often imitated but never surpassed. (personal note: I dare to find a more gritty 1954 or before movie made). (1954)

 

Three o’clock high. Phil Joanou. This is a cult classic that outshines most other high school movies. Over the years the movie has grown more precious to me since I saw it back in 1987. I think this is due to the fact that most current high school movies lack the same zest and fun this one has. The bully is perfect and the nerd is acted perfectly by Casey Siemaszko. I think this movie along with State of Grace are the best the director ever achieved. This movie has some legendary moments that everybody who watches it remembers from his own high school moments. (1987)

The Manchurian candidate. John Frankenheimer. I would say when this was released this movie set a new standard in theminds of the audience. This movie must have been a shock to the US watchers, who were right in the middle of their Cold war. I had to get used to Frank Sinatra playing the main role and there were some other liberties I had to get used to. But it is a good movie with some interesting facts. Sinatra is a first take actor, the out of perspective point of view is one of those (Sinatra never managed to get the same level after the first shot). Frankenheimer left it in, and was later praised for it. It was also not shown for years after the JFK assassination for unknown reasons (many theories on it). The movie main villain is also one of the best and deserves to be seen. (1962)

Ronin. John Frankenheimer. I wondered why this movie was good, and finally found out. It was written by David Mamet (under a pseudonym) although the story is written by someone else, the screenplay sold it. Ronin became a better movie because of it, as well as the acting (which is a character De Niro always plays). Frankenheimer of course is no pushover director and did a brilliant job with the realism counter. I say this is one of the better movies about bank heists, double crosses and so forth. David Mamets hand is visible in this good movie. (1998)

Badlands. Terrence Malick. Malick made a debut that many people would envy. This movie had an impact from day one and its still good. The lead actor and actress portray the roles with perfection and Malick shows the story perfectly. Spacek and Sheen are a perfect couple and convincing. This movie was ahead of its time and mostly its subject matter. It would later influence many tough movies about gritty violence and sociopaths. Kit and Holly were many times imitated but never outperformed. The movie has become more and more a timeless masterpiece and will remain a favorite. (1973)

Le Samouraï. Jean-Pierre Melville. I think this movie is extremely good. Melville is a director with style, feel, flair and panache and is not afraid to downplay things. I love Delon in this movie. His face is perfect for a role of no expressiveness. Perhaps this was where Delon shined at his best. I think this movie is beyond a doubt one of the most influential ones for many movie makers since it was made. I have watched some scenes 10 times in a row and they still move me. This is just visual poetry with a point to be made and a script to carry it. (1967)