#29: Jaws - 1975
In the small town called Amity Island makes there main source of income from summer visitors and people visiting there beaches. The town has a new Sherriff named Marin Brody. He immediately is involved in dealing with a shark attack which never has happened in this small town. Sherriff Brody wants to close the beaches till they can figure out the shark attack, however there is a lot of resistance from the mayor because it can hurt businesses and the economy of the town. The conflict intensifies as there are more shark attacks, and the fear of water all lurks in the summer at Amity Island.
Jaws is the first summer blockbuster in the cinema world. It was actually done by accident because the film went over budget and took way to long for filming (because the constant breakdown of the shark). Director Steven Spielberg is a genius bringing the fear of Sherriff Brody played by Roy Schneider to the screen and transfer the fear to the audiences. The intense fear that it brought across the world became a phenomenon.
One of the best scenes in the film was written by an uncredited writer named John Milius. It was the scene on the boat while Brody, Quint, and Hooper are sitting around sharing stories and comparing scars, when Quint shares his story on the Indianapolis that sinks into pacific due to Japanese torpedoes. The script didn’t have anything for that scene. Spielberg called Milius, and Milius told the whole story over the phone while Spielberg wrote it down that same instant. It goes to show that some legendary scenes are made by the right person and at the right time.
This film is a realistic horror story that when anyone goes into the water people think twice, all because a film that was filmed in 1975 with a mechanical shark called Bruce.
#28: High Noon - 1952
Sherriff Marshal Will Kane is finishing up his final day and retire. He is set up to marry his fiancée that day, until he found out that Frank Miller, an ex-convict who he put into prison prior is returning for revenge against Marshal Kane at ‘High Noon’ with his gang. While his fiancé was him to leave on the train and flee from danger, and now he wasn’t receiving any help from the town he had protected, now he is left alone to make a decision, stay and fight or leave and never return.
This is my favorite Gary Cooper film. This film is timeless classic. I don’t mean that be ‘old school’ because yes, it is in black and white and it is a western, yet the dilemma of the storyline grasps you and doesn’t let you go. The film deals with an issue ahead of its time because it is very stern when it comes to issuing an issue in society, a movie calling out society that expects everything handed to them, and it punched through the statement. It is such a good script and timeline to follow with the deadline at high noon. Even with the final showdown, there is no remorse. When he throws his badge into the ground demonstrates the discontent of support which leads to a lack of loyalty when it is needed. One of the greatest demonstrations of courage, honor, and blunt message for the any community that expects things given to them and the consequences there after.
#27: Psycho - 1960
Marion Crane is a lady who is unhappy with her life, being the lover in an adulterous relationship, and feeling really unappreciated at her job. While having to make a deposit of $40,000 in cash for her employer, she decides to take the money and leave town. While on her way, she ends up at Bates Motel where she meets Norman Bates, the keeper of the hotel and very obsessed with her. Obviously Norman isn’t just obsessed with Marion, but also his mother…
Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is a masterpiece. It is the pioneer/guidelines to a slasher film. The simple yet keeps you on the edge of your seat with the dramatic scenes to the simple yet haunting soundtrack. What is interesting is that we don’t see the gore, or the actual stabbing like the one in the shower scene. It makes this film even intense throughout the ages. The film demonstrates the insanity and creepiness of staying at a small motel.
#26: The Maltese Falcon - 1941
A private detective firm is hired by a woman to follow a man that was threatening her. One of the partners of the firm dies while tracking the man. Now Samuel Spade, the other partner needs to figure out what the puzzle in which he was forced to deal with. He needs to find out who killed his partner, find the Maltese Falcon which is a statue so he can solve the puzzle and clear his name from the police.
This is one of most complex mysteries in film history. That is a big statement for a film that came out in 1941, when the film industry hadn’t been around so long. The fact that this film has so many plot twists, it is hard to figure out who to trust, and what is the desire if Samuel Spade which has options to make it rich. This film is fast talking and quick moving film that the viewer must pay attention so that one can follow along. What is great, like the prior film High Noon has a moral code that is follows. So out of all the chaos and slide of hand, it brings it all together at the end. It is definitely one of the best films to this day as a mystery. It also lands the groundwork for suspense movies to follow. It fun to see all the clichés in the film that is seen in other movies today. At the end of the day, who do you trust, and how far will one go.
#25: Chinatown - 1974
A film about a JJ Gittes aka “Jake” who is a private detective that is hired to prove that a man named Hollis Mulwray is having an affair on his presumed wife. While “Jake” is doing his research about the affair, the job goes south very quickly. Now simple storyline of trying to find proof of a man committing adultery ends up as a huge web of lies, cover-ups, and murder. The small farce investigation of an affair becomes more about the control of the city’s water supply, and Jake is stuck thick in the middle of the mess.
Chinatown is a very interesting film that takes the harsh reality of control and power and meshes it all together in suspenseful thriller. This was one of Jack Nicholson’s finest performances. The film addresses the brutal reality of political corruption and the consequences that follows. It is interesting to see this movie come out at the time were Nixon was in the Watergate scandal, and people in powerful positions were found corrupt. Directed by Roman Polanski, he illustrates the grit of a man with an intention to resolve the bigger picture.