70. Laura (1944)
> Genre: Drama, film-noir, mystery
> Directed by: Otto Preminger
> Starring: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb
Director Otto Preminger began his work on the film as a producer. He and the powers-that-be were unhappy with then-director Rouben Mamoulian. Preminger took the reins, while maintaining his role as a producer. One of his first moves was to scrap the painting of Gene Tierney (Laura). He used a photograph of the actress and painted over it, which created its haunting effect.
69. Holiday (1938)
> Genre: Comedy, romance
> Directed by: George Cukor
> Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Doris Nolan
Based on the play of the same name by Philip Barry, the screwball comedy about class in America was one of four collaborations between Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn..
68. All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
> Genre: Drama, war
> Directed by: Lewis Milestone
> Starring: Lew Ayres, Louis Wolheim, John Wray
Based on the best-selling novel by Erich Maria Remarque, this was the first large-scale anti-war movie made as sound was ushering a new era into film. Timeless, it remains one of the greatest pacifist films. Perceived as anti-German, it was banned by the Nazi government in the 1930s.
67. Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
> Genre: Action, adventure, fantasy
> Directed by: George Lucas
> Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
When this American epic space opera opened in theaters, its creator, writer-director George Lucas, was so certain it would flop that instead of attending the premiere he went on holiday in Hawaii with pal Steven Spielberg where the two came up with the idea for “Raiders of the Lost Ark.”
66. Coco (2017)
> Genre: Animation, adventure, comedy
> Directed by: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
> Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt
The film’s story, first pitched by Lee Unkrich in 2010, was met with controversy. Disney filed an application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for the phrase “Día de los Muertos,” which angered many in the Latino Community. Disney invited some of those opposed to trademarking the phrase, including Chicano artist Lalo Alcaraz, playwright Octavio Solís, and Marcela Davison Aviles, former CEO of the Mexican Heritage Corp., to form a group to consult on the film.
65. Wall·E (2008)
> Genre: Animation, adventure, family
> Directed by: Andrew Stanton
> Starring: Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin
Director Andrew Stanton and the Pixar team created this homage to silent movies.To master a filmic feel, the team used vintage 1970s Panavision cameras and shot imagery to get the right look. Their efforts were well worth it as “Wall-E” won the Oscar for best animated movie of the year.
64. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
> Genre: Drama, history
> Directed by: John Ford
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by John Steinbeck, the film is faithful to the original story until the second half. Where Steinbeck’s story ends with a call to action to address the hardships of those in the Depression, the movie has a more optimistic ending. The film is noteworthy for Henry Fonda’s performance as Tom Joad.
63. Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
> Genre: Crime, drama, mystery
> Directed by: Billy Wilder
> Starring: Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton
Billy Wilder initially had no interest in adapting the Agatha Christie play for the screen. Only agreeing to do the film with the assurance that he could put his own stamp on it, Wilder added a playfulness to it. Christie praised it, noting it was the best adaptation of all her work.
62. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
> Genre: Drama, film noir
> Directed by: Alexander Mackendrick
> Starring: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
When the film opened, it was an immediate flop. But through the years, it’s had staying power. The story of a gossip columnist, modeled after the much-feared Walter Winchell, and an unscrupulous press agent, has influenced Hollywood. Martin Scorsese called it “tough,” “vibrant,” and “alive.” Vanity Fair called it a “dangerous movie” — and a “brilliant one.”
61. Spotlight (2015)
> Genre: Crime, drama, history
> Directed by: Tom McCarthy
> Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams
Among its many accolades, “Spotlight” won the newly minted Veritas Award by members of the Los Angeles Press Club. The film was singled out as the best film based on or inspired by factual events and people. Artistic excellence and integrity were the main criteria for the award.