We have all been affected by great movies, an art form that combines music, acting and photography in ways that if done well (which is indeed rare) can take us to another realm.
Here are some of the ones that have had an impact on me. You probably have seen most of them, but if we are cooped up for a very long time, you may want to take another look. They all fall into the category of masterpieces in my view.
- The Pawn Broker (1964), probably Rod Steiger’s best performance, both disturbing and hopeful.
- Bergman’s trilogy (1961-1963), Through A Glass Darkly, Winter Light, and the Silence. Also my Bergman favorite, Wild Strawberries (1957).
- The Killing Fields (1985), about Cambodia based on the life of Dith Pran during the takeover by the Khmer Rouge.
- A Thousand Clowns (1965), first glimpse of the early 1960s. Jason Robards’ best performance.
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Spielberg’s finest but also I would throw in the first Indiana Jones (1981) movie too.
- Star Wars I (1977) and American Graffiti(1973) by George Lucas.
- Doctor Strangelove (1964), Kubrick’s anti war masterpiece. Still funny (and scary) after all these years. Also Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) and Full Metal Jacket (1987).
- West Side Story (1961), Sondheim and Bernstein’s brilliant collaboration. Directed by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise.
- Doctor Zhivago (1965), a David Lean classic epic. Also his Lawrence of Arabia (1962).
- The Graduate (1967), introducing Dustin Hoffman, directed by Mike Nichols.
- Seven Beauties (1975), Italian film by Lena Wertmuller. Pretty hard hitting about pre fascist Italy.
- Rebel Without A Cause (1955), introducing James Dean. Coming of age in the 50s.
- The Grande Illusion (1937), by Jean Renoir. World War I French film.
- Timbuktu (2014), sleeper and the only current film on my list of impact films. Director is from Mali. Very artistic. Beautiful Boy (2018) is also current and very good but emotionally draining as, I am afraid to say, are many on my list.
- The French Connection (1971), fabulous crime thriller with Gene Hackman.
There are surely many more. Feel free to add your favorites in the “comments” section.