Daddy Long Legs (1955)

“Sure, the girl is much younger than I am — there’s no denying that!” Synopsis: A middle-aged millionaire (Fred Astaire) spies a young orphaned woman (Leslie Caron) in France and arranges to secretly sponsor her education in America, sending her to the same college attended by his niece (Terry Moore). Although Caron writes monthly letters […]

Shop Around the Corner, The (1940)

“Just a lovely average girl; that’s all I want.” Synopsis: The top clerk (James Stewart) in a small gift store quibbles with his new colleague (Margaret Sullavan), not realizing she’s his secret romantic pen pal; meanwhile, their boss (Frank Morgan) becomes increasingly distracted and moody as he learns his wife is carrying on an affair […]

Lilies of the Field (1963)

“I’m gonna’ build me a chapel.” Synopsis: An itinerant African-American (Sidney Poitier) is waylaid in his journeys when the head (Lilia Skala) of a group of nuns in the desert enlists his help in building a chapel — despite the fact that they have no money and few supplies. Genres: Nuns Race Relations Sidney Poitier […]

High Society (1956)

“I will not have my wedding spoiled by intruders!” Synopsis: The day before her marriage to a boring millionaire (John Lund), an exacting heiress (Grace Kelly) must deal with the presence of both her jazz-playing ex-husband (Bing Crosby) and a Spy Magazine reporter (Frank Sinatra) and photographer (Celeste Holm), who intend to cover the nuptials […]

Prince and the Showgirl, The (1957)

“With such a girl like that, anything can happen — anything.” Synopsis: Just before the coronation of King George V in 1911 London, the Prince Regent of Carpathia (Laurence Olivier) woos a sexy American showgirl (Marilyn Monroe) while feuding with his son (Jeremy Spencer) and dealing with attempts to take over his throne. Genres: Cross-Class […]

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

“That’s beautiful, see — that’s really a lovely thing.” Synopsis: After returning from a weekend retreat on sensitivity, a documentary-maker (Robert Culp) and his wife (Natalie Wood) decide to be completely open with one another — but when Culp admits to having a sexual fling and an unperturbed Wood thanks him for being honest, their […]

Rain (1932)

“Yes, I can see how a reformer might feel a little out of place here — sort of like a schoolteacher waking up in a harem.” Synopsis: While stranded in a hotel on a South Seas island, a prostitute (Joan Crawford) on the lam from San Francisco is proselytized by a judgmental “reformer” (Walter Huston) […]

Letter, The (1940)

“This letter places an entirely different complexion on the whole case.” Synopsis: When the wife (Bette Davis) of a plantation manager (Herbert Marshall) is accused of murdering a man (David Newell) who tried to rape her, a family-friend lawyer (Joseph Stephenson) is determined to get her acquitted; but when he learns from an envoy (Victor […]

Silk Stockings (1957)

“I didn’t do anything to the commissars — Paris did!” Synopsis: When three bumbling Soviet commissars (Peter Lorre, Jules Munshin, and Joseph Buloff) fail to convince a composer (Wim Sonneveld) to return from Paris to Russia, a hard-nosed female agent (Cyd Charisse) is sent to investigate the situation — but she soon finds herself falling […]

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

“You saved my life, so you owe me something.” Synopsis: A pair of on-leave sailors — bashful Clarence (Frank Sinatra) and ladies’ man Joe (Gene Kelly) — both fall for the beautiful singing aunt (Kathryn Grayson) of a young would-be sailor (Dean Stockwell), and promise her an audition with famed conductor Jose Iturbi, despite not […]