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Edward Peters


My Monday Night Movies

50 films I'd like to

see once a year

(but that don't neatly fit

in another category*.)


+ + +


The General, '26

All Quiet on West. Front, '30

A Night at the Opera, '35

The Maltese Falcon, '41

Casablanca, '43

Double Indemnity, '44

All About Eve, '50

Harvey, '50

Sunset Boulevard, '50

Shane, '52

Stalag 17, '53

On the Waterfront, '54

Marty, '54

Rear Window, '54

Mister Roberts, '55

Bridge over River Kwai, '57

Some Like It Hot, '59

Operation Petticoat, '59

The Apartment, '60

Psycho, '60

To Kill a Mockingbird, '62

Lawrence of Arabia, '62

The Miracle Worker, '62

Manchurian Candidate, '62

Lilies of the Field, '63

Dr. Strangelove, '64

Doctor Zhivago, '65

Who's Afraid of V. Woolf? '66

The Odd Couple, '67

2001: A Space Odyssey, '68

The Godfather, '72

The Godfather II, '74

American Graffiti, '73

The Sting, '73

Young Frankenstein, '74

Jaws, '75

Rocky, '76

Manhattan, '79

Tootsie, '82

Tender Mercies, '84

Hoosiers, '86

Hannah and Her Sisters, '86

Moonstruck, '87

Princess Bride, '87

Crimes & Misdemeanors, '89

Alice, '90

Silence of the Lambs, '91

Jurassic Park, '93

Quiz Show, '94

A Beautiful Mind, '01




* Excludes Shakespeare,

Opera & Musicals,

Documentaries, and

"Special Day" movies.

Bolded Titles are

for when I only get

one film per month!




   "Man is essentially a story-telling animal." Kenneth Woodward, Making Saints (1990), p. 392.



   Q: Are you really an actor?

   A: No, but I play one on TV.


A Good Essay by

Fr. Lawrence Porter

at Seton Hall.


Personal Fine Films


     The key criterion by which to judge a film is simple: does it tell a good story, and does it tell it well. Thus, writing is the most important factor in a film (just as it is, though more obviously so, in literature and drama). Direction and acting are great arts, but they should be, and are in most cases, at the service of the story. Not every story need be profound, of course; there is a place for healthy diversion, and some films might serve primarily as settings for, say, great acting, the way some passages of Waugh are primarily occasions for exquisite prose. But in the end, most films should be assessed as outlined above, that is, the way stories have been judged ever since little groups of frightened foragers, long since banished from Eden, first sat around camp fires under the stars, waiting for Sunrise.


"The audience doesn't know someone sits down and writes a picture, they think the actors make it up as they go along." Joe Gillis, Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Fine Films for the Catholic Home


Explicit Religious Themes/Characters, Non-Fiction


Explicit Religious Themes/Characters, Fiction


Implicit Religious Themes/Characters


Evelyn Waugh Novels on Film




Reliable Reviewers:  1) Steve Greydanus' Decent Films



Essential Directors


Woody Allen Stephen Spielberg Billy Wilder Alfred Hitchcock
Fred Zinnemann Robert Wise Sydney Lumet Edward D. Wood, Jr.


Essential Actors


Dustin Hoffman Alec Guiness Anthony Hopkins Ian Holm
Richard Burton Peter O'Toole William Holden Anthony Quayle
Gene Hackman Al Pacino Robert Duvall Derek Jacobi
James Stewart Robert de Niro Richard Dreyfuss John Hurt
Rod Steiger Sidney Poitier Alan Arkin


Essential Actresses


Grace Kelly Meryl Streep Elizabeth Taylor
Emma Thompson Celeste Holm Teri Garr
Judi Dench Angela Lansbury Anne Bancroft
Barbara Stanwick Patricia O'Neal  


Essential Genres


Comedy Drama Silent Classics
Shakespeare / De Vere American Playwrights
Deafness and Life 4-F (Famous Films with Fatal Flaws) Musicals


Films to Avoid on


Mothers' Day

Fathers' Day

The Fourth of July

Wedding Anniversaries




Coming Soon!

Academy of the Way, way Over-Rated


Joan Crawford, Mia Farrow, Tom Hanks,

Vincent Price, Julia Roberts, Don Rickles

and a host of others!



Movies for Special Days:


Dec 31/Jan 1: Brideshead Revisited (1981). A great way to start off the New Year. One needs about 12 hours to get through it, so start on New Year's Eve, and go through New Years Day.


Feb 2: Groundhog Day (1993). A campy holiday on which to watch a funny and (consequently) underrated film.


Feb 18: Song of Bernadette (1943). Feastday of St. Bernadette, from back when Hollywood knew how to make respectful films on faith. Alternative date: Dec 8 (Immaculate Conception)


Mar 24: Singin' in the Rain (1952). This was Don Lockwood's "Lucky Day". Make it yours, and treat yourself to this totally happy film.


Jun 6: The Longest Day (1962, still my favorite on the Normandy Invasion, in docudrama format) and/or Saving Private Ryan (1998, with its very flawed story line, but presenting incredible beach footage authenticated by every WWII veteran I know.)


Jun 22: A Man for All Seasons (1966). St. Thomas More's feastday. Either the acclaimed Scofield version (1966), or the under-rated Heston version (1988).


Jul 20: The Dish (2000). Australian gem on glitches (some of which were real) in communications for Neil Armstrong's Walk on the Moon.


Aug 8: All the Presidents Men (1976). Investigation of "Watergate" that lead to Nixon's resignation.


Nov. 22: Shadowlands (1998). C. S. Lewis died the same day JFK was assassinated, so hardly anyone noticed.


Thanksgiving: It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and, time permitting, Broadway Danny Rose (1984).


Dec 7: Tora, Tora, Tora (1970). Docudrama on the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Not formulaic.


Dec 29: Becket (1964). There are historical liberties and inaccuracies, but overlook them as the basic truths of St. Thomas Becket's struggle for ecclesiastical liberty triumphs over Henry II's designs. Stellar performances.



Selected Reviews: