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It’s a Wonderful Life

A family favorite. A holiday perennial. An American classic. Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life was all these and more, a crowning achievement of both the director and his leading man, Jimmy Stewart. Capra and Stewart had recently returned from World War II, and both wanted to make a film reflecting the unsung hero, the small-town common man who endured hardship after hardship in search of the good life. Capra found his inspiration in "The Greatest Gift," a story written by Philip Van Doren Stern as a Christmas card to the author's friends. Under the banner of his new production company, Liberty Films, Capra debuted It's a Wonderful Life just before Christmas, 1946. Continue reading...

Jaws

Jaws

The era of the modern summer blockbuster came riding in on the fins of a great white shark. Jaws was not only the most successful film of 1975, it was the most successful film the world had yet seen. With an unforgettable cast, a delightfully ominous musical score, and two hours of white-knuckled suspense, Jaws did for the beach what Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho had done for showers 15 years earlier. Continue reading...

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

It's not nice to fool with Mother Nature. Unfortunately, billionaire entrepreneur John Hammond learned this lesson the hard way, courtesy of several scaly, flesh-eating dinosaurs. Michael Crichton's novel Jurassic Park was a dark, terrifying fable of science gone amok in the name of entertainment, and it became an instant bestseller. The dino-adventure had "summer blockbuster" written all over it, and with Steven Spielberg signed on as director, the story came to thrilling cinematic life in 1993. Continue reading...

Lady and the Tramp

Lady and the Tramp

In the illustrious catalog of feature-length Disney animation, perhaps no offering is more endearing, more charming and more beloved than this simple tale of two dogs from different sides of the tracks – whose paths cross in the timeless 1955 classic, Lady and the Tramp. Continue reading...

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Lethal Weapon

Considered to be the flagship of the "buddy cop" action/comedy genre, the Lethal Weapon series has become one of the most popular action franchises of all times, beginning with this 1987 Richard Donner film starring Mel Gibson as Martin Riggs and Danny Glover as his by-the-book partner. Continue reading...

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Mac and Me

If there is one thing that the lovable little extraterrestrial, E.T. taught the film industry, it is that a cute alien and product placement are a match made in heaven. With each handful of Reese’s Pieces that E.T. scarfed down, sales of the candy morsels soared. Now, if an alien from another world liked Reese’s, imagine how much they might like Coca-Cola and McDonalds. And so, the two junk food behemoths joined forces - resulting in the 1988 film, Mac and Me. Continue reading...

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Mad Monster Party

After years of creating some of the most beloved holiday specials ever, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy and Frosty the Snowman, the production team of Rankin-Bass turned their attention (and their innovative stop-action animation techniques) to the scarier holiday of Halloween for their big screen debut, Mad Monster Party. Continue reading...

Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

Out of the many films produced by Walt Disney over the years, one could argue that his finest achievement was Mary Poppins, the tale of a magical super-nanny based on a children’s book written in 1934 by P.L. Travers. With the enchanting duo of Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke and a masterful score, this 1964 classic has endured as one the most charming family films ever created. Continue reading...