20 November 2020.
If you managed to see any of last week’s suggestions on romantic comedies, you know I won’t lead you wrong. But come on, admit it, you’ve been too busy watching multiple Netflix series… they can be addictive.
This week, let’s go for some exceptional classic thrillers – starting from the 1960s and up to the 2000s. Not easy to pick as there are so many, such as the Barbara Stanwyck-starring, nerve-shattering “Sorry, Wrong Number” from 1948 to John Huston’s unbeatable 1974 “China Town” with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Or the heart-stopping 1967 “Wait until Dark” with Audrey Hepburn.
No Hitchcocks as I am not a fan, except for his 1951 “Strangers on a Train”.
These chosen few are all unforgettable, edge-of-the-seat exciting and worth a repeat viewing.
This 1964 multi-award winning heist film has the superlative cast of Melina Mercouri, Maximilian Schell and the inimitable Peter Ustinov. (Sorry Millennials and Generation Z, you may not know these brilliant stars of old.)
They’ve cooked up a plan to steal a precious dagger from the tightly guarded Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. Directed by Mercouri’s husband Jules Dassin, it sparkles with riotous entertainment, while the ins-and-outs of their escapade will have your heart in your throat.
More sensual and film noir than this you can’t get. This 1981 film by Laurence Kasdan stars the very young and attractive duo of Kathleen Turner and William Hurt in a steamy relationship that leads up to some vile transgression.
You can feel the heavy humidity of the Floridian nights and the growing tension of fear and suspicion surrounding their crime of passion. Hypnotic.
This chilling first film by Danny Boyle from 1994 is a shocker, both in its violence and in its stress on the utter greed of its three characters who have just taken on a new flat mate.
When he is found dead from an overdose with a suitcase full of money, trouble and intrigue starts among the threesome. The mood is both black humor and brutality, yet with a brilliantly paced swagger. Ewan McGregor shines. It will stay with you, whether you like it or not.
A celebrity lawyer (Richard Gere) in Chicago takes the defence of a strange, shy alter boy who is accused of murdering a priest.
This 1996 courtroom drama was the breakout role for Edward Norton who was nominated for an Oscar. The ensuing testimonies reveal dark Church secrets and too many lies as the story develops. Gripping!
A brilliant exposé of the corruption in the L.A. police department, this 1997 West Coast film noir by Curtis Hanson ( “The River Wild”, “8 Mile”), set in the early 1950s, has an exceptional cast with Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pierce, Danny DeVito and more.
Three different cops investigating multiple murders around town realize the evil comes from within. Tight, cool and terrifically thrilling throughout.
A buddy film this is not, but the professional hitman (a taut and amazing Tom Cruise) and his taxi driver hostage (Jamie Foxx) become an unlikely duo in the assassin’s roll call of killings around Los Angeles.
The reason for all the hits is not clear, but the fever pitch tension is, as we go along on this nightlong ride of escalating violence. From 2004, by crime master, Michael Mann.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.