Wednesday, March 2, 2016

My Top 20 Mystery Films

I love a good mystery and I'm a sucker for the classic who-dunnits.  I decided to compile my top 20 list of mystery films.  It's harder than I thought it was going to be.  Feel free to let me know what you think of my list and what your favorites are!  In fact, I would like to make this a challenge.  What are your Top 20 Mystery Films?  #top20mysteryfilms   If you're going to take on the challenge, leave us a link in the comments so we can check out your blog!

1. The Gay Falcon (1941)
This film stars George Sanders AND there's a whole series of these films!!!  When George stopped playing The Falcon, the role was passed to his brother.  I actually love the misogynistic tones from Sanders and his characters love of "spinach juice".

2. Gosford Park (2001)
Since this came out, I thought it was a fun film.  The style of this film is a classic "who-dunnit" which we don't see as much nowadays.

3. Clue (1985)
Clue was always one of my favorite games growing up - and still is.  I play it often with my 8 year old nephew pretty often.  When I realized that there was a movie, when I was a kid (maybe in 89 or 90), I just had to watch it.  In 89, I was 7 years old.  I'm not ancient, but I'm not young either.  This has a phenomenal cast and multiple endings.

4. Radioland Murders (1994)
Not only is this murder mystery funny, but it is also a bit of a romance.  The basic story to this film is that a new radio station WBN has some murders happen on their first night on-air.  I recommend this film while drinking a sidecar - why?  Just because.

5. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
I LOVE HITCHCOCK!  I will not fill my selections up with Hitchcock films.  A group of train passengers has to wait in a small hotel while the railroad clears the track - an avalanche has occurred.  An old woman disappears and mystery ensues...

6. A Shot In The Dark (1964)
Technically, this is the first of the Pink Panther movies, so obviously it stars Peter Sellers.  This is more of a comedy than anything else, but there is always a big mystery with the Pink Panther franchise.  Since this is a fun film, have some wild popcorn and some kind of spritzer.

7. Mystery of The 13th Guest (1943)
Another classic "who-dunnit" with some over-acting and vaudeville side-characters.  Sometimes I put this on while I'm making dinner just because it's fun.  I'm guessing the budget was low due to WWII.

8. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Yeah, you know this one.  Humphrey Bogart stars in this classic detective film.  If you have never watched this film, or read the book, do it.  Just do it.  Bogart's character, Sam Spade, inspired so many detective's crazy.  This is a phenomenal film and a phenomenal book.

9. One Body Too Many (1944)
I own a few copies of this film.  This film stars Bela Lugosi and Jack Haley (he played the Tin Man).  It's about this insurance agent (Haley) who ventures to a client's mansion only to learn from the butler (Lugosi) that the client has just died.  Mystery and adventure follow.  It's a little cheesy, but I like it.

10. M (1931)
This film stars Peter Lorre.  Basically, a town is on the search for a murderer.  This is a Fritz Lang film - he is more famous for his film 'Metropolis' (also fantastic).  This is SO dramatic, as is common with early German cinema.  Dramatic lighting, fantastic acting, dramatic sets...

11. Curse of The Jade Scorpion (2001)
This Woody Allen film is pretty funny.  People get hypnotized, Woody Allen has to figure out the insurance caper, and it has Dan Aykroyd (always a plus).  I'm not the biggest Woody Allen fan, but I definitely recommend this film.  It's set in the 1940s.

12. Fargo (1996)
I love this film.  This is definitely worth watching.  It has an all-star cast, lots of story arcs, and gets pretty twisted.  In particular, while I love McDormand in this film as a pregnant detective, I think Steve Buscemi stole the show for me, especially when he gets his cheek ripped open...yikes!

13. Chinatown (1974)
Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway in a detective film.  YES!  What is it about my film selections and guys getting cut up?  I still cringe and make a face when Jack has that nose issue.

14. Sherlock Holmes & The Woman in Green (1945)
 I grew up watching and reading Sherlock Holmes with my dad.  When I close my eyes and think of Sherlock Holmes, my first image is of Basil Rathbone.  While I recommend any Rathbone films of Sherlock Holmes, this one is pretty good.

15. Laura (1944)
Gene Tierney and Vincent Price in a who-dunnit!  I'm a big Vincent Price fan.  I think this is a marvelous film that involves a love triangle and plenty of suspects.

16. The House on Telegraph Hill (1951)
This film has all the right ingredients: WWII survivor, deception, wealthy American family, love triangle, weird relatives, San Francisco, and a plot to kill.  The actors aren't any that I'm really familiar with, but that doesn't mean they don't do a good job.

17. L.A. Confidential (1997)
A murder in a Los Angeles coffee shop in the '50s + Kevin Spacey + Russell Crowe + Guy Pierce + Kim Bassinger + Danny Devito = Awesome!  This is one of those films that I'm sure every rockabilly person has seen a few times.

18. Dick Tracy (1990)
This is basically a comic book movie on the old-school detective comic "Dick Tracy".  Warren Beatty plays Dick Tracy and he is paired with with a sickeningly awesome cast from Al Pacino to Madonna to Dustin Hoffman to Dick Van Dyke.  It's like comic book meets film noir meets mystery.  This is a little away from the general mystery genre, but I thought it deserved a mention.

19. Ten Little Indians (1965)
Based on Agatha Christie's novel Ten Little Indians.  This film has a classic set up of a group of people meeting up at a big remote mansion, then getting picked off one by one.  You might recognize some actors like Shirley Eaton and Fabian.

20. Shutter Island (2010)
I spent some time discussing this one with my sister.  It's like a mystery/thriller.  It's hard to talk about it without giving stuff away.  It stars Leonardo Di Caprio and Mark Ruffalo.  Here's the basic premise thanks to yahoo - since I don't want to be blamed for spoilers: "The implausible escape of a brilliant murderess brings U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his new partner (Mark Ruffalo) to Ashecliffe Hospital, a fortress-like insane asylum located on a remote, windswept island. The woman appears to have vanished from a locked room, and there are hints of terrible deeds committed within the hospital walls. As the investigation deepens, Teddy realizes he will have to confront his own dark fears if he hopes to make it off the island alive."   I really liked this film.


Again, let me reiterate that I would like to make this a challenge.  What are your Top 20 Mystery Films?  #top20mysteryfilms   If you're going to take on the challenge, leave us a link in the comments so we can check out your blog!

Also, don't forget to enter the raffle for 2 retro hand-painted fishing lures!  I need to sign up for a bazaar and get these sold.  This may be your last chance to win a pair of them!  The Lucky Tiki and the Bel-Air are so cute, so kitschy, so retro!  They're great for presents or for personal use!

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