The star power of Gary Cooper, Helen Hayes, and Adolphe Menjou, plus the original semi-autobiographical story from Ernest Hemingway, make A Farewell To Arms a lot more than a simple romance. It was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography and Best Sound.
The movie is about an ill-fated love affair between an American ambulance driver and an English nurse in Italy during World War I. Leonard Maltin gave it 3 (of 4) stars, but a relatively tepid reception from IMDb voters, perhaps reflecting that this 1932 version is a bit dated, kept it from ranking higher in the Internet Archive Top 100.
Broken Arrow is another one of the movies in the Internet Archive Top 100 that was ground-breaking. It was one of the first major Westerns to give a sympathetic portrayal of Native Americans. James Stewart starred as an ex-Army man trying to make peace between Indians and settlers.
Based on the novel Blood Brother by Elliott Arnold, the movie was nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay; its author was listed as Michael Blankfort but was actually the blacklisted Albert Maltz. It won a Golden Globe for Best Film Promoting International Understanding. And here it is in all its Technicolor glory for you to enjoy.
Carnival of Souls is one of those movies that was only appreciated years after its release. It was the magnum opus of Herk Harvey, who co-wrote, produced, co-starred, and directed this, his only feature film, after performing in educational and industrial shorts produced by Centron Corporation of Lawrence KS.
The film is about a young woman who emerges miraculously after a car accident then moves to Utah, where she is drawn to an abandoned carnival pavilion while being stalked by a ghoulish figure. It went largely unnoticed by critics upon its initial release but is now a Halloween staple. IMDb voters in particular really like it, which is why it’s in the Internet Archive Top 100.
This Spaghetti Western stars Lee Van Cleef as an experienced gunfighter helping a young man search for the outlaws who killed his family. Death Rides a Horse features a score by Ennio Morricone, who finally won his first Oscar just a couple of years ago for his work on The Hateful Eight.
Leonard Maltin wasn’t a big fan of this film, calling it long and drawn-out and giving it just 2 (of 4) stars. But over 5000 IMDb voters think it’s a very good movie, which is why it’s here in the Internet Archive Top 100.
Charles Boyer stars as French jewel thief Pepe Le Moko hiding out in the immense Casbah, or “native quarter”, in Algiers. Hedy Lamarr plays a beautiful French visitor who makes the thief consider leaving his new home, to the displeasure of his Algerian mistress, played by Sigrid Gurie. Boyer was nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his performance.
Algiers must have made a big impression at the time. The line “Come with me to ze Casbah” was never spoken, but impressionists used it for Boyer as they would use the equally apocryphal “Play it again, Sam” for Humphrey Bogart. Looney Tunes character Pepé Le Pew was a parody of Boyer’s role. And now here is the original in the Internet Archive Top 100.