Featured in the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time series, these movies carry on Hollywood’s march to scale, providing even the simplest stories with sweeping scope, and films as small as a quiet moment in the woods become thrilling.
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
John Travolta stars as a sadistic man who makes a name for himself cleaning up after prostitutes in New York’s Greenwich Village, the setting for the film’s tale of race, sex, brotherhood, prejudice, and betrayal.
Roman Polanski’s profile-raising masterpiece, starring Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, and Warren Beatty, constructs a dark suspense thriller that provides the perfect backdrop for Nicholson’s shocking character portrait.
The Conversation (1974)
Martin Scorsese’s cautionary morality tale, about a detective investigating and then losing his appetite for murder cases, is part of his timeless oeuvre of thoughtful, successful Hollywood ensemble films.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967)
New Line Cinema’s hilarious and widely considered one of the best films of 1967, starring Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, and Spencer Tracy, is the story of a daughter’s determined quest to convince her father to share his marriage news with her mother.
Two For the Money (1991)
Greg Kinnear stars as one half of a bet-the-house couple: a comically inept but adept thief and his girlfriend. Adapted from the 1980 novel, this film mixes wit, low comedy, and engrossing suspense.
The Quiet Man (1952)
The plotlines of John Ford’s sentimental Western — the story of outlaw Cassidy and a naïve farmer (John Wayne) who fall in love in the 1880s wilderness — form a journey from hardship to redemption.
Stanley Kubrick’s analysis of the elusive reputation of Egyptian queen Cleopatra, starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton as the film’s ultimate power couple, delivers a staggering spectacle of allegory and artifice.
A River Runs Through It (1992)
When a raging torrent threatens lives in the small town of Riverton, a heroic man comes to the rescue. Robert Redford is a solo hero as the lone, wooden raft snarls and swerves its way across the treacherous Mississippi River.
Martin Scorsese’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama follows a couple drawn together when a foreign exchange student discovers love for a soulful Englishman (Anthony Hopkins).