"On The Waterfront" - It won 8 Oscars in 1955 including Best Picture. It's Brando at his finest as a boxer who takes on corruption and the mob. It has the classic line, "I could have been a contender! I could have been somebody!" It's ranked 19 on the American Film Institute's list of 100 Top Films. Good stuff!
"The Lost Weekend" - Won Best Picture Oscar in 1946 - The movie won kudos for depicting alcohol addiction in all its ugliness, pretty rare for the time. Very powerful acting as you watch a man sink to the bottom as he loses himself to alcoholism. Hmmm...sounds like me at any con.
"Mildred Pierce" - Lost to "The Lost Weekend" for Best Picture, but Joan Crawford won Best Actress for her role. A mother does all she can for her daughter who ends up being a spoiled brat and social ladder climber. Lots of great shots of L.A. as it was in the 1940's.
"The Greatest Show on Earth" - Won Best Picture in 1953. It's a typical big budget Hollywood spectacular on par with "The Ten Commandments" and other Cecil B DeMille extravaganzas. There's nothing all that great about the film except for the circus acts. It really got me thinking, however, about how not that long ago circuses WERE such big deals. Now they're pretty much an anachronism.
"Singin' in the Rain" - It's hard to believe that this movie came out the same year as "The Greatest Show on Earth" and only received 2 Oscar nominations in minor categories. I guess time has its revenge, however, as now it is considered the 5th greatest movie by the AFI. And rightfully so! Gene Kelly's dance scene of the title song is truly one of the greatest moments in American cinema. I was in a foul mood when I started to watch the movie, but by the end I was smiling from ear to ear. Hollywood at its finest!