"Going My Way" - Best Picture winner in 1944. It's Bing Crosby as a young idealistic priest trying to save a struggling parish in NYC. I saw a review that said it was well acted and directed, but pure schmaltz. Well, it was released during the height of WWII, so people were really looking for feel-good escapism. And this movie certainly delivers. It also won for Best Song with "Swinging on a Star" which is very anti-furry. It asks if you would like to swing on a star or be an animal. Duh! Would I want to carry moonbeams home in a jar or be a fish? Sorry. I have to go with "The Incredible Mr Limpet" on that one.
"Mr Smith Goes to Washington" - #29 on the AFI list. Classic Frank Capra with Jimmy Stewart playing a US Senator trying to do right by the little guy, but finds himself in the cesspool of Washington politics. What this movie proves to me is that people have been complaining about corruption in politics for a loooong time. Even in 1939 people thought that Congress was corrupt. We just constantly hope that more Jimmy Stewarts will come along to do the right thing for America. A must-see movie despite all of its wide-eyed-doe idealism.
"You Can't Take It With You" - Best Picture Winner of 1938. More Frank Capra idealism. It's like "It's a Wonderful Life" in reverse. Evil Lionel Barrymore (Mr Potter) is the good guy in this film as an eccentric old man who refuses to sell his house to a big business developer. Jimmy Stewart starts out as one of the bad businessmen, but he eventually sees the light.
"The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" - #30 on the AFI list. Bogey stars as an American trying to strike it rich in Mexico. Gold can cause men to do evil things, however, which can lead to madness and death. The movie that gave us the classic line, "Badges?!? We ain't got no badges. We don't need no badges. I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" Made even more famous in "Blazing Saddles."