A Street Car Named Desire

Elia Kazan

Everybody’s image of Marlon Brando seems to be Don Corleone in the Godfather. But not only was Marlon a Hollywood legend, he was also one of the best looking stars of the 1950s. Vivian Leigh as the insecure older sister and Marlon’s close friend Karl Malden play an ample supporting cast in the movie which established Brando’s mumbling diction as a style in itself.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Milos Forman

If there were an Oscar of Oscars to honour the best performances ever, Jack Nicholson would still be the best actor and Milas Forman, the best director. A haunting movie which makes us question our very existence, the last scene will stay with everyone who has watched the movie.

You Can’t Take It with You

Frank Capra

It Happened One Night might have won five Oscars but this film best epitomises the Frank Capra genre of common man films. The film delivers a career best performance from Jean Arthur and a beautifully underperformed role by James Stewart. But Lionel Barrymore as Grandpa and Edward Arnold as AP take the cake. You will be laughing all the way.


Alfred Hitchcock

You have to give it to Hitchcock. The entire movie was shot from a room and shows either the happenings inside the room or Jeff’s view from the room but Hitchcock ensures you are glued to the screen by his vivid screenplay and direction. It didn’t hurt that he had powerhouse performers like Stewart and the mesmerising Grace Kelly.

Bicycle Thieves

Vittoria de Sica

Brilliant would probably be too small praise for Vittoria de Sica’sLadri de bibiblette but this heart-warming tale of the father and son who search all of Rome for the stolen bicycle which is the only means to ensure their livelihood in the big bad city is a compelling watch. EnzoStaiola’s performance is something that will stay with you forever. Not convinced? This is the movie which inspired Sathyajit Ray to become a director.

Those that almost made it

To Kill A Mockingbird: Robert Mulligan

The Terminal: Steven Speilberg

Mr. Deeds Goes to Townby: Frank Capra

An Anatomy of a Murder: Otto Preminger

Paths of Glory: Stanley Kubrick

His Girl Friday: Howard Hanks

Singing In the Rain: Stanley Donnen

The Sound of Music: Robert Wise

Dr. S. Mani Ram Krishna is a Chennai-based paediatrician.