Opinion: Piedmont student’s top ten movies, part two

Contributing Writer

Sixth on my list of top ten movie is Ross Hunter’s Airport. Don’t get it mixed up with all the “pot-boilers” with “Airport” in the title. Here we have another field of superb, top-notch actors.

Everybody thought Dean Martin was just a singer, but here he throws himself into the acting business and proves he’s got what it takes.

I have one quibble with the outcome: Helen Hayes got the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. Granted, she is the “First Lady of the Broadway Stage,” but she didn’t have to do much acting in her role as Ada Quonset.

Instead, the Oscar should have gone to Maureen Stapleton, who played Inez Guerrero. When she runs up to the shocked returning passengers at the airport, wringing her hands and crying “He really didn’t mean it. Oh, I’m so sorry. Oh, please forgive him. He’s sick,” she makes you want to cry right along with her.

In seventh and eighth place are movies starring the great actor, maybe the greatest of all, Jimmy Stewart. I just can’t get enough of Harvey. Maybe I’m just jealous because I don’t have a “Pooka,” but when you’re feeling down, throw on Harvey and give yourself a lift.

Of course, Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is an all-time classic, as many of Jimmy Stewart’s movies are. Feeling down about your country? Watch it. What we need right now is a whole Congress full of Mr. Smiths.

I’ll bet I’m the only one who will put Honeysuckle Rose on his top ten movie list, but I love it. This movie has everything: drama, comedy, pathos and music, music, music. In the final scene when the entire ensemble joins in “One Cloudy Day,” I turn up the volume as loud as it will go and let them have at it.

I really don’t have a “tenth place” movie, so let’s just run over a group of honorable mentions.

For drama, you can’t beat Paul Newman in The Verdict and Tom Cruise in The Firm.

Granted,  Clear And Present Danger is an action movie, but Harrison Ford berating the president at the end of the movie rivals Patton’s great speech in Patton.

Talk about your action movies: Deliverance is right up there. I can’t think of any worse reason to kill somebody, can you?

For pure slapstick comedy, What’s Up, Doc? can’t be beat. Ryan O’Neal and Barbra Streisand are the stars, but Madeline Kahn steals the show. If you watch that movie and your sides don’t hurt from laughing, you need to see somebody.

Some Like It Hot is so different. Is it comedy? Is it drama? When Marilyn Monroe in a slinky gown purrs a song, all the males in the audience slide down in their seats and roll their eyes back.

For music, there is nothing like The Sound of Music. When that nun launches into “Climb Every Mountain,” it makes your hair stand up. What a voice.

No movie list is complete without The Wizard of Oz. This is not just a children’s classic; it is everybody’s classic. Writer Frank Baum lived and wrote all of his “Oz” books in the small New York town of Chittenango. Every year, the town has an “Oz Festival.” All the townspeople dress up in costumes resembling the characters in the movie. Some of the “Munchkins” used to come in their original costumes because they were children when the movie was made, but the last one died two years ago.

All the businesses in the town are named for places in the movie, but the best part is that the sidewalks are all yellow. My wife and I had the great thrill of going there and walking down the “Yellow Brick Road.” We didn’t get to see the “Wizard,” but we felt like we did.