By Tom Titus
Before we get into the greatest movies of all time, let’s examine another genre – those pictures that gripped you by the throat and kept you on the edge of your seat.
Here are, in this blogger’s opinion, the top 10 mystery-suspense-thrillers starting at the bottom and working up:
10. “Ransom.” Kudos to Gary Sinese as the bad cop who kidnapped Mel Gibson’s son, then squared off with him in a tense city streets climax. Ron Howard directed.
9. “Wait Until Dark.” Audrey Hepburn should have won the Oscar instead of that other Hepburn, who already had three. She’s terrific as a blind woman terrorized by heroin-hunting baddies.
8. “The Thing.:” The original from 1950, not the lame remake. James Arness launched his career in the rose of the nasty E.T. who threatens a group of Arctic researchers.
7. “Them.” Arness again, this time with James Whitmore battling giant ants in the subterranean regions of Los Angeles with Edmund Gwenn on hand to supervise.
6. “Rosemary’s Baby.” Mia Farrow and Satan combine to create a little devil in this thriller from director Roman Polanski, who had troubles of his own.
5. “Psycho.” From the master, Alfred Hitchcock, who directed this classic that rubbed out Janet Leigh early in the picture. Anthony Perkins should have won best actress.
4. “The Omen.” Gregory Peck and Lee Remick raise a little hellion in this creepy tale that inspired two sequels headlined by William Holden and Sam Neill. All three are eminentlywatchable.
3. “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” The original, not the so-so remake. Kevin McCarthy watches his neighbors replaced by pods which then come after him. Dana Wynter’s transformation is chilling.
2. “Cape Fear.” This time it’s the remake, not the splendid original. Martin Scorcese helmed this high-voltage thriller pitting a vengeful Robert DiNiro against the lawyer (Nick Nolte) who betrayed him. Watch for a young, scene-stealing Juliette Lewis.
1. “The Exorcist.” The scariest movie of all time. Jason Miller (Pulitzer Prize winning playwright for “That Championship Season”) and Max Von Sydow battle Satan in the body of young Linda Blair as mom Ellen Burstyn and cop Lee J. Cobb try to assist them. Mercedes McCambridge provided Blair’s devilish voice.
Had enough theme lists? Next time out, we’ll examine the top 10 movies of all time, at least in this writer’s opinion.
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