A List So Large It Could Fill A Theater THIS BIG!
Yes, my “Movie A-Z” countdown has hit another letter packed with classic films. It seems like every time I post I leave something great off due to the limitation I put upon myself originally, which is to focus on ten movies with a variety of genres and popularity – part of the fun in a list like this is to be able to tell you about films you may not have heard of!
There were so many “L” movies I had to leave THESE off among many others: Lenny, Living Out Loud, Little Big Man, Let It Be, Little Miss Sunshine, the entire Lone Wolf and Cub series, AND Lady Snowblood, just to name a few!
Oh my, NO “LADY SNOWBLOOD”!?!?!?! Well, these ten that I have chosen had better be great, right?
Well they are, so let’s talk about ten great films that begin with the letter “L”!
10 – “The Long Good Friday”
Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren star in this terrific 80’s gangster film. A London mobster uses some very unorthodox techniques on his competitors:
However, the times are changing, and Hoskins has to learn to adapt or else. Check out the trailer:
Check out the trailer:
This is Hoskins’ greatest performance – and Helen Mirren is also terrific – here is more about this classic gangster film:
Here’s a very obscure psychological horror film from the early 70’s:
9 – “Let’s Scare Jessica To Death”
Jessica had a breakdown. Now she is recovering. but her dreams are back, quickly becoming nightmares. Check out the trailer:
Thanks to Warner Archive, this is now on home video – it’s worth a look – here is more on the cast, along with some fun trivia about the movie:
The “L” list includes many films that are on my top fifty of all time, including this “L.A> Noir” from the late 70’s – starring Art Carney!
8 – “The Late Show”
Carney may be best known for his comedic work on “The Jackie Gleason Show”, but he excels in this part – a workout private Detective hired by Lily Tomlin to find her cat – here is the trailer:
Lily Tomlin is also terrific in the movie, which was written and directed by Robert Benton – whose next film would be the Oscar-winning “Kramer Vs. Kramer”.
I cannot recommend this more highly – and it’s on DVD as well – see more trivia here:
Albert Brooks is one of America’s most under-appreciated Directors, and here’s one reason why:
7 – “Lost In America”
Brooks wrote, directed and stars in this comedy about 80’s America – here is the trailer:
From Julie Hagerty’s obsession with the number “22” at the craps table, to Brooks’ desire to get “lost in America” and “touch Indians”, this is a perfect look at life in 1980’s America.
Criterion just released a great Blu-Ray release – see details here:
Some of our legendary Hollywood Actors were known for certain things – Walter Matthau as a comedy legend, for example – but did you know he also starred in a string of gritty 1970’s police thrillers?
6 – “The Laughing Policeman”
Yes, Matthau starred as a Detective trying to find out who shot up a San Francisco city bus late at night. Here is the trailer:
Bruce Dern excels as his partner – who is just as happy beating suspects up as helping crime victims out – you can read more about Walter Matthau, Action Hero, here:
Speaking of cops and crime, time to head to “L.A” for one of the best film noir about the city ever made:
5 – “L.A. Confidential”
Director Curtis Hansen tells the story of a corrupt L.A. police department – and the young Detective out to solve a vicious murder – in the 90’s classic “L.A. Confidential”:
Guy Pearce, Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe and Oscar-winning Best Supporting Actress Kim Basinger are great in this crime thriller. Every time I watch this film I grow to love it more.
Another “L.A. Noir” was directed in 1973 by the legendary Robert Altman:
4 – “The Long Goodbye”
Elliott Gould stars as Private Detective Philip Marlowe – here is the trailer:
Altman shot part of the film from L.A.’s legendary “Hollywood Hightower” – see more inside trivia about this legendary movie location – and classic cult film by clicking here:
Robert Altman was a great Director, but far from the more prolific. In fact, that honor may belong to the Director of this classic “L” film:
3 – “Lorna The Exorcist”
Yes, Director Jess Franco made more than a hundred movies! Many starred his lifelong partner Lina Romay, who is spellbinding as the young woman who may be possessed:
Jess Franco loved to make movies, Lina Romay loves to get naked, so they were a “Euro-sleaze” match made in cinematic heaven! Read more about his moody, erotic gem here:
I love all of these films on this list for one reason or another – but this next film is on my “top ten of all time” list:
2 – “The Last Of Sheila”
Legendary Broadway Showman Stephen Sondheim and “Psycho” Actor Tony Perkins loved games, so they created a murder mystery that was played by the biggest names in Hollywood….here is the trailer:
What an all-star cast: James Coburn, Raquel Welch, Richard Benjamin, Ryan Cannon and more star in this twisty, devilish fun mystery with a side helping of Hollywood shade!
Read more about this incredible movie here:
Finally, I am a huge fan of Director Steven Soderbergh, and this film is one of the best, another “L.A. Story”:
1 – “The Limey”
Terence Stamp stars as a British mobster who comes to L.A. to find his missing daughter – here is the trailer:
Stamp is mesmerizing in the role, and Peter Fonda stars as the last man to see the daughter alive – this is classic film noir, and another of my favorite films…read more about it here:
There you go, ten GREAT GREAT GREAT films that begin with the letter “L”…it’s been fun looking at every letter of the alphabet through a cinema filter, like my look at the letter “K”:
Sadly, Jerry Lewis just passed away – his performance in “The King Of Comedy” is so great – you can see that film and all of my “killer K” choices here:
You can always click on “movies” in my list of categories on the main page to see all of my lists, but here is a link to “Movies A-F”, a compilation of those first posts:
Let me know your favorite “L” film!
Categories: 70's Cinema, 70's Music, Academy Awards, Action Films, Albert Brooks, Art, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Comedy Movies, Cult Movies, Exploitation films, Film Fight Club, Film Noir, Foreign Films, Great Films, Grindhouse, Hollywood, Horror films, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Movies, New York, Obscure Movies, Politics, Revenge Movies, Sexploitation Movies, Steven Soderbergh, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized
Lolita, the original with Peter Sellers
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Yes, I mentioned I had to leave that off…just too many great choices and I always try for a mix of popular, cult, crazy and foreign…tough balance!
Ah, The Limey, and Long Good Friday. The other choices were your usual fun mix too, John.
I offer two of my less mainstream choices for L. Johnny Depp, in The Libertine, and the Israeli war drama, Lebanon.
Best wishes, Pete
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Thanks Pete – this letter was full of some of my favorite films – if you haven’t seen “The Late Show” it’s a terrific film noir set in LA!
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I have seen it, John. But it was a very long time ago, perhaps when it was released. I thought the pairing of the stars was perfect.
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