15. Opening Night (1977)
> Directed by: John Cassavetes
> Starring: Gena Rowlands, John Cassavetes, Ben Gazzara
> Genre: Drama
> Available on: Vudu, Kanopy, Apple iTunes, Cinemax Amazon Channel, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, HBO Go, HBO Now Amazon Channel, HBO Now
“Opening Night” portrays the emotional journey of an actress following the death of a fan. Written and directed by independent film pioneer John Cassavetes and starring Cassavetes, Gena Rowlands, and Ben Gazzara, the movie has been given positive reviews by 96% of critics and 91% of audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
14. The Train (1964)
> Directed by: John Frankenheimer, Arthur Penn
> Starring: Burt Lancaster, Paul Scofield, Jeanne Moreau
> Genre: Thriller, War
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Vudu, Amazon Video, Microsoft Store, Amazon Prime Video
“The Train” is a WWII thriller about a French railway worker-turned Resistance fighter who has to stop the Germans from removing priceless works of art from Paris ahead of the Allies liberation of the French capital. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave the film a Freshness score of 92%, and 89% of audiences enjoyed the movie. The movie, which can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video, reunited director John Frankenheimer with Burt Lancaster after they had collaborated on the films “Birdman of Alcatraz” and the Cold War nailbiter “Seven Days in May.”
13. Now, Voyager (1942)
> Directed by: Irving Rapper
> Starring: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
> Genre: Drama, Romance
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Microsoft Store, Redbox
“Now, Voyager” stars Bette Davis as a spinster who breaks free from her oppressive life. She romances a married man played by Paul Henreid and helps his emotionally disturbed daughter live her life. Among the melodrama’s scenes that have been lampooned is the part where Henreid lights two cigarettes in his mouth and gives one to Davis. Critics and audiences enjoyed the soap opera, with critics on Rotten Tomatoes giving it a Freshness score of 92%, and 90% of audiences liked the movie.
12. The Sea Hawk (1940)
> Directed by: Michael Curtiz
> Starring: Errol Flynn, Brenda Marshall, Claude Rains
> Genre: Action, Adventure, History
> Available on: Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
This rollicking swashbuckler stars the man who is most closely associated with the genre, Errol Flynn. “The Sea Hawk” was the last of Flynn’s pirate films and Warner Bros.’ most ambitious efforts. The threat of the Spanish Armada against England held special importance for British audiences fearing a possible invasion from Nazi Germany. Mark Bourne of DVDJournal.com described the film’s Erich Wolfgang Korngold-composed score as “Hollywood’s greatest swashbuckling symphony and one of the all-time favorite movie scores.” Critics were thrilled with the film, which holds a 100% Freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and an 87% approval rating with audiences.
11. Old Yeller (1957)
> Directed by: Robert Stevenson
> Starring: Dorothy McGuire, Fess Parker, Tommy Kirk
> Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family
> Available on: Google Play Movies, Apple iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, YouTube, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW, Disney Plus
An early live-action film from Disney, “Old Yeller” was based on the Newbery Honor-winning children’s book of the same name by Fred Gipson. In the film, a teenage boy (Tommy Kirk) is helping to manage his family’s farm when a dog shows up uninvited. The yellow Labrador eventually wins over the family. Critics on Rotten Tomatoes were won over, too, giving the film a 100% rating, and 79% liked the movie.