10. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
> Directed by: Joseph L. Mankiewicz
> Starring: Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison, George Sanders
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
> Available on: Vudu, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies, YouTube, DIRECTV, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
Gene Tierney plays a young widow who buys a haunted seaside cottage in England at the turn of the last century and forms a special bond with its spectral resident. Directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz and starring Rex Harrison as the ghost, the film holds a 100% Freshness rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and 88% of audiences found the film engaging.
9. The Court Jester (1955)
> Directed by: Melvin Frank, Norman Panama
> Starring: Danny Kaye, Glynis Johns, Basil Rathbone
> Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Family
> Available on: Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, Apple iTunes, Pluto TV, Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Store
The multi-talented Danny Kaye carries this expensive ($4 million budget) burlesque romp that is set in Medieval times. Though it failed at the box office — despite a cast that includes Angela Lansbury, Basil Rathbone, and Glynis Johns — it is fondly remembered for its alliterative skit “The pellet with the poison’s in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice with the palace has the brew that’s true.” Critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave “The Court Jester” a Freshness score of 96%, and 94% of audiences enjoyed the movie.
8. Auntie Mame (1958)
> Directed by: Morton DaCosta
> Starring: Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne
> Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Vudu, Google Play Movies, YouTube, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Redbox, Microsoft Store, FandangoNOW
Rosalind Russell plays the title role in “Auntie Mame.” Russell was nominated for an Academy Award as the free-spirited woman who takes in her nephew after his father dies and encourages him to seek adventure and experience life. Clyde Gilmour of MacLean’s Magazine said “Rosalind Russell turns in a flamboyant but beautifully controlled performance in the Hollywood version of the stage triumph.” The movie has a 93% approval rating from critics and audiences on Rotten Tomatoes.
7. Come Back to the 5 & Dime Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
> Directed by: Robert Altman
> Starring: Cher, Karen Black, Sandy Dennis
> Genre: Comedy, Drama
> Available on: Apple iTunes, Amazon Video, DIRECTV, Kanopy, FandangoNOW
This underseen gem from director Robert Altman (“Gosford Park,” “MASH”) features an eclectic cast including Sandy Dennis, Cher, Karen Black, and Kathy Bates. It portrays the members of a James Dean fan club who gather on the 20th anniversary of the actor’s death. Of those audience members who rated it on Rotten Tomatoes, 81% liked the film.
6. Lion of the Desert (1980)
> Directed by: Moustapha Akkad
> Starring: Anthony Quinn, Oliver Reed, Rod Steiger
> Genre: Biography, Drama, History
> Available on: Apple iTunes, DIRECTV, IndieFlix, The Roku Channel
Anthony Quinn, who played an Arab freedom fighter in “Lawrence of Arabia,” returns to the desert in this film about Libyan leader Omar Mukhtar, who led Libyan forces against invading Italian troops beginning in 1929. Libya’s former dictator Muammar Gaddafi bankrolled the film that featured Oliver Reed as an Italian general and Rod Steiger as Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. “Lion of the Desert” holds a 71% Freshness rating among critics on Rotten Tomatoes, and it has greater appeal among audiences, with a 93% rating.