Movie ABC’s :: The Letter “A”
My Top 20
Looking for a comprehensive list of movies? How about an alphabetical weekly list of Movie ABC’s starting with The Letter “A”? The following list crossed genres and decades, with a notable leaning towards independent films, or movies with solid storytelling. Movies with a good soundtrack and/or music theme are prevalent, as well.
So, pop some popcorn, or pick-up a bag (white cheddar is pretty tasty) and queue up a movie from the list below.
For more information on each film, click on the title.
Movie ABC’s :: The Letter “A”:
- Almost Famous (2000) Cameron Crowe’s semi-autobiographical tale of sixteen-year-old William, an avid rock fan who lands an assignment from Rolling Stone to accompany a fledgling band from Michigan, Stillwater, on their first tour. As he becomes more involved with the band members and “band aids”, he loses his objectivity and is soon entangled in the infamous 70’s rock scene.
- Amélie (2001) Bursting with imagination and having seen her share of tragedy and fantasy, Amélie is not like the other girls. When she grows up she becomes a waitress in a Montmartre bar run by a former dancer. Amélie enjoys simple pleasures until she discovers that her goal in life is to help others.
- The Anniversary Party (2001)
Written, directed and produced by Jennifer Jason Leigh and Alan Cumming, this primarily improvisational film chronicles an anniversary party for a troubled Hollywood couple. The night turns as ecstasy, and personal confessions are shared between friends, coworkers, lovers, and feuding neighbors.
- Away We Go (2009)
Written by husband and wife, Dave Eggers and Vendela Vida, and directed by Sam Mendes, the film tells the story of a couple travelling cross the country in search of a place to call home for the two of them, and their on-the-way first child.
- All About Eve (1950)
From the moment she glimpses her idol on Broadway, Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) strives to upstage Margo Channing (Bette Davis). After cunningly stealing Margo’s role, Eve disrupts the lives of anyone close to the actress in this timeless cinematic masterpiece. This is one of the first movies I remember watching with my Mother in the middle of the night, when I was a very young girl, and neither of us could sleep.
- American Beauty (1999)
The American Dream turned on its head when protagonist Lester Burnham, full of midlife crisis, sexual frustration and angst, starts questioning his seemingly contrived, and predictable, existence.
- Adam’s Rib (1949)
Written by Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin, Adam’s Rib is a peerless comedy predicated on the double standard. Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn play Adam and Amanda Bonner, a husband-and-wife attorney team, both drawn to a case of attempted murder. This one my Grandmother introduced me to. She was always taken by, and kind of obsessed, with Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy – especially of their off-screen, doomed love story.
- Amadeus (1984) Film adaptation of the Broadway hit, the film takes us through the incredible story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, told by his peer and secret rival Antonio Salieri – now confined to an insane asylum. The movie is humorous, bawdy, musical and ultimately tragic.
- Across the Universe (2007)
The movie plays as an British-American jukebox musical romantic drama film. Surreal storytelling at times, rock opera styled at others, the film perfectly brings to life the songs of the Beatles.
- Adult World (2013)
A favorite of my younger daughter and mine, the film tells the story of a struggling writer who is struggling more with growing up. Amy’s coming-of-age in the post-college years is at times funny, at times heartbreaking, sometimes cringe-inducing, and ultimately heart tugging.
- All Over Me (1997)
This film is so 90’s. Claude and Ellen are best friends who live in a not-so-nice area of New York. They’re involved in the subculture of 90s youth, complete with drugs, live music, and homophobia.
- All That Jazz (1979)
In this part film à clef, part musical phantasmagoria, director/choreographer Bob Fosse takes a Felliniesque look at the life of a driven entertainer. Very surreal. Very late 70’s. The screenplay is a semi-autobiographical fantasy based on real aspects of Bob Fosse’s life and career as a dancer, choreographer and director.
- The Apartment (1960)
An early 60’s romantic comedy that tells the story of a man who is trying to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue when he meets “elevator girl” Fran Kubelik.
- August Rush (2007)
A drama told with fairy tale elements (see quote: “But I believe in music… The way that some people believe in fairy tales”) about an orphaned orphaned musical prodigy tries to us his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents. Homage to Oliver Twist with one of the storylines featuring Robin Williams as a Fagan-esque character, the films young star, Frddie Highmore, steals every scene as the film’s namesake, August. This film always makes me cry.
- Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Another late night film I remember watching with my Mother. Also, one of the cinematic reasons I’ve always loved Cary Grant. The film is director Frank Capra’s spin on the classic Joseph Kesselring stage comedy, which concerns the sweet old Brewster sisters (Josephine Hull, Jean Adair), beloved in their genteel Brooklyn neighborhood for their many charitable acts. One charity which the ladies don’t advertise is their ongoing effort to permit lonely bachelors to die with smiles on their faces–by serving said bachelors elderberry wine spiked with arsenic.
- Arizona Dream (1993)
Axel (Johnny Depp) gets caught up into the family car business when his cousin, Paul (Vincent Gallo), coaxes him to come to Arizona to attend the wedding of their Uncle Leo (Jerry Lewis). As Axel makes the decision to try selling Cadillacs with his family, he meets an eccentric woman named Elaine (Faye Dunaway) and her equally quirky stepdaughter, Grace (Lili Taylor). Their lives become inextricably intertwined through romance, dreams — and death.
- The African Queen (1951)
I saw this film for the first time in the early 2000’s, on the big screen, during a classic film series at a local, independently owned Anaheim movie theater. It was my favorite of all the films from the series. Adapted from a novel by C.S. Forester, The African Queen stars Humphrey Bogart in his Oscar-winning portrayal of Charlie Allnut, the slovenly, gin-swilling captain of a tramp steamer called the African Queen, which ships supplies to small East African villages during World War I.
- The Accidental Tourist (1988)
Ignoring the absolute worst first date ever when I first saw this movie in 1988, The Accidental Tourist is a quirky story about family and love. Though the premise is a heavy one (an emotionally distant writer of travel guides must carry on with his life after his son is killed and his marriage crumbles), the story lightens up when Macon meets Murial, the outgoing, and rather oddball woman he meets, who helps him to get his life back.
- Adventureland (2009)
This movie perfectly captures the early 80’s to me. As well as capturing that nowhere time between high school and college, where nothing and everything seems to happen.
- About a Boy (2002)
Based on Nick Horby’s novel by the same name, the movie tells the story of seemingly narcissistic Will who accidentally becomes a role model for an awkward neighbor boy who is struggling with finding himself, and surviving with a troubled single mother, and a school full of bullies.