Ever watched these Best Movies About Jazz? We bet you'll find some new films. We put together 25 of our favorites.
From Michael Curtiz, starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains
Casablanca is a classic 1942 romantic drama directed by Michael Curtiz. Set during World War II, the story follows Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), an American expatriate who runs a nightclub in the Moroccan city of Casablanca. His world is turned upside down when his former lover Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) suddenly appears with her husband, a Czech resistance leader desperately seeking to escape the Nazis. With the authorities closing in, Rick must decide whether to help Ilsa and her husband or to sacrifice his own happiness for the greater good. Casablanca is a timeless classic filled with romance, heartbreak, and suspense, and is often considered one of the greatest films of all time.
From Billy Wilder, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon, George Raft
Some Like It Hot is a classic 1959 comedy film directed by Billy Wilder. The story follows two male musicians, Joe and Jerry, who witness a mob hit and must disguise themselves as women in order to escape detection. The two join an all-female band and must maintain their disguise while being pursued by a mobster and falling for their bandmates. Amidst the chaos, the two must figure out how to survive and make it out alive.
From Peter Bogdanovich, starring Ryan O'Neal, Tatum O'Neal, Madeline Kahn, John Hillerman
Paper Moon is a 1973 American comedy-drama film directed by Peter Bogdanovich and starring Ryan and Tatum O'Neal as father and daughter con artists. The story follows a con man and a young girl who claim to be father and daughter as they scam their way through the Great Depression-era Midwest. Along the way, the two form a bond of friendship and trust, as well as confront their own personal issues. The film earned seven Academy Award nominations, including Best Actress for Tatum O'Neal, becoming the youngest person ever nominated in the category. The film was a commercial success and has become a cult classic.
From Alexander Mackendrick, starring Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner
Sweet Smell of Success is a 1957 American drama film noir directed and co-written by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis. The film follows powerful New York City tabloid columnist J.J. Hunsecker who uses his connections to ruin the budding romance between his sister and a jazz musician. Hunsecker's machinations are aided by unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco, who hopes to gain from Hunsecker's power. The film features vivid and harsh portraits of corruptible aspects of fame and success. It was written by Clifford Odets and Ernest Lehman, based on Lehman's short story. Sweet Smell of Success has been hailed by modern critics as a masterpiece of cinema, and was nominated for six Academy Awards.
From Otto Preminger, starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, Arthur O'Connell
Rated Not Rated
Anatomy of a Murder is a 1959 American courtroom drama directed by Otto Preminger, and starring James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara, and George C. Scott. The film is based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Robert Traver, and focuses on the murder trial of a Michigan sawmill owner accused of killing a man who allegedly raped his wife. Stewart plays the role of a defense attorney who uncovers evidence that casts doubt on the guilt of his client, and Gazzara plays the role of the accused murderer. Despite a controversial subject matter and a storyline that pushed the boundaries of censorship laws at the time, the film was a critical and commercial success and was nominated for seven Academy Awards.
From Elia Kazan, starring Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden
A Streetcar Named Desire is a classic 1951 American drama film directed by Elia Kazan. It is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name by Tennessee Williams, who also wrote the screenplay. Starring Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden, the film tells the story of a troubled former schoolteacher, Blanche Dubois, who arrives in New Orleans to live with her sister, Stella, and her brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski. Despite Blanche's attempts to fit in, tensions between her and Stanley eventually reach a boiling point, leading to a climactic confrontation. The film was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, winning four, including Best Actress for Leigh and Best Supporting Actor for Malden. It has become a classic of American cinema, and is widely considered one of the greatest films ever made.
From Louis Malle, starring Jeanne Moreau, Maurice Ronet, Georges Poujouly, Yori Bertin
Rated Not Rated
Elevator to the Gallows (Ascenseur pour l'échafaud) is a 1958 French film directed by Louis Malle. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Maurice Ronet, the film follows a couple whose illicit affair leads to a desperate plan to murder the woman's husband. When the plan goes wrong, the man is trapped in an elevator and the woman is left alone on the streets of Paris. As the night progresses, events spiral out of their control as the man and woman attempt to outrun fate. Along the way, the film offers a searing portrait of post-war Paris and its criminal underbelly.
From Howard Hawks, starring Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran
To Have and Have Not is a classic Hollywood romance set during World War II. The film follows the love story between Harry Morgan (Humphrey Bogart) and Marie Browning (Lauren Bacall). Harry is a boat captain working in the Caribbean who gets caught up in the war effort when a French Resistance leader (Walter Brennan) asks him to help deliver guns to the French resistance in Martinique. To make the mission a success, Harry must enlist the help of his friend Eddie (Hoagy Carmichael) and his seductive new hire Marie. Along the way, Harry and Marie fall in love despite their differences. Ultimately, Harry and Marie succeed in helping the Resistance and live happily ever after. The film is seen as a defining moment for Bogart and Bacall's relationship, as well as a classic example of Howard Hawks' work.
From Blake Edwards, starring Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman
Days of Wine and Roses is a 1962 romantic drama directed by Blake Edwards and starring Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick. The film tells the story of Joe Clay and Kirsten Arnesen, a young couple who fall in love and quickly get married. Despite Joe's promise to stay sober, the two soon fall into a destructive pattern of alcoholism, which leads to the breakdown of their relationship and the eventual loss of their daughter. The film follows their heartbreaking journey as they struggle with their addiction and attempt to find a way back to each other. Through their story, the film makes a powerful statement about the devastating effects of alcoholism on relationships and the family.
From Joseph Losey, starring Dirk Bogarde, Sarah Miles, Wendy Craig, James Fox
The Servant is a 1963 British drama film directed by Joseph Losey. The film stars Dirk Bogarde as Tony, the servant of an upper-class Londoner, played by James Fox. Tony is a manipulative and sinister character who slowly takes control of his employer's life and uses his position to dominate and manipulate his employer, as well as his employer's family and friends. As Tony's influence grows, his machinations become increasingly profound and sinister. The film explores power dynamics, class structure, and the consequences of abuse of power. The film was a critical success and was nominated for several awards.
From Bob Fosse, starring Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Ann Reinking, Leland Palmer
All That Jazz is a 1979 American musical drama film directed by Bob Fosse, starring Roy Scheider as Joe Gideon, a director, choreographer and dancer. The semi-autobiographical movie follows Gideon's hectic life, which is filled with work, drugs, alcohol, and women. Joe is a highly successful and driven director, choreographer and dancer, who is trying to put on a Broadway show while dealing with his personal life. He is constantly juggling between his professional and personal life, and this is taking a toll on his health and sanity. As Joe's life spirals out of control, he is forced to confront his mortality and the choices he has made. The film is a powerful exploration of ambition, creativity, and mortality, told through the unique visual style of Bob Fosse and featuring some of the greatest musical numbers ever filmed.
From Sidney Lumet, starring Rod Steiger, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Brock Peters, Jaime Sánchez
In The Pawnbroker (1964), directed by Sidney Lumet, a Jewish man named Sol Nazerman (Rod Steiger) struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder after enduring the horrors of a concentration camp during World War II. He now runs a small pawnshop in the Bronx, where he remains emotionally distant from the people around him. When a young hustler named Jesus (Jaime Sánchez) begins working for Sol, the two form an unlikely bond. Despite the fact that Sol is so disconnected from the people around him, he begins to open up to Jesus and the people in his community. This newfound connection helps Sol confront his painful memories and deal with his inner demons. In the end, Sol is able to reconcile with his past and start to move forward.
From Steven Spielberg, starring Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, Margaret Avery
The Color Purple is a 1985 American coming-of-age period drama film directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Menno Meyjes, based on the Pulitzer Prize–winning novel of the same name by Alice Walker. It stars Whoopi Goldberg as Celie, a young African-American woman in the American South in the early 20th century. The film also stars Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, and Adolph Caesar. The story follows Celie, a young black woman, from her childhood through adulthood as she struggles with poverty, racism, sexism, and abuse from her father and subsequently her husband. Through her relationships with friends, family, and her husband, she ultimately finds her independence and inner strength. The film was a critical and commercial success and received eleven Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture, Best Actress for Whoopi Goldberg, and Best Supporting Actress for both Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey, becoming the first film directed by an African-American woman to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture.
From Wolfgang Reitherman, starring Phil Harris, Sebastian Cabot, Louis Prima, Bruce Reitherman
The Jungle Book is a 1967 animated musical adventure film directed by Wolfgang Reitherman and produced by Walt Disney Productions. The film is based on Rudyard Kipling’s 1894 novel, The Jungle Book, and is the 19th animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. The film follows the story of Mowgli, an orphaned boy raised by wolves who is forced to leave his jungle home when the ferocious tiger, Shere Khan, threatens his life. With the help of a panther named Bagheera, Mowgli embarks on a journey of self-discovery, encountering several jungle animals along the way. With the help of his friends, Mowgli eventually learns to accept his place in the jungle and defeats Shere Khan. The film features memorable characters such as Baloo the bear, King Louie the orangutan, Kaa the python, and the vultures. The film features songs such as “The Bare Necessities”, “I Wanna Be Like You”, and “Trust in Me”, which were all Academy Award-nominated. The Jungle Book was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $44 million, becoming the fifth highest
From Otto Preminger, starring Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang
From Milos Forman, starring James Cagney, Elizabeth McGovern, Howard E. Rollins Jr., Brad Dourif
From Michael Curtiz, starring Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Hoagy Carmichael
From Vincente Minnelli, starring Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary
From Woody Allen, starring Sean Penn, Samantha Morton, Woody Allen, Ben Duncan
From Clint Eastwood, starring Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, Samuel E. Wright
From Irving Rapper, starring Robert Alda, Joan Leslie, Alexis Smith, Charles Coburn
From Charles Walters, starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm
Rated Not Rated
From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch
From Steve Kloves, starring Jeff Bridges, Michelle Pfeiffer, Beau Bridges, Ellie Raab
From Martin Ritt, starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier, Louis Armstrong
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