STATUS: 17/32

I'm on a mission to watch every movie Frank Sinatra played an important role in (so nothing that's just a cameo). And since I have this website, I figured I'd write about them here.

Films listed in the order I watched them in.

Images featured are official posters, film stills, or screen captures from the movie, and have been edited by me.

Also, I've never written film reviews before. I mostly care about if the movie is entertaining and if Sinatra looks good/has a fun character in it. I'm a simple man.

Next up: undecided

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Robin and the 7 Hoods

Year: 1964 ♦ Runtime: 2h 3m

Genres: Comedy/Crime/Musical

Technicolor, Panavision

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

LIKE WE’VE TAKEN THE ROBIN HOOD LEGEND AND CHANGED THE BOWS AND ARROWS TO MACHINE GUNS!… LIKE WITH SONGS YET!… LIKE WILD!

I first saw this with my one friend, who I’ve ended up watching a lot of these movies with. Since then, I think I’ve watched this movie at least 6 times. I’ve made all my close friends watch this movie with me at some point. It’s honestly one of my favorites!

Basically, Frank, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and a few others are all gangsters running a speakeasy/casino in Prohibition-era Chicago. Robbo, played by Frank Sinatra, donates a large sum of money to an orphanage and is declaired the "Robin Hood of Chicago." Things get a little tricky when multiple people try and get in on or thwart his various mafia ventures.

Like many (but not all!) Sinatra movies, this one is a musical. “Style,” “Bang Bang,” and “Mr. Booze” are real favorites of mine! It is a little funny that their main rival in the film, Peter Falk playing a man named Guy Gisborne, sings multiple songs despite not being very good at it. Oh, and did I mention Bing Crosby is in this film, playing a 40 year old orphan?

A lot happens in this movie, and despite being 2 hours long, it’s more than you would expect. Don’t let the runtime scare you though, it’s very fun! Honestly, if I had to describe the film in one word, it would be ridiculous. Overall, I think Robin and the 7 Hoods is very enjoyable, and definitly worth a watch if you get the chance! Especially if you are a fan of musicals and/or over the top movies.

Guys and Dolls

Year: 1955 ♦ Runtime: 2h 30m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Eastmancolor, Cinemascope

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Another movie I watched with my friend... this one I only saw once.

Sinatra gets third billing in this film, and Marlon Brando was cast as the main. Kind of an odd choice for the main in a musical, but Brando isn't the worst singer I guess. I know this caused some ruffled feathers between Brando and Sinatra though.

The movie has two main story lines. Brando's character is trying to woo the very prim and proper Sarah Brown. He attempts this on a bet from Sinatra's character, who juggles his gambling habits and his fiance of 14 years.

The most striking part of this movie is the complete absence of contractions. Instead of saying "aren't," for example, the characters will say "are not." The same is true for every other contraction. Personally I think this is pretty funny, but also kind of bewildering considering EVERY character talks that way, and it's not simply a tick one of them have.

I don't particulary remember a lot of the songs from this one, but I did enjoy the dance number during the craps game. The colorful outfits... the scuttling... the fact that there obviously isn't any dice the whole scene... everyone acting like the whole thing was normal at the end... the whole thing taking place in a sewer... just excellent.

I would rank this movie lower overall on my Sinatra movie scale, since I didn't find it that memorable and 2 and a half hours is just so long...

4 for Texas

Year: 1963 ♦ Runtime: 2h 4m

Genres: Western/"Comedy"

Technicolor, Spherical

IMDbLetterboxdWikipedia

THEY'RE BUSTIN UP THE WEST LIKE IT'S NEVER BEEN BUST UP BEFORE! -a lie the poster is telling

I watched this with my friend yet again. We stopped watching about an hour in. It felt like we were watching it for years.

Both Frank AND Dean are in this movie, but there isn't even any singing.

This film is 2 hours and 4 minutes too long.

Just trust me when I say its bad.

Don't watch it.

Ocean’s 11

Year: 1960 ♦ Runtime: 2h 7m

Genres: Comedy/Crime/Musical

Technicolor, Panavision

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

THAT BIG ONE!!

Again, I saw this one with my friend. Much like the last one, we didn't finish it. UNLIKE 4 for Texas, we stopped because the internet was acting up and buffering every 5 seconds about halfway into the movie. This happened about a year and a half ago and neither of us ever got around to trying to finish it.

I'm not sure there is much I can say about this film. Most of what I remember is that they were going to rob Las Vegas, but that's about it. I feel a little bit bad for not being able to say more, considering the legacy of movies this one stared.

Maybe one day we'll get around to finishing it...

On the Town

Year: 1949 ♦ Runtime: 1h 38m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Technicolor, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

THEY PAINT THE TOWN WITH JOY! in MGM'S BIG TECHNICHOLOR MUSICAL!

While not the last film I watched with my friend, this one was the last one we watched in our first Sinatra kick before taking a little break.

The plot follows Sinatra, Gene Kelley, and Jules Munshin as three navymen looking for a good time in New York while on leave for a day.

On The Town is, chronoligcally, the last of three (unrelated) MGM musicals from the 40s that star both Sinatra and Gene Kelley. These films also share the fact that Sinatra's character is written to be meek and not know anything about talking to women, because he's physically the smallest of the main characters. Because of this, he spends a lot of the movie getting chased by a woman cab driver. He just wants to see the sights like his grandpa...

The film is also one of several pieces of media that has a young Sinatra dressed in a sailor outfit, and you know what? They were on to something.

The movie itself is pretty fun and has a lot of energy. For a musical, however, I don't think any of the songs are really that memorable. The premise of some are, such as the song between Sinatra's character trying to go to a bunch of places that don't exist and the cab driver trying to get him to come to her place instead, but it's not catchy or anything. The most memorable part of the film is probably the opening song, but more for the sheer number of locations they visit in 3 minutes than for the song or dancing itself.

UPDATE: I watched this again (this time with my boyfriend and two roommates) and wow it is so much more racist than I remember. The last half of Prehistoric Man is so bad I think my mind blocked it out to protect me. The plot is nothing. I'm sorry but this movie is nothing.

Anchors Aweigh

Year: 1945 ♦ Runtime: 2h 20m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Technicolor, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

ON WAVES OF SONG, LAUGHTER AND ROMANCE!

This is the first of the Sinatra movies I watched on my own. I really wanted to see it because Sinatra is a sailor in this movie too, so I took the initiative. :)

Like On the Town, Sinatra and Kelly are navymen on leave, but this time they have FOUR days instead of one. The plot is a whole love triangle sort of situation... Also Frank is trying to convince MGM and the pianist Jose Iturbi to let this opera singer woman preform.

I'm going to be honest, I was REALLY enjoying the first half/two thirds or so of this movie, but I barely remember the ending. I think there was some opera thing?

I think the music in this movie is pretty good! A lot of them are very energenetic and fun. The most notable musical scene in this movie has to be the one in which Gene Kelly dances with Jerry Mouse. Yes, that Jerry Mouse from the Tom and Jerry Cartoons. There isn't a lot of context in the movie for why this happens other than he's telling some kids a story. There's also this redition of I Fall in Love too Easily that Frank does that I really like. I could of done without the opera parts, but that might just be because I'm not much of an opera person myself. Also, since the main billing did go to Gene, there is a little more of an emphasis on dancing. This does make it very fun to see Frank doing his best to keep up when the two preform together, like in this scene.

Also, on peronal taste note? I like the uniforms they wear a lot more in this one than the ones in On the Town. And the outfit Gene wears in the Jerry part it so good too. Really, the costuming in this I think is very chef's kiss.

Overall, while I think it's a little long, I would recomend this movie, especially to musical lovers.

UPDATE: I watched this movie again with some of of my roommates. The homoeroticism is unreal. Gene and Frank look so good in this movie. I got so overwhelemed it gave me a headache. Please watch this movie.

Not as a Stranger

Year: 1955 ♦ Runtime: 2h 15m

Genres: Film-Noir/Drama/Romance

Black and White, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

STANDS ALONE! FIRST AS A BOOK… NOW AS A MOTION PICTURE!

Watched this one with my friend. We were went into this with some higher expectations than we should have... "Oh my god its a film noir." "Oh my god I think Frank is a nervous doctor in this." Well...

Frank is a nervous-ish doctor in this! But he's also not in it very much. In our hubris, we completly ignored the fact that he's the third billed actor. 😔

This movie is actually about fantasy doctor Robert Mitchum not having emotions and being a terrible husband. Frank is his friend and shows up sometimes but there so many long stretches without him. I'm sorry Rob, but you aren't the one we were here for

Maybe we were being too hard on the film since we were watching it JUST because we thought it would have a lot of Sinatra as a doctor. But, thinking back on it, I just don't think I liked Mitchum's character that much anyways. He was just kind of an ass for over 2 hours. It's a little tiring.

Personally, I don't think I'd watch this movie again, but if you like these kinds of "character study"-esque films, it might be worth a watch.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Year: 1949 ♦ Runtime: 1h 33m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Technicolor, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

MGM'S GAY TECHNICHOLOR MUSICAL!

I think I watched this one by myself... It was the last of 3 Kelly/Sinatra films I had to watch so woo!

The movie's plot is pretty much the same as the other films with the two in it, except this time they're baseball players who are also preformers? The main plot point in this movie is that the baseball team they play for is under the management of a woman, and since it 1949 no one can be chill about it.

I'm looking at the plot summary n some reviews for this movie again and I think I mostly only remember bits and pieces of it. One interesting thing I remember about it is that the film breaks the forth wall at the end for... some reason? Also, part of Frank's character was that he would keep picking fights with people much bigger than him and immediatly get knocked out. The in-universe justification for this is that he can't pick fights with anyone his own size, because no one is as small as he is. Also, Jules Munshin (3rd sailor from On The Town) is also in this film a little bit as another member of their baseball team.

The only song I can remember from this film is Yes, Indeedy, which is one of the first songs in the movie. The song is about the duo singing about made up exploits with women, a staple for the movies with Kelly. While it is kind of catchy, some of the senarios they come up with are... questionable to say the least. I also sort of remember a song Gene sang about being Irish?

In retrospect, I don't think there's a lot of baseball content in this baseball movie...

I'm not sure if I would recomend this movie but, if you DO want to see it for whatever reason the entire thing is on youtube in pretty decent quality...

It Happened in Brooklyn

Year: 1947 ♦ Runtime: 1h 44m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Black and White, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

HAPPY SONGS! HAPPY STARS! HAPPY ROMANCE!

If you couldn't tell from the title, this movie happens in Brooklyn. I've never heard the word Brooklyn said so many times before I saw this movie. They have to say it at least 20 times in the first 5 minutes. Anyways...

The general jist of this movie is Frank's character is back in Brooklyn after the war. He loves it a lot but it's different than what he remembers, and ends up living with a janitor from his old high school. A bit strange, but it's fun that he basically adopts him as his dad. He also gets involved with the music scene, both because of a woman and a friend he met overseas. Peter Lawford is also here (he is the friend) but I don't have a lot of opinions about that.

I don't remember much of the details about this film really. I think for the last half of it I was talking to one of my friends about The Sims so I COULD have been paying more attention. Since I'm an idiot here's a short list of things I DO remember:

I don't remember how any of these went together into the actual plot nor do I even remember what the ending was. I don't know if I can say if I'd recomend this movie or not because of that...

It was kinda cheesy, being a post-war feel good movie, so maybe if you like cheesy musicals or just really love Brooklyn this could be worth a watch?

The Miracle of the Bells

Year: 1948 ♦ Runtime: 2h

Genres: Drama

Black and White, Spherical

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I "watched" this one with my friend. Watched in quotations because, in total, we probably only saw about 15 minutes of this movie. We were really only watching it to see Frank as a priest, so we skipped around until he was there. The reviews made it seem like this would of been a trying 2 hours, and after 4 for Texas, we weren't dealing with THAT again. "But Mr. Greggcult how does this count as a watched movie then?" The answer is because it's my movie list and I get to make the rules.

The first thing you should know is that we watched the movie in this zoomed in version on youtube instead of watching it on 123movies or Netflix or whatever. I have no idea why we did this. This DOES, however, let you appreciate how much smaller Frank is than the male lead, who was over half a foot taller than him. I would say this enhances the viewing experience a little bit because it's funny.

I don't have a lot to say about the plot because I don't really know what it is. From the first few minutes I gathered that someone related to the main cast has died. I also know that they visit a church and a graveyard at some point. From what I understand, theres some religious message to the whole thing too, but I don't know exactly what.

I don't think I'm going to attempt to rewatch this movie so I can write a better review because I frankly (hehe) don't care that much about it. We just wanted to see Frank dressed like a priest. If you also want to see Frank dressed as a priest, well...

Suddenly

Year: 1954 ♦ Runtime: 1h 17m

Genres: Crime/Drama/Thriller/Film-Noir?

Black and White, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

SINATRA... AS A SAVAGE, SENSATION HUNGRY KILLER!

This one was also watched with my trusty Sinatra movie watching pal. And you now what? This movie really sticks out, and for a lot of reasons.

Suddenly is, by far, the shortest movie I've watched up until this point. At 77 minutes, I doubt any of the Sinatra movies I'll watch after will be this short. If you want to watch just one Frankie flick, and you are pressed for time, this is the film for you.

There also isn't too much of a romance subplot in this one. Well, there's kind of one, but it doesn't involve Frank at all. You see, in this movie Frank is simply an unhinged bastard. He's trying to kill the president, and he doesn't have any reservations about doing it.

Speaking of the topic of this film, it may be (part) of the reason that it is now in the public domain. If you know anything about American history, you'll know JFK was assassinated about 9 years after the film was made. The movie was pulled from circulation, and forgotten about for the most part. However, because it's in the public domain, it's very easy to watch and find online. This video on youtube is one of the most accessible higher quality ones, and also has subtitles! You can even watch the entirety of the film on wikipedia if you wanted.

There's not a lot more to say about this movie without spoiling it. Overall, it's kinda cheesy but it also kind of rules. I totally recommend it.

Young at Heart

Year: 1954/55 ♦ Runtime: 1h 57m

Genres: Drama, Romance, Musical

Warnercolor/Technicolor(?), Spherical

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So I've seen this movie twice, with a gap of a few days inbetween I think. The first was alone and the second was with my friend.

I think I might be a little too into this movie, and it's mostly because of Frank. He actually only shows up about 30 minutes into this 2 hour long movie, which was a little strange since he's the second billed actor (after Doris Day, who's playing his romantic interest) and also the person featured most prominantly across all the posters. However, I forgive them for making me wait 30 minutes to see him because as soon as he showed up I was very into it.

In this movie, Sinatra is a jaded musical arranger who's mad at the world. He's staying at the home of the man employing him and his fellow song writer. Doris Day's character and her family get him to open up, and show him life is actually pretty good! But there's also some relationship drama, as there are four bachelors in the picture and only three sisters.

Sinatra as a brooding but caring man is very good I think. He also just looks really good in this one. And the color process they used? chef's kiss. I understand why his nickname is old blue eyes now. And on a musical note, I really enjoy this version of One for My Baby that Frank sings.

A fun fact about this film (without spoiling too much) is that Sinatra's charater was supposed to have a completly different ending. Because of what happened to the last few characters he played, he asked for it to be changed. He was pretty popular in the film business at this point, so they agreed.

I don't think I can say much more about this movie without rambling. The entire movie is avaliable on youtube and I very much recomend it.

Step Lively

Year: 1944 ♦ Runtime: 1h 28m

Genres: Comedy/Drama/Musical

Black and White, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

IT'S FUN!

I watched this movie alone and then immediatly made my friend watch it with me the same night. Considering how middling most of the reviews for this movie is, I don't think this is the usual reaction people have to this movie but that's fine. Sometime you have to be a little different.

So, this film was one of, if not the, first major roles Sinatra got in a movie! I think he did a pretty alright job for it being his first time. Like the Gene Kelly films, his character is beautiful, nervous, and doesn't know anything. However, instead of being a military man, he's a playwright.

Everyone in Step Lively is constantly in a state of panic. A lot of this is because Gordon Murphey's character is constantly lying and smooth talking his way around things, despite the fact that everything he's doing is constantly teetering on the edge of disaster. Frank's character is probably the calmest of the main cast, although this is mostly due to the fact that he is unknowingly being used for his singing ability.

Speaking of singing, there are a few parts that stand out to me. One was Frank singing while running away from a woman who is attempting to seduce him, something that seems to have been a requirment for most pre-1950 Sinatra flicks. There's also this song, which I just think sounds nice! I also think there's some impressive looking things in the ending musical number, although part of it falls into a stereotypical portrayal of Southern/Southwestern Asian culture that a lot of old movies and shows seem use...

One fun fact about this movie is at the end, at least in the version I watched, it informed the viewer that it was being sent over to boost the morale of the soldiers fighting in the war. Interesting pick I think. I wonder what they thought about it.

A few month ago this whole movie was on youtube, but it seems like it got deleted. (Well, it is still on there but only if you pay 3 dollars first.) Anyways, this is another movie I would say might be worth a watch to people who like over the top musicals, and don't mind movies with a hectic plot.

The Man with the Golden Arm

Year: 1955 ♦ Runtime: 1h 59m

Genres: Crime/Drama/Film-Noir(?)

Black and White, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

I saw this with TWO people! Wow! Also, this one is notible for being the first of the more serious (not comedy and/or musical) films I've seen. That is, not including Not as a Stranger, because Frank was in that for 3 seconds.

Fair warning, a major plot point of this movie is drug addiction, which is shown much more explicitly than one would expect from a 50's movie. While they never name the drug on screen, the book the film is based on indentifies it as morphine, though many viewers have read it as heroin. If you are sensative to this kind of topic, I would skip this one.

Click here for details about what is shown, contains plot spoilers. [Sinatra is shown using the drug once. The syringe is seen on screen and he prepares his arm with a makeshift tourniquet, however the actual act of getting the injection happens off screen as the camera focuses on his face. In various parts of the movie, he is either in a daze or aggressive due to his drug use. Near the end, he's locked in a room for several minutes and suffering from withdrawl symptoms. He discusses the fact that he might attempt to kill himself when locked in the room. At one point during this scene he does attempts to jump out a window, but is interrupted.]

So, Sinatra plays the recovering addict Frankie Machine. Just released from a detox facility, he is looking to find a way to make a living for him and his wife, who is bound to a wheel chair due to an accident. He attempts to make it as a drummer, however he struggles with those around him trying to to seduce him back to his old ways as a drug user and card dealer. The film isn't a musical, so there's no songs to really talk about, however the soundtrack features a lot of very lively brass that accents what's happening on screen.

While I do think some of the plot seemed a little disorganized, particularly the parts involving his wife, the acting in this film has a lot of emotion and character put into it. Sinatra himself considered this his greatest preformance in film. Since I haven't seen all him movies yet, I don't have much to say about that one, but currently I would put it near the top of my list of Sinatra movies.

Fun fact for this movie: the film almost wasn't approved, due to the film code at the time deeming much of the content taboo. Aside from topic of drug use, the film also has many scenes in a less-than-idealized part of the city, including one scene in what I believe is a strip club. The was changed to include letting movies contain these kind of topics however, so the film ended up passing.

The whole thing IS on youtube, although the quality could probably be better. I think it's quite powerful as a drama, although perhaps a bit dated as "films about drug use" aren't as big as a deal as they were when this was released. I would recomend this film to those who like dramas with a more gritty tone or like to see films that pushed the boundries for their time.

High Society

Year: 1956 ♦ Runtime: 1h 51m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Technicolor, VistaVision

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

THE HILARIOUS LOW-DOWN ON HIGH LIFE

I watched this movie with my ex and a different friend together on rabbit! Considering this is one of the more popular Sinatra films (I am basing this entierly off the fact it's the only Sinatra film a guy I know who's twice my age has seen), I don't know why I didn't watch it sooner. But the important part is that I saw it. :)

So, this movie is about a rich family who have a bunch of relationship drama. Bing Crosby, playing a rich musician, shows up and makes more rich people relationship drama. Then Frank shows up, playing a reporter. Despite not being a rich person, he ALSO creates rich people relationship drama.

The music in this movie is pretty good! Louis Armstrong is in this movie, although between him opening the movie and performance with Bing, he doesn't really show up at all. Frank sings one song with Celeste Holm while touching every piece of expensive dinnerware and at least two, maybe three songs that are just about wanting to get it on. There's also this song that's just Frank and Bing getting drunk at a party, which I saw before watching the movie and was at least part of the motivation I had for watching it.

Overall, I would say it was a pretty okay film. Of the musicals, I would prbably put it somewhere in the middle, but I would say that's mostly based on personal taste rather than actual acting merit or something of the like. If you like musicals, I would recomended this one.

The Detective

Year: 1968 ♦ Runtime: 1h 54m

Genres: Crime/Drama

DeLuxe Color (?), PanaVision

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

AN ADULT LOOK AT A POLICE DETECTIVE

I watched this movie by myself about a month and half ago as of writing this. Finishing this will mean I'm caught up with all the Sinatra flicks I've already seen and can watch new ones again!

The basic plot of this film is that Frank, playing a New York City police detective, has to solve a murder while his marriage is falling appart. Now, the man who was murdered was fairly important, but it also turns out he was gay.

You see, I have some conflicting emotions about this movie. It is actually kinda suprising how they handle this subject, being made in 1968. A lot of the police force is very openly homophobic, which is to be expected. Various characters in the movie use homophobic slurs, and has at least one instance where, when a large number of gay men are lined up on the pier at night to be questioned about a suspect, the police are mocking and physically forceful. They also show the murder and the reasoning behind it at the end, which involves some... internatlized homophobia and self hatred for lack of a better word.

Sinatra's character generally is the best out of the police. He doesn't go out of his way to be hateful to the gay men he encounters, and for the most part seems unbothered unlike the rest of his department. During the pier scene, he punches his fellow cop for their abusive treatment. In general, he often looks phsycially uncomfortable with the way the force treats those involved in the case. In the end, he ends up following through despite everything trying to stop him.

Acting wise, I would say its a pretty good film. I think particularly the film is interesting as a view into the kind of homophobia in pre-Stonewall New York. I feel a lot of the portrayals of gay life fall into a bit of a stereotype, but at the same time, I think that also adds to the understanding how 60s America at large viewed what being gay was like.

To leave on a lighter note, here's a fun fact: Die Hard was intended to be a sequel to this movie! The author of The Detective (the book that this movie is based off of) wrote a sequel to it. Frank was asked to reprise his role for the sequel film, but being in his 70s, said no. They basically only changed the protagonist's name and a few other minor details so it could function as a stand alone piece, but otherwise follows the book very closely.

Pal Joey

Year: 1957 ♦ Runtime: 1h 51m

Genres: Comedy/Romance/Musical

Technicolor, Spherical

IMDb Letterboxd Wikipedia

I saw this movie roughly a week ago (as of writing this) with my friend. We watched Diary of a Country Priest (depressing french movie) and the 2018 Suspiria (horror movie) and decided we needed a change of tone, so we watched this one! On a related note, I think we're running out of light hearted Frank films to watch...

So, in this film, Frank Sinatra plays a singer named Joey with a dream to own his own club. He is also a manslut? By this I mean he is literally involved with every dame in the movie at some point. And there are a lot of dames in this movie. His character is kind of a bastard but he's not the WORST bastard.

Now, onto the music, because this film IS a musical. Pesonally, I do really like this rendition of My Funny Valentine sung by Kim Novak. Frank sings a few songs, including The Lady is a Tramp, which he actually sings to one of the characters in the movie! There's also this scene which is... SOMETHING certainly. The chanting is what really get me.

I feel like I don;t have a whole lot to say about this movie. It's alright, it's kind of silly and it has it's moments. It's not a bad movie but it's nothing that you need to rush to see either.

(Incomplete?) List of Movies I Still Need to Watch: