I've undoubtedly missed some, but here are nine of my favorites, with explanations.
1. Topper (1937) Dir. Norman Z. McLeod
Cary Grant Cary Grant Cary Grant…. Need I say more?
2. The Uninvited (1944) Dir. Lewis Allen
A composer, a coastal house with a history, a beautiful girl, and “Stella by Starlight”
3. The Time of Their Lives (1946) Dir. Charles Barton
Atypical Abbott and Costello comedy: Lou Costello and Marjorie Reynolds are
mistakenly branded as traitors during the Revolutionary War, and their spirits
are bound to the estate where they were killed. Bud Abbott, a descendant
of the man who cursed them, tries to help them.
4. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz
An impossible relationship between a widow and the ghost of a sea captain, set
to a score by the brilliant Bernard Herrmann
5. The Innocents (1961) Dir. Jack Clayton
Still the best adaptation of Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, with a screenplay
by William Archibald and Truman Capote.
6. The Haunting (1963) Dir. Robert Wise
Adaptation of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House. Despite changes
to the nature of Eleanor’s awakening sexuality, this film is very close in spirit to the
book. The mirrors alone are terrifying.
7. The Shining (1980) Dir. Stanley Kubrick
Adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining.
A visual treat—an isolated, haunted hotel in the dead of winter, blood pouring out
of an elevator, Jack Nicholson going insane, and that hedge maze….
8. The Others (2001) Alejandro Amenábar
Toward the end of World War II, a mother of two children waits in a mansion for her
husband to return from battle. Imaginative story, sensitively realized.
9. The Devil’s Backbone (2001) Guillermo del Toro
Near the end of the Spanish Civil War, a ghost appears to a boy in a orphanage and
makes a dire prediction. Frightening and sad.
Causes Barbara Froman Supports
Chicago Coalition for the Homeless
Greater Chicago Food Depository
Lawyers for the Creative Arts