Gems of the Silver Screen

Posted on 19th September, 2014

Recently, Sasha Cottman, the Regency Historical Romance author, posted a list of her top 10 favourite films, which set me thinking about my own favourites.


The Lord of the Rings trilogy

Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't count these films among their favourites?


The Fellowship of the Ring

I can remember sitting in the darkened cinema, fully prepared to walk out if the film didn't look right. I remember, too, the moment when Gandalf drove the pony-trap into Hobbiton and I relaxed because I knew Peter Jackson could be trusted.

Best moment – when they're running for their lives through Moria and they have to leap across the gap between the two parts of the bridge, and the part they're on swoops forwards and backwards.

The Two Towers

Best moment – the Battle of Helm's Deep. Yes, I know, it's an exceedingly long moment.

The Return of the King

Best moment – Gondor's mounted army thundering across the plain in slow motion to certain death.



The Dish

Funny and heart-warming. The bit where the school band plays the American National Anthem made me laugh out loud.


Enchanted April­

I know, I know, as readers we're supposed to prefer the book to the film, aren't we? But in this case, I vote for the film for the simple reason that, in the book, much as I enjoyed it, Lady Caroline is referred to throughout as Scrap, which irritated the heck out of me.


The film is enthralling, directed by Mike Newell with a light and loving hand. Spot-on casting includes Josie Lawrence as the gauche Mrs Wilkins and Joan Plowright as the grand but emotionally isolated Mrs Fisher; and the beautiful photography is guaranteed to set you yearning for your own villa in Italy.


Besides, it has Michael Kitchen in it.


Scary and funny in equal parts. I read somewhere that Kevin Bacon would prefer to forget he made this film, but I can't think why. It's huge fun. Comedy horror isn't an easy thing to pull off.


The Spiral Staircase

Based on the book Some Must Watch by Ethel Lina White, this 1940s black-and-white is as creepy and compelling as a Hitchcock. In small-town mid-America, a murderer is targeting young disabled women... and our mute heroine finds herself trapped in the house with the killer. Oh yes, and it's night-time. And there's a storm.


Best watched in a darkened room.







It's about a horse race across the desert, which may not sound much, but this is a gripping tale of … the word that springs to mind is derring-do. It isn't a pirate film, yet there is a distinct air of swashbuckling about it. The cast includes Viggo Mortensen and a scene-stealing Omar Sharif.


The musical score by James Newton Howard is tremendous – it's the film score I play most often. Yes, I prefer it to TLOTR.



So there we are. That's my list. What's on yours?


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Comments (5)

My absolute favourite I'd 'Life is Beautiful' - so funny yet so very, very sad.
Enjoyed your list. I like the LOTR trilogy too, but not sure it's a fave. Curiously I liked the films, but not the books. Could never get into Tolkien no matter how much I tried. The liked Tremors too. It was a blink and you missed it film which I always thought was a shame because it was funny and well-made. Haven't heard of the others. You have inspired me to attempt my own list!
Confession time for me too...I haven't heard of most of these films! On the bright side, you've given me ideas for future watching.

Like Jessica, I'm a romantic comedy fan, especially ones set in small towns. Also love classic films such as 'Gone With the Wind' and 'White Christmas.' xx
Susanna, I keep remembering other movies which should made the list. One is Office Space. If you have ever worked in a office, there are many cringe worthy moments. Hildago was a very underrated movie. Viggo Mortensen what more could you want?
Hi Susanna. Oh no, confession time: I haven't seen most of them. I have watched the LoR trilogy at the cinema and on DVD but I find them a bit long (sorry) although I do appreciate the amazing cinematography. I think I may have seen Tremors when younger but don't think I saw it in full.

My favourite genre for films is romantic comedy. I love all the typical ones like Four Weddings, Pretty Woman, Notting Hill etc and some of more recent times like 27 Dresses, Leap Year, About Time etc. But my most favourite film ever is The Shawshank Redemption. The first time I saw it, I was absolutely gripped and I still think it is an incredible film, brilliantly acted.

Thanks for sharing x