Fab Films: 10 Must-See Movies for Young Adults By George McLaren, The Indianapolis Star January 7, 2005 There was the innocent and naïve Benjamin Braddock, just out of college and already being seduced by an older, married woman. And the wily Randle P. McMurphy, trying to outwit mean Nurse Ratched. And, of course, Bond, James Bond. Today's youthful moviegoers may have missed out on some old favorites of generations past. So, we polled our staff here in the features area of The Star -- the fun department -- and asked for recommendations for a top 10 list of pre-'90s must-see movies for younger viewers. The result: an eclectic group of true classics and quirky favorites, a top-notch Hitchcock, a loopy Bond movie and a schmaltzy love story. Half of them made the revered American Film Institute Top 100 greatest American films list. And the other half . . . well, this might be the only list they make. North By Northwest Year: 1959 Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau Director: Alfred Hitchcock The story line: Lunch at a hotel restaurant for businessman Roger Thornhill (Grant) turns into a nightmare when he is mistaken for someone else, kidnapped, drugged, interrogated and almost killed. The worst part: Nobody believes him afterward. This spy thriller includes famous scenes involving a crop-duster airplane and Mount Rushmore and is one of the best from Hitchcock, who made terrific suspense films in the 1950s and '60s. No. 40 on the AFI list. The Graduate Year: 1967 Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft Director: Mike Nichols The story line: If the idea of having an affair with one of your parents' friends strikes you as just wrong (ewwww!), that's pretty much how recent college grad Benjamin Braddock (Hoffman) reacted, too. But he fell into the seductive clutches of Mrs. Robinson (Bancroft) anyway, before falling in love with her daughter. At movie's end, his future remains unresolved, but at least his love life gets straightened out. Director Nichols picked up a best director Oscar. Plus, this one ranks No. 7 on the American Film Institute Top 100 list. Raising Arizona Year: 1987 Starring: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, John Goodman Director: Joel Coen The story line: This product of the Coen brothers paired Cage and Hunter in an offbeat comedy about a dim-witted criminal who falls for a mugshot photographer -- in a match made in jail. The happy couple marry and move to the Arizona desert but find themselves unable to have a baby. In desperation, they plan a kidnapping, a key plot twist much funnier than it sounds. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Year: 1975 Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Danny DeVito Director: Milos Forman The story line: Inmate Randle P. McMurphy (Nicholson) thinks he has beaten the system when he plays crazy to get out of a work detail and ends up in a psychiatric ward run by the cold-hearted Nurse Ratched (Fletcher). McMurphy brings life and humor to his disheartened fellow patients before a final confrontation with his infuriating nemesis. The film took home a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture. It's No. 20 on the AFI list. To Kill a Mockingbird Year: 1962 Starring: Gregory Peck, Robert Duvall Director: Robert Mulligan The story line: If you somehow escaped the Hollywood version of the Harper Lee novel, rush out and rent this one. Peck won an Oscar for his portrayal of upright lawyer Atticus Finch, pressed into service to defend a black man falsely accused of raping a white girl. The movie plays out through the eyes of his young daughter, Scout, and includes the screen debut for Duvall, playing a mentally challenged and shunned neighbor-turned-rescuer. Atticus Finch was rated the No. 1 all-time movie hero by the American Film Institute. The Princess Bride Year: 1987 Starring: Billy Crystal, Peter Falk, Cary Elwes, Robin Wright Penn Director: Rob Reiner The story line: This tongue-in-cheek story of redemption, betrayal, love and evil unfolds as a fairy tale told by a grandfather (Peter Falk) to a young boy. The plot: a pirate (Elwes) tries to rescue his true love (Penn) from an evil prince. But this offbeat and hilarious comedy is more about its quirky characters like Billy Crystal's kvetching Miracle Max, and was listed as the all-time favorite movie by several Star staffers. No more rhyming, now, I mean it. Anybody got a peanut? Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Year: 1969 Starring: Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Katharine Ross, Cloris Leachman Director: William Goldman The story line: Portraying the last months of life for two outlaws and train robbers, this Western scored four Oscars out of nine nominations. Newman plays Butch, the wisecracking brains of the operation, while Redford is the handsome, quick-shooting Kid. The two good guys/bad guys are tailed around the United States and to Bolivia, where their luck runs out in a final dramatic shootout. No. 50 on the AFI list. The Way We Were Year: 1973 Starring: Robert Redford, Barbra Streisand Director: Sydney Pollack The story line: Streisand plays a radical Jewish girl who falls for preppy writer Redford in an on-again, off-again romance that plays out from the 1930s to the '60s and includes elements of politics and Hollywood censorship. The love story was one of those movies far more popular with the public than the critics. It turned Redford into a major star and won best-song Oscar for its title tune, sung by Streisand, and she picked up the best-actress statue as well. Goldfinger Year: 1964 Starring: Sean Connery, Gert Frobe Director: Guy Hamilton The story line: What's a movie list without a Bond -- James Bond -- film. There still is nothing quite like a Bond played by Connery, and this installment evolved the movie series from standard spy tales toward gimmick-filled and jokey stories. Bond faces off against an evil gold smuggler, the hat-flinging Oddjob and a massive laser. You know, just the usual Bond stuff. Terms of Endearment Year: 1983 Starring: Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, Debra Winger, John Lithgow Director: James L. Brooks The story line: This Best Picture Oscar winner was both a comedy and weepy tragedy as it told the story of a Southern family filled with colorful characters. Matriarch MacLaine tries to protect daughter Winger from missteps in life and romance. Nicholson plays a daredevil astronaut on the make. MacLaine, Nicholson and director Brooks took home gold statues for their performances. Keep the Kleenex box handy. Great list; what a variety!