By CBSNews.com producer David Morgan
"Airplane!" (1980)With more laughs crammed into 88 minutes than audiences deserve, this spoof of disaster films, featuring a cast of straight-faced actors spewing goofy dialogue and slapstick, effectively killed the disaster film genre - and ushered in a new one, the spoof film. Pictured: Otto the auto-pilot and Julie Hagerty.
"Joey, do you like movies about gladiators?"
"All the President's Men" (1976)One of the greatest journalistic coups was Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's investigation of the Nixon White House's ties to the Watergate break-in. Their Washington Post articles led to the downfall of a president, but Alan J. Pakula's drama (starring Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford) miraculously offers nail-biting suspense even though we all know how it ends.
"You guys are about to write a story that says the former Attorney General, the highest-ranking law enforcement officer in this country, is a crook! Just be sure you're right."
"The Bargain" (1914)At age 49 stage actor William S. Hart became the silver screen's first cowboy star. In his feature film debut "The Bargain," Hart played a thief who escapes a stagecoach robbery gone bad, is nursed back to health by a good woman, and then is jailed by a sheriff with designs on Hart's stolen loot.
"Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB" (1967)As a USC film student, George Lucas shot this 15-minute sci-fi tale of a man trying to escape a dystopian society, which he later developed into his first feature film, "THX 1138" (1971). Ten years later, "Star Wars" debuted.
"The Empire Strikes Back" (1980)The first sequel to "Star Wars" (or to be technical about it, "Episode V"), "Empire" not only introduced a darker view of the struggle between the rebellion and the evil Galactic Empire, but also a romance between mercenary Han Solo and Princess Leia - and a paternal confrontation between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
"The Exorcist" (1973)William Friedkin's shocking film of William Peter Blatty's bestseller is extremely graphic when it needs to be, but the tale of a young girl plagued by demonic possession is given resonance by a young priest's simple crisis of faith.
"Evil against evil."
"It's a Gift" (1934)Comedian W.C. Fields (here with Charles Sellon) is again tormented by a hen-pecking wife and dastardly children, while being swindled into buying a despondent orange grove.
"How about my cumquats?!"
"Let There Be Light" (1945)John Huston's documentary about returning World War II vets and their treatment at a psychiatric hospital was withheld by the U.S. government for decades.
"Lonesome" (1928)A boy (Glenn Tryon) and a girl (Barbara Kent) meet on Coney Island, fall for each other, then are tragically separated. A simple story, Pal Fejos' silent tale (reworked into a quasi-sound version) captures the period amusement park with real energy, and their blossoming romance with realistic awkwardness. Though the original silent version was lost, a French print of the sound version, with color-tinted sections, was the basis of a recent restoration.
"Make Way for Tomorrow" (1937)Leo McCarey's tale of an elderly couple losing their home to foreclosure, who are forced to separate and live with children who don't want them around, is tellingly current - and timelessly moving. Victor Moore and Beulah Bondi star.
"Two old-fashioneds, for two old-fashioned people."
"Malcolm X" (1992)Denzel Washington's bravura, Oscar-nominated performance perfectly captures the breadth of life experience by the outspoken civil rights activist whose prison conversion and eventual break from the Nation of Islam led to his assassination in 1965.
"We didn't land on Plymouth Rock. Plymouth Rock landed on us!"
"McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971)Warren Beatty and Julie Christie star in Robert Altman's gritty tale of a gambler and brothel keeper in an Old West mining town who come up against intrusive corporate interests.
"If a man is fool enough to get into business with a woman, she ain't going to think much of him."
"The Pink Panther" (1963)Peter Sellers' bumbling Inspector Clouseau made his first appearance in this Blake Edwards romp (costarring Capucine, David Niven and Robert Wagner) about jewel thieves and the fabled Pink Panther diamond. Also making its first appearance: the "Pink Panther" himself, animated in the opening credits by David H. DePatie and Friz Freleng.
"I believe everything, and I believe nothing. I suspect everyone and I suspect no one."