1953 – The Naked Spur

★★★★☆ USA. 1h31m. Western / Thriller. Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by Sam Rolfe, Harold Jack Bloom. Cinematography by William C. Mellor. Edited by George White. Music by Bronislaw Kaper. Starring James Stewart, Janet Leigh, Robert Ryan, Ralph Meeker, Millard Mitchell.

About a bounty hunter who tries to bring a murderer to justice, and is forced to accept the help of two strangers who are less than trustworthy. Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay — a rare honor for a Western.

1940 – The Philadelphia Story

★★★★☆ USA. 1h52m. Comedy / Romance. Directed by George Cukor. Written by Donald Ogden Stewart, Waldo Salt (screenplay) and Philip Barry (“The Philadelphia Story”). Cinematography by Joseph Ruttenberg. Edited by Frank Sullivan. Music by Franz Waxman. Starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart, Ruth Hussey, John Howard, Roland Young, John Halliday, Mary Nash, Virginia Weidler.

About a socialite whose wedding plans are complicated by the simultaneous arrival of her ex-husband and a tabloid magazine journalist. Hepburn’s first big hit following several flops, which had placed her on a 1938 list of actors considered to be “box office poison”.

1954 – Rear Window

★★★★★ USA. 1h52m. Mystery / Thriller. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by John Michael Hayes (screenplay) and Cornell Woolrich (“It Had To Be Murder”). Cinematography by Robert Burks. Edited by George Tomasini. Music by Franz Waxman. Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter, Wendell Corey, Raymond Burr.

A photographer is confined to a wheelchair while he mends a broken leg, and while housebound he begins to spy on his neighbors. This leads him to suspect one of his neighbors has committed murder. Considered by many filmgoers, critics, and scholars to be one of Hitchcock’s best and one of the greatest films ever made.

1948 – Rope

★★★★★ USA. 1h20m. Thriller. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Arthur Laurents (screenplay) and Hume Cronyn (story) and Patrick Hamilton (“Rope”). Cinematography by Joseph A. Valentine, William V. Skall. Edited by William H. Ziegler. Music by David Buttolph, Francis Poulenc, Leo F. Forbstein. Starring James Stewart, John Dall, Farley Granger, Joan Chandler, Sir Cedric Hardwicke, Constance Collier, Douglas Dick, Edith Evanson.

The first of Hitchcock’s Technicolor films, and is notable for taking place in real time and being edited so as to appear as a single shot through the use of long takes. It is the second of Hitchcock’s “limited setting” films, the first being Lifeboat. The original play was said to be inspired by the real-life murder of 14-year-old Bobby Franks in 1924 by University of Chicago students Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb.

1958 – Vertigo

★★★★★ USA. 2h8m. Thriller / Drama / Romance. Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Written by Alec Coppel, Samuel Taylor (screenplay) and Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (“D’entre les morts”). Cinematography by Robert Burks. Edited by George Tomasini. Music by Bernard Herrmann. Starring James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones.

Stars James Stewart as former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson. Scottie is forced into early retirement because an incident in the line of duty has caused him to develop acrophobia (an extreme fear of heights) and vertigo (a false sense of rotational movement). Scottie is hired by an acquaintance, Gavin Elster, as a private investigator to follow Gavin’s wife Madeleine (Kim Novak), who is behaving strangely.

1950 – Winchester ’73

★★★★☆ USA. 1h32m. Western. Directed by Anthony Mann. Written by Borden Chase, Robert L. Richards (screenplay) and Stuart N. Lake (story). Cinematography by William H. Daniels. Edited by Edward Curtiss. Starring James Stewart, Shelley Winters, Dan Duryea, Stephen McNally, Millard Mitchell, Charles Drake, John McIntire, Will Geer.

The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another and a cowboy’s search for a murderous fugitive.

1938 – You Can’t Take It With You

★★★★☆ USA. 2h6m. Comedy / Romance. Directed by Frank Capra. Written by Robert Riskin (screenplay) and George Kaufman, Moss Hart (“You Can’t Take It With You”). Cinematography by Joseph Walker. Edited by Gene Havlick. Music by Dimitri Tiomkin. Starring Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, James Stewart, Edward Arnold, Mischa Auer, Ann Miller.

You Can’t Take It With You is about a man from a family of rich snobs who becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

A critical and commercial success, the film received two Academy Awards from seven nominations: Best Picture and Best Director for Frank Capra. This was Capra’s third Oscar for Best Director in just five years, following It Happened One Night (1934) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936).