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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

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Top 6 Word: No

Storytelling hinges upon conflict, which is probably why there are barely any "Yes" movies but an embarrassment of riches when it comes to "No" movies. If you believe what movie titles tell you, there is no Escape, Way Out, Room For the Groom, Way To Treat a Lady, Man of Her Own, or Business Like Show Business. There is Time for neither Comedy nor Love. "No" constitutes the amount of Remorse Jesse Stone has, the amount of Flowers you should Send Doris Day, the amount of Ways Home Spider-Man has, the number of Tales that Dead Men Tell, and the amount of Evil you should See and Hear. There is both a Point and a River of No Return, and No Return is also what you get when you have No Deposit.

Despite all the competition, there is room enough in today's Top 6 list to book-end Bond, keep secrets, and lament the impossibility of repatriating the elderly.

6. No Time To Die (2021)

The latest James Bond film is perplexing and uneven in the rear view mirror, but darned if it doesn't deliver where it counts. Like many of Daniel Craig's Bonds, it strays from the formula we know and love far enough to find new ground to break, but the elements are all here for a fitting Bondian end to the Craig era. It's impossible to discuss the movie any further without spoilers, so I won't, but somebody sign up Ana de Armas for a spin-off series immediately.

5. No Highway In the Sky (1951)

Jimmy Stewart stars in this smart thriller about an engineer whose research suggests a new plane will suffer a huge and deadly breakdown after a certain number of hours in the air. Inevitably, he winds up on one of the very planes he considers at risk. Stewart's performance is spirited and committed, and he is ably supported by Marlene Dietrich, Glynis Johns, and Jack Hawkins.

4. Dr. No (1962)

Returning once again to James Bond, here is his screen debut (unless you count the 1954 live television production of Casino Royale). This film and the few sequels that followed, started a spy craze and changed action films forever. While the eventual formula doesn't gel here as smoothly as it would in the early sequels, all the ingredients are here -- some, like Sean Connery's rugged yet suave screen presence, fully formed from the start.

3. No Time For Sergeants (1958)

Andy Griffith wasn't yet a household name in 1958. He'd done a lot of television work and made a stunning film debut with Elia Kazan's A Face In the Crowd, where he played rather shockingly against what would become his type. The hilarious one hour comedy No Time For Sergeants (1955), in which Griffith plays a gleefully oblivious bumpkin drafted into the Air Force, proved so popular that it became a stage show later that year and was eventually expanded into one of the funniest films of the 50s.

2. No Country For Old Men (2007)

The Coen Brothers finally earned Best Picture and Director Oscars with this dark thriller about a trio of indelible characters hunting each other across the vast landscapes of West Texas. In some ways, it's a culmination of their earlier films, many of which were also semi-surreal thrillers set against a backdrop of midlands Americana.

1. Tell No One (2006)

This Hitchcockian adaptation of a Harlan Coben romantic mystery thriller is right up my alley. The film bounds from one set piece to another without ever forgetting that the heart of its story is the heart of its main character, who still grieving his wife eight years after her murder. New evidence crops up that implicates him in the crime, and we're off on the old Hitchcock chestnut of an innocent man wrongly accused. But all is not as it appears; there is a lot more going on than what I've described. This movie set me off on a French thriller kick that turned me onto a lot of great movies. This one, however, remained my favorite.

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