Ric Pantale closed his popular video store, Piermont Pictures Video, earlier this month after fighting a losing battle with Netflix. Pantale, known around Rockland as something of a film guru, was kind enough to provide some final words of advice to his fans. Here is a list of 10 of his all-time favorite movies, with a brief explanation in Ric’s own words.
“Since I have the wonderful luxury of picking 10 films that are my favorites, I will pick two from every genre,” Ric says. Here they are:
Rio Bravo (1959) – Whenever I get blue, I pop in this western and it instantly makes me feel better. Who could ask more than John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Ricky Nelson. You wouldn’t think so but the three of them blend in perfectly to make this an all time classic. The plot is simple (like westerns should be) and the camaraderie is Howard Hawks at his best.
Shane (1954) – When I first saw this beautiful Western I was knocked out. The story is the classic example of good versus Evil. Alan Ladd is perfect as the strong silent stranger who helps a rancher’s family. The ending still makes me teary.
The Haunting (1963) – Shot in shadowy Black & White and nary a drop of blood in sight, this movie will scare the shackles out of you. It’s all about camera angles, sound and wonderful acting. It holds up well today, is still the best haunted house movie.
The Cat People (1944) – Another movie without blood, but can scare you silly, just by the power of suggestion. Shadows here are much scarier than the actual thing, and so much more intelligent than today’s blood and gore fests that try to be scary but aren’t.
The Thing from Another World (1951) – A scary Frankenstein type of monster that kills for blood in a secluded environ of the North Pole …sounds scary, and it is… The monster just won’t listen to reason and only thinks of earthlings as food. I watched the skies for a long time after this one.
Alein (1979) – Still the best Sci-Fi movie ever. The mood, (again secluded), the sound and the Alien itself are wonderful in perpetuating Goose bumps.
A Fish called Wanda (1994) – The movie still cracks me up because of it’s insane sense of dark humor. Everyone is pitch perfect with half an American cast. You can see this over and over and still laugh at it’s over the top humor.
The Jerk (1977) – I know it’s crude, I know it’s over the top, but the movie is downright funny. Steve Martin in his screen debut has never been funnier. You have to see this with an open mind, but it is funny never the less.
The Last of the Mohicans (1992) – Daniel Day Lewis is a great Hawkeye, in this highly stylized version of an old classic. The music that blends in seamlessly with the great action is perfect. Highly romantic in theme, both men and women loved this one.
Glory (1989) – Still the best Civil War film ever. Still the best war film ever. It’s the heartbreaking story of the 54th all black brigade. The movie is so authentic looking, you would swear you stepped back in time. (Rockland County has a connection because some of the soldiers are burried in a overlooked cemetary next to the Palisades Center.)
One more for good luck?
The new 3:10 to Yuma is a wonderful western that shouldn’t be missed. It is so good to see a Western again and to see the great American Western landscape, used to perfection. The movie is an instant classic and even is better in every way to the original (something you don’t see every day).