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Classics DVD Rentals

1- Casablanca DVD
As time goes by, this 1942 classic starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman (as Rick and Ilsa, star-crossed lovers who just aren't meant to be) only gets better. Of all the "gin joints" in Morocco, Ilsa, with husband Victor (Paul Henreid) in tow, had to walk into the one owned by Rick, a former beau she abandoned in Paris. War looms over them all, and in a much-discussed ending, Rick and Ilsa make heroic but heartbreaking choices.

2- Seven Samurai DVD
Akira Kurosawa's heroic tale of honor and duty begins with master samurai Kambei (Takashi Shimura) posing as a monk to save a kidnapped child. Impressed by his bravery, a group of farmers begs him to defend their village from encroaching bandits. Kambei agrees and assembles a group of six other samurai, and together they build a militia with the villagers while the bandits loom nearby. Soon the raids begin, culminating in a bloody battle.

3- Citizen Kane DVD
Orson Welles reinvented movies at the age of 26 with this audacious biography of newspaper baron Charles Foster Kane (in essence, a thinly veiled portrait of publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst), who rises from poverty to become one of America's most influential men. A complex and technically stunning film, Citizen Kane is considered one of the best movies ever made.

4- Chinatown DVD
Private eye J.J. Gittes (Jack Nicholson) uncovers intricate dirty dealings in the Los Angeles waterworks and gets his nose slashed for his grief. Suspicious, porcelain-skinned femme fatale Faye Dunaway (who harbors a nasty family secret) finances Gittes's snooping. Director Roman Polanski reimagines 1930s Los Angeles in this brilliant detective thriller. And Robert Towne's onion-like script reveals itself one complex layer at a time.

5- The Manchurian Candidate DVD
Some thrillers remain as suspenseful -- and timely -- as when they were first released. Raymond Shaw (Laurence Harvey) is a Korean War hero with a lethal secret: He's been brainwashed into being a sleeper agent for the communist Chinese. With one phone call, the Reds can transform Shaw into a deadly assassin -- unless fellow veteran Bennett Marco (Frank Sinatra) can stop them first!

6- North by Northwest DVD
What if everyone around you was suddenly convinced you were a spy? Cary Grant plays an advertising executive who looks a little too much like someone else and is forced to go on the lam (helped along by Eva Marie Saint). Hitchcock's sure-handed comic drama pits Grant against a crop duster and lands him in a fight for his life on Mount Rushmore. A cliffhanger if ever there was one!

7- Rear Window DVD
As his broken leg heals, wheelchair-bound L.B. Jeffries (Jimmy Stewart) becomes absorbed with the parade of life across the courtyard: A dancer, a lonely woman, a composer and a bedridden woman and her husband become like creatures in Needham's voyeuristic zoo. But when one of them disappears, Needham suspects foul play -- and suddenly he finds himself in the center of the action with nowhere to run.

8- The Producers DVD
In this hysterical farce, rapacious but lovable producer Max Bialystock (Zero Mostel) hasn't had a hit in years. Quite by accident, he and his meek, neurotic accountant, Leo Bloom (Gene Wilder), come up with a plot to oversell shares in a surefire flop musical and make off with the profits -- using the worst play ever written, "Springtime for Hitler." Inspired, manic performances and Brooks's lively direction make The Producers a true gem.

9- The Bridge on the River Kwai DVD
Director David Lean's sweeping epic is set in a Japanese World War II prison camp where British POWs are forced to construct a railway bridge as a morale-building exercise. Yet the real battle of wills is between "play by the rules" British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), who is dedicated to the project, and his American rival (William Holden), who vows to destroy it. The POWs' whistling work theme became legendary.

10- On the Waterfront DVD
Terry Malloy (Oscar-winner Marlon Brando) is a washed-up boxer turned longshoreman who finds he has one fight left in him when he dares to take on corrupt union boss Johnny Friendly (Lee J. Cobb). A landmark "issue" picture, On the Waterfront is distinguished by great performances and excellent use of New York locations. It's also the winner of eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director (Elia Kazan).

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