The Lion in Winter

“The royal boys are aging with the royal port.”

Depicting a time where rulers frequently held power by tossing their offspring into dungeons, this vicious verbal battle pits Peter O’Toole against Katharine Hepburn with the English throne at stake.

He’s holding onto power ruthlessly, she’s home for the holidays (before returning to prison, thanks to dear hubby) and their boys include a very-young Anthony Hopkins.

Timothy Dalton, future ’80s James Bond, also makes his film debut here, though he doesn’t have access to any of his future spy gadgets.

Tis a pity in a film where everyone has ulterior motives.

The Rocketeer

Golly gee-willikers!

A throwback in the best way possible, this remains one of my favorite superhero movies, and gets there by paying homage to movie serials which packed ’em into theaters long before I was born.

Equipped with a rocket pack and lots of moxie, Billy Campbell’s hero flies high, while the supporting cast (Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, and, especially, Jennifer Connelly) are absolute aces.

You can have modern-day Marvel movies with their glossy, artificial special effects.

I’ll be over here hootin’ and hollerin’ as our boy scout hero squares off with his dastardly counterpart on top of a Nazi airship.