With the release of Delivery Man and The Railway Man, a chance to look at the top ten movies with the word Man in the title. It would be very easy to fill the top ten with superhero films, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Superman, Batman, so instead I have gone for straight forward films that use The something Man. Got it? Good!
10. The January Man (1989)
A forgotten little gem that manages to mix a romantic comedy with a psychological thriller as Kevin Kline plays an ex-cop pulled out of retirement to chase down a serial killer. A delicious cast including Susan Sarandon, Harvey Keitel and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio help this slight film work.
9. The Wrong Man (1956)
Another forgotten gem, this time from Alfred Hitchcock as Henry Fonda plays a musician mistaken for a serial crook who must prove his innocence. Told in semi-documentary style and based on a true story, it has all the hallmarks of Hitch and a first class performance from Fonda.
8. The Quiet Man (1952)
John Ford’s sweet-natured love story has John Wayne’s retired boxer returning to his homeland of Ireland and sparking off a romance with local Maureen O’Hara. Filmed in glorious technicolor, it’s a slight fish-out-of-water tale with plenty of Gaelic charm and a diverting change of pace for Ford.
7. The Elephant Man (1980)
David Lynch’s black and white wonder has John Hurt on top form as the sympathetic man regarded as a freak in Victorian London and Anthony Hopkins as the doctor who wants to civilise him. Beautiful, lyrical and incredibly moving.
6. The Invisible Man (1933)
One of the original Universal horrors, this version of H.G. Wells classic story has Claude Rains as a scientist who discovers the power of invisibility but leads him into a dark world of murder. Still as creepy today as it was all those years ago, thanks to James Whale’s spooky direction.
5. The Music Man (1962)
A delightful musical comedy about a con man who comes to a small town and promises a marching band. Great, toe-tapping tunes are helped by a superb central performance from Robert Preston. All together…76 trombones led the big parade!
4. The Running Man (1987)
Sci-Fi action flick with Arnie as a contestant of a violent TV game show in which he must run from death. Based on a short story by Stephen King and directed by Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky), this is classic Arnie with biting one-liners and brimming with terrific set-pieces.
3. The Stunt Man (1980)
The late great Peter O’Toole is firing on all cylinders in this cracking satire of the film industry as he plays a God-like director who controls an escape criminal pretending to be a stunt man. With a slight story, it’s O’Toole who makes this such a cinematic gem and one of his most flamboyant roles.
2. The Third Man (1949)
Classic Graham Greene thriller Joseph Cotton as a man heading to Vienna to investigate the death of his old friend, this mysterious Harry Lime, played by Orson Welles. Atmospheric and utterly gripping, Carol Reed’s film is a masterclass in suspense as well as that famous theme tune.
1. The Wicker Man (1973)
First-rate British horror with Edward Woodward as the police officer sent to a Scottish island to find a missing girl and being caught up in the local’s occult activities. Christopher Lee makes a guest appearance and Britt Ekland is dubbed and naked, this is regarded as one of the best horrors around and the end still manages to shock.