The Thing – Either the 1951 original or the 1982 remake will do nicely, though—over time—I’ve come to prefer the John Carpenter version. It plays out like a scarier, gorier variation of Agatha Christie’s Ten Little Indians set in sub-zero temperatures in an Arctic research station. The nifty twist here is that the “killer” can move from one person to another, which makes identifying it rather difficult. It’s a real chiller—in more ways than one.
|Alfred assists Professor Abronsius.|
3. Where Eagles Dare – Set in the white-covered mountains of Austria, Where Eagles Dare sends seven special forces soldiers to rescue a U.S. general being held captive by the Nazis. But this is no routine mission: the soldiers must break into an impregnable mountaintop castle, there appears to be a traitor among them, and their squad leader seems to trust no one—except Mary, the blonde agent hiding in the barn. Who would have thought that Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood would’ve made such a good team?
Ten Little Indians – Most film buffs prefer the earlier version of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None…but it didn’t trap the murder suspects with the killer in a chateau atop a snowy mountain. Yes, there are distractions, including the dreadful theme music and an over-the-top performance by then-popular singer Fabian (at least, his screen time is brief). On the plus side, the rest of the cast—including Shirley Eaton and Wilfred Hyde-White—does a fine job. Plus, there’s a “murder minute” at the climax, in which an onscreen clock counts down from 60 seconds as key clues are shown again.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – This 007 film might rate higher, except that it’s only partially set in Blofeld’s mountaintop fortress. Yes, fans quibbles about George Lazenby’s performance as Bond (personally, I think he’s decent), but OHMSS boasts a spectacular setting, the marvelous Diana Rigg, and the first of many thrilling James Bond ski chases.
Honorable mentions: the Eli Wallach-Robert Culp sci fi film A Cold Night’s Death; Rock Hudson as a sub commander headed to Ice Station Zebra; and the documentary Conquest of Everest.
What would be on your best list for movies to watch on a snowy day?