(After adding in all the art to have some visuals I realized you really have to have some images from the films themselves. Don't cheat your viewers...)
Since this conversation started with The Time Machine, the 1960 George Pal film has to certainly be included. I watched it last on the eve of the millennium, a hundred years to the day when the story takes place. The cast headed by Rod Taylor and Yvette Mimeaux is superb. I was so disappointed when I saw Alex Toth's adaptation of the movie that he didn't draw a likeness to the latter. Really great special effects for the time and the Morlocks scared the crap out of me.
Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Laughs from beginning to end with a really wonderful cast headed by Matthew Broderick, but with great bits by Charlie Sheen, Jennifer Grey and Jeffrey Jones. While I was amused by the recent Super Bowl commercial featuring Broderick, I've always wondered why there wasn't a follow up film of Ferris taking a day off in his adult life.
Raiders of the Lost Ark. While I've never thought of Spielberg as a great director, he has certainly done some fun stuff. You can't get much better than the chemistry between Harrison Ford and Karen Allen (something that was missing in the sequels.) Romance, action, great villains and lots of very creepy sets.
The Usual Suspects. Twists and turns galore with a truly "didn't see that one coming" ending. Kevin Spacey and Gabriel Byrne at their best. Perhaps at bit of a homage to Eric Ambler's A Coffin for Dimitrios (which was made as The Mask of Dimitrios with Peter Lorre and Zackary Scott.)
Nero Wolfe. When this A&E series came out with Timothy Hutton and Maury Chaykin as Archie Goodwin and Nero Wolfe I was very skeptical. Archie should be Cary Grant of James Garner! But after watching a few of the episodes, which were very faithful adaptations of the Rex Stout stories, I was hooked, and can't imagine anyone else as these characters. A great ensemble cast who would continually change roles as supporting characters. Kari Matchett as Lily Rowan (and several other femme fatales)…perfect!!
The Falcon. When you're watching Hitchcock's Foreign Correspondent and George Sanders shows up as the British Agent, your immediate reaction is why isn't he the star of the movie? Sanders does appear in another Hitchcock film, Rebecca, where he plays the smarmy cousin who's had an affair with the dead lady in the title, but he was best when he played the suave and sophisticated leading man. He did this both in the Falcon series and later in several films in which he played Simon Templar, also known as the Saint, written by Leslie Chartiris. The Falcon Takes Over is the first screen adaptation of a Raymond Chandler novel (Farewell My Lovely) adapted with the Falcon in the Philip Marlowe role. In both series, George's real life brother, Tom Conway, shows up to play his brother on screen.
The Road to Utopia. Watch any of the Road films with Bob Hope and Big Crosby and you can't go wrong. Their ad libs and their asides to the audience are priceless. As Bing maneuvers a romantic moment with the ever present Dorothy Lamour , Bob turns to us:"Go out and get your popcorn,folks. He's gonna sing." Robert Benchley "narrates" the film since as he explains, the studio didn't think we could understand it otherwise.
As a kid, comics were great, but movies were truly the doorway to another world. You've got the list, start checking them out. Would I steer you wrong. Wait a minute….I didn't have time to mention Fred and Ginger, Preston Sturgess, Woody, Karloff, Cooper, Nicole, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Marlene…..