Whole LOTA Love

OTA Staff Shares Their All-Time Favorite Movies!

There is more to why we love watching movies than just entertainment and a way to pass time. Movies are inspirational. They can move us to tears, or “laugh out loud” laughter. They open our minds and give us a glimpse into the world of others as well as our own. Even “bad” movies have a place in our lives. So, in honor of the 92nd Academy Awards Ceremony on February 9th 2020, I asked OTA employees to share their favorite movie of all times. Here is their list:

Gina Monetti, Education Program Specialist  

Sergeant York

Though it’s a Hollywoodized version based on the true story of the real honored Sergeant York, there are so many reasons to love this movie: redemption and a complete turn-around of character in Alvin York’s dramatic conversion to Christianity, the struggle he has between pacifism and fighting for his country in World War 1, his capturing of a whole lotta (shameless pun there) the enemy with very little killing, and the whole sweet spirit of the movie. It gives me tears and joy every-time I see it.

David Pelusi, Teleservices Agent OTAF

Taxi Driver

This movie is not only a phenomenal character study with great acting from Robert De Niro and a sad urban ambience but it’s also a personal favorite due to the fact that it was one of the first “adult” movies I was allowed to watch with my dad. We bonded over our love of film scores especially this movie since it was Bernard Herrmann’s last film score before he died. The soundtrack is one of the best parts.

Carrie Weiss, Education Counselor, Toronto

Gone with the Wind

It is inspirational, it is headache with a loving beating soul, it is destiny with no direction, it is defeat with acceleration… It is a stock market, hedging funds.

Todd Humphrey, ISupport Independent Contractor

The Wizard of Oz

We all need courage, love, a little more brains and the purity and Determination of Dorthey. We need to be aware of the person behind the curtain. And we all have are storms, evil and monkeys that try and disrupt us.

Mark Betz, General Manager, Irvine

The Wizard of Oz

I am old enough to remember when it came on TV only once a year around Easter.  I was really excited when I first saw it in Living COLOR after we got our first color TV!

Michael Baker, Franchise Support Manager


Lisa Tashjian, Training & Development Manager, OTAF


Probably my all time favorite movie is Rudy. I can watch it over and over again and it is such an inspirational story of someone who was told over and over again that they were out of their league, but through pure determination and hard work was able to accomplish his dream. Plus, at the end of the movie when they lift him on their shoulders and the music is playing, I cry EVERY TIME. Aw, just such a great movie!

John O’Donnell, Research Director, OTAF


The inspiring story of to attend and play Norte Dame football

Grant Grable, Owner & Presenter, Sacramento


That’s easy, if I have to pick one...Caddyshack! I can’t get enough laughter in my life! 

John Henkel, Owner & PTW Presenter 

The Shawshank Redemption

Great message of hope and perseverance.

Curt Derby, PTW Presenter, Salt Lake City

The Shawshank Redemption

My favorite is the Shawshank Redemption. I love the messages about hope and friendship. Also, it’s got one of the best surprise plot twists in movie history!

Anthony Navarro, Presenter, Charlotte

The Shawshank Redemption

Clarence Churn, Tax Accountant

The Shawshank Redemption

My favorite movie of all time is The Shawshank Redemption.

I enjoy this movie because it shows the formation of a friendship of 2 different people from 2 different backgrounds, who under normal circumstances would have never met.

Matt McGrath, Sr. Education Consultant, Co-Host Power Trading Radio, Kansas City

The Natural.  

Because I always loved baseball and for some reason I am just mesmerized when he hits those home runs through the lights or through the clock at Wrigley.

Craig Weil, Instructor

The Natural   

I love everything about this move. The stars, the story, the music and most importantly the message about overcoming all obstacles to achieve your goals. It has all the components of great storytelling and contains all the emotions of happiness, sadness, good, evil, love and exhilaration. 

Michael Atias, Director of Tax Services, OTAF

Schindler’s List

How one man can save many, how light conquers darkness, caring about others, I can go on and on….

Mia Feist, Franchise Support Coordinator

50 First Dates

My favorite movie of all time is 50 First Dates. I love the movie because of the Hawaiian scenery and the soothing music, the constant cheeky laughs, but overall the idea that true love is not limited to a condition or a disadvantage in life. 

Carter Hooper, Writer, OTAF

The Secret in Their Eyes
(The 2009 Argentine version which won the 2010 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film and NOT the dismal 2015 American remake with Julia Roberts)

Picking this because it unexpectedly both moved me and blew me away when I saw it in the theater. A fantastic modern-day film noir with one of the best didn’t-see-it-coming endings of all time. Consummate filmmaking with terrific performances and a jaw-dropping continuous scene that starts with a aerial view of a football match, delving down to an ID and chase scene through the bowels of the stadium. On top of everything, a meditation of unrequited, middle age love. Top that, I dare you!

Justin Cook, Writer, OTAF

Dazed and Confused

My favorite movie is Dazed and Confused. It has not one, but two stellar soundtracks, both of which feature some of the finest rock of the day, including cuts from Black Sabbath, ZZ Top, and Kiss. Characters in the film are unique, with relatable struggles and goals, while the dialogue is memorable and witty—not to mention quotable! The cast is entertaining as well, and it includes some well-known actors and actresses “before they were stars.”

Anthony Stabile, Student Support Specialist, Ft. Lauderdale


Michael Gamerl, Presenter Trainee

Singing in the Rain

Gabriel Gerson, Senior Software Architect

Empire of the Sun

It tells the story of a young English boy who struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Sandra Claar, Senior Technical Writer, OTAF

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Steven Spielberg has said many times that when he is done making movies, that he hopes E.T. is the one he is known for – as he feels like that is the best example of a movie where the person watching goes through every major emotion. I think he was right.

Kaelan Kwan, Instructor Trainee

An Affair to Remember

Close to my heart!

Katy Yearton, Education Counselor, Kansas City

Death at a Funeral

Hands down my favorite comedy/movie is the original Death at a Funeral. The British one. It’s dry british humor but laugh out loud comedy with the events that go down. If you need a good laugh, I suggest it highly. 

Ray Fitzgerald, Enrollment Counsellor, San Jose


My family during the 1970’s consisted of myself and 3 sisters. I was always battling the older 2. We were each given a chance to choose the movie that the family would see on Saturday night. Sibling rivalry was rampant! When my turn came around in 1976, I chose Rocky. My sisters were so angry they boycotted it, and I attended Rocky alone with my Mom.

Steve Suminski, Instructor


Greatest movie ever was Goodfellas.  It was the first 3-hour movie I’ve ever seen that I never wanted to end. 

Manny Stamatakis, Senior Education Counselor

Inside Man

My favorite movie is Inside Man (2006), just beating out Shawshank Redemption & Christmas Carol for obviously different reasons. Besides really liking Denzel Washingon, Clive Owen was truly excellent and the cast of Jodie Foster, Chrisopher Plummer and other supporting actors were also good. The plot was suspenseful and clever, and no matter how many times I've watched it, I always smile at the end, because nobody really gets hurt in a very unusual bank robbery, and justice was upheld in a very surprising and unique manner, even though the bank robbers escaped scot-free while at the same time accomplishing their multiple purposes for the heist.

Hassan Ansari, Student Support Manager, Presenter & Education Counselor, San Jose

Godfather Part 1

In this movie you get to see the evolution of Michael Corleone, from a great guy who was a straight arrow (served in armed forces. Said he is not like his family) to a mafia thug (when he shot Sollozo at the restaurant).  It’s in my opinion, Al Pacino’s best theatrical performance.  To deliver two mindsets in a movie is not an easy feat.

Ed Ponsi, Instructor

Good Will Hunting

Wayne Citron, Instructor  


Easy, peasy. Casablanca!!

Thomas George. Ridings Jr., Motion Graphics Specialist, OTAF


Chris Muldoon, Instructor  

Cinderella Man 

Ron Lembo, Instructor  

The Big Lebowski

Without a doubt. The Big Lebowski.

Rochelle Maxwell, Director of Finance, Atlanta

The Five Heartbeats

It makes you feel every emotion thru the whole movie.

Brittany Ducharme, Student Support  

The Titanic

My favorite movie is The Titanic because the love story is timeless. Also, the time period between 1900 and the 1930's had such a wonderful change on society after the war because women began having more rights (even if not fully recognized yet). This was such a wonderful time; set between the days of beautiful architecture and large dreams of the up and changing world. It is absolutely fascinating to me. Luxury and simplicity were simultaneous in those days. Lastly, you cannot ever avoid the strong notion that although Jack was not of the same "class" as Rose, he sacrifices his life for hers, and there is no grander or more chivalrous act. 

Ashton Wiles, Operations Manager, Atlanta  

Hocus Pocus

I would have to say my all-time favorite movie is Hocus Pocus! I have grown up watching it and continue to watch it year-round! Such a funny movie!

Jerry Baldwin, Instructor


My favorite movie is Miracle the story about the 1980 gold medal US Olympic hockey team.

Mark Patrick, Vice President of Franchise Support

The Legend of Bagger Vance

I love golf…everything about the game, and challenge of it. My favorite movie is The Legend of Bagger Vance with Will Smith, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron. Every time it is on, I cannot skip past it.

Joe Cohen, Accounting Manager, Tampa Bay  


Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield, and the cast of characters make examples of comedy, drama, and overall circumstances we may deal with in real life to the extreme. The difficult customer, the rule breaker, the challenging employee, human resource nightmares, and conflict resolution are constantly put to the test.

Patricia Cummins, Student Support Specialist, Washington DC  


The Earthing Movie

This is the most recent documentary that I’ve seen which has impacted my life, and my family’s lives. I think everyone should know the benefits of it. If you happen to watch it, let me know what you think.

Don Cummings, Education Counselor, Norwalk

The Sound of Music

My favorite movie is The Sound of Music. It’s one of my favorites, because I remember watching it when I was a kid, and because I loved watching it with my children too.

Mike McMahon, Content Developer

Sound of Music

Scott Boyer, MTO Instructor Development Manager

Forrest Gump

Key moments of history are injected into the movie so well, I get lost in it every time.  It’s simply great storytelling. Hope, humor, friendship, overcoming, and in the end he gets the girl. A perfect movie.

Tom Matisko, Education Counselor  

Tommy Boy

Glengary Glenross

Ryan Herron, CliK Specialist

Find Me

The Movie, Find Me was so inspiring, it actually did help me find me.

Jenafer Tate, Student Support Specialist, Scottsdale

Breakfast Club

Hope. This movie puts you in the minds of different people, in the same situation and how they think, share and bond to understand they All are a little of one another.  Love people and know we all need each other in so many different ways.

Royce Bradley, Center Manager, Atlanta  

Coming to America

Back to the Future

Ralph Loberger, VP Business Development  

A Christmas Story

My favorite is A Christmas Story.  Watching Ralph and Randy dealing with school, bullies, parents, Christmas and all of the childhood emotions that are involved with growing up in the 40s is a real joy to watch (It probably also doesn’t hurt that my younger brother’s name is also Randy). It has become an annual Christmas tradition for our entire family to watch this movie.

Diana Hill, Director of Real Estate Education

The Princess Bride

I’m a romantic and think everything should end “Happy ever after”, I love smart humor and it stands the test of time. Did just recently learn that Robin Wright (aka Clair Underwood of the House of Cards) was the Buttercup.

Deanne Brown, Success, Culture & Communications Coordinator

It's A Wonderful Life

Because everything we do matters.