In this article, guest blogger Elizabeth Madron writes about being in a relationship with someone who doesn’t share her adoration for vintage cinema and discusses some of her favorite films of yesteryear:
I think Hollywood in the 1930s-1960s was so much more interesting and fascinating than it is today. People like Katharine Hepburn, Bette Davis, Cary Grant, etc. were truly actors. The studios controlled their likenesses and even added moral clauses to their contracts.
You have to read between the lines and really listen to the words when you watch a classic film. I like them because of the clothing, hair, makeup, dancing and dialogue. And those publicity photos that the stars sent out to fans are absolutely gorgeous! For you parents out there, classic films are kid friendly. They are a time capsule of the history of entertainment. They reflect what was going on in society at that time.
Before Dancing with the Stars, there was Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Now, it’s all about getting skinnier all the time and doing nude scenes in every film. Earlier this week, I was trying to explain this to my boyfriend. When he thinks about old films he automatically thinks they will be boring. We were childhood friends and have a lot in common, but we are butting heads on this issue. In today’s fast-paced world, getting people to sit back and relax for a few hours is hard. With that in mind, I have started a must-see movie list for novice classic film fans. They are in no particular order. I have included on this list a few from the ’70s and ’80s because they are some of the greatest ever filmed. I am also trying to take baby steps backward towards the 1930s. Here are my picks:
The Postman Always Rings Twice ( 1946)
– A sexy film noir classic with John Garfield and Lana Turner. Greed, lust, adultry and murder take place when a drifter stops in at a roadside cafe. This movie is white hot.
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
– “HEY STELLA!” Directed by Elia Kazan. With Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, and Karl Malden.
– See Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in their first film together.
– There’s nothing like early Sean Connery. Need I say more?
– Alfred Hitchcock at his best. Stay out of the shower!
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
– Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty never looked better. This timeless favorite is highlighted by great car chases with plenty of blood and guts.
Easy Rider (1969)
– Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America. What they find along the way touched the lives of a generation of filmgoers. Stars Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper; Peter Fonda co-stars and directs.
The Godfather (1972)
– Based on the Mario Puzo bestseller about a fictional Italian-American Mafia family named Corleone. Stars Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan and Diane Keaton.
The Godfather, Part II (1974)
– The fantastic sequel to The Godfather that many people think is better than the original.
Raging Bull (1980)
– Bio of boxer Jake LaMotta. Stars Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci. Filmed in black and white. Great direction by Martin Scorsese, and the classical/big band-flavored score is terrific, too.
What are your favorite Hollywood classics? Sound off in the comments!
Elizabeth Madron has been a classic film lover for over 20 years. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Turner Classic Movies, which she considers to be the best network on television. She likes to share her views on Classic movies and Classic actors and actresses on her blog Midnite at Sunset and Vine. For more information, visit her Facebook page.