Monday, March 31, 2008


Charade is my favorite Audrey Hepburn film. Hepburn's husband dies, leaving a 1/4 million dollars hidden, and she's not the only one trying to find it. With help from Cary Grant, Hepburn attempts to evade three potential killers while in search of the money. This film is full of action and exciting twists. Definitely not a chick-flick.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

To Kill a Mockingbird

Atticus Finch is considered to be one of the greatest literary heroes of all time. Gregory Peck's portrayal of this moral and ethical man is unforgettable. To Kill a Mockingbird is an American classic, and the movie version does the novel justice. Of course, everyone should read the book before seeing it, but both are important milestones in both American film and literature.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Apartment

This is a critically acclaimed picture in which Jack Lemmon lets certain executives in his company use his apartment to carry on their very personal liaisons. The plot thickens when Lemmon falls for one of his boss's leading ladies. The Apartment is a very sweet, funny story which I definitely recommend.

Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the war room!"

This is definitely one of the funniest films of all time. Peter Sellers plays a myriad of characters including Dr. Strangelove, an odd "ex"-Nazi. The film includes several humorous characters and a series of subplots which all affect the fate of the bomb. It truly is a satirical masterpiece.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Holiday Inn

One of many excellent holiday classics. While it is primarily a Christmas film, Holiday Inn celebrates every prominent holiday. Bing Crosby decides to open an inn that is only open on the holidays. What begins as a plot to avoid year round hard work turns into a charming love story. It features many memorable tunes including "White Christmas." Fred Astaire's dance numbers are especially entertaining. This film should definitely be a part of any holiday routine.

The Maltese Falcon

One of Humphrey Bogart's most memorable films, The Maltese Falcon is the quintessential portrayal of the "private eye." This film follows Bogart as he attempts to sift through the shady accounts of his not-so-trustworthy clients in order to piece together the mystery of the Falcon. Any fan of Bogart's should absolutely see this film. His celebrated "tough guy" attitude is especially evident in this excellent example of film noir.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rear Window

This is my favorite Alfred Hitchcock film. The elegant Grace Kelly indulges Jimmy Stewart who has developed a habit of spying on his neighbors. Stewart thinks he witnesses a murder through a neighbor's window and falls into an obsession in his attempts to solve the mystery. The only problem is that he is in a wheelchair. What started as a relief from boredom becomes a thrilling hunt to uncover the truth. Things aren't always what they seem in this scary film. Kelly is true to form as the Helen of Troy of our time; she and Stewart's chemistry makes the film definitely worth watching in addition to the clever plot.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Breakfast at Tiffany's

This movie is the reason why women plaster Audrey Hepburn posters all over their dorm room walls. Based on the wonderful story by Truman Capote (which I recommend as an excellent read), this is a tale of a small town girl thrusting herself into the fashionable and cosmopolitan city lifestyle. Holly Golightly has her own ideas about life, love, and happiness, and anyone who enters her zany world finds her quirky and unforgettable. Every girl should see this movie and men should see it to understand where the Audrey obsession comes from.

Bonnie and Clyde

"We rob banks."

This is the sad and passionate tale of Bonnie and Clyde and their gang. From the moment Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow meet, it seems as though nothing can stop them. The film portrays the struggles of life on the run. It is an intriguing look at two of the most notorious robbers in American history. Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty have great chemistry in this film and truly make their mark in motion picture history.

Sunset Blvd.

This cryptic tale of a has-been grasping for her glory days is moving and frightening. William Holden's character is charming and witty while his female patron is balancing on the edge of insanity. It is the story of a silent picture star trapped, bitter and alone, in her mansion on Sunset Blvd. Holden's character gives her a reason to live again as they set out to write a new picture together. It is a look at the harsher side of Hollywood and definitely should not be missed!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Philadelphia Story

You almost do not know who to root for in this amazing and hysterical classic. Katharine Hepburn is about to be married when her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a pair of reporters (including Jimmy Stewart) come to crash the party. Seeing these three actors in the same picture is a unique experience. The moment when Stewart and Grant size each other up gives you tingles. Each character is humorous and lovable in his/her own way. Ruth Hussey is also very impressive in the film as Jimmy Stewart's partner. She completely keeps up with the wit of the other characters. You will absolutely fall in love with this film.

When Harry Met Sally

This film is a funny commentary on the differences between men and women and how it affects their relationships. Billy Crystal's unforgettable quote, "men and women can't be friends..." provides the theme of the movie. Meg Ryan and Crystal's characters begin a friendship despite his doubts, and that friendship continues along beautifully until they hit an inevitable bump in the road. It is a witty, honest film and the best romantic comedy of the 80s.

Bringing Up Baby

This is another film featuring the Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn pair. Hepburn plays a loopy woman with a dangerous pet who falls for intellectual and nerdy Grant. She will do anything to win him over, and throughout the process they run into several humorous situations and a great deal of confusion. This is definitely one of the funniest movies of all time. Grant's usual character portrayal is the suave type; seeing him play a smart museum employee is very amusing. Anyone would enjoy this smart, funny film.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Auntie Mame

Auntie Mame is about a woman struggling to bring up her nephew under her own eccentric set of values. She lives extravagantly and attempts to teach him to live his life by her motto: "Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death." Mame's catch phrase is, in my opinion, one of the best movie quotes of all time. This film teaches you to always be yourself and to avoid snobbery at all costs. It is a beautiful, colorful film with lovable characters and delightful drama around every corner.

12 Angry Men

This inspirational film presents Henry Fonda in a heroic role. It is the story of twelve jurors attempting to decide the outcome of a murder trial. This film says a great deal about human nature and the value of good character. Fonda's performance is unforgettable in this timeless film about the battle between morals and law. Lee J. Cobb also puts forth an impressive and emotional performance.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Stand and Deliver

This is yet another 80s classic and one of the most inspirational movies I have ever seen. Stand and Deliver follows the story of a math teacher in a Hispanic neighborhood. He works with his students to help them stay in school and learn calculus. In a dropout-prone high school, this educator gives his students the drive they need to care about their education and to prove to themselves that they are smart, worthwhile individuals. It is truly an under-appreciated gem.

Some Like it Hot

Considered to be one of the greatest comedic films of all time, it is clearly Marilyn Monroe's best picture. Some Like it Hot features a couple of male musicians dressing up as women to hide from the mob. Things become complicated when the pair join a female band and Tony Curtis begins to fall for Monroe. The film is full of confusion and mistaken identities, making it humorous the whole way through. It also delivers one of the most famous and most truthful final lines: "Well, nobody's perfect."


This is a very sweet Jimmy Stewart film. It is the story of a mother and daughter struggling with their crazy relative, Stewart. Stewart claims to have an invisible 6'3" rabbit as his best friend. His sister and niece attempt to have him committed, but the doctors become confused and commit the sister instead. The entire film is a series of mixups, and while everyone else is in constant confusion, Stewart remains calm, kind and collected throughout. He is a friend to all, and this film really portrays the importance of character and self-assurance.

Roman Holiday

Young Audrey Hepburn won an Oscar for her performance in this classic romance. The beautiful scenery and the combination of Gregory Peck and Hepburn make this film extremely worth seeing. Roman Holiday allows a young woman to escape her life for a day and spend it with a "kind" stranger. Peck's deep dreamy voice and tall build make him irresistible and Hepburn's innocence and class make her unforgettably lovable. This film leaves you feeling happy and smitten. No one should miss this one.

Lover Come Back

This is one of the many Doris Day/Rock Hudson pictures and is very funny. Day and Hudson play business rivals. While much of the humor is at Day's expense, she still portrays a strong, very driven woman. Tony Randall also stars in this film and definitely plays the role of the fool quiet well. This trio make wonderfully pleasant movies together.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

This entire film is a competition between Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor to determine which actor is more attractive. The chemistry between them is amazing and their acting and appearance are mesmerizing. Based on the play by Tennessee Williams, it is naturally dripping with subtext. This film portrays the darker side of family. Newman and Taylor alone make it worth seeing.


This is another classic from the 80s. According to my sisters and I, this is one of the greatest movies ever made. It is Steve Martin at his best in an unforgettable film about family. Anyone with a crazy, lovable extended family will absolutely love Parenthood. Although this is another film that cannot be classified as an "old movie," I think it has earned a spot on this page as the funniest film tribute to families I have ever seen.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Three Faces of Eve

This is one of the earliest looks at multiple personality disorder. This dramatic psychological portrayal presents a true story of a woman struggling with this mental illness. Lee J. Cobb's performance as the caring and helpful psychiatrist is especially moving. Burning questions about Eve's past and the likelihood of recovery drive the plot throughout the entire film, eventually leading to a thrilling climax.

Meet Me in St. Louis

This musical film is about love and family. It takes place at the beginning of the 20th century and features several memorable musical numbers. Judy Garland also introduces "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" in a very touchingly emotional scene. This is another favorite among my family, and in my opinion, is Garland's best performance.

Friday, March 14, 2008

His Girl Friday

Another hilarious Cary Grant picture, His Girl Friday is a very interesting look at the lives and drives of journalists. Though the view of a newsroom is fairly stereotypical in this film, the news-gathering process is depicted with humor and light mocking. This film borders on slapstick, yet it keeps that witty dialogue and the clever double-entendres that make earlier pictures so delightful. It also portrays Rosalind Russell as a beautiful, strong, working woman who never loses her journalistic touch.

How to Steal a Million

Anyone who appreciates and adores Audrey Hepburn should not miss this film. It is a sweet, funny tale about a girl who will do anything to protect her family. Peter O'Toole is simply marvelous as her counterpart in the film. He is suave and clever as her friend and accomplice. This is a fun, upbeat adventure which I recommend to any fans of these actors.

Gone with the Wind

This civil war epic is not only very quotable, but is also very well acted. The impressive cinematography and musical score make this film pure art. It is a tribute to struggle and to the power of the individual here in America. Again, this is a long one, but completely worth every minute of your time.

Seven Samurai

Seven Samurai is arguably Director Akira Kurosawa's greatest triumph. This 1954 classic is considered by many to be the best Japanese film of all time. It paved the way for an entire hero plot genre. The film is beautifully made, and is one of the most moving and emotional experiences you will ever have. Do not let the length scare you, it will be the best 3.5 hours you ever spend.

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

One of my family's favorite musicals of all time, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is a wonderful film. Full of lively dancing and music, it is a beautiful love story about a group of seven "backwoodsmen" falling in love and learning to step outside their boundaries and discover new experiences. There is one especially impressive dance sequence in the middle of the film that any viewer will want to rewind and watch over and over again.


No, I am not referring to The Holiday, starring Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet. Holiday is a classic from the late 30s and one of the many films featuring the Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn duo. This sweet, inspiring film encourages people to be proud of who they are. Hepburn plays the "black sheep" from a ritzy family while Grant portrays her sister's fiance. Anyone who is a fan of either of these performers will enjoy this film.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


While it may have been made in the 80s, Moonstruck is and always will be a classic. The story of a sensible woman torn by passion and her natural good sense, Moonstruck captures the most endearing parts of family life while incorporating colorful, amusing characters. Moonstruck is a quirky, somewhat silly film that makes you remember why you love your family. Cher won an Oscar for her performance; that fact alone should make this movie intriguing enough to watch.


I created this blog for my friends. I do not presume to be an authority on "old movies," nor do I believe that my taste in films is superior to all others. After being asked several times to create a list of "movies to see" by many of my peers, I made several failed attempts to document all the films that have meant something to me. While I have not begun to name these films yet, I hope that this blog will soon help remind people about these (somewhat) forgotten treasures. The list will hopefully be constantly updated as I continue my personal film education. I hope you will enjoy my suggestions!

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Rear Window

A Streetcar Named Desire

Some Like it Hot