Everyone loves movies. They’ve been part of the American way of life for well over a hundred years and have influenced society and culture as well as each of us individually in different ways. But some films have had more influence than others and are the standards by which the rest are judged. So whether you’re looking to relive fond memories or finally see what all the hype is about, there are a few classics that everyone should see.
Musicals used to be much more prevalent than they are now. They were excellent vehicles for the stars to showcase their acting, dancing and singing skills, proving they were truly talented performers. Singing in the Rain is perhaps one of the best examples of this and was selected as No. 1 in the American Film Institute’s list of greatest movie musicals.
The film stars Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds and is set during the time when silent films were first beginning to be replaced by “talkies.” The plot follows two silent film stars as they start to crossover to movies with sound. It’s an interesting look at the way life was during that time and how Hollywood worked, and there are elements of comedy, singing, dancing and romance.
Based on the book of the same name, Gone With the Wind is arguably one of the most famous films of all time. It’s an epic love story with brilliant historical detail and is a visually appealing film with elaborate set design and costuming. The film stars Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable and follows the romance of their characters, Scarlett and Rhett, against the backdrop of life during the Civil War and Reconstruction.
The official runtime is listed as 3 hours and 58 minutes, so setting aside an afternoon or evening might be a good idea. As far as classics go though, it doesn’t get much more classic than this — it did earn 10 Oscars after all.
Most people think of It’s a Wonderful Life as a Christmas movie, so it tends to fly under the radar as a classic film. While it certainly is a good Christmas story, it’s also an exceptional film worthy of a watch regardless of season. The film was directed by Frank Capra and stars the incomparable James Stewart in the lead role.
The plot follows Stewart’s character as he contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. That might sound depressing, but it’s actually an uplifting story about the connections we all make as people and the impact one person can have on those around them. If you’re looking to watch a classic film that has all the elements of filmmaking, cinematography, visual storytelling, superb acting and a great plot, It’s a Wonderful Life fits the bill.
The Maltese Falcon is the epitome of classic films. It stars Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor and was nominated for three Academy Awards upon its release. Its significance to cinema is much more than that, though; it’s widely regarded as one of the most influential movies of all time.
The Maltese Falcon is a film adaptation of the book by Dashiell Hammett. It follows a private detective named Sam Spade, played by Bogart, who's hired to help a woman find her sister. However, as the story unfolds the truth becomes less and less obvious. It's full of twists and turns to keep you guessing as much as the lead character. The film is considered to be the first American film noir and is responsible for inspiring decades of police, investigative and crime dramas.
Strangers on a Train is a unique film that differs from the rest of this list. It’s a psychological thriller directed by the universally regarded master of such films, Alfred Hitchcock. While the story is based on a book, it’s the work of this legendary director that truly brings the idea to life.
The film centers around a chance encounter of two people who meet while traveling on a train. As they converse, they discover that each has someone they’d like to be rid of. It’s determined that they could each commit murder for the other, making the crimes untraceable. What follows is a thrill ride full of ups and downs that could only be done in the classic style of Alfred Hitchcock.
Entertainment is an important part of life at any age. Whether it involves reading, listening to music or fellowship with your Autumn View Gardens neighbors, it’s good to relax and have some fun. Part of joining a community like this is so you can have the freedom to do those things you enjoy. You don’t have to go out all over St. Louis to find things to enjoy; sometimes, it can just be things like relaxing and watching some classic movies.
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