Old Movies List

Saturday, September 12, 2009 at 10:34 am

My old movies list may make some of you feel really ancient, as I’ve included films as recent as the ‘50s, ‘60s and ’70s. Of course, that’ll seem like a hundred years ago to our younger readers, and they’ll no doubt wonder why movies from the ‘80s weren’t added to the list. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose, but hopefully this old movies list may give you a few new ideas the next time you log onto Blockbuster Online or Netflix.

1. 12 Angry Men (1957) – Using almost one set exclusively, this tense drama tells the story of 12 jurors deliberating the fate of a young man. Originally based on a play, this powerhouse film stars Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman and many more. An absolute essential for any old movies list.

2. Five Easy Pieces (1970) – Jack Nicholson gives a superb performance as a wealthy young man who turned his back on a life or privilege to work on an oil rig. When he hears that his father is dying, he must return to the family he abandoned and try to find some peace in his life. Also starring Karen Black and Billy Green Bush. The most famous scene in the film comes when Nicholson tries to get a side order of toast from a particularly stubborn waitress. One of the great old movies of the 70s.

3. The Sand Pebbles (1966) – Steve McQueen portrays Jake Holman, an engine specialist recently transferred to the USS San Pablo, a gunboat on patrol in 1920’s China. Colonialism and race relations are explored, and Holman forms a doomed relationship with a schoolteacher (Candice Bergen) at a local Christian mission.

4. The Music Man (1962) – In this great old movie from the 60s, Robert Preston stars as a conman looking to swindle the citizens of a small Iowa town by convincing them they need a boy’s marching band. After raising the money, his intention is to skip town, but he doesn’t plan on falling in love with the town’s librarian (Shirley Jones). A fun musical film based on a 1957 Broadway production.

5. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) – A heartwarming look back at the life of an English schoolteacher and the thousands of young boys whose lives he touched. Starring Robert Donat, Greer Garson, Terry Kilburn and Paul Henreid. Up for seven Oscars, Robert Donat beat out Clark Gable (Gone with the Wind) in the Best Actor category.

6. Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – This classic old movie from the ‘50s tells of the fall of the silent films and the rise of the “talkies.” Gene Kelly stars, and he’s supported by Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds and Jean Hagen. It’s considered the greatest musical ever made, and that’s a title that’s well-deserved.

7. The Thin Man (1934) – William Powell and Myrna Loy star as Nick and Nora Charles, a married couple who flirt relentlessly with one another while they’re solving crimes. Hugely popular, the film spawned five sequels and was based on a novel by mystery writer Dashiell Hammett. Definitely deserving of a spot on any old movies list.

8. All the King’s Men (1949) – A politician rises from rural office to becoming governor. Even though he begins as an idealist, the system eventually corrupts him just like those who came before. Starring Broderick Crawford and Joanne Dru.

9. The Caine Mutiny (1954) – Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny depicts a mutiny aboard a WWII American minesweeper and the later court-martial trial which resulted. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Jose Ferrer, Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray.

10. Ivanhoe (1952) – Robert Taylor stars as Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a knight who tirelessly searches for a way to rescue his king, Richard the Lionheart. A sweeping adventure filled with romance, swordplay and deception. Two unofficial sequels would follow.

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Don’t run off just yet, as there’s plenty more where that came from. For example…

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 12th, 2009 at 10:34 am and is filed under Movie Megalists. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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