7 Old School Hollywood Movies I Adore ...


7 Old School Hollywood Movies I Adore ...
7 Old School Hollywood Movies I Adore ...

I love old school Hollywood movies. As much as I admire the artistry and technological wonders of modern movies, there’s something so comforting about being cocooned in a movie where special effects play second fiddle to the acting, and where the story might be cheesy but still fun. There are so many movies made these days that I’m sure many of the younger generation have never watched a black and white movie, or a Busby Berkeley musical or a movie starring Errol Flynn or James Stewart. Maybe the next time you’re having a movie night or it’s a rainy day, you’ll consider one of these old school Hollywood movies over the latest blockbuster.

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The Court Jester

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

I could easily list all the Danny Kaye movies as my favorite old school Hollywood movies. He was a brilliant song and dance man and most of his characters were vulnerable and unassuming men. He was also a gifted comedian with impeccable timing and great expression. My absolute favorite film of his is The Court Jester. Set in Medieval England (or at least Hollywood’s rather sentimental and romantic view thereof), Kaye plays a humble serf who masquerades as a Court Jester to help the real king accede to his throne. The cast includes stylish Glynis Johns, a young Angela Lansbury and arch villain Basil Rathbone and the movie is full of upbeat songs. The sequence where Kaye is made a knight is priceless and the prefight scene is unbeaten as a work of dialogue. “The poison is in the vessel with the pestle. The chalice from the palace is the brew that is true”.


Roman Holiday

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

One of the most glamorous women ever starred in some of the most stylish old time Hollywood movies and that is Audrey Hepburn. Her list of fabulous movies includes Sabrina, Funny Face and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. However, Roman Holiday was one of the first black and white movies I saw that made an everlasting impression on me. The story of a modern day princess who longs for some freedom, Gregory Peck is her guide for 24 hours of sheer joy seeing the sights of Rome. It may be black and white but the movie still manages to capture the magic of Rome and I knew right off it was one city I had to visit one day. And, there’s a nice ending which shows chivalry isn’t dead – even among journalists.


North by North West

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

If Danny Kaye is one of my favorite actors and Audrey Hepburn one of my favorite actresses, then Alfred Hitchcock has to be one of my favorite producers. The Englishman was an absolute master of suspense. His films wove intrigue, murder, mayhem and mystery to keep you enthralled to the end; sometimes dark, sometimes funny, but always superb. My pick absolutely, without question, has to be North by North West. The thrilling story is brilliantly masterminded and Cary Grant is truly magnificent – sardonically wry and very classy. It's full of iconic scenes but don’t miss the crop dusting plane attack and the final chase across Mount Rushmore.


True Grit

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

Westerns aren’t really such a popular genre these days, but they were a mainstay of old school Hollywood movies. I can’t claim it’s my favorite type of movie, but my parents loved them. When it comes to giants of the screen, very few live up to the stature of John Wayne. He set the standard for Hollywood cowboys (and other action men such as US soldiers) and this was finally recognized when he won the Best Actor Oscar for True Grit in 1970. In True Grit he plays a hard-drinking, no-compromising US Marshall on the trail of murdering gunmen. He’s funny and physical yet at the same time, compassionate. Wayne gives a consummate performance in a movie that is one of the best adverts for cowboy movies ever.


Gone with the Wind

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

“No civil war movie ever made a dime”. That’s what an MGM Executive said to Louis B. Mayer about the film rights to Margaret Mitchell’s epic. Boy was he proved wrong! Gone with the Wind was the highest grossing film for 25 years, and when adjusted for inflation, it would still be the highest grossing film EVER. If you’ve got 4 hours to spare, grab a packet of chips and a soda and a box of tissues (or some hummus, carrot sticks and bottle of water) and settle in for an amazing journey through the civil war as played out by Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Rhett butler and Scarlett O’Hara. Unmissable and unforgettable!


It’s a Wonderful Life

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

Another of my favorite old school Hollywood movies that is in black and white, It’s a Wonderful Life is a roller coaster of emotion. The incomparable James Stewart takes on a heart-wrenching journey through the life and would-be life of humble George Bailey. We start off high, plumb the depths of despair and then of course, there’s the fairytale ending where we all live happy ever after. It’s a story that would still work today – who doesn’t need a drop of the feel-good factor every now and then?


My Fair Lady

On iTunes itunes.apple.com

I tried to resist including another with Audrey Hepburn but I have to include a musical in my list of favorite old school Hollywood movies and as much as I love all musicals, My Fair Lady is my ultimate indulgence. I never tire of it. It doesn’t matter that Audrey’s cockney accent is appalling and way off the mark, or that her singing voice is dubbed – the film is magical. (Although, I do still wonder why they didn’t cast Julie Andrews considering she starred in the stage production). The digitally remastered version does plenty justice to the fabulous fashions of Cecil Beaton (who was also an award winning photographer of the Royal Family) and the songs are very memorable. It’s very upbeat and amusing and will remain one of my most favorite movies – ever.

I could have gone on forever sharing with you my favorite movies from the Hollywood old school. I have a favorite in every genre. How about you? What are you favorites? Or maybe you’ve never seen a black and white movie?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Gone with the wind <3

breakfast at Tiffany's is a good one also!

High Society, Dial M For Murder, I Married A Witch, Grand Hotel, Shanghai Express, Anna Karenina, How To Marry A Millionaire, Breakfast At Tiffany's, just to name few.

Turner Classic Movies! Great channel to see so many of these wonderful films!

Absolutely love classics!

Gone with the wind is my fav movie of all time

Calamity Jane is one of my favs!! I love Doris Daye!

I adore Audrey Hepburn.

Casablanca ?

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