So apparently, today has been delegated National Classic Movie Day, and no one told me! It was created in 2014 as some sort of “grassroots movement” (according to Facebook), and isn’t really a National Holiday. But it should be! What better way to bring people together than watching a classic film starring Bogie, Bette, Duke, or Bela, and then actually TALKING about it. I’ve struggled with creating an All-Time Top Ten List for years, so I’m not even going to attempt it. Instead, here’s a list of 20 films off the top of my head that I could watch over and over again (and in the interest of fairness, I’ll present them in alphabetical order):
ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (Warner Bros 1938)
Cagney and O’Brien, Bogie and Ann Sheridan, The Dead End Kids – what more could a classic film fan ask for??
BRIDE OF THE MONSTER (Banner Pictures 1953)
I can hear you all taking a deep intake of breath and saying, “What the f…”, but I don’t care! I love this no-budget masterpiece, and I love Lugosi, so there!!
CASABLANCA (Warner Bros 1942)
I’ve written plenty of praises for my favorite movie, so I’ll just move right along…
CITIZEN KANE (RKO 1941)
Some say it’s the greatest film ever made, and who am I to argue? Orson Welles broke all the cinematic rules here, and invented some new ones!
DUCK SOUP (Paramount 1933)
Groucho, Chico, and Harpo at their most anarchic! “Remember, we’re fighting for this woman’s honor… which is more than she ever did!”
FRANKENSTEIN (Universal 1931)
Karloff as Mary Shelley’s tragic creation turned a minor actor into the Undisputed King of Horror. And the sequel (1935’s BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN) is as good (if not better) than the original!
THE GODFATHER (Paramount 1972)
Francis Ford Coppola’s portrait of an American family, who happen to be in the Mafia. It’s much more than just another gangster movie.
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY (United Artists 1967)
Of all the Spaghetti Westerns ever made, this one’s my favorite. Cool Clint, Ice Cold Van Cleef, and Crazy Eli are a trio that can’t be beat, and Sergio Leone dazzles us with his movie-making magic.
IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD MAD WORLD (United Artists 1963)
Often imitated, but never duplicated. How could it be, with Spencer Tracy heading up a cast of classic comedians doing their thing!
KING KONG (RKO 1933)
No amount of technological advancement or big-name stars can top this marvelous movie. A fairy tale for the ages!
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (Continental Distributing 1968)
A movie that scared the crap out of me when I first saw it… and still does!!
PSYCHO (Universal 1960)
They don’t call Alfred Hitchcock the Master of Suspense for nothin’!!
THE QUIET MAN (Republic 1952)
The lush Irish landscape, John Wayne and Victor McLaglen’s big brawl, and Maureen O’Hara at her most gorgeous make this one of John Ford’s most poetic movies.
THE SEARCHERS (Warner Bros 1956)
Wayne and Ford again. Simply the greatest Western ever made.
SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON (RKO 1949)
Three in a row for the Ford/Wayne combo. A very underrated Western.
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (MGM 1952)
A musical masterpiece about Old Hollywood. Gene Kelly never ceases to amaze me!
STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (Warner Bros 1951)
Another Hitchcock thriller, a delicious cat-and-mouse game between Robert Walker and Farley Granger.
SUNSET BOULEVARD (Paramount 1950)
A Hollywood Horror Story, with Billy Wilder and Gloria Swanson pulling out all the stops!
SOME LIKE IT HOT (United Artists 1959)
Wilder creates one of the screen’s greatest comedies, with a little help from Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, Marilyn Monroe, and the superb Joe E. Brown! “Well, nobody’s perfect.”
THEATER OF BLOOD (United Artists 1973)
Because every classic movie list should include a Vincent Price flick!