Archive for the Category »1950′s Movies «
Are there any movies you like to watch when you’re feeling happy, sad, bored, etc.? For me, it’s rarely my emotions that determine the movie I watch, although sometimes the time of year or even the weather can play a part. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch a good mystery when it’s storming outside?! Well, I do anyway!
But when Frances stopped by my Facebook page and suggested I create a list of the best oldies to watch when you need cheering up, I thought it was a great idea. Even though I don’t usually pick a movie for that reason, I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few titles handy just in case I’m ever in need of some good cheer myself.
So after going through the list of all the classic movies that I have seen so far, I came up with the following movies that I think would put a smile on just about anyone’s face. (To learn more about each movie, click on the title which will bring you to its summary page on IMBd.com)
Laughter is the Best Medicine – Classic Comedies
It Happened One Night (1934) One of the first classic movies I ever watched, the hitchhiking scene with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert showed me early on that old movies can be just as laugh out loud funny as current movies. I never would have believed that before I discovered my love for classic film.
The Thin Man (1934) and the entire “Thin Man” series. This movie is just so much fun. I love the mix of comedy and mystery, and the wonderful chemistry between its two stars William Powell and Myrna Loy make them one of classic film’s greatest on-screen couples.
The Awful Truth (1937), The Philadelphia Story (1940) and His Girl Friday (1940) – There are very few actors that can cheer me up more than Cary Grant, and you can’t go wrong with any of these three hilarious comedies where he is paired with three different leading ladies who are very funny in their own right; Irene Dunne, Katharine Hepburn, and Rosalind Russell, respectively.
The Lady Eve (1941) – Okay, I’m stealing this description from my post about my favorite movies set on ocean liners, but this is why I love The Lady Eve and think you will too, especially if you could use something to brighten your day: “It has everything that I love most about classic films; witty dialogue, great performances by an impressive cast, superb direction by Preston Sturges, fabulous sets, and gorgeous fashions by designer Edith Head.
Music, Dancing, and . . . Feathers?
Footlight Parade (1933) – I probably could have chosen just about any movie featuring Busby Berkeley musical numbers, but I picked this one because it contains what I consider to be one of his most spectacular numbers, “By a Waterfall”. It’s also great to see another side to James Cagney as he shows off his often underrated song and dance skills.
Top Hat (1935) This is my personal favorite of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers pairings The movie contains the delightful dance number “Cheek to Cheek” where Ginger Rogers wears a beautiful dress covered in ostrich feathers. You can read more about that famous scene in this look Behind the Camera on tcm.com.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952) – I haven’t found much dissension among classic movie fans in thinking that this is one of the best musicals of all time. I seriously could watch Gene Kelly dance all day, and the “Good Morning” and “Moses Supposes” dance numbers with Kelly dancing along side Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor make this movie an absolute joy to watch.
Family Oriented Movies
Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938) A nice, wholesome family comedy with one of the most endearing pairings from the classic movie era, Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland. This is just one of several in the “Andy Hardy” series of movies, but I picked this particular movie for the appearance of a young Lana Turner.
Curly Top (1935) – I know she doesn’t appeal to everyone, but I think Shirley Temple was adorable and very talented especially when it came to her tap dancing ability. As with many of her movies, she once again plays an orphan, but her rendition of the popular song “Animal Crackers in My Soup” and the uplifting turn her life takes when she is adopted by a loving bachelor make this one of my favorites of her movies.
Holiday Cheer – Classic Holiday Movies
The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – While much of this movie is not necessarily “cheery”, it is a very charming romantic comedy with an ending that made me smile. The movie starred Jimmy Stewart and the actress he once loved in real life, Margaret Sullavan, and they display great chemistry throughout the movie.
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) Natalie Wood’s delightful acting (she has such great facial expressions!), a sweet and charming performance by Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle, and nostalgic scenes shot in New York City on the actual day of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, make this the perfect movie to watch if the holiday season has got you feeling a bit down.
Do you have a favorite go-to movie(s) when you need cheering up? Let me know in the comments section below!
This post is an entry in the Universal Backlot Blogathon, hosted by Kristen at her blog Journeys in Classic Film. Please visit her site to read all the other great entries and let her know she’s doing a great job on hosting her very first blogathon!
“Black and white is more beautiful than color in my eyes.”
No, that’s not a quote from an actress, director, or fashion designer . . . it’s just a quote from me that I use as part of my Twitter bio. I have no idea if that’s corny or not, but it just came to me one day and I really liked it, so I’ve been using it ever since.
I’m referring to movies of course, and for me that quote applies probably about 95% of the time. I’ve come to love black and white movies so much that I just prefer them over color now.
But every once in a while I’ll watch an old movie in color that will be an exception to that rule. Such was the case recently when I watched All That Heaven Allows (1955), starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.
When I first started watching the movie, I was struck by how beautiful and vivid the colors were. I was also happy when I realized it was set in a small, scenic New England town for the same reasons I discussed in my review of the movie The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.
All That Heaven Allows was directed by Douglas Sirk, and if you’ve ever read any discussions about this movie or any of his so called “melodramas” such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), or Imitation of Life (1959), you know there is much debate about the quality of those movies. Some think they are nothing but corny, overly sentimental soap operas while others believe they are great movies that provide important social commentary on life in the 1950′s. Continue reading »
In my last post, I highlighted some of my favorite 1930′s and 40′s movies that were set (at least partially) on ocean liners, one of my favorite movie settings. This post covers a few of my favorites from the 1950′s.
Year of Release: 1951
Directed by: Stanley Donen
Royal Wedding is a musical comedy starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother and sister dance pair who take their Broadway show to London around the time of the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It features two of Fred’s more well known dance routines, one where he dances on the walls and ceiling and one where he dances with a coat rack, which much to the chagrin of classic film fans, was turned into a tacky commercial for Dirt Devil a few years back. This was my first time watching Jane Powell in a movie, and I really enjoyed her performance. Continue reading »
Comfort Food: food that is associated with a sense of home or contentment or that is prepared in a traditional style usually having a nostalgic or sentimental appeal.
I’m not sure what it is about Barbara Stanwyck movies, and this might sound a little odd, but whenever I watch one of them I’m reminded of comfort food in a way. For instance, if I’m in a restless mood and I’m not sure what kind of movie I feel like watching, it’s a pretty safe bet I’ll be content watching one of hers. When I finish one, I usually come away from it feeling nostalgic for the time period in which the movie was set. This is both due to my admiration for Barbara as an actress and the types of movies that she has starred in.
Whatever the reason, that was definitely the case with her movie No Man of Her Own (1950), which I watched last night. I was in one of those restless moods, and when I noticed that the movie was available through Netflix Instant I immediately gravitated to it hoping it would be a satisfying choice. I was not disappointed. I really enjoyed the movie and Barbara Stanwyck’s performance. Continue reading »
Are there any classic movies that you know are well-loved by others or that have received many awards and honors, that you just can’t get yourself to watch? I’ll be the first to admit that I can be very discriminating when it comes to the types of movies I watch so my answer to that is definitely ‘yes’.
Although there are some exceptions, I usually don’t stray too far away from the typical drama, comedy, or film noir, or movies that tend to take place in “normal” every day settings. For instance, I’m not a big fan of science fiction or fantasy films, and *gasp* have never seen a Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, or Harry Potter movie.
Here are just a few of the award winning and much loved classic movies that I have never been able to bring myself to watch, mostly due to the fact that the setting or the time period in which the movie takes place doesn’t appeal to me:
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
IMDb synopsis: “When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard’s absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army.”
Awards and honors: The movie won three Academy Awards including Best Original Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Art Direction and was also nominated for Best Picture. Continue reading »
When I’m in the mood to watch a movie but don’t have much time or am too tired to sit through a long movie, one of the things I like to do is find a shorter movie to watch through Netflix Instant. You can find a lot of movies there, especially classic thrillers and film noir that are often considered ‘B’ movies, that have a run time between 60-90 minutes, which is perfect for the two situations I mentioned. Because a lot of those films star little known actors and actresses, it’s also a good way to get introduced to new talent without investing a lot of time if the movies are not the greatest quality.
The other day, I was searching on Netflix, and I came across a movie that I had never heard of before that starred one of my favorite actors, Joseph Cotten. I always love it when I find movies by my favorite stars that I didn’t know existed!
The movie was a thriller called The Killer is Loose (1956) about a deranged bank teller (Wendell Corey) accused of robbery who seeks revenge on the police officer (Joseph Cotten) who accidentally killed his wife. It also starred Rhonda Fleming and Alan Hale, Jr., better known to many as the Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. With a run time of only 73 minutes, watching it was easy to fit it into my busy day. Continue reading »