The Best Oldies to Watch When You Need Cheering Up


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

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Classic Comedies

It Happened One Night Hitchhiking Scene

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. Continue reading →

My Favorite Movies Set on Ocean Liners Part II

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.

Royal Wedding
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 →

The Glamorous Ocean Liner: Movies Set on Floating Palaces

I recently tweeted a link to an article about an event called¬† “Cinematic Passages: Ocean Liners on Screen” that was taking place at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York. Sponsored by the ocean liner company Cunard, the event’s goal was to bring the golden age of ocean travel to life by showcasing the glamor of ocean travel in movies from the last 50 years. When one of my followers subsequently asked me for some recommendations of ocean liner movies that I love, it gave me the idea for this post highlighting a few of my favorites.

The reason that event caught my eye is that I absolutely love watching movies set on ocean liners (called “floating palaces” by some), and an event like that would be right up my alley. Unfortunately, I live far away from New York and could not attend. :-( I can’t really pinpoint the reason for my fascination with ocean liners, but there is just something about them that intrigues me. Perhaps it has something to do with my nostalgia for the tv show “Love Boat” which I loved watching when I was younger, even though I know cruise ships are different than ocean liners. Or maybe it’s just that I wish I had lived back in that era and experienced the glamor and excitement of ocean liner travel for myself. Continue reading →

Saturday State Post: Classic Movie Actors from Nebraska

This week’s actors by state post features a state that much like Wisconsin, which started the idea for this series, is not a state that I would typically think of when I think of Hollywood actors. But when I looked up the names of actors and actresses from the state of Nebraska, I was very surprised and impressed by the number of stars that have come from the state. In fact it may be hard to top the collective caliber of acting that can be found in this group, which includes four actors from Omaha, Nebraska.

A few of the actors and actresses on this impressive list of movie stars from the state of Nebraska are:

Fred Astaire

Born: May 10, 1899 in Omaha, NE

Died: June 22, 1987 (age 88)

Married twice. His first marriage to his wife of over 20 years, Phyllis, ended with her death in 1954.

Known for the Movies: The Gay Divorcee, Top Hat, Swing Time, Holiday Inn, Easter Parade, Funny Face

My Favorite Fred Astaire movie:¬† Holiday Inn Continue reading →

Top 10 Favorite Oscar Winning Songs from the Golden Age

The 83rd annual Academy Awards ceremony is just around the corner, and although I haven’t paid much attention to the Oscars for probably the last decade or so, I recently started looking into their early history, especially the Best Original Song category.

The Academy Award for Best Original Song, which was first given out in the seventh year of the Academy’s history, is given to the songwriter and composer of the winning song. The original performers are only included if they also had a hand in writing the music or the lyrics. The song must be written specifically for the movie in which it is featured, a rule that was established after the 1941 awards.

My Top 10 Favorite Best Original Song Winners

I thought it would be fun to listen to each of the winners from 1934-1960 and compile a list of my top 10 favorite Oscar winning songs from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Following are the first five on that list with the remaining five to come on Oscar Sunday:

10. The Continental (1934) – Featured in the movie The Gay Divorcee, music by Con Conrad, lyrics by Herb Magidson. Originally performed in the movie by Ginger Rogers, this was the first song to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

This is a charming song that Ginger Rogers sings to Fred Astaire as part of a lengthy but wonderful dance number. It won’t be the last of this pairing you’ll find on my list. Continue reading →