“Audrey Hepburn? You don’t know who Audrey Hepburn is!?”
“Well, I know who she is, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen any of her movies.”
“Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Funny Face, Sabrina, Roman Holiday? Any ring a bell? She was in Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck.”
For me, I grew up watching old movies. My parents and grandparents often would snatch the TV remote away to force my brother and I to watch some classic film on TCM. My brother would often leave throwing a fit, but for me watching old movies became like taking a bath as a little kid: you never want to get in the water, but once you’re in it, it was hard to leave.
So my film archive has always run a little further back in the past. Way before I or even my parents were born. Classic films are the ones I love, but talking about movies with my friends, we tend to have conversations like these, “Who?” “What?””Huh?”. I don’t really know any modern actors, I don’t really watch modern films, and my friends haven’t seen many classic movies. Luckily, I try to change that and broaden their horizons a little more by sharing my love of classic film.
Here is a list of my top five essential films! I hope others out there are big classic film buffs like me. Got any good ones to recommend? Or how about sharing with me some of your favorite contemporary films so I can learn something from you.
This movie solidified my love of Bette Davis. This may be my favorite film as I’ve managed to watch it over and over again (in one sitting). Bette Davis is sublime. Fun Fact: this was Marilyn Monroe‘s first speaking role!
This is the movie my family probably quotes to each other more than any other (close second is The Godfather Saga – another must see). A visually stunning film couple with the superb acting of Peter O’Toole; also developed a lifelong crush on Omar Sharif from his role as Sherif Ali. Fun Fact: This was one of Peter O’Toole’s first movie roles and first Oscar nomination!
Okay, Okay, maybe this is the movie most quoted by my family! I never laugh so much as when I am watching this film! Zero Mostel is a comedy legend and watching this you can see why. Fun Fact: this is comedy great Buster Keaton‘s last role!
What a haunting film. Dark, mythic, and chilling – this film is one not to miss, but is most often the one my friends have never heard of. Silent star Lillian Gish is the epitome of strength and faith, while Robert Mitchum is terrifyingly evil. Fun Fact: This film is British actor Charles Laughton‘s directorial debut!
Now this movie is a comedy, but given the clip I’ve chosen below, you can also see that this film is a serious political piece. Released during WWII, Charlie Chaplin is a hero in my book for making this film. It is even more important now given the state of the world and I believe his speech needs to be watched and shared with as many people as possible. Fun Fact: Probably the most renowned silent star, this is Charlie Chaplin’s only full-length talkie!