Classic Movie Lists
- Articles on Classic Movies (55)
- Movie Lists by Actor (74)
- Movie Lists by Director (45)
- Movie Lists by Genre (111)
- Oscar Winning Classics (27)
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1980s
The 1980s were something of a mixed bag in the Best Actress category. While the decade featured some of the finest performances in all of Oscar history – look no further than Meryl Streep in Sophie’s Choice – there were also a few genuine head-scratchers that looks circumspect in hindsight. Despite the film industry taking a decidedly commercial bent in the 1980s, the actor and actress categories were still populated with a diverse array of films that featured more than a few throwbacks to the classic era. Here are all 10 winners of the Academy Award for Best Actress.
Classic Movies on Blu-ray February 2014
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6 Worst Oscar Winners of All Time
Whether for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, or Best Director, there has been some winner who could charitably be said to have been less than deserving of the Oscar. Some winners have benefited from weak competition, others were rewarded for the entirety of their careers, and at least one manged to win because of threats to Academy voters. Though a comprehensive list would be exhausting, here are six of the most egregious winners of the Academy Award.
Best Picture Oscar Winners – 1980s
By the beginning of the 1980s, Hollywood had moved away from the dark, moody films that defined the New Hollywood era of the previous decades to make more commercially driven films. Gone were the days of directors ruling the roost; instead, actors began commanding obscene salaries per picture while behind the scenes agents and producers became obsessed with making high concept movies tailor-made to bring in $100 million at the box office. Despite the commercialization of the film industry and drive to make every movie a blockbuster, Hollywood still made richly compelling films that not only won Best Picture, but also stood up as compared to Oscar winners from previous eras.
Classics on Blu-Ray for March 2014
While the pickings are a bit slim, March features some under the radar classics being released on Blu-ray, including an oft-overlooked historical epic starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison; a great Western featuring Burt Lancaster as Wyatt Earp; another Western starring John Wayne and directed by Howard Hawks; and a heartwarming drama featuring Mickey Rooney.
5 Lee Marvin Classic Movies
Having made a career playing sadistic bad villains as a supporting actor throughout the 1950s and 1960s, Lee Marvin rose to leading man status after winning the Academy Award for Best Actor with his classic dual performance in the spoof Western Cat Ballou (1965).
Classic Movies on Blu-ray February 2014
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7 Great Films Featuring Michael Caine
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6 Classics Starring Montgomery Clift
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5 Classic Movies Starring Lana Turner
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Classic Movies on Blu-ray for January 2014, Part II
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William Holden and Billy Wilder Classic Movies
Before he worked with Jack Lemmon, Billy Wilder enjoyed a fruitful partnership with actor William Holden. And like Wilder’s collaboration with Lemmon, his work with Holden produced two iconic films that remain all time classics. Here are four films made between actor William Holden and director Billy Wilder.
6 Classic Vivien Leigh Movies
One of the greatest screen actresses of all time, Vivien Leigh became an overnight star after playing the coveted role of Scarlett O’Hara in 'Gone With the Wind' (1939), one of classic Hollywood’s most celebrated films of all-time. She won the Oscar for that iconic performance and another for 'A Streetcar Named Desire' (1951), while forging one of the great Hollywood marriages with Laurence Olivier. Here are six great films starring Vivien Leigh.
Classic Movies on Blu-ray for October 2013, Part II
Part two of this month's Blu-ray releases sees a number of more obscure classics making the transfer, including Clint Eastwood's first Western behind the camera; Robert Wise's genre-defining haunted house movie; a foul-mouthed cult comedy starring Paul Newman; an underrated World War II thriller featuring Michael Caine and Robert Duvall; a straightforward thriller directed by Orson Welles; and a biting satirical comedy from Martin Scorsese.
7 Classic Mickey Rooney Movies
With a career that dates back to the waning days of the silent era, actor Mickey Rooney has had one of the longest running careers in cinema history. Rooney was the child of divorced stage performers who began his career in vaudeville before successfully transitioning to the screen as the mischievous Mickey McGuire. But it was playing the wholesome Andy Hardy in 16 films mostly made in the 1930s and ‘40s that skyrocketed Rooney into superstardom. From 1939-1941, he was Hollywood’s top moneymaking star while earning respect with two Best Actor nominations. After a stint entertaining the troops during World War II, however, Rooney returned to Hollywood and spent the next several decades struggling to regain his popularity. He suffered tragedy and generated controversy, while seeing only periodic glimmers of his former success. Still working well into his senior years, Rooney finally regained respect as an elder statesman of the classic era. Here are seven great films starring Mickey Rooney.
7 Bing Crosby Classics
Hollywood’s top box office star from 1944-48, Bing Crosby found stardom as a popular crooner, movie actor, radio and television star, and even entrepreneur. While mainly cast in musicals, Crosby shined in dramatic roles and won the Oscar in 1944 for his portrayal of the modern-minded Father O’Malley. He also made seven incredibly successful 'Road to…' comedies with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour, cementing his status as an iconic performer who found enormous success in multiple mediums.
6 World War II Classics
More than another war, World War II has been the source of inspiration for a number great war movies. While there were numerous flag-waving films made during the war, it wasn’t until after the guns had settled that filmmakers began taking a more realistic look at the events of 1939-1945. Slowly but surely, Hollywood turned a jaundiced eye toward the good war and by the late 1970s, a public weary from another difficult war gravitated toward realistic movies that reflected their cynical mood. Whether patriotic or anti-war, there is a great movie about World War II for everyone.
A notoriously difficult director who nearly destroyed his career before it began, Sam Peckinpah almost single-handedly recreated the Western with his violent, ambiguous vision. He made a mess of his life with alcohol and drugs, and left behind a tattered reputation and a long line of enemies. But he was also an incredible filmmaker whose best...
4 Films Starring Luise Rainer
The rapid rise and sudden decline of actress Luise Rainer has been Hollywood legend since she left the movie business in the late 1930s. Enormously gifted and undeniable luminous, Rainer shot to the top by becoming the first actress to ever win two Oscars for Best Actress, only to make a small string of mediocre films that led to her self-imposed exile once losing all desire to perform onscreen. While her career has been viewed as something of a cautionary tale, Rainer nonetheless has remained a source of endless fascination.
10 of Robert Ebert's Favorite Classic Movies
Over the years, Roger Ebert wrote thousands of reviews for his home newspaper, the Chicago Sun-Times. He has given thumbs up or thumbs down on countless movies during his five decades as a critic. While he mainly focused on contemporary movies, he also wrote reviews of many classics. Here is a list of classic movies loved by Roger Ebert and what...
7 Classic Courtroom Movies
One of the more popular and versatile sub-genres, courtroom dramas combine mystery, suspense and deeply compelling character despite often being limited to few locations. With most of the action taking place inside a courtroom, these films nonetheless deliver plenty of fireworks in the form of bombastic attorneys, rousing speeches and plenty of...
6 Classic Biblical Epics
While historical epics showcased stories set in antiquity, religious epics drew inspiration from the world’s most popular book, The Bible. Whether depicting the Old Testament or the New, biblical epics were always large in scope and featured some of the day’s state-of-the-art special effects. Though Hollywood stopped making large-scale epics in the 1960s due to massive costs, audience interest has never waned and many remain popular viewing on television, particularly around the Easter holiday.
8 Classics Starring Bette Davis
One of the greatest screen actresses of all time, Bette Davis used her iron will to forge a remarkable career that boasted two Academy Awards for Best Actress among 10 nominations. A notorious perfectionist who often clashed with her directors and co-stars, Davis was nonetheless decidedly professional and delivered her best regardless of the project. She suffered numerous setbacks in her life and career, and was often parodied for her distinctive diction and over-the-top affectations. Nevertheless, Davis remained one of classic Hollywood’s greatest and most iconic stars.
6 Classic Films Directed by Fritz Lang
One of the greatest directors of film noir, Austrian-born Fritz Lang rose to prominence in the German film industry before landing in Hollywood, where he worked in a variety of genres. But Lang excelled no better than he did in film noir, a genre he helped define. Despite his rather quiet departure from moviemaking, Lang left an indelible mark upon world cinema.
Blu-Ray Releases for April 2013
Released this month are two classic musicals starring Barbra Streisand; another great Shakespeare adaptation from Laurence Olivier; a little-known comedy from William Wellman starring James Stewart; and Jay Clayton’s glossy adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary masterpiece. Of course, all the films being released this month make great...
7 Classic Movies About Ireland
Whether whimsical musicals populated with leprechauns or dark thrillers about the conflict between Northern Ireland and England, there’s a movie about Ireland that will fit just about anyone’s taste. Here’s a list of classic movies about Ireland that can be enjoyed on St. Patrick’s Day or any other time of year.
7 Classic Science Fiction Movies
Whether depicting the Earth being invaded by robots or a futuristic world devastated by some manmade disaster, science fiction has long been a staple of Hollywood. Starting as a speculative genre of what was possible for mankind, science fiction was transformed by Cold War paranoia in the 1950s and became more allegorical of man's deep-rooted...
6 Classics Starring Irish Actress Maureen O'Hara
One of the most accomplished actresses to never receive an Oscar nomination, Irish-born Maureen O’Hara was the star of a number of great movies, several of which starred friend John Wayne. O'Hara was also a favored actress for director John Ford and together with Wayne the trio made everything from Westerns to romantic comedies set in Ireland. With fiery red hair and an on-screen presence to match, O'Hara exuded both charm and sexuality in becoming one of the more popular actresses of the 1940s and 1950s.
5 Films Directed by Otto Preminger
A former theater actor turned director, Otto Preminger quickly made a name for himself outside the studio system by directing a number of classic movies containing controversial material that challenged the authority of Hollywood's restrictive production code. Whether film noir, musicals or courtroom dramas, Preminger used taboo subjects like sexuality and drug use to make several challenging films that hold up even today. Though he was the victim of his own excessive ambitions later in his career, Preminger remained one of classic Hollywood's most significant directors.
New Classic Movies on Blu-ray
In March, several lesser known films by great directors and one cult classic will be released on Blu-ray. Among those making the jump are a sci-fi classic about a killer blob; an adaptation of a Graham Greene novel by Fritz Lang; a rare Western comedy starring John Wayne; Elia Kazan's thriller about a runaway virus; and John Ford's personal...
6 Classics Starring Joan Crawford
One of the most durable and successful actresses of the classic era, Joan Crawford survived several declines to have one of the longest running careers in cinema history. Starting in the silent era, Crawford made the transition to talkies and became a major star in the early 1930s. But by the end of the decade, she was labeled box office poison and her career appeared to be in jeopardy. In 1945, however, she one the Oscar for Best Actress, only to falter once more. Following numerous ups and down, Crawford finally went into seclusion until her death in 1977. While her legacy has been marred by her daughter's tell-all book that included accusations of child abuse, Crawford's work has remained virtually unparalleled. Here are six classic movies starring the incomparable Joan Crawford.
Best Picture Oscar Winners - 1970s
While the New Hollywood era started in the late-1960s, the Second Golden Age came into full bloom in the 1970s and delivered some of cinema's greatest films. Arising out of the ashes of the old studio system, the era introduced a new generation of filmmakers - many of whom idolized directors from the classical era - and with them a renaissance of American filmmaking that saw more experimentation with tone, form and subject matter. Of course, with experimentation comes excess and by the early 1980s, the post-classical 1970s gave way to corporatized blockbusters that dominate the market even today. But for a brief period of about 15 years, studios took creative chances on films that have since become New Classics.
Best Picture Oscar Winners - 1960s
With the old studio system decaying and the abolition of the Hays Code in the face of rapid social change, movies in the 1960s increasingly became more experimental. But the winners of Best Picture throughout most of the decade were decidedly traditional, however, with four winners being musicals despite that old staple's general decline; something that never happened even during the genre's heyday of the 1930s and 1940s. By the end of the decade, the classic era had finally given way to New Hollywood with the first and so far only X-rated Best Picture winner, lining up the Second Golden Age of the 1970, one of cinema's greatest decades.
Best Picture Oscar Winners - 1950s
In the 1950s, Hollywood faced its first challenge with supremacy with the advent of television, leading studios to use techniques like Cinemascope and Technicolor to lure audiences back to theaters. Some movies were massive spectacles that could only be seen on the big screen, while others were complex character dramas that reflected the changing social mores of the times. Meanwhile, previously popular genres like the musical and the Western were starting to fall out of favor. Of course, the Academy reflected these changes as giant epics, moody character dramas and lavish adventures were given Oscar.
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1950s
As with their male counterparts, actresses in the 1950s tackled more complex roles that delved into darker and more risque territory. Many of the winners in the decade were relative newcomers who bested more established and well-known nominees, thus ushering in a new generation of actresses. Whether playing faded Southern Belles, long-suffering wives or death row inmates, they delivered some of classic Hollywood's finest performances.
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1960s
The 1960s were certainly a good year for Best Actress thanks to a number of meaty roles delivered by the decade's top leading ladies. Both newcomers and old favorites won, as well as some that came from outside the United States, while in 1968 the Academy had its first-ever tie in the category. Whether playing prostitutes, unorthodox teachers or foul-mouthed drunks, the performances on display in the 1960s were unforgettable.
Classic Movies on Blu-ray
With another month comes a new slate of classic movies making their debuts on Blu-ray. Among those making the transfer are Liza Minnelli’s Oscar winning turn as a flamboyant cabaret dancer; an animated classic from Walt Disney; Otto Preminger’s definitive film noir; and Marlon Brando’s most famous film. As always, these films make great...
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1940s
In the 1940s, Hollywood turned away from the rags-to-riches stories of the previous decade to lift America's spirits during the war and later reflect its darker undercurrents after. Throughout the decade, actresses played a wide array of darkly complex women who suffered mental illness, alcoholism or desperate circumstances brought on by their...
In Memoriam 2012
At the end of every year, Hollywood buzzes with predictions for who will win Oscars or which picture made the most money. But Hollywood also takes a more somber tone and looks back at the lives and careers of the stars we lost. Though we lost many more than can this list conveys, here are seven of the most notable celebrity deaths of 2012.
New on Blu-Ray for Januaray 2013
The New Year starts off with a number of notable classics making their debut on the Blu-ray format. Among those making the transfer are a lavish ensemble melodrama featuring Joan Crawford and Greta Garbo; a classic thriller starring Gregory Peck and Robert Mitchum; a stirring wartime drama; an Alfred Hitchcock classic later remade by The Master...
Best Actor Oscar Winners - 1950s
In the 1950s, Hollywood was forced to face changes in the media landscape with the proliferation of television. Needing to lure audiences from the comforts of their own homes and back into the theaters, studios made massive historical epics and spectacular genre films. But moviegoers also wanted character driven fare and they were richly...
Best Actor Oscar Winners - 1960s
As they loosened its production code in the 1960s, Hollywood focused more on grittier character driven films that finally gave way to the New Hollywood era at the end of the decade. News names like Warren Betty and Jon Voight were breaking through, while Sidney Poitier smashed the color barrier in 1963 with his historic win. Of course, older stars like Burt Lancaster and John Wayne also received their due, making the 1960s one of the most interesting decades in Oscar history.
Best Actor Oscar Winners - 1940s
As Hollywood moved away from its focus on the screwball comedies of the previous decade, the 1940s featured some of cinema's great dramatic performances. While some may decry Orson Welles being snubbed for his portrayal of Charles Foster Kane or James Stewart missing out for his George Bailey, the Academy bestowed Oscar upon several worthy performers. Here are all the winners for Best Actor in the 1940s.
7 Classic Christmas Movies
There is no shortage of great Christmas films that were made in the classic era, which is why cable networks air then nearly round the clock during the holiday season. Whether dealing with ghosts visiting a miserly Scrooge, an angel trying to show what life would be like without a small town banker, or a nine-year old boy who will risk shooting his eye out for a BB gun, there are plenty of great Christmas movies for everyone. Here are seven the entire family can enjoy.
5 Classics Starring Laurence Olivier
He was classic Hollywood's greatest interpreter of Shakespeare and arguably the greatest actor of the 20th Century. Though he only won one Academy Award in his lifetime for acting, Laurence Olivier was an extraordinary craftsman in front of and behind the camera, as well as on stages across the world. While he seemingly took any role that...
6 Classics Starring Barbara Stanwyck
A gutsy, versatile actress who starred in a wide variety of genres, Barbara Stanwyck used her striking good looks and undeniable talent to rise to stardom in the 1930s. By 1944, Stanwyck was a major star, the highest paid woman in the United States, and a favorite of directors like Frank Capra and Billy Wilder. Though her film career fell off in the 1950s and gave way to television soon after, Stanwyck had already earned her place as one of classic Hollywood's greatest stars.
7 Films Starring Robert Redford
Though known later in life for his political activism and dedication to independent film through his Sundance Film Festival, actor Robert Redford was a major box office star in the 1960s and 1970s. Whether in lighthearted romantic comedies or paranoid thrillers, Redford starred in a string of hits that twice featured collaborations with friend...
5 Great Films Directed by Elia Kazan
An actor’s director who introduced the world to the likes of Marlon Brando, James Dean, Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood, Elia Kazan crafted hard-hitting message movies that focused on personal struggles in the face of societal issues. Whether confronting racial prejudice, working class struggle or mental illness, Kazan was both fearless and controversial in directing some of the most important movies of the 20th century.
New on Blu-Ray for December 2012
A number of harder-to-find titles are being released on Blu-ray this December, including a tense crime thriller with Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich's breakthrough film, a biopic starring Gregory Peck as F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more.
8 Swashbuckling Classics Starring Errol Flynn
Synonymous with swashbuckling adventure, Errol Flynn was a large than life persona who became an overnight star, only to be typecast as a sword-wielding rogue for the remainder his career. During his peak, however, Flynn was one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and became a legend after delivering the quintessential portrayal of Robin Hood. Despite his image for dashing heroics, Flynn branched out beyond costume adventure to star in everything from Westerns and historical dramas to sports-themed biopics and war movies. Here are eight classic movies starring Errol Flynn.
7 Classic Movies Starring Gregory Peck
An actor celebrated both on and off screen for his strength and authority, Gregory Peck starred in numerous classic movies and was one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars. Peck delivered many great performances in his career, starring in thrillers, Westerns, war movies, melodramas and romantic comedies, and became forever identified as the morally...
6 Great Movies Starring Frank Sinatra
While best remembered for recording a multitude of hits like 'Strangers in the Night', 'My Way' and 'Summer Wind', Frank Sinatra also forged a successful film career that included starring roles in several classics and an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Being a best-selling crooner, Sinatra naturally had his start in musicals, but soon displayed considerable acting chops in dramas, action movies and political thrillers.
7 James Bond Movies Starring Roger Moore
Following Sean Connery's second departure from the Bond franchise, producers Albert Broccoli and Harry Saltzman turned to British TV star, Roger Moore, to fill those rather large shoes. But right off the bat, Moore was roundly criticized even before his first Bond film as being too much of a lightweight to play the role. Regardless, Moore spent 12 years playing James Bond - longer than any other actor - and accounted for at least a few of the franchise's best films.
5 Memorable Bond Henchmen
Using few words and signature methods of killing that sometimes border on absurd, Bond henchmen posed a considerable physical threat to 007 and need to be dispatched before Bond can disrupt the main villain’s evil machinations. Whether formidable fighters capable of outmatching Bond or cartoonishly indestructible assassins with steel teeth, Bond henchmen were as colorful as they were dangerous.
6 Classic Movies About Politics
Though politics has always been fertile ground for movies, their tone has changed along with the times. The idealism so passionately expressed by Frank Capra in the 1930s eventually gave way to deep-rooted skepticism as greed and corruption became the focus of both film and our public consciousness. Here are six classic movies about politics...
6 Classic Bond Villains
Nefarious, despicable and set on destroying the world, Bond villains have been as memorable as they have been nefarious. Aided by a motley crew of colorful henchmen, 007's arch foes harbor a deep-rooted hatred of mankind that leads to their obsessive drive to see its end. Standing in their way, of course, is James Bond himself, who uses both charm and skill to foil their plots.
6 Classic Bond Girls
Whether glamorous and sophisticated or deadly and cunning, Bond girls have always been undeniably beautiful. A regular feature of every Bond movie since 'Dr. No' (1962), Bond girls typically wind up being 007’s primary love interest and often helps him complete his mission, though on occasion they have been enemies or merely just eye candy. And the most memorable have names that serve as sexually-tinged double entendres. Outside of Bond himself, the role has typically been high profile and has often given a boost to a young actress’ career, though more than one has fallen off the radar. While some have been forgettable or merely competent, there are quite a few that are ingrained in our minds forever. Here are six classic Bond girls from the greatest spy movie franchise of all time.
6 Classic Films Starring Gene Kelly
A vibrant actor, singer, dancer, director and choreographer, Gene Kelly became synonymous with the movie musical in the 1940s and 1950s. Along with contemporary Fred Astaire, Kelly was classic Hollywood’s most famous song-and-dance man and rode the wave of the musical genre’s height of popularity, only to fade from view by the late 1960s.
Classics on Blu-Ray for October 2012
Unlike last month, October contains several great releases on the Blu-ray format. Among those making the transfer this month are a lesser-known John Wayne Western; a James Bond movie starring Sean Connery; a cult classic thriller starring two iconic ice queens; a popular Alfred Hitchcock thriller; and a horror classic that marked the Hollywood...
5 Classic Films Directed by Victor Fleming
A prolific filmmaker who started his career early in the silent era, Victor Fleming would most likely not have been as well known were it not for directing two of classic Hollywood's most iconic films, 'Gone With the Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz.' Made in the magical year of 1939, both films elevated his status beyond studio craftsman, with the latter earning him his one and only Academy Award. Though he died relatively young, Fleming was a powerful force behind the camera and still would have enjoyed a long venerable career even without his two greatest achievements.
Best Director Oscar Winners - 1940s
In the 1940s, the Academy moved away from honoring the screwball comedies prevalent in the previous decade in favor of more dramatic fare, when escape from the Great Depression gave way to a serious outlook brought on by World War II. The Golden Age of Hollywood saw many great directing efforts bestowed by Oscar and some questionable ones as well. Here are all ten Oscar winners for Best Director from the 1940s.
Classic on Blu-Ray for September 2012
Making their way onto Blu-ray this month are the film that kicked off the disaster film trend in the 1970s; a loose adaptation of a William Faulkner classic starring Yul Brynner; a legendary Italian gothic horror; Orson Welles' first filmed attempt at Shakespeare; and the noirish melodrama that won actor Ronald Colman his only Oscar.
Best Director Oscar Winners 1950s
In the 1950s, Hollywood suddenly found itself competing with television and sought new innovations to lure audiences back to theaters. As a result, movies became grand spectacles that featured new widescreen formats to showcase massive historical epics, Westerns and adventure movies. But audiences also wanted more realistic character-driven...
Best Director Oscar Winners - 1930s
Having emerged from the silent era, Hollywood entered into its first full decade of talkie films and with it came some extraordinary films made by some of the greatest directors of all time. Names like John Ford, Frank Capra, Victor Fleming and Leo McCarey all rose to prominence and won Oscars for classic movies that have lived on as...
9 Classic Movies Starring Spencer Tracy
Virtually peerless in natural talent and professional accomplishment, actor Spencer Tracy had an unparalleled career that spanned four decades and amassed nine Academy Award nominations, a record he continues to share with Laurence Olivier. Also noted for his longtime companionship with Katharine Hepburn, Tracy had a difficult life behind the...
7 Great Films Starring Ingrid Bergman
One of classic Hollywood's most elegant actresses, Ingrid Bergman possessed an extraordinary amount of talent and glamor that helped make her one of the era's greatest stars. Having emerged from her native Sweden in the late-1930s, Bergman quickly rose to the top with her fresh Nordic beauty and soon became the ideal role model for American...
8 Classic Movies That Influenced Martin Scorsese
Alongside his old friends Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, director Martin Scorsese has made some of Hollywood's most iconic films of the last fifty years. Many of Scorsese's films have influenced countless filmmakers from his generation and beyond. But what movies influenced him as a young moviegoer? Here are eight that have been the source of his greatest inspiration.
Classic Films on Blu-Ray for August 2012
For August, more great classic movies will be released onto the popular Blu-ray format. Among those making the transfer this month are the third and best of John Ford’s ‘Calvary Trilogy;’ two more 100th anniversary releases from Universal Studios; a long forgotten Western that has slipped into the public domain; and one of Robert Mitchum’s more...
6 Great Films Directed by Fred Zinnemann
A former aspiring musician and law student born in Austria, Fred Zinnemman found himself in Hollywood in the early 1930s, where he made a number of B-movies before scoring a hit with 'The Seventh Cross' (1944) and earning his first Academy Award nomination for 'The Search' (1948). But it wasn’t until the next decade that he hit his stride with his revisionist Western 'High Noon,' and went on to direct highly acclaimed and commercially successful films for the next two decades, several of which have become all-time classics. Over the course of the next three decades, he would direct stunning films in genres as varied as thrillers, Westerns, film noir and even musicals. The winner of two Oscars and director of some of Hollywood’s biggest hits, Zinnemann left behind a legacy as one of cinema’s most accomplished filmmakers.
7 Great Gangster Movies
Though the gangster film goes back to the early days of the silent era, it wasn’t until the advent of sound that the genre soared in popularity, when real-life gangsters like Al Capone and Lucky Luciano were at the height of their own notoriety. For better or ill, the public thirsted for seeing charismatic criminals on screen. Hollywood was more...
8 Classic Musicals You Have to See
Ever since the advent of sound with "The Jazz Singer" (1927), the musical has remained a popular genre that continually reinvents itself. Using song and dance to convey a character’s emotions, musicals typically scale back on plot in favor of lavish musical numbers, striking choreography and stunning costumes. Whether set against the backdrop of...
9 Great Biographical Movies
Hollywood has always been fascinated with larger-than-life figures from all walks of life, which makes it no surprise that biographical films - or biopics - have been an enduring staple of cinema. Whether the focus is on kings, presidents, sports figures or Broadway stars, biopics typically follow a classic rise, fall and redemption paradigm...
More Classic Movies on Blu-Ray
For July, more great classic movies will be released onto the popular Blu-ray format. Among those making the transfer this month are the film that turned Rita Hayworth into a star; two widely divergent films both celebrating their 6oth anniversaries; a seven-disc box set featuring all the great movies starring Marilyn Monroe; a zany ensemble...
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1930s
The 1930s marked the first full decade for Oscar and with it established the beginning of the classic Hollywood era. Silent films were a thing of the past with the transition to talkies in the late 1920s, which gave rise to stars like Norma Shearer, Irene Dunne and Bette Davis. The decade saw numerous great performances, including a revelatory...
Best Actor Oscar Winners - 1930s
The 1930s marked the first full decade for Oscar and with it established the beginning of the classic Hollywood era. Silent films were a thing of the past with the transition to talkies in the late 1920s, which gave rise to stars like Paul Muni, Clark Gable and Spencer Tracy. The decade saw some amazing performances, especially from the great...
5 Great Screwball Comedies
Born during the Great Depression, the screwball comedy had a brief, but dynamic life during the 1930s and 1940s. Featuring fast-paced dialogue, clashes between the sexes and social classes, and farcical situations involving romance, the genre
6 Classic Movies Starring Burt Lancaster
Though he didn't enter films until his 30s, Burt Lancaster used his strong physical presence and winning charm to become a popular Hollywood star for over four decades. Lancaster built his career in a number of tough guy roles, before trading in his all-American image for more complex dramatic roles in the '50s and '60s. Lancaster displayed his...
7 Great Book to Film Adaptations
While these days its seems studios will make movies out of just about anything, Hollywood has always found inspiration for great films from novels. Whether classic literature from the 19th century or pulp novels featuring hard-boiled private eyes, some great films have been made from novels.
7 Classic Films About Baseball
With summer almost in full swing, it's a good time to take a look at some of the great movies about baseball. Initially a subject shied away from by studios - producer Samuel Goldwyn once said they're box office poison - baseball has given rise to some classic movies. While most baseball movies focus on a particular giant of the game, even...
8 Films Starring Henry Fonda
A beloved performer who typified the onscreen Everyman, Henry Fonda was the star of many classic movies over the course of six decades. He worked with the top directors of the day and did his best work with John Ford before their falling out in 1955. Despite turning in a number of great performances throughout his career, Fonda was nominated for...
9 Classic War Movies
Whether conveying the heroic acts of soldiers or showing the harsh realities of battle, war movies have long been a staple of Hollywood. Everything from the Civil War and World War II to Vietnam and even ancient Roman battles have been depicted in grand fashion on film. Here are nine of the best classic war movies.
8 Classics Directed By George Cukor
A consummate craftsman and one of the most esteemed directors of Hollywood’s Golden Age, George Cukor directed a number of classic movies in a career that spanned five decades. Many of his films focused on strong female characters and starred the era’s top actresses, earning him a reputation as a women’s director. Cukor’s body of work contained...
8 Classic Movies Starring Gary Cooper
Possessing a down-home persona that was quintessentially American, Gary Cooper spent five decades making dozens of classic movies. At his peak, he was a top box office draw who earned five Academy Award nominations and won once. Cooper died relatively young and still in his prime, but left behind a staggering cinematic legacy filled with...
6 Classics Directed by Raoul Walsh
As an actor, writer and director, Raoul Walsh’s career spanned over six decades and produced some of Hollywood’s most iconic class movies. He was a capable director in a wide range of genres whose straightforward style was vibrant, but unpretentious. He did his best work in the 1940s with Errol Flynn, James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart and Virginia...
5 Classics on Blu-Ray
Another month, another wave of classic movies making their way onto the Blu-ray format. Making the transfer this month are a Doris Day classic, two great film noirs, an early John Wayne Western, and arguably the greatest movie of all time. Of course, all are great additions to any classic movie collection and would make great gifts for any fan.
6 Great Films by Joseph L. Mankiewicz
The brother of noted screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz, director Joseph L. Mankiewicz followed his older sibling's footsteps into show business to become one of classic Hollywood's most literate director. Mankiewicz had his start as a writer for Paramount Pictures and later served as a producer for MGM. In the mid-1940s he moved over to 20th...
Day Two at the TCM Classic Movies Festival
Lots of great guests were on hand to celebrate classic movies at the TCM Classic Movies Festival, including Robert Evens, Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming and Mel Brooks.
Opening Night at the TCM Classic Movies Festival
On April 12, 2012, Turner Classic Movies commenced its third annual Classic Movies Festival with a bang when it premiered the 40th anniversary restoration of 'Cabaret,' starring Oscar winner Liza Minnelli. Here are some great images from the red carpet and more.
8 Great Rita Hayworth Movies
She was the ultimate Hollywood bombshell, a sultry siren who sang, danced and flipped her long red hair into becoming a screen legend. On screen, Rita Hayworth was charismatic and oozed sex appeal, but off screen she was admittedly shy and suffered from a series of failed marriages. Though her career eventually faltered, she was one of the top...
5 Classic Movies on Blu-ray
Once again, the studios have mined their vaults to release more classic movies onto Blu-ray. Making the transfer to the format this month are a classic ode to film noir, the film that turned Marlon Brando into a star and a 100th anniversary of Universal Studios release. All are great additions to any classic movie collection.
8 Classic Movies by William Wellman
A former member of the French Foreign Legion and a combat pilot during World War I, William Wellman lived an adventurous life that later colored the films he made as one of classic Hollywood's great directors. Wellman had a great passion for aviation, which he displayed in quite a few pictures, but also had a great disdain for actors even though...
7 Movies by William Wyler
An unrelenting perfectionist notorious for demanding multiple takes, William Wyler directed a string of great classic movies from the 1930s through the 1960s. Along the way, he won three Academy Awards for Best Director and reigned as the most nominated director in history with 12 nods. Wyler was a master of many genres and worked with...
Best Picture Oscar Winners of the 1930s
Hollywood's first decade with sound gave rise to a number of staple genres like the screwball comedy, which featured rapid-fire dialogue laced with wit and whimsy, and lavish musicals. In the 1930s, Oscar rewarded these films with its highest honor. Also in the decade was the first Western to win Best Picture, the first-ever film to win the...
5 Classic Movies That Were Box Office Flops
Sometimes it's hard to believe, but some of Hollywood's greatest classic movies were box office flops when they were first released in theaters. While they have more than made up for the loss through DVDs and repeated showings on television, there are several all-time greats that you would be surprised to learn were initially dismissed by...
9 Must-See Howard Hawks Movies
A master director who got his start in silent pictures, Howard Hawks directed numerous classics and became recognized as one of the greats from the studio era. His movies featured rapid-fire dialogue and superb performances from his leading actors, while his exceptional talents transcended the confines of genre, as Hawks directed screwball...
8 Great Classics Starring Doris Day
A sensation both as an actress and as a singer, Doris Day typified the All-American girl next door whose shining virginal persona onscreen belied a private life plagued by abuse and multiple marriages. As an actress, Day delivered exuberant performances in a string of musicals and comedies, ultimately becoming the top box office star in the early 1960s thanks to a trio of collaborations with Rock Hudson. Though she tried subverting her virginal image with the occasional thriller, where she displayed considerable chops as a dramatic actress, Day found her greatest success with fluffy romantic comedies that eventually fell out of favor during the sexual revolution of the mid-1960s. Still, Day was fondly remembered by legions of classic movies decades after she retired and today remains one of the era’s most popular performers. Here is a list of eight fantastic movies starring Doris Day.
8 Classics Starring William Holden
A dashing leading man in his youth, William Holden was in his prime during the 1950s with a number of comic and romantic films that were all-time classics. But when he entered the turbulent 1960s, Holden made a number of forgettable films due to contractual obligations that damaged his career. He mounted a comeback toward the end of the decade...
7 Great Classic Movies Starring Elizabeth Taylor
For over 50 years, Elizabeth Taylor reigned as one of classic Hollywood's great screen actresses. Starting her career as a child performer, she blossomed into a star following her adolescent years and earned four consecutive Academy Award nominations, while becoming a top box office attraction for over a decade.
9 Great Heist Movies
With intricate plots, multiple twists and turns, and gritty characters who live on the edge, heist movies have long been a Hollywood staple. Sometimes the thieves suffer the consequences of their action and sometimes they get away with their crimes, but their carefully hatched plans almost always go awry. Here are nine of the best heist movies...
9 Classic Movies from 1962
While 1939 is often regarded as the greatest movie year of all time, Hollywood wasn’t too shabby in 1962. Many classic movies were released that year, while one on this list featured one of the most beloved performances ever seen. Here are just a few classics films from 1962, a year that could be argued as the second greatest of Hollywood’s...
8 Classic Michael Curtiz Films
Tirelessly prolific director Michael Curtiz helmed some of Classic Hollywood's most memorable films. He churned out four or five films a year and did some of his best work with dashing leading man Errol Flynn. Though not the most famous of the classic era's directors, Curtiz was nominated for five Best Director Academy Awards and won for...
7 Classic Preston Sturges Movies
After getting his start as a screenwriter, Preston Sturges turned to directing in the 1940s and redefined the screwball comedy with a number of classic movies. In a short span of time, he directed a series of great films that were popular with critics and audiences. But his thirst for absolute control over his creative output ultimately ruined...
9 Worst Snubs for Best Picture
Every year during Oscar season, there are countless arguments over what film or actor has been snubbed by the Academy. While most complaints are dismissible, there have been a few omissions over the years that have been mystifying, and in some cases unforgivable. Here are nine classic movies that could easily have been nominated for Best...
9 Romantic Classics for Valentine's Day
With a long history of making romantic films, Hollywood is more than capable of setting the mood for those who don’t want to go out to a crowded restaurant and pay for an overpriced meal, but still want to spend some quality time with their significant other. Some here are fun and light, while others require a box of tissues to be on hand. But...
5 Classic Movies by Ernst Lubitsch
Hailed as a giant among filmmakers, Ernst Lubitsch directed some of Hollywood’s most sophisticated and entertaining comedies. He became known for his famed Lubitsch Touch, a wry and witty brand of humor infused with style and grace. Lubitsch directed a number of acclaimed hits in the 1930s and 1940s before his untimely death in 1947. Here are...
Best Actress Oscar Winners - 1970s
Hollywood in the 1970s was markedly different than the one that existed in the previous three decades. The old studio system was gone thanks to financial struggles and a seismic cultural shift that saw the rise of the youth-oriented counterculture. Hollywood responded by opening the doors wider to more experimentation, resulting in a second...
Best Actor Oscar Winners - 1970s
Hollywood in the 1970s was markedly different than the one that existed in the previous three decades. The old studio system was gone thanks to financial struggles and a seismic cultural shift that saw the rise of the youth-oriented counterculture. Hollywood responded by opening the doors wider to more experimentation, resulting in a second...
8 Sidney Lumet Movies
One of the most revered directors of his generation, Sidney Lumet produced an extraordinary body of work that included some of New Hollywood's most seminal classics. While his best work was made in the 1970s, Lumet spent the previous decades earning a reputation as a consummate professional capable of drawing stellar performances out of his...
In Memoriam 2011
At the end of every year, Hollywood buzzes with predictions for who will win Oscars or crows about which movie made the most money. But Hollywood also takes a more somber tone and looks back at the lives and careers of the stars we lost. Though we lost many more this year than can this list conveys, here are seven of the most notable celebrity...
6 Classic Westerns Starring James Stewart
James Stewart has long been remembered for his work with Alfred Hitchcock and Frank Capra. But just as famous as 'Rear Window' and 'It's a Wonderful Life' were a series of Westerns he made in the 1950s and 1960s, particularly his image-changing films with Anthony Mann. Though not as identifiable with the genre as John Wayne or Clint Eastwood,...
7 Great Alfred Hitchcock Movies
Alfred Hitchcock’s career spanned across six decades and over 50 feature films. The acknowledged “Master of Suspense” practically invented the thriller and was a brilliant technician who deftly blended sex, suspense and humor into the genre.
7 Classic Christmas Movies on Blue-ray
While many classic Christmas movies have been released on DVD, only a few have made it to the Blu-ray format. But there are certainly enough to fill anyone's stocking this year. Here are seven classic holiday films that will make someone's Christmas bright.
8 Must-See David Lean Films
Known for his sweeping historical epics, David Lean directed some of the grandest movies Hollywood has ever known and possessed a technical command few were able to master. Lean's blockbusters of the late 1950s and 1960s made an indelible mark on cinema and won the director two Academy Awards. While few may remember his name, Lean’s iconic...
9 Stanley Kubrick Films
An obsessive perfectionist who methodically worked in virtual reclusion, director Stanley Kubrick was at once widely praised for his technical brilliance and scorned for his film’s lack of emotional depth. He was one of the most influential directors in postwar Hollywood and has been hailed as the source of inspiration for many of Hollywood’s...
6 Classic Movies Directed by Orson Welles
After gaining notoriety on radio, Orson Welles became one of Classic Hollywood’s most pioneering directors. With his very first movie, Welles directed what many consider to be the best film ever made. Active as a director for five decades, Welles made only a handful of films, largely due to his inability to secure financing for his increasingly...
8 Marlon Brando Movies
Marlon Brando was the most celebrated and influential actor of the 20th century. Employing the famed Method style of acting, Brando was a powerful and mesmerizing presence on the screen, but combative and enigmatic behind the cameras. His career spanned across six decades, though his best work came in the 1950s and often in collaboration with...
7 Classic Movies Starring Grace Kelly
In just five short years, Grace Kelly rose from being a bit player to one of the biggest Hollywood stars whose elegance and radiated off the screen in several classic movies, only to give it all up to become the Princess of Monaco. Though her film career was brief, Kelly left an indelible mark on cinema.
7 Classic Horror Movies
Whether you like monsters or goblins or ghosts or even aliens from another planet, there’s nothing quite like watching old scary movies on Halloween. While some of these classic films seem rather tame or even laughable by today’s standards, they still manage to pack a terrifying punch. Here are just a few of some of the best horror movies from...
5 Classic Movies That Were Actually Remakes
It seems these days that Hollywood is willing to remake just about anything in order to make a buck, regardless of how beloved a movie might be. But has this always been the case? Have studios always remade movies? As a matter of fact, yes, they have. Even some our most cherished classic films have been remakes. Here are five such movies.
Essential Classic Movies in Blu-Ray for 2011 – Pt.1
Get a jump start on your holiday shopping with these new releases on Blu-ray. Some make their debuts on the format while others are reissues with new features and packaging. Great for casual fans and obsessive collectors alike, these Blu-ray selections will no doubt bring a smile to anyone’s face.
7 James Bond Movies with Sean Connery
With deadly charm and cool sophistication, Sean Connery inaugurated British secret agent 007 in 1962 and set forth the framework for other actors who played the role in later movies. He was icy-cold in Dr. No, charmingly witty in Goldfinger and a bit too cheeky in Diamonds Are Forever. No matter what, Connery inhabited the role like no other and...
7 Best John Ford-John Wayne Movies
If there was ever a director-actor tandem that defined the Western genre, it was John Ford and John Wayne. Over the course of five decades, Ford and Wayne made over 20 pictures, most of them Westerns and some that stood the test of time as the model for all others to follow. They made other types of films, war movies and even a romantic comedy....
5 Classics Starring Glenn Ford
A versatile actor comfortable in just about any genre, Glenn Ford excelled at playing Everyman characters trapped in extraordinary circumstances. Though noted for tough guy roles in Westerns and film noir, Ford also excelled in comedies, character dramas, and social issue movies. Ford reached the height of his popularity in the late-1950s and managed to stay relevant two decades later. Here are five of Glenn Ford's very best films.
9 Great John Huston Films
John Huston practically invented the film noir, but he was also a romantic who directed some of the most thrilling adventures in Hollywood history. His collaboration with Humphrey Bogart ranks as one of the greatest director-actor combos ever.
7 Film Noir Classics
Classic film noir means dangerous dames, tough guys and gangsters, laconic leading men and dirty deeds. Film noir is an enduring film style that saw its golden age just after World War II. Here are several classic movies in the film noir tradition.
The 'Thin Man' Movie List
Few Hollywood franchises were as successful as the Thin Man series, featuring William Powell and Myrna Loy as sophisticated, witty detectives Nick and Nora Charles, solving crimes with a martin…
Coming Home: Classic Movies About Veterans
No one returns from war unaffected, and the characters in these seven films are no exception. Be they dramas or melodramas, thrillers or even light-hearted musicals, these classic movies about veternas show their experiences coming home from a variety of cinematic angles.
Essential Classic Movies in Blu-Ray
The studios are slowly reaching back into the archives to re-mount great classic movies in Blu-ray, although several immortal movies (Citizen Kane, for example) are still awaiting Blu-ray release. If there’s a classic movie buff on your gift list who’s building a library, any of the Blu-ray classics on this list are sure to ple
Classic Movie Remakes Released in 2007
They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Well, sometimes it is, and sometimes it’s one huge insult. Here are five movies from 2007 that were remakes of classic films; some stand up to the original and some should have left well enough alone…
Great Classic Films for Every Member of the Family
Classic movies make great presents, and can be enjoyed not only by the recipient, but by anybody else in the household. Here’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of great classic films for every family member on your list.
List of Reviews and Ratings
An alphabetical list of classic movies reviewed on this site and their star ratings.
Classics on Blu-ray for June 2013, Part 1
Like last month, June's Blu-ray release schedule is filled with a ton of great classics. Making the jump to the popular format are a great World War II epic starring Henry Fonda and Robert Mitchum; Alfred Hitchcock's favorite film; a classic Universal Monster movie; the film adaptation of Neil Simon's most famous play; and an early talkie Western.
8 Great Steven McQueen Films
A cool customer and a man of few words, Steve McQueen became something of a pioneer for playing alienated loners while becoming the biggest box office start of his generation. Building off the work of Marlon Brando and James Dean, McQueen's onscreen persona was that of an anti-establishment rebel prone to violence and solving problems on his own terms. He became a star in the early 1960s, was nominated for his only Oscar in the middle of the decade, and was propelled to international stardom at the end of it. In 1974, McQueen was the highest paid actor working in Hollywood, though he slowed down his output by the end of the ‘70s, no doubt due to the cancer that claimed his life in 1980 when he was just 50 years old. While his career laid unfinished, McQueen’s legacy was certain as he emerged as one of the most influential actors from any era.
4 Best Movies Starring Yul Brynner
Born in Russia and possessing Swiss heritage, Yul Brynner cut his teeth on the stages of Moscow and Paris before arriving in New York, where he began playing his most beloved and identifiable role, the King of Siam. With his trademark shaved head, Brynner became a top box office star in 1956 and was immediately propelled into an unlikely matinee idol. He remained atop the heap throughout the 1960s, but his star began to wane in the 1970s despite continuous work on stage and screen. But all throughout, Brynner triumphed as the King of Siam, playing the role some 4,600 times when all was said and done, even when his health deteriorated in the mid-1980s from lung cancer. A larger than life figure, Yul Brynner has lived on as one of classic Hollywood’s most durable stars.
7 Classics Starring Charles Bronson
One of the most taciturn leading men of any era, Charles Bronson spent years working as supporting player throughout the 1950s and early '60s until finally becoming a star. Known for playing unemotional tough guys more comfortable using violence over words, Bronson became a top box office draw during the turbulent late-1960s and early '70s, when he played hard-nosed vigilantes who took matters into their own hands. Though his starred dimmed in the following decades, Bronson lived on as one of the great action stars of his generation.
6 Great Movies About The Civil War
Whether about a specific battle or serving merely as a backdrop, The Civil War has been a frequent setting for many great films. That's because it remains a contentious war with consequences that still simmer beneath the surface even today. A blight on American History, The Civil War has been the source of great dramatic films, six of which are listed here.
Classic Movie Blu-Ray Releases for March 2012
More and more, the studios are mining their vaults to release classic movies on the Blu-ray format. This month features a number of great films that are must-haves for anyone's shelf. A few have been released on the format before, while others are making their Blu-ray debut. But all would be great additions to any classic movie collection.