Classic Movies: Most Popular Articles
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 remained the prototypical Bond among fans for decades.
Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, made thrillers, spy movies, horror films and mysteries that set modern standards and delight new audiences.
The western movie is a uniquely American form, playing on the mystique of the U.S. frontier. Here are ten classics about the Old West.
Spanning three decades and eight films, most of them in the crime drama genre, the collaboration between actor Robert De Niro and director Martin Scorsese ranks was one of the greatest of all time. The two were brought together by mutual friend, actor Harvey Keitel, and made some of the best films ever made. Here are five of the best films made between Robert De Niro and Martin Scorsese.
Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy may have seemed an odd match, but they were an extraordinary screen couple.Here's a list of their 6 best films together.
Actor Jimmy Stewart was known for his aw-shucks manner and his ability to radiate decency.In a film career spanning four decades, here are nine of his best.
There’s nothing like a great classic Christmas movie to bring all the holiday memories back with a rush. Cuddle up on the couch with some hot cocoa and mini-marshmallows, and watch one of these great Christmas movies to get in the holiday spirit.
Suave, funny, romantic - Cary Grant's movies show his talents as the leading man to end all leading men. Just about everything he made is worth watching - here's a list of beloved Cary Grant films.
While many of Hollywood's screen couples were famed for their off-screen romances, Myrna Loy and William
Two legends - director Alfred Hithcock and star Cary Grant - worked together over two decades, producing four classic movies together.
A lumnious legend whose wartime childhood led her to support humanitarian causes throughout her life, Audrey Hepburn was a classic movie star of tremendous beauty and influential style. Here are seven Audrey Hepburn movies that should not be missed.
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.
They were icy blondes who more often than not caused trouble for their leading men by making them fall hopelessly in love with them. Alfred Hitchcock's leading ladies were sensual, passionate and sometimes criminally dangerous. But most importantly, they were rich and complex, and sometimes served as Hitchcock's outward projection of his ideal woman.
Eight classic movies for children that will keep the adults entertained as well. Wholesome family film adventures with great art, terrific old-school special effects, live animals, singing dancing and merriment - from Mary Poppins to Willy Wonka, from Doctor Doolittle to the Swiss Family Robinson.
Whether gritty and realistic or slick and campy, spy films have been a favorite genre among filmmakers and audiences. Often set in some international locale, they featured government agents engaged in espionage in secret and at great risk to themselves. Though numerous spy movies were made prior to World War II, notably by Alfred Hitchcock, it wasn’t until the Cold War that the genre exploded in popularity. Some took the Russian threat seriously, while others like James Bond had more of a devil-may-care attitude toward the free world’s sworn enemies. In the 1970s, audiences’ paranoia turned inward in the wake of Watergate, which was best exemplified by the likes of Sydney Pollack and Alan J. Pakula. Regardless of historical influences, spy films have always been escapist entertainment for moviegoers seeking action, thrills, and clear-cut heroes and villains.
An Egyptian actor who came to America and became an overnight star, Omar Sharif has appeared in some of Hollywood's grandest films, including Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago.
'The Great Dictator' was silent film star Charlie Chaplin's first
A list of some of Humphrey Bogart's best movies, from hard-boiled private detectives in classic film noir to the ravings of a paranoid ship captain.
In the '30s and '40s, the movie-going public couldn't get enough of sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. Here's a list of all six 'Thin Man' movies.
A subgenre of drama, the melodrama was a popular form where the plot was enhanced and sometimes exaggerated in order to tug at the audience’s heartstrings and maximize their emotional experience. Typically, these films focused on sensational plots revolving around tragedy, loss, and unrequited love, and featured long-suffering protagonists – usually female – trying in vain to overcoming impossible odds. In the wrong hands, the melodrama was campy and over-sentimental, leading to a negative perspective on the genre in contemporary times. But skilled directors like George Cukor, Douglas Sirk, and William Wyler made excellent films and helped make the melodrama one of the more popular genres of the classic era.
The idea of Marilyn Monroe as the ultimate Hollywood sex kitten has far outlasted the idea of Marilyn Monroe movies, and she made less than 30 during her tragically short career. A star of both comedies and dramas, Marilyn Monroe's movies give fans some insight to her development as an actress.
In the 1950s, sweeping epics, expensive musicals and dark dramas dominated the Best Picture category at the Oscars, along with one sleeper hit thrown in for good measure. Here are the ten classic movies that won the the top Academy Award in the 1950s - and some of the excellent films they bested.
Vampire movies have captivated film-goers from creepy early silent movies to today's big-budget supernatural blockbusters. They're frightening, erotic, and often darkly humorous, and they appeal to something deep in the human psyche. Here are seven classic vampire movies worth a look.
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, Stewart’s Westerns rank among the best work of his career.
A quick guide to the genres and styles that define classic movies. Film noir, B-movies, epics, sci-fi, biopics, it's all here, along with great examples in every genre.
Considered one of the greatest actors of all time, Robert De Niro emerged in the 1970s with iconic performances in some of the greatest movies of the New Hollywood era. He made his best films with Marin Scorsese and won an Oscar for playing a young Vito Corleone, a role immortalized by fellow method actor, Marlon Brando. Though he became something of a parody later in his career, De Niro has remained a Hollywood icon.
Director Billy Wilder gave the world terrific movies across the genres of film noir, romantic comedy, social realism and screwball comedy. Here are ten classic Billy Wilder movies you shouldn't miss.
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins and Stephen Boyd star in a magnificent, thrilling story of the Roman Empire and the birth of Christ.
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.
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 top directors past and present.
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.
If you're new to classic films, here's ten great choices to get you started, from a range of genres and stylkes. Try Casablanca, It Happened One Night, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sunset Boulevard, Some Like It Hot, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Dr. Strangelove, Psycho, The Day the Earth Stood Still, or Ben Hur.
A dynamic screen presence who was shot to stardom literally overnight, Lauren Bacall was best remembered for her work and her marriage to the classic era’s biggest star, Humphrey Bogart. Bacall was catapulted to leading status in only her first film, 'To Have and Have Not', and never looked back. Though her film career faltered in the 1960s, giving way to new life on stage and the small screen, Bacall remained one of the era’s most recognized actresses. Her are seven great films starring Lauren Bacall.
Nearly 30 years after his death, Alfred Hitchcock remains the dominant force in suspenseful filmmaking.
Gene Wilder was never better than in 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.' His off-kilter turn as a genius candy inventor who teaches a lesson to some very naughty children is a quirky classic children's movie.
'Casablanca' is the movie on just about every
An old staple that has been part of Hollywood since the silent era, Westerns have gone through a dramatic transformation over the years, often to rekindle interest after falling out of public favor. Gone are the stalwart heroes in white hats battling men in black during the 1930s and '40s, and in their place are the brooding antiheroes of the 1960s and '70s. Though few are made in this day and age, Westerns remain one of Hollywood's tried and true genres.
Movie buffs can find tons of free classic movies online. The question is, what's worth watching? There's plenty of awful stuff available, but here's seven terrific films you can watch today on your computer screen, all well worth the time.
Fleming was a powerful force behind the camera, with two of the greatest films of all time, 'Gone With the Wind' and 'The Wizard of Oz.'
Many see it as the most productive year of Hollywood's Golden Age. The great classic movies of 1939, full of drama, comedy, music and magic, have never been equaled in any other single year.
A luminous actress whose career spanned six decades, Katharine Hepburn started making classic films in the 1930s after starting on the New York stage. Her career had ups and downs, but she made classics throughout her career. Here is a list of must-see Katharine Hepburn movies.
Veering away from darker themes and going for the cute became the hallmark of the classic Disney animated films of the 1950s. Disney's leading ladies - mostly the princesses, but one pup - dominated the decade and kept families flocking the theaters for more Disney fare.
Inspiring, heartfelt, patriotic, witty - the hallmarks of director Frank Capra's movies. Here are nine of the very best classic films from a director who brought an idealized vision of small-town America and the common man to the screen.
With his successful mix of bloody action, suspense, odd comic touches and a new noir sensibility, director Quentin Tarantino acknowledges his debt to these six classic films: a western, a screwball comedy, a film noir, a heist flick, a gangster movie and a horror film played for laughs. These are the classics that influenced his work.
Everybody likes a good love story, and the best aren't always found in chick flicks. Adventures, war movies, even films with ghost stories can be very romantic. Here's ten classic movie romances that won't disappoint.
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.
One of the finest actors of his generation, Richard Burton delivered a number of high-caliber performances. He was nominated for seven Academy Awards – six for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor – but never won. Still, he was one of the best performers on either side of the Atlantic. Here are nine of his best movies.
Ever since the advent of sound with
Claudette Colbert's biography is a history of old Hollywood glamor and the sophistication. The beautiful, elfin actress could charm from the silver screen or the Broadway stage, and she kept audiences enraptured for three decades. Here's a profile of an enchanting diva of early cinema, Claudette Colbert.
The timeless Disney classic adventure movie, the plucky Swiss family Robinson, shipwrecked on a desert island, builds a fabulous tree house, cavorts with exotic animals and battles pirates. A rollicking good time.
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 experimental projects. Still, he remained a highly influential auteur whose techniques changed the course of Hollywood filmmaking.
A profile of one of Hollywood’s great stars, Tyrone Power, who was not only handsome but also showed great acting range during his career.
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 woman. She delivered great performances in a number of classics and became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most favored actresses. Though touched by scandal due to her illicit affair with director Roberto Rossellini, Bergman used her undeniable gifts to earn the forgiveness of her fans.
A list of early classic movies from the most commercially successful director of all time.
One of the greatest comedic actors of all time, Peter Sellers had an undeniable gift for portraying a wide array of characters, sometimes within the same film. He found international success as the bumbling Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series and was one of the most gifted, but troubled performers of all time.
If you're looking for thrills and chills, classic horror movies have plenty to offer. While some of the old scary movies may not have the gore or the shock value of newer films, a great story well told can still jolt the bejabbers out of you. Here's nine that should do the trick.
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 only two Academy Awards and won in 1981 for his final role. Still, he had an extraordinary career rivaled by few others.
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. Here are seven of their very best.
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.
Though better known now for her belief in reincarnation and UFOs, actress Shirley MacLaine—older sister to actor-director Warren Beatty—was a talented, award-winning actress who starred in several classics. Whether working with Alfred Hitchcock or Billy Wilder, MacLaine always delivered high-quality performances, five of which were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress. Here seven classic movies starring Shirley MacLaine.
A legendary actress whose effortless charm and waifish beauty captured the viewing public, Audrey Hepburn transcended mere stardom to become a Hollywood icon. One of the most gifted and beautiful actresses of all time, Hepburn cemented her status as a legend by becoming one of the few performers ever to win an Oscar, an Emmy, a Grammy, and a Tony. Though her success lasted 15 years, Hepburn left an indelible mark and transcended generations as a true Hollywood icon.
A witty and suspenseful outing set on the streets of Paris, 'Charade' is the only classic movie to pair its two great stars: Audrey Hepburn and Cary Grant. A clever plot, sparkling dialogue and elegant costumes make this a watchable favorite.
'Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb' is the funniest movie ever made about global nuclear destruction. Peter Sellers plays three roles, including the bizarre Dr. Strangelove, in Stanley Kubrick's classic black comedy of Cold War military macho and political blundering. A masterpiece.
Disney's animated children's movies have dominated the field for decades, and it all began in the 1930s and 1940s, when the studio produced five classic animated feature films. Each groundbreaking and audacious -- Snow White, Pinocchio, Fantasia, Dumbo and Bambi -- the classic animated movies that stand as classics still.
Hayley Mills was the perfect Disney movie star for the '60s - wholesome, adorable and a great little actress. Her performances in Disney's family friendly classic films were not only completely safe and engaging for kids, they were mostly enjoyable as well. Here are six great examples.
Using few words and signature methods of killing that sometimes border on absurd, Bond henchmen posed a considerable physical threat to 007 and needed 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.
One of the most popular movie stars of the 1950s and 1960s, Rock Hudson became well-known as a leading man in an array of romantic comedies, particularly opposite close friend Doris Day. But he also displayed considerable acting chops in a number of dramas and earned himself an Academy Award nomination for Best actor in 1956. While he projected the image of an eligible ladies man, Hudson was in fact leading a double life as a closeted gay man whose death from HIV-related illness in 1985 shocked the world. Regardless, he remained a giant star whose popularity continues unabated. Here are seven best movies starring Rock Hudson.
Whether you like monsters or ghosts or even aliens from another planet, there’s nothing quite like watching old scary movies. 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 classic Hollywood and beyond.
In Depression-era Alabama, soft-spoken lawyer Atticus Finch takes on the case of a black man accused of assaulting a white woman. A classic coming-of-age movie from Harper Lee's best-selling novel, 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'
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.
An actor celebrated for his strength and authority, Gregory Peck starred in numerous classic movies and was one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars.
One of the most highly regarded actor-director tandems in Hollywood history, here are the four great movies made by James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock.
Doris Day was a phenomenon both as an actress and as a singer. She was the all-American girl next door who behind the scenes had a rather dark private life. Often paired on screen with Cary Grant and close friend Rock Hudson, Day turned in one winning performance after another and earned an Academy Award nomination for one of the most successful romantic comedies of all time.
Here are all ten Academy Award winners for Best Actor of the 1950s, with some of the finest dramatic performances of the Golden Era.
The chemistry sizzles between Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, who met and fell in love on the set of 'To Have and Have Not.' A diverting wartime classic film by Howard Hawks, set on the French island fo Martinique in World War II.
A glib, stylish, bittersweet romance that defined Audrey Hepburn's film career, and established an indelible image of American fashion. With George Peppard, Patricia Neal and a truly wretched bit part for Andy Rooney, 'Breakfast at Tiffany's' is still a tasty classic movie dish.
While not as highly regarded as other actor-director combos, like Alfred Hitchcock and James Stewart or George Cukor and Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and John Huston collaborated on five films, four of which have stood the test of time as all-time classics. Combining Huston’s dramatic ambition with Bogie’s world-weary persona, their partnership was the stuff dreams were made of, as the two were kindred spirits both on- and off-screen. Bogart won his only Oscar thanks to his work with Huston, while in turn the director won his only Academy Award for Best Director. Here are four great classic movies made by Humphrey Bogart and John Huston.
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.
The quintessential 1950s brooding teen full of angst and rebellion, James Dean was a promising young star whose tragic death before his career started propelled him into iconic status. Dean was the star of three features films in his short career, but only lived long enough to see one of them released. He received two posthumous Oscar nominations and lived on for generations as a Hollywood legend.
Once the high-flying golden boy of New Hollywood following a string of hits in the early 1970s, director Peter Bogdanovich took a mighty fall toward the end of the decade when he allowed his personal dalliances ruin his career. He had a great run in the early 1970s, but by the end of the decade he suffered a string of flops. Bogdanovich managed a brief comeback in the 1980s, only to fade away from view. Here are five great films directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
Hearthrob Tyrone Power was the epitome of the classic movie matinee idol. Here are six movies starring one classic film's gorgeous Hollywood hunks.
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.
Everything you need to know about David Lean's great World War II epic, starring Alec Guinness, William Holden, and Sessue Hayakawa.
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.
At once a stunning beauty and an authoritative screen presence, Lauren Bacall graced the silver screen alongside her husband, Humphrey Bogart, to become one of the top actresses of Classic Hollywood. Though she delivered one memorable performance after another, Bacall was rarely showered with awards, and earned her first Academy Award nomination when she was in her 70s. Regardless of the lack of recognition, Bacall was a screen legend with an impressive body of work.
African-American contributions to the world of cinema continue to grow. Here are 7 lesser-known, but influential classic movies featuring African Americans.
Marilyn Monroe was already a star when she stood on a New York subway grate in a white halter dress in the iconic scene from 'The Seven Year Itch.' Here's a review of the classic movie that gave us one of the most indelible images of the 20th Century.
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.
The big ape who started it all in 1933 was 'King Kong,' in an early classic movie of great scope and ambition. Follow the adventures of the first 'King Kong' from Skull Island to the Empire State Building, and see how it all began.
Many of the great movie monsters got their start in the 1930s, when Hollywood took classic horror novels and made them into black-and-white thrillers. Here's seven iconic monsters from 'The Bride of Frankenstein' to 'King Kong,' the legends who started it all.
The Best Picture Oscar winners of the 1960s show Hollywood throwing off old constraints and tackling serious issues of race, sex and societal issues.
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.
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.
Born to be a leading man, Charlton Heston played Biblical prophets and princes, tortured artists and worn-down cowboys, policemen and clerics during his long and varied career. Here are seven classic films featuring Charlton Heston, a classic Hollywood hero.
A British actress born in Japan and the younger sister of Olivia de Havilland, Joan Fontaine was an exceptional performer who became a star in Alfred Hitchcock’s American debut. In fact, she was the only actor male or female ever to win an Academy Award for her work with Hitch. She had noted rivalry with sister, Olivia de Havilland, which led to them not talking at all later in life. Fontaine was a star during Hollywood's Golden Age, but never reached iconic status.
A handsome charmer who often played the archetypical American anti-hero, Paul Newman's career stretched over decades. Here are six of Paul Newman's classic movies that showcase his talent.
Though remembered for TV's Maverick and The Rockford Files, James Garner was also a big screen star, particularly in the 1960s, and starred in a a number of classic films.
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 director Elia Kazan. His career hit the skids the following decade, though he saw a brief resurgence in the 1970s. He was idolized by fans and copied by numerous actors throughout the decades, from James Dean to Robert De Niro to Leonardo DiCaprio.
'Mary Poppins' is the kind of classic children's tale that never grows old. One of Disney's most successful films, the story of a magical nanny, studded with catchy tunes and wonderful dance numbers, will keep children spellbound.
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 actions 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 from Classic Hollywood.
At long last, all three films made starring 1950s icon James Dean will finally be released on Blu-ray in the James Dean Ultimate Collector's Edition box set.
Classic movies make great gifts, enjoyed not only by the recipient, and anybody else in the household. So if you don't know what to get Mom for her birthday, or Sis for graduation, here’s a somewhat tongue-in-cheek list of great classic films for every family member.
One of the longest working actors in film history, Mickey Rooney rode an enormous wave of popularity in the 1930s thanks to his performances as Andy Hardy and his onscreen partnership with friend Judy Garland. With undying optimism and an aw-shucks, can-do persona, Rooney catapulted to superstardom and became Hollywood’s top box office draw for three years running in the early 1940s...
Part 3 of 3. Finishing up this month's Blu-ray releases are Elmer Gantry, Run Silent Run Deep, Once Upon a Time in America, and another version of Ben-Hur.
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.
An epic Western that upended Old West mythologies at the same time it recalled them, 'Once Upon a Time in the West' stands alongside some of the best films ever made in the genre. Featuring an all-star cast, the film also turned audience perceptions on their heads by turning heroic everyman Henry Fonda into one of the most ruthless killers ever to appear on screen. Directed by Sergio Leone, the film had a slow meditative pace, epic scope, and striking visuals that elevated a simple revenge story into an extraordinary Western that has influenced countless filmmakers.
Made on a tight budget financed by the director himself, 'Psycho' (1960) was a major box office hit that ushered in a new genre of film and ranked high as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s best films. Starring Janet Leigh as the ill-fated Marion Crane and Anthony Perkins as cross-dressing serial killer Norman Bates, 'Psycho' has been the subject of endless fascination and speculation for over five decades.
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.
While he had a far more prolific collaboration with John Wayne director John Ford also enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Henry Fonda. Spanning seven films over two decades, their collaboration produced some of the greatest Westerns, biographies, and literary adaptations ever made. They even made a great comedy adapted from Fonda’s Tony-winning stage production, but the two came to literal blows on set and abruptly ended what could have gone down as one of the most productive actor-director duos in Hollywood history.
Oscars went to big, dramatic performances for Best Actor during the 1960s, but one fine comic turn won the top award, among a few other surprises. See who took home Best Actor Oscars at the Academy Awards during the 1960s.
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.
Before computer graphics took audiences back to ancient worlds, Hollywood built massive sets and employed a literal cast of thousands. Fearful of the new medium of television, studios staged these films in order to draw people to theaters. It worked for a time, but by the early 1960s these epics proved too costly to make. Studios shied away from making these epics for decades, and it would take computer generated effects for studios to even think about doing such large scale movies again.
A direct descendant of the film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s, the paranoid thriller was a subgenre that first began to emerge in the 1960s amidst the fear of Communism during the the Cold War. But the paranoid thriller didn’t come into full bloom until the early 1970s when distrust in and fear of our own government was at an all-time high thanks to Watergate, Vietnam and the CIA. While such movies have waned in recent years, the paranoid thrillers made in the 1960s and 1970s remain popular.
A dark look at the American frontier, the classic American western film 'The Searchers' is seen by many as John Wayne's finest acting role.
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 golden age known as New Hollywood. Unlike the heroes of movies past, actresses were featured more as strong independent women. In the 1970s, leading actresses bucked their male counterparts while seeking independence from male power structures, while in some cases becoming the very definition of women's lib.
Long compared to her contemporary Lauren Bacall, husky-voiced actress Lizabeth Scott thrived as the femme fatale in a string of underrated, but significant film noirs. Having emerged from Broadway, where she was Tallulah Bankhead’s understudy, Scott arrived in Hollywood in 1945 and was hailed as the next Bacall or Veronica Lake. Over the next 10 years, Scott appeared opposite some of Hollywood’s biggest stars, only to see her career come to an end in the late 1950s once her contract with legendary producer Hal Wallis was up. Though she was never nominated for an Oscar, Scott earned widespread critical praise for her unrelenting performances. Here are six classics starring Lizabeth Scott.
In a thirty-year career, Clark Gable's masculine presence and dimpled grin enlivened 67 films, many of
Whether in comedies, tragedies, or somewhere in between, actors have long taken on the challenge of playing multiple roles in the same movie. Usually playing a twin or doppelganger, actors have also played widely different characters in order to show the depths of their talents. Here are six actors who have played two or more characters in the same movie.
Undeniably the most iconic music star of the 20th century, Elvis Presley was also a popular box office star in the 1960s. Here are ten of his best films.
'Vertigo' is first a dreamlike story of obsession and only second a mystery/suspense film. The classic movie with James Stewart and Kim Novak garnered mixed reviews when it debuted, but is now widely viewed as a Hitchcock masterpiece that bears repeated viewings.
Though largely associated with gangster films, James Cagney was also a comedian, romantic lead and song-and-dance man. Cagney got his start in vaudeville and made his film debut at the start of the talkie era. He had an acrimonious relationship with his home studio, Warner Bros., but over time delivered one quality performance after another and proved himself to be one of Hollywood's most bankable stars.
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 so-called Big Five awards and the most enduring romantic epic Hollywood has ever known.
One of the greatest directors of New Hollywood, Roman Polanski also became one of the most reviled. He directed some of cinema's most acclaimed films while also hiding in France as a fugitive from the United States after his conviction for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Despite his criminal status, Polanski continued to make films well into the 21st century.
Known for her sensual beauty and her many marriages, Elizabeth Taylor's movies over a long career show her to be a talented and seasoned actress who earned her status as a major movie star. Here are six of her most memorable films.
Sometimes finding a director you like is the best way to find the movies you'll love. Here are six of the finest directors Hollywood has ever known - Billy Wilder, Frank Capra, John Ford, William Wyler, Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston -- aong with suggestions for some of their best classic films.
Bette Davis makes a spectacle of herself in 'Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?' transforming herself into a hideous harridan in an over-the-top role as a spoiled former child star, forced to play nursemaid to her crippled sister - played by the equally formidable Joan Crawford. The two divas play out their legendary rivalry in a campy, gothic horror movie.
'Citizen Kane' was nearly strangled in the crib by its target, William Randolph Hearst, but Orson Welles' masterpiece of film noir survived. Over the years, 'Citizen Kane' has come to be seen as perhaps the finest classic movie ever made.
Though known later in life for his political activism and dedication to independent film, actor Robert Redford was a box office star in the 1960s and 1970s.
One of the funniest screwball comedies ever, 'Some Like it Hot' is sweet bit of comic fluff starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe.
Lots of great classic movies are being released on Blu-ray this September. Among those making the transfer are Hitchcock’s last film made before his noted decline; a classic paranoid thriller from Hollywood’s Second Golden Age; an excellent spy film starring Richard Burton; the horror classic that turned Boris Karloff into a star; and the first film to earn Joseph L. Mankiewicz the Oscar for Best Director.
class="no-js" itemscope itemtype="http://schema.org/Article" > itemprop="description" >Many stars peak
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 than happy to oblige and in the early 1930s churned out several classics like 'Little Caesar' and 'Scarface' that served as the template for all other gangster films to follow – typically a poor immigrant who finds the American Dream in the dark underbelly of capitalism and has a quick rise to the top, only to fall prey to an even faster fall that ended in a violent death. Because of the unrelenting violence and amorality of the central characters, the gangster film contributed to Hollywood’s Production Code, which in part deemed that no criminal deeds go unpunished, no matter how untrue that was in the real world. Over the decades, as the Code was eroded by grittier and more realistic films, the gangster movie was an always popular genre that gave rise to some of cinema’s greatest stars and directors.
With his manly good looks, cleft chin and memorable profile, Kirk Douglas was a classic leading man who commanded starring roles for decades. Here are six classic Kirk Douglas movies that show the range of his roles.
In a golden decade for Hollywood, the Best Actor Oscar winners for the 1940s were a badly mixed bag. Some truly transcendent performances were recognized, and some truly great actors were snubbed. Here's a list of the Best Actors Academy Awards in the '40s.
The beloved Christmas classic 'It's A Wonderful Life' is more than a holiday movie. It's an inspiring tale of one man's life and the lives he touches in his little town. A disappointment when it came out, it richly deserves its classic status.
Rounding out July's Blu-ray releases are a classic courtroom drama and a somewhat controversial take on Sherlock Holmes both directed by Billy Wilder; a romantic weepy starring Barbara Stanwyck; an underrated character drama that earned David Niven a Best Actor Academy Award; and one of the most defining movies of the early 1980s.
With an elegant and quietly commanding personality, Sidney Poitier became the first African-American to win Best Actor at the Academy Awards.
Whether sophisticated in manner or of the slapstick variety, there's always a classic comedy for any taste. The counterpoint to drama, comedies have always been with us no matter what the medium and they always will be. Sometimes they're absurd, other times bitingly satirical, but all are designed to make us laugh. Here are just a few of the very best classic comedies ever made.
A larger than life figure who burned bright both on and off screen, Errol Flynn engaged in an adventurous lifestyle behind the scenes that rivaled his dashing performances in some of classic Hollywood’s most iconic movies. Flynn was synonymous with swashbuckling adventure and was singularly identified with the role of Robin Hood. Though he met an ignominious end at a young age, Flynn lived on as one of classic Hollywood’s greatest matinee idols.
An incredible talent whose contralto voice and girl next door look turned her into a star, here are 6 classic movies starring the incomparable Judy Garland.
For the first several years of his career, Clint Eastwood struggled as a bit actor bouncing around from one uncredited role to another in movies best left forgotten. But in the mid-1960s, he was cast by Italian director Sergio Leone in a trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns and was vaulted into international superstardom. While this list barely scratches the surface of Eastwood’s esteemed career, it at least gives some idea how he developed from minor character actor to one of the most accomplished Hollywood stars of all time.
A frothy, stylish romp on the French Riviera with two gorgeous stars and a great director, Alfred Hitchcock's 'To Catch a Thief' puts Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in the witty tale of a reformed jewel thief chasing a copycat burglar.
A complex film noir, 'The Big Sleep' features Humphrey Bogart in one of his most layered roles as Phillip Marlowe, and provides a great showcase for the Bogart and real-life love Lauren Bacall. Clever dialogue highlights intelligent, suspenseful mystery in 'The Big Sleep.'
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.
At a time when the Western had all but run its course, an Italian director named Sergio Leone came along and resurrected the genre. The stylistic film starred Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach as three desperados in search of a cash box full of money. Allegiances shift, double-crosses ensue and the three resolve their conflict with a violent finale punctuated by Ennio Morricone's classic score.
There are the Golden Globes, the Palme d'Or, the Independent Spirit Awards, the People's Choice - but let's face it, Oscar is the king of them all, and it all started with classic movies Oscars. Here are the Academy's top picks for Hollywood classics.
Part 1 of 3. A list of classic movies making the transfer to Blu-ray, including Dracula, Frankenstein, Hangmen Also Die, and Young Frankenstein.
'The African Queen' is the only screen pairing of Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart, a rip-roaring adventure movie with a satisfying love story. Director John Huston's sweeping film is set in colonial Africa during World War I. It pits English spinster Hepburn, scruffy Canadian expat Bogart and their plucky little boat, the African Queen, against the Germans.
Eva Marie Saint delivered great performances in On the Waterfront, Raintree Country and North by Northwest. Here are four great movies starring Eva Marie Saint.
A thrilling Hitchcock suspense film, 'Rear Window' features witty dialog, clever camera angles and a still-fresh take on the war between the sexes.