Classic Movies: Most Popular Articles
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.
Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, made thrillers, spy movies, horror films and mysteries that set modern standards and delight new audiences.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two legends - director Alfred Hithcock and star Cary Grant - worked together over two decades, producing four classic movies 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bela Lugosi was both a star and eternally typecast thanks to playing Dracula in 1931. But his performance defined the role and made horror a mainstream genre.
While many of Hollywood's screen couples were famed for their off-screen romances, Myrna Loy and William
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
An actor celebrated for his strength and authority, Gregory Peck starred in numerous classic movies and was one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars.
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 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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nearly 30 years after his death, Alfred Hitchcock remains the dominant force in suspenseful filmmaking.
'Casablanca' is the movie on just about every
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.
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.
A list of classic movies being released on Blu-ray, including a Western classic from John Ford and a lavish musical starring Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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 box office draws of the 1940s. There have been numerous unforgettable actresses from the classic era, but there was no one quite like Rita Hayworth.
The ultimate damsel in distress, Fay Wray was a popular actress who starred opposite top leading men like Gary Cooper, Fredric March, and William Powell, and was vaulted into iconic status as Hollywood's most famous scream queen.
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.
Ever since the advent of sound with
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.
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.
Hearthrob Tyrone Power was the epitome of the classic movie matinee idol. Here are six movies starring one classic film's gorgeous Hollywood hunks.
Cary Grant plays an angel come to earth in 'The Bishop's Wife,' a Christmas movie classic. The angel is supposed to be answering the prayers of a beleaguered bishop who wants to build a cathedral, but finds himself a bit distracted by the bishop's beautiful wife.
Italy's most famous actress, Sophia Loren won an Oscar in 1960 and hit her peak in the middle of the decade, starring with some of Hollywood's top leading men.
The quintessential American epic, 'Gone with the Wind' is the epitome of a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster based on a best-selling novel.
Mae West utters her most famous - and most often misquoted line - in 'She Done Him Wrong,' a scandalous melodrama that shot Cary Grant to stardom in 1933. Sexual frankness and racy songs helped spur enduring censorship after the blue-nose backlash to 'She Done Him Wrong.'
African-American contributions to the world of cinema continue to grow. Here are 7 lesser-known, but influential classic movies featuring African Americans.
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.
'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.
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.
Few spoofs are as spot-on and funny as 'Young Frankenstein,' Mel Brooks' stylish tribute to the great old monster movies. If you can watch it without laughing out loud, you’re just not human.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
The undisputed king of movie mystery and mayhem, director Alfred Hitchcock combined suspense, sex and dark humor to create masterpieces of classic film. One of the most influential directors in movie history, Alfred Hitchcock was often imitated, rarely equaled.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In recent years, they brought original films of great imagination and visual beauty to the screen - but what classic movies influenced the Coen Brothers' strange blend of crime, noir and comedy? 'The Big Sleep,' naturally, but how about a war movie, a screwball comedy, and a road trip classic? Here are some of the classic films that influenced the Coen brothers.
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.
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.
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.
Claude Rains stars in the original 'Invisible Man,' the first movie made from H.G. Wells' classic science fiction novel. A bit campy, the special effects hold up surprisingly well, and Rains' liquid voice carries the movie when his unseen face cannot.
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.
A timeless classic, 'The Wizard of Oz' has delighted legions of children and adults the world over for decades. Based on a much-loved children's book, the 1939 classic movie has stood the test of time.
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 profile of one of Hollywood’s great stars, Tyrone Power, who was not only handsome but also showed great acting range during his career.
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.
Deborah Kerr was one of Hollywood's most esteemed actresses in the 1950s. She was nominated five times for Best Actress and is one of the greatest actresses to never win an Oscar.
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.
In a thirty-year career, Clark Gable's masculine presence and dimpled grin enlivened 67 films, many of
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.'
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.
Here are all ten Academy Award winners for Best Actor of the 1950s, with some of the finest dramatic performances of the Golden Era.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
'The Great Dictator' was silent film star Charlie Chaplin's first
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 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.
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.
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.
'Sergeant York' is a sharp-shooting pacifist from the backwoods of Tennessee becomes an unlikely war hero in the true story of Sergeant York and his courage in WWI. Gary Cooper stars in this great classic movie as Sergeant York, wrestling with duty to God and country.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Hollywood loves politics. Here are ten classic political movies that explore the use and misuse of power, greed and corruption in politics from Washington to the city streets. Some of these movies about politics are cynical; some are funny; some are uplifting -- and they're all great.
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.
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.
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.
One of classic Hollywood’s most charismatic leading men, Cary Grant developed a carefree onscreen persona that made him a huge box office star even though it belied his humble and rather troubled youth. Grant was one of the era’s most sought after performers and was one of Alfred Hitchcock's few favored actors. Though he never won an Oscar, Grant ranks high as one of the greatest actors of the silver screen.
The 1953 version of the. H.G. Wells classic 'War of the Worlds' had spectacular special effects for its day, and set the standard for Martian invasion movies. With Gene Barry as the requisite egghead scientist and some nasty Martians.
A spine-chilling horror movie and a top-notch science fiction adventure, 'Alien' is a master class from director Ridley Scott on how to build suspense and slowly reveal a terrifying creature. Sigourney Weaver stars in the first movie in the successful 'Alien' franchise.
The Great Dictator ; the funny, sophisticated Philadelphia Story ; and the dust-bowl epic The Grapes
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.
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.
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.
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.
Noted for his many Westerns, particularly the ones he made with frequent collaborator John Ford, John Wayne rose from being a bit player in B-movies in the 1920s to become an American institution. Wayne was an enduring icon of All-American values and rugged individualism who ranked high on the list of screen legends that includes Charlie Chaplin, James Cagney and Humphrey Bogart.
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.
Jimmy Stewart was one of the truly great stars of Hollywood's Golden Age, playing quintessentially American roles from small-town heroes to avenging gunmen in the old West. Find resources on Jimmy Stewart here.
A list of early classic movies from the most commercially successful director of all time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A film noir classic, 'Sunset Boulevard' is a jaundiced look at the excesses of Hollywood, and a great story about an aging film goddess and her doomed gigolo. Witty, cynical and mesmerizing.
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.
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.
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.
Everything you need to know about Arthur Penn's landmark New Hollywood film starring Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, and Gene Hackman.
Inspired by Shakespeare's 'Tempest,' 'Forbidden Planet' is a seminal science fiction film with terrific special effects and a smart script. Featuring the debut of Robby the Robot, 'Forbidden Planet' also offers a young Leslie Nielsen as a space commander.
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 exceptional range across a wide range of genres that included Westerns, film noir, historical dramas, sweeping romances, thrillers and biopics.
The Best Picture Oscar winners of the 1960s show Hollywood throwing off old constraints and tackling serious issues of race, sex and societal issues.
A thrilling Hitchcock suspense film, 'Rear Window' features witty dialog, clever camera angles and a still-fresh take on the war between the sexes.
Few stars have had a career as long and successful as Mickey Rooney's, stretching from the silent movie era through contemporary film. Mickey Rooney's biography is the story of a star who grew up with Hollywood.
'Monty Python's Life of Brian' is a merry sendup of old-style Bibilical epics, and a biting satire on religion, politics and fanaticism. Rude, crude and side-splitting funny, it follows the life of Brian of Nazareth, an ordinary guy who is mistaken for the Messiah.
My personal favorite of all the great screwball comedies, 'His Girl Friday' is a fast-paced, funny showcase for Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell. Made in 1940, it's one of the first comedies to explore the conflicts of women in the work force, and skewers both politics and journalism with a merry cynicism.
A bubbly romantic comedy about a chauffeur's daughter in love with a rich playboy. Audrey Hepburn goes to Paris for polish and comes back to charm William Holden and Humphrey Bogart in 'Sabrina,' a classic movie directed by Billy Wilder.
A strong willed and fiercely independent, Bette Davis was one of classic Hollywood’s most celebrated performers. Of the course of her storied career, Davis earned 11 Oscar nominations and along the way ruffled many feathers, particularly with her longtime studio Warner Bros., but often in an effort to win better parts. Despite many lackluster movies, Davis turned in numerous classic performances that elevated her to becoming one of cinema’s greatest actresses.
Hitchcock's diverting suspense film sweeps from the sophisticated streets of New York in the '50s to the stone faces of South Dakota's Mount Rushmore. Fast-paced and clever, 'North By Northwest' is classic Hitchcock with star Cary Grant at his urbane best.
Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins and Stephen Boyd star in a magnificent, thrilling story of the Roman Empire and the birth of Christ.
Newcomers often won out over established divas to become the Best Actress Oscar winners of the 1950s. In a great decade for movies, meaty dramatic roles for women were hardly in short supply, and some performers made the jump from the stage to the screen.