Classic Movies: Most Popular Articles
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
While many of Hollywood's screen couples were famed for their off-screen romances, Myrna Loy and William
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
'Casablanca' is the movie on just about every
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.
Ever since the advent of sound with
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In a thirty-year career, Clark Gable's masculine presence and dimpled grin enlivened 67 films, many of
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
All things Humphrey Bogart - links to stories about his life, his work and his best movies. Reviews, a biography, and great movies from the Bogie filmography. Here's lookin' at you, kid!
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.'
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.
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 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.
Hearthrob Tyrone Power was the epitome of the classic movie matinee idol. Here are six movies starring one classic film's gorgeous Hollywood hunks.
'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.
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.
Loved by fans, treasured by friends and colleagues, James Stewart's long career earned his place among the greatest stars of Hollywood's Golden Age.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another month, another slew of great classic movies being released on Blu-ray. Among those making the transfer to the popular format in May are a great satire about journalism that turned out to be Billy Wilder’s first financial flop; George Cukor’s sophisticated comedy starring Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford, and Rosalind Russell; Mel Brooks’ great Western spoof starring Cleavon Little and Gene Wilder; and an underrated murder mystery starring the master of horror Bela Lugosi. Whether one is an avid collector or just an occasional buyer, all these films make for worth additions to anyone’s Blu-ray shelf.
An actor celebrated for his strength and authority, Gregory Peck starred in numerous classic movies and was one of Hollywood’s most iconic stars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The quintessential American epic, 'Gone with the Wind' is the epitome of a star-studded Hollywood blockbuster based on a best-selling novel.
Rounding out this month's Blu-ray releases are a rather charming World War II comedy starring Anthony Quinn; one of the first significant doomsday movies ever made; Bob Fosse's semi-autobiographical musical from 1979; and a classic sex comedy starring Peter O'Toole and Woody Allen.
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.
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.
'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.
A thrilling Hitchcock suspense film, 'Rear Window' features witty dialog, clever camera angles and a still-fresh take on the war between the sexes.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
Claudette Colbert was one of Hollywood's early stars, a French-born gamine who showed versatility on the stage and the screen. Here are six terrific Claudette Colbert movies that show her range throughout her long and successful career.
Nearly 30 years after his death, Alfred Hitchcock remains the dominant force in suspenseful filmmaking.
African-American contributions to the world of cinema continue to grow. Here are 7 lesser-known, but influential classic movies featuring African Americans.
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.
The Best Picture Oscar winners of the 1960s show Hollywood throwing off old constraints and tackling serious issues of race, sex and societal issues.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For as long as there has been rock and roll, there have been rock and roll movies. Sometimes actors will play famous musicians, while other times the musicians will play themselves. But since the early 1960s, there have been a number of great films made about the world of rock and roll. Here are five of them.
'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.
Whether an inspirational tale about a legendary figure or a cynical exploration of the seamy underbelly of professional sports, there’s a classic movie about football for just about everyone. Some are straightforward biopics about a player or coach, while others use football as a means for rebellious heroes to clash with authoritarian powers-that-be. But the elements are typically the same: a game is played and a win leads to cathartic release or a loss triggers deeper enlightenment that extends beyond the field.
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 funniest screwball comedies ever, 'Some Like it Hot' is sweet bit of comic fluff starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe.
The Great Dictator ; the funny, sophisticated Philadelphia Story ; and the dust-bowl epic The Grapes
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.
Here's a list of some of Humphrey Bogart's best movies, from hard-boiled private detectives in classic film noir to a paranoid ship captain. See Humphrey Bogart;s full range, from 'Casablanca' to 'The Maltese Falcon,' from 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' to 'The Caine Mutiny.'
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.
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.
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.
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.
When the chemistry's good, the romance is great. Here are three of Hollywood's most famous screen couples - Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, and William Powell and Myrna Loy - who kindle true Hollywood magic.
Classic Star Carole Lombard's biography is a story of natural talent, incredible beauty, adversity and a tragic early death. A gifted comedian and one of the highest-paid actors of her day, Lombard will always be remembered as a great star.
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 numerous hits and Oscar winners, all which displayed his talent with pacing, rapid-fire dialogue and a flawless attention to detail. Few directors of any generation have been able to match his craft. Here are eight classic movies by master director George Cukor.
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.
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.
Here are all ten Academy Award winners for Best Actor of the 1950s, with some of the finest dramatic performances of the Golden Era.
Tony Curtis made dozens of films during a long, successful career. Among the most sought-after leading men of his day, he had a special talent for playing a good-looking rake and a scoundrel. Here are six great films among the many classic movies in which he starred.
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.
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.
One of the most manic actors of any era, Jack Nicholson essayed a number of iconic roles. He was a dogged private eye uncovering murder and corruption in 1930s Los Angeles, a patient at a mental institution who refuses to conform and most infamously a comic book villain who takes on the Caped Crusader. Nominated for 12 Oscars and winner of three, Nicholson was undeniably one of cinema's most accomplished performers.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'The Great Dictator' was silent film star Charlie Chaplin's first
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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 Charles Laughton, and had the only tie for the award in Academy history.
Oscar generally rewards dramatic performances over comedy, and the Best Actress Oscar winners of the 1940s were no exception. Here are the roles that won the top acting award for actresses in the decade of the '40s.
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.
The film that revived Katharine Hepburn's flagging career in 1940, 'The Philadelphia Story,' is a witty classic movie that benefits from a superb cast including Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart. Fine supporting performances round out this story of the foibles of a wealthy society divorcee.
While there are more films about World War II, there are several great movies from the classic era that were made about the war to end all wars. Because World War I is often viewed today as tragic and unnecessary, more movies about it have taken on a decidedly antiwar tone, which is in sharp contrast to flag-waving pictures about its predecessor that came out in the 1940s and ‘50s. This sharper tone has resulted in some rather intense movies that showcase war in a more realistic light while seemingly presaging the dark, cynical mood following the Vietnam War. Though fewer movies about the war are made these days, World War I remains a period of fascination for filmmakers and moviegoers alike.
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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 critics and audiences.
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 comedies, gangster films, Westerns, film noir and even musicals. Here are nine classic movies directed by Howard Hawks.
Virtually peerless in natural talent and professional accomplishment, actor Spencer Tracy had an unparalleled career that spanned four decades.
A handsome devil with a cleft chin and a great cinematic profile, Kirk Douglas' career has spanned decades, and his biography is littered with big names and big events from Hollywood. he's played heroes and villains, warriors and scoundrels, always projecting a strong, masculine presence. Read about his life and work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The 1970s were a dazzling decade for classic movies in America, and the competition for the Best Picture Oscar winners of the decade was fierce. Here's a list of the 1970s winners, along with often-superior movies they bested.
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.
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.