A Taste for Adventure

By Alicia Pettis

5 of my Favorite Classic Films

Millennials and Gen Z watching aren’t classic films as much as previous generations.

However, this certainly isn’t the case of a generation consciously killing classics. In fact, the “the Take” recently explained this phenomenon in a new YouTube video. To summarize, it’s mostly due to the amount of new content being developed AND that streaming platforms use algorithms that then prioritize this new content. Making it tougher to stumble upon these classic films (which we’ll be defined as anything made before 1970).  

I personally grew up watching classic movies, so I thought I’d share my personal 5 favorite classic films in hopes you might seek them out and maybe even appreciate them as much as I do. 

Read below to see the list or watch my 2 and 1/2 minute TikTok here.

And no, Casablanca is *not* on this list! 

1.) To Catch a Thief (1955)

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, sometimes known as “The Master of Suspense,” and winner of the Oscar for Best Cinematography in 1956.

This film has got everything: witty dialogue, the French Riviera, a mysterious jewel thief, and of course romance. Oh, and the outfits worn by Grace Kelly and designed by Edith Head are to die for!

Plus, it features two of my all time favorite actors: Cary Grant & Grace Kelly. Look out for the use of shadows in the scene with the fireworks.

2.) Auntie Mame (1958)

Directed by Morton DaCosta and the winner of two Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture and Actress, in the Comedy category.

In this glamorous comedy, an eccentric woman takes on caring for her young nephew after his father passes away. Her unconventional lifestyle, however, sometimes gets in the way.

Rosalind Russell is fabulous and you’ll absolutely fall in love with her character. Though released in the 50s, I think modern women might find her somewhat relatable.

3.) City Lights (1931)

Directed by Charlie Chaplin, who is also the lead actor. This film is recognized by the American Film Institute (AFI) as the #11 greatest film of all time, in their 10th Anniversary edition.

This black & white film is also silent (no sound whatsoever), but don’t let those things deter you. 

In this wholly adorable romantic comedy, Chaplin’s character, the “little tramp”, falls in love with a blind flower girl. He desperately, and often hilariously, tries to get the money needed to help her and ultimately live up to her ideal of him.

4.) All About Eve (1950)

Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz and winner of the Oscar for Best Picture in 1950.

If Taylor Swift’s song, “Nothing New” feat. Phoebe Bridgers hit home, you’ll love this film.

This classic drama stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a celebrated yet temperamental, aging Broadway star, who takes ingenue Eve Harrington under her wing, only to have Eve threaten her career and personal relationships. 

This is considered Bette Davis’ best role!

5.) Laura (1944)

Directed by Otto Preminger and winner of the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

In this quintessential Film Noir, a Manhattan homicide detective investigates the murder of the beautiful and highly successful Madison Avenue Executive, Laura Hunt. In the process of solving the case, the detective becomes obsessed and even finds himself falling in love with the murder victim.

Gene Tierney, who plays Laura, is not your usual Femme Fatale with malevolent intentions, but she still has fatal effects. 

So there you have it!

If you are looking to stream these films, try looking at HBO Max, since they acquired the Turner Classic Movies catalogue.

Thoughts on the movies listed above? Any classic films you would recommend? Let me know in the comments section.

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