The forecast calls for thunder storms this weekend, and that more than likely means I’ll be curled up with a cup of tea and some good films. Some of my favorite movies are old Hollywood classics. Films from the 30s-60s draw me in for their casts, costumes/styles, and incredible scripts. I’m often asked what my favorite older movies are, so today I’m sharing my favorites. I have so many other favorites, but here are some of them!
Pop some popcorn, and get ready for movie night!
- Holiday (1938) Holiday is actually a new film to me, but it’s become a fast favorite. This comedy stars Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, and is downright hilarious and heartwarming. When Johnny Case (Grant,) meets his fiance’s wealthy family, his future plans are met with skepticism, and things don’t go quite as he hoped. I love this film for Cary Grant’s quirky character and Katherine Hepburn’s incredible glamor and oh so sharp wit.
- Sabrina (1954) Sabrina is a long time favorite of mine, and a film that I always come back to. When the chauffeur’s daughter returns from Paris with a new look, she is suddenly met with a lot more attention than before. This lighthearted film stars Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, and Humphrey Bogart, and is full of stunning Givenchy dresses, beautiful music, sparkling parties, and romance.
- Roman Holiday (1953) Roman Holiday is where Audrey Hepburn got her start in film, and it’s such a fun movie, especially during the summer! Audrey plays a princess who is overwhelmed with her royal life and looking for a way to escape, while Gregory Peck (sighhh,) plays the reporter who befriends her. This was one of the first films to be made on location, and it features a lot of beautiful Roman scenery.
- To Catch a Thief (1955) Grace Kelly, Cary Grant, and Monaco. What more could you want? This Alfred Hitchcock thriller glistens with glamor and elegance as Kelly and Grant try to track down a jewel thief on the riviera. The costumes and scenery in this film are breathtaking.
- Little Women (1933) Little Women is one of my favorite books, and this version staring Katherine Hepburn is so true to the book. Hepburn plays Jo March, and I think she is perfect for the role. The film follows the lives of the four March sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy in Civil War era Massachusetts. The script for this film is impeccable.
- Laura (1944) I mentioned recently that I watched this film on Netflix, and I think I can already say it’s a favorite. I love a good mystery, especially one set in the 40s, and this one was one of the most intense and suspenseful that I’ve seen. The film stars Dana Andrews as a detective investigating the murder of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney,) but what he did not expect was to fall in love with the murdered woman.
- Charade (1963) Charade is such a quintessentially 1960s movie, right down to the psychedelic credits! Regina (Audrey Hepburn,) is pursued by several men chasing something that belonged to her murdered husband– something she can’t find. She is joined by Peter Joshua (Cary Grant,) but can she trust him? This thriller is full of Parisian scenery, suspense, and 1960s Givenchy.
- Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) Frank Capra’s Arsenic and Old Lace is one of the wackiest movies I’ve ever scene! Mortimer Brewster learns that his elderly aunts are a little more sinister than he thought, and that insanity runs in the family! This quirky screwball comedy stars Cary Grant.
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) I know, I know…everyone has seen this film! But that doesn’t stop it from being one of my favorite films of all time, possibly even my all time favorite! It’s a Wonderful Life is another Frank Capra project, and contains some of the most beautiful lines that were ever written in my opinion. The message of this film is overwhelmingly positive while retaining some grit. It remain so relevant 70 years after it was made and is so inspiring. While we often watch this film during the holidays, it’s one I pull out all year long when I need a reminder that it really is a wonderful life. It’s a Wonderful Life stars Jimmy Stewart (swoonnn,) and Donna Reed.
- Dark Passage (1947) I’m currently working my way through Lauren Bacall (creator of my name!) and Humphrey Bogart films! Dark Passage was one of the first films I saw staring the couple, and I loved it! Bogart plays an escaped prisoner who was framed for murder, and who has plastic surgery to change his face. Lauren Bacall is his only friend who tries to prove his innocence in the case. The two are so fun to watch on screen together in this film noir thriller.
- Captain Blood (1935) When I was younger my older sister and I would get so excited for Errol Flynn day on the classic movie channel. Robin Hood was our favorite back then, but I fell in love with Captain Blood as a teenager. This is the first film starting Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, and it’s so much fun. I like to think of this film as the original Pirates of the Caribbean. Flynn plays an enslaved doctor who escapes and becomes a pirate while de Havilland plays the niece of the Jamaican governor. If you like a good swashbuckler film, this is for you!
- How to Steal a Million (1966) Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole star in this 1960s comedic crime romance. Audrey plays Nicole, daughter of an art forger who must steal her father’s forgery before it is tested. She enlists Simon Dermott, a burglar, to assist her in the robbery. Another 60s film set on the backdrop of Paris, this one is so much fun.
What are some of your favorite older films? I’m always looking for recommendations, and I’d love to hear yours!