Some people feel that there are few real Hollywood classics made these days. While this is not necessarily true, it does seem as though they are a little harder to come by. Today’s advanced technology has certainly made films that are visually very appealing, but many of the story lines are merely copies of, or modified versions of the originals. One of the most appealing factors in the makeup of old movie classics is the fact that a great many were indeed ‘original’.
Here are a few suggestions for Hollywood classics (there are many more) that should be viewed by all movie fans who may have missed them, and for those who would love to see them again.
Gone with the Wind was released in 1939, directed by Victor Fleming and is a classic of epic proportions. A film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel, it stared some of the movies123 biggest names in film history. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland helped propel Gone with the Wind to 10 Academy Awards. It has sold more tickets in the United States than any other film in history. In AFI’s 2007 list of the top 100 American Films of all time it is ranked number 6, and is considered one of the most enduring symbols of Hollywood’s Golden Age.
The unforgettable and timeless Casablanca was released in 1942 and has enjoyed increased popularity every year since its release. Featuring a strong international cast led by Humphrey Bogart (in his first romantic lead role), Swedish actress Ingrid Bergman, Austrian actor Paul Henreid, English actor Claude Rains, German actor Conrad Veidt, English actor Sydney Greenstreet, and Hungarian actor Peter Lorre; the film is set in the Moroccan city of Casablanca with World War II as its backdrop. A story of love and loyalty, the film, its characters, quotations, and music have all become legendary.
1940’s The Philadelphia Story is another ‘must-watch’ Hollywood classic. A romantic comedy (based on real life socialite Helen Hope Montgomery Scott) about a bride-to-be whose plans suddenly become very complicated. Starring Katharine Hepburn, once labeled as ‘box office poison’ due to the failure of some previous films, Cary Grant, and James Stewart. This film was a great success and is rated number 44 on the American Film Institutes list of the top 100 movies, and number 15 on the list of the top 100 comedies.
1953 gave us Roman Holiday another romantic comedy/drama directed and produced by William Wyler. Roman Holiday introduced American movie-goers to Audrey Hepburn whose popularity soared with her Oscar winning performance. The film also starred Gregory Peck and Eddie Albert. This is a charming romantic comedy/drama of an overly sheltered Princess on a widely publicized tour of European capitals who meets an American newspaper reporter stationed in Rome.
Last, but certainly not the least, of these few unforgettable movie suggestions is To Catch A Thief, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. This film beautifully blends together the three elements of intrigue, romance, and humor. Set in the French Riviera, and based on the 1952 thriller novel by David Dodge, the story centers around a former cat burglers (Cary Grant) endeavors to catch a copy-cat thief who is using his exact techniques thereby causing the police to make him their primary suspect. The film also stars the great Grace Kelly who was to later become Princess Grace of Monaco in 1956.
These recommendations of classic Hollywood movies just scratch the surface of what could be recommended for viewing. No matter what your film preference, the pleasant atmosphere of romantic comedies, the thrills of action and suspense, or a motion picture epic, the Hollywood classics of the 1920’s through the 1950’s offer something for everyone.
Carl DiNello is an Article Author and Blog Owner whose passion is Hollywood history and those movies from the 1920’s – 1950’s that make up this rich history.