Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Classic Movie?

casablancaYesterday’s “Lawrence of Arabia” post got me thinking about the classics. Those movies of an age gone by that still resonate with us today.

Many still hold a lofty place in pop culture. The land of Oz gets revisited this Friday. Who wouldn’t be able to answer “What movie is the (misquote) ‘Play it again, Sam’ from?” Everyone still knows King Kong. From the mysteries of Alfred Hitchcock to the westerns of John Wayne, Classic Films are still alive and well thanks to┬áTV and DVDs.

What’s YOUR favorite? Are you partial to Bogart? A sucker for noirs like “Double Indemnity”? Maybe it’s “On the Waterfront” or “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Any “Sunset Boulevard” fans out there?

Which ever one it is, let’s hear it! What are YOUR favorite Classic Movies?

EDIT: LETS SAY PRE-1970, PLEASE. OK? FIRE AWAY.

Daniel Fogarty

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178 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: What’s YOUR Favorite Classic Movie?

  1. The first two that come to mind “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ and “Cool Hand Luke”

    After another moment of consideration “Spartacus” and the “Ten Commandments” come to mind … Then …

    The Wizard of Oz

    • The Wizard of Oz is a great great movie. No doubt about it.

      We need to come up with a dividing line as to where Classics begin though. My first reaction to One Flew Over and Cool Hand Luke was that they werent old enough…

      • Ahhh yes a time period should be established I suppose. But that opens up a can of worms around the word “classic”

      • Someone on Google+ suggested pre-1965 because there were substantive changes to the ratings system which affected the content of films, which is a nice dividing line for time periods.

        Sounded as logical as any, to me. :D

      • After reflection I view classic as benchmark and not a time period. Someone mentioned Jaw and I had to nod screw the time period!

  2. Hitchcock’s Psycho, it’s just pure genius. And killing off the “star” of the film in the first third of the film was a gutsy move.

      • Rope’s probably my favorite Hitchcock film, actually. I love plays and I love one setting movies as well. Has some claustrophobia to them while relying solely on the performances rather than gimmicky special effects or what not. Plus, Rope is filmed in (I believe) 3-4 different takes. Masterful film-making.

      • I’ve been defending it for years lol. It’s hardly anyone’s favorite Hitchcock but it really engages your imagination and impresses with it’s technical aspects. Plus there are so many underlying themes to the film as well. It even features the two main characters who are blatantly homosexual, something you would never ever expect to find in a film in 1948. Another showing of how ahead of the times Hitchock was.

  3. Sunset Boulevard is excellent and everyone should watch it, I only seen it about a year ago for the first time. before that many a Hitchcock film, particularly Rear Window for me.

  4. Tough question, which of course depends on what you classify as classics… I’ll play it on the safe side and go old (hopefully old enough).
    On the Waterfront, A Streetcar Named Desire, Lawrence of Arabia, Singin’ in the Rain, Gone with the Wind, The Third Man, Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Some Like it Hot (Sunset Boulevard is great too but really creepy), Ben-Hur, and of course Casablanca, which is basically the definition of classic.
    In my top ten of all time I have The Third Man the highest out of these, but I’ve been meaning to reconsider that for awhile. Either On the Waterfront or Lawrence is probably my favorite here.

    • “I’ll play it on the safe side and go old (hopefully old enough).”

      Yes, please do. LOL.

      Meanwhile, that’s enough classics to fill a Turner Classic Movie Marathon, damnnnnnnn! :D

      You’re big on the classic though, its apparent from your blog. ;)

      Love the Third Man. Such a dark movie. Good stuff.

      • Ha ha! Gone with the Wind, Ben-Hur, and Lawrence are like marathons in themselves!
        Also you should MTESS Vertigo. That would be awesome! There’s a lot of cool stuff behind that like “the Vertigo shot”, Novak not wanting to wear the grey suit, changing writers, and shooting on location and stuff. Great, great film.

      • I will MTESS Vertigo one day for sure. In all honesty its on the “Reserve” list. Which is a list of movies I love that I’m kind of gradually spacing out… I dont want to run out of favorites to write about!

        Also, that would be a big challenge for me. A lot of work, because I would want to do it super right…

  5. Whenever I think of classic movies, I typically think of films from the 30s to the 50s. I think my favorite film from that era would be Vertigo, thought there are plenty of other great movies back then.

  6. I’m a big time Bogey fan, but Casablanca is probably only 3rd on my Bogey list, behind To Have and Have Not and Maltese Falcon.

    After those, I lurves me some Errol Flynn, Captain Blood, Robin Hood, Charge of The Light Brigade etc.

    Next I might throw in some of the old classic musicals, Singin’ in the Rain, Guys and Dolls, My Fair Lady, Mary Poppins, Wizard of Oz.

    But the ALL TIME #1 classic movie? Jeez, kinda has to be Citizen Kane, doesn’t it?

    • Would you believe I’ve never seen an Errol Flynn movie? I believe we’ve discussed this before. Maybe you should champion one for the readers recommend series so I can force myself to pin that down.

      I dont know that Kane NEEDS to be anyones favorite… keep in mind I did say favorite. Hell, I’m not even sure if it deserves Greatest or not. I was kind of happy to see Veritgo supplant it on Sight & Sound….

      That would take some serious contemplation I think.

      • I think the conversation about Citizen Kane is a bit like the conversation about Schindler’s List. Isw it one of the best movie achievements ever? Yes. Do you love it and watch it over and over? Not so much.

        Citizen Kane is one of those movies like that. It’s purely, undeniably brilliant, and a I get a lot out of it ever time I watch it, but It’s not something I will sit and watch any time it comes on.

        As far as Errol Flynn… WHAT?!?! Never seen The Adventures of Robin Hood?!?!? Say it aint so! Errol Flynn! Basil Rathbone! Claude Raines! Olivia DeHaviland! The sword fights! The archery! The clever quips! It’s everything Hollywood should be! It’s the great-grandpappy of Raiders of the Lost Arc!

        It’s rather good, what? ;)

      • You’re totally right, buddy. Thats why I call my favorites list my favorite greatest list. LOL. Theyre all favorites, but theyre also great. Thus, Citizen Kane (great but not a fave) is way down. As is Rocky III (fave but not a great) LOL

        Meanwhile, so can I put you on the list? Its five questions… I’ll get to it sometime in May or June probably now. LOL :D

      • Yeah, I can go to town on The Adventures of Robin Hood, no problem. Just give me a heads up, so I can refresh my memory before hand.

        Lady Marion: “You speak heresy!”
        Robin of Locksley: “Fluently”

  7. Hi, Fogs:

    Wow! Great question.

    I’d have to go with Bogart in ‘The Big Sleep’. With John Wayne and Robert Mitchum in ‘El Dorado’ a close second. Just to see Mitchum playing “a drunk with a star pinned on him”.

    • I love the Big Sleep. Not sure if I’ve seen El Dorado or not, I used to watch a lot of John Wayne when I was young, but I havent seen that one recently enough to recall. I think its on one of my On Demand channels, though, you may have just nudged me towards checking it out! LOL

      Gotta love the Duke, man. I think for me, its either Rio Bravo or The Shootist. I love The Shootist. What a perfect final film.

      • Hi, Fogs:

        ‘El Dorado’ is a later re-telling of Howard Hawks’ earlier ‘Rio Bravo’.

        With Michum playing a very similar role to Dean Martin’s.James Caan replacing Ricky Nelson and Arthur Hunnicutt filling in for Walter Brennan.

        Also Ed Asner as the evil land and water baron and Christopher George as his hired gun.

      • No, of course I’m not mad – but a little sad if it’s become that obscure. So from the wikipedia blurb were you intrigued? Jimmy Stewart matched up with Marlene Dietrich in the wild west – an eloquent, entertaining pitch for gun control? I had to think about it and put it above Stagecoach and Bringing up Baby, also A++ favorites of mine, so you may really want to look into it. And man, Adventures of Robin Hood – glad you are jumping on seeing that one. That was a total favorite growing up. Princess Bride totally admires the Errol Flynn mystique.

      • :-) And the Lady de Havilland lives! To my surprise I saw from my wikipedia wanderings (inspired by this discussion) that both she and her fair sister Joan Fontaine are happily puttering around at age 96 and 94 respectively.

  8. My most favourite movie in the whole world is Planet of the Apes. The original ’68 version with Heston. I watch that movie at least once every 6 months.
    I also love To Sir With Love, but that might not be old enough either.
    But if neither of those flicks fit the definition of classic, then I would say Sabrina. Gotta love Audrey!

    • Planet of the Apes works. Pre 1970, so thats fine. Kind of close, almost modern. But I love that one too. God, one of the worst remakes ever though. And I usually support Tim Burton.

      I havent seen Sabrina. I suppose I should feel bad. LOL. Kind of like a classic chick flick though, no? Am I reading that wrong?

      • Ahhh, that’s the stuff! There’s so much anticipation for Taylor to get his voice back and when he finally does he says the most perfectly jaw-dropping line. And probably one of the best movie quotes of all time.
        The remakes really broke my heart. Some movies should just be left alone.

        Yeah, Sabrina is a chick flick. But a fun one! If you love Audrey and Bogey then it’s worth checking out.

  9. I suppose it “Jaws” since it is considered a classic now but going a bit further back it’s gotta be “The Thing from Another World”

  10. How am I the first person to mention THE APARTMENT? Wowsers.

    Beyond that, four more would be THE GODFATHER, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE, CITIZEN KANE and DOUBLE INDEMNITY

    • Sorry – just saw your 1970 line in the sand (seriously? movies 30+ years old feel pretty “classic” to me)

      Scratch THE GODFATHER and drop in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY

      • Nah man. I’m not having someone call Star Wars a classic movie here, I refuse to associate Luke Skywalker in with the same time period as Dorothy or Rick Blaine. LOL Not gonna do it!

        Lots of good movies mentioned so far, and now the Apartment is officially in the mix. No worries. Nice to see Double Indemnity get some love. Thats a freaking cool movie. I feel like its underrated somehow…

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