My Top 5 Classic Movies

Hello everyone! Before I get too carried away with the blog, I thought a good list was in order.

I’m going to spotlight five classic movies that I feel are the best examples of my interests; what I enjoy most. Though I am open to almost any genre (and era) of film, there are some particular ones I enjoy the most (it’s probably safe to assume the same for others as well). These may not be your favorites, but they are mine!
These are five of my favorite classic films (in order of release, oldest to newest).
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The Gold Rush (1925) – directed by Charles Chaplin
There is do denying that Charlie Chaplin is one of the most famous screen comics. I have not seen all of his films, but my favorite one of his features that I have seen has got to be The Gold Rush. The plot concerns a lone prospector (Chaplin) searching for gold in the mountains. The first half of the film is essentially a comedy of survival, with Chaplin and prospector Big Jim (Mack Swain) stuck in a cabin in the middle of a storm. After finding his way to the nearby town, Chaplin falls in love with a beautiful girl named Georgia (Georgia Hale) and desires to win her heart. It’s a great blend of comedy and romance; you’ll have your heartstrings tugged and your ribs tickled! I continually cracked up the first time I saw it. Definitely a contender for my favorite silent film.
Chaplin re-released The Gold Rush in a narrated (by himself) version in the 1940s. I have only seen the original 1925 cut myself and that is good enough for me!
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Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927) – directed by F.W. Murnau
I did not know of this gem until very recently, and though I have only seen it once, it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. A farmer is having an affair with a visiting woman from the city, who convinces him to murder his wife. He (spoilers) chickens out, and the rest of the movie is part romance, part redemption story as their love rekindles.
I found this movie so darn compelling. It continually draws you into the shaky relationship between the farmer and his wife and genuinely makes you feel for them. This was director F.W. Murnau’s first Hollywood film after emigrating from Germany, and he masterfully combines his artistic roots with Hollywood production values and star power. I could go on and on, but go see it for yourself, I highly recommend it!
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Dracula (1931) – directed by Tod Browning

Say what you want about this movie, but Dracula is my favorite of Universal’s classic monster films. In it, Count Dracula (Bela Lugosi) preys upon the Seward family after moving to England from Transylvania. Some criticize this film for its stagey roots and long dialogue scenes, but in my mind all this is eclipsed by Tod Browning’s direction. He creates a sense of creepiness and dread throughout the film very effectively. Of course, Bela Lugosi defines this film. Without him, Dracula would not have been as remarkable. His performance here is one of my all time-favorites in all of film!

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Way Out West (1937) – directed by James W. Horne
When I decided to make this list, I absolutely knew a Laurel and Hardy film must be included. Though not my first foray into classic comedy teams, Stan and Ollie did become my favorites. Once you watch one of their movies, you just can’t escape laughter! In this film, the boys are tasked with delivering the deed to a gold mine to the daughter of the deceased owner, but are tricked into giving it to the crooked Lola Marcel and Mickey Finn. Laurel and Hardy had the best on-screen (and off-screen) chemistry, which makes for many a laugh. I was fortunate enough to see Way Out West on the big screen a few years ago, and I had the greatest time.


Yes, I know there is a large gap between the 4th and 5th entries on this list in terms of years. I’m not snubbing the 1940s and 1950s at all; there are many films I enjoy from those decades, but in terms of my top favorites this list is meant to be very general. It just so happens that I love 30s films!

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Psycho (1960) – directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Though I keep switching between this film and Vertigo (1958), currently Psycho is my favorite Hitchcock film. Hitch is my favorite director ever, and his brilliance is was at its peak when he made Psycho. I will keep plot details at a minimum (Hitchcock would agree with me on this practice) but if you have not seen Psycho, you’re missing out! It is creepily entertaining, will keep you guessing, and holds up remarkably well. In my opinion (though there are exceptions), horror is at its best when there is something left to the imagination. Psycho shows enough to give you the idea, letting your mind fill in the gaps. It’s one of Hitch’s masterworks! Equally praiseworthy are the performances (Anthony Perkins’ role as Norman Bates is Oscar-worthy) and the score by Bernard Herrmann. Check it out! A random note: I just bought this film on Laserdisc. Laserdisc! Being a nerd sure is strange sometimes but it is fun!

 

Thank you for checking out my little list of five of my favorite classic films. This is only the tip of the iceberg regarding my taste in films, though, and I hope you stick around for more!


Follow me on Twitter: @DarthPeyton

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