Essential Classic Hollywood

Skimming the lineup of classics on TCM this month, I stumbled across a few Go-To classichollywood films. You know the ones; Frankenstein, Tom Jones, Rebel Without a Cause, Pygmalion, The Music Man. Those films that even those not-so-knowledgeable old movie watchers probably viewed once on a sunday afternoon.

Which brings to me to question…what makes certain classichollywood films timeless?

Is it the fact that back in the day, Sound of Music played every single year around Easter, and masses of people were exposed to Julie Andrews forsaking her nunnery yearning for Christopher Plummer? Such overexposure can be said also of It’s a Wonderful Life, having no real success at the box-office at the time of its debut. What about Breakfast at Tiffany’s fame, thrusting little Audrey Hepburn into the role of Capote’s prostitute, Holly Golightly, while trying and suceeding at making Mickey Rooney a risque photographer called Mr. Yunioshi. What about Gone with the Wind? We just can’t get enough of these films.

So again I ask, what is it that makes the certain classichollywood films timeless? For annstj and I suffer from the same brainwashing as you do. Both of us owning quite a few of those classics, we find ourselves in search of the films that aren’t known to everyone on the planet, diamonds in the rough, as it were.

When Warner Brothers released their
Archive Collection
, we couldn’t wait to start giant movie marathons with old classics we’ve only ever before heard about, and never seen, believing that excellent movies lay uncovered and hindered by copyright and preservation laws. And yet, we’re heartbroken to only often find so-so films that may have not been popular for the very reason that they just weren’t that good. There are of course, always exceptions. The Forbidden Hollywood Collections are chock full of those wonderful pre-Hayes code flicks that truly mean something.

I have a lovely little list of lesser known films that have become my highest reccomendations. But what we’re most interested in here is to get a glimpse at your diamonds in the rough.
Here are two of mine:

1.Reap the Wild Wind: Man’s man, John Wayne, and local dandy Ray Milland, fight over southern belle, Paulette Goddard
2. The Gay Divorcee : Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger’s 2nd film together, made before Astaire frustratingly realized he would always be half of ‘Fred and Ginger,’ and before Ginger starting making those smarter films that could win her that Oscar

What are your favorite films that only us old hollywood junkies know about?

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