19 CLASSIC MOVIES THAT AREN'T SO WELL KNOWN (But need to be)

Wednesday, July 12, 2017



--COMEDIES--


BORN YESTERDAY, 1950


"Judy Holliday and William Holden star in this story of an uneducated young woman and her wealthy, mobster boyfriend who come to Washington to try and "buy" a Congressman.  He hires a journalist (William Holden) to educate Billie (Judy Holliday) and in the process, she begins to understand just how corrupt her boyfriend actually is."

This movie is SO GOOD and probably my favorite comedy in the history of comedies.  Just watch it.  You won't regret it.

"When you steal from the government you steal from yourself, you dumb ox!"


BRINGING UP BABY, 1938


"On the day before his wedding, Huxley (Cary Grant) meets Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn), a madcap adventuress who immediately falls for the straitlaced scientist.  The ever-growing chaos-- including a missing dinosaur bone and a pet leopard-- threatens to swallow him whole."

This movie is so FUN and so fast-paced.  Can be somewhat slow-paced in the middle, but definitely ends on a high note!

"I said 'good morning David, do you want a leopard?' "


THE BACHELOR AND THE BOBBY-SOXER, 1947


"Artist playboy Dickie Nugent (Cary Grant) appears before a beautiful Judge Margaret Turner for fighting the night before and he charms her into dismissing the charge.  That same day, Dickie happens to lecture at a high school where Margaret's younger sister, Susan (Shirley Temple), falls head-over-heels for him.  Things get complicated when Susan sneaks away and is found in Dickie's apartment, and downright zany when he is court ordered to date the teen as a way of easing her attraction."

THIS MOVIE.  I laughed so hard I cried.  If you haven't seen it, GO DO IT.


IT SHOULD HAPPEN TO YOU, 1954


"After two years of failing to make it big in New York City, small-town model and actress Gladys Glover (Judy Holliday) takes a gamble by investing in billboard advertising to get her name out there. Literally."

This movie is so adorable.


--WAR/SPY--

THE GREAT ESCAPE, 1963



"Imprisoned during World War 2 in a German POW camp, a group of Allied soldiers are intent on breaking out, not only to escape, but also to draw Nazi forces away from the battle to search for fugitives."

This movie is based on a true story and so good.  (And sad).  Oh, and you can't miss Steve McQueen's motorcycle chase towards the end.  Epic.


ESCAPE FROM EAST BERLIN, 1962


"After East Berlin chauffer Kurt Schroder decides to escape to West Germany, he begins a plan to dig a tunnel under the Berlin Wall.  Soon members of Kurt's family are in on the highly risky endeavor."

This is also based on a true story and while it is somewhat slow-paced towards the middle, the ending picks up a pace that will leave your heart thumping.  Very good.


OPERATION CROSSBOW, 1965


"Three Allied men pose as German soldiers in a mission that may save England, but not without heavy consequences."

This movie portrays a very realistic look at the underground and the price that so many people took.  Sad but deeply moving movie.


THE TRAIN, 1965


"With the Allies poised to retake Paris fro the Germans, Col. Franz Von Waldheim conspires to sneak out by train all of the art masterpieces looted by the German army.  But railway inspector Paul Labiche (Burt Lancaster) is pressed into service and reroutes the train, cleverly deceiving Von Waldheim by renaming each train station along the way."

So good.

THE RACK, 1956


"Edward Hall (Paul Newman), a respected military officer, returns from a Korean prisoner of war camp only to find himself accused of succumbing to torture and facing treason charges. To make matters worse, Edward's father (Walter Pidgeon), a retired colonel, coldly renounces him after hearing of the charges. Still dazed from the brutality he has suffered, Edward is forced to defend his actions in a court-martial, where he recounts his time at the enemy camp."

Yeah.  It's one of those movies that makes you think about it for a long time afterwards.  Sad/good/moving.


THE FALLEN SPARROW, 1943


"Former Spanish Civil War prisoner, John "Kit" McKittrick (John Garfield), returns to America to find that a friend has mysteriously committed suicide.  During his investigation of the event, McKittrick questions three women, one of whom has a tie to his refugee past.  Pursued by Nazi operatives, McKittrick witnesses the death of another friend and begins to suspect a certain man."

So mysterious.  So good!

CASABLANCA, 1942


"Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), a business owner in Casablanca, discovers his old flame Ilsa is in town with her husband, Victor Laszlo who is a famed rebel with Germans on his tail.  Ilsa knows Rick can help them out of the country and he must decide if he will get involved."

Ok. So this one is pretty well known but I had to mention it anyway.  "Here's looking at you, kid."  😭


STALAG 17, 1953



"One night in 1944 in a German POW camp housing American airmen, two prisoners try to escape the compound and are quickly discovered and shot dead. Among the remaining men, suspicion grows that one of their own is a spy for the Germans. All eyes fall on Sgt. Sefton (William Holden) who everybody knows frequently makes exchanges with German guards for small luxuries. To protect himself from a mob of his enraged fellow inmates, Sgt. Sefton resolves to find the true traitor within their midst."

SO GOOD.

THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, 1956


"Dr. Ben McKenna (James Stewart) is on a vacation with his wife (Doris Day) and son in Morroco when a chance encounter with a stranger and an assassination plot set their trip and lives on a drastically different course."

This was the first movie that I watched that literally had me on the edge of my seat to where I ended up looking up the ending on Wikipedia because I couldn't stand the suspense... but I don't recommend doing that because the ending is SO GOOD.


--DRAMAS--

THE DEFIANT ONES, 1958


"In 1950s America, members of a chain gang are being transported through the South when their truck crashes.  Two of the convicts, John "Joker" Jackson (Tony Curtis) and Noah Cullen (Sidney Poitier), who are chained together, find an opportunity to escape.  Jackson is white and Cullen is black and, at first, the men appear to be opposites in every way.  But as they flee across the country, the two form a deep bond."

Humorous and really good all in one.  The ending though.


BLACKBOARD JUNGLE, 1955


"World War II veteran Richard Dadier (Glenn Ford) takes a teaching position at a rough New York City school for boys. The staff warns him that the students are nearly impossible to control, but the optimistic Richard remains unfazed. Soon, though, he realizes that his class isn't merely rowdy -- they can be downright dangerous. The students, led by the thuggish Artie West (Vic Morrow), threaten their teacher and his family with violence, yet Richard refuses to give up on the troubled teens."

Very good!

THE THIRD MAN, 1949


"Set in postwar Vienna, Austria, "The Third Man" stars Joseph Cotten as Holly Martins, a writer of pulp Westerns, who arrives penniless as a guest of his childhood chum Harry Lime (Orson Welles), only to find him dead. Martins develops a conspiracy theory after learning of a "third man" present at the time of Harry's death, running into interference from British officer Maj. Calloway."

No matter how many times I watch this movie, it still is so intense.  Said to be one of the most famous movies of all time.


SUSPICION, 1941


"Charming scoundrel Johnnie Aysgarth (Cary Grant) woos wealthy but plain Lina McLaidlaw (Joan Fontaine), who runs away with him despite the warnings of her disapproving father (Cedric Hardwicke). After their marriage, Johnnie's risky financial ventures cause Lina to suspect he's becoming involved in unscrupulous dealings. When his dear friend and business partner, Beaky (Nigel Bruce), dies under suspicious circumstances on a business trip, she begins to suspect her husband."

Starts out fun and slowly begins to get more mysterious.


EAST OF EDEN, 1955


Cal Trask (James Dean), the son of a California farmer (Raymond Massey), feels that his father cares only about his brother, Aron (Richard Davalos). When Cal embarks on a business venture to gain the favor of his dad, he finds himself dealing with his estranged mother (Jo Van Fleet) and tensions in the family rise even further when he begins to fall for Aron's girlfriend, Abra."

Definitely my favorite James Dean movie!


ALL ABOUT EVE, 1950


"Tattered and forlorn, Eve shows up in the dressing room of Broadway mega-star Margo Channing (Bette Davis), telling her melancholy life story to Margo and her friends. Margo takes Eve under her wing but soon realizes there may be some underhanded play."

THIS MOVIE.  GO WATCH IT.  Good, good, good.


And that's a wrap!  But there are SO many good classics out there that deserve to be recognized.  If you have a favorite classic that isn't so well known post it in a comment below!


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