- Published on Saturday, January 12 2013
- Written by Raffy Ermac
The announcement of this year’s Oscar nominations happened quite recently, and although 2012 was indeed a very good year for film, this pop culture enthusiast felt now would be a better time than ever to throw it back to an era before the flashy cinematography and over-the-top filming techniques that mar some of the movies that grace theaters nowadays.
Although being from a generation that grew up in the 90s and early 2000s, I’ve been on a classic movie kick as of recently, and I highly recommend it! For anyone else out there thinking of exploring pre-1980s cinema, I know it can seem daunting, since there are SO many really good films to check out, but here are a few picks to help get you started (that are in line with the this movie lover’s admittedly wide-ranging taste):
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Marlon Brando’s seminal role as Stanley in the film adaption of Tennessee Williams’s play, along with Oscar-winning performances from Vivien Leigh, Karl Malden, and Kim Hunter, make this one of the most perfect films to ever grace the big screen. Brando became one of the world’s biggest cinema stars after the release.
Rebel Without A Cause (1955)
They sure don’t make ‘em like James Dean anymore, and this movie was a pioneering force in portraying typical teenage angst of the 1950s. And who could ever want to deny Dean in his iconic red jacket and slicked back hair? Before there were emos, there was Jim Stark.
An Affair to Remember (1957)
Often considered one of the most romantic films of all time, you simply aren’t human if your eyes are still dry at the end of Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr’s reunion atop the Empire State Building in NYC.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
The role that perhaps everyone remembers Audrey Hepburn the best for is, what else, Holly Golightly. We can’t blame George Peppard’s character Paul for falling for her though. How could you not fall head over heels for Hepburn’s whimsical and free-spirited outlook on life, and not to mention her addiction to riches, Tiffany’s, and Givenchy? My kinda girl!
The Godfather (1972)
How can you beat a movie that combines a little action, a little Italian romance, and a whole lot of drama within the mob? Starring the aforementioned Brando, as well as fellow legends Al Pacino, Robert Duvall, James Caan, Diane Keaton, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola, The Godfather is arguably one of the best films of all time. And it includes a spaghetti sauce recipe too!
Fret not, folks. This shortlist is barely scratching the surface of film history, and there are so many more classic films to be had and seen. Other favorites of mine include Roman Holiday, On The Waterfront (in case you couldn’t tell, I'm kind of into Marlon Brando), Gone With the Wind, The Grapes of Wrath, and so many more!
For a comprehensive array of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time, check out cable network AMC’s list here, as well as below for a quick video of the American Film Institute’s list of “100 Years…100 Movies” Countdown.
What are some of your favorite movies of yesteryear?
- Raffy Ermac, YH Staff