View Full Version : Classic movies your children must see

12-30-2007, 11:12 AM
In an earlier thread (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=448752) I mentioned how Ivygirl watched Mary Poppins for the first time. She also recently watched It's a Wonderful Life, and is now able to appreciate when its references pop up in other films. She's seen The Sound of Music, but not The Wizard of Oz in its entirety.

What classic movies do you think your children must see? She's seen Schindler's List and Saving Private Ryan. That was actually a school assignment, and she thought she'd knock them out in one sitting. However, after seeing Saving Private Ryan, she very quietly said she needed a break. I didn't think she should watch them back to back, but hey, I'm her mom. Why would she listen to me? :p

I think Citizen Kane and Casablanca should be on her list, but she's a bit impatient with black and white movies, and unless they grab her right away (like It's a Wonderful Life did) I don't think she'd sit through them.

12-30-2007, 11:22 AM
My six year-old loves Yankee Doodle Dandy (http://imdb.com/title/tt0035575/).

How old is Ivygirl? (ETA: in the other thread, you mention she is 15). And what do you mean by "classic"? Older than 20 years? 40? Oscar winners?

Depending upon her maturity, she needs to see Chinatown (http://imdb.com/title/tt0071315/) and the first two Godfather (http://imdb.com/title/tt0068646/) movies, as well as the first three Star Wars (http://imdb.com/title/tt0076759/) films: SW, ESB, and RoTJ.

12-30-2007, 11:25 AM
Oh, and she should see E.T. (http://imdb.com/title/tt0083866/) if she hasn't already. Don't tell her a thing, even when she's crying her eyes out!

12-30-2007, 12:17 PM
I'd recommend Paths of Glory for any child. Great performance by Kirk Douglas, and a good reminder that adult leaders are often morally corrupt and/or idiots.

If she seems to take to musicals, try Cabaret.

12-30-2007, 12:31 PM
Princess Bride

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Roman Holiday-the Audrey Hepburn version

any Alfred Hitchcock, Psycho might be a bit much (I'm a wuss) but The Birds or Rear Window might be good.

The Muppet Movie

History of the World (Mel Brooks)


Planet of the Apes

Airport, followed by Airplane

Animal House

The Music Man or Oklahoma

Singin' in the Rain

The Three Faces of Eve

that's all I can think of at present.

12-30-2007, 12:40 PM
Bringing Up Baby is funny and engaging black-and-white movie.

12-30-2007, 12:43 PM
Six silent films-

Cecil B. DeMille's KING OF KINGS

The Universal Horror series-
Karloff's FRANKENSTEINs, Lugosi's DRACULA, Chaney Jr's WOLFMANs,

Chaney Jr & Burgess Meredith's OF MICE AND MEN

Robert Mitchum in NIGHT OF THE HUNTER


And anything with Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing & Vincent Price

Boyo Jim
12-30-2007, 12:45 PM
Hope and Glory

The original Star Wars -- the sequels and prequels can all be skipped.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Empire of the Sun

12-30-2007, 01:01 PM
The Dark Crystal, Labrynth, Harvey, Grease, and The War of the Buttons.
Sense & Sensibility. The Sixth Sense. My list could go on forever.

12-30-2007, 01:04 PM
omgosh! I forgot - Young Frankenstein, Clue, Little Shop of Horrors, and Rocky Horror Picture Show.Life With Father, and Little Women.

12-30-2007, 01:57 PM
Les Miserables (1935 w/March and Laughton)
Blade Runner
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Quiet Man

When i was a kid, my father would let me stay up to watch these no matter what the time. Well, not Blade Runner, i was a bit beyond the age where i needed my fathers permission to stay up late by that time.


12-30-2007, 02:05 PM
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

12-30-2007, 04:00 PM
I'd throw in a couple of Miyazaki films, myself - just to illustrate how animation can tell stories that I still don't think can be done justice to by even CGI techniques.

Spirited Away

and less animation dependant (i.e. it could be reshot, now, with CGI, but...)

Castle in the Sky

12-30-2007, 04:19 PM
My favorite "old-timey" movies in childhood (except for the "Wizard of Oz") were The Bad Seed and The Day the World Stood Still. Partly because my father watched them with me and was able to provide commentary.

12-30-2007, 04:21 PM
The Court Jester!

For older kids,
The Towering Inferno and
The Poseidon Adventure

12-30-2007, 09:08 PM
She's seen The Sixth Sense. I'm also thinking Old Yeller, Pride of the Yankees, and Roots. (Although it's not a movie, it might as well be.)

Oh, and she has to watch Gone With the Wind, because, well, I had that book read about 50 times by the time I got through junior high.

Classics...I don't necessarily mean AFI's Top 100. I mean those classics where you say one line from the movie and people know what you're talking about. Where they insert references from the films into popular culture. Movies which will stand the test of time.

I'm afraid I've soured her on Shawshank Redemption...every time that's on, I try to catch it.

12-30-2007, 09:47 PM
Jason and the Argonauts
The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad
The Crimson Pirate

12-30-2007, 09:58 PM
Some Like It Hot - There's no better way to blow away all of the foofaraw (both hagiographic and negative) that's accumulated around Marilyn Monroe than to watch this movie. Also, it helps to erase the image of Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis as wrinkled old men that most of the people of my generation and after have.

Besides, it's a great movie! And funny as hell!

12-30-2007, 10:08 PM
Also, Imitation of Life, the Lana Turner version. Douglas Sirk deliberately had the African-American storyline overshadow the white one, which gives this version much more depth than the original Claudette Colbert version.

Nutty Bunny
12-30-2007, 10:14 PM
Anne of Green Gables I saw it when I was about 14 years old on CBC (or was it PBS?) and loved it. Unfortunately, I bought it on VHS about 10 years ago. I'll have to find a DVD copy, but I've got some time. My daughter isn't even 2 years old.

Elendil's Heir
12-31-2007, 10:15 AM
For a 15-year-old? Hmmm. Let's see. Must... not... list... fifty... movies.

I agree with much of what's already been posted. I'd also add these:

Breaker Morant - A gripping courtroom drama and wartime adventure.

Casablanca - As always, funny, uplifting, great dialogue, wonderful characters and atmosphere. Deservedly a classic.

Dark City - Creepily effective sci-fi thriller.

The Iron Giant - A wonderful adventure with a good message.

The Incredibles - Ditto (same director, Brad Bird, not-so-coincidentally).

Trading Places - One of my favorite comedies.

True Lies - The perfect mix of comedy and action.

Boyo Jim
12-31-2007, 11:39 AM
So, ok, a 15 year old can deal with more sophisticated films. Here you go.

LA Confidential
My Man Godfrey
The Thin Man
The Maltese Falcon
The Caine Mutiny
Mutiny on the Bounty
High Noon
Once Upon a Time in America
Apocalypse Now

I will admit some of these will be more appealing to a teenage boy than a teenage girl. Butwhattryagonnado?

12-31-2007, 12:04 PM
In no particular order, and without any promise of their suitability:

Hitchcock is a must, and most of the scares aren't terribly graphic. Rear Window, North by Northwest, and obviously if you're looking for cultural touchstones, Psycho and The Birds.

Just because I like them:
The French Connection
The Big Lebowski
The Magnificent Seven and Kurosawa's Seven Samurai

If hyper violence isn't a problem:
A Clockwork Orange
Any Tarantino/ Robert Rodrigues film

Musicals (including some of the less child-friendly ones):

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Kiss Me Kate
The Producers
Guys and Dolls
The Sound of Music
The King and I
A Chorus Line
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
South Pacific
Singin' in the Rain
Sweet Charity

When in doubt, go for Hollywood Royalty.
Personally, I like:
Funny face
Daddy Long Legs
The Odd Couple
Auntie Mame
The Apartment
All About Eve
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Sunset Boulevard
A Streetcar Named Desire
The African Queen
In the Heat of the Night

At 25 I still love most of the films I loved at 15, and most of the ones I loved most were old black and white films on in the afternoons or in the early hours of the morning that I just happened to discover for myself.

12-31-2007, 12:19 PM
Let's see here....

The Women, 1939. All female cast and claimed that all the animals shown were female as well. Great movie.
The Ten Commandments, 1956. Yes, religious in nature (obviously) but still a great film of its day.
White Christmas, 1954. Another classic. Danny Kaye is one of the greatest comedians ever IMO and you can't beat Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney singing together.

Lots more, but a bunch of my picks have already been mentioned.

12-31-2007, 01:42 PM
Girls like animals--at least mine do. Here's a sample conversation:

Mom: Here's a movie I think you would like. (Sound of Music)
Daughter: Does it have horses in it?
Mom: No.
Daughter: Dogs?
Mom: No.
Daughter: Any animals at all?
Mom: No.
Daughter: I won't like it.
These are approved at our house:
Black Beauty
National Velvet
Old Yeller
Lassie Come Home

12-31-2007, 02:06 PM
Mom: Here's a movie I think you would like. (Sound of Music)
Daughter: Does it have horses in it?
Mom: No.
Daughter: Dogs?
Mom: No.
Daughter: Any animals at all?
Mom: No.
Daughter: I won't like it.

Duh. It has deer. Female deer. And whiskered kittens. And cream-colored ponies. And wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings. And biting dogs. And stinging bees. (Although not dogs with bees in their mouths so when they bark they shoot bees at you.)

12-31-2007, 03:06 PM
Forget Oklahoma--see The Pajama Game or Guys and Dolls.

Carry on.

12-31-2007, 03:08 PM
Also, there's a world outside the US, where lots of good pictures has been made. - Don't forget to mention.

Elendil's Heir
12-31-2007, 04:18 PM
Also, there's a world outside the US, where lots of good pictures has been made. - Don't forget to mention.

FWIW, Breaker Morant is an Australian movie. So there. :D

12-31-2007, 05:56 PM
My daughter will never forgive me for talking her into watching Old Yeller. :(

She says it was the meanest thing I've ever done.

01-01-2008, 04:25 AM
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory--the original with Gene Wilder (though the newer one is good too).

One of the defining moments of my childhood. I still love that film. Every kid should see it--uncut freakout scene and all.

01-01-2008, 05:29 AM
A 15 year old girl, right?

Newer "classics" for kids:

Akeelah And The Bee
Bend It Like Beckham
A Little Romance
Mean Girls
Legally Blonde
Rabbit Proof Fence
The Man In The Moon

Older classics:

The Bad Seed
Black Beauty
Meet Me In St. Louis
The Secret Garden
Pollyanna (with Haley Mills)
Born Free
Diary Of Anne Frank
The Miracle Worker

01-01-2008, 08:58 AM
I'm glad to say she has seen some of these. Funny, she started a list on her own of books she must read...she asked me, a lot of her teachers, and her librarian at school (Ivygirl is a bookworm, like me, and helps out at the library whenever she can.) Last I heard her list of books to read was 400+!

I'm just thinking with all the craptastic movies out there, a good foundation in classic movies is just as important as a well-rounded library.

Thanks for the suggestions...I know Old Yeller is a tough one, but it is a classic, and heck, we all need a good cry once in a while. :)

01-01-2008, 09:11 AM
A Matter of Life and Death (http://imdb.com/title/tt0038733/) (Stairway to Heaven, in the US)

One of the most magical movies ever made. Once saw as a child it is never forgotten.

01-01-2008, 02:18 PM
FWIW, Breaker Morant is an Australian movie. So there. :D

And if I can sneak another of those in: Picnic at Hanging Rock. I think an intelligent fifteen year-old girl would be completely spun out by this movie. It's beautiful, very beautiful. And chilling.

It might not stand up to your definition of classic in that it's a bit light on lines to be knowledgeable about when heard at dinner parties, but do your daughter a favour. And yourself - watch it with her.

01-01-2008, 05:44 PM
A Man For All Seasons (with Scofield, not Heston)
The Seventh Seal

01-01-2008, 06:51 PM
I also think some of the biblical epic movies, like Ben-Hur or The 10 Commandments, would be good.

I think I need to sign up for Netflix. :D

01-01-2008, 06:57 PM
I also think some of the biblical epic movies, like Ben-Hur or The 10 Commandments, would be good.

I think I need to sign up for Netflix. :D

Just out of curiousity: Just how many of these do you plan to enjoy with her? I really love showing my favorite films to people who haven't seen them before - you can watch their reactions to your favorite scenes, and it's almost like seeing it again for the first time.

01-01-2008, 07:09 PM
So many possibilities but I'll stick to movies that are referanced else where in pop culture:

The Adventures of Robin Hood - the original is still the best and as a bonus you get to explain in like Flynn

Jail House Rock - really any Elvis movie will do

Chisim - John Wayne at his most cowboy.

Leathal Weapon - one of the best buddy cop movies with the added benefit of under standing the bank robbing scene in Mavrick.

Last one is my all time favorite movie and the sum of what a western should be - Silverado

01-01-2008, 07:24 PM
Just out of curiousity: Just how many of these do you plan to enjoy with her? I really love showing my favorite films to people who haven't seen them before - you can watch their reactions to your favorite scenes, and it's almost like seeing it again for the first time.

Oh, I plan to watch them with her. I got such a kick out of watching Mary Poppins and It's a Wonderful Life with her...it really is like watching them again for the first time.

Although I think I'll let her daddy screen the Clint Eastwood and John Wayne movies with her...not my cup of tea. ;)

01-01-2008, 07:29 PM
Also, Born Yesterday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Born_Yesterday_(1950_film)). Judy Holliday as the initially bubble-brained mistress of a corrupt tycoon who hires a tutor (William Holden) to teach her some culture and manners when he brings her to Washington, DC. This is one of supervenusfreak's favorite classic movies.

01-01-2008, 07:36 PM

01-03-2008, 11:45 AM
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

You, yourself, might even enjoy it despite the fact that it's a western. I detest most westerns and I think it's one of the best films ever made. YMMV, of course. :)

Silver Tyger
01-03-2008, 12:46 PM
The Last Unicorn
Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind

01-03-2008, 01:21 PM
I'll go by what my kid's have seen and love
Both Boys between 7 and 9

Duck Soup (They love the line "He may look and sound like an idiot but don't let that fool you he really is an idiot")
Night at the opera
Day at the Races
Monkey business

Dracula (a little too boring)

The Mummy

the Adventures of Robinhood

Men In Black (3 Stooges)
Disorder in the court
Sing a song of sixpants

All but a select few of the Our Gang Talkies

Phantom of the Opera

The Man who laughs

King of the Rocket men

Superman Vs the Mole men

Superman the Serial

Batman and Robin (1948)

Batman (1966)

Mary Poppins

Wizard of Oz

Willy Wonka and the Chocolat factory

The Kid
Modern Times
The Circus
City Lights
The Great Dictator

Those spring to mind immediately

Br'er Lapin
01-03-2008, 03:08 PM
Mean Girls

Once I read the age of the girl in question, this was my first and strongest thought, but I was frankly a bit afraid and embarassed to even mention it.

But you said it first, so I'll second it! It's not a great or classic movie that will go down in history, but dammit, it's still good. There's so much harshly realistic portrayal of how young girls feel and act and think that's it's kind of depressing, but the truth in it manages at the same time to be hilarious.

01-03-2008, 04:06 PM
Maybe too obvious? My favorite movies that feature teenagers/late adolescents, and/or strong women:

The Breakfast Club
Over the Edge (http://imdb.com/title/tt0079688/)
My Bodyguard (http://imdb.com/title/tt0081207/)
Pretty in Pink (http://imdb.com/title/tt0091790/)
Little Darlings (http://imdb.com/title/tt0081060/)
Mermaids (http://imdb.com/title/tt0100140/)
Breaking Away (http://imdb.com/title/tt0078902/)
Parenthood (http://imdb.com/title/tt0098067/)
Ordinary People (http://imdb.com/title/tt0081283/)
Chariots of Fire (http://imdb.com/title/tt0082158/)
Stand and Deliver (http://imdb.com/title/tt0094027/)
Fried Green Tomatoes
Silkwood (http://imdb.com/title/tt0086312/)
Norma Rae (http://imdb.com/title/tt0079638/)
Real Women Have Curves (http://imdb.com/title/tt0296166/)
West Side Story
Fame (http://imdb.com/title/tt0080716/)
Wonder Boys (http://imdb.com/title/tt0185014/)
What's Eating Gilbert Grape?
War Games (http://imdb.com/title/tt0086567/)
The Great Santini (http://imdb.com/title/tt0079239/)
Sid and Nancy (http://imdb.com/title/tt0091954/)
Harold and Maude (http://imdb.com/title/tt0067185/)

and of course
Fast Times at Ridgemont High

01-03-2008, 04:25 PM
fessie, everything I've heard about the movie Silkwood does support your claim that it has some excellent strong female characters.

But I still cringe when I hear that title. If I could have the days of time I've wasted trying to explain to people that the decon methods shown in that film are pure Hollywood, I'd be about a month younger. It may be an excellent drama, and even a damning indictment of the nuclear power industry - but its science for at least one visceral scene is completely FUBAR.

In short, if it gets shown, please, please, please preface the move with a statement that that the personnel decontamination methods shown in that movie are pure Hollywood, and not a reflection of reality.

01-03-2008, 04:36 PM
I'm afraid I've soured her on Shawshank Redemption...every time that's on, I try to catch it.

So you watch that, like, every Saturday? :p

How about Cyrano de Bergerac (Mel Ferrer version)? Or Rear Window?

01-03-2008, 04:38 PM
My daughter will never forgive me for talking her into watching Old Yeller. :(

She says it was the meanest thing I've ever done.

Sorry, I have to agree with her. I don't think I had ever cried harder at a movie. :(

01-03-2008, 04:45 PM
How Green Was My Valley
The African Queen
Guess Who's Coming To Dinner
The Yearling

I'll second To Kill A Mockingbird too. Even my 7 year old has gotten tremendous mileage out of that one, layers and layers of lessons there.

01-03-2008, 05:37 PM
I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned Annie. That was a staple in my house, although that might have had something to do with my three red-headed sisters.

I'd also throw in something Marx Brothers just so she has a general understanding of their shtick. Pick a favorite if you have one, Duck Soup if you don't.

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