Classics 101

A brief list of some classic movies for anyone new to pre1970 films. Selection based on popularity they've had with my non-classic loving family and friends, so it's purely non-professional opinion. Feel free to suggest additions!
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1.
Ben-Hur (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. (212 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
2.
It's a Wonderful Life (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed. (130 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
 
3.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Brick, an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie. His reunion with his father, Big Daddy, who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son. (108 mins.)
Director: Richard Brooks
 
4.
The Great Escape (1963)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Allied prisoners of war plan for several hundred of their number to escape from a German camp during World War II. (172 mins.)
Director: John Sturges
 
5.
The Apartment (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue. (125 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
6.
Mister Roberts (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
In the waning days of World War II, the United States Navy cargo ship Reluctant and her crew are stationed in the "backwater" areas of the Pacific Ocean. Trouble ensues when the crew members are granted liberty. (123 mins.)
 
7.
Stalag 17 (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When two escaping American World War II prisoners are killed, the German POW camp barracks black marketeer, J.J. Sefton, is suspected of being an informer. (120 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
8.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform. (126 mins.)
 
9.
12 Angry Men (1957)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  
A jury holdout attempts to prevent a miscarriage of justice by forcing his colleagues to reconsider the evidence. (96 mins.)
Director: Sidney Lumet
 
10.
Gaslight (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Years after her aunt was murdered in her home, a young woman moves back into the house with her new husband. However, he has a secret that he will do anything to protect, even if it means driving his wife insane. (114 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
 
11.
What's Up, Doc? (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The accidental mix-up of four identical plaid overnight bags leads to a series of increasingly wild and wacky situations. (94 mins.)
 
12.
Buck Privates (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Bud and Lou enlist in the army in order to escape being hauled off to jail, and soon find themselves in basic training... (84 mins.)
Director: Arthur Lubin
 
13.
Roman Holiday (1953)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A bored and sheltered princess escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman in Rome. (118 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
14.
His Girl Friday (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. (92 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
15.
Some Like It Hot (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
When two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state in an all-female band disguised as women, but further complications set in. (121 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
 
16.
How to Steal a Million (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Romantic comedy about a woman who must steal a statue from a Paris museum to help conceal her father's art forgeries, and the man who helps her. (123 mins.)
Director: William Wyler
 
17.
Duck Soup (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale. (68 mins.)
Director: Leo McCarey
 
18.
Pillow Talk (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A man and a woman who share a party line cannot stand each other, but he has fun romancing her with his voice disguised. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Gordon
 
19.
The Mark of Zorro (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A young aristocrat must masquerade as a fop in order to maintain his secret identity of Zorro as he restores justice to early California. (94 mins.)
 
20.
The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
When Prince John and the Norman Lords begin oppressing the Saxon masses in King Richard's absence, a Saxon lord fights back as the outlaw leader of a rebel guerrilla army. (102 mins.)
 
21.
Rio Bravo (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A small-town sheriff in the American West enlists the help of a cripple, a drunk, and a young gunfighter in his efforts to hold in jail the brother of the local bad guy. (141 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
 
22.
High Noon (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
Marshal Will Kane, personally compelled to face his returning enemy Frank Miller, finds that his fellow townspeople refuse to help him. (85 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
 
23.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A senator, who became famous for killing a notorious outlaw, returns for the funeral of an old friend and tells the truth about his deed. (123 mins.)
Director: John Ford
 
24.
Winchester '73 (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
The journey of a prized rifle from one ill-fated owner to another parallels a cowboy's search for a murderous fugitive. (92 mins.)
Director: Anthony Mann
 
25.
Notorious (1946)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A woman is asked to spy on a group of Nazi friends in South America. How far will she have to go to ingratiate herself with them? (101 mins.)
 
26.
Psycho (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer's client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother. (109 mins.)
 
27.
Vertigo (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend's wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her. (128 mins.)
 
28.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too. (102 mins.)
Director: Stanley Donen
 
29.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound. (103 mins.)
 
30.
Guys and Dolls (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game. (150 mins.)