Mom's Favourite Films

A list of true classics, to be enjoyed on wet holiday afternoons or on late night impulse with your favourite people.
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1.
A Night at the Opera (1935)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies. (96 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Hilarious nonsense, Part 2. ” - cinemakerry
 
2.
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
“ Hilarious nonsense. Too funny to describe. ” - cinemakerry
 
3.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home. (102 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
“ Dorothy's dreams sweep her up into the Land Of Oz, where the Daft Scarecrow, Leo the Nervous and the Tin Clod elect her the Queen of Fixing Thing Up Around Here. ” - cinemakerry
 
4.
Gone with the Wind (1939)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A manipulative Southern belle carries on a turbulent affair with a blockade runner during the American Civil War. (238 mins.)
Director: Victor Fleming
“ "Not tonight", Rhett tells Scarlet. "I'm not climbing those stairs again...!" ” - cinemakerry
 
5.
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.)
“ Splashing musical comedy set when New(sound)Technology met the Silent Film. If your "actwor's real vwoice meant you tawked awkwawd, you were in twouble..!" (cue the clever dance routines as the plot twickens...) ” - cinemakerry
 
6.
Casablanca (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  
In Casablanca, Morocco in December 1941, a cynical American expatriate meets a former lover, with unforeseen complications. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Curtiz
“ Rick's American Bar, Dooley Wilson's jazz piano, an old romance re-kindled as the Gestapo closes in... smoke-filled cocktail chats, escape plans and plot twists right up to the last airplane outa there.... Perfect characters in a crazy world, and no hill of beans..! ” - cinemakerry
 
7.
Citizen Kane (1941)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance. (119 mins.)
Director: Orson Welles
“ Superb tale of a lonely boy's snowtime obsessions chasing him into adulthood. ” - cinemakerry
 
8.
Inherit the Wind (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution. (128 mins.)
Director: Stanley Kramer
“ Darwin's Theory of Evolution up against the holes in Biblical creation theology, in a courtroom setting. (I think Darwin wins...) ” - cinemakerry
 
9.
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
While trying to secure a $1 million donation for his museum, a befuddled paleontologist is pursued by a flighty and often irritating heiress and her pet leopard "Baby." (102 mins.)
Director: Howard Hawks
“ The original romantic comedy. ” - cinemakerry
 
10.
The African Queen (1951)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In Africa during WWI, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship. (105 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ Two mature old dears point a rickety older boat down the African rapids and straight into the German Navy in Africa during WW2, finding romance along the way. ” - cinemakerry
 
11.
Road to Morocco (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Two carefree castaways on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar. (82 mins.)
Director: David Butler
“ Gags and one-liners between camel humps and sand dunes. ” - cinemakerry
 
12.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ "Badges?, badges?...we are not in need of these odious emblems...!!" ” - cinemakerry
 
13.
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A poor Midwest family is forced off of their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression. (129 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ "Whatever suits you..." ” - cinemakerry
 
14.
Dial M for Murder (1954)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B. (105 mins.)
“ How the telephone can be so useful in arranging to bump off a lover. ” - cinemakerry
 
15.
North by Northwest (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive. (136 mins.)
“ Chase movie spread out across the American landscape like a glossy travel brochure from the 1960s. Sharp suits, a sassy blonde, and a pack of hit men with a well-stocked library. ” - cinemakerry
 
16.
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.)
“ Super Hitchcock heart rate hysterics as a retired Detective handles a heavy legacy with no head for heights. ” - cinemakerry
 
17.
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family. (118 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Comedy capers as Cary Grant realises his daft old Aunts could be a pair of crafty killers. ” - cinemakerry
 
18.
It Happened One Night (1934)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A spoiled heiress, running away from her family, is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story. (105 mins.)
Director: Frank Capra
“ Clark Gable schmoozes his way out of being a cynical hack reporter to get the girl of his dreams. ” - cinemakerry
 
19.
Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can do what the title says. (175 mins.)
“ Adventurous travelogue. We love to play "spot the cameo appearance" on family viewings..! ” - cinemakerry
 
20.
My Fair Lady (1964)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A misogynistic and snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society. (170 mins.)
Director: George Cukor
“ Audrey Hepburn learns to "speak propah, loike a laydeee"...! ” - cinemakerry
 
21.
Oklahoma! (1955)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
In the Oklahoma territory at the turn of the twentieth century, two young cowboys vie with an evil ranch... (145 mins.)
Director: Fred Zinnemann
“ Great songs, great cowboy hats, loads of girls in gingham. ” - cinemakerry
 
22.
Titanic (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind, but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic. (194 mins.)
Director: James Cameron
“ Fine modern version of the famous ship disaster. ” - cinemakerry
 
23.
Chinatown (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder. (130 mins.)
Director: Roman Polanski
“ Betty thought Jack Nicholson had become the new Robert Mitchum. Great crime drama featuring an appearance by John Huston, who directed Treasure Of The Sierra Madre. ” - cinemakerry
 
24.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his kids against prejudice. (129 mins.)
Director: Robert Mulligan
“ Gregory Peck tells it like it should be. ” - cinemakerry
 
25.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  
A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients. (133 mins.)
Director: Milos Forman
“ Always a favourite. Despite the difficult subject matter, the ending lifted the spirits. ” - cinemakerry
 
26.
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A hack screenwriter writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. (110 mins.)
Director: Billy Wilder
“ Hollywood legend Norma Desmond finds her swimming pool crawling with cops. ” - cinemakerry
 
27.
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
The life of a Russian physician and poet who, although married to another, falls in love with a political activist's wife and experiences hardship during the First World War and then the October Revolution. (197 mins.)
Director: David Lean
“ Snow-covered romance, Russian revolution and long train rides. ” - cinemakerry
 
28.
Back to the Future (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
A young man is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his friend, Dr. Emmett Brown, and must make sure his high-school-age parents unite in order to save his own existence. (116 mins.)
Director: Robert Zemeckis
“ Marty & The Doc hit the road, hit the time flip switches and suddenly, there's Indians comin after 'em..! ” - cinemakerry
 
29.
The Sting (1973)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
In Chicago in September 1936, a young con man seeking revenge for his murdered partner teams up with a master of the big con to win a fortune from a criminal banker. (129 mins.)
Director: George Roy Hill
“ Two sharp hustlers try to take an Irish gang boss to the races, & lighten him of loads of cash. ” - cinemakerry
 
30.
The Searchers (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
A Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from an Indian tribe. (119 mins.)
Director: John Ford
“ A fine Western, beautifully crafted film storytelling. As to thoughts of ever seeing a remake of this John Ford classic, as the Duke would say: "That'll be the day..!". ” - cinemakerry