Mom's Favourite Filmsby cinemakerry | created - 09 Sep 2012 | updated - 17 Apr 2014 | Public
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)
Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Music, Musical
A sly business manager and two wacky friends of two opera singers help them achieve success while humiliating their stuffy and snobbish enemies.
Hilarious nonsense, Part 2.
2. Duck Soup (1933)
Not Rated | 68 min | Comedy, Musical, War
Rufus T. Firefly is named president/dictator of bankrupt Freedonia and declares war on neighboring Sylvania over the love of wealthy Mrs. Teasdale.
Hilarious nonsense. Too funny to describe.
3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.
Votes: 333,093 | Gross: $22.20M
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.
4. Gone with the Wind (1939)
G | 238 min | Drama, History, Romance
A manipulative woman and a roguish man conduct a turbulent romance during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 249,405 | Gross: $198.68M
"Not tonight", Rhett tells Scarlet. "I'm not climbing those stairs again...!"
5. Singin' in the Rain (1952)
G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.
Votes: 182,379 | Gross: $8.82M
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...)
6. Casablanca (1942)
PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War
A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.
Votes: 447,124 | Gross: $1.02M
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..!
7. Citizen Kane (1941)
PG | 119 min | Drama, Mystery
Following the death of a publishing tycoon, news reporters scramble to discover the meaning of his final utterance.
Votes: 343,215 | Gross: $1.59M
Superb tale of a lonely boy's snowtime obsessions chasing him into adulthood.
8. Inherit the Wind (1960)
Not Rated | 128 min | Biography, Drama, History
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.
Darwin's Theory of Evolution up against the holes in Biblical creation theology, in a courtroom setting. (I think Darwin wins...)
9. Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Not Rated | 102 min | Comedy, Family, Romance
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.
The original romantic comedy.
10. The African Queen (1951)
PG | 105 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
In Africa during World War I, a gin-swilling riverboat captain is persuaded by a strait-laced missionary to use his boat to attack an enemy warship.
Votes: 63,698 | Gross: $0.54M
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.
11. Road to Morocco (1942)
Not Rated | 82 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
Two carefree castaways on a desert shore find an Arabian Nights city, where they compete for the luscious Princess Shalmar.
Gags and one-liners between camel humps and sand dunes.
12. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
Not Rated | 126 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
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.
Votes: 95,338 | Gross: $5.01M
"Badges?, badges?...we are not in need of these odious emblems...!!"
13. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Not Rated | 129 min | Drama, History
A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.
"Whatever suits you..."
14. Dial M for Murder (1954)
PG | 105 min | Crime, Film-Noir, Thriller
An ex-tennis pro carries out a plot to murder his wife. When things go wrong, he improvises a brilliant plan B.
Votes: 130,851 | Gross: $0.01M
How the telephone can be so useful in arranging to bump off a lover.
15. North by Northwest (1959)
Not Rated | 136 min | Adventure, Mystery, Thriller
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.
Votes: 255,364 | Gross: $13.28M
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.
16. Vertigo (1958)
PG | 128 min | Mystery, Romance, Thriller
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.
Votes: 297,600 | Gross: $3.20M
Super Hitchcock heart rate hysterics as a retired Detective handles a heavy legacy with no head for heights.
17. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Not Rated | 118 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller
A drama critic learns on his wedding day that his beloved maiden aunts are homicidal maniacs, and that insanity runs in his family.
Comedy capers as Cary Grant realises his daft old Aunts could be a pair of crafty killers.
18. It Happened One Night (1934)
Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance
A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.
Clark Gable schmoozes his way out of being a cynical hack reporter to get the girl of his dreams.
19. Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
G | 175 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A Victorian Englishman bets that with the new steamships and railways he can circumnavigate the globe in eighty days.
Votes: 20,749 | Gross: $42.00M
Adventurous travelogue. We love to play "spot the cameo appearance" on family viewings..!
20. My Fair Lady (1964)
G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical
A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.
Votes: 75,452 | Gross: $72.00M
Audrey Hepburn learns to "speak propah, loike a laydeee"...!
21. Oklahoma! (1955)
Approved | 145 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical
In Oklahoma, several farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the romantic favors of various local ladies.
Great songs, great cowboy hats, loads of girls in gingham.
22. Titanic (1997)
PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.
Votes: 893,771 | Gross: $659.33M
Fine modern version of the famous ship disaster.
23. Chinatown (1974)
R | 130 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption, and murder.
Votes: 250,306 | Gross: $29.20M
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.
24. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama
Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.
Gregory Peck tells it like it should be.
25. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
R | 133 min | Drama
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.
Votes: 778,923 | Gross: $112.00M
Always a favourite. Despite the difficult subject matter, the ending lifted the spirits.
26. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir
A screenwriter is hired to rework a faded silent film star's script, only to find himself developing a dangerous relationship.
Hollywood legend Norma Desmond finds her swimming pool crawling with cops.
27. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
PG-13 | 197 min | Drama, Romance, War
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.
Votes: 61,337 | Gross: $111.72M
Snow-covered romance, Russian revolution and long train rides.
28. Back to the Future (1985)
PG | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Sci-Fi
Marty McFly, a 17-year-old high school student, is accidentally sent thirty years into the past in a time-traveling DeLorean invented by his close friend, the maverick scientist Doc Brown.
Votes: 862,502 | Gross: $210.61M
Marty & The Doc hit the road, hit the time flip switches and suddenly, there's Indians comin after 'em..!
29. The Sting (1973)
PG | 129 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama
Two grifters team up to pull off the ultimate con.
Votes: 205,730 | Gross: $159.60M
Two sharp hustlers try to take an Irish gang boss to the races, & lighten him of loads of cash.
30. The Searchers (1956)
Passed | 119 min | Adventure, Drama, Western
An American Civil War veteran embarks on a journey to rescue his niece from the Comanches.
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..!".