20 of Classic Favorites

by sabrina_andresen | created - 14 Jan 2013 | updated - 14 Jan 2013 | Public

In no particular order I have listed a few of my favourite classic and modern classic movies which I find have some of the most interesting characters in movie history. The list could go on, but these are very much worth watching.

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1. This Property Is Condemned (1966)

Unrated | 110 min | Drama, Romance

The dramatic love story of small-town Mississippi girl Alva Starr and railroad official Owen Legate, set during the Great Depression.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Natalie Wood, Robert Redford, Charles Bronson, Kate Reid

Votes: 4,354

Why should you watch this? A neurotic Natalie Woods opposite the possibly only hot famous ginger in movie history...yes definitely worth it. One of those little hidden gems. I find the ending quite surprising, which perhaps the best way it could have ended. It is not your typical love story and perhaps a bit on the serious note but worth watching.

2. The Way We Were (1973)

PG | 118 min | Drama, Romance

Two desperate people have a wonderful romance, but their political views and convictions drive them apart.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Robert Redford, Bradford Dillman, Lois Chiles

Votes: 18,719

Why should you watch this? It is one of the best love stories told. A young Robert Redford should be enough reason for most of us. Also it has a fantastic scene with the characters Hubbell and Katie in bed...that I think is so brilliantly done you will remember it. Also it is probably is one of the most realistic depictions of a relationship and Sidney Pollack is just of master of his craft.

3. Barefoot in the Park (1967)

G | 106 min | Comedy, Romance

Paul, a conservative young lawyer, marries the vivacious Corie. Their highly passionate relationship descends into comical discord in a five-flight New York City walk-up apartment.

Director: Gene Saks | Stars: Robert Redford, Jane Fonda, Charles Boyer, Mildred Natwick

Votes: 13,925 | Gross: $19.99M

Why should I see this? If the opening scene doesn't convince you then don't watch it any further. Its one of those Sunday afternoon movies that you can watch again and again. You will probably be able to see yourself and remember how crazy you were when you started a new relationship and one little fight turns into this big thing....but the end has a beautiful and uplifting point to all the craziness we experience.

4. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969)

R | 105 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

72 Metascore

Documentary film-maker Bob Sanders and his wife Carol attend a group therapy session that serves as the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film. Returning to their Los Angeles home, the... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky | Stars: Natalie Wood, Robert Culp, Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon

Votes: 4,452 | Gross: $31.90M

Why should you watch it? First of all you will see a lot more of Natalie Woods then expected. You will also feel very prudish and this movie is from the 70s. If you ever wondered if an open relationship is for you, you might find some answers.....and also be hiring a young German tennis teacher for that matter. A bit on the strange side but absolutely worth watching.

5. Marnie (1964)

PG | 130 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Mark marries Marnie although she is a habitual thief and has serious psychological problems, and tries to help her confront and resolve them.

Director: Alfred Hitchcock | Stars: Tippi Hedren, Sean Connery, Martin Gabel, Louise Latham

Votes: 38,204 | Gross: $7.00M

Why should you watch this? Sean Cannery is actually good in this movie and not just charming. It is one of the best and most interesting Hitchcock movies. They way this movie is made is so beautiful and it will stay with you. Although this is more of a thriller, it shows the darkness of our mind can be as frightening as your typical movie killer. Stunning piece of cinema

6. Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961)

Not Rated | 115 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

76 Metascore

A young New York socialite becomes interested in a young man who has moved into her apartment building, but her past threatens to get in the way.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, George Peppard, Patricia Neal, Buddy Ebsen

Votes: 142,492

7. A Foreign Affair (1948)

Approved | 116 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

In occupied Berlin, an army captain is torn between an ex-Nazi café singer and the U.S. congresswoman investigating her.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Jean Arthur, Marlene Dietrich, John Lund, Millard Mitchell

Votes: 5,537

Why should you watch this? If you ever wondered what is so great about Marlene Dietrich this movie should be the answer

8. Gilda (1946)

Not Rated | 110 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Romance

A small-time gambler hired to work in a Buenos Aires casino learns that his ex-lover is married to his employer.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford, George Macready, Joseph Calleia

Votes: 23,297

Why should I watch this? Gilda has the epic hair toss scene and that alone is worth the while. Rita Hayworth is not just seducing men, but anyone who watches her perform. It is one of the watch-able Film Noirs...a bit of strangeness but that is almost expected.

9. Imitation of Life (1959)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner

Votes: 12,544 | Gross: $13.99M

Why should I watch this? Without telling to much about this movie but it is about a girl who is probably half black and half white but this movie is mostly about her struggle with her background. She wants to be seen as white so badly that she would do anything to achieve her goal and be "normal". It is such a good movie...really...but one of those movies you will have to be in the mood for. If you are a girl ...or very sensitive by nature...you might cry at the end.

10. Monpti (1957)

96 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A poor 22 y.o. Hungarian man who's recently arrived in Paris meets a seemingly wealthy 17 y.o. Parisian girl. They fall in love, but tragedy ensues when the truth behind the girl is revealed.

Director: Helmut Käutner | Stars: Romy Schneider, Horst Buchholz, Mara Lane, Boy Gobert

Votes: 397

Why should I watch this? I am sure you haven't heard about this but this is another anti love movie with a bit of a sad note. It features the talented German actress Romy Schneider who is worth studying up on. If you haven't seen any of her movies then make this one of your first ones. Again a little gem for those rainy Sundays with your best friend or loved one.

11. The Graduate (1967)

PG | 106 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

77 Metascore

A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross, William Daniels

Votes: 228,663 | Gross: $104.95M

Why should you see this? You would be crazy not to see this...I mean it. If you don't care of Simon and Garfunkel music you might get annoyed...but there are more reasons to give it a go. Its about the forbidden affair between a married woman and her young student lover. It may not be at obvious as in "The Reader" but you don't need to see a lot of naked skin to get hooked. The best thing about this movie to me is the editing, which I have ever seen.

12. Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Approved | 137 min | Drama, Horror

96 Metascore

A young couple moves in to an apartment only to be surrounded by peculiar neighbors and occurrences. When the wife becomes mysteriously pregnant, paranoia over the safety of her unborn child begins to control her life.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Mia Farrow, John Cassavetes, Ruth Gordon, Sidney Blackmer

Votes: 158,768

Why should I see this? "What have you done to his eyes??" or something like that. Well this movie is a horror classic, although in today's terms we might say thriller or psycho thriller. Any way Mia Farrow...with her chic Vidal Sassoon Hairdo and scary voice....lalalalalalala lalalala... Everyone knows that lullabies are worse than any slasher movie..bbbrr. In any case it is one of Polanskis best pieces of work ....fantastic movie for its time and a fav classic.

13. Lolita (1962)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

A middle-aged college professor becomes infatuated with a fourteen-year-old nymphet.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: James Mason, Shelley Winters, Sue Lyon, Gary Cockrell

Votes: 77,675 | Gross: $9.25M

Why should I see this? A middle ages writer has an affair with a minor and her former lover hunts him down to kill him. Not catchy enough? Peter Sellers is in this movie too!!! It is interesting because it is not really clear who the real victim is...the girl doesn't seem as innocent as you want her to be.

14. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi

78 Metascore

In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates, Warren Clarke

Votes: 646,348

Why you should watch this? It is one of those difficult movies to recommend for the mass media. I think most people are shocked and offended when they watch this. Yes there is a lot of violence and rape...not as many genitals as in Caligula....but none the less you might get track sided by the brilliance of this beautiful piece of art. However is does deal with a very current question and that is "Can we rehabilitate criminals" Is there such a cure or treatment? If you need a good think about crime and punishment or you love to see more of Kubrick's work, give it a shot. You don't have to like it to be cool, but it would be a shame to dismiss it straight away.

15. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

PG | 95 min | Comedy, War

96 Metascore

An insane general triggers a path to nuclear holocaust that a War Room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to stop.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Peter Sellers, George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 392,981 | Gross: $0.28M

Why should you watch this? Peter Sellers at his best and one of the most seriously funny movies of its time. Satire at its best but with a serious message.

16. Down by Law (1986)

R | 107 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

75 Metascore

Two innocent people are arrested. An interesting third person, with broken English, joins them in their cell. On his idea, they decide to escape from the prison. Their journey is the rest of the movie.

Director: Jim Jarmusch | Stars: Tom Waits, John Lurie, Roberto Benigni, Nicoletta Braschi

Votes: 41,033 | Gross: $1.44M

Why should you watch this? This is one of the movies I wouldn't think I would recommend because everything to me screamed boring. However I was hooked from the beginning of the opening credits. This movies which features no other than super uber cool bad boy Tom Whiskey Voice Waits is just cool. It is so cool all the way. That kind of careless James Dean kind of coolness. To me it is a Film Noir...but any movie I dont fully understand is a Film Noir. I think this movie will or perhaps has inspired Tarrantino...or it should. The dialogue and characters would have same Tarrantino coolness. Its just so cool.

17. Raging Bull (1980)

R | 129 min | Biography, Drama, Sport

92 Metascore

Emotionally self-destructive boxer, Jake La Motta's journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Votes: 271,037 | Gross: $23.38M

Why should you watch this? I am a girl I have watched this boxer movie and I loved it. I think this is just one of those movies where the camera work and editing is so beautifully crafted. Scorsese has many talents and one of them is understanding the effect of picture and sound and since almost anything he does is fascinating I love to go back and see his earlier works which to me is much better than Taxi Driver. If you think otherwise then just see this to be part if the conversation.

18. Goodfellas (1990)

R | 146 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

89 Metascore

The story of Henry Hill and his life in the mob, covering his relationship with his wife Karen Hill and his mob partners Jimmy Conway and Tommy DeVito in the Italian-American crime syndicate.

Director: Martin Scorsese | Stars: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco

Votes: 843,812 | Gross: $46.84M

Why should I watch this? I love this movie because it is one of the few long movies that I can watch from start to end and still long for more. It will make you feel part of the bad ass gang of wise guys....and yes by the end of it you go the lingo down. Just the way it is directed and the love of detail make it worth while. This is a Scorsese Masterpiece....must see...I cannot emphasise this enough. The ultimate mobster flick and just entertaining... that's what it is about.

19. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

R | 133 min | Drama

80 Metascore

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.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Michael Berryman, Peter Brocco

Votes: 779,219 | Gross: $112.00M

Why should I watch this? You really should....because it is brilliant. You will ask yourself...who is really insane?...not be for suggesting this movie...as it is good. Jack Nicholson's performance is so spot on and you really feel for all the supporting characters as well. It makes you think and more movies should strive to do so.

20. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton

Votes: 33,128 | Gross: $56.70M

Why should I watch this? Not only is this sadly still an issue but this movies deals with the complications of an interracial relationship. It has one of the best monologues in movie history. It doesn't pretend but is honest with the audience...yet it leaves you with a good feeling. One of these movies where the opening and ending is tight in nicely together.