The Classics tagged posts

A Hard Days Night

A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 British musical comedy film directed by Richard Lester and starring the Beatles—John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr—during the height of Beatlemania. It was written by Alun Owen and originally released by United Artists. A Hard Day’s Night portrays several days in the lives of the group.

The film was a financial and critical success. Time magazine rated it as one of the all-time great 100 films. British critic Leslie Halliwell described it as a “comic fantasia with music; an enormous commercial success with the director trying every cinematic gag in the book” and awarded it a full four stars. The film is credited as being one of the most influential of all musical films, inspiring numerous spy films, the Monkees’ television show and pop music videos.

A Hard Day's NightBound for a London show from Liverpool, The Beatles escape a horde of fans (“A H...

More

King Kong

king-kongIn New York Harbor, filmmaker Carl Denham, famous for making wildlife films in remote and exotic locations, charters Captain Englehorn’s ship Venture for his new project, King Kong, but is unable to secure an actress for a female role he has reluctantly added to the script. Due to set sail that night, Denham searches the streets of New York for a suitable woman. He meets penniless Ann Darrow and convinces her to join him for what he proposes as the adventure of a lifetime. The Venture quickly gets underway and, during the voyage, the surly first mate, John Driscoll, gradually falls in love with Ann. After weeks of secrecy, Denham finally tells Englehorn and Driscoll that their destination is Skull Island, an uncharted land shown on a map in Denham’s possession...

More

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner

Guess Who's Coming to DinnerGuess Who’s Coming to Dinner is a 1967 American comedy-drama film produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, and written by William Rose. It stars Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn and featuring Hepburn’s niece Katharine Houghton.  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner contains a (then rare) positive representation of the controversial subject of interracial marriage, which historically had been illegal in most states of the United States, and still was illegal in 17 states—mostly Southern states—until 12 June 1967, six months before the film was released, roughly two weeks after Tracy filmed his final scene (and two days after his death), when anti-miscegenation laws were struck down by the Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia. The movie’s Oscar-nominated score was composed by Frank De Vol.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is notable for being the ninth and final on-screen pairing o...

More

Babes In Arms

Babes in Arms is the 1939 American film version of the 1937 Broadway musical of the same name. The film version stars Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland, and features Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee, June Preisser, Grace Hayes and Betty Jaynes. The film concerns a group of youngsters trying to put on a show to prove their vaudevillian parents wrong and make it to Broadway. The original Broadway script was significantly revamped, restructured and rewritten to accommodate Hollywood’s needs.

Babes In ArmsIn 1921 vaudeville performer Joe Moran (Charles Winninger) announces the birth of a son; but after the advent of talking pictures in 1928, vaudeville fails. His son Mickey Moran (Mickey Rooney) writes songs, and Patsy Barton (Judy Garland) sings “Good Morning.” Mickey sells the song for $100. He gives Patsy his pin and kisses her...

More

The Cheyenne Social Club

The Cheyenne Social Club is a 1970 Western comedy, written by James Lee Barrett, directed and produced by Gene Kelly, and starring James Stewart, Henry Fonda and Shirley Jones. It’s the story about an aging cowboy who inherits a brothel and decides to turn it into a respectable boarding house, against the wishes of both the townspeople and the ladies working there.

The Cheyenne Social ClubIn 1867, John O’Hanlan (Stewart) and Harley Sullivan (Fonda) are aging cowboys working on open cattle ranges in Texas. O’Hanlan gets a letter from an attorney in Cheyenne, Wyoming, that his disreputable and now deceased brother, DJ, left him something called The Cheyenne Social Club in his will.

After they make the 1,000 mile (1,600 km) trek to Cheyenne, O’Hanlan and Sullivan learn that The Cheyenne Social Club is a high-class brothel next to the railroad...

More

A Streetcar Named Desire

A Streetcar Named Desire is a 1951 American drama film, adapted from Tennessee Williams’s Pulitzer Prize-winning 1947 play of the same name. It tells the story of a southern belle, Blanche Dubois, who, after encountering a series of personal losses, leaves her aristocratic background seeking refuge with her sister and brother-in-law in a dilapidated New Orleans tenement. The Broadway production and cast was converted to film with only minor changes. True to the play, the film is both lyrical and gritty, with complex and contradictory characters. Chief among these was Blanche Dubois, who has become a legendary and iconic figure in film history.

A Streetcar Named DesireTennessee Williams collaborated with Oscar Saul and Elia Kazan on the screenplay. Kazan, who directed the Broadway stage production, also directed the black and white film...

More

Miracle on 34th Street

Kris Kringle (Edmund Gwenn) is indignant to find that the man assigned to play Santa in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (Percy Helton) is intoxicated. When he complains to event director Doris Walker (Maureen O’Hara), she persuades Kris to take his place. He does so well, he is hired to play Santa at Macy’s flagship New York City store on 34th Street.

Ignoring instructions to steer parents to buy from Macy’s, Kris directs one shopper (Thelma Ritter) to a competitor. Impressed, she tells Julian Shellhammer (Philip Tonge), head of the toy department, that she will become a loyal customer.

Miracle on 34th StreetAttorney Fred Gailey (John Payne), Doris’ neighbor, takes the young divorcée’s second-grade daughter Susan (Natalie Wood) to see Santa. Doris has raised her to not believe in fairy tales, but Susan’s lack of faith is shaken after seeing Kris speak in Dutch with a girl who does not know English...

More

Back to the Future

Back to the Future is an American science fiction–comedy film written and directed by Robert Zemeckis, produced by Bob Gale and Neil Canton for Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment, and distributed by Universal Pictures. Back to the Future follows the adventures of a high school student, Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), and an eccentric scientist, Dr. Emmett L. Brown (Christopher Lloyd), as they use a DeLorean time machine to time travel to different periods in the history of Hill Valley, California.

Back to the FutureSeventeen-year-old Marty McFly is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955 in a time machine built from a DeLorean by eccentric scientist Emmett “Doc” Brown, when they are attacked by Libyans from whom Doc stole the plutonium that gives the flux capacitor the 1.21 gigawatts it needs to time-travel...

More

Destination Tokyo

Destination Tokyo is a 1943 black-and-white submarine war film. It was directed by Delmer Daves in his directorial debut, and the screenplay was written by Daves and Albert Maltz, based on an original story by former submariner Steve Fisher. The film stars Cary Grant and John Garfield and features Dane Clark, Robert Hutton, and Warner Anderson, along with John Ridgely, Alan Hale Sr., and William Prince.

On Christmas Eve, the submarine USS Copperfin, under the command of Captain Cassidy (Cary Grant), departs San Francisco on a secret mission. At sea, Cassidy opens his sealed orders, which direct him to proceed first to the Aleutian Islands to pick up meteorologist Lt. Raymond (John Ridgely), then to Tokyo Bay to obtain vital weather intelligence for the upcoming Doolittle Raid.

Destination TokyoOn the way, two Japanese planes attack; both are shot down, but one pilot manages to parachute into the water...

More

Fantasia

Fantasia is a 1940 American animated film produced by Walt Disney and released by Walt Disney Productions. With story direction by Joe Grant and Dick Huemer, and production supervision by Ben Sharpsteen, it is the third Disney animated feature film. The film consists of eight animated segments set to pieces of classical music conducted by Leopold Stokowski, seven of which are performed by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Music critic and composer Deems Taylor acts as the film’s Master of Ceremonies, providing a live-action introduction to each animated segment.

FantasiaDisney settled on the film’s concept as work neared completion on The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, an elaborate Silly Symphonies short designed as a comeback role for Mickey Mouse, who had declined in popularity...

More

Shane

Shane is a 1953 American Technicolor Western film from Paramount, noted for its landscape cinematography, editing, performances, and contributions to the genre. The picture was produced and directed by George Stevens from a screenplay by A. B. Guthrie Jr., based on the 1949 novel of the same name by Jack Schaefer.  Its Oscar-winning cinematography was by Loyal Griggs. Shane stars Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur (in the last feature, and only color, film of her career) and Van Heflin, and features Brandon deWilde, Jack Palance, Emile Meyer, Elisha Cook Jr., and Ben Johnson.

ShaneShane (Alan Ladd), a skilled, laconic gunfighter with a mysterious past, rides into an isolated valley in the sparsely settled state of Wyoming, some time after the Civil War...

More

That Touch of Mink

That Touch of Mink is a 1962 American Eastmancolor romantic comedy film directed by Delbert Mann starring Cary Grant, Doris Day, Gig Young and Audrey Meadows.

That Touch of MinkThat Touch of Mink is one of my favorite movies.  The cast is fantastic.  I must have seen it at least 8 or 10 times, and never tire of watching it, so why don’t you give it a try if you have not already seen it.

Cathy Timberlake, a New York City career woman, meets Philip Shayne after his Rolls Royce splashes her dress with mud while she is on her way to a job interview.

Philip proposes a romantic affair, while Cathy is holding out for marriage. Watching from the sidelines are Philip’s financial manager, Roger, who sees a therapist because he feels guilty about helping his boss with his numerous conquests, and Cathy’s roommate, Connie Emerson, who knows what Philip is after.

Philip wines and dines Cathy...

More

Roman Holiday

Roman Holiday is a 1953 American romantic comedy film directed and produced by William Wyler. It stars Gregory Peck as a reporter and Audrey Hepburn as a royal princess out to see Rome on her own. Hepburn won an Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance; the screenplay and costume design also won.

It was written by John Dighton and Dalton Trumbo, though with Trumbo on the Hollywood blacklist, he did not receive a credit; instead, Ian McLellan Hunter fronted for him. Trumbo’s credit was reinstated when the film was released on DVD in 2003. On December 19, 2011, full credit for Trumbo’s work was restored. Blacklisted director Bernard Vorhaus worked on the film as an assistant director under a pseudonym.

Roman HolidayAnn (Audrey Hepburn), the crown princess of an unspecified country, becomes frustrated with her tightly scheduled life, and breaks down at having to repeatedly answer “yes, thank y...

More

Duck Soup

Duck Soup is a 1933 Pre-Code Marx Brothers comedy film written by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby, with additional dialogue by Arthur Sheekman and Nat Perrin, and directed by Leo McCarey. First released theatrically by Paramount Pictures on November 17, 1933, it starred what were then billed as the “Four Marx Brothers” (Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Zeppo) and also featured Margaret Dumont, Louis Calhern, Raquel Torres and Edgar Kennedy. It was the last Marx Brothers film to feature Zeppo, and the last of five Marx Brothers movies released by Paramount Pictures.

Duck SoupThe wealthy Mrs. Teasdale (Margaret Dumont) insists that Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho) be appointed leader of the small, bankrupt country of Freedonia before she will continue to provide much-needed financial aid. Meanwhile, neighboring Sylvania is attempting to annex the country...

More

The Shawshank Redemption

The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont, and starring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman. The Shawshank Redemptionwas taken from the Stephen King novella Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, the film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a banker who is sentenced to life in Shawshank State Penitentiary for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. During his time at the prison, he befriends a fellow inmate, Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding, and finds himself protected by the guards after the warden begins using him in his money-laundering operation.

Shawshank RedemptionIn 1947 Portland, Maine, banker Andy Dufresne is convicted of murdering his wife and her lover, and is sentenced to two consecutive life sentences at the Shawshank State Penitentiary...

More

Vertigo

Vertigo is a 1958 American film noir psychological thriller film directed and produced by Alfred Hitchcock. The story was based on the 1954 novel D’entre les morts (From Among the Dead) by Boileau-Narcejac. The screenplay was written by Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor.

After a rooftop chase, where his fear of heights and vertigo result in the death of a policeman, San Francisco detective John “Scottie” Ferguson played by James Stewart retires. Scottie tries to conquer his fear, but his friend and ex-fiancée Midge Wood  says that another severe emotional shock may be the only cure.

VertigoAn acquaintance from college, Gavin Elster, asks Scottie to follow his wife, Madeleine, played by Kim Novak, claiming that she is in some sort of danger...

More

High Society

High Society is a 1956 American musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters and starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. The film was produced by Sol C. Siegel for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and shot in VistaVision and Technicolor, with music and lyrics by Cole Porter.

Based on the play The Philadelphia Story by Philip Barry, with a screenplay by John Patrick, the film High Society is about a successful popular jazz musician who tries to win back the affections of his ex-wife, who is preparing to marry another man. The cast also features Celeste Holm, John Lund and Louis Calhern, with a musical contribution by Louis Armstrong.

High SocietyThe highly successful jazz musician C.K. Dexter Haven (Bing Crosby) was divorced from wealthy Newport, Rhode Island socialite Tracy Samantha Lord (Grace Kelly), but remains in love with her...

More

Mame

Mame is a 1974 Technicolor musical film in Panavision based on the 1966 Broadway musical of the same name (itself based on the 1958 film Auntie Mame) and the 1955 novel Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.

It was directed by Gene Saks, and adapted by Paul Zindel, and starred Lucille Ball in her final theatrical film performance. The cast also stars Bea Arthur, Bruce Davison and Robert Preston.

At the reading of the will of young Patrick Dennis’s (Kirby Furlong) father, a trustee, Mr. Babcock (John McGiver), reveals that Patrick is to be left in the care of his aunt, Mame Dennis (Lucille Ball), as well as his nanny, Agnes Gooch (Jane Connell). Taking a train to New York City (Main Title Including St. Bridget), Agnes and the boy arrive at Mame’s home, where they walk into a wild party that she is giving for a holiday she herself created (It’s Today)...

More

Casablanca

Casablanca is a 1942 American romantic drama film directed by Michael Curtiz and based on Murray Burnett and Joan Alison’s unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s. The film stars Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid; it also features Claude Rains, Conrad Veidt, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre, and Dooley Wilson. Set during World War II, it focuses on an American expatriate who must choose between his love for a woman and helping her Czech Resistance leader husband escape the Vichy-controlled city of Casablanca to continue his fight against the Nazis.

CasablancaIn December 1941, American expatriate Rick Blaine owns an upscale nightclub and gambling den in Casablanca. “Rick’s Café Américain” attracts a varied clientele, including Vichy French and German officials, refugees desperate to reach the still-neutral United States, and those who prey on them...

More

New York, New York

New York, New York is a 1977 American musical drama film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Mardik Martin and Earl Mac Rauch based on a story by Rauch. It is a musical tribute, featuring new songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb as well as jazz standards, to Scorsese’s home town of New York City, and stars Robert De Niro and Liza Minnelli as a pair of musicians and lovers. The story is “…about a jazz saxophonist (De Niro) and a pop singer (Minnelli) who fall madly in love and marry”; however, the “…saxophonist’s outrageously volatile personality places a continual strain on their relationship, and after they have a baby, their marriage crumbles”, even as their careers develop on separate paths. The film marked the final screen appearance of actor Jack Haley.

New York, New YorkThe story opens on V-J Day in 1945...

More