NickAndNora34

What are Some Old Movies You Would Recommend to Young People?

56 posts in this topic

I am part of an online film club, and the majority of the members range in age from 14-33. A lot of them have online lists where we can all recommend them movies, and I have a pretty good idea of a few already, but wanted to pick the brains of all of you on here, as I respect your film tastes and marvel at your knowledge and expertise (this is not satire, I'm being 100% serious). 

Some I have so far: 

Singin' in the Rain 

Arsenic and Old Lace

Roman Holiday 

Suspicion (1941) 

Sabrina (1954)

Sunset Boulevard 

The Innocents (1961)

Lady from Shanghai (1947) 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Double Indemnity (1944)

Rear Window (1954)

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you're going for an even younger crowd, Bringing Up Baby would work. Kids would love it. I'd also reccomend The Thin Man, and maybe throw in some Hitchcocks like Rebecca or Strangers on a Train or yes, that old TCM standby, North by Northwest. Random Harvest would be a pick that they might not have heard of, but for most romantics, it does the trick very nicely. Pre-codes might interest them due to the snappiness and pace of them.

 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)

Double Indemnity (1944)

Rear Window (1954)

 

had to get Errol in there somehow, huh, speedy 😁

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Two little suggestions though:

Hold off a bit on Citizen Kane and Casablanca. Both are famous classics, but their reputations proceed them and sometimes people can be disappointed in something they have heard so much praise about. Hold off a bit to see if they are hooked on classics to show them to them.

Stay far away from films with blackface scenes: Holiday Inn, Babes in Arms, unfortunately Swing Time. Go for Top Hat if you want to show them a Fred and Ginger. Also other types of people playing other ethnic backgrounds, even respectful to the cultures like The good Earth.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
31 minutes ago, NickAndNora34 said:

had to get Errol in there somehow, huh, speedy 😁

Haha. Well I could have also recommended The Long Long Trailer.

My actual #1 Errol pick would be Gentleman Jim--he wears top hat and tails, boxing trunks, tight pants, wet tight pants, union suit, this movie has everything. Or Dive Bomber because Errol looks great in military uniforms.  But that movie is kind of long and isn't as action-packed as Gentleman Jim.  I don't think it would entertain young layman classic movie-viewers. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your a youngster who wants to get into classics, I would recommend -

1. Anchors Aweigh ('45)

2. The Adventures of Robin Hood ('38)

3. North by Northwest ('59)

4. A Night at the Opera ('35)

5. The Wizard of Oz ('39)

6. The Big Sleep ('46)

7. My Fair Lady ('64)

8. Its A Mad,Mad,Mad,Mad World ('63)

9. High Noon ('52)

10. Modern Times ('36)

These are the movies I recommend,if you want to get into classics movies😁👍🎬

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are all films I saw as a kid, so they might also interest younger people today as well:

Casablanca

Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (regardless of what the opening credits say)

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Them!

Run Silent, Run Deep

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Call Northside 777

There are many others, so this is just for starters. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends what you mean by "young people". For instance, I would not recommend "Casablanca" or "The Innocents" (Deborah Kerr) to a kid less than 14 years old. But I would recommend "7 Brides for 7 Brothers" or The Sound of Music or Ivanhoe. The list is actually endless, but we need a more specific age bracket in order to come up with some suggestions, more fitting for that age group.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a good book called The Best Old Movies for Families, written by Ty Burr.

Highly recommend it.

He talks about which titles went over well with his teen daughter and her friends.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 2.24.13 PM.jpeg

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For me personally, some of the choices mentioned, e.g. The Lady From Shanghai and The Big Sleep may not be the best choice for people who have not previously watched a classic film, or who are just getting their feet wet in the world of classic film.  I say this as someone who has watched classic movies almost all their life (I'm 35), but really only watched them very intensely for the last 15 years or so, it took me multiple viewings of both of the aforementioned films for me to really put all the pieces together to figure out what was happening in each film.  Honestly, I'm still not even sure that I follow the stories completely.  It took me 3 viewings of Vertigo to finally understand it.  The third viewing was in a movie theater, where I had completely no interruptions, and that is when the plot finally clicked for me. 

If it were me introducing people to classic film who might not otherwise give it a second chance, I would pick films that are easier to follow, that feature great music, or perhaps a big star that they'd recognize, or fun dialogue, an exciting scene, perhaps a scene that may be somewhat entrenched in pop-culture, something that would keep them engaged in the story line and wanting to watch it.  If the story is hard to follow, or is slow-paced, it is not going to hold the attention of someone who isn't very familiar with classic film.

If wanting to introduce someone to noir, I would perhaps start with The Maltese Falcon (with Bogart), Double Indemnity or Sunset Blvd.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

There's a good book called The Best Old Movies for Families, written by Ty Burr.

Highly recommend it.

He talks about which titles went over well with his teen daughter and her friends.

Screen Shot 2019-11-08 at 2.24.13 PM.jpeg

I have a copy of that book as well. Its a great read, even for someone like me who doesn't have a child. It's author was nominated for a Pulitzer a few years ago.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Again, it all depends what one means by "young people" Some suggestions inside this forum are great, but I would not recommend them if you are less than 12 years old, exemple: "Sunset Boulevard" But if you are say 17 or 18 years old (still very young people), yes, that movie is a great suggestion. When I was a boy (9,10, 11, around there...), my older sisters took me to see "On the Waterfront", well, I can tell you that I could not sleep during a week after that. Not because it is a scary movie or indeed a horror movie, but because the drama was so intense that the movie had a lasting somber impression on me. I recall a lot of dark scenes, with violence, killing and destruction. so, for a little boy, as I was at that time, that movie certainly did not enchant me. Naturally, as an adult, I am perfectly aware that this Kazan masterpiece should be part of any movie collection. I have seen it a zillion times since, always with immense pleasure! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it depends on the young person.  As someone who grew up without censorship and having people deciding what was and was not appropriate for me, I watched Psycho and The Birds in elementary school.  I also watched my nighttime soaps: 90210 and Melrose Place.  I've never been unable to not sleep or have any adverse effects to what I've watched.

I think young kids (like pre-teen) probably wouldn't be interested in most classic films, except for perhaps ones like The Wizard of Oz or The Adventures of Robin Hood, because they're fun and colorful.  A little kid probably would not sit through Double Indemnity. 

But NickandNora's question isn't regarding introducing children to classic film.  She's specifically talking about younger people that are part of a film club. Kids are not going to be in a film club.  She gives an age range of early teen to early 30s.  Those in their early 30s would (probably) be more adept at following a more complicated story, but if they're unfamiliar with the style and storytelling methods of classic film, they may or may not enjoy the movie.  It probably depends on their own individual experiences with the films they've watched and enjoyed. 

I think for the most part, for the layman classic film viewer, films that feature recognizable stars, familiar storylines, famous movies, etc. are going to be the best jumping off points. If NickandNora is looking for a film to introduce to a film club, she's going to need to pick a film that will appeal to a wide spectrum of viewers with varying tastes and experiences. A film that would appear to a younger viewer needs to also appeal to an older one.  Seeing that the members are all in a film club, presumably they are interested in a variety of different films. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, CinemaInternational said:

I have a copy of that book as well. Its a great read, even for someone like me who doesn't have a child. It's author was nominated for a Pulitzer a few years ago.

I believe Ty Burr is a film critic in Massachusetts. Or rather he was when he wrote the book. I found a copy at my local Barnes & Noble, bought it and read it over a weekend. I found his email and sent him a note saying how much I enjoyed reading it. He replied back and was very nice.

I remember asking him why ON BORROWED TIME (1939) wasn't included in his book, since in one section he talked about how much he and his daughter liked watching Beulah Bondi in her movies. He said he had not seen ON BORROWED TIME but was eager to find a copy of it, based on my description of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would probably recommend THE WIZARD OF OZ, though if you have small children you might want to warn them about the Wicked Witch and the flying monkeys beforehand.

I have to agree with THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, I can't think of anything in that film that might scare the young ones off. It's just an all around exciting and fun film.

Now if you're talking about young adults, from 16 to their early twenties, I have to go along with CASABLANCA, it would be an awesome way to introduce Bogart to those who are unfamiliar with his films.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and BRINGING UP BABY are two that I think anyone at any age can really get into (though it would depend whether or not one likes musicals and screwball comedies).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I would probably recommend THE WIZARD OF OZ, though if you have small children you might want to warn them about the Wicked Witch and the flying monkeys beforehand.

As a kid, the flying monkeys and the wicked witch were (and still are) my favorite characters in The Wizard of Oz

I might have just been a weird kid though. I also used to read old newspapers on microfiche machines when we visited the library. 

I actually found the Munchkins creepier than the witch, but I was never scared of them. I never get scared at movies.  My favorite though is the one who says FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD in a demon munchkin voice.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I would probably recommend THE WIZARD OF OZ, though if you have small children you might want to warn them about the Wicked Witch and the flying monkeys beforehand.

I have to agree with THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, I can't think of anything in that film that might scare the young ones off. It's just an all around exciting and fun film.

Now if you're talking about young adults, from 16 to their early twenties, I have to go along with CASABLANCA, it would be an awesome way to introduce Bogart to those who are unfamiliar with his films.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and BRINGING UP BABY are two that I think anyone at any age can really get into (though it would depend whether or not one likes musicals and screwball comedies).

Agree completely!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Singin' in the Rain is a proven scientific fact:  Think it's that young kids never quite expect an MGM musical to be as snarky and funny as a Betty Comden/Adolph Green script, so blitz 'em early--Then follow with Band Wagon.

Rear Window, most kids have the funny pop-culture "Good evening" image of Alfred Hitchcock, so that movie's deceptive funny opening also lures them in...Heheh.    😈

Every time there's the B&W argument, I always bring up Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, although the first twenty poor-villagers minutes before the samurai show up can be a little slow...Once they do, though, I brag that it's another two hours before you even think of looking at your watch.  If that's too long for their attention spans, I try the shorter The Hidden Fortress, saying it's the movie that Star Wars remade--Saying you know more about Star Wars than they do is an automatic CHALLENGE.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Title / Date / IMDB Rating

1.   THE KID / 1921 / 8.3

2.   Limelight / 1952 / 8.0

3.   City Lights / 1931 / 8.5

4.    It’s a Wonderful Life / 1946 / 8.7

5.   Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer / 1964 / 8.0

6.   Holiday Affair / 1949 / 7.0

7.   Our Vines Have Tender Grapes / 1938 / 7.3

8.   A Thousand Clowns / 1965 / 7.4

9.   Captains Courageous / 1937 / 7.8

10.                Le Schpountz a.k.a. Heartbeat (French) / 1938 / 7.0

11.                The Bicycle Thief / 1948 / 8.4

12.                The Red Balloon / 1956 / 8.2

13.                Dersu Uzala (Russian) / 1975 / 8.2

14.                M (Germany) / 1931 / 8.5

15.                Safety Last / 1923 / 8.2

16.                The Ox-Bow Incident / 1943 / 8.1

17.                Chuck Jones Memories of Childhood / 2001 / 7.3

18.                The Battle of Algiers / 1966 / 8.2

19.                The Diary of Anne Frank / 1959 / 7.4

20.                Jungle Cavalcade / 1941 / 7.1

21.                The Passion of Joan of Arc (French) / 1928 / 8.2

22.                Fun on a Weekend / 1947 / 7.2

23.                Heroes for Sale / 1933 / 7.5

24.                Mary Poppins / 1964 / 7.6

25.                Mr. Smith Goes to Washington / 1939 / 8.2

26.                Gandhi / 1982 / 8.0

27.                Cinema Paradiso / 1988 / 8.5

28.                Woman in the Dunes (Japan) / 1964 / 8.3

29.                Paths of Glory / 1957 / 8.4

30.                This Land is Mine / 1943 / 7.6

31.                Ruggles of Red Gap / 1935 / 7.6

32.                Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs / 1937 / 7.6

33.                The Children’s Hour / 1961 / 7.8

34.                Lorenzo’s Oil / 1992 / 7.3

35.                The Last of the Mohicans / 1992 / 7.7

36.                Seven Brides for Seven Brothers / 1954 / 7.4

37.                Fast Times at Ridgemont High / 1982 / 7.2

38.                Dazed and Confused / 1993 / 7.6

39.                The 7th Voyage of Sinbad / 1958 / 7.1

40.                Immortal Beloved / 1994 / 7.5

❤️

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Earlier I mentioned the book by Ty Burr, which I consider an excellent resource when selecting films for preteens, adolescents and young adults.

When I worked for a year in a charter school, we had afternoon clubs for the kids once or twice a week. Each instructor led a club in an area that was a hobby (arts or crafts) or a bit more academic but fun, to help struggling learners. 

The club I did that year was a classic film club. It's the reason I had gone to Barnes & Noble that time and purchased Burr's book. However, I ended up selecting some films that were not in his book...titles that I knew would work well with upper elementary/middle school aged children.

I created and gave a "syllabus" to the administrator, focusing on one classic film per week. Since I did the club on two afternoons, typically I would spend the first afternoon previewing the film, then showing the first half. On the second day, we'd recap what we had seen then watch the rest of it. Then end with a discussion about theme, plot, character, whatever the kids pulled from it.

Most of the time the kids had never heard of these films before. I made a point of choosing just as many films in Technicolor as I did black-and-white. Titles that would appeal to girls and to boys. And I deliberately did NOT choose Disney films or animation films since I figured the kids had many of those on home video already. My goal was to expose them to other worthwhile classics. Sometimes I went with the obvious literary adaptations; other times I picked something that was less literary but still meaningful. I wanted to give them a variety and cover multiple genres.

The syllabus I drafted lasted an academic quarter, meaning I would screen nine films each quarter.

The ones I remember going over well with 4th/5th/6th graders: THE WINDOW (1949) the movie where Bobby Driscoll lies all the time and nobody believes he saw a murder; and THE MIRACLE WORKER (1962) especially the dinner table scene. It made a huge impression on them!

I also showed CAPTAINS COURAGEOUS (1937) which appealed more to the boys. LITTLE WOMEN (1949) which appealed more to the girls. And it was a goal to have them see ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES (1938) because of the stuff with Cagney's character and the Dead End Kids.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

TB's recommendation of The Window with Bobby Driscoll made me think of Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol (1948), which is also told primarily from the viewpoint of a boy processing some complicated adult issues. I think younger viewers would be able to appreciate the fact that they as the audience are aware of some things the boy isn't aware of (or simply doesn't understand) and it would be a valuable lesson in how appearances and facts don't always converge. The boy, Bobby Henery, is the entry point into the story and hopefully young people would be able to follow Reed's measured approach to storytelling and recognize both the boy's naivete and his misapprehension in terms of some basic facts of the story.

The OP mentioned Suspicion and I think the idea of the unreliable narrator would be good for kids to experience, perhaps with some explanation of the concept beforehand. Out of the Past (1947) would be a good one and I don't think it would be inappropriate for young people, though it's definitely "adult".

Rear Window was mentioned and I think Hitchcock in general would be a good choice. The Man Who Knew Too Much involves a young boy in an elaborate mystery plot, though he's absent for much of it. I saw North By Northwest as a kid and was blown away.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read this thread with interest, but I don't know if I have any good suggestions. I've worked both as a full-time and substitute teacher for more than 20 years now (not any sort of charter school, just regular public schools) and I've noticed I've started symbolically weeping for the future of humanity more than ever this year. I don't know that there are many kids who could even sit through Frozen unless they can be 'gramming or playing a video game on their phone at the same time.

  • Sad 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd never recommend certain movies to young folk who have never watched an old movie (Movies such as Citizen Kane or The Birth of a Nation). With that said, here are some of the movies I'd personally recommend 

 

- The Graduate 

- Beach Blanket Bingo

- The African Queen 

- From Here to Eternity 

- Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 

 

The idea is to try to get these younger people into classic movies. Chances are, they won't like B&W movies, so I chose some movies they might like. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, DougieB said:

TB's recommendation of The Window with Bobby Driscoll made me think of Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol (1948), which is also told primarily from the viewpoint of a boy processing some complicated adult issues. I think younger viewers would be able to appreciate the fact that they as the audience are aware of some things the boy isn't aware of (or simply doesn't understand) and it would be a valuable lesson in how appearances and facts don't always converge.

Yes, good point. These two films together would make an excellent double feature.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

New Members:

Register Here

Learn more about the new message boards:

FAQ

Having problems?

Contact Us