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Starting a college Classic Movie Club and need help choosing movies


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I'm starting a classic movie club at my college, Chapman University, and was hoping to get some feedback about the movies that I have chosen to show throughout the year. I was planning to screen one a week and have background info on it to pass out to people who attend. I've decided to have each month cover a different genre and was trying to get a pretty good variety of movies; and actors too. If any of you know a really great movie that I don't have up there and don't know about I would really appreciate your input. Thank you so much, here's the line up:


Sept- Comedy

A Night at the Opera

It Could Happen to You

Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer

The Apartment

Born Yesterday


October- Horror

Invisible Man

Hunchback of Notre Dame


The Picture of Dorian Gray


November- Adventure/Mystery/ Noir

Captain Blood

The Thin Man


*Need One More*


December- Christmas

White Christmas

*Need One More*


February- Drama

Roaring 20's


San Francisco

*Need Two More*


March- Westerns

Fort Apache

*Need three more*


April- Musicals


Footlight Parade

Moon Over Miami or Springtime in the Rockies

*Need Two More*


May- New Classic Movie

Here I would like to show a newer movie that is considered a classic


Thank you again for your time!


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Oh, boy, do I love to give my suggestions for movie faves. For horror films, you might want to consider some of Universal's great shockers--like "Frankenstein Meets the Wolfman", "The Black Cat" (1934), "Mummy's Ghost" or "The Mummy," (1932). For musicals, I love your ideas about "Moon Over Miami". You might consider "Born to Dance" (1938-MGM), Deanna Durbin's "His Butler's Sister" (1942), Jeannette McDonald-Nelson Eddy's "Maytime", Grace Moore in "One NIght of Love" (1933)or Judy Garland/Fred Astaire "Easter Parade" (1947). For great drama, you can't beat Bette Davis in her legendary performances in "Dark Victory" (1939), "Now, voyager", "In This Our life" (1943)and her controversial "Beyond the Forest" (1949) where she spits out her immortal line: "Whatta dump.". Garbo is always a stunner in her great movies like "Grand hotel", "Mata Hara." You might want to consider a silent movie or two. You can't go wrong with Cecil B. DeMilles "The Cheat" (1914). This tale of a society woman who murders an Oriental sadist moves along at hurricane pace and has stunning performances by Fannie Ward and Sessue Hayakawa. Whew! Hope some of these ideas helped you out.

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Remember the Night - Stanwyck & MacMurry

Bells of St. Mary's - Bergman & Crosby

Bishops Wife - Grant, Niven, Young



Ox-bow Incident - Fonda & Andrews

High Noon - Cooper & Kelly

Destry Rides Again - Stewart and Dietrich



most Astaire & Rogers

Sing in the Rain - Kelly, Reynolds, & O'connor



Afican Queen - Bogey & Hepburn


Post 60"s:

West Side Story


Once Upon A Time in the West

Longest Day

Great Escape

the Godfather 1 & 2

Alien 1 & 2


I'll probably come up with more later

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The Maltese Falcon; The Big Sleep for Detective

Holiday Inn/Meet me in St. Louis (Christmasy)

Drama - Imitation of Life (Lana Turner)

Western-Drums Along the Mohawk with Fonda and Colbert

Charlie Chaplin's Limelight (a talkie made in the 50's)

Woody Allen-My kids love Radio Days, Sleeper, Annie Hall, and my personal fave is Zelig which did the forest gump thing of putting the characters into pix and newsreels long before they did it in forest gump.


What do you mean by "new" classics? Gigi, Hud, The Hustler.

Sweet Bird of Youth. Of course, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. For sheer endurance, Taylor's Cleopatra. Tho' it lacked as a movie, it certainly set a lot of fashion and style trends at the time. Also, Bonnie and Clyde. The original Thomas Crown Affair.


The club sounds great. Good Luck!!

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I wish I got into this thread earlier! You guys came up with some great suggestions. I just want to add a few. For drama, you should definitely show "Dodsworth." It has great performances by Walter Huston and Ruth Chatterton, and is beautifully directed by William Wyler. It's just a perfect movie. For musicals, you have to show at least one Astaire/Rogers film, and my suggestion would be "Shall We Dance" or "Swing Time." And you should show "A Star is Born" with Judy Garland and James Mason, one of the best musicals of all time, and Garland's best work. For Christmas you should show "Christmas in Connecticut" with Barbara Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan. It's funny, touching, and you just want to move right into the house that they're at in Connecticut. I'm not a huge horror fan, but you might consider some of Hitchcock's films for this genre, like "Psycho." For comedy, you should show any of the following : "The Odd Couple" with Lemmon and Matthau, "George Washington Slept Here," with Jack Benny and Ann Sheridan, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World," with an all star comedy cast, "Bringing Up Baby" with Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn, and any Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, or Marx Brothers film. I would love to add more, but there have been alot of great suggestions already. And by the way, where's Chapman University? And please tell me, have you met people at the college who are into the classics, or are you trying to introduce people to them? I'm 24, and I never meet ANYONE around my age who's a classic movie buff, so I'm curious. Good Luck.

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For Noir, I'd throw in Fritz Lang's "The Big Heat." It's pretty dark/violent compared to the other titles you've listed, but whenever I've seen it with a crowd it's received a good response. Gloria Grahame and Glenn Ford are great in it.


Westerns, "Red River," "Tall T," and "Terror in a Texas Town." "Terror" and "Tall T" are more obscure, but they're both great. "Terror" shows up on TCM once in a while.


Drama - how about "Now, Voyager" (make it a Valentine's Day showing) and "The Sweet Smell of Success"?


I'll admit to not being too much of a musical buff, so I'll leave that one alone. Same with Christmas.


Also - I've been running a college film society for a while, so here's some unsolicited tips:


* Like moviejoe mentioned, it's pretty hard to find college students willing to watch classic films (or anything made before 1990, basically). Don't be too disappointed if the showings aren't as well attended as you had hoped, or the movies get some unintentional laughter. This *****, but that's the way it is, unfortunately.


* Advertising is -extremely- important. I'm not sure what your budget is or even if you have one, but make sure that people know about the screenings - where they are, what time, whether they're free or not, etcetera. Flyers are the best way to go about this, and if your college newspaper or radio station lets student groups publicize events, take advantage of that too.


* Conversely, if you're doing this on the sly - i.e., not licensing prints from non-theatrical distributors - you might want to be more careful with your publicity. It's pretty stupid, but showing a videotape in a public forum, even if you're not charging admission, is illegal in the eyes of DisneyAOLTimeWarnerMicrosoftCorp. I doubt you'll run into any trouble, but if there's any other organizations on campus that *do* license films, you might catch some heat.


* This sounds obvious, but make sure you have access to a screening location with proper equipment for every screening and have a reliable way to get copies made for flyers and handouts. Check and see if there's a film library on campus that has 16 or 35mm prints, and if there's a way you can show them - it's always better to see stuff projected on a big screen.


* If you don't have any funding, check and see if you can get it - lots of colleges will gladly hand out $$ for student groups if you can slap together a budget and application.


* Passing out background info is a great idea. Like I said above, college audiences aren't the greatest in terms of background knowledge for this stuff, so context will help out a lot.


* You might want to consider breaking up the monthly themes and juggling the titles around to give the schedule a better overall variety. Some people might not like westerns or horror or whatever, and could just stop coming if they're faced with their least favorite genre for four-five weeks in a row.


* And, finally - consider showing some foreign films, shorts, animation, and documentaries, too. It's always good to have as much variety in a schedule as possible in order to attract the most people.


Sorry if any of that sounded obnoxious, but doing this type of thing always ends up being harder than it seems. Good luck, and keep us updated on your progress!

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If you decide to show SCARFACE, made in 1932 ask the people everyone if they can count all the X's in the movie. The director Howard Hawkes wan't to place the X's thourghout the movie as a constant message that X marks the spot. The X meant death. I had to watch the movie twice because I got caught up in the story line of the movie.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I wanted to thank everyone who answered my request for movie ideas for my Classic Movie Club I started at Chapman University. We have already had two movie nights that were so much fun!

This week is Holiday 1938 and next week is The Apartment 1960. Thanks again!

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