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New to classic movies and would like some suggestions

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I have been watching TCM for about 6 months and I am really loving experiencing all the movies and actors that I never really knew about. Can I get some movie recommendations that will open my eyes to perfect movie making?


I am getting ready to watch Lawrence of Arabia. I really love movies like The Birds, The Big Country, 2001 Space Odyssey, Hamlet, etc.


I am realy wanting to see To Kill a Mocking Bird, Doctor Zhivago, and The Magnificent Seven. Never saw those. P-73

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Coming up overnight are a ?modern? movie (North by Northwest) and two old ones that are pretty good (The Story Of Louis Pasteur and I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang).


Monday is a good day on TCM, lots of old classics.

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The ones you already mentioned wanting to see are very good: To Kill a Mocking Bird, Doctor Zhivago, and The Magnificent Seven - especially TKAMB. There are MANY other wonderful ones coming up this month. There is a forum called "Your Favourites" in which there is a thread called "A Great Movie Alert" posted by path40a. That would be a really good place to start since he posts some very good information. Happy viewing!

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You picked the right month to watch. With this being the 31 Days of Oscar most anything you come across might be worth your time. (I'm inclined to disagree about "2001" though.) Everything that's being shown was either a winner or nominee. So you'll get some really popular classics but also some less known but equally good films. So turn off the phone, pull the curtains, put on your comfy pants and have fun.

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i agree movieman, i love experiencing the movie experience...2001 always puts me to sleep. p73oregano check out "the hustler", "cool hand luke", "hud" "papilion","the big sleep". "the misfits"...there's just to many greats to list... this is such a great place to experience the past. you will watch movies that are not to your taste, but thats life.......get a helmet stay with it your going to end up liking things you never thought possible...happy viewing!

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For fun, light older movies, check out the "Road to" series with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby and the Doris Day & Rock Hudson films ("Pillow Talk," "Lover Come Back," and "Send Me No Flowers"). I also like "That Touch of Mink" with Doris Day and Cary Grant.


Some of my favorite Hitchcock movies are "Rear Window," "To Catch a Thief," and "Psycho."

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Some classic films that I consider practically essential:



To Have and Have Not

The Maltese Falcon

The African Queen

Treasure of the Sierra Madre

Sunset Boulevard

Double Indemnity

It Happened One Night

Bringing Up Baby

North By Northwest

Rear Window


Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

The Philadelphia Story

The Letter


Now, Voyager

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

The Sea Hawk

Captain Blood


Love Affair


Dr. Zhivago

Mildred Pierce

Grand Hotel

Queen Christina

Going My Way

Top Hat

Singin' in the Rain

Yankee Doodle Dandy

Roman Holiday

To Kill a Mockingbird

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Lawrence of Arabia

Mrs Miniver

On the Waterfront

Long Day's Journey Into Night

The Lost Weekend


By no means an exhaustive list, but it'll get you started. :D

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Here are some suggestions by genre:

The Iron Horse


Fort Apache

She Wore A Yellow River

Red River

The Searchers

Rio Bravo

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence

Ride the High Country


Footlight Parade

42nd Street

Singin' in the Rain

The Band Wagon

Meet Me in St. Louis

Alexander's Ragtime Band

The Pirate


Any film from 1939


The Rains Came

The Petrified Forest

The Best Years of our Lives

Since You Went Away

Mr Roberts

The Apartment

From Here to Eternity


On the Twentieth Century

The Thin Man

My Girl Friday


Born Yesterday

The Fortune Cookie


Tributes to filmmaking:

Hearts of the West



And Starring Pancho Villa as HImself


Documentaries about Filmmaking:

Hollywood: A Celebration of American Silent Film

The Men Who Made the Movies




The Parade's Gone By by Kevin Brownlow


Hope that helps!

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lzcutter, that is a very good list.


But I'm intrigued about one thing. Your comment "Anything from 1939".


I'm really interested to find out your further thoughts on that. I assume you believe 1939 to be one of the best years in history for the cinema?

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Years ago when Ron Haver was still alive and programming films for the Los Angeles County Art Museum (so this had to be the mid-80s), he did a tribute to 1939 and called it the golden year of films (or something similar). He programmed every film made in 1939 that was available.


It was an awesome series and really showed on a weekly basis, how many films we now consider classics or essentials all carry the 1939 copyright date.


I'm sure there were some duds but I would be hard pressed to remember which ones because the overwhelming majority were so good.

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Thanks lzcutter!


I'll have to pay closer attention. Most of the films I really love are from the late 30's and 40's, but at least among my favorites, I've not noticed a particular emphasis on 1939. I'll be interested to see what I come up with, now that I'm aware of this.


Thanks again!

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There are lots of good movies listed here. Some of the best in my opinion are


Any Alfred Hitchcock film- Rear Window is the best

Any Abbott & Costello movie- Who Done It is on of the best (Has the Who's on 1st routine)

The Shop Around the Corner

The Very Thought of You (Good WWII movie)

Since You Went Away (Also good WWII movie)

On the Town

Blackboard Jungle


A Letter to Three Wives

Meet John Doe


Singing in the Rain

The Women

Philadelphia Story

High Society (remake of the above- more musical)

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Hey pktrekgirl and lzcutter -



I loved your line 'anything film from 1939'. I laughed out loud because it so true and succinct (sp?). So much easier than listing all those titles. (Like a teacher used to say to me, "Go look it up".)


But for pktrekgirl and P73Oregano, here are films of 1939 that made the year legendary.


The Big Five

Gone With The Wind

The Wizard of Oz

Mr Smith Goes To Washington




Another Big Five

Gunga Din

Goodbye, Mr Chips

Dark Victory

Hunchback of Notre Dame



And The "Also Rans" (yeah, right...)

The Roaring Twenties

Love Affair

Destry Rides Again

The Women

Beau Geste

Only Angels Have Wings

Golden Boy

Babes In Arms

Drums Along The Mohawk

Young Mr Lincoln

Stanley And Livingstone

The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex

Of Mice And Men

The Old Maid

The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle

The Four Feathers

Confessions of a Nazi Spy


and there may be a few more worthy films to add to this list but those are the ones I have made a point of collecting as a group devoted to 1939.


And my favorite "theme" month TCM ever programmed was the July it saluted 1939.


Kyle in Hollywood

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Don't forget the comedies!


My Favorite Wife

The Awful Truth

My Man Godfrey

His Girl Friday


It Happened one Night

The Lady Eve

Ball of Fire

Love Crazy

Major and the Minor

Palm Beach Story



You Can't Take it With You

Some Like It Hot

Adam's Rib

Thin Man Movies

Arsenic and Old Lace

Duck Soup

A Foreign Affair (had to mention that one)

Stage Door

To Be or Not to Be


Miracle of Morgan's Creek

Dinner at Eight

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