I've written a lot about classic movies, and their importance- and have reviewed a lot too. So many in fact, it might be a little hard to figure out where to start! So, here is a list of my favorite films that have been reviewed on Never Fully Dressed. It isn't a definitive list by any means, nor a list of what is "best," but if you're looking for a place to start- you might as well start here:
Casablanca- Love and Nazis. This film is one of the most quoted (and misquoted) films in the English language; no line is extraneous. It's my all-time favorite film, for reasons of both quality and sentimentality (it was a film we had playing at our wedding). Plus, Humphery Bogart is dark and brooding. Ah, Casablanca, we'll always have Paris...
The Third Man It's a Noir like none other, and worth watching for the manic, jaunty soundtrack alone, but the surprise twist that is revealed half way through is one of Hollywood's most iconic moments.
To Have and Have Not- This is the film where Humphery Bogart and Lauren Becall met and fell in love. It smolders and is stylish as can be. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve...?"
White Christmas- My family watches this one every Christmas and it never gets old. And really, it is good enough you can watch it all year round. Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye banter like they were born to it; Rosemary Clooney croons in her soft voice, and we've never stopped wondering at Vera Ellen's mad dance skills and impossibly slender waist!
It Happened One Night Two Words for you: Clark. Gable. Actually, four words. Clark Gable is funny. Who knew? By the way, this film also was the first to get a "grand slam" winning Best Picture, Best Director, Best Writing, Best Lead Actor, and Best Actress. Only three films have done this. So- there you go.
Desk Set- Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did nine films together and created one of Hollywood's most popular "real love stories." Arguably, this is probably not technically their best film or most important one. But... it is so charming, I don't care. It is my favorite. Spencer Tracey delivers what is probably the most beautiful of compliments when he tells Hepburn, with utter sincerity, "I'll bet you write beautiful letters."
Annie Hall- Billed as a "neurotic romance" Annie Hall might be the first modern rom-com. Woody Allen tells the story out-of-order, breaks the fourth wall and more. Plus, Diane Keaton's trademark looks created a fashion craze that has never truly gone away.
The Maltese Falcon- Largely considered the first film noir, it's little slow to get started. But it is jam-packed with characters who remain unique and interesting, fascinating to watch, despite being the film to spawn the genre.
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir This is another one that might not make any "top 100 lists" but it should. Its a poignant story that defies genre labels and is in turns funny, thoughtful, and heartbreaking. But never trite. Never cliche or pitying.
Gigi The day after it won Best Picture, MGM answered its phones, "M-Gigi-M Studios!" Today, this musical is often overshadowed by the more famous of its creators' works, My Fair Lady. However, no one should under estimate it's gaelic charm, especially since it is set during the Belle Epoch in Paris and stars Marius Chevalier and Leslie Charon.
How to Steal a Million- When you say Audrey Hepburn, people think Roman Holiday, Breakfast at Tiffany's Sabrina... but this is probably her most fun film. There is art, a bank heist and really, really fabulously wild sixties fashion involved. Plus, Peter O'Toole in a suit.
Singin' in The Rain- Gene Kelly is singing in the rain. More importantly, all of the other song and dance numbers are hilarious ,and- unlike many classic film musicals- there is an actual story to hang the song and dance numbers on. Basically, it is probably the best movie musical of all time.