Tuesday, August 25, 2009

5 Favorites: Classic Movies

Sam has recently started a new job that requires him to work third shift quite often. Despite having shelves of books and skeins of yarn I find myself bored and sleepless when he is working late at night. To cure my restless I've turned to my old friend Classic Movies for solace. Currently, I'm working my way through a collection of Bela Lugosi films a friend lent to me. In honor of my return to classic film, I thought I'd share with all of you my top 5 favorite classic movies. In good ole David Letterman style, I've listed them in descending order. You may notice that Hitchcock is NOT on the list. I love Hitchcock, my Netflix is filled with every DVD of Hitchcock Presents. The Birds and Rebecca are two of my most favorite films. But, everyone loves Hitchcock so I intentionally didn't list any Hitchcock films.

5. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962, starring Bette Davis and Joan Crawford)
Jane (Davis) is caring for her paralyzed sister Blanche (Crawford) if, of course, you think of caring as being beaten, bound to a bed, and served your pet parakeet for dinner. Sibling rivalry, secrets, and insanity make for a terrifyingly creepy movie.

4. The Snake Pit (1948, Olivia de Havilland)
Based on a novel by Mary Jane Ward, this book is about Virginia, a wife and writer who finds herself in a metal hospital. Apparently suffering from a nervous breakdown, Virginia has no idea how or why she ended up in the asylum. The film portrays several frightening "treatments" of mental hospital patients, like hydrotherapy, and helped initiate change in the mental health profession.

3. Freaks (1932, real live sideshow workers)
This controversial film employed real-live sideshow "freaks". The film was heavily edited and the portions cut are sadly lost to contemporary movie goers. This movie is quite frightening and home of one of my favorite quotes, "Gooble gobble, gooble gobble! One of us! One of us."

2. The Innocents (1961, Deborah Kerr)
Based on Henry James' novella The Turn of the Screw and co-written by Truman Capote, this film is eerily creepy. In the tradition of Alfred Hitchcock, lighting, soundtrack, and camera angles all lend a hand to create a truly chilling psychological thriller.

1. The Uninvited (1944, Ray Milland and Gail Russell)
Hands down one of my favorite movies of all time. Very much invoking the spirit of Rebecca, The Uninvited concerns a young girl, a recently inhabited mansion, and murderous secrets in the past. Unavailable on DVD, I anticipate watching this film every October on Turner Classic Movies.

Of course, this doesn't even begin to cover all the classic movies I love. What about Mildred Pierce and The Bad Seed? The Spiral Staircase? Any of the films of Vincent Price and Bela Lugosi? Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte?!Too many wonderful films, it was difficult to choose only 5!


Catherine said...

my sister has seen almost all of these, and recommended the snake pit to me. i'm a little wimpy when it comes to scary psychological dramas, but i can't say i don't enjoy them. i just have to pause the movie often, and take a breather. because i'm a wimp. and i really wish you lived in athens, since i can't seem to go to bed before midnight. ever.

Heather said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Oh my goodness, The Uninvited is one of my all-time-favorite movies. I've never known anyone else who has seen it, let alone loved it!! I used to have the hugest crush on Ray Milland. *giggle*

That movie gave me nightmares. I wonder where my copy is...

*sorry about that, wrong login!*

Amanda said...

Catherine -- I have a feeling that after the Athens move you and I will have a few late night classic movie / baking marathons. It will rock.

Heather -- I knew you were my reading power twin, but apparently you are also my movie power twin!

BTW -- I forgot to list The Children's Hour! How could I?!

Carl V. said...

Oh wow, this is like a perfect list of films for me to check out come October. The only one I've seen is Freaks, and it has been far too long since I've seen that deliciously creepy film. Well done! I'm off to check out if I can get any of these through Netflix.

Amanda said...

Thanks Carl. After I wrote the list I kept thinking of things to add!