Collectively, we’re absolute suckers for a vintage film, but we can often be stuck for which ones to choose from – after all, the selection is vast. Never fear though, settle in with these movies and you’re guaranteed a good time.
#1 Psycho (1960)
Starring: Janet Leigh, Anthony Perkins and Vera Miles
As a big Hitchcock fan, I have to say: If you’re only going to watch one of his movies, make it Psycho. Not only is this considered one of Hitchcock’s best movies, but as one of the greatest vintage films of all time. Made on a very low budget and all in Black-and-White (which was pretty outdated, even for 1960), Psycho was the horror movie that set the bar for all others to come, marking the rise of the slasher film genre. Alfred Hitchcock is the king of shock twists and surprise endings, so I really can’t tell you much about the plot without spoiling it, though I’m sure we all know about that infamous shower scene. It’s full of murder, suspense, mystery and Norman Bates, a true classic in every sense. Whether you’re a fan of slasher/horror films or not, do yourself a favour: watch Psycho.
#2 It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Starring: James Stewart, Donna Reid and Lionel Barrymore
A classic Christmas film, and definitely one of my favourites to watch at this time of the year. This story begins with George Bailey finding himself contemplating suicide on Christmas eve, sparking the intervention of guardian angel, Clarence. Clarence, who is earning his wings, shows George what the world would be like had he never been born and how he has influenced the lives of those around him. Sounds a bit depressing, I know, but it is actually a really inspirational film. It’s a Wonderful Life is one of the most critically acclaimed movies of the 20th Century. Despite not performing particularly well in the box office, it was nominated for 5 Academy Awards, including best picture. Fair warning, its pretty long, but definitely worth it!
#3 Singing in the Rain (1952)
Starring: Gene kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Conner
Singing in the Rain is a lighthearted comedy/ musical about Hollywood in the 1920s and its performers navigating the transition from silent films to ‘talkies’. If you’re not generally a musical fan, this movie’s sure to change your mind, there are some pretty spectacular numbers, and the dancing is next-level. Not only does this movie offer a bit of an insight into the history of film making (sort of), it’s an easy watch that’ll sure to have you laughing out loud.
#4 Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Starring: James Dean and Natalie Wood
James Dean: the only reason you need to watch Rebel Without a Cause. But, in case you need more convincing… Full of teen-angst drama, Rebel Without a Cause acts as a bit of a social commentary, following the troubled youth of upper-middle class families. Each of the young characters is having a pretty rough go of things, trouble at home, at school and with identity, but they find comfort and understanding in each other. While this movie may not have aged as neatly as the others I have listed here, it was a hugely influential film to come out of the 50s, and, even today, it still speaks to teens or anyone feeling misunderstood. But also… James Dean.
#5 The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Starring: Judy Garland
Here we have an ultimate vintage film, everyone knows it, everyone’s seen it and everyone loves it.
The Wizard of Oz has really stood the test of time, 78 years on we have seen countless retellings, stage plays, sequels, prequels and spin-offs – but it’s still the 1939 version of the tale that is the most well known and successful. You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who’s never heard ‘We’re off to see the Wizard’, or who hasn’t said ‘I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore’ at least once in their lives. That iconic blue gingham dress and ‘ruby’ slippers (which, fun fact, were meant to be silver, as per the books, but were made red to look better on screen), have been a standard for every dress up event ever since. Who now has ‘We’re off to see the Wizard’ playing their heads?
Image Source: MGM Studios