#PayClassicsForward for Christmas

‘Tis the season to spread cheer and I’m doing my part by recommending classic movies, paying them forward in hopes that these memorable distractions take people’s minds off negative goings on. I’m asking that you join me, recommend your favorites and #PayClassicsForward on your blogs, by noting your recommendations in the comments or sharing across social media.

Let’s give the gift of movies.

Here’s the challenge…pick movie recommendations to the “12 Days of Christmas” theme as I’ve done below.   Keep in mind that movie choices should be those you think would appeal to non classics fans.  Let’s grow our community and #PayClassicsForward

Have fun!

On the first day of Christmas, etc., etc., etc…

ONE directorial debut

Charles Laughton’s The Night of the Hunter (1955)

“The scenes…the story…The stars BUT ABOVE ALL – THE SUSPENSE!”


TWO duos

Fred and Ginger


Laurel and Hardy


THREE Foreign Films

Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (1954)

“The Mighty Warriors Who Became the Seven National Heroes of a Small Town.”

Vittorio De Sica’s The Bicycle Thief (1949)

“There’s a cure for everything except death.”

Giuseppe Tornatore’s Cinema Paradiso (1988)

“A celebration of youth, friendship, and the everlasting magic of the movies.”

FOUR Soundtracks

The Wizard of Oz (1939)


Oklahoma! (1955)


The Graduate (1967)


American Graffiti (1973)


FIVE Westerns

John Ford’s Stagecoach (1939)

“Danger holds the reins as the devil cracks the whip! Desperate men! Frontier women! Rising above their pasts in a West corrupted by violence and gun-fire!”

John Ford’s My Darling Clementine (1946)

“When ya pull a gun, kill a man.”

Delmer Daves’ 3:10 to Yuma (1957)

“Drink the whisky… Love the woman… Try to stay alive till the 3:10 pulls out of town!”

George Roy Hill’s Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

“Not that it matters, but most of it is true.”

Sam Peckinpah’s The Wild Bunch (1969)

“Nine men who came too late and stayed too long…”

SIX dance routines

Newspaper dance in Summer Stock (1950)

Begin the Beguine tap routine from Broadway Melody of 1940

Cheek to Cheek from Top Hat (1935)

Moses Supposes from Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

The Nicholas Brothers Jumpin’ Jive in Stormy Weather (1943) 

42nd Street in 42nd Street (1933)

Seven Comedies

Sam Wood’s A Night at the Opera (1935) – Don’t miss it! The funniest picture ever made!

George Cukor’s The Philadelphia Story (1940) – Uncle Leo’s bedtime story for you older tots! The things they do among the playful rich – Oh, boy!

Leo McCarey’s The Awful Truth (1937) – It’s a Glorious Comedy… Uproarious Romance!

Howard Hawks’ His Girl Friday (1940) – The Year’s Wildest, Wittiest Whirlwind of a Love Battle… Outrageously Racy… Sparkling… Gay!

W. S. Van Dyke’s The Thin Man (1934) – A laugh tops every thrilling moment!

Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925)

Preston Sturges’ The Lady Eve (1941) – Paramount’s vexiest picture!

EIGHT Films Noir

Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944) – It’s Love And Murder At First Sight !

Jacques Tourneur’s Out of the Past (1947) – A guy without a fortune! A girl with too much past!

Byron Haskin’s Too Late for Tears (1949) – Don’t ever change, Tiger. I don’t think I’d like you with a heart.

Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958) – The Strangest Vengeance Ever Planned!

John Huston’s The Maltese Falcon (1941) – It’s thrilling . . . it’s chilling . . . it’s the most baffling mystery story in years !

Robert Siodmak’s The Killers (1946) – One Moment with Her…And He Gambled His LUCK…LOVE…and His LIFE!

Fritz Lang’s The Big Heat (1953) – A hard cop and a soft dame!

Charles Vidor’s Gilda (1946) – I was true to one man once… and look what happened…


NINE inspiring movies (non holiday fare)

John Ford’s The Grapes of Wrath (1940) – The most discussed book in years – now comes to the screen to become the most discussed picture in ages.

John Ford’s How Green Was My Valley (1941) – Everything I ever learnt as a small boy came from my father, and I never found anything he ever told me to be wrong or worthless.

Robert Mulligan’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) – The most beloved and widely read Pulitzer Prize Winner now comes vividly alive on the screen!

Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939) – Entertainment As Powerful As the Strength of the People! As Great As the Genius of Capra!

William Wyler’s The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) – Filled with all the love and warmth and joy. . .the human heart can hold!

Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels (1941) – A Happy-Go Lucky Hitch-Hiker on the Highway to happiness! He wanted to see the world . . . but wound up in Lover’s Lane!

George Stevens’ Penny Serenade (1941) – Excitingly Re-united! Your favorites of “THE AWFUL TRUTH” in the kind of love story you have been waiting to see!

Norman Taurog Boys Town (1938) – Greater than the imagination of the best writers!

Delbert Mann’s Marty (1955) – It’s the love story of an unsung hero!

TEN performances

James Stewart in It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Bette Davis in All About Eve (1950)

Brando in On the Waterfront (1954)

James Cagney in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Peter Lorre in M (1931)

Spencer Tracy in Father of the Bride (1950)

Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (1946)

Ann Blyth in Mildred Pierce (1945)

Humphrey Bogart in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)

ELEVEN movies for children (not animated and assuming everyone has seen The Wizard of Oz)

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TWELVE heroes

Alan Ladd as Shane – Christopher Reeve as Superman – Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan – Sigourney Weaver as Ripley – Douglas Fairbanks as Zorro – Roy Schneider as Chief Brody – Henry Fonda as Juror #8 – John Wayne as John T. Chance – Lillian Gish as Rachel Cooper – Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs – Gary Cooper as Sgt. Alvin York – Charles Laughton as Quasimodo

I could’ve easily gone another few rounds and still not mention all the films and performances worthy of praise.  I gave this a lot of thought though and went with the ones I think can change hearts and minds.   I hope you enjoyed my recommendations and I look forward to seeing yours.  Take the challenge and in the spirit of Christmas…



21 thoughts

  1. Nice, though not sure I would have chosen The Graduate and American Graffiti for soundtracks. I think there are other musicals that have terrific soundtracks that should have gone on there.


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