Do you fall asleep or leave the room the moment a old black-and-white movie comes on? Do you refuse to watch any film made before you were born? You’re missing out. No matter what you think about old black-and-white movies, you really, really should give these eleven movies a try.
- The Gold Rush (1925) — Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp character travels to the Klondike in search of gold. It’s a silent movie, and that takes a while to get used to, but once you do, the silence will be broken by your laughter.
- It Happened One Night (1934) — A reporter in search of a story happens upon an heiress running away from home. What happens next is hilarious.
- The Thin Man (1934) — They don’t make movies like this anymore. The dialogue is amazing and laugh-out-loud funny.
- You Can’t Take It With You (1938) — Can a wealthy young man find happiness with a woman whose family is downright bizarre? Jimmy Stewart gives it a try.
- Sullivan’s Travels (1941) — A comedy director decides he wants to make a serious movie. He sets out on the road to see how the other half lives. Along the way, he meets an out-of-work actress looking for a way to get home. This movie can’t decide if it wants to be a social commentary or a comedy, and amazingly, succeeds at both.
- Mrs. Miniver (1942) — The story of how a British family deals with World War II. It’s propaganda, but excellent propaganda.
- Casablanca (1942) — THE classic. If you haven’t seen this one, you should feel embarrassed.
- Laura (1944) — A detective investigates the murder of a young woman and discovers that everyone has fallen in love with her, including himself.
- Key Largo (1948) — On a hot summer evening when a thunderstorm is brewing outside, turn off your lights and your air conditioner, grab a tall glass of ice-cold lemonade and watch Key Largo. It’s the story of a group of people stuck in a hotel with a gangster during a hurricane, and the suspense is riveting.
- Ace in the Hole (1951) — This started out to be a top-ten list, but when I saw this movie recently, I had to add it. A jaded reporter discovers a man trapped in a cave and turns the situation into a story.
- Roman Holiday (1953) — The movie that made Audrey Hepburn famous. Watch it and you’ll understand why.
If you do watch any of these, let me know what you think.