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Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMovies · 7 years ago

Top must-see classic movies?

I was talking to to a young man the other day and he didn't understand a famous film quote. It turned out that he had never seen the rather famous classic film from which the quote originated. Furthermore he had not seen many of the classic films which have become icons in our culture.

So in terms of understanding pop culture - American culture in particular, what are the must-see classic films?


Thanks. All good answers. Difficult choice. I came up with a list of 88 films divided into 2 categories: 1. "Landmark" films that are absolutely essential. 2. Just great films.

4 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    As a long-time fan of American movies, here are some of my suggestions, starting with the first decade of hit sound films.

    Live action films:

    1930s: Gone with the Wind, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz (All 1939)

    1940s: Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942)

    1950s: Singin' in the Rain (1952) Rebel Without a Cause (1955) (If you are a fan of science fiction, the 1950s contain many timeless classics, including War of the Worlds (1953) and The Blob (1958)

    1960s: Psycho (1960), Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb (1964), The Graduate (1967), Cool Hand Luke (1967) 2001 a Space Odyssey (1968).

    1970s: The Godfather I and II (1972 and 1974, Respectively) Jaws (1975) Rocky (1976) Star Wars (Renamed Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope) (1977)

    1980s: Star Wars Episodes V (The Empire Strikes Back) and VI (Return of the Jedi) (1980 and 1983, respectively) E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) The Indiana Jones Series (Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)). The Shining (1980) Die Hard (1988)

    1990s: Forrest Gump (1994) Titanic (1997), The Matrix (1999) Star Wars I, The Phantom Menace (1999)

    2000s: Lord Of The Rings (2001) Pirates Of The Caribbean (2003) Star Wars Episode II Attack of the Clones (2002), Star Wars Episode III Revenge of the Sith (2005).

    As far as the 2010s go, I think that it is too recent to reflect on.

    Cartoon movies: Some of the best and most popular mainstream cartoon movies in the United States are produced by Disney. Others have been produced by Dreamworks, Universal, and other companies. However, especially in recent years, massive amounts of computer animated movies have been released by a number of companies, and are very poor quality and are produced only to cater to children, such as the Nut Job, Rio, Despicable Me, Turbo, and Free Birds.


    These are just some of the iconic American movies. There are many others worthy of watching, so further research into decades of cinema should provide ideas of important films to see.

    The Library of Congress lists many American Films in Its National Film Registry, which is posted on Wikipedia here:

  • 7 years ago

    Wizard of Oz

    Gone With the Wind


    It's a Wonderful life

    The Godfather

    Stand by Me

    Citizen Kane

    The Third Man

    All About Eve

    Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Philadelphia Story

    The Grapes of Wrath

    Mary Poppins

    Miracle on 34th Street

    Rebel Without a Cause

    The Birds



    The Goonies

    Breakfast at Tiffany's

    The Godfather

    Sunset Blvd.

    High Noon

    Singing in the Rain

    Star Wars

    Rear Window

    West Side Story

    On the Waterfront

    To Be or Not to Be

  • 7 years ago

    Gone with the wind


    Street Car Named Desire

    Citizen Kane

    Its a wonderful life

    The Wizard of Oz

    Rebel without a cause

    The Godfather

    One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest


  • 5 years ago

    Til the Clouds Roll By starring Judy Garland

    The Medicine Man starring Jack Benny

    Disorder in the Court starring The Three Stooges

    Malice in the Palace starring The Three Stooges

    The Brideless Groom starring The Three Stooges

    Let's Get Tough starring East Side Kids

    The Last Time I Saw Paris starring Elizabeth Taylor

    Jane Eyre starring Virginia Bruce

    A Star is Born starring Janet Gaynor

    The Racketeer starring Carole Lombard

    Gulliver's Travels starring Jessica Dragonette

    Managed Money starring Shirley Temple

    The General starring Buster Keaton

    The Kid starring Charlie Chaplin

    Long John Silver starring Robert Newton

    The Scarlet Letter starring Coleen Moore

    The Inspector General starring Danny Kaye

    The Paleface starring Buster Keaton

    That Gang of Mine starring East Side Kids

    Son of Monte Cristo starring Louis Hayward

    Captain Kidd starring Charles Laughton

    The Time of Your Life starring James Cagney

    A Farewell to Arms starring Gary Cooper

    The Scarlet Pimpernel starring Leslie Howard

    The Black Pirate starring Doug

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