Classic films I've recently watched

Image via Google search from the film, "Love with the Proper Stranger"

So... I kinda stayed away for a bit longer than expected. I've just been feeling uninspired and unmotivated lately so instead, I've been getting lost in one of my favorite pastimes (watching films that are older than floppy disks). As a result, and as promised in this post, I'd like to share some of the classic films I've recently watched/enjoyed. I've chosen a few of the ones that really stood out to me and hope that my thoughts and opinions on these films will convince you to watch them at some point in your life.

Love With the Proper Stranger (1963): 
According to Amazon's description, "Natalie Wood and Steve McQueen star as a charming, footloose musician and the innocent Macy's salesgirl who is carrying his child." This film covers some pretty controversial topics (abortion being one of them) for the time but as with most classic films, the heavy topics are presented in a way that leaves much of it to your imagination (ahem, unlike the movies these days). In fact, this film still manages to be a comedy/drama rolled into one and it's engaging all the way through. 

An extra bonus is Natalie's style in this film- it's so, so... 1963 and just well, classic. I usually like seeing Natalie in color films (some actors just look a lot better in color than in black and white but if you're Natalie Wood, I guess you look good either way) but I honestly think the fact that it's black and white doesn't take away from how great the film is. It's definitely my favorite Natalie Wood film so far. I also have to mention Steve McQueen, who I am still relatively unfamiliar with but he was a perfect match to Natalie's character in the film and I'll be sure to look out for more of his work. 

Where to Watch: I found it for rent on Amazon but liked it so much, I'm now on the hunt for the dvd. (edited to add: I just saw on Amazon that it's due to be released on dvd in September! Perfect timing!) 

Side-note: Having only been familiar with Natalie Wood as a child actress (hello, Miracle on 34th Street), I was never quite interested in her work as an adult actress until recently. I think now that I'm an official "adult", I can appreciate more of her dramatic performances in her later films and am actually excited to see more of her work. Random side-note: I found it funny that in Love with the Proper Stranger, Natalie's character works at Macy's and I remembered that Natalie's mother (Maureen O'Hara) on Miracle on 34th Street was in charge of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. 

If it's Tuesday, This Must be Belgium (1969):
Okay, so, admittedly, I initially only watched this film because the beauty that is Suzanne Pleshette stars in it and I'm on an unintentional mission to watch every film she's ever appeared in. But anyway, this is basically a comedy film about a group of typically eccentric American tourists traveling around Europe on a tour bus and, somewhat predictably, the tour guide (Ian McShane) falls for American tourist, Samantha Perkins (Suzanne Pleshette). It was so reminiscent of my experience traveling to Ireland (will we ever get off the bus?! "I feel like I was born on this bus!") that I really connected with it. There are some pretty quirky characters in this which makes for a very laid-back, feel-good film.

Where to Watch: Well, if I'm honest, it's on YouTube if you search hard/smart enough ;) Otherwise, unfortunately it's not available to stream for rent. I ended up buying the actual dvd because I knew it'd be one I'd watch more than once.

The Mating Season (1951):
I feel like this is probably the least known of the films I've mentioned here (actually, that's a lie because I'm sure almost none of you had heard of the Belgium film either) but it stars Gene Tierney, John Lund and Thelma Ritter as his mother. Basically, Gene Tierney ends up mistaking her mother-in-law (Thelma Ritter) for the new maid and it turns into one awkward situation. This is another feel-good comedy film that really makes you wonder if something like this has happened in real life. In case you're wondering (okay, I'm sure you weren't...), my favorite Gene Tierney film is The Ghost & Mrs. Muir, which we'll have to talk about another time...

Where to watch: YouTube is basically the only option I found unless you want to buy the dvd...

So there you have it. I've actually watched a ton more films since writing this but I'm just throwing a few titles at you at a time because otherwise, it's overwhelming how many wonderful classic films are out there. Watching old films serves as a huge source of inspiration for me, style-wise and overall, with my creative endeavors. I like to imagine myself in a world that occurred way before I was born. A world that seemingly presented a more classy outer appearance. I know I tend to romanticize these times more than I should but really, what's the harm?

1 comment:

  1. I hadn't heard of these but really excited to check them out! I adore old classic films, I love the style; they don't make 'em like they used to. I completely agree with your last few lines too; I feel so nostalgic for a time I never even knew. Have you watched Midnight in Paris? In it they talk about 'golden age thinking' and I definitely identify with that - the notion that a former time is better than the present. I think I was born too late, and I like to imagine myself living in an earlier world too! It definitely seemed so much better back then. Sigh...





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