ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Family-Friendly Halloween Movies for Baby Boomers And Their Grandkids

Updated on October 10, 2018
Maren Morgan M-T profile image

Maren, a Baby Boomer, has taught pre-school through college. She loves holidays, including watching and re-watching classic holiday flicks.

Halloween Spookiness

Jack-O-Lantern votive holders.
Jack-O-Lantern votive holders. | Source

Baby Boomers Can Share These Movies With Little Ones

These are flicks from “our era.” We grew up in the good old days when a certain level of propriety in language was demanded in public entertainment. None of the following recommendations are made-for-television children’s specials; they are films from our lifetimes produced for the general public. Today they all would be rated G.

However, a little bit of spookiness and scariness is present in each of the movies. You will need to decide what your grandchildren can handle.

Only one of these movies includes “questionable language,” and that is the most recent film in the list: E.T

All of them would be fun to share with grandkids.

However, children are not necessary to enjoy them... one more time.

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T., The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Color. 115 minutes. Fantasy sci-fi.

Don’t you get a nice warm, squishy-lovey feeling inside just remembering this movie? It is the story of a little lost alien and the human boy who helps him.

It makes the list because Halloween trick-or-treating occurs near the end of the story and is integral to the plot.

Memorable moments:

  • The silhouette of Elliot and ET on riding across the sky on a bicycle with the full moon behind them.
  • And then the whole gang of friends being lifted up to similarly ride.
  • The dialogue: “E.T. phone home”
  • At the very end, when E.T. is about to leave, and touches his heart with his finger, saying Ouch! Then Elliot doing the same action, touching his own heart and saying “ouch.”

This is a precious story about love and loyalty.

Also, the film's music score is by John Williams of Boston Pops fame, so the music is incredible.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944 ) B & W. 118 minutes. Comedy mystery romance.

With Cary Grant’s superb comic delivery, you can’t go wrong.

Other fantastic cast members include Josephine Hull and Jean Adair as his Eccentric - with a capital “E” - aunts, Edward Everett Horton as a perplexed doctor, and Peter Lorre as the quintessential bad guy. Frank Capra directed this classic black and white movie.

The story follows a sophisticated writer marrying the girl who grew up next door to him in Brooklyn. After the civil wedding ceremony on Halloween Day, but before the honeymoon trip to Niagara Falls, the groom visits his elderly aunts, and discovers they have a horrible secret. This puts the honeymoon on hold as the groom tries to fix things.

The script is incredible for both the who-done-it side and the comedy side.

Memorable moments:

  • Brother “Teddy Roosevelt” and his call to “CHARGE!” up the staircase.
  • Yellow fever victims.
  • Cary Grant sitting at the window seat with a corpse beneath him.

There are a few glimpses of Halloween begging during the daytime as was the custom in Brooklyn around the thirties and forties.

Black and white cinematography is something all children should learn to appreciate.

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz (1939) Starts as B & W but switches to color in the land of Oz. 101 minutes. Fantasy musical.

A teenage girl, played by Judy Garland, from Kansas and her dog are hurled into a land of make-believe. She makes friends with three characters and they all set off to find a wizard who is said to have the power to help them. However, the Wicked Witch of the West, the fantastic actress Margaret Hamilton, terrorizes them through their entire quest.

Back when there were only 3 TV channels in the USA, this was always aired at Halloween. Elementary school teachers told stories of how awful the students were after the Halloween trick-or-treating and the movie between being sugared up and frightened of the witches and flying monkees.

Memorable moments:

  • The soldiers marching into the Wicked Witch’s castle singing “All we own, we owe –oh.”
  • Dorothy declaring, “Toto, I think we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
  • Munchkins.
  • The Wicked Witch's threat: “I’ll get you my pretty.”
  • “I’m melting! I’m Melting!”

When I saw this movie as a child, I did not realize that the actors and actresses playing the Kansas folk were also playing the Oz characters. Maybe you’ll want to clue in your grandchild, or maybe you’ll wait and see if she figures it out.

Bell, Book, and Candle

Bell, Book, and Candle (1958) Color. 106 minutes. Comedy romance.

Kim Novak plays a modern bookstore owner (and magical witch) who falls in love with the fiancé of one of her rivals. The hapless human is played by Jimmy Stewart. After light twists and turns, it ends happily

I feel that they were probably put together in this movie because they had just completed Vertigo together.

Memorable moments:

  • The best part is Jack Lemmon as the witch’s beatnik bongo- playing warlock brother. He gets to show off his incredible talent and diversity playing a real happy-go-lucky goofball.
  • Actresses Elsa Lanchester and Hermione Gingold also excel as real "characters.",
  • The cat, Pyewacket, has a name that has been used for many a cat since.

I Married a Witch

I Married a Witch (1942) B & W. 77 minutes. Fantasy romance comedy.

This is a very light and silly farce which could be titled “Revenge of the Witches.” Two condemned witches from Puritan times find their way into the forties and try to wreak havoc on the heirs of their Puritan nemesis. However, one witch, played by iconic Veronica Lake, falls in love with her enemy.

This film would be a fun way to discuss with children the progress of film technology.

Memorable moments:

  • Some of the effects in this movie are simple and awkward – such a lightning bolt strike. Other effects - such as smoke and flying objects – work quite well. I think it is great to see that the story works without 3-D spinning, twirling or computer effects.
  • Also, I like the soundtrack. It fits very well.

Grab the Popcorn and Enjoy

I think of Halloween as a season rather than a day. It is when the daylight hours shorten, and the outdoors gets cold and spooky. So, grab the treats of your choice and rent one of these classic Halloween movies. They are classic because they are enduringly good.

© 2011 Maren Elizabeth Morgan

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks, amerben.

    • profile image

      amerben 

      7 years ago

      Archibald Alexander Leach, according to Google

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Melovy, the first three are definitely the higher quality films. But the last two are in the spirit of gentle entertainment. I also love Arsenic and Old Lace. Did you know the inside joke that one of the headstones in the church cemetery in A & OA has Cary Grant's real name? I think it is Archibald ....

    • Maren Morgan M-T profile imageAUTHOR

      Maren Elizabeth Morgan 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      RedElf, thanks. I can't understand why someone would want to watch blood and gore psychopath movies when these are available. Sorry to hear about the monkeys and you. For some reason, I didn't fear them that much!

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      7 years ago from UK

      I’ve never seen your last two choices, ET and Oz I’ve enjoyed a couple of times, but my favourite of these is definitely Arsenic and Old Lace. I love Cary Grant movies and this one is funny, funny, funny and very funny.

    • RedElf profile image

      RedElf 

      7 years ago from Canada

      What a grand list of films, though i must admit that those flying monkeys scared the pooh out of me when I was a kid. They were far scarier to me than the witch ever was.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)