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Five Classic Movies To Watch This Weekend

Updated on February 1, 2015
Paramount Theater, Omaha, circa 1937
Paramount Theater, Omaha, circa 1937 | Source

The weekend's here and you're ready to unwind. Sometimes there's nothing better than popping in a great old movie and curling up on the couch in your comfiest pajamas with a big bowl of popcorn and your sweetie (or your cat). If you're looking for something great to watch this weekend, try one of these classic favorites.

North By Northwest

Cary Grant and director Alfred Hitchcock paired up for the fourth and final time in 1959 to make this thriller about a Manhattan advertising executive caught up in a classic case of mistaken identity.

After Roger Thornhill (Grant) is confused for government agent George Kaplin, he is abducted, interrogated by a foreign spy (James Mason), framed for murder, and pursued across the country. Along the way, he is double-crossed by a beautiful woman (Eva Marie Saint) and chased by a crop duster. The movie's climax has Thornhill clinging for his life to the side of Mt. Rushmore as the spy's henchman (Martin Landau) tries to do him in. Look for Hitchcock's signature cameo appearance early on in the film.

The Graduate

This landmark dramedy was nominated for seven Academy Awards in 1967, won Best Director for Mike Nichols, and launched the career of Dustin Hoffman.

Hoffman plays Benjamin Braddock, a recent college graduate with no plans for the future. He is seduced by the wife of his father's business partner, the sultry Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), and they begin an affair. When his father and Mr. Robinson set him up with the Robinson's daughter, Elaine (Katherine Ross), Benjamin finds the girl of his dreams, but Mrs. Robinson is determined to keep them apart.

The soundtrack features several songs by folk-rock duo Simon and Garfunkel, including two of their biggest hits, "The Sounds of Silence" and "Mrs. Robinson."

The Untouchables

This 1987 Brian De Palma film is a classic crime drama based on federal agent Eliot Ness' autobiographical account of how he brought down mob warlord Al Capone, who ruled Chicago during the Prohibition. The movie stars Kevin Costner as Ness and Robert De Niro as Capone. Sean Connery won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of police officer Jimmy Malone, who shows Ness how to beat the mob.

One of the movie's unforgettable scenes takes place in Chicago's Union Station, where Ness and his G-men go to capture Capone's accountant. Ness eyes the clock from his post as a young mother struggles with a baby carriage on the stairs. Will she make it to the top in time to avoid being caught in a shootout?

L.A. Story

This 1991 romantic comedy was written by Steve Martin, who also stars in it. It is one of Martin's finest works, combining a satirical look at Southern Californian culture with a sweet and quirky romance.

Martin plays Harris Telemacher, a wacky weatherman who's looking for some meaning in his life. He becomes smitten with an unavailable woman (Victoria Tennant) and after breaking down on the freeway one day, he receives advice from an electronic traffic conditions sign. The message on the sign's display leads him to break up with his social-climbing girlfriend (Marilu Henner) and take up with a flaky salesgirl and wannabe spokesmodel (Sarah Jessica Parker). In the end, with help from the sign, he finds true love with the woman of his dreams.

Best In Show

This classic mockumentary profiles the people behind a dog show - the owners and handlers - and the dogs on which their hopes are pinned. Christopher Guest directed and co-wrote Best In Show with Eugene Levy, and both men played roles as dog owners. The ensemble cast reunited for this 2000 film and would go on to make other movies together, but this movie is the best of the bunch, especially for dog lovers.

The movie follows five entrants in the prestigious Mayflower Kennel Club dog show from their preparations for the show to the competition itself. Levy plays a man with two left feet who raises terriers and makes up songs about them with his formerly promiscuous wife (Catherine O'Hara). Guest plays a backwoods bait shop owner who raises champion bloodhounds and dreams of being a ventriloquist.

Other dog owners include a neurotic yuppie couple (Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock), a trophy wife (Jennifer Coolidge) who is romantically involved with her dog's handler (Jane Lynch), and a campy gay couple (Michael McKean and John Michael Higgins) who are devoted to their Szih Tzus. Also profiled are the show's announcers, a dog expert who provides the play-by-play (Jim Piddock) and a loopy color commentator (Fred Willard).

Classic Movie Poll

What is your favorite?

See results


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    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      Hi Mary. I haven't seen Les Miserabled yet. After making my husband go to the opera to see La Boheme recently, I've used up all my points and need to find someone else to go with. : ) Best in Show is a terrific movie, very funny. You should check it out. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      8 years ago from Florida

      I just love the old classic movies! I've never heard of Best in Show. Steve Martin is one of my favorites, too.

      They just don't make good movies anymore, do they? I take that back....I just watched Les Mes and I hope it wins lots of Academy Awards cause it was just wonderful, I thought.

      Voted UP and shared.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      African Queen is a wonderful movie, as is Gone with the Wind. It's been a while since I've seen either one, so I should revisit them soon. And I've never seen the movie version of Taming of the Shrew. I'll have to put it on my list. Thanks for the recommendations!

    • whalefeather2 profile image


      8 years ago

      Have seen them all...North By North West is Awesome..I would add the following. African Queen, Gone with the Wind, The Taming of the Shrew (Liz Taylor version).

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      Oh my gosh, yes, rcrumple, you must put Best in Show on your list. It's hilarious. Thanks for the comment.

    • rcrumple profile image


      8 years ago from Kentucky

      Strong listing of movies! North by Northwest is forever my second most favorite of Mr. Grant! (His Girl Friday with Rosalind Russell is number one) Have not seen Best In Show as of yet, but now, it's on my list. Thanks for sharing these! Up & Useful & Interesting!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      8 years ago from Iowa

      From a movie buff like you, that is high praise indeed. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Cogerson profile image


      8 years ago from Virginia

      An excellent choice of movies....North by Northwest is one of my favorites of all-time....Best of Show is a quiet gem of a movie....probably the best of the Christopher Guest movies.....although A Mighty Wind could give that a good challenge. Voted up and interesting.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      North by Northwest is well worth rewatching, especially if you haven't see it in a while. One of my faves. Thanks for stopping by.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      9 years ago

      You mentioned one of the classic favorites, North by Northwest. I will have to check this out again as it is one that will give me hours of enjoyment. I have seen most of your mentions here and would agree that they are classics.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      You should, Christy. It's a funny movie, especially if you like dogs at all. Many of the cast members were in a skit on the Oscars last night. If you watched the program, it was the bit about the Wizard of Oz focus group. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • ChristyWrites profile image

      Christy Birmingham 

      9 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      I remember hearing that 'Best In Show' is a good movie to watch. I will have to do that soon!

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, Jools. North by Northwest is almost a perfect movie, I think. Intrigue, suspense, and Cary Grant!

    • Jools99 profile image

      Jools Hogg 

      9 years ago from North-East UK

      Great list, my winner is North by Northwest by a country mie but I would be happy to watch any of these movies; all are very good. Nice hub, voted up.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      Goldentvmemories, if you like dogs and comedies (especially off-beat ones), you will LOVE Best in Show. Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Goldentvmemories profile image


      9 years ago from London.

      I've seen all of your recommendations with the exception of Best In Show. I like dogs, I like comedies, so I think I'll give it a whirl! :-) North By Northwest of course remains an all time favourite.

    • John Sarkis profile image

      John Sarkis 

      9 years ago from Winter Haven, FL

      Hard to question your choices, but I like more quirky movies myself. I love cult films like "Kentucky Fried Movie" or "Amazon Woman on the Moon..." I mean, it doesn't get better than Roxie Roker posing as a female black republican and a member of a "brothers with no soul club" of Bel Air...LOL

      Great hub - voted up


    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks, alocsin. Yes, you must check out the Untouchables one of these days.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      9 years ago from Orange County, CA

      The only one I haven't seen is "The Untouchables." I better get crackin' on that. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • DeborahNeyens profile imageAUTHOR

      Deborah Neyens 

      9 years ago from Iowa

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Alecia and Flora, I agree - North By Northwest is a great movie. And Cary Grant is pretty easy on the eyes. : )

      What I love about Best In Show are all the quirky characters. I think you'll like it, Susan.

      Lisa, so what did you end up watching with that popcorn?

    • profile image 

      9 years ago

      Sounds like a great list. I will have to check them out. I'm starting the popcorn right now.

    • FloraBreenRobison profile image


      9 years ago

      I've seen all of these films. No contest for me, my favourite is North By Northwest.

    • Alecia Murphy profile image

      Alecia Murphy 

      9 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

      I love North By Northwest but I haven't seen the others. But I may have to check them out now that you've recommended them.

    • Just Ask Susan profile image

      Susan Zutautas 

      9 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I really like all of these movies except I've not yet seen Best In Show. I'll have to look for that one.


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