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My Top 20 Classic Films

Updated on June 30, 2020
jackclee lm profile image

Jack is a volunteer at the CCNY Archives. Before retiring, he worked at IBM for over 28 years. His articles have over 120,000 views.

Introduction

Films are great entertainment. They can teach us, inspire us, scare us and excite us...They are also historic and tells us what is going on at that period of our history. Some film are timeless and they speak of universal truths. Some have great music or dance routines that are just entertaining to watch. Some are creative and innovative.

- June 2020

Background

What qualifies as a film classic? To me, it needs several elements.

1. It has to stand the test of time, at least 30 years.

2. It has to have wide audience appeal.

3. It has to be representative of a genre, best of breed.

4. It is memorable and would warrant watching it again and again.

5. Superb acting, music or dance, choreography or direction.

6. Entertaining...and evoke emotional response.

7. Relevant to that time period but transcends time.

My List of the Top 20 (In no particular order)

  • The Godfather trilogy
  • The Sound of Music
  • West Side Story / Romeo and Juliet
  • 2001 A Space Odyssey
  • Rear Window / Vertigo
  • Mary Poppins
  • Dr. Zhivago
  • Love Story
  • My Fair Lady
  • The Time Machine

  • Breakfast at Tiffany's
  • Roman Holiday / Three Coins in the Fountain
  • Fidler on the Roof
  • Lost Horizon
  • Fahrenheit 451
  • Gone With the Wind
  • It Happened One Night
  • Flower Drum Song
  • Camelot
  • From Russia With Love / Goldfinger

Summary

These are some of my favorite old movies. I called them classics but some may argue whether some belongs on this list and why some others are left out.

It is a personal preference, no rhyme or reason. Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

A Quick and Simple Poll

How many have you watched?

See results

Another Related Poll

How old are you?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Jack Lee

Comments

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    • jackclee lm profile imageAUTHOR

      Jack Lee 

      13 months ago from Yorktown NY

      I came up with this list for my millennial son who has not seen these old movies. I was shocked he has not seen Love Story.

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 

      13 months ago from Norfolk, England

      There's so many good films you've mentioned. I love The Sound of Music.

    • Eurofile profile image

      Liz Westwood 

      13 months ago from UK

      I am very pleased to see that James Bond made the cut.

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