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Oldies But Goodies – The Best Family Movies of All Time

Updated on June 25, 2013

Great Movies & Great Times

Watching a moving and heartwarming story with friends and family can be one of the greatest experiences in the world. These oldies but goodies movies provide just such an experience. In the grand scheme of things, what else is there but laughing, crying and experiencing life together.

Quality Time with Those You Love

Everyone remembers the movies of their childhood, the oldies but goodies. Movies that made you think and that ended with the good guy on top. These days it's a little different sometimes.

Sure, there is no doubt that watching the latest and greatest, action packed, double-entendre filled, blockbuster movie at a theater is an outstanding experience. Yeah, it really is great, if you're fifteen and on a date. For the rest of us, a quiet night at house with the family and friends, watching one of the classics, is pretty outstanding too.

The night at home may well begin with calm. You sit on the couch in front of the TV with your wonderful spouse beside you. Docile children eagerly await the movie but the chocolate and the caffeine have already intruded. Rambunctious kids fill the night for a brief time but, finally, they settle down to watch the classic.

With these thoughts in mind, be sure, you've picked a good one. Here are five, oldies but goodies, that are timeless suggestions sure to please everyone in the house:

Willy Wonka
Willy Wonka

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

To be sure, we're not recommending that atrocity by Tim Burton. Instead, the antics of Gene Wilder are plenty scary for any toddler. In addition, the "blueberry girl" and the other winners including Charlie set just the right tone for greed and over indulgence. The Oompah Loompahs and Slugworth are fairly disconcerting too. This movie is unsettling on so many levels that it can be watched repeatedly. Still, nothing in the movie compares to the scene where Mr.Wilder's hand closes on the Gobstopper. This version is a must-see.

It's A Wonderful Life
It's A Wonderful Life

It's a Wonderful Life

It is the story of "everyman" and every man's story. The message that the value of love, happiness and family cannot be overstated could not be told any better. Capra got everything right from Jimmy Stewart's stuttering through Potter's innate sliminess to Clarence's ineptitude. It's a morality tale cloaked in a grand Christmas story that uplifts your spirits, then drags you down and, finally, leaves you with just a little bit more understanding. The title says it all.

Wizard of Oz
Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

It's the standard. What else is there to say? Judy Garland shines, the monkeys fly and those other three, the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man are undeniably iconic. The only thing that could make it better is a tune from Pink Floyd. The adults in the crowd will be content with the music and the undeniably non-child oriented references while the little ones can cringe in fear at the Wicked Witch, those crazy monkeys and the Wizard of Oz himself. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is a pretty scary movie for anyone under forty-eight years old.

The Princess Bride
The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

"I've forgotten to tell you one thing, I am writing this left handed." If you understand the reference, you understand the beauty if this remarkable movie. It stands on its own as a simple tale of dragons, adventures and, yes, "some kissing." Also, it is a wonderful tale of inspiration, tenacity and, yes, love. This movie is so wide ranging in its efforts that any two people can find some common ground over which to agree or laugh. Kudos to Mr. Goldman and "The Meathead."

The Bonus - The Absolute Best of the Best

At the risk of seeming indulgent, here is, without question, the all-time best, oldies but goodies, family movie. There are no reservations and no regrets on recommending this one.



Forget the inimitable mouse and the machinations of all the characters that surround him, no one steals the shoe from Jackie Gleason. At once pathetic and utterly endearing, there won't be dry eye in the house when they chase his beloved, mute janitor through the streets of Paris. I will not spoil it for any who have not seem it. It is no wonder that it was Mr. Gleason's favorite role. Woe to the person who tries to remake this classic.

Gigot - A Mute Janitor with a Heart of Gold - Jackie Gleason in his Favorite Role

J. Gleason as Gigot
J. Gleason as Gigot

If you've never seen it, you'll be amazed. No spoilers here. You simply must get it and watch it with those you love. Find it at Amazon. Maybe.

Favorite Movie

What's Your Favorite Family Movie?

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Guestbook Comments - Go on. Write something. We'd love to hear from you.

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    • audrey07 profile image


      5 years ago

      I still can remember scenes from the Wizard Of Oz. It is a classic.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      We never get tired of watching Princess Bride!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It's a Wonderful Life is my favorite Christmas movie of all time. A great movie.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Princess Bride... I haven't meet more than 5 people that haven't seen that movie. Strangely enough most people say that, like me, they watched it at their grandma's house. Isn't that weird?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great Lens!

    • jillbrowne lm profile image

      jillbrowne lm 

      6 years ago

      Princess Bride, ahhhhhhhh. Thanks for the lens ;-)

    • vinodkpillai lm profile image

      vinodkpillai lm 

      6 years ago

      nice selection - thanks for sharing!

    • MarilynThompson profile image

      Marilyn Thompson 

      6 years ago from Washington State

      Nice selection, another memorable movie / play is "The Secret Garden"

    • mihgasper profile image

      Miha Gasper 

      6 years ago from Ljubljana, Slovenia, EU

      Nice selection. Thanks!

    • Aster56 profile image


      6 years ago

      It is fun to watch movies with family . Thanks for the lens.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Would have to be "It's a wonderful life" for me - don't forget the tissues!

    • Camden1 profile image


      6 years ago

      Great movies for my family to watch this summer!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      family movie night is a weekly thing for us. Love the classics.

    • pinkrenegade lm profile image

      pinkrenegade lm 

      6 years ago

      I haven't seen some of these movies. Thanks!

    • microfarmproject profile image


      6 years ago

      Some of these are family favorites! I have not seen Gigot yet. Thanks for the tip!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      You have included quite a range of oldies but goodies!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      6 years ago

      I love gathering up the family for a good movie.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Good choices! You do a good job choosing films.

    • delia-delia profile image


      6 years ago

      Nice lens! I like the old B/W movies before 1950 I have the TV on to TCM either watching or listening if I'm doing an art project...

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I haven't seen Gigot, but with your recommendation, I'll put it on my list to see. The Wizard of Oz has been a favorite of mine that I could see over and over again.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I've never seen Gigot. I know what movie I'll be looking for this weekend! Great lens!

    • kimark421 profile image


      6 years ago

      You have some of my favorite movies listed here. Great lens!

    • Rangoon House profile image


      6 years ago from Australia

      There are some wonderful movies and memories in your list. Blessings to you and all the very best on Squidoo.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very nice selections of all time great movies!

    • PlethoraReader profile image


      6 years ago from Silicon Valley

      Couldn't agree more with these great movie suggestions. Well done.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thanks a nice variety

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Some very good movies. Nice lens.

    • KateHonebrink profile image


      6 years ago

      I love these movies, all of which I've seen, except for Gigot. I can't wait to see it, now that you've made me aware of it! Congratulations on a superb lens!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      These are great movies! Great Lens :)

    • vetochemicals profile image


      6 years ago from Pittsburgh Pa

      These are all great and do bring back wonderful childhood memories, they sure don't make movies like they used to!

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 

      6 years ago

      My favorites are: It's a Wonderful Life and The Wizard of Oz from your list (Gigot I didn't see it)

    • cinefile profile image


      6 years ago

      Princess Bride is one of the greatest movies ever made.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Willie Wonka is my favorite movie! I must have watched it at least 20 times or more during the course of my lifetime! :)


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