DECEMBER 21, 2008 2:57AM

All alone at the drive-in movie - 10 films I like

Rate: 11 Flag

My dad was into films, and as a little girl he and I would watch movies on TV together. We shared all kinds of films, mysteries, love stories, musicals. I love ‘em all.

  • What this list is: oldies you probably haven’t seen, but I stop everything to watch (or Tivo.) Personal favorites. In release order.
  •  What this list isn’t: the “best” films ever and/or the top anything.

Am working the meme that a bunch of folks started: Queen of My World, Sally, Verbal Remedy, Sheldon, Greg Thomas & Rob - except only some of mine are cheesy, none are horror and all are really good. But check out these lists too.



 1. Lost Horizon. 1937

Directed by Frank Capra, starring Ronald Colman and Jane Wyatt.

Mystery and love in the Himalayas. Its about finding paradise on earth. Crazy great cinematography.

My fav line:
Robert: I think I'm going to like it here.


 2. Bringing Up Baby. 1938

Directed by Howard Hawks, starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn.

Silly silly stuff. Its all about misunderstandings. There’s a leopard, a dog and a bone. You will laugh. Cary and Kate are beautiful.

Best moment: At the end. I don’t want to ruin it for you.

My fav lines:
Susan: Anyway, David, when they find out who we are they'll let us out.
David: When they find out who *you* are they'll pad the cell.


3. Now Voyager. 1942

Starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid  & Claude Rains.

Total chick flick - a big fat weepie. Bette has mother issues, Claude is the psychiatrist who helps her break free, and Paul is the “unavailable” love interest. I dare you to watch and not cry a little.

Best moment: Bette coming down the stairs, late for the shore party.

My fav lines:  
Mrs. Vale: No member of the Vale family has ever had a nervous breakdown.
Dr. Jasquith: Well there's one having one now.


4. To Have and Have Not. 1944

Directed by Howard Hawks. From a Hemingway story, William Faulkner “fixed” the screenplay. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Walter Brennan, Lauren Bacall.

The film where Bogie met Bacall and the chemistry sizzles. Bacall also sings. Walter Brennan is fabulous.

Incredibly famous line:
Slim: "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."

My fav lines:
Slim: I'm hard to get, Steve. All you have to do is ask me.
Steve: You know what you're getting into. It's gonna be rough.


 5. Out of the Past. 1947

Starring Robert Mitchum, Kirk Douglas & Jane Greer.

Its the original film noir. Private Eyes and bad girls lying, cheating & double-crossing.

There are too many good lines to just put one down.
First fav:
Kathie: I don't want to die.
Jeff: Neither do I; but if I have to, I'll die last.

Second fav:
Ann: She can't be all bad. No one is.
Jeff: Well, she comes the closest.


6. The Search. 1948

Directed by Fred Zinneman, starring Montgomery Clift

Another big tear jerker. About an orphan and the GI who befriends him. Filmed in post-WWII Nuremburg ruins. The children are heartbreaking.

Best Moment: Well, its not best, because its harrowing, but the children are in an ambulance and try to break free.

7. Red River. 1948
Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring John Wayne and Montgomery Clift.

Its a western, about a cattle drive, love and revenge. The music makes the mood.

Best moment: Monty and the girl fight the Indians.

My fav lines:
Cherry Valance: You're fast with that gun, Matt. Awful fast. But your heart's soft. Too soft. Might get you hurt some day.


8. Sabrina. 1954

Directed by Billy Wilder. Starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn  & William Holden.

Love between the classes. She’s the chauffeur's daughter and there are two sons... Audrey was never so stunning, William is hot and Bogie is surprisingly old and, well old. You have to hear how Audrey says “Long Island.”

Best moment: When we first see Audrey again at the train station.

My fav lines:
David: You don't live here!
Sabrina: Yes, I do.
David: I live here!
Sabrina: Hi, neighbor.


9. A Star is Born. 1954

Directed by George Cukor. Moss Hart wrote the screenplay. Dorothy Parker did the 1937 version. Starring Judy Garland and James Mason.

Its all about Judy. But she’s awesome. You know the story-- one star rises while another falls. Judy sings some good ones.

Best moment: Judy sings “The Man that Got Away.”

My fav line:
Norman: There's only one thing wrong with that.
Esther: I know--it won't happen!
Norman: No, it might happen pretty easily--but the dream isn't big enough.



 10. Lawrence of Arabia. 1963

Directed by David Lean. Starring Peter O’Toole, Omar Shariff, Anthony Quinn

Its long. And there are no women. And its certainly not politically correct. But its beautifully filmed with some of the best transitions between scenes I’ve ever seen (like Lawrence striking a match one moment that dissolves into the desert.) Plus its about friendship and loyalty and fame...

Best moment: Omar appears as a dot on the horizon

My fav line:
Lawrence: The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts.


Bonus: Georgy Girl. 1966

Starring Lynn Redgrave, James Mason & Alan Bates.

Awkward girl is chased by her father’s lecherous employer while loving a boy who loves another. Its mod and fun and sad. ugly ducking turns into swan etc. You know the song too.

Moment that is painful to watch: Georgie washes out her new hairdo.


Watch out for these - I promise you won't be sorry.

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I like your old-school taste, Dorrie. I remember watching several of these with my parents when I was pretty young. I'm putting Out of the Past in my Netflix queue ASAP.

Great list.
I's not surprising that those movies are still popular.
I have fond memories of them.
I love the older movies. I missed many growing up. I have one station that plays a few in Hi-Def and I record them to dvd when I can.
Giant is one I recorded not long ago. Loved it!
I loved Lost Horizon! Read the book too. Shangri-la and
Shambha-La - same Magical Mystery place.
Do you remember "I'm On the Road to Shamba-la" by
Three Dog Night?
Great list, dorelvis, and I really like the way you've presented these movies, with your favorite lines and best moments. I haven't seen all of the ones you list (to my detriment), but my favorite would have to be... Well, I'll just ask you this: Was you ever bit by a dead bee?
Great list -- have seen some of them -- will have to try the rest!
Lonnie, Out of the Past is one I actually have on dvd.
Michael - I don't think I've seen Giant in a long while - James Dean and Rock Hudson, right? Oil...
DakiniDancer, I most certainly do - in vinyl and most go play it now.
Rob, I almost put when she asks him that the best moment.
Lisa, depending on your mood, try bringing Up Baby or Now Voyager.
I love the way you present these and such good taste, Dor! On the strength of your very fine first four, I will trust that I must see the three on your list I've never viewed. I hope I can find Out of the Past, the Search and Red River!

Thanks for the fun reading!
FeatheredThing, The Search is a tough one to find. Sometimes TCM runs it. You can get Out of the Past and Red River no problem.

And everyone, I just saw that a whole bunch of these films will be laying on TCM this week and next. Check them out!
Sigh, sometimes I do wish I was not so principled about limiting TV and would get cable so I could see The Search. Or maybe, possibly, I'm just terribly CHEAP rather than so principled?!

Maybe the switch to digital broadcasting will finally accomplish what years of whining from my kids never could?
Wow, GREAT list! Lost Horizon gives me chills just thinking about. And I love that 3DN song.

Now Voyager is another movie where I can recite almost every line. And oh, the two cigarettes, how hokey it is now and my mother says it started a romantic craze in its day. "Oh, JD, don't ask for the moon, we have the stars!"

Sabrina, the original, I don't care how many times they remake it, only the original works. I don't care that Bogie is too old either.

Lawrence of Arabia, a blockbuster movie with not ONE woman! Oddly, Omar Shariff sounds the least like an Arab and he is one. Those little boys, "El Arence!"

Georgy Girl had so many painful moments, it's the only one that might not be on my list. But now the song's in my head. :)
FeatheredThing - I am not ashamed to admit to loving my TV. Its mostly for movies, but I also like plenty of schlocky series too. I will never be one of those people who say they only watch PBS.

Umbrellakinesis & Sally - Redgrave is painful to watch in many scenes. And I know its sad. But for some reason it moves me.

Sally - one day we will hang - there's too much we both like.