As a vintage cinema lover myself, I though that I would compile a list of the best movies for old movie lovers to watch! Some of these are personal favorites but I tried my best to stay unbiased and to simply put the best movies. I have seen all of these movies and, no matter which ones you choose to watch, they are all fantastic. I also would like to say that these are in no particular order and instead they are just in a simple list format. So, let’s talk about what the best movies to watch are if you are a vintage cinema lover!
#1: One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest tells the story of a criminal who is sent to an asylum to be psychiatrically evaluated to determine whether he is criminally insane, or whether he should be sent back to jail. The movie starts as Randle McMurphy, the main character, is brought into the insane asylum and meets the doctors and nurses. It becomes quickly apparent that Randle is not actually insane and from there the story starts to take off.
This movie has a fantastic plot that has been rated as one of the best stories of all time! It will leave you moved by the time the movie is over and I guarantee that you will be feeling all sorts of emotions after watching it. The movie itself is a color picture and was released in November of 1975. The movie has a pretty good cast with Jack Nicholson playing the main character, Randle Murphy. The rest of the roles were also cast really well and by the end of the movie you start to almost feel a connection to the character. It has a run time of a little over two hours, and is the perfect movie night movie. If you have not already seen it, this is the first movie that I suggest you watch!
#2: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
This is the oldest movie on this list and the first war movie that I included. This movie, much like the previous one, is rated as one of the best movies of all time. It tells the troubling story of young boys who are convinced by their teacher to sign up to go fight in the great war. It is a World War I movie and it was made in 1930, just 14 years after the end of the war. The movie feels eerily real and it portrays war in a way that is different from most movies today. Many of the movies today champion war and those who fought in it but this is different. All Quiet on the Western Front is a sad and cautionary tale about those who were made to fight in this battle. The movie is a great black and white action movie and I highly suggest that you watch this movie!
#3: The Godfather
Everyone has at least heard of this movie as it is one of the best and coolest movies of all time. It tells the story of the Italian Mafia in New York City in the 1940s. You follow a mafia family and simply watch as the story and the drama unfolds. There is lots of plot twists and interesting plot points, and there is no shortage of action. Watching this movie, you will never be bored or uninterested but rather, the movie will continuously pull you in as you wonder what is going to happen next! This is the top mafia movie and it truly is the movie that all mafia movies aspire to be. The best part about it though is that there are three godfather movies! That means that there is more than six hours of mafia story to watch and binge on a rainy weekend! I would suggest that you watch these movies as soon as possible as they will instantly become a part of your favorites list!
#4: The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption always has a big reputation to live up to as it is often rated as the number one best movie of all time. The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of a man, Andy Dufresne, who is wrongly charged for the murder of his wife and therefore sentenced to prison. This is where he meets the man who will turn out to be his best friend, Ellis Redding. The most notable casting decision in this movie is the decision to cast Morgan Freeman as Ellis Redding and he plays the part perfectly. The movie simply follows the story of Andy as he goes about his life in jail and starts to learn some new things about the case that sent him to prison. I would love to elaborate more but I do not want to spoil anymore of this amazing movie.
This movie will change the way that you look at movie and at life, and that is probably why it is continuously rated as the number one movie of all time. It will sit with you, not in a bad way, and continue to make you think about the story and what happened during the movie. The ending of the movie is both exciting and fulfilling and brings you a lot of joy after completing the film. If you are going to watch this movie, make sure that you are ready to really watch this movie. You are not going to want to miss a second of this movie!
#5: Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump is probably the most quoted movie on this entire list. It is a time worn classic that many people will have already seen. However, for the sake of classic cinema, I thought that I would still mention this movie. The movie tells the story of Forrest Gump’s life, as you would have guessed. We start following Forrest’s story when he is a young man, and follow him through his extremely interesting life. The thing about Forrest is that it is noted by his school that he is a little slow and yet, by the end of the movie he has done more in his life than many people ever do in theirs. So, this movie will keep you on the edge of your seat for the entire movie.
The movie is told in story form by none other than Forrest Gump himself. He is telling us the story as though we are the one who is sitting next to him on the park bench waiting for the bus. Forrest Gump is played by Tom Hanks and, as many people have said, this is one of his greatest performances! This movie may not be as serious as some of the others but its story will touch you. The story has stayed with many people as it has so many diverse parts. There are parts that make you happy and sad. There are parts that make you laugh and there are parts that make you think. I think that it is this plot diversity that make Forrest Gump such an enduring classic!
#6: Saving Private Ryan
Saving Private Ryan is the second war movie I have mentioned on this list as it is set during World War II. I would first, before I get into the movie, state that this movie is not for the faint of heart. The scenes that are shown in this movie are accurate to war and are meant to show the gruesome reality of what World War II was like. The movie starts with the invasion of Normandy. You follow Tom Hanks’ character as the allied soldiers storm the beaches of Normandy. This is a graphic scene but it sets the tone for the rest of the movie.
Saving Private Ryan is an extremely serious movie that will really change your perspective of war. Much like All Quiet on the Western Front, it does not glorify the violence but instead tries to send a different message. The movie shows us what it was like for the men who had to storm those beaches and what it took for them to win. If you are going to watch this movie, make sure that you have a good two hours where you can really watch this film completely undistracted. It is a tough film to watch but it is completely worth it!
I have already done a review on the movie Casablanca, but I though that, since it is such a good movie, I would mention it again on this list. While this movie is set during World War II, it is not technically a war movie and so I am not going to consider it one on this list. You follow the story of the a Casino owner named Rick Blaine who is attempting to help a war hero escape to America. The twist in the story comes when the war hero, Victor Laszlo, shows up with Rick’s old flame, Ilsa Lund. This really spices things up and makes for an extremely interesting story! It you want to read more about this movie, you can check out my article about the movie here: Film Review: Casablanca.
#8: Good Fellas
Good Fellas is another one of the original mafia movies that stands out as one of the best. The movie is the ideal mafia movie as it shows what the mafia members really went through as opposed to a more story based approach. It is a long movie but completely worth the watch. The characters are well casted and play their parts perfect. The story overall is not quite as good as the previously mentioned mafia movie. However, it is still a fantastic movie with a great story and some great characters. This movie is perfect for a summer night movie night!
#9: The Shining
The Shining is the original horror movie and still one of the best. This is the second Jack Nicholson movie on this list as Jack Nicholson plays the role of Jack Torrance, a winter caretaker at an isolated hotel. We watch as Jack starts to go crazy over time and starts to terrorize his family. The story is filled with creepy moments, jump scares, graphic scenes, and more. it has everything that you would expect to have in a good horror movie! The characters descent into insanity feels real as you watch and this makes the movie itself even creepier. This is, in my opinion, the perfect movie to watch on Halloween with a nice glass of wine!
#10: 2001: A Space Odyssey
2001: A Space Odyssey is a landmark of a movie because of what it shows about our past. The movie was released in 1968 and it was a projection of what we though the future would be like in the year 2001. It shows what people thought we would accomplish and be able to get done in the next 33 years. Unfortunately, we were unable to attain those heights and but the movie is still very interesting. It shows the extent of human imagination and our science fiction dreams. The story is great and the characters are fun and easy to watch. The movie overall has been rated as one of the top movie of all time and has appeared on many ‘must watch’ lists. I personally really enjoy this movie and think that everyone should watch this movie at least once, if not a few times. It is both fun and exciting while also giving you a bit of danger. I would totally recommend this movie for your classic movie might!
#11: Some Like it Hot
Now, Some Like it Hot is not included on this list because it ranks as one of the best movies of all time or because it has the best cast in the world. Instead, it has Marilyn Monroe, a perfect comedy script, and a quirky story that will certainly make you giggle! I included this movie because personally, I have always enjoyed it. It is a quick and fun little movie that will brighten your day. The movie stars Marilyn Monroe as one of the main characters and is shot in black and white. While the movie is in black and white, it is not difficult to watch at all. The comedy in the movie is perfectly hilarious and if you don’t laugh at this movie well, I don’t know what will make you laugh. While this movie won’t change your life or mess with your head like some of the previous movies, I think that it is 100% still worth the watch!
I hope that this article has been able to open your eyes to some new vintage movies to watch. I enjoy all of these movies as they are all fantastic productions. Let me know in the comments which movie you are going to watch next! Thank you for reading this article! If you enjoyed this article, remember to share it with your friends!