Classic Movies: Love Them or Hate Them

Classic Movies: Love Them or Hate Them

What do you consider a classic movie? Can we simply associate them with black and white films? Or maybe they contain those big musical dance routines. Or maybe they feature characters in historical attire. Maybe you think a classic movie is simply up to the perception of the viewer?

Film or Movie?

Is there a difference between a movie or a film? 

What is a Movie?

Movies record via cameras to produce images or by using animation techniques or special effects. We consider movies to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment, and a powerful method for educating citizens. In fact, between 1910 and the mid-1970s a newsreel would proceed the movie.

What is a Film?

The origin of the name “film” comes from photographic film (also called film stock) that had historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, picture show, the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema, and most commonly, movie. Call it a film or a movie it means the same thing. 

According to Wikipedia, starting in 2016, over 90% of major films were shot on digital video instead of film although some directors still prefer to shoot on film.

Traditional Movies

Traditional Movies comprise a series of individual images called frames. When these images flash rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames because of an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye keeps a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source disappears. Viewers perceive motion because of a psychological effect called beta movement.

Movie reel, popcorn, a woman dressed in 1920s attire

Classic Movies

The classic movie is the one show we had the benefit of watching when we were kids because back then there were only three television channels available. It was during those Saturday and Sunday afternoons that we discovered John Wayne cowboy movies (The Alamo, Hondo), the adventures of Abbott and Costello (Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy), and the musical films of Bing Crosby (High Society, Anything Goes).

Maybe some of the younger generations might think of movies from the 1980s or 1990s as a classic. Movies like The Breakfast Club, Flashdance, Footloose, Weird Science, Top Gun, and Dirty Dancing.

The Best Classic Movies

Harper’s Bazaar lists the forty best classic movies of all time as:

  1. It Happened One Night (1934)
  2. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)
  3. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  4. The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  5. His Girl Friday (1940)
  6. Rebecca (1940)
  7. Citizen Kane (1941)
  8. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
  9. Casablanca (1942)
  10. It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Other notables on this list include All About Eve (1950), Am American in Paris (1951), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Singing in the Rain (1952), 12 Angry Men (1957), Psycho (1960), Jaws (1975) and the Godfather (1972).

Vertigo (1958)

One example of a great classic film is Vertigo, a 1958 suspense film, directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Many people call this film Hitchcock’s masterpiece because of its famous Cinematic qualities like the “Hitchcock zoom.” The story is about a San Francisco police detective who becomes obsessed with a deeply disturbed beautiful woman. Full of twists and turns, you never really know where the story is going. It’s one of my favourites.

Final Thoughts

Do you like classic movies? Which one is your favourite? Let me know in the comments.


Until next time


Feature photo by Kevin Phillips from Pixabay.