Top Ten (Lesser Known) Classic Films

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Practically everyone knows about great classic films like Gone with the Wind, Singing in the Rain, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and the Wizard of Oz, but there are some classic films that most people have never heard of. I am a sort of classic film buff. Growing up, I would be so excited for the weekend because that’s when my dad would take my brothers and I to the video rental place and we could pick out a few movies. My genre of choice was classic movies about 90% of the time. I got lost in the stories and the glamour of the actors. I wanted to share my top ten favorite classic films that not everyone might know about.

10.)Bathing Beauty

Starting our list is a fun filled comedy with Red Skelton and Esther Williams. Songwriter Steve(Skelton) marries the love of his life, Caroline (Williams). The marriage is immediately strained when a scheming Broadway producer breaks things up with a lie that Steve is already married and has children with another woman. Caroline is furious and goes back to her old job as a swim instructor at a girl’s college. In an effort to win his wife back, Steve enrolls at the college so that he can be close to her. You just can’t go wrong with Red’s humor and Esther’s beautiful aquatic performances.

9.)The Lady Eve

This is actually one of my favorite Henry Fonda performances. It’s a film about a con-artist named Jean (Barbara Stanwyck) who falls in love with one of her victims (Charles played by Fonda) while looking for wealthy card players to scam out of their money on an ocean liner voyage. Charles and Jean make plans to marry when things fall apart due to Charles learning who Jean really is. Once the voyage is over and the estranged lovers go their separate ways, Jean comes up with a plan to get back at Charles by posing as “Eve”, a wealthy and mysterious English girl who charms her way into Charles’ heart with plans to break it just like he did to hers.

8.)Harvey

One of the truly great James Stewart films. It’s the story of a very friendly man who has an unusual best friend. A giant imaginary rabbit named Harvey.

7.)The Court Jester

A classically funny Danny Kaye film. This was a family favorite growing up. A former circus performer named Hawkins (Kaye) wants to help fight against the tyranny of the king who wishes to find and destroy the rightful heir to his thrown (an infant that the rebels have found and hidden). Hawkins is given the roll of guarding the infant heir and returning him to his rightful place, but Hawkins is mistaken for the court jester upon arriving at the castle and gets swept up into a ruse that could work to the rebel’s advantage. Hilarity and drama ensues.

6.)How To Steal A Million

Peter O’Toole and Audrey Hepburn star in this hilarious film. An eccentric old con-artist offers a phony piece of sculpture from his famous collection to be put on display at a prestigious museum. Little does he know that his replica is due to be examined to verify it’s authenticity. In a desperate effort to save her father from prison, Nicole (Hepburn) decides that she must steal the sculpture from the museum herself before it is examined, but she can’t do it alone. She enlists the help of a so called burglar (O’Toole) to help her pull off the caper. This film has a fantastic mix of romance, humor and high jinx.

5.)Victor/Victoria

Julie Andrews shines again in this hilarious film about a woman named Victoria who is down on her luck until her new friend, Toddy (Robert Preston), has a brilliant idea that will change both of their luck for the better. Toddy turns Victoria into “Victor, the World’s Greatest Female Impersonator”, but when love finds Victoria she is forced to choose between keeping her identity secret, or exposing the truth.

4.)The Swan

Grace Kelly plays a young woman named Alexandra who is brought up by her mother to one day marry into the royal family and become a queen. Their plans are in place to charm the crown prince (Alec guinness) when he comes to stay at their home for a visit, but plans are changed when the prince doesn’t show the interest in Alexandra that they had hoped for. The family’s handsome young tutor (Louis Jourdan)is used as a pawn to make the prince jealous and turn his attention to Alexandra as planned. Little does the family know that the young tutor’s true, but hidden love for Alexandra will have an unexpected affect on things.

3.)That Touch of Mink

I LOVE THIS MOVIE. With a stellar cast and a humorous string of events, this is one of my favorite Doris Day films. Cathy (Day) is splashed by a limousine while on her way to a job interview. When the handsome owner of the limo ( Cary Grant) endeavors to hunt Cathy down and pay her for the damage that was done to her clothes, she finds herself swept up in a whirlwind adventure with the man of her dreams. The only problem? She isn’t quite prepared for his kind of lavish and taboo romance.

2.) Lili

Leslie Caron stars as Lili, an innocent young girl looking to start a new life when her father passes away, leaving her alone in the world. When Lili discovers that the job she was promised in another town upon her father’s death is no longer an option, she becomes attached to a handsome magician named Marc who is traveling through town with the carnival. Marc is an egotistical womanizer, but he takes pity on Lili and tries to help her find a job with the carnival. Lili becomes a sensation when she is discovered by the carnival’s puppet act, but the man behind the puppets is tormented by an old war wound that cut his dancing career short and his hidden love for Lili.

1.)Kiss Me Kate
I can’t say enough good things about this musical. It’s full of talent and has a wonderfully funny script with great songs by Cole Porter. A divorced actor and actress (Howard Keel and Katheryn Grayson) are brought back together to play the leads in a new hit musical based on Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew called “Kiss Me Kate”. Lily (Grayson) and Fred (Keel) are at odds throughout the production of the play with the two constantly bickering and fighting. Will everyone survive opening night?

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