1. What about The Apartment? I’m also thinking of 12 Angry Men, but I saw that 15-20 years ago– I don’t remember it all that well.

    Or Cat on a Hot Tin Roof? It’s literally stagey– in that it is an adaptation of a play– but that’s different than what you’re talking about.

    • Thanks, Meagan! I think 12 Angry Men is a great idea–I’ll check to see if she’s seen it. The Apartment I liked, but I’m not sure I would have when I first started watching classic films. Cat on a Hot Tin Roof IS fun. And lots of eye candy:)

  2. Ooh, this is tough! I definitely support starting with the shameless eye candy approach, if she’s demonstrated an interest in Newman and Brando. Cat, Cool Hand Luke, Long Hot Summer—hoo boy… Waterfront, maybe Streetcar—as a bridge between Brando’s more modern naturalistic acting styles against Leigh’s stagey presence. Maybe add some Montgomery Clift or Gregory Peck?

    Something like M, Rebecca, or another Gothic-y horror where the black and white really enhances the ambiance of the film?

    Hope it works! I really liked Breaking Bad too, for what it’s worth 🙂

  3. My heart aches for you. I’m the eldest of four sisters, but we were raised as movie buffs. There’s always somebody to talk to. I did that trade-off thing with my daughter as she got older (she’s now 23). She was crazy for William Powell in anything, so “The Thin Man” was easy. I’m just now getting to watch “Psych” with me.

    Meagan’s suggestion of “12 Angry Men” has always worked for me. My daughter has used Hitchcock to force her peers to watch some older films: “Foreign Correspondent” worked. She also had success with “Laura” and “White Heat”.

    Some titles to consider: “Adam’s Rib”, “The Big Heat”, “The Manchurian Candidate”, “The Best Man”, “The Set-Up” and maybe something from Preston Sturges.

    I’m awfully glad you ran into “Ball of Fire” that day!

    • Thanks, Patricia! These are great suggestions. Two of my aunts were very into movies, and they did succeed with the movie buff conversion as far as newer flicks went–it’s the oldies they never really won much ground with. But it truly is wonderful for me to have found in friends and now fellow bloggers the same love for classic films I have. Thank you. I’m glad too:)

  4. John

    I would try 1 Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, like you said about politics.
    2 I would then sweep her into the magic of Cagney with Angels With Dirty Faces and let her see the good and bad we all have within us.
    3 I would then try try Gentlemen Jim to appeal to her sports film enthusiasm.
    4 I would then try the classic Inherit The Wind that includes a combination of politics and courtroom drama.
    5 I would then try a comedy It’s Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, if you don’t like this and laugh, you just aren’t human 🙂
    6 I would then show her Notorious, classic Hitchcock.
    7 Then try West Side Story a musical it’s great and it’s in color, why that matters I just don’t know 🙂 .
    8 The Music Box, Laurel and Hardy, it’s funny and only 30 minutes.
    9 Try Edison The Man with Tracy, although it fudges a bit, why not learn some history and be inspired as well.
    10 Pride Of The Marines, it has heart felt dialogue.
    11 Try Stalag 17, to appeal to her Shawshank a little.
    12 Finish it up with Harvey and Stewart, a comedy that touches the human heart and also makes us reexamine ourselves as human beings. We all need to do that once in awhile.

    If all this fails. steer her to this Honeymooners episode, I love the way Ralph says Rachel here lol … 🙂


  5. Think you’ve got your work cut out for you! I’ve given up persuading my boyf to watch classic films with me but I did entice him into The Philadelphia Story, which shares a lot of His Girl Friday’s merits but I think is a bit more accessible.

    I think a Brando could also be a good option – I second Emily’s idea of Waterfront, although if it’s all getting a bit b+w biased, maybe Rebel Without A Cause? Surely she can’t fail but be enticed by (the tragic!) James Dean?!

    For the films you suggest in no. 7, for me it would be either It Happened One Night or The Lady Eve. Just warn her about ‘Lady Eve’s’ dodgy accent 😉

    Last suggestion, and perhaps a wild card: Some Like It Hot

    • Thank you! I think you’re right that I should introduce more color, and about Brando’s broad-based appeal. She did see Streetcar with him in it and liked him if not it, so there’s potential there:) Interesting that Philadelphia Story worked. I hadn’t thought of that, but you may be right that it’s more accessible. My husband was hesitant about classic comedies, so we started with gangster films and westerns. He surprised me by wanting to try silents and likes The General best of everything he’s seen. I’m only now thinking I can try some comedies with him–funny that silents would come first, but then, any action fan has to admire Keaton.:) If I win over someone as stubborn as my sister, maybe you have hope with your boyfriend?:) Leah

  6. First, I think your Mom and I would get along, as I’m a big fan of POLLYANNA and THE PARENT TRAP. As for a classic movie for a non-fan, I have always had great luck with THE COURT JESTER.

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