Emily Bateman ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Staff
The word “classic” can be a bit misconstrued. Some believe a classic movie is any film made when the Hollywood studio code was around. To me, a classic movie is one that has withstood the test of time. While the film industry is constantly changing, these movies have managed to keep a solid place in our hearts. Below is a list of classic films that have withstood the test of time and remain important staples in any moviegoer’s collection.
The Kid (1921)
In Charlie Chaplin’s first feature film, Chaplin, as his now iconic character The Tramp, finds an orphaned child and raises him as his own. While the two become minor thieves, the Tramp sees more and more of himself in the child, and gains a strong bond with him. Comedy great Gene Wilder even said The Kid inspired him. The film is on display at the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being “culturally, historically, [and] aesthetically significant.” Chaplin wrote, directed, and produced the film. In this work the audience can see a wonderful mix of light and dark elements. The movie The Kid will simultaneously warm and break your heart.
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Audrey Hepburn plays Susy, a blind woman, wherein her apartment is being searched for drugs without her knowledge by criminals. Known as the original thriller, Wait Until Dark set the way for other suspense thrillers we see today. When the film originally aired, movie theaters dimmed their lights into complete darkness to help set the mood of a scene in the film. It will keep you on the edge of your seat.
The Graduate (1967)
Benjamin Braddock is a recent college grad with zero direction in his life. He comes home and can’t get away from the inevitable question: “What are you going to do with your life?” Suddenly, he begins an affair with his parents’ friend, Mrs. Robinson. The Graduate remains one of the most important and relevant films ever made. Technically, the film is an achievement, having been nominated for Best Cinematography at the Academy Awards. Numerous coming-of-age stories of today have admitted to taking inspiration from The Graduate including Perks of Being a Wallflower and Stand By Me.
One of the first science fiction films, Metropolis follows the uprising and rebellion of the lower class. The film was a technical achievement in its day and remains impressive even today. Miniatures of the city were constructed for complicated shots. Alfred Hitchcock used certain special effects techniques pioneered by Fritz Lang later in his films.
A staple of the French New Wave film movement of the 50’s and 60’s, Jean Luc-Godard’s Breathless, also known as A bout de soufflé, follows the love story between a brash impetuous French thief and an American writer. Some say that Breathless was the original indie film, with its unconventional production and editing style. The film was entirely handheld, and features quick nonlinear cuts.