In terms of movies, old does NOT equal boring. To be fair, it doesn't always mean that it's good, either. There are plenty of old movies that are just as vapid and terrible as some put out today. They are justifiably forgotten, or, if not, then remembered for their extreme awfulness. However, the lack of color and sophisticated special effects means that filmmakers had to rely on plot lines and tension and a completely different cinematalogical aesthetic.
Have I piqued your interest? If so, why not give one of these a try?
- Frankenstein. An ancestor of the horror movie genre: recombinant corpse (played by Boris Karloff) meets electricity; hilarity does NOT ensue.
- Arsenic and Old Lace. Cary Grant at his comic best with his two aged aunts who have, shall we say, a misguided sense of hospitality.
- To Kill a Mockingbird. Gregory Peck defends a wrongfully accused prisoner and faces the wrath of the community as a result. If you haven't seen this yet, please, please do. It's important, especially now. Based on the 1961 Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee.
- The Spy Who Came in From The Cold. Did you love Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy or The Night Manager? You'll love this. You don't think of thrillers as morality pieces, but the unforeseen redemption of this jaded operative definitely places it in that category. Based on John Le Carre's Edgar award-winning novel.
- Twelve Angry Men. Henry Fonda faces down eleven of his peers in this contest of moral courage set in an increasingly claustrophobic jury room.
- Casablanca. One of most quoted movies of all time. If you haven't seen it, check it out. Seriously. Now. And if you're wondering why the French Resistance was active in Morocco during World War II, the brilliant Destination Casablanca will afford you some insight on that subject.
- Mrs. Miniver. A film about a "normal, everyday woman" is credited with influencing the American public to support the British war effort in World War II. It's also a story about a loving and brave family.
- Jane Eyre. Based on the 1847 novel by Charlotte Bronte, this film portrays the life of an impoverished young orphan who becomes a woman who epitomizes self-determination. It stars Joan Fontaine and Orson Welles, but if you pay attention, you will see an uncredited but already luminous Elizabeth Taylor in the first half.