18 Cinema Lane is almost five years old. In that time, I have reviewed many films; from the blockbuster to the underrated and everything in between. Sometimes, I had the opportunity to talk about “classic” films. These opportunities were formal introductions to these titles. This list highlights some of the “classic” movies I watched because of my blog. Whether it was a blogathon entry or a Blog Follower Dedication Review, I’m thankful I was able to see these films. That way, I can now have an honest opinion about them. Since I have reviewed all the films on my list, I will provide links in this article. I will also be sharing my thoughts on these films, so anything I say is not meant to be mean-spirited or negative.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Starting this list is the most recent “classic” I reviewed. I chose to write about The Bridge on the River Kwai for The 5th Golden Boy Blogathon, where I was the only participant to select it. This movie made me question why some movies do or don’t end up on AFI’s list of The 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time. Until I watched The Bridge on the River Kwai, I believed these titles met one of two criteria: those that represent the time they were released and those that brought something new to the cinematic table. With the 1957 film, I still haven’t figured out why it’s on the list. I am not saying this is a bad movie. But, at best, I thought it was just fine.
Take 3: The Bridge on the River Kwai Review
A Star Is Born (1937)
Before participating in the Fredric March Blogathon, I didn’t have an interest in watching any version of A Star Is Born. Because this story has been remade on more than one occasion, I thought each version was going to share a recycled plot, with little variation among them. As of this list’s publication, I’ve only seen the 1937 original. However, I was surprised by how impressive the movie was! Fredric March’s performance was so strong, not just among the Breen Code era films I’ve seen, but among any movie I have seen. He worked well alongside Janet Gaynor, sharing really good banter between each other. A Star Is Born made me want to actively seek out more films from Fredric’s filmography!
Take 3: A Star Is Born (1937) Review
As Fred Astaire famously said, “Do it big, do it right, and do it with style”. When it comes to his movie, Funny Face, that’s exactly what happened. This is a pleasant looking production! I remember loving the use of color, as pops of color were placed in scenes with a primarily plain color palette. The musical numbers were also entertaining to watch, with creative ideas woven through them. Though I haven’t seen many of Audrey Hepburn’s films, Funny Face is one of her projects I like. She appeared to be enjoying whatever she was doing, whether it was dancing in the “Basal Metabolism” number or portraying Jo traveling to Paris. Then again, Audrey did famously say “I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls”.
Take 3: Funny Face Review (Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly Blogathon Part 2)
All About Eve
As the last movie I reviewed for 2019’s Clean Movie Month, All About Eve is a film I thought was just fine. A peek behind the theater world’s curtain was refreshing, providing the story with interesting perspectives. The use of voice-overs not only allowed the audience to witness Eve develop as an individual, but connect with the other characters as well. However, I found the title to be misleading, as the story was led by Margo. As I said in my review, the film would be called “Mostly About Margo” or “Sometimes About Eve” if given an honest title.
Take 3: All About Eve Review (Clean Movie Month — #5)
The same year I reviewed All About Eve, I also wrote about Nosferatu. My review of the 1922 “classic” was for 2019’s A Month Without the Code. I’m thankful for the opportunity I had to see Nosferatu, as the film was not only created under strict copyright rules, but has also been preserved over time. This film serves as a stone in cinema’s foundation, showcasing elements still found in today’s movies, such as using music to elevate the story’s tone. I don’t often talk about horror films on 18 Cinema Lane. But out of the ones I have reviewed, Nosferatu is definitely one of the better titles!
Take 3: Nosferatu Review (A Month Without the Code — #1)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Like I recently said in my list, ‘The Top 10 Best Movies I Saw in 2022’, there are few movies I found better than their source material. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of those films! I like this adaptation because the script gets straight to the point sooner than the book did. It also places more emphasis on the trial, the part of the book I found the most interesting. The visual nature of film elevated the suspenseful moments from the original story, presenting realistic situations with an intensified level of uncertainty. This is one of those times where I would suggest skipping the book and going straight to the film.
Take 3: To Kill a Mockingbird Review
In my opinion, Citizen Kane is an over-hyped movie. I know that’s a controversial opinion. But when I reviewed the movie in 2019, I didn’t find it the flawless masterpiece others have made it out to be. For starters, I don’t think the film needed an hour and fifty-nine-minute run-time. I also found it difficult to connect with the characters. Despite my view on Citizen Kane, I don’t think it’s a bad movie. If anything, I thought it was decent. But like I said with The Bridge on the River Kwai, I wonder why Citizen Kane is number one on AFI’s list of The 100 Greatest American Movies Of All Time?
Take 3: Citizen Kane Review (Clean Movie Month — #2)
Lawrence of Arabia
This is another “classic” I feel is over-hyped. However, the over-hyped status of Lawrence of Arabia is not to the same degree as Citizen Kane, in my opinion. The 1962 film is one of the most iconic “sword and sandal” titles. But beyond this simplified distinction is a World War I story from a unique perspective. Reviewing Lawrence of Arabia for The World War One On Film Blogathon was not my first choice. I had actually planned to review a different movie, which ended up being released on DVD after the blogathon took place. This last-minute decision was a blessing in disguise, as it gave me an excuse to check out Lawrence of Arabia!
Take 3: Lawrence of Arabia Review
When I chose to watch this movie for a Blog Follower Dedication Review, I had no idea how much I would love it! I remember being so invested in Judah’s journey, I wasn’t too bothered by the film’s three-hour run-time. This is another iconic “sword and sandal” picture. But only referring to this film by that simplified title does it such a disservice. That’s because the movie is, in my opinion, one of the better faith-based films! I’ve heard 1959’s Ben-Hur is a remake of a film from the ’20s. Maybe that version will be covered in a future review!
Take 3: Ben-Hur (1959) Review + 60 Follower Thank You
Meet Me in St. Louis
The Breen Code era gave us some good musicals. Meet Me in St. Louis is no exception! A musical is only as strong as its musical numbers. In the 1944 film, there was an assortment of enjoyable songs. From Judy’s iconic rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” to my favorite, “Under the Bamboo Tree”, this part of the story added to my movie viewing experience. While the film does have its flaws, it is a pleasant production. If I were introducing someone to the Breen Code era, Meet Me in St. Louis is a film I would recommend!
Take 3: Meet Me in St. Louis Review + 75 Follower Thank You
Have fun at the movies!
8 thoughts on “Ten Classic Movies I Watched Because of My Blog”
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Hi Sally. Thanks for these honest reviews of the first classics you watched. Glad to hear you enjoyed To Kill A Mockingbird, Meet Me In St. Louis and Nosferatu so much.
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Hello Maddy! You’re welcome and thanks for hosting the blogathon! Hopefully, I can be introduced to more “classics” in 2023!
Happy New Year, Sally! 🙂
I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on these films. The AFI 100 list has stumped me many times over. Some of the choices are just awful while others are fitting. I, too, have never understood the hype of CITIZEN KANE and have yet to get through it without falling asleep. As for THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI, it is a terrific film with very strong performances. I’ve seen it dozens of times and each time my admiration grows. Perhaps some of the films on the list need to be revisited in order to see if they become better with time or if they’ve kind of fallen flat. As a huge David Lean fan, I’ll admit that LAWRENCE OF ARABIA did not impress me the first time around. It did not knock my socks off like DOCTOR ZHIVAGO or even SUMMERTIME, which I watched three times upon my first viewing.
Your honest approach is the best there is because it leads to discussion and further learning. 😀
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Thank you for reading my list, Erica! You bring up an excellent point about revisiting films. From time to time, I do revisit movies I either haven’t seen in a long time or have never seen in their entirety. A recent example is ‘A Boyfriend for Christmas’, a Hallmark film from 2004. While I wasn’t a fan of it, I have now gained an honest opinion about the movie.
Great list, Sally! I’ve seen all but one – Lawrence of Arabia. I love that you were introduced to these classics because of your blog.
By the way, I’m hosting a blogathon in honor of Kim Novak’s 90th Birthday. Would love to have you join us! 🙂 Here’s the link if you’re interested:
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Thank you for checking out my list, Classic Movie Muse! I would love to join your blogathon, so thanks for the invitation! I will review the 1977 western, ‘The White Buffalo’.
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Awesome! I will add you right now 🙂 Thanks so much for joining us, Sally!
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