Thank you for tuning in for the next segment of my Favorite Movies list. Just as a reminder, I’ll be focusing on this quote as I explore these movies and my experiences with them.
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Mary Angelou
Let’s get started!
40. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
I have many fond memories of this movie. It is one of the few comedies on this list and I never tire of its jokes. The whole story revolves around a young man who finds out his adoptive aunts kill sad old men for charity and bury them in the basement.
The premise is so bizarre and Cary Grant is actually a really funny actor when he wants to be. The primary emotion I think of when this movie comes up is JOY. Though I don’t remember the exact moment I started watching this film, I’ve never forgotten how fun it is to share it with others.
39. A Matter of Life and Death (1946)
I have a funny story connected to this movie. I had never watched it and sat down next to my two younger brothers playing a computer game. They looked at me and pointedly said I couldn’t make them watch the old movie. That hadn’t been my intention, so I just sat next to them and nonchalantly started the movie.
Within twenty minutes, both my younger brothers (ages 10 and 14) forgot their computer game and sat huddled around my computer watching this movie with me. We all fell in love with its story.
I’ve had a soft spot in my heart for this love story from the day I saw it ten or so years ago. It begs the question, can love break the bonds of death and bring together two people separated by so much? It’s a World War II film NOT about the war but about fighting to live.
38. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers (1954)
This story never fails to win over students I teach. I’ve showed it multiple times throughout the years and EVERY class who sees clips from it practically begs me to show the full movie. I’ve thought about this quite a bit, wondering what it is about this story they love so much.
I think it has to do with the carefree, happy nature of its characters and story. From the “Sobbin’ Women” misunderstanding, to the brothers becoming domesticated under Milly’s caring, stubborn hand this is a wonderful, happy ride from beginning to end.
I generally turn this movie on when I need a pick me up. It never fails to get me humming to its songs or laughing at its relatable jokes.
37. The Thief and the Cobbler (1993)
I’ve discussed this forgotten masterpiece before, so I won’t spend too much time on its history. For those who DON’T know, Richard Williams (AKA the animator behind Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) ) created this film to showcase animation as an evolving art form.
There are two versions of this movie: the botched Aladdin knock-off from 1993 and the Recobbled Cut on Youtube. I watch the 1993 version for laughs and nostalgia. I watch the Recobbled Cut because it is utterly fascinating.
I study animation as a hobby and am blown away by the scale and beauty of this film. If you are into animation and have NOT seen this movie I highly recommend it.
As for how it makes me feel, I’ve always had a soft spot for the main character Tack. He doesn’t talk in the Recobbled Cut and goes through a remarkable physical and emotional transformation.
I once upon a time named him one of my ultimo favorite character designs from film. This is in part because of how much I admire his character growth.
36. Metropolis (2001)
Empathy and Insight
Memory takes me back to my college dorm room at BYU-Idaho when I decided to give this movie a try. It may have been a whim, but the second the movie ended I bought the DVD. No questions asked.
At this point I hadn’t seen Fritz Lang’s masterpiece Metropolis (1927), and only had my limited knowledge about the original author Katsushiro Otomo (AKA creator of Astro Boy) to go off of.
I thought, and still believe, this story is beautiful and impactful. It showcases the inevitable downfall of those struck with “God syndrome”, racism, class divides, and what it means to be human.
I didn’t include any clips from the movie because I believe it’s best experiencing it without spoilers. I often turn back to this movie for its great soundtrack, engaging visuals, and provocative message.
35. Rebecca (1940)
Innocence and Courage
Behold the one Alfred Hitchcock film on my list! Perhaps I’m a traitor to the film world, but I’m not his biggest fan. Don’t get me wrong, his films are fascinating to study, especially because I’m a German Expressionist film nut. However, he often has themes and underlying sexual connotations slipped into his films which make me uncomfortable.
That aside, Rebecca is the one Hitchcock film I keep going back to. It’s based on Daphne du Maurier’s original novel and tells the story of a young girl trapped in the shadow of her eventual husband’s first wife Rebecca. Throughout the film, you never see the woman’s face but her shadow and presence seeps out of every corner of the house.
What I love is this film’s ending. It’s different from the book and I don’t mind one bit. The main character, Ms. DeWinter, is the picture book of innocence throughout most of the story but shifts to an incredibly courageous woman by the movie’s end. I like her love story and how she fought to stand by her husband, even after everything.
34. Wall-e (2008)
This is one of my father’s favorite movies, and I think it’s the cutest thing in the world. Though I ultimately love watching him watch the movie, Wall-E has had a special place in my heart since 2008.
I think I was able to appreciate silent films from the get go because of this movie. Besides some dialogue here and there, it’s primarily silent and is a master craft of visual storytelling.
What make this one of my favorites is Wall-E’s love story with EVE, and the powerful and NOT cheesy message about caring for the planet and breaking from the bonds of big corporations.
Overall, this movie always makes me smile. It’s a joyful, lovable ride from beginning to end.
33. Klaus (2019)
Warmth and Love
My friend Hailey recommended this movie to me several years ago, but it took me almost two years to finally sit down and watch it. I mean, it’s a Christmas movie I could logically only see during Christmas.
Once I buckled down and saw it, I fell in love with its innovative 3D-enhanced 2D animation that seemed to glow with warmth and love. Jesper’s transformation didn’t feel cheesy to me, and Klaus became someone I could believe as Santa.
What really sold me over was its message. “A true selfless act always sparks another.” When Jesper made and delivered his gift to Margu I actually cried. It made me want to be a better person and find various ways to serve others in my life.
It was a beautiful, organic film I wish more people could experience.
32. Interstellar (2014)
It took me way too long to finally see this movie. Don’t get me wrong. I WANTED to see it from the moment I heard it was coming out. But I went on a mission and didn’t watch movies for almost two years.
When I finally saw it, turning away from the screen or moving felt wrong. Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack pulled me into the gorgeous visuals and through every intense plot point.
I wish I had seen this in theaters. I truly do. It’s a MARVEL to witness and makes me wonder about the universe and how love truly can connect us beyond time and distance.
31. Hotarubi No Mori E (2011)
Sadness and Hope
I’m a huge fan of Yuki Midorikawa’s manga series Natsume’s Book of Friends (2003-?) and hungrily looked for her other works. One day, I came across an AMV for this short film and was floored by an onslaught of emotion. It was the first time an AMV made me cry before I had even seen the material. Soon, I realized this was also one of Midorikawa’s stories made into a movie.
When I found the film and watched it, I wondered about love as a bond. It begged the question, if I knew I could never touch someone and we could never comfortably be together, would I love them anyway?
I also pondered deeply on love and relationships beyond this life. I questioned what I knew and believed about finding and being with people who have died. I decided to believe the girl found this young man again after death, their love binding them together.
I go back and watch this movie when I want to believe love is real and it transcends death.
Thank you for reading! I’ll see you for the next installment.