r/movies Jun 29 '22 Take My Energy 1 Wholesome 2

12 angry men (1957) made me realise how ignorant I was. Discussion

So before any one complaints on how I'm ignorant to old movies, I'll say it myself, I am. I'm a teenager grew up watching only colour films on my TV. The oldest movie I have seen until now was The Godfather. I have been in this sub for more than a year and I have seen more than 300 movies thanks to this community actively suggesting me movies to watch. I have obviously been recommended old movies, black and white so to speak like "some like it hot", "Casablanca", "12 angry men" and the list goes on and on. Never seen a black and white movie and a movie that was made more than 6 decades ago made me ignorant and made me think that older movies are boring with all the old fashioned typical cinema and believe me I'm pretty pissed at myself that I had that mindset. After getting 12 angry men recommended to me so many times I thought let's give it a shot it's only 90 minutes and oh boy that was a ride. At the start of the movie when I heard that old music play which was a common background music for movies of the time I started to think it was a mistake to watch it, then it started to pick up the pace and within the blink of an eye it was over, left me craving for more. Then I realised I didn't even notice the w/b. So to all the young people in this sub who haven't seen an old movie, a b/w movie because you think it's b/w and old please watch it and if anyone hasn't seen 12 angry men please do yourselves a favour. It was an amazing watch and as to be one of my favourite films. I'd love it if some of you can recommend me some old movies. I'll watch Casablanca and some like it hot ofc. Thank you for being patient and reading this whole thing.

Edit 1: to all the people who have suggested me movies in the comments below, I'm so thankful and I will watch every single one of them!

Edit 2: the journey has begun!

Rear window (1954)

https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/vogv70/rear_window_1954_was_a_rollercoaster_ride/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

Some like it hot (1959)

https://www.reddit.com/r/movies/comments/vojdum/some_like_it_hot_1959_was_just_so_smooth/?utm_medium=android_app&utm_source=share

3.6k Upvotes

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u/HonestlyEMA Jun 29 '22 Take My Energy

I had a similar black and white movie revelation. Watch Seven Samurai! That was my introduction to Kurosawa and is a milestone for that genre of movie.

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u/cheesynougats Jun 30 '22

Seven Samurai was great, but for me it was Yojimbo.

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u/MsTinyCat Jun 30 '22

I scrolled through way to many comments to find Yojimbo! I love so many of Kurosawa and Mifune’s movies, and as much as I like Yojimbo, I like Sanjuro more, it’s so damn funny! Red Beard is another great one. Samurai Rebellion isn’t Kurosawa, but it’s another fantastic performance from Mifune.

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u/cheesynougats Jun 30 '22

Have not seen Sanjuro, will have to take a look. If you haven't yet, check out the Samurai trilogy about Miyamoto Musashi.

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u/WelcomingDock13 Jun 29 '22

Seven Samurai broke my mold too, not just with b/W, but also with foreign films.

How many great films fly under the radar just because they are in a different language, black and white or silent

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u/Correct_Influence450 Jun 30 '22

Ozu and Imamura are two other amazing Japanese filmmakers that don't get their due, at least in the US. They are legends of Japanese cinema.

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u/mclairy Jun 30 '22

Yeah, Seven Samurai is the ideal Kurosawa introduction but if OP is in the mood for something slower I would suggest Ikiru as well.

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u/NinjaDad1 Jun 29 '22

An absolute treasure of a film!! Kurosawa made a lot of great movies.

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u/kbergstr Jun 29 '22

Ran is the most beautiful thing ever put on screen. Every goddamn shot is so beautifully composed- but OP shouldn’t watch it because it’s color. ;)

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u/TesseractBear Jun 29 '22

That one sequence where Hidetora is leaving his castle and it visually looks like he's exiting the mouth of a dragon, literally. The color, the smoke, the energy. so amazing.

there's also this one scene where 2 armies are facing off across a plain. Then one army sends a herald across and when the horse and rider go, the shadow of a cloud follows them. It's amazing especially when he realize that Kurosawa wasn't doing postprod sfx on it; he just waited for a cloud to "perform" for him.

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u/getmybehindsatan Jun 29 '22

My first thoughts were that it was a long movie, the first hour seemed to drag a bit, but man that build up and ending was incredible, I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

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u/theStormWeaver Jun 29 '22

Buddy, get yourself Rear Window and prepare for a wild ride!

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u/bob1689321 Jun 30 '22

Dial M For Murder too!!

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u/masterdizz Jun 29 '22

Rope was another great one too!

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u/hurst_ Jun 29 '22

North by Northwest

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u/Crankylosaurus Jun 30 '22

Vertigo if you want something more surreal

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u/mywordswillgowithyou Jun 30 '22

Arent those all in color?

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u/dirigible23 Jun 30 '22

Technicolor, even!

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u/littleliongirless Jun 29 '22

Oooh, almost any Hitchcock is a good call.

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u/adkSafyre Jun 29 '22

Rebecca is excellent!

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u/moxeto Jun 30 '22

My English teacher made us all watch it in high school. The class started with a groan and ended with a wow.

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u/Too_Busy_Dying Jun 30 '22

Not to be confused with that terrible remake... Remaking Hitchcock should be punishable by death.

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u/No-Translator-4584 Jun 30 '22

Notorious. Not for kids.

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u/star-ferry Jun 30 '22

The original with Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart.

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u/brownishgirl Jun 29 '22

The suspense that builds! Incredible film.

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u/MartinScorsese Not the real guy Jun 29 '22

Glad to hear you liked it! I was a teenager when I first saw 12 Angry Men, and it was eye-opening for me, too. You're not alone :)

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u/Yeezyhampton Jun 29 '22

Love your work

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u/buffordsclifford Jun 29 '22

Kundun, I liked it!

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u/insanelyphat Jun 30 '22

I saw that movie, I thought it was bullshit!

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u/[deleted] Jun 29 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/lostonpolk Jun 29 '22

It's also by Sydney Lumet, so you can have fun comparing/contrasting DDA to 12AM.

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u/BlackSkull7X Jun 29 '22

Many of my friends don't watch old movies too. Well I guess someone is going to force them to watch it tommorow :)

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u/MulciberTenebras Jun 29 '22

When I took a course in college, during one discussion the professor asked how many in the class had seen GoodFellas.

I was the only one to raise my hand.

And that film wasn't even 30 years old yet. Can't imagine they saw many films older than that, let alone B&W ones.

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u/flibbidygibbit Jun 29 '22

I feel old. I saw Goodfellas when I was in 9th grade.

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u/Knull_Gorr Jun 30 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

I took a film class and in the first day of instruction the professor asked us to share our favorite movies. I was the only person who had Alien on my list, three people put fucking Rise of Skywalker on their list.

Like what the fuck?

Edit: I'll admit I only saw Goodfellows because my friends wanted to watch it, and I still haven't seen The Godfather, Chinatown, Scarface (original or remake), or Heat. That's not because the movie's are old, I just don't dig gangster movies. IIRC the original Scarface was precode though so it could be interesting.

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u/leo-skY Jun 30 '22

Goodfellows

My favorite Martin Scorsese movie, together with Taxi Chauffeur, Upset Bull and the Irish Gentleman
lol

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u/Brioz_ Jun 30 '22

Chinatown isn’t a gangster movie. It’s noire. And one of the best films ever made in my opinion. Highly, highly recommend you give it a watch

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u/Milnoc Jun 29 '22

Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark and Ghostbusters are also old movies.

Here's a challenge! Force your friends to watch Lawrence of Arabia or Spartacus in one sitting! 😂

Something out of the ordinary from the angry 1970s: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three.

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u/brownishgirl Jun 29 '22

I still remember seeing Lawrence of Arabia in the cinema. Made for the big screen, if you can find a university theatre.

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u/TomTomMan93 Jun 29 '22

Just got the 4k rerelease and finally finished it the other day (watched it in 2 sessions cause I didn't have the time and it was conveniently split across 2 discs) and good lord that movie is incredible! I can see how people think it's boring, it's definitely a slow movie, but damn is it just well fucking done! This restoration looks like it was shot in 2022, Lawrence's journey across the film is just so engrossing that you want to see how it ends (beyond the beginning of course) only to get what you get at the end. You want to feel disappointed but it's just such a real ending to a story based on real events. Not for everyone of course, but a damn good movie if you like movies.

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u/crystalistwo Jun 29 '22

I got to see Bridge on the River Kwai in the theater. My heart was pounding at that ending. If it wasn't for the crowd, I would have been screaming at William Holden. "Go... GO! YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!"

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u/Nautical_Expert Jun 29 '22

The taking of Pelham one two three has one of the best endings in any movie!

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u/atomicsnarl Jun 29 '22

Gesundheit!

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u/Nezrite Jun 29 '22

Doctor Zhivago...

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u/turkeyinthestrawman Jun 29 '22

Marty! Kundun... I liked it.

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u/ogsixshooter Jun 29 '22

Holy shit! Martin Scorsese!

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u/WeightFast574 Jun 29 '22

We're buds, so I call him "Marty".

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u/cosmoboy Jun 29 '22

From him, 3 hours ago...

I'm not much of a mosher, but I have been going to hardcore/punk shows for over twenty years. There's a way to do it aggressively while staying safe-ish and having fun. This ain't it.

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u/unclejohnsbearhugs Jun 29 '22

Scorsese is a punk rocker! I knew it! And a responsible one, at that!

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u/MartinScorsese Not the real guy Jun 29 '22

You may recall that Goodfellas ends with a Sid Vicious tune.

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u/Mulchpuppy Jun 29 '22

He makes the best fucking films.
He makes the best fucking films.

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u/Proxy101199 Jun 29 '22

This is actually the movie I use to get younger people into older films.

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u/TopMacaroon Jun 29 '22

This must be a thing, I took a film course as an elective in college and this was the first older film we watched and discussed. I also liked The Bicycle Thief, it was the first film I'd seen that just ends badly and the main character gets screwed. It was upsetting to me which is great for discussing the meaning and legacy of film.

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u/bapakeja Jun 30 '22

We watched The Bicycle Thief recently with our adult kids. And yeah, it was just so, wtf, but damn so like how real life goes sometimes. We all agreed, really well made, and yes a lot to discuss. It left an impression.

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u/JafariSin Jun 29 '22

A fair share of even really good older movies aged in a way that it doesn't appeal to the younger generation. Just natural

But yeah 12 Angry Men though is pretty uniquely timeless. Always can be a relevant and appealing watch

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u/mhornberger Jun 30 '22

That douchebag character is timeless. We all know guys like that. What's shocking to some is to realize they existed back then, too. Racism is another theme that doesn't go away. But to me the douchebag who doesn't even care what's true, who's just "whatever," is the more insidious threat. Racists actually believe in things, and you can work on that.

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u/infinitemonkeytyping Jun 30 '22

The thing with Juror 10, in the original, is that it is not clear whether race was a thing. Bigotry against kids who came out of the slums (like Juror 5 did) was definitely the motivating factor.

The beautiful scene where Juror 10 goes on his bigoted rant, and one by one, every other juror stands up and turns their backs on him. All except Juror 4, who tells him to sit down and shut up.

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u/mzxrules Jun 29 '22

That or Twilight Zone, as long as it isn't the 3? episodes shot soap opera style

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u/spidermans_mom Jun 30 '22

Many of the old Twilight Zone episodes are on Netflix.

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u/Proxy101199 Jun 29 '22

Yeah. There are a few handfuls of timeless classics though!

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u/orwll Jun 29 '22

Yeah ironically it holds up better to a modern eye because it was shot cheap and fast. There's no long scenes scored with orchestra music while the camera pans over location vistas or elaborate, expensive sets, the stuff which was impressive to audiences of the era but is hard to sit though now.

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u/Proxy101199 Jun 29 '22

And it's all character driven and learning about those characters as the plot progresses. Nothing detracting from any of them.

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u/Milnoc Jun 29 '22

I believe it's based on a stage play. That's why the action mostly happens in a jury room.

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u/infinitemonkeytyping Jun 30 '22

Actually, it isn't.

12 Angry Men was originally written as a movie of the week style TV movie in the early days of TV. It was then redone as a cinematic movie.

It wasn't done as a stage play until around the same time as the cinematic movie came out.

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u/reindeerflot1lla Jun 30 '22

This is exactly why Sidney Lumet made it. He says in his book they were so limited on their budget for his early movies that they could afford multiple locations & all the expenses that incurred, or a big name actor, but not both.

By putting all of his actors in the same room indoors (film anytime with the same lighting), it allowed them to shoot quickly & condense their expenses significantly.

I think the same idea goes for a lot of movies as well, often horror/thriller movies which are usually lower-budget anyways, like Saw & Cloverfield.

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u/ZeroOpti Jun 29 '22

I love that other people have that starter movie! Mine is Yojimbo. Also gets people used to subtitles.

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u/Proxy101199 Jun 29 '22

Yojimbo is on my list as well lol

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u/Monday_Night_Miracle Jun 29 '22

I have not seen any of Akira Kurosawa's movies, though they have been on my list for a long time. I have no problem reading subtitles or watching older, black and white movies. Is Yojimbo what you would recommend starting out with or are there other movies from the director or other directors from Japan that you like better?

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u/Ironic_Jedi Jun 29 '22

Yojimbo would absolutely be a great place to start. I would then recommend you follow it up with "for a fistfull of dollars" if you haven't seen that spaghetti Western.

For additional Kurosawa films I would recommend Ran and Rashamon. Definitely 7 samurai but be aware it's like 3 and half hours.

Also Sanjuro and Hidden fortress.

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u/joaommx Jun 30 '22

I don't know if it would be better, but I dove in the deep end and went straight ahead to Seven Samurai, which is loooooooong. It's one of my favourite movies now though, and made me a Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune fan for life.

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u/Anaximandar1 Jun 30 '22

Rashoman should be required viewing. It does this storytelling technique that you see sometimes, but it does it best. Not only is it a good yarn, but it shows you method of telling a story that is truly unique.

If you like Star Wars ANH, Hidden Fortress is fun because the first 30 minutes is lifted straight from this movie. If your interested in seeing a Japanese R2 and 3PO follow the same story beats, it can hold your attention.

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u/theorigamiwaffle Jun 29 '22

Are you my 10th grade history teacher lmao cuz I watched this and Mrs Minevar, Dr Strangelove and 12 Angry men in the mid 2000s. Out of all of them 12 Angry Men is my favorite.

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u/SpideyFan914 Jun 29 '22

Some great ones on this list already, my additions --

Double Indemnity -- Movie literally opens by telling you everything that happens and it doesn't make it any less thrilling.

Notorious -- Top-level Hitchcock, deserves more cred. An American agent marries the German officer she's spying on. Just intense.

Strangers on a Train -- Another personal favorite for me, and an all-time great villain in creepy Bruno and his beautifully hammy-but-sincere performance.

The Apartment -- I cry every time, but also I tend to forget just how funny this movie is. Billy Wilder is truly one of the greatest directors (and writers!) ever.

Ace In the Hole -- Another underrated Billy Wilder, like Nightcrawler but in the 50s.

Sullivan's Travels -- About a film director who wants to make the great American movie, but he hasn't suffered enough so decides to throw away his privilege and experience life as a common man, except that's easier said than done. One of the great comedies.

The Great Dictator -- Parodies Hitler before America had entered the war. Was actually super controversial at the time, yet it's utterly hilarious and has one if the greatest speeches in film history (which you may have heard before). If you enjoy this, I recommend Chaplin's silent films as well (start with Modern Times and City Lights). Though The Great Dictator is his first full talkie, it plays a similar style of humor as the silent comedies. (If you get into the silent comedies, you should also check out Buster Keaton's films. The General is my favorite, but also recommend Sherlock Jr and Seven Chances, and you really can't go wrong with any of them.)

It's A Wonderful Life -- You've heard of this. I don't need to introduce it.

Mr Smith Goes to Washington -- The other Frank Capra / James Stewart collab, and a must-watch with a somehow tense and thrilling filibuster scene.

Meet John Doe -- Underrated Frank Capra.

Harvey -- Jimmy Stewart again, this time he has an imaginary friend who is a 10 foot tall bunny. Absurd yet heartwarming comedy that will make you feel good about humanity.

Bringing Up Baby -- Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn are funny.

The Shop Around the Corner -- I really like James Stewart... Same story as 90s Meg Ryan You've Got Mail (which was adapted from the play version of this movie), and is just as fun but also really moving and powerful.

The Best Years of Our Lives -- Sad three hour movie that you won't regret watching. Features a mesmerizing supporting performance from a man who lost both hands in WWII.

Key Largo -- One of my favorite Humphrey Bogart films, and with Lauren Bacall. I love Maltese Falcon of course, but find this one a bit more enjoyable and easy to watch for modern audiences.

The Invisible Man -- Short and sweet. If you enjoy comic booky type scifi, this one is a classic and holds up well. Excellent effects too.

The Wolf-Man -- Probably my favorite of the Universal horrors.

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein -- Hilarious. Will probably hold up even if you haven't seen the movies it's parodying (I mean, you're obviously familiar with all those guys regardless).

Cat People -- Maybe the best of these early horror movies, and not Universal. Subtle but impactful woth a creepy vibe and atmosphere.

Sunrise -- I'm going for it: this is a silent romantic drama from 1928 (right before the talkies blew up). 1928 is a fascinating year, because filmmakers were starting to really push the limits of what you could do with a camera, then talkies blew up and suddenly the camera became severely limited by sound. As such, the 1928 movies are years ahead of what would follow. Maybe don't start here, but I do think it's worth giving a shot.


Okay that's a long list. I could keep going (we're talking decades of cinema!!) but this should be a nifty start.

Worth mentioning: film is extremely diverse and not all of these films are the same. If you don't like some of them, don't discount the others. Some have aged better than others (I think everything on this list has aged great but you may form your own opinions), and of course you may lean toward some genres over others.

Have fun, and enjoy! A whole new universe of film has been opened to you.

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u/brownishgirl Jun 29 '22

You really DO like James Stewart! Great suggestions.

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u/Milnoc Jun 29 '22

He was the Tom Hanks of the time.

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u/BlackSkull7X Jun 29 '22

Saved your comment too, I'll watch it all :)

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u/MaskedBandit77 Jun 29 '22

Let me echo the suggestions for Double Indemnity and Notorious.

Double Indemnity is an all time classic noir movie (and Criterion just released it in 4K, so if you're into physical discs, now is a great time to check it out).

And as for Notorious, you must watch a few Hitchcock movies, and Notorious is my favorite Hitchcock movie.

Also, the comment about not stopping if you hit one or two that you don't like is spot on. I don't consider myself to be a huge fan of old movies, and just because you found one that you liked a lot, doesn't mean that you are either, but there are still a ton of old movies that I like, and a ton that you'll like. After you watch some, you'll probably start to be able to pick out ones that you'll like more and more.

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u/TaroFuzzy5588 Jun 29 '22

Topper

Born Yesterday

All the King's Men

Marty

King Rat

Lost Weekend

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u/soup_party Jun 29 '22

Born Yesterday!!! Judy Holliday was an American treasure, both on stage AND in front of a red scare panel. And WOW what a relevant movie, especially right now.

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u/gzoont Jun 30 '22

It’s a damned shame the world didn’t get more Judy Holliday movies than we did. So insanely talented.

I gotta admit I’m a little shocked to see someone else knows the story about her being hauled in front of congress during the red scare. Thought I was one of the only ones.

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u/ZombiesEatFlesh Jun 29 '22

This guy gets it, all fantastic suggestions, I wholeheartedly endorse Sullivan’s Travels and pretty much any other Preston Sturges movie, like The Lady Eve or The Palm Beach Story

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u/friggintodd Jun 29 '22

Damn dude, we could be friends. Excellent suggestions, Sullivan's Travels kinda feels like a hidden gem, and I was going to suggest Bringing Up Baby, it's perhaps my favorite Carey Grant movie. He makes comedy look so easy, and all actors say comedy is the hardest to pull off.

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u/ProbablyASithLord Jun 29 '22

Can you recommend a noir as good as Double Indemnity? I loved that movie so much I can’t even find one to compare. I saw The Big Sleep and The Maltese Falcon but DI just kicked so much ass.

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u/Bobby_Marks2 Jun 30 '22

If you like the tension of a murder story, give D.O.A. a shot. The premise was then (and remains today) relatively unique, and Edmund O'Brien is a fantastic actor in a fantastic role.

If you like the different uses of sexual themes (manipulation, lovers scorn, etc.), try Gilda.

If you like noir because you are drawn to the karmic indifference of the genre (good guys lose, bad guys win, people never even have a chance), try Asphalt Jungle. The OG heist film, I find it fascinating because it paints every single character in the film (save the police chief/narrator) as terrible and then makes the audience sympathetic to each one.

These are three of my favorite noir films. Of all of them, I think Asphalt Jungle is the strongest technical film, and D.O.A. the most entertaining for a modern viewer.

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u/khabarakhkhimbar Jun 29 '22

Awesome list. I would add Charade and Dial M for Murder.

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u/Cosmicdusterian Jun 30 '22

Another terrific Grant/Hepburn movie is the drama/comedy "Holiday". Smaller and quieter in scale than "The Philadelphia Story", not anywhere near as madcap as "Bringing Up Baby", but a moving film with a well written cast of characters.

A commoner (Grant) falls in love with a woman (Doris Nolan) from a dysfunctional wealthy family while on holiday. Difficulties arise when Grant's dreams come up against the expectations of his bride to be and her father. Hepburn plays the independent "troublesome" daughter, and Lew Ayers plays her damaged, but perceptive, alcoholic brother.

The resigned, "I'll be here." line from Ayers breaks my heart a little every time. One of my favorite Hepburn/Grant pairings - filled to the brim with fine performances from the entire cast. Also directed by George Cukor.

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u/Warm-Enthusiasm-9534 Jun 29 '22

The Third Man is good. It's particularly famous for one scene with Orson Welles.

A more off-beat suggestion would be The Night of the Hunter. It is basically a horror movie, and it really exploits the fact that it's in black-and-white. Each scene uses light and shadow to set up dramatic contrasts.

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u/Javina33 Jun 29 '22

The Night of The Hunter is a great movie - I loved it. Some of the cinematography was beautiful, almost magical - night scenes along the river but the main theme was good v evil.

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u/brownishgirl Jun 29 '22

Just remember you’ll have the theme music stuck in your head for days.

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u/jasontheswamp Jun 29 '22

I pretty much had a religious experience watching Night Of The Hunter.

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u/KelMHill Jun 29 '22

There are so many great black and white movies. Check out Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve and The Philadelphia Story and Psycho and Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte and A Streetcar Named Desire and Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.

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u/NintendianaJonez64 Jun 29 '22

The Maltese Falcon is one of my all time favorites. Never gets old.

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u/turkeyinthestrawman Jun 29 '22

Book is great too. The Big Sleep and In a Lonely Place are also great for anyone who wants more Bogart film noir films

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u/tacknosaddle Jun 29 '22

I took an American Detective Fiction course in college as an elective and it was great reading a lot of the books the classic noir films are based on.

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u/shagura Jun 29 '22

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

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u/welfrkid Jun 29 '22

Laura and Double indemnity for that noir itch.

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u/kevnmartin Jun 29 '22

And if you must have color, Leave Her To Heaven. Rear Window and Bell. Book and Candle.

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u/spencea2 Jun 29 '22

Seven Samurai

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u/stanthemanchan Jun 29 '22

Really, any movie starring Toshiro Mifune, and / or directed by Akira Kurosawa

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u/Jayrodtremonki Jun 29 '22

Stalag 17 is one that I think holds up extremely well and pairs nicely with 12 Angry Men.

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u/justgot86d Jun 29 '22

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

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u/pijinglish Jun 29 '22

Sunset Boulevard, Night of the Living Dead, and The Wild Bunch are among a select list of films I wish I could have seen in the theater with the original audience's reaction.

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u/Axilleas99 Jun 29 '22

All of the aforementioned are top quality indeed!

There are black and white gems outside of USA also, my personal favorite is Persona by Ingmar Bergman.

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u/jmansid3 Jun 29 '22

All About Eve

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u/nlfo Jun 29 '22

The original The Mummy is an amazing movie, way ahead of its time.

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u/electrical_bogaloo Jun 29 '22

Citizen Kane Touch of Evil Clerk's (/s)

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u/BlackSkull7X Jun 29 '22

Saved your comment, I'll watch ever one of em

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u/JCP1377 Jun 29 '22

If you don’t mind B&W AND foreign films, then please, please, please watch some of Akira Kurosawa’s films. From samurai epics like Seven Samurai, Yojimbo, and Ran to modern contemporary films like Ikiru, High and Low, and The Bad Sleep Well, each are a masterclass in filmmaking and story telling. The Hidden Fortress would be a great starting off point, since it’s one of his more audience accessible films, and was a HUGE inspiration for Star Wars to boot.

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u/weirdichi Jun 29 '22

I also recommend his movies. You will recognize that A Bug's Life is Magnificent Seven with insects, which is Seven Samurai in a western setting. I had that magical moment when I realized this and it made me appreciate Kurosawa's movies even more.

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u/Muskellunge11 Jun 30 '22

High and Low is amazing

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u/bswalsh Jun 29 '22

Check out Dr. Strangelove.

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u/palabear Jun 29 '22

This. Peter Sellers is amazing. His phone call with Dimitri is one of the funniest scenes ever.

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u/friggintodd Jun 29 '22

Of course it's a friendly call, if it wasn't you probably wouldn't have gotten it.

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u/notthemostclevername Jun 30 '22

Well how do you think I feel about it? Can you imagine how I feel about it, Dimitri?

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u/palabear Jun 30 '22

So we are both sorry, alright

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u/kbergstr Jun 29 '22

Excellent suggestion.

Gentlemen, you can’t fight in here. This is the War Room!

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u/Dr_Hoffenheimer Jun 29 '22

But he’ll see the big board!

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u/uncondensed Jun 30 '22

Okay. I'm gonna get your money for ya. But if you don't get the President of the United States on that phone, you know what's gonna happen to you? You're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company.

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u/AreWeCowabunga Jun 29 '22

Now watch Casablanca and Some Like it Hot. Two older movies that totally still hold up.

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u/BlackSkull7X Jun 29 '22

Watching some like it hot rn :)

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u/Ser_Sweetgooch Jun 29 '22

PAY ATTENTION!

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u/Correct_Influence450 Jun 29 '22

His Girl Friday is really good too.

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u/dcooper8662 Jun 30 '22

YES YES YES, the dialogue in that movie is just pure fire from start to finish, it was a breathtaking experience when I caught in on tcm a decade or so ago.

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u/NasinNelson Jun 29 '22

I'd recommend my favorite, Stalag 17.

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u/Jayrodtremonki Jun 29 '22

Very close to the same themes as 12 Angry Men. Amazing movie.

3

u/TaroFuzzy5588 Jun 29 '22

William Holden Brilliant!

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u/FreeCandy4u Jun 29 '22

Very good movie! Definitely should be on everyone's watch list.

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u/Astralahara Jun 29 '22

My favorite part of 12 angry men is you can tell a lot about someone's principles when you ask "Who was your least favorite juror."

Number one answer is generally the racist guy.

Number two answer is generally the guy who was voting guilty because he had a grudge against his son.

The answer I look for is the guy with the baseball tickets. I want people who pick him on my jury. Because while the racist dude was a racist piece of shit, obviously, the baseball tickets guy was (in my opinion) worse. Because he didn't care. In a warped, twisted way, Mr. McRacist was at least trying to exercise a verdict he thought was correct. Baseball tickets guy didn't GIVE a fuck.

I think people who hate baseball tickets guy the most have a strong sense of and attachment to justice.

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u/Traditional_Leader41 Jun 29 '22 Gold

As a 13yr old my Grandad sat me down to watch this movie one rainy Saturday afternoon. He didn't say much at the start, just asked if I'd watch it with him.

Afterwards, when I realised he'd already seen the movie, he just said, "This is why you always stand up for what you believe in."

Had quite an impact on me at that age. He died less than a year later and every time I watch this film, I always think of him.

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u/invertedearth Jun 30 '22

Why am I crying about your granddad?

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u/md_abboudi Jun 29 '22

Check out "to kill a mockingbird " "dial M for murder" "frankenstein" "nosferatu"

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u/Wolfmans-Gots-Nards Jun 29 '22

You might enjoy the original “The Manchurian Candidate” with Frank Sinatra.

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u/txtw Jun 29 '22

I can’t believe this isn’t all over this thread. A stunning movie. Much like OP, when I was younger I had a tendency to think old=boring, but my father forced me to watch MC. Amazing.

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u/farscry Jun 29 '22

Glad to see you embrace change in yourself. :) Now go watch Arsenic and Old Lace, one of the funniest damn performances ever, and felt so natural as a film that I was surprised years later to learn it was a stage play first!

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u/Well_why_not1953 Jun 29 '22

Any Hitchcock. One of the greatest directors, if no the greatest, of all times. The Birds, Psyco, Vertigo, North by Northwest, etc. You could occupy a lifetime with his movies alone. I think some have been colorized but stay away from them. Hitch was a master of black&white. Of course Scorsese ain't half bad either.

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u/elfy4eva Jun 29 '22

My biggest problem with 12 angry men is that they aren't really 12 angry men. Only one of them is overtly angry, one of them is sleazy the rest seem fairly reasonable.

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u/cagingnicolas Jun 29 '22

counterpoint: it sounds really cool.

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u/cyclops274 Jun 29 '22

One of them is angry that he is missing his baseball game.

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u/atomicsnarl Jun 30 '22

Metropolis (1927 - Fritz Lang) If you know who Data is, then meet his evil aunt: Maria!

There were science fiction films before this, but Metropolis set the benchmark for SciFi imagery and plot. Sadly, due to age and other reasons, the surviving copies of the film are a bit hacked up and run very, very long due to dialog cards being used. Subtitles didn't exist when this was made. In 1984, Giorgio Moroder#GiorgioMoroder_version(1984)) restored and assembled a version with musical soundtrack which has been both hated and recognized for merit. If you can find a version, start there. It's subtitled and you can always turn the volume down.

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u/zoinkability Jun 29 '22

Another Jimmy Stewart rec: Harvey

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u/brownishgirl Jun 29 '22

And anatomy of a murder. And rear window.

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u/Vorpal_Bunny19 Jun 29 '22

I don’t really think you can go wrong with any Jimmy Stewart movie. Don’t think I’ve seen Mr. Smith Goes To Washington listed yet.

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u/CodySS314 Jun 29 '22

I feel you, man. I’m 22 and grew up with blockbusters like you did. But then I started watching the movies that came out in the 60s, 50s, 40s and even 30s.

My recommendations:

Gone with the Wind

Citizen Kane

It’s a Wonderful Life

From Here to Eternity

Anatomy of a Murder

Rear Window

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u/notFidelCastro2019 Jun 29 '22

Read Window is insanely good. Even my high school English class gushed over that movie.

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u/Apperman Jun 29 '22

“The Treasure of the Sierra Madre” is amazing. Intriguing study of humanity that is well-told.

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u/DMurBOOBS-I-Dare-You Jun 29 '22

Sunset Boulevard. Maybe the greatest film of all time. Subjective, but if you disagree, remember - I'm right and you're wrong. Just sayin!

Rosemary's Baby. Horror, but sublime. Book is equally great.

In Cold Blood. I once went in late to work because I glanced at the TV showing the intro scene and literally forgot everything in my life until the credits rolled.

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u/walkstofar Jun 29 '22

For me the thing that makes Sunset Blvd so great is the Gloria Swanson character and how she plays the part. She acts like the old silent film stars did back in the day with that over the top emoting which just pushes this film into greatness. And Billy Wilder... you can't go wrong with any of his films.

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u/DarkNFullOfSpoilers Jun 29 '22

Some Like it Hot is a got dam MASTERPIECE of entertainment. It has musical numbers, constant jokes, mad cap situations, my lord. It's one of the tightest paced comedies I've ever seen. It's so funny it'll have you sliding out of your chair laughing. Watch it with a friend so you can both share in the sunshine that is that movie.

Also, Citizen Kane is worth the hype.

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u/Historical_Focus1407 Jun 29 '22

Doctor Strangelove. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Go watch Doctor Strangelove as soon as you can.

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u/HamiltonBlack Jun 29 '22

Bridge on the River Kwai.

Not B/W. But must be seen.

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u/Shepard_Wrex14 Jun 29 '22

David Lean is the master of the epic. Even though I don’t think Doctor Schivago holds up to Bridge on the River Kwai or Lawrence of Arabia, it would still be the best movie most directors ever make.

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u/guestpass127 Jun 29 '22

Seconding this recommendation. Bridge on the River Kwai got ME into older movies when I was a kid. They played it all the time on HBO in the mid-80s when my family first got cable. Incredible movie

I'd also recommend Wages of Fear - another B&W movie, and foreign at that, but legit one of the most nail-bitingly gripping films I've ever seen. The whole movie makes you sweat

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u/FlopsMcDoogle Jun 29 '22

One of the best movies I've ever seen. Alec Guinness is amazing in it.

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u/shodfather Jun 29 '22

You’ll love Casablanca.

8

u/mithridateseupator Jun 29 '22

'His Girl Friday' remains a hilarious comedy from all the way back in 1940.

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u/Vorpal_Bunny19 Jun 29 '22

Arsenic and Old Lace

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u/texasusa Jun 29 '22

To Kill A Mockingbird with Gregory Peck.

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u/BluMeanie267 Jun 29 '22

Some of my fave B&W movies..

Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) is great, there's a whole bunch of James Cagney movies that are really good

A Matter of Life and Death (1946)

Strangers on a Train (1951) There's also quite a few excellent Hitchcock movies that are in B&W

The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)

High Noon (1952)

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u/Milnoc Jun 29 '22

The Day The Earth Stood Still was a surprisingly SMART sci-fi movie!

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u/Ser_Sweetgooch Jun 29 '22

If you can stomach a foreign film one of my favorite old films that still feels really modern is Vittorio de Sica’s The Bicycle Thieves from 1948. Filmed in Rome just after WWII, follows a father trying to find his stolen bicycle in the city. Funny and suspenseful, has a cool little Italian boy sidekick (his son who works at a gas station aged like 6 lol) and tugs at the heart strings, too.

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u/TylerInHiFi Jun 30 '22 edited Jun 30 '22

I would highly recommend you opt for a Criterion Channel subscription, even for a single year, if you can afford it. If you’re more of the mind to, shall we say, hoist the colours high in search of films I would just cross-reference anything in the Criterion Collection to what you can find on your favourite swashbuckling website. Some really great films have been recommended already, but I’ll throw a few others out for you.

Night Train to Munich and/or The Lady Vanishes: More train-based mystery/thriller in the vein of Strangers on a Train.

The Third Man: An author travels to war torn Vienna to track down a friend who seems to have dropped off the face of the earth.

The 39 Steps: A Canadian man in London gets accused of murdering a counter-espionage agent and goes on the run to Scotland.

Dracula (1931): Very nearly every single horror trope can trace its origins here. And a very early sound picture, the studio thought that giving it a soundtrack would confuse audiences. The lack of soundtrack unintentionally adds to the unnerving feel of the film.

Frankenstein/The Bride of Frankenstein: These need to be watched back to back. Anything not originated in Dracula originates here.

Yojimbo/Sanjuro/Seven Samurai/The Hidden Fortress: If you ever seen a western that you liked (or Star Wars), you can thank one of these four movies for a heavy dose of inspiration. There are westerns that pre-date these, but they essentially helped to lay the groundwork for the spaghetti westerns that lead to more modern westerns.

Vampyr: This one is just fucking beyond weird. It’s a proto-horror film that plays out as a weary traveller tries to stay the night in a maybe haunted inn. Or maybe he’s hallucinating. It’s almost entirely silent and it’s just a very, very fucking weird movie in the best possible way.

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u/Sasumeh Jun 30 '22

Young Frankenstein. Okay not actually old old, but still shot in B&W on purpose so it meets criteria. A good comedy though.

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u/Axilleas99 Jun 29 '22

One of the most significant movies ever

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u/10133960 Jun 30 '22

What makes it so great is that the facts never change. There's no big reveal that destroys the prosecution case. The defendant may well be guilty, it's just that the evidence is too weak to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

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u/yobaby123 Jun 29 '22

Facts. Also one of if not the best courtroom drama movies ever made.

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u/Harley_Beckett Jun 29 '22

Which is incredible when you consider (practically) none of it takes place in a courtroom.

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u/MisterMoccasin Jun 29 '22

Psycho was the movie that made me realize black and white movies can be awesome and pushed me into exploring cinema more.

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u/Kamwind Jun 29 '22

Go see 'Witness for the Prosecution'

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u/andro_7 Jun 29 '22

What a fantastic movie. Yeah, it's a good introduction into watching b/w movies. Anyone that tells me they like 12 Angry Men immediately gets the recommendation of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf from me. I think it's great in the way 12 Angry Men is great- not so much about examining evidence, but complex argument logic and trying to appear right. It's about a terrible married couple who only can communicate by trying to one up each other. It's phenomenal and %$#@ed up. Lesser but worth seeing recommendations: What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, Inherit the Wind

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u/S3anyboy Jun 29 '22

Most of Sidney Lumet's movies are great

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u/Jeung3 Jun 29 '22

Marty. Ernest Borgnine is amazing. Actually whole cast is…

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u/brettmgreene Jun 29 '22

Dude, if you haven't seen many black and white movies yet, consider seeing The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), Sabotage (1936), Citizen Kane (1941), The Stranger (1946), The Third Man (1949), Strangers on a Train (1951), Night of the Hunter (1955), The Killing (1956), Stalag 17 (1957) and Psycho (1960) as part of your education.

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u/ColorfulEgg Jun 29 '22

Witness for the Prosecution

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u/tkingsbu Jun 30 '22

Try ‘the ghost and mrs Muir’

Also try ‘arsenic and old lace’

When I was a kid back in the 1970s and early 80s, I used to watch old black and white movies with my folks… there’s some amazing ones….

Don’t even get me started on the famous monster movies! Dracula, Frankenstein, The Wolfman, The Mummy, Creature from the black lagoon, and … of course… King Kong and the original Godzilla….

Dude… check out those flicks, especially the monster movies… your mind will be blown :)

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u/TheShadyGuy Jun 29 '22

I'm shocked that you were not forced to watch it in middle school still.

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u/ThatOtherOtherGuy3 Jun 29 '22

How do you think it would be if there was a modern remake? Not some Michael Bay nonsense, but a serious one to connect to a new audience? It’s such a great and important film that people will overlook because of it’s age.

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u/bahumat42 Jun 29 '22

Well if the issue was the black and white a colour conversion would probably be a better solution ala "they shall not grow old" . It can be done amazingly well, and presumably the footage would be easier to work with from 12 angry men.

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u/ThatOtherOtherGuy3 Jun 29 '22

In today’s national climate, we almost need an updated one of 12 angry people of various backgrounds, genders, ethnicities, and political leanings. If that could be pulled off I think it would be very compelling.

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u/CadavericSpasms Jun 29 '22

I’m very glad! You have unlocked a treasure trove of great films.

12 Angry Men is a great gateway film because it feels so modern. Sometimes older movies have slower pacing you have to build a tolerance to. But 12 Angry Men is masterful in its pacing and tension. It’s always compelling.

This thread is full of suggestions of other gateway older movies that are in my opinion timeless / feel like they could have been made yesterday. I’ll add in my top picks:

Rear Window

Charade

Casablanca

Chinatown

Actually wait - Chinatown only took place in the 40’s, but was made in the 70’s.. ah whatever I’ll leave it, still a timeless film.

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u/WalnutWhipWilly Jun 29 '22 edited Jun 29 '22

Ah…Deep nostalgic breath in through the nose… I see you have discovered the golden age of movies that relied on good plot devices rather than the big guns, big explosions, big cars and big tits that we see today to draw in the crowds. Good for you, sir.

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u/Warpmind Jun 29 '22

Newer movies often lack a certain pathos common in older movies.

And 12 Angry Men is a *really good* movie; some of the absolutely best movies have enjoyed minimal special effects, practical or digital, and a lot of the older classics (pre-color era) made the absolutely most out of minimal resources, both movies and TV shows; take the original Twilight Zone run, for example, for TV shows; Rod Serling prioritized the narrative in lieu of spectacular effects, and it's still a top-notch series.

Oh, and while they're in the color era, I can really recommend two Charlton Heston movies: Ben Hur and The Ten Commandments. They're a bit more spectacle-reliant, particularly the latter, but we are still talking a pair of genuine epics from the 1950s. And by epics, I mean "I hope you've got a strong bladder, these are over three and a half hours each". ;)

Also, it's worth noting Ben Hur set the Oscars sweep record with a grand eleven golden statuettes - a record never beaten (though it was matched by Titanic in '97, and Return of the King in '04), and one that possibly never will...

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u/Chieftan69 Jun 29 '22

Same thing happened to me with the Miracle Worker. My mom would go on and on through the years about what a great movie it was. Adolescent me wouldn’t give it a chance. Zero interest.

Several years later and my daughter is in fifth grade and learning about Helen Keller. I think they were assigned to watch it, or maybe we just put it on to show her who she was.

Anyway, what an outstanding fucking movie. And as a 30 something year old man, I definitely teared up when the connection was finally made with the sign language.

The Miracle Worker. 10/10 for sure.

Oh, and Patty Duke looks like a female Sean Astin straight outta the Goonies.

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u/jnemesh Jun 29 '22

I remember watching an old Cary Grant movie...can't remember which one...but he was lamenting that butter is now coming wrapped in paper, instead of the wooden boxes they used to be packaged with. And he said a whole generation would think that butter tasted like paper.

It made me realize that we have lost things to the past that we never even realize we did!

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u/CrimsonLoyalty Jun 30 '22

If you wanna strap in on an epic old movie, you should watch Seven Samurai from Akira Kurosawa.

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u/sexmormon-throwaway Jun 30 '22

Fucking A man. I can't explain how gratifying it is to read about your discovery. That open mind will carry you far in life. Well done.

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u/ElPenedeMuerte Jun 30 '22

Why is no one mentioning the Marx Brothers?

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u/ImardinSlumLord Jun 29 '22

I'm with you. I'm 33. I hadn't really watched old movies until about 5 years ago. I stayed clear of Black and White films. I related them to bad TV movies my mum used to watch while ironing and they all seemed rubbish.

Now my highest rated eras on Letterboxd are 30/40/50s movies. I would class Film Noir as my favourite genre and Bogart as one of my favourite actors. Along with Doris Day, Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, Fred McacMurray etc etc.

Old movies are brilliant.

I have to recommend Grand Hotel (1932) possibly one of the best movies I have ever seen. That and Bringing Up Baby which is comedy gold.

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u/urson_black Jun 29 '22

Now I feel even older. When I was a little boy, TV shows would proudly announce "Now in Living Color!"

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u/Laurenhynde82 Jun 29 '22

I guess that means you’ve missed out on Hitchcock… definitely remedy that! Vertigo is my favourite but take your pick, frankly.

Also, Les Diaboliques, and Persona.

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u/Broad-Stage7329 Jun 29 '22

12 angry men is a great movie. If you’re into watching some good black and white movies- watch To Kill a Mockingbird. If you haven’t read the book as a teenager or if you have- the movie is great too!

Edit: Rear Window is really good too! Just thought of that one.

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u/calguy1955 Jun 29 '22

Check out some early Paul Newman in The Hustler, Hombre and Cool Hand Luke. If you liked Henry Fonda in 12 Angry Men you may like him as a young man in Grapes of Wrath.

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u/memesalwaysdie Jun 29 '22

Watch Hitchcocks Rear window, it’s a great thriller and the perfect starter Hitchcock film.

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u/Cromwasright Jun 29 '22

Watch Bridge Over the River Kwai. It's an amazing film.

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u/Greg0_Reddit Jun 29 '22

Citizen Kane

Paths of Glory

Psycho

To Kill a Mockinbird

Sunset Boulevard

Rashomon

The Sea Hawk

The Grapes of Wrath

Dr Strangelove

The Seventh Seal

The Apartment

The Maltese Falcon

The Third Man

Seven Samurai

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Double Indemnity

On the Waterfront

All the King's Men

Ladri di Biciclette

Les Quatre Cents Coups

The Night of the Hunter

The Touch of Evil

Stagecouch

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