I could never list my favorite movie ever. I am a movie junkie.
I love a good movie.
Note: I said good. The word “good” is such a subjective adjective. GoodReads has taught me that.
So, because I’ve been singing songs from musicals today, I had to get this list out of my head.
Here, in no particular order, are some of my favorite old movies. Movies that are cheesy and wonderful and fun. Movies that make me smile and dream. Perfect summer movies. I discovered most of them before I turned 15. I have no idea how many times I’ve watched each of them. And I don’t plan to start counting.
1. Kiss Me Kate. Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson. Cole Porter music. If you miss “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, I’m not sure we can be friends. Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore are so incredibly funny in their roles, I replay their scenes over and over. I skip “Where is the Life that Late I Led?” and have forever. But not “Wunderbar”. Oh no.
2. Meet Me In St. Louis. Judy Garland. This movie is so much a favorite. I love the time period, the costumes, the songs, and everything. I could sing “The Trolley Song” and “Skip to My Lou” and “Under the Bamboo Tree” forever. Love them.
3. On Moonlight Bay. Doris Day & Gordon McRae. Wow. Gordon McRae. I love your voice. Love it. I sing “Love to Love Ya” to my kids all the time. They “Bum-bum!” with me in rhythm. Hysterical. And it’s followed by a sequel, which is…
4. By The Light of the Silvery Moon. Doris Day and Gordon McRae. All day long I’ve been singing “Ain’t We Got Fun” and finishing it the way the father in this movie does. The plot is far-fetched but I’m not in it for the plot. I love the songs, costumes, and songs.
5. Singin’ In the Rain. Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds. RJ and Ari, especially Ari, adore this show. They now sit through the whole thing, dancing and singing along. The “Make ‘Em Laugh” scene is, of course, RJ’s favorite. At dinner they repeat, “No! No! No!…Yes! Yes! Yes!”. And for some very bizarre reason, Ari picked up, “Ready Don?” and spits it out at random times. If you can find it in the show, I will award you major points of awesomeness.
6. Holiday Inn. Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire. Songs. This movie is ALL about the songs. Fred Astaire drives my mom and dad bonkers, but he makes me laugh. This is a sort of prequel to White Christmas.
7. White Christmas. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney (George’s aunt), and Vera Ellen. Again, this is about the songs. And the dance. “Abraham” has always been a favorite. How on earth does Vera Ellen get her feet to move like that? The younger half of my siblings can quote this movie almost verbatim we saw it so much before we got to high school.
8. High Society. Bing Crosby (yes, I like Bing), Frank Sinatra, and Grace Kelly. Again, songs. One summer semester I started singing parts of “Well Did you Evah?” and couldn’t place it. Months later it came to me. Bing and Frank make a good pair and Grace is just lovely. I sing “Little One” to my babies, but not well and I frequently forget the right lyrics. But I don’t care.
9. Rose Marie. Jeanette McDonald and Nelson Eddy. Wow. I had no previous experience with either of these actors. Granted, it’s a 1930′s musical and I’m not a huge fan of 1930′s movies. They have some characteristic about them I can’t place that bugs me now more than it did when I was younger. NOTE: these actors are opera stars. They sing in operatic voices. I love it. You may not. I don’t know how, but you might not. A good strong opera voice is magical. And this made me want to move to Canada and marry a mountie. The end wasn’t my favorite, but I’m not in these for the plot – it’s all about song.
10. The Mating Game. Debbie Reynolds and Tony Randall. I adore this movie. Love it. I laugh myself silly every time I watch it. Tony Randall is one of my favorite actors and this is my favorite movie of his (though Pillow Talk is equally good).
11. The King & I. For Deborah Kerr and Yul Bryner. Wow. The songs are wonderful. The children are darling, but honestly, I watch this for the dresses on Deborah. Her ball gown is the most beautiful creation of fabric I have ever seen in my life.
12. State Fair. Jeanne Crain and Dana Andrews. I had a crush on Dana Andrews. The songs are fun, “Isn’t It Kinda Fun” and “All I Owe IOWAY” make me smile. The first time I saw this I fell in love. I wanted to move to Iowa and live on a farm and participate in State Fairs like crazy.
And so many more. Now, I warned you – these are cheesy. They are all about the songs, dances, and romance. And I love them. They sing and dance so very, very well. I can show these to my kids and they love them because of the music and it makes me remember how I felt when I first saw them. I love singing the songs to them with them. It’s just fun. Good, happy, silly fun.
My favorite kind. My favorite ever.