15 vintage movie classics, from romantic comedies to thrillers

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A celebratory collection of some of the greatest films of all time!

Whether you are a movie buff who indulges in Hollywood classics, or a novice looking to build your film knowledge, we've rounded up these timeless vintage gems for you to sink your teeth into.

Whether you're in the mood for an early romcom (The Constant Husband), a tantalizing – and highly comical – drama about a disorganized crime syndicate (The Ladykillers), classic Hitchcock (The Lady Vanishes) or a psychological thriller that set new standards for horror (What Ever Happened to Baby Jane), there's no better time to check out some of cinema's best. They certainly don't make them like they used to!

Each one of these films delivers a heady dose of nostalgia, superb storytelling, screen icons, and may even help you be on the winning pub quiz team!

What will you watch next?

 

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The Lady Vanishes

Produced in his native England before he departed for the U.S. this vintage thriller demonstrates Alfred Hitchcock’s grasp of taut mystery storytelling, and his sharp humour too. Margaret Lockwood stars as the spunky Iris, an Englishwoman who explores the disappearance of a fellow passenger aboard a sleeper train in wintry Eastern Europe.

 

 

The Ladykillers

One of the best British comedies ever made, starring some of the finest comedy actors at the time. The Ealing Studios classic follows the hilarious capers of a group of small-time crooks who pull off a robbery. But none of them could have predicted that their greatest obstacle to escaping with the loot would be their their sweet, but slightly dotty, elderly landlady Mrs Wilberforce.

Alec Guinness, Cecil Parker Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Danny Green, Frankie Howerd and Katie Johnson star.

 

Three Coins in the Fountain

A lovely, romantic film made in 1954. American women from three generations – a middle-aged career woman (Dorothy McGuire), a hot-to-trot 30-year-old (Jean Peters) and a virginal college girl (Maggie McNamara) – fall under the romantic spell of Rome.

 

 

The Constant Husband

A man wakes up with a severe case of amnesia and has no idea of who he is. A local psychiatrist helps him to piece his life back together, and the dazed chap discovers, much to his mortification, that he’s been very badly behaved indeed! Rex Harrison is the man with many wives, Cecil Parker his shrink and Margaret Leighton and Kay Kendall just two of the women in the amnesiac’s life. George Cole and Michael Hordern pop up too.


 

The Good Die Young

Four men waiting to carry out a heist reflect on events that that have driven them to a life of crime. A boxer has been forced to quit the ring due to injuries, a former soldier needs money to bring his wife into the country from abroad, an air force veteran's marriage has collapsed and the ruthless playboy leading them has gambling debts to pay off. Thriller starring Laurence Harvey and Joan Collins.

 

Casablanca

This WWII classic, directed by Michael Curtiz, pairs Swedish superstar Ingrid Bergman with tough guy Humphrey Bogart for a story of lovers ripped apart by war and of all the gin joints in the world, they’re reunited in a far flung Moroccan piano bar.

 

Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh stars as Scarlett O’Hara, the plucky Southern belle who romances Clark Gable's Rhett Butler against the backdrop of the Civil War. Supporting actress Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American actor to win an Oscar. To call this Best Picture Oscar winner a ‘sweeping epic’ is an understatement.

 

 

 

Citizen Kane

The Oscar-winning film, directed, written by and starring Orson Welles, is considered to be one of the finest achievements in cinema and topped the BBC Culture poll of the 100 Greatest American Films. Welles was only 25 when he made this, his debut film, a gripping drama which would cement his reputation as one of Hollywood’s most influential directors and stars.

 

Mrs Miniver

This is a war movie, but not in the conventional sense. There are no bloody battles and no armies marching forward. This is a film about the people in a small, unpretentious English town on whom the war creeps up slowly, disturbing their tranquil way of life, then suddenly bursts in devastating fury as the bombs rain down and the Battle of Britain is on. This is specifically the story of a small town of Belham, and in particular one family – the Minivers. It is also a film that critics all over the world have cited as among the best ever made.

 

Stagecoach

John Ford’s celebrated Western, following a group of strangers traveling by coach through dangerous Apache territory, is one of the most influential films ever made. John Wayne stars as the Ringo Kid in a breakthrough performance that made him a star. This was also the first film Ford shot in Monument Valley.

 

 

Double Indemnity

Billy Wilder adapted the Raymond Chandler novel, and directed the film himself. Barbara Stanwyck sizzles as femme fatale Phyllis. Fred MacMurray co-stars as the square insurance man drawn into her plot – he never stood a chance against her charms. Stylish and sexy, Double Indemnity is the perfect entry point for classic film noir.

 

La Dolce Vita

Federico Fellini’s epic stars Marcello Mastroianni at his sexiest as Marcello Rubini, a journalist who gets into all kinds of misadventures with beautiful movie stars and other assorted glitterati of Rome over the course of a week. Who could forget the sight of Scandinavian goddess Anita Ekberg swanning in the Trevi Fountain in haute couture?

 

Roman Holiday

Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn exploring Rome? Swoon. In William Wyler’s film, Peck plays a journalist who happens upon Hepburn, an incognito princess hoping for a bit of freedom. Hepburn won a Best Actress Oscar for her performance in one of the most beloved romances of all time.

 

All About Eve

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night when two warring actresses go head to head in Joseph Mankiewicz’s drama of dueling divas. Bette Davis stars as stage star Margot Channing, who squares off with Anne Baxter’s Eve Harrington, a young upstart looking to take her place. George Sanders and Marilyn Monroe give memorable supporting performances.

 

12 Angry Men

Sidney Lumet’s one room drama is required viewing for everyone who might ever serve on a jury, as this tense film follows the process of one man, played by Henry Fonda, who convinces every other juror to come over to his dissenting side. A fascinating character study and lesson in dramatic writing.

 

 

 

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Joan Crawford and Bette Davis join forces in the iconic horror movie. Two aging sister child stars, one of whom is wheelchair bound, live together in an Old Hollywood mansion. But while one is plotting revenge for the crash that left her crippled, the other is planning a meteoric comeback – one that doesn't involved her crippled relative.



Browse our complete vintage film classics collection and our comedy collection

 

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