Here's a list of the 1001 classic movies you should see for 2017.
Go here for the movies reviewed in 2016.
Estimates vary, but the Hollywood studios pumped out about 400 films per year during the 1930's-1950's, which gives classic movie fans a dizzying array of options. This list isn't designed to be a best of list (I realize that virtually no one has the time to watch all 1001 selections), but more of a guide for classic movie newbies and those dedicated fans who want to learn more about their favorite stars and films.
This list will only contain American films made between 1930-1970. It will exclude all foreign language films, and English films not made by the Hollywood studios (for example, I'm not going to consider Alfred Hitchcock's work before he came to America to make Rebecca in 1940). Each month will cover a specific topic related to an actor, director or theme. So, without further ado, here's a list of what's been written and what's coming up.
Going Ape in Old Hollywood: The March 10 release of Kong: Skull Island (2017) is the latest in a long line of Hollywood monkey movies. In March, I'll write about three action-adventure movies and one comedy that feature apes in one form or another.
King Kong (1933): Despite countless remakes, sequels, and spoofs, this granddaddy of the creature feature is still one of the most thrilling films ever made.
At the Circus (1939): A gorilla on the loose is a major plot point in this zany Marx Brothers comedy about a traveling circus troupe.
Tarzan the Ape Man (1932): The demure Jane Parker (Maureen O'Sullivan) is kidnapped by Tarzan (Johnny Weissmuller) and his ape allies in the first movie in this long-running series.
Planet of the Apes (1968): Charlton Heston gets pawed up by "damn, dirty apes" in this science-fiction classic from the mind of The Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling.
Already Completed: January 2017
Hollywood on Hollywood: I'll start off the new year by looking at four very different films about Tinseltown. FYI: I already wrote about Esther Williams' performance as silent star Annette Kellerman in Million Dollar Mermaid (1952).
Singin' in the Rain (1952): This all-time favorite chronicles the sometimes rocky transition from silent to sound films for a star (Gene Kelly), an accompanist (Donald O'Connor), and a young actress (Debbie Reynolds).
Sunset Boulevard (1950): Writer and director Billy Wilder's caustic satire about the delusions of faded silent star Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) is among the best noirs ever made.
Sullivan's Travels (1941): Preston Sturges' timely comedy is about an ambitious director (Joel McCrea) who goes from Hollywood hotshot to chain gang member.
A Star Is Born (1937): Janet Gaynor was the original Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester/Mrs. Norman Maine in this soaper about the triumphs and travails of life in Hollywood.
Leading Ladies of Cary Grant: Old Hollywood's all-time great leading man worked with several great actresses throughout the decades. In February, I'm choosing one great movie from each decade of Grant's career that features a memorable leading lady. FYI: Grant's leading ladies who have already been covered in this series are Joan Fontaine; Ann Sheridan; Rosalind Russell; Katharine Hepburn; Grace Kelly, and Eva Marie Saint.
The Awful Truth (1937): This screwball comedy about a bickering couple who are on the verge of divorce co-stars Irene Dunne, who was one of Grant's best leading ladies of the 1930s.
Notorious (1946): Grant and Ingrid Bergman set off sparks in director Alfred Hitchcock's World War II espionage thriller.
An Affair to Remember (1957): This all-time great romance about two lonely people who find love on a transatlantic cruise co-stars the always lovely Deborah Kerr.
Charade (1963): This Hitchcock-esque thriller from director Stanley Donen features Grant as a mystery man who is trying to protect a young widow played by Audrey Hepburn.