Netflix Instant: Classic Films, 5th Ed.
Netflix is constantly changing its lineup of classic movies available to stream, so here are five more great classic films you can watch instantly!
1. How to Steal a Million (1966)
This is one of my favorites: Audrey Hepburn is a Parisian socialite whose quirky father moonlights as an art forger. He’s been successfully forging and selling fake masterworks for decades, but suddenly his illegal activities are in danger of being discovered. So Hepburn hires a thief (Peter O’Toole) to help her steal back one such “masterpiece” before it’s exposed as a forgery.
The pair gallivant about Paris planning their heist, exchanging clever, goofy repartee while Hepburn models one chic Givenchy outfit after another. How to Steal a Million is charming, beautiful, witty, funny, and wonderfully light. Here’s the trailer, and click here to read my full review.
2. Shane (1953)
If a charming heist movie isn’t what you’re looking for tonight, try a classic western instead. George Stevens, who directed The More the Merrier, directed this mythic movie starring Alan Ladd as Shane, a mysterious, supremely capable drifter. Jean Arthur and her husband Van Heflin hire Shane to help them on their ranch. But Shane isn’t just a ranch hand, and he uses his special skill set to rid the ranch of thugs trying to steal the land. His quiet heroics are watched with worshipful eyes by Arthur and Heflin’s young son, which causes some wrinkles. This movie is a terrific, poignant, huge western–a must see. Here’s the trailer.
3. White Christmas (1954)
Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney (yes, George’s aunt), Danny Kaye, and Vera-Ellen dance and sing their way to a white Christmas in this fantastic musical with songs by Irving Berlin. After serving in WWII, Crosby and Kaye become highly successful performers and producers. They meet a sister act (Clooney and Ellen), and through enjoyable hijinks end up spending their Christmas vacation with the sisters at a ski resort in Vermont. But there’s no snow–so to bring customers to the failing resort, the four talented buddies decide to put on a show!
There are marvelous musical numbers, including “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing, ” “Choreography,” and of course, “White Christmas” crooned by Crosby. The film is a showcase for four amazing performers: Kaye is hilarious, Vera-Ellen’s dancing can’t be beat, and Clooney and Crosby are great together. White Christmas was the year’s top box-office earner when it was released in 1954, and it remains fresh, funny, and wonderful! Here’s the trailer, and click here to read my full review.
4. The Lady Vanishes (1938)
This was one of Alfred Hitchcock‘s biggest hits in Great Britain, and one of the last films he made there before coming to Hollywood. It concerns a young British tourist named Iris (Margaret Lockwood) traveling through Europe. She befriends a kindly old lady (Dame May Whitty) on board a train, but when Iris wakes up from a nap, her new friend is gone, and no one seems to remember her except Iris! The lady has indeed vanished! With the help of a young Englishman (Michael Redgrave, yes, Vanessa’s father), Iris tries to unravel the mystery of the missing lady.
Things get pretty strange, amusing, and dramatic in typical Hitchcockian fashion. If you like Hitchcock (Notorious, To Catch a Thief, Spellbound, Foreign Correspondent, Dial M For Murder), it’s fun to watch one of his earlier movies. This film isn’t as taut and finely paced as some of his later films, but it has many of the hallmarks of a Hitchcock movie. Here’s the trailer. Fun fact: This film was re-made in 1979 starring Cybill Shepherd and Angela Lansbury, and the BBC produced a TV version in 2013.
5. An Affair to Remember (1957)
If you want romance, grab some tissues and settle in for one of the most romantic movies of all time (ranked #5 on AFI’s list of greatest love stories). Cary Grant meets Deborah Kerr onboard an ocean liner sailing from Europe to New York. They’re both in serious relationships with other people, but they can’t help themselves and fall deeply in love. The ship docks in New York, and the lovesick pair makes a plan: they will meet in exactly six months at the top of the Empire State Building if they decide to give the relationship a go. (If you’ve seen Sleepless in Seattle, you know this movie!)
Something goes wrong, though, and we are afraid that our couple won’t live happily ever after. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s amazing. Here’s the trailer. Fun fact: This movie is a very faithful remake of Love Affair (1939), starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne. In fact, both films were directed by Leo McCarey!
For more movies you can watch instantly, check out my other Netflix Instant classic movie lists. And for more on classic films, follow me on Twitter, tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram at BlondeAtTheFilm, and Facebook! As always, thanks for reading!