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Top 6 Pre-1950’s Films

Although the 1950’s themselves were a gold mine when it came to movies, with the sophisticated Audrey Hepburn and a stunning Marilyn Monroe, it was before that era, that cine film started seeing changes. This was after the transition from silent film to movies with sound that a cinematic revolution began taking place. Here we list some of the best movies before the 1950’s. This list is in no particular order.

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

If I simply wrote down Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly’s names here, it would be enough explanation about why this movie made the list. Although the plot of the movie is pretty conventional for the era, the movie itself and its little quirks made it one of the best monochrome movies ever made. Even if you’re not sold on the plot and the presence of Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, make sure you watch this piece of cinematic history for the iconic dance between Sinatra and Jerry Mouse.

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore”. Even if you’ve never seen or heard about the movie (were you living under a rock?), you would have heard this famous line. This cult classic brings to life the famous novel by Frank Baum. Judy Garland shows some amazing talent in the movie as Dorothy Gale and does equally well when she reprised the role in the sequel. Although it’s a children’s movie, it still appeals to older audiences as it plays on nostalgia forcing you to remember the tinman without the heart, the lion without courage and the scarecrow without a brain. The amazing animations and the grand sets showed just how amazing the capabilities of cine film were.

Casablanca (1942)

Casablanca tells the tale of two people who share a love beyond all the boundaries of this world yet still bound by its shackles. Even years later, people still question why Ilsa got on that plane and whether she really loved him or not. Many a tear were shed for Humphrey Bogart and continue to be shed today. I’m sorry for the spoiler but in my defense, it has been more than 70 years since its release.

Gone With the Wind (1939)

A questionable love amidst a nation strife with war, Gone with the wind is the epitome of cine film and its many glories in that era. The powerful emotions, moving scenes and the detailed imagery make this not only of the best films before 1950 but one of the best films of all time. If you haven’t seen it yet, invest in a DVD or buy it on Amazon. Just watch it and remain in awe about how something made on vintage reels can still convey such breathtaking beauty and power.

City Lights (1931)

This list would have been incomplete without a silent film or Charlie Chaplin. City Lights was the last silent film made by Charlie Chaplin. You will laugh and you will cry and you will be completely blown away by its beautiful ending which is still considered one of the best endings in cinematic history today.

King Kong (1933)

Forget about the 1976 or even the 2005 version, this King Kong revolutionized animation in cine film. I remember watching King Kong as a child and being absolutely terrified (the good kind) and excited by the movie. The nail biting mystery and the amazing effects (for that era) make it a movie that you can watch over and over again. In fact if you own a projector and a cine film reel, you are the luckiest person on the planet.

The pre-1950’s era was a fantastical, beautiful era where I would be willing to go in a heartbeat. Other movies which did not make the list, but are worthy of mention are The Maltese Falcon, On the Town, It Happened One Night and It’s a Wonderful Life.