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Classically Speaking:
Promoting Classic Movies in a Jaded World!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


White Christmas (1954)
White Christmas (1954)

As a kid, I always watched movies over holiday breaks from school. Here are some of my favorite films that I remember watching on television. I hope you'll check them out.

  1. Rock-A-Bye Baby (1958)
    This was a Jerry Lewis and Connie Stevens showcase. It was one of the first color movies I ever saw on television. I consider this Jerry Lewis’ funniest movie after he and Dean Martin went their separate ways. Lewis being the caretaker for triplet infants created some very funny scenes.

  2. Houdini (1953)
    Tony Curtis was mesmerizing to this 10-year-old boy as the wonderful magician. I was fascinated by his ability and always wondered if he really knew about de-materialization. The water torture tank trick always intrigued me. I made sure that I watched this film every time that it televised.

  3. Parrish (1961)
    Okay, here’s my guilty pleasure. This vehicle was nothing more that the studio’s attempt to capitalize on the very marketable teen idol Troy Donahue. Here’s the plot: Parrish McLean lives with his mother Ellen on Sala Post's tobacco plantation in the Connecticut River Valley. His mother winds up marrying Sala's rival Judd Raike, ruthless planter who wants to drive Sala out of business. Judd insists that Parrish learn the business from the ground up. Real rocket science, I know. But it was pretty impressive, when I was 6. Karl Malden was SO evil!

  4. Jailhouse Rock (1957)
    This was Elvis Presley’s finest movie because he actually tried to act in it. The music was GREAT and the film still holds up well today.

  5. The Glenn Miller Story (1953)
    I remember sitting with my father watching this one. It has Jimmy Stewart and Harry Morgan. My dad told me every scene in advance; he was so into it. I’ve always had an interest in biopics, because I enjoy learning about the lives of others. Which leads me to my next film.

  6. The Babe Ruth Story (1948)
    Like Houdini and Glenn Miller, The Babe Ruth Story shows the good side of a person, what he did that made him famous and how he died. I think that I’ve always had a certain fascination with how people lived and died too soon for all of us. At the time I first saw this, I thought William Bendix was the best actor in the world. It was only when I reached adulthood that I learned the movie was flawed with inaccuracies and had some lousy acting. Still, it remains in my heart a very warm memory.

  7. The Great Escape (1963)
    Steve McQueen jumped fences on a motorcycle; what kid wouldn’t love that? This picture was a bit of history and extremely interesting, though as a kid it felt a bit lengthy. World War II movies fascinated me as a kid like Vietnam movies did as a young adult.

  8. The Nutty Professor (1963)
    This movie was vastly superior to Eddie Murphy’s. I know that might sound old-fashioned, uncool and un-hip, but that’s the way is. Jerry Lewis as the obnoxious Buddy Love and the bumbling professor is hilarious. Stella Stevens also rounds out the cast.

  9. Mary Poppins (1964)
    I actually saw this in the theater before it aired on television. It was my first time in an indoor theater. The film had an intermission and there was a great Bugs Bunny cartoon on before it. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke were totally magic. I can remember NEVER wanting that movie to end.
And it wouldn't be a true holiday break if I didn't include one holiday film that I've seen every Christmas for as long as I can remember.

  1. White Christmas (1954)
    I have always liked Danny Kaye and I thought that he did a fine performance in this film. And though the plot is corny and quite predictable, it’s the memories from my early days of seeing it that make it fun to watch and re-watch every year.

I hope you've enjoyed my list and it's made you recall some of your most cherished films from the days of your childhood and youth.

*Contributed by: "Arlen Crawford" Date: Mon, Dec 04, 2006 / 14:37:08 PST