By Amy Chesler
I admit, quite openly, I am not the biggest fan of classic films. While I appreciate their rich storylines, delicate scores, and over-the-top stars, many leave me laughing when inappropriate, or shuddering when I should be smiling. But ever so often, I stumble upon a classic movie I find to be an engaging, thought-provoking timeless gem. This month, we are celebrating the 1940s as part of DVD Netflix’s year-long campaign examining each decade of film, so here are four ‘40s films that you shouldn’t miss, no matter your taste.
One of my favorites is Rebecca, a Hitchcock study of humanity. In it, Laurence Olivier is a widower who’s lost his young wife in a tragic way. Now, after her disappearance, his new wife does all she can to live in her shadow. Of course there are shocks and surprises, and way more excitement than most movies these days. Hitchcock never seems to miss a beat.
The ‘40s was a magical time for cartoons, but one especially captured my heart. The story of the little misunderstood elephant, Dumbo, delighted audiences worldwide in 1941. The heartwarming tale reminds us not to judge a book by its cover, and that sometimes the things that make us most unique are the most magical. Thank you, Walt.
Another delightfully wicked movie, Sorry, Wrong Number, is the story of Leona, bedridden daughter of a wealthy businessman. She happens to catch some phone lines crossed (just go with it, it was a different time) and two men’s plot to kill a woman. Leona does some serious detective work and keeps us on the edge of our seats throughout the movie. Definitely worth a watch!
If there is one genre from the ‘40s that doesn’t tend to work for me, it’s anything romantic. But The Shop Around the Corner is a delightful “I had no idea I was in love with you, but I’m in love with you” story (You’ve Got Mail for the pre-tech world). Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan don’t disappoint, and neither does the comedic hijinks of this film.
Amy Chesler is an author, content creator, blogger, and family woman from Los Angeles, California. Her most recent publications include four different contributions in six different Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies, as well as her first solo children’s book, A Man and His Books. Follow her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/ABCauthor1), Twitter (@abcauthor), or Instagram (@abc_author) for updates, giveaways, and much more!