Movies to Brighten Your Stay at Home

I posted an antidepressant movie list on this blog awhile ago (it’s still there), and some of the films below may be on it. But for now here’s what I’m going to be watching in the next few weeks, that you might enjoy too. It’s slightly heavy on classics since I love them, but there are newer ones too. I only chose films that are engaging enough to help keep me (and you I hope) from worrying or getting depressed! I did not include children’s films here but teens may enjoy many of these. Children not too young, maybe 8 and over, may like nos. 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, and 15:

  1. Moonstruck—Cher as an Italian Cinderella, gorgeous music from La Boheme, fabulous performances by Cher, Olympia Dukakis, and Nicolas Cage.
  2. If you can get hold of it,The Demi-Paradise starring Laurence Olivier. It also stars one of my favorite English actresses from that period, Penelope Ward. During WWII Russian engineer Olivier comes to England to help the British with an important technical challenge, and falls in love with a young Englishwoman.
  3. Another WWII film, also with Penelope Ward, wonderful Michael Wilding, and hilarious Margaret Rutherford, one of my absolute favorites, again if you can get hold if it, the delightful English Without Tears.
  4. Fabulously funny In & Out, with Kevin Kline, Joan Cusack (hysterically funny performance), Bob Newhart, Matt Dillon, & Tom Selleck. A Frank Oz Film.
  5. Welcome to Mooseport, with Ray Romano and Gene Hackman. For me it never gets old!
  6. Dave Stars Kevin Kline as a stand-in for the U.S. President, Sigourney Weaver, and, both marvelous, Charles Grodin and Ving Rhames

7. Again, if you can get hold of these next few: My Life With Caroline with dashing Ronald Coleman (dated but great fun anyway) with some loveable characters and an adorable bulldog partway through

8. All Over the TownBritish post war comedy, engaging and a good story about a newspaper in a small seaside town. Stars Norman Wooland, Cyril Cusack, Sarah Churchill

9. From the Universal Vault Series: Ruggles of Red Gap, with an unforgettable, funny, and moving performance by Charles Laughton, and another of my favorite classic movie actors, Roland Young (film nominated for Academy Award for Best Picture, 1935) Laughton plays a formal, cultured, and accomplished valet whose beloved British employer loses him in a late night poker game to a newly-rich rancher from the Washington town of Red Gap. Scintillating performances by all.

10. The Voice of the Turtle (also sold as One for the Book). I love this so much I watch it at least twice a year. Ronald Reagan is charming in it, Eleanor Parker is one of the most delightful characters you’ll ever see in a movie, and Eve Arden plays one of her best character types–sophisticated, bossy, and a good friend as long as you don’t even glance at the current man she considers her property! Wonderful story.

11. A Stranger in Town This is one of the few films I’ve seen in which Frank Morgan (the wizard in the Wizard of Oz but often cast as a bumbling or ridiculous character) plays a strong, wise, and extremely likeable man–a judge who’s on a rare vacation. It’s a very good drama also filled with comical scenes and a romance of course. Morgan steals the show.

12. Separate Tables A drama with a good story and wonderful actors: Burt Lancaster, Deborah Kerr, Rita Hayworth, the wonderful and too-little-mentioned actress Dame Wendy Hiller, and David Niven. Niven and Kerr both play characters completely opposite in type to their usual glamourous leads, and win Best Actor and Best Actress Academy Awards for their efforts. If you’re a classic movie fan you hardly recognize them because they so completely become those characters. Wendy Hiller also won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress. The film was nominated for Oscars in several other categories: Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score, and Best Adapted Screenplay.

13. Three modern and fun romances now: The first is See Jane Date, which is often dryly witty as well as sweet. All women, plenty of men, and many teens will appreciate Jane’s challenges at work and in dating.

14. The Sweeter Side of Life, in which a character is thrown suddenly from a shallowly glamorous life in NYC to baking cupcakes out in the sticks. Kathryn Morris is perfect as she struggles mightily with the transition, and learns there are things in life that mean much more to her than lunching out with her designer-clad friends. A funny, warm, and very enjoyable story.

15. So You Said Yes is a Hallmark Romance and quite an entertaining one, as creative shop owner Kellie Martin deals with business problems caused by the mother of the guy she’s falling for.

Where to Find the Movies

Some of you asked where to find those older movies on the list I recently posted. A great place to start is Turner Classic Movies which shows many of them–look at their daily or monthly schedules to plan to see or Tivo one when it comes up. You can find some of the classic movies online too, new or used. Keep trying if you don’t find one right away.

To buy a DVD google TCM Shop to get right to what thery have available. I’d type DVD (or Blu-Ray) before the title to keep them from jumping around the store too much (they have mugs etc.) I see they have The Demi-Paradise ($7.95), Ruggles of Red Gap ($17.21), The Voice of the Turtle, ($9.95), A Stranger in Town (2 versions, both around $7), and Separate Tables ($17.96). The other, newer movies can often be found through Amazon being sold new or by used bookstores and individuals out of their collections. These are the ways I’ve gotten my copies.