12 Days of Classics

Aurora of Once Upon a Screen, one of the best classic film blogs around, has come up with a fun challenge that uses the “12 Days of Christmas” concept with film-related themes. It’s another way of recommending classic films and encouraging non-classic film fans to treat themselves to some great movies. After seeing other awesome blogs like The Motion Pictures and BNoirDetour take part in the challenge, I thought I’d join in the fun too!

For my post, I’m mixing up some of the categories from Aurora’s original post, as well as a few of my own. Furthermore, I made the conscious effort to feature a film only once, and only one film per actor or director will be featured in each category. This way there’s a wider selection of films to check out! Now with Christmas exactly 12 days away, let’s give the ones we love the gift of movies.

ONE Screen Debut
Some acting debuts result in critical acclaim and Oscar recognition, but this one truly lit up the screen.

Lauren Bacall in To Have and Have Not (1944)

TWO Actor/Director Collaborations

Barbara Stanwyck and Frank Capra made 5 films together
Cary Grant and Alfred Hitchcock made 4 films together

THREE Original Songs
These songs went on to win the Oscar for Best Original Song, and have since been covered by other artists.

Fred Astaire sings “The Way You Look Tonight” in Swing Time (1936)
Doris Day sings “Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)” in The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)
Audrey Hepburn sings “Moon River” in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

FOUR Romantic Couples
Film romances that overcame great obstacles on the road to true love.

Alfred Kralik (James Stewart) and Klara Novak (Margaret Sullavan) from The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
Charles Rainier (Ronald Colman) and Paula (Greer Garson) from Random Harvest (1942)
Nickie Ferrante (Cary Grant) and Terry McKay (Deborah Kerr) from An Affair to Remember (1957)
Mark (Albert Finney) and Joanna Wallace (Audrey Hepburn) from Two for the Road (1967)

FIVE Thrilling Movies
Films that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Rear Window (1954)
Cape Fear (1962)
The Great Escape (1963)
Wait Until Dark (1967)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

SIX Inspiring Movies

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
Sullivan’s Travels (1941)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

SEVEN Musicals

42nd Street (1933)
Top Hat (1935)
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
West Side Story (1961)
Mary Poppins (1964)
Funny Girl (1968)

EIGHT Comedies

The Freshman (1925)
The Thin Man (1934)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Ninotchka (1939)
The Palm Beach Story (1942)
Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Auntie Mame (1958)
Some Like It Hot (1959)

NINE Films Noir

Laura (1944)
Scarlet Street (1945)
The Killers (1946)
Out of the Past (1947)
Gun Crazy (1950)
In a Lonely Place (1950)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
The Night of the Hunter (1955)

TEN Heroes
These characters aren’t flawless, but they exemplify brave qualities.

Robin Hood (Errol Flynn) from The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
Jefferson Smith (James Stewart) from Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) from Gone with the Wind (1939)
Dorothy Gale (Judy Garland) from The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Kay Miniver (Greer Garson) from Mrs. Miniver (1942)
Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) from The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
Mildred Pierce (Joan Crawford) from Mildred Pierce (1945)
Juror #8 (Henry Fonda) from 12 Angry Men (1957)
Maria (Julie Andrews) from The Sound of Music (1965)
Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) from In the Heat of the Night (1967)

ELEVEN Villains
Bad guys can be just as intriguing as the good ones.

Mrs. Danvers (Judith Anderson) from Rebecca (1940)
Phyllis Dietrichson (Barbara Stanwyck) from Double Indemnity (1944)
Harry Lime (Orson Welles) from The Third Man (1949)
Cody Jarrett (James Cagney) from White Heat (1949)
Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) from All About Eve (1950)
Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) from The Bad Seed (1956)
J.J. Hunsecker (Burt Lancaster) from Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) from Psycho (1960)
Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barrow (Warren Beatty) from Bonnie and Clyde (1967)

TWELVE Performances

Gary Cooper as Longfellow Deeds in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
Katharine Hepburn as Tracy Lord in The Philadelphia Story (1940)
Bette Davis as Charlotte Vale in Now, Voyager (1942)
Ray Milland as Don Birnam in The Lost Weekend (1945)
Olivia de Havilland as Catherine Sloper in The Heiress (1949)
James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey (1950)
Audrey Hepburn as Princess Ann in Roman Holiday (1953)
Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront (1954)
Judy Garland as Esther Blodgett in A Star Is Born (1954)
Jack Lemmon as C.C. Baxter in The Apartment (1960)
Natalie Wood as Wilma Dean Loomis in Splendor in the Grass (1961)
Paul Newman as Luke in Cool Hand Luke (1967)

It was a lot of fun placing some of my favorite films under different themes in the spirit of Christmas! Please join this wonderful celebration of classic film by sharing your recommendations on your own blog, and use the #PayClassicsForward hashtag on Twitter to check out what others have said.

I wish you all a happy holiday season!

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