Life & Culture

Open Thread Update: More Movies!

Last time we discussed how the pandemic kept us in front of screens, watching movies…and how that was good for us to have “Cinema Therapy.” And we asked what movies or types of movies are the ones worth seeing over and over again…as if you were on a desert island.

“Highly recommend The Maiden Heist. So sweet and funny! I keep thinking about it.”


Among the respondents, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) got a lot of love, claiming fans like Marilu, Gail and Bella, who said “I don’t know what I’d do without TCM.  There’s nothing like the classics (film noir). There are some that I’ll watch again and again..”

Reader Gary T. sounds like he doesn’t need TCM, though.  With a collection of almost 3500 DIY DVD-R’s, he says “Let’s movie!”

“I would bring romcoms and rom-dramas that lighten my world: Charade; Two for the Road…”

-Melissa L. 

Marilu hearkens back to the Golden Age of Television, “Like Playhouse 90,” and longs for a Nostalgia Channel to watch Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock episodes.  She might try MeTV (link is here) and type in her zip code to find a local station to watch Twilight Zone, Alfred Hitchcock and many other shows from the Golden Age.

“… thank you for mentioning (Babette’ Feast). I adored that film, and watched it with my younger sister while eating a feast we prepared…”

-Debra M.

We’ll leave this movie thread up for a while and see what other top picks come up.  We might revisit the topic of movies again, so keep checking back…and share your faves as well.

Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at



11 responses to “Open Thread Update: More Movies!

  1. I also love the films of the TCM genre,as well as the classic “golden age of television” era of “Playhouse 90” and the like that sought to bring that same high quality of drama to teh small screen

    .Many who performed in those classic(live) TV drama’s went on to Big Screen success because of the exsposure it gave to their careers.I wish they would bring them back on something like “The Nostalgia Channel”.Alfred Hitchcock Presents,Twilight Zone,Outer Limits,and One Step Beyond were all way ahead of their tme and very well done.

    1. Marily Fifield, I think you can find a lot of what you were writing about on the Roku channel. I stream it w/o TV cable (just having internet) and a lot is free on Roku channel, including a lot of older/early TV shows. I also am a member of (membership free, and can see FREE or cheaply rent a lot of older movies). There is another streaming TV channel (free) called TUBI ( that may have some of this older material. This could be a Senior Planet presentation: where to find some of the older TV shows/movies that we grew up on.

  2. Oh boy, Virge, did you ask a loaded question, lol!

    I don’t know what I’d do without TCM.  There’s nothing like the classics (film noir). There are some that I’ll watch again and again.  A few? come to mind, although not all are noir … “Leave Her To Heaven”, the incomparable Gene Tierney with Cornel Wilde … “The Ghost and Mrs. Muir”, Gene Tierney/Rex Harrison. I’ve gotta agree with Robert Osborne when he said, “As far as I’m concerned Gene Tierney can do no wrong.” Amen to that! … “Out Of The Past”, Robert Mitchum/Kirk Douglas/Jane Greer … “This Property Is Condemned”, Natalie wood/Robert Redford … “Love With The Proper Stranger”, Natalie Wood/Steve McQueen… “Written On The Wind”, Lauren Bacall/Robert Stack/ Rock Hudson/Dorothy Malone … “God’s Little Acre”, Robert Ryan/Aldo Ray/Tina Louise/Buddy Hackett/Jack Lord … “Born Yesterday” Judy Holiday/William Holden/Broderick Crawford … “The Night Of The Hunter”, Robert Mitchum/Shelly Winters/Lillian Gish … “Some Came Running”, Frank Sinatra/Shirley MacLaine and Dean Martin playing against type … “The Unknown” Lon Chaney, anything with Lon Chaney!

    And westerns! Get along lil’ doggies!  Classic westerns …  “Red River”, John Wayne/Montgomery Clift…  “Treasure of the Sierra Madre”, Humphrey Bogart/Walter Huston/Tim Holt … “3:10 to Yuma”, Glenn Ford/Van Heflin … “The Searchers”, John Wayne/Jeffrey Hunter/Vera Miles/Ward Bond/Natalie Wood …”The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance”, John Wayne/James Stewart/ Vera Miles/Lee Marvin …  “Stagecoach” (1939), John Wayne/ Claire Trevor/ Andy Devine … “The Ox-bow Incident”, Henry Fonda/Dana Andrews/Anthony Quinn … “Gunfight at the OK Corral”(1957), Burt Lancaster/Kirk Douglas/Rhonda Fleming … “River of No Return”, Robert Mitchum/Marilyn Monroe/Rory Calhoun and “Rancho Notorious”, Marlene Dietrich/Arthur Kennedy/Mel Ferrer, are favorites. Some modern ones are pretty good, too – The remake of “The Magnificent Seven” with Denzel No Last Name Needed was, surprisingly, not bad!  El Mariachi/Desperado starring Antonio Banderas/Salma Hayek, directed by Robert Rodriguez. Although it’s not technically a western, it sure seems like one. If for nothing else the shootout scene in the bar is worth watching. It’s sheer poetry. And then there’s “Rango”, lol, Johnny Depp/Isla Fisher/Ned Beatty/Harry Dean Stanton. It’s animated, believe it or not, and such fun to watch! It’s one of my all time absolute favorite westerns. If you like westerns, treat yourself and watch it!

    More recent-ish movies  …  “The Piano”, Holly Hunter/Harvey Keitel/ Sam Neill …”The Triplets Of Belleville” (French/animated) …”Babette’s Feast” (First Danish movie to win an Academy Award for best foreign language film.) “Maudie” and “The Shape Of Water”, both starring Sally Hawkins. And if you’re into Grindhouse type films, “Frank Miller’s Sin City”(2005), Mickey Rourke/Clive Owen/Bruce Willis/Jessica Alba and “Frank Miller’s – A Dame To Kill For” (2014), Mickey Rourke/Jessica Alba/Josh Brolin/Joseph Gordon-Levitt/Eva Green … are an eyeful! Directed by Frank Miller, Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez. Sam Peckinpah’s got nothin’ on these guys! These films are off beat and might not be exactly to everyone’s taste but are perfectly cast, so well done, and a visual treat. And soooooo many more. Somebody stop me, lol! I could be here all week listing them!!!


    1. Bella, “Babette’s Feast” – thank you for mentioning. I adored that film, and watched it with my younger sister while eating a feast we prepared, so many decades ago. We used to watch films featuring a cuisine and create a meal to eat while watching that matched the cuisine of the film, e.g., watch Big Night and eat an Italian meal. Love to hear from others about films you like that feature a particular cuisine a lot in the film!

    2. Always fascinated with early Disney animation, Fantasia being my favorite. Wallace & Grommet. Early Pixar shorts. Good videos of Gilbert and Sullivan productions. Every Warner Bros. cartoon that sends up grand opera and high culture. Selections from the Met Opera stream. The Marx Brothers.

  3. “On Golden Pond”, The Shawshank Redemption”, “Shall We Dance?”, “Mr. Holland’s Opus”, “Quartet”, and , yes! – “E.T.”, and the Harry Potter movies. :) As in bks., my favorites are always about relationships between people: how they work thru’ problems, how they solve conflict, how resourceful they can be, how forgiving, how courageous, how loving.

  4. Since 2010 I have been cataloguing an extended collection of films on DIY DVD-R videos are 480 /720 but to these 72 yr old eyes they are a joy. My wife and I now have near 3500 choices any night. Just as well for we live on a deep fringe Ranch buried in the Texas Hill Country. I grew up on a Ranch then got a degree in Cinema. Worked production in both NYC & LA. Gave it up came back to the Ranch to raise Cattle -Sheep & Goats. We had two fine sons who have gone from the Ranch. We love most every genre of film. Let’s Movie!!

  5. I have discovered and become addicted to Film Noir and all the black and white classics both American and British.

    So many wonderful movies and it has been so fun to research the lives of the performers.

    Wonderful full length movies available free on YouTube.

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