Given the recent death of Olivia de Havilland, destroyer of Warner Brothers shitty contract politics and Ryan Murphy, I've been revisiting old Hollywood movies and would like to recommend some great old movies that have been under the radar.
Starring: Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper
Plot: A dowdy young woman under the thumb of her controlling mother comes into her own after a stint in a sanitarium and finds love.
Why Watch It: Bette Davis is one of the great titans of Old Hollywood and while she's known for playing antiheros this is her in a more subdued and sweeter character. It truly shows her range as an actress and actually gives a more sympathetic view of how other people can affect one's sense of self.
Starring: Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, Joseph Cotton, Angela Lansbury
Plot: A young opera singer marries a man who intentionally manipulates her to believe she's going insane to throw her off on his intentions to steal her late aunt's jewels.
Why Watch It: This is the movie that brought us the term "gaslighting" (an abusive tactic where abusers intentionally make their victims question their reality) and Ingrid Bergman is the fucking GOAT in her first Oscar-winning role.
Starring: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne
Plot: A married couple rush into divorce after they suspect each other of cheating only to sabatoge each other's new relationships.
Why Watch It: Irene Dunne deserves more love as a screwball comedy queen and the lead's chemistry is off the charts. Also Cary Grant is Cary Grant.
Starring: Joan Crawford, John Garflied
Plot: A working-class violinist gets a patron from a New York society woman to help him establish connections only to turn into a romance threatened by her possessive nature.
Why Watch It: Joan Crawford may be best known for What Happened to Baby Jane, Mommie Dearest and her feud with Bette Davis, but it's easy to forget she was an incredible and respected actress in her own right. She is remarkable and understated in this role as sympathetic and pitiable in her love for her protégé. It's also worth checking her out in her Oscar winning performance in 1945's Mildred Pierce.
Starring: Olivia de Havilland, Charles Boyer, Paulette Goddard
Plot: A Romanian male escort dupes an American teacher into marrying him in the hopes of getting his green card in Mexico only to have his growing feelings for her jeopardize his scheme.
Why Watch It: It's a sweet straightforward romatic movie and Olivia is legitimately great in it.
Starring: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Jack Weston
Plot: A recently blinded woman finds herself in a life-threatening con game when a group of thugs make their way into her apartmenti n search for a heroin-stuffed doll her husband accidentally acquired.
Why Watch It: I really think Audrey Hepburn doesn't get enough credit as an actress and she really shines in this thriller in struggling to outwit and best the criminals. And Alan Arkin is legitimately terrifying in this.
Starring: George O'Brien, Janet Gaynor
Plot: A farmer is seduced by city woman to drown his wife so they can escape to the city together. After his wife becomes suspicious of his plans and runs away to the city herself, the farmer follows her to regain her trust and they rediscover their love for each other.
Why Watch It: It's one of the best silent films ever and it's entertaining, moving, and a visual spectable.
Starring: Katherine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Lucille Ball, Adolphe Menjou, Andrea Leeds
Plot: A new arrival at a boarding house for aspiring actresses comes into conflict with the other residents as they all try to make it in New York's cutthroat theater world.
Why Watch It: We all stan female-dominated movies with little male involvement and seeing all time greats Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, and Lucille Ball in the same movie is a delight.
Starring: Peter Lorre, Otto Wenicke, Gustaf Bründgens
Plot: A German town's police and criminal underworld goes on a manhunt for a serial killer of children,
Why Watch It: It may not be a Hollywood movie (made in Weinmar Germany), but it's one of the most haunting movies you'll ever see. It's also Peter Lorre's breakout role and he is legit terrifying.
Starring: Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, Lana Turner, Jimmy Stewart
Plot: Three girls selected for the Ziegfield Follies become friends and struggle with romance, career, and the demands of the revue show.
Why Watch It: Kinda a musical version of Stage Door, it showcases some great Busby Berkeley numbers and features great performances from its female leads.
Images - Google
Descriptions - Reworked from Wikipedia/IMDB