Great Movies of the Golden Age – Part 7

Posted on 15 May 00:00


The years 1913 to 1969 are regarded as the Golden Age of Hollywood. This era gave us some of the best movies. Some of the movies of this time, for instance, '12 Angry Men' (1957) is still at top of movie rankings. The movies of this era are regarded as the best of Hollywood. 

  1. The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

'The Man Who Knew Too Much' is one of the greatest suspense-thriller movies ever, and was directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The movie’s story is centered upon an American family of three, Dr. Benjamin “Ben” McKenna (James Stewart), his wife Josephine “Jo” Conway McKenna (Doris Day) and their son Henry “Hank” Mckenna (Christopher Oslen). The family is on a vacation in Morocco when they meet a stranger, Louis Bernard (Daniel Gélin) on their way from Casablanca to Marrakesh. The man, a well-behaved and sophisticated foreigner seems suspicious to Jo. Shortly after, he is killed in front of the family in a market. In his last moments, Louis reveals a plan of an assassination in London to the family and asks them to alert the relevant authorities. Then, someone kidnap’s Hank, and his parents must find a way to get their son back without taking help from the police, and if they reveal the assassination plan, Hank dies.

  1. Destry Rides Again (1939)

This is a Western directed by George Marshall and distributed by Universal Pictures. The movie is about how a vicious man Kent (Brian Donlevy), with ill intentions takes control of the small town of Bottleneck. Kent. He accomplishes this in a rigged card game, and wins the control over the local cattle farmers. When questioned about the legitimacy of the game, he kills the local Sheriff Mr. Keogh (Joe King). Kent then names a drunken fool Dimsdale (Charles Winninger), as the sheriff, unaware of the fact that Dimsdale knows a legendary law-enforcer, Tom Destry. Tom sends his son, Tom Destry Jr. (James Stewart) to Bottleneck to uphold the rule of law.

  1. How the West Was Won (1962)

This is a Metrocolor epic-western film produced by Cinerama Releasing Corporation and directed by George Marshall, Joh Ford and Henry Hathaway. The movie starts with Zebulon Prescott (Karl Malden) and his family travelling in the 1830’s when they encounter a man named Linus Rawlings(James Stewart) who helps them defeat a pack of robbers. Zebulon Prescott then marries his daughter, Eve Prescott (Carroll Baker) to Linus. After three decades, Linus goes to fight in the Civil war with his and Eve’s son Zeb Rawlings (George Peppard) and the consequences are bloody. Lily Prescott (Debbie Reynolds), Eve’s sister, continues travelling further west and meets Cleve Van Valen (Gregory Peck), a professional gambler. The two keep experiencing more adventures through the late 1880s.

  1. The Young Lions (1958)

This 1958 movie is a story of three World War II soldiers, directed by Edward Dmytryk. First, there is Christian Diestl (Marlon Brando) who was to be a ski instructor but instead joined the Nazi Army as a lieutenant. Second, is Noah Ackerman (Montgomery Clift), an American-Jewish grunt who is struggling to fight prejudice in his own camp. And, third is Michael Whiteacre (Dean Martin), a Broadway Crooner. Michael tries to avoid combat as best he can but feels guilty for not being a man enough. At the end of World War II, the lives of these three men cross in a concentration camp.

  1. Top Hat (1935)

Top Hat is a 1935 screwball music comedy directed by Mark Sandrich. The story of this movie is centered on Jerry Travers (Fred Astaire) who is on a holiday to London and Venice and stars in a show hosted by Horace Hardwick (Edward Everett Horton) in London. Jerry, while practicing dance in his hotel room happens to be a cause of disturbance to Dale Tremont (Ginger Rogers) on the lower floor. Jerry falls in love with Dale and follows her to Venice. Dale mistakes him for her friend’s husband Horace and finds his marriage proposal disgusting, and instead, marries Alberto Beddini (Erik Rhodes),a dandified Italian fashion designer. But the priest conducting the marriage is a man hired by Jerry. Finally, in a trip on a gondola, Jerry clears the confusion in Dale’s mind and the two get together.

  1. Swing Time (1936)

Swing time is a RKO music comedy. It is one of the world's most iconic classic movies directed by George Stevens. The key character of the movie is Lucky Garnett (Fred Astaire) who has equal passion for dancing and gambling. Lucky is engaged to a charmer, Margaret Watson (Betty Furness). Just as his wedding ceremony is about to happen he gets pre-wedding anxiety and calls off the wedding. Margaret’s father agrees to give Lucky another chance but only if he succeeds in making $25,000, and Lucky moves to New York to earn the dollars. However, in New York Lucky meets another girl, a dance instructor, Penny Carroll (Ginger Rogers) and falls for her. His priorities change and he is no longer the same Lucky who came to New York to earn money to win the love of another.

  1. Shall We Dance (1937)

This is the seventh movie of the ten Astaire-Rogers musical comedy movies directed by Mark Sandrich. The lead character of this movie is an American ballet dancer, Peter P. Peters (Fred Astaire), who works in Paris. Peter stumbles across a picture of a famous tap-dancer Linda Keene (Ginger Rogers) and falls for her instantly. Deeply in love, Peter uses his connections to arrange a meeting with Linda. Due to his overly excited stance and desperate behavior, Linda is unimpressed by Peter. In the dance circles and among the general public, a rumor starts circulating that Peter and Linda have married secretly. Peter and Keene find no other way of quelling the rumor than actually marrying with the intent to divorce shortly thereafter. But, things don't go as planned.


These are some of the most iconic movies of the Golden Age of cinema and honestly speaking every single one of them is worth watching. Even though some of these movies are black and white but they can still compete with the movies of the recent times and can most probably beat them in a number of aspects. 

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