Classic Films

Like major art forms preceding (and influencing) it such as visual arts, literature, theater, and classical music, the cinema has formulated an established canon of classic films over time.

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These films are generally considered by audiences and connoisseurs to represent the finest examples of the craft and art of moviemaking.

Although many classic films were very popular with moviegoers and critics in their time, a successful release does not always guarantee a film admission into the canon of classics, nor does an elite panel of cinematic experts adjudicate its historical and aesthetic merit and add it augustly to the annals of the greats. Classic films stand the test of time in the collective imagination, often due to masterly visual direction, memorable performances, or groundbreaking technical advances in the harnessing of wonders that constitutes film production. Classic films endure in the memories of those who watch and love them, their indelible images added to the mental picture album of movie lovers’ lives.

Catch the Film features a variety of classic films, both complete features and briefer clips. The cinematic touchstones featured here concentrate on film’s Golden Age as an emerging popular and artistic medium, from the 1920s to the 1960s. The waning but creatively fruitful days of the Silent Era are represented by comedy star Charlie Chaplin’s The Gold Rush (1925), Soviet director Sergei Eisenstein’s influential Battleship Potemkin (1925), as well as highlights of German Expressionism from the likes of F.W. Murnau and Fritz Lang, which strongly impressed on early American horror genre films like James Whale’s Frankenstein (1931).

Hollywood’s vintage Studio Era contributes epic spectacles like Walt Disney’s animation landmark Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), Gone with the Wind (1939), The Searchers (1956) and Ben-Hur (1959). More particular visions of artistically uncompromising and exacting auteurs are included as well, such as Alfred Hitchcock’s suspenseful thriller Rear Window (1954), Stanley Kubrick’s apocalyptic satire Dr. Strangelove (1964), and Mike Hodges’s fanciful space adventure Flash Gordon (1980). These are some of the greatest classic films out there.

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