It took me a long time in my film journey to realize there was a reason classical Hollywood films are talked about in such high regard. To me, the thought of watching classical Hollywood films instead of an exciting foreign or art house film just seemed boring, but I had a big surprise coming to me. Even through the strict rules of the production code, the filmmakers of the Classical Hollywood era managed to completely subvert my expectations. These films are filled with life and vibrancy. They jump through the screen, and even though they all follow the same structure, they take hold of you every time. I think this goes without saying but watch Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941), Casablanca (Curtiz, 1942), and Singin’ in the Rain (Donen, Kelly, 1952). For this article, I’m going to be focusing on post-code films of the sound era.
I know I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the wonderful films Classical Hollywood has to offer. If you haven’t gotten a chance to immerse yourself in that world, start with these films and then just get lost. My tip: just tune into TCM whenever you have a spare moment. You won’t regret it.