I feel so lucky to have grown up a dad with a passion for old movies. He took me to Audrey Hepburn double features at the Film Forum, entertained me on rainy days with Danny Kaye, and taught me it was okay to know all the words to every song in South Pacific. So I was so excited to get a chance to check out The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together with the hopes of indoctrinating my daughters into Hollywood’s Golden Age before Noggin owns their entire media consciousness.
Compiled by esteemed film critic Ty Burr, it’s clear he knows and loves movies nearly as much as his own kids. There are familiar titles like Singin’ in the Rain and the The Gold Rush (my brother’s childhood fave) to the celluloid path less traveled including Fear Strikes Out, for baseball–and Karl Malden–fans.
The “sell” suggestions are spot on (for The Thief of Baghdad: “So that’s where Disney’s Aladdin got all its ideas”), Burr’s got smart advice on why watching King Kong seems like a better idea than it is, and he offers plenty of fun trivia and tidbits about the movies and the actors to keep kids engaged.
Make a list and hit Netflix, or TIVO Turner Classic Movies Sunday nights all summer for TCM Essentials Jr, which has Abigain Breslin and Chris O’Donnell serving up oldies but goodies like Meet Me in St Louis which airs tonight. I’ll trade notes with you about it tomorrow. -Liz