All Quiet on the Western Front (1930): As a friend of mine once told me, you know if Hitler banned a film it has to be good! All Quiet on the Western Front is a great showcase for the emotional impact classics can have on modern audiences even if the acting methods may have changed a little over the past century.
Union Depot (1932): One of my favorite parts of pre-code films is their short runtimes. Union Depot is one of many that clock in at just over an hour and never waste a second. Joan Blondell, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Guy Kibbee are all great in this pre-code film that wonderfully manages to capture the playful spirit of the pre-code era alongside a frank depiction of Depression life.
Laura (1944): I can’t think of a classic film that is as engrossing as Laura. Beautifully shot with an amazing cast including Dana Andrew, Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, and my personal favorite Clifton Webb, this mystery pulls viewers into the magic of Old Hollywood that they’ll want more of.
Sunset Boulevard (1950): Sometimes a film’s background can be just as interesting as the story it tells. Sunset Boulevard packs tons of film history, including performances from silent era luminaries Gloria Swanson and Eric von Stroheim and cameos from Buster Keaton, H.B. Warner, and Anna Q. Nielsen, into one of the best film noirs. This film is an incredible introduction to the dark, seedy genre of film noir that also provides viewers a gateway to learning more about silent films.