5 Reasons We Love Classic Film

Image: giphy.com

Dear Reader, if you were our neighbour, we would invite you to our place to celebrate National Classic Movie Day on May 16.

There would be balloons, champagne and, of course, a classic movie. Oh – and cake, too!

Doris Day, James Stewart and Alfred Hitchcock are celebrating too. • Image: Cinephilia & Beyond

Rick at Classic Film and TV Café, an advocate of classic film and movie critic extraordinaire, hosts an annual blogging bash to mark National Classic Movie Day. His challenge: Choose five vintage celebrities who make classic movies seem all the more special to you.

We wrestled with this decision for weeks. In the end, we settled on five stars for whom we drop everything to watch. They are five of the reasons we love classic film.

1. Ida Lupino
Ida Lupino in They Drive By Night (1940) • Image: tumblr

Because Ida Lupino seems smart and tough. Her scenes make us think, “This, this, is a great actor at work.”

2. & 3. Fayard and Harold Nicholas (The Nicholas Brothers)
The Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather (1943)

Because Fayard and Harold Nicholas seem unfettered by gravity. Their dance sequences make us feel exuberant.

4. Thelma Ritter
Thelma Ritter in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) • Image: Primo Gif

Because Thelma Ritter is unfailingly charismatic. She is a study in scene-stealing.

5. John Wayne
John Wayne in Stagecoach (1939) • Image: Imgur

Because John Wayne’s presence fills the screen. He makes us feel like we can conquer formidable obstacles, too.

Now it’s your turn. Who are some of your fave classic movie stars?

This is part of the Five Stars Blogathon hosted by the Classic Film and TV Café.



  1. Glad to see Ida Lupino right up there at the top, where she deserves to be. Always.

    Not so sure about one of your choices, who generally has me reaching for the “off” switch. You’ll probably guess who . . .

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Movies AND cake. I’m there!

    When I watch Ida I don’t think of her consummate abilities first. First I think “I want to be that woman.” Thelma Ritter must have been every screenwriters wish. She could break your heart and make you laugh. “John Wayne’s presence fills the screen.” Indeed!

    Oh, the Nicholas Brothers. Our dad would call us to the TV to watch the Nicholas Brothers. His admiration for their skill was unbound. He wanted us to share that appreciation. How could we not?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love that your dad would bring you in to watch the Nicholas Brothers. They are astounding. The first time I saw them, I thought, “Who ARE these guys, and how come I haven’t seen them before now?”


    • She really is a treasure, isn’t she? I can’t believe I’d never heard of her until I started watching TCM, and there was an evening of her films. I was STUNNED that I’d never heard of this terrific actress before.


  3. If I recall. John Wayne used “Pilgrim” a lot in “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” Pilgrim for (perhaps) someone who just arrived and does not know exactly what to do. Wayne did, however. Ritter as a scene stealer is a perfect description.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Inspired choices! I have a lot of catching up to do when it comes to Ida and the Nicholas Brothers. That being said, I would be crazy if I didn’t already know how immensely talented they were from the little bits I have seen.

    Also, yay for Thelma Ritter! And John Wayne is the absolute definition of “movie star,” regardless of his acting ability (which I happen to admire).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Michaela! I love John Wayne’s movies. I think he has good comic timing, and he also has a rare ability to deliver long speeches while doing something that requires concentration, such as setting up a shot on a pool table, or re-shaping a horseshoe. Those scenes always impress me.


  5. The Nicholas Brothers! What a great choice. And it’s so nice to see Thelma Ritter up there too ( she appeared on a several other bloggers fav lists as well ). Ida Lupino I adore and only this week I have been exploring some of her early directorial projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That dolly in shot to John Wayne is magnificent…and Lupino in “They Drive By Night” is a thing of scorching beauty: “The doors made me do it!” Awmgawd, Ida…Ida Idalize ya! Nice list, Ruth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • What a great memory to have!

      I don’t think I saw a John Wayne movie until I was a young teenager, however that never stopped me from doing bad impersonations of him when I was a kid. But when I saw him on television one evening, I suddenly understood why he became a legend.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I live the inclusion of the Nicholas Brothers, whose incredible dancing was truly unique. As for Ida Lupino, she was a terrific actress, groundbreaking director, and TV pioneer. And she did all that at a time when the industry didn’t support women getting behind the camera. And, honestly, who doesn’t love Thelma Ritter? What a great list!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Did I hear the word cake? LOL
    Your choices were surprising and delightful. I’m so pleased to see Thelma Ritter included! Most of us chose A-list stars, and it’s good to see a character actress in a list.
    Thanks for the kind comment!

    Liked by 2 people

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