It’s that time of the year again for my seasonal favorite classic movies: Fall edition. These are my top 10 movies that I love to watch when the air turns crisp, the leaves begin to change into their brilliant colors, and the sweet smell of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin spice everything fills the air. There is no certain order to the list, though my number one favorite is listed as number one. It’s no surprise too that a few of these are from Alfred Hitchcock. His movies are what inspired my love for the classics and some are truly spooky with a bit of thrill to them. Speaking of, you’ll find some scary thrillers on this list for Halloween and also breathtaking fall foliage along with back to school themes. Without further ado, here are my favorite fall classics, with one honorable mention at the end!
1. The Trouble With Harry:
This is without a doubt my most favorite fall movie. I watch it as soon as fall begins and then a few times after. I watched it just this past weekend and it truly never gets old. The trouble with Harry is that he is dead. It’s as simple as that! It’s a Hitchcock movie that doesn’t necessarily feel like a Hitchcock one, but the suspense is still there along with a good dose of English humor. This was Shirley MacLaine’s first big movie role and she fit the part perfectly. The little boy, that’s Jerry Matthews or more commonly know as The Beaver from Leave It To Beaver. The best part about the movie is the scenery. The breathtaking views of the Vermont countryside at their peak in October. A fun fact, the film crew got most of the exterior shots done for the movie, though not all, before a snow storm hit the area and knocked all of the leaves off of the trees. Afterwards, everyone packed up and headed back to Los Angles to complete filming on a sound stage. Hitchcock had the idea to also pack up the leaves that had fallen off of the trees and ship them to LA as well. When they arrived, they were painted and then pinned to the trees on the set. Pretty cool idea!
Arguably, this is Hitchcock’s most famous movie and with good reason too. Ever been afraid to take a shower? It’s becuase of this movie. It’s quite a psychological thriller with twists and turns and one of, if not the best, psychological killers out there. Anthony Perkins portrayal of Normal Bates is a masterpiece to watch. No one could have quite played the part like he did. I actually based my high school senior project on this movie, specifically Norman Bates. I’m not sure if schools still require the year long “senior project” but at the time mine did. I researched mental health focusing on multiple personality disorder, which is what Norman Bates suffers from. While doing my presentation, I showed clips form the movie, which my teeachers LOVED.
3. Murder By Death:
This is such a good movie and one that is underrated in my opinion! It’s a classic who done it starring one of my favorite detectives of all time, Peter Faulk (who plays Colombo on television.) This movie reminds me very much of the game Clue, which I also love. I even have a Hitchcock edition of Clue! The plot revolves around five famous literary detectives and their sidekicks who are invited to a bizarre mansion to solve an even crazier murder. The halarity that ensues is priceless! There are so many great actors in this too from Peter Faulk, Peter Sellers, Alec Guinesses, David Niven, Maggie Smith, James Coco, and even Truman Capote. James Coco’s character of Milo Perrier portrays the famous Hercule Poirot and is my favorite in the movie. He’s just too funny! A fun fact is that while Alec Guinness was filming this movie he was reading a script he recently received from a little known director named George Lucas. That movie, Star Wars.
4. When Harry Met Sally:
This movie has to be one of the most popular rom coms ever made. While it does go through multiple seasons, the fall foliage ones are amazingly beautiful. The true quest of the movie is debating the question if men and women can truly be just friends without becoming romantically involved. I love Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal in this movie. Their chemistry together is superb and of course the New York backdrop fits in perfectly as well.
5. Bell, Book, And Candle:
Kim Novak entrances in this film with her hypnotic eyes that cast a romantic spell. If you like witches, this one is for you. This movie actually inspired the beloved television classic Bewitched starring Elizabeth Montgomery. Kim plays a modern day witch living in a New York apartment when a handsome gentleman, Jimmy Stewart, moves into the apartment above her. Jack Lemmon also stars as Kim’s brother with magical powers as well.
6. The Birds:
Another Hitchcock classic (aren’t they all?!) that takes a look at what happens when birds decide they’ve had enough and start attacking people. Rod Taylor and Tippi Hedren star in this masterpiece where survival becomes the priority. I love this movie. It’s one of my most watched Hitchcock films and one of my most watched all time films. The tension slowly builds with impending doom for the town and characters involved compounded by the fact the viewers are never given any real answers. Even the end of the film never has the words “The End” written. This was only the beginning of the terror created by our fluffy bird friends. It’s mesmerizing to watch.
7. Sleepy Hallow:
Sleepy Hallow may be a relatively recent classic, but in my opinion a classic none the less. This stars Johnny Depp as Ichabod Crane in a re-telling of Washington Irving’s classic short story. This tends to fall more on the scary side with the folklore of the headless horseman terrorizing the townspeople of Sleepy Hallow. I’ve been quite of fan of this story for as long as I can remember. I used to watch the Disney version, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and also loved the version from Are You Afraid Of The Dark, The Tale Of The Midnight Ride. One of my favorite shows, Murder She Wrote, also has a Sleepy Hallow tale with The Night Of The Headless Horseman.
8. Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone:
This is the first Harry Potter movie, based on the books by J. K. Rowling, but any of the Potter films are great for fall time and back to school inspiration. The books and movies are truly magical and incredibly well done. A sense of wonder and excitement always comes with any of the Harry Potter movies. There’s even a bit of fright with the evil that haunts the magical world. Magic literally comes to life in these films and it’s breathtaking to watch. As a long time Harry Potter fan, these film adaptions are above par.
Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! This is one of those smash hit movies that combines the comedic charms of Billy Murray and Dan Aykroyd with spookiness perfectly. Who can forget the Stay Puft Mashmallow Man rampaging through the streets of New York?! The theme songs never gets old either.
10. Arsenic And Old Lace:
This Frank Capra Classic is quite a zany and silly one, but one that I watch every single year. Cary Grant stars as Mortimer Brewster who finds out his cooky old aunts are a bit insane. Needless to say, halarity ensues as we unravel just how crazy the whole family may be. Raymond Massey and Peter Lorre also give great performances as a Borris Karloff look a like and his plastic surgeon doctor. Cary Grant always felt his performance was over the top, but honestly, while very silly, that’s what the part called for! It’s a fun little comedy that will make you smile.
Dead Poets Society:
Have you ever had a teacher that inspired you and even changed your life? I’ve had a few college professors that inspired me emensly to the point I could to listen to them talk for hours. This movie, starring Robin Williams as professor John Keating, takes place at an all-boys prep school where he encourages his students to think outside of the box. To pursue their dreams and seize the day. It’s an inspiring and uplifting film, with some sad tones, but a remarkable ending.
The Trouble With Harry: madduckposters.com
The Birds: amazon.con
When Harry Met Sally: dealflicks.com
Belle, Book, And Candle: IMDb.com
Sleepy Hallow: imdb.com
Harry Potter And The Sorcerers Stone: grapevineticketline.com
Murder By Death: Amazon.com
Dead Poets Society: masculinitymovies.com