For today’s post, I have decided to share my top thirty favorite films. They will be in no specific order (as that changes based on my mood). I have many other films I adore, but these are definitely the top thirty!
Bell Book and Candle
~This film starred Kim Novak and Jimmy Stewart, with the supporting cast including Jack Lemmon and Elsa Lanchester! Gillian is a witch living in Manhattan who owns a tribal art shop. Shep is a man who moves in upstairs, and through a series of wacky magical events falls in love with Gillian! This is one of the movies that would go on to inspire the television series Bewitched! It is a fun and sweet movie to watch, perfect for lazy Sundays and when you are home with the flu.
~This one has got to be one of the most iconic witchy movies of all time! The Owens sisters and their aunts prove how important sisterhood, magic, and love are. I cannot resist watching Nicole Kidman as Gillian in this 90s classic. It is one that I love to watch on my birthday, but also any time during the year to be honest! As a bonus, the series of books, it is based on are all incredible, and I highly recommend diving into Alice Hoffman’s lovely prose.
Mists of Avalon
~This is the mini-series based upon the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley. It took me a while to get over the horrific things the author did in her private life, and now I have accepted that the art is amazing even if she was a terrible person. I will not go into the story here, but you can look up her misdeeds if you wish. The book and film tell the story of the Arthurian Legends from the female perspective. It is a highly magical and faery-based retelling, focusing on Morgaine (which is why I adore it so). It is also one of the only versions that show Morgan le Fay as a more relatable and benevolent figure (similar to her original Geoffrey of Monmouth version).
~The 1980s Arthurian film tells the story in a beautiful and sparkling vision. It does rely on tropes like an evil Morgana, but played by Helen Mirren she is an intriguing badass! I love the lavish production and the iconic nature of this one!
The Princess Bride
~Ah, how I adore The Princess Bride! Both the book and the film are flawless in their fairytale elegance. This one is a favorite to watch on New Year’s Eve for me, as I prefer the magic and comfort of a sweet fairytale to watching the ball drop! I feel I need not say much about this one, as it is so famous!
~Anyone who has read this blog for a while knows that my favorite fairytale of all time is this one! I adore both Aurora and Maleficent, and it gets a major bonus from me for using the original Tchaikovsky ballet compositions as the basis for the songs! For instance, the Sleeping Beauty Waltz became “Once Upon a Dream.” I also do truly adore a barefoot bohemian princess!
~Fairytale retellings to redeem the villains have become very common in the last decade. This one really started it all, and I truly adore it! My love of the character of Maleficent was proven to be understandable in this film. The change of true love’s kiss here was likewise inspired!
Maleficent Mistress of Evil
~Sequels are notoriously bad, but this one proves to be the exception to that rule. This follow-up film tells the story of Aurora and Phillip’s engagement, and the reaction of the in-laws, including Aurora’s godmother, Maleficient!
~I adore this fun and free adaptation of the classic fairytale! Flynn Rider, or Eugene Fitzherbert, is one of the greatest Disney prince characters ever. I just gotta love a prince who began as a thief, what can I say I love a bad boy! Yet again this one gets bonus points for the barefoot bohemian princess thing.
The Swan Princess
~Okay so this one is another animated addition to this list, but not Disney. I love the story that is based on Swan Lake, and the adorable characters make this a fun watch. Odette’s personality, and her interesting relationship with her prince, are fleshed out in this film. As a bonus, she has one of the most lovely 90s princess looks of all!
~This Mel Brooks send-up of classic Universal horror films is one that never ceases to make me laugh uproariously! It is a favorite to watch with my husband, as we both adore the fun and hilarious nature of the story of Frankenstein’s grandson.
~Yes it is another Arthurian film on the list, and no I do not regret that! This one is based on the Broadway musical of the same name, but unfortunately, they cut out Morgan le Fay, who had a small number in the stage show. The music is fun, and it is a very 60s free-love wild child take on the legends! I also love that Vanessa Redgrave and Franco Nero went on to become a couple in real life!
Wuthering Heights (1939)
~While this one does not stick to the source material, one of my favorite books of all time (and definitely my favorite novel of the 19th century), it is an unforgettable film. I truly adore Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier’s portrayals of Cathy and Heathcliff!
The Little Mermaid
~One of the sweetest Disney films is the reimagining of The Little Mermaid (you know where she gets the prince instead of dying)! I love the songs and the personality of Ariel in this film. Who didn’t want to escape to the sea after seeing this one?!
Nightmare Before Christmas
~Tim Burton is a true genius, and this is a film I watch no fewer than twice a year (every October and December). But, if I am being honest I watch this way more than that! I adore Jack and Sally, and would love to visit Halloweentown!
~This Tim Burton film tells the tale of a young man who accidentally marries a dead bride! It is a fun musical journey to take.
~The Tim Burton take on the iconic 1960s and 1970s supernatural soap opera provided a fun and fresh take on the story. My favorite things about this are Eva Green as Angelique, Johnny Depp as Barnabus, and the special appearance by Alice Cooper!
~This is one of my all-time favorite horror films, and I also adore the Ira Levin novel upon which it was based! There is nothing scarier than the idea that your spouse, the person you trust most in the world, would sell your body to the devil in order to gain success. This film has also inspired so many references in later pop culture. It is not uncommon to hear a mystic talk of tannis root, which is a fictional herb used in this film!
Restless Vampire Killers
~This one is such a fun satirical take on the classic vampire film. It is the production of this film that would bring together Roman Polanski and Sharon Tate! Even though their story ended tragically, it is nice to be able to see the two light up the screen and have silly fun in this film!
Bride of Frankenstein
~My all-time favorite Universal horror film is this sequel to Frankenstein. In my opinion, this one trumps the original by a mile! I adore the opening featuring the Shelley’s and Lord Byron, even if it is completely historically inaccurate. Elsa Lanchester gets so much respect from me for playing both Mary Shelley and the Monster’s Bride!
Cleopatra (Elizabeth Taylor Version)
~There is nothing more beautiful and romantic than getting to watch two people fall in love on screen! Burton and Taylor fell in love while playing two of history’s greatest lovers in this iconic 60s masterpiece. Their escapades in Rome during filming would become the stuff of Hollywood legend!
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf
~Richard Burton was robbed of an Oscar for this one! At least Elizabeth Taylor won her second for playing his shrewish wife. George and Martha are one of the most toxic relationships to be brought to screen, and Burton and Taylor shined in this film based on the Edward Albee play!
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
~As much as I love the Capote novella this is based upon, this is one of the only times I can say I prefer the film to the book! Audrey Hepburn’s portrayal of Holly Golightly is an absolutely fun ride. The chemistry between Holly and Paul makes this one of the sweetest rom-coms of classic Hollywood! The ending scene in the rain always chokes me up!
~This adorable screwball comedy starred Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Spencer Tracy. That cast alone would have landed it on this list, but it is even better is that the cast has undeniable chemistry with one another!
~The onscreen electricity of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow make this one of my favorite films to watch! They banter and tease, and make love, in this classic 30s film. There is an exotic locale and a love triangle to give a little something to everyone! This is another favorite to watch with my husband, as he loves it also.
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
~This Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell-led musical is a fun and sassy film. The gorgeous and colorful film is such a fun ride, and a great female buddy film to boot! Bonus, it features Marilyn’s famous rendition of “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend.”
It Happened One Night
~This is the only film Clark Gable ever won an Oscar for! It is an adorable rom-com where Clark Gable’s journalist falls for Claudette Colbert’s spoiled heiress. They travel across the country together in a screw-ball adventure, with lots of fast-talking banter! This is a great one for an old-school date night.
Contempt (Le Mepris)
~Godard directed Bardot in this 60s French New Wave classic! I adore the cinematography and I am a huge fan of Brigitte Bardot, so I adore this one.
Beauty and the Beast (French)
~This 1940s surrealist masterpiece is one of the earliest tellings of the fairytale. It is an enchanting and lovely ride to go on, and for any fan of the Disney version, I would highly recommend this more grown-up take on the tale!
And God Created Woman (…Et Deu Crea La Femme)
~Another Bardot film to make the list is the one that made her a star! She plays a flirtatious new bride who causes a stir amongst the men in her small French Rivera hometown. Her ending dance scene is one of my favorite moments in this film!
~I hope you have enjoyed my list. While I could not rank them, as I change my mind on the ranking regularly, I hope I have inspired you to give some of these a chance. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!