Hidden Gems: 3 Cinema Classics You Cannot Miss

Roxana Anton

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Image from the film Wuthering Heights. Source: Wikimedia Commons

My curiosity for Classic Hollywood has lead me to rediscover a few classic gems that you can enjoy too, in your free summer holidays.

That is, if you are curious, in search for things that aren't conventional and that not everyone is watching.

Instead of filling my mind with films full of aggressivity, I prefer to take a step back, diving in those eternal, superbe cinema jewels.

Films like the ones that I'm about to present should probably be studied in schools and universities during alternative cinema courses.

1. Laura, 1944

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Gene Tierney, source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

We are in the Forties, the years of the cinema that perfected the noir genre, with actors like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, Lauren Bacall, Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Rita Hayworth, and many others.

"Laura" belongs to the noir detective genre, and stars the beautiful Gene Tierney and Dana Andrews.

Directed and produced by Otto Preminger, it is based on Vera Caspary's 1942 popular novel of the same name. (Wikipedia)

Detective Lieutenant Mark McPherson (Dana Andrews) investigates the killing of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney), found dead on her apartment floor before the movie starts.

McPherson builds a mental picture of the dead girl from the suspects he interviews. He is helped by the striking painting of the late lamented Laura hanging on her apartment wall. But who would have wanted to kill a girl with whom every man she met seemed to fall in love? (source : imdb)

The film is also a beautiful poetry about eternal love, or when someone loves too much and receives too little.

2. Wuthering Heights, 1939

Directed by William Wyler, produced by Samuel Goldwyn, starring Laurence Olivier and Merle Oberon, the film is a true classic jewel to see at least once in a lifetime.

It is based on the 1847 novel Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë and depicts only 16 of the novel's 34 chapters, eliminating the second generation of characters. (source: Wikipedia)

What makes the film truly remarkable is the way the novel was put into images and sounds, and also the perfect performances of the two protagonists.

The film won the 1939 New York Film Critics Award for Best Film, nominations for eight Academy Awards, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (source: Wikipedia)

3. Double Indemnity, 1944

This remarkable psychological noir is one of the films that made the glory of the genre, and stated its main traits for the filmmakers in the generations that came after.

Directed by Billy Wilder, co-written by Wilder and Raymond Chandler, it is one of the must-see films, representatives for a generation.

The screenplay was based on James M. Cain's 1943 novel of the same name. (Wikipedia)

The film stars Fred MacMurray as an insurance salesman, Barbara Stanwyck as a provocative housewife who wishes her husband would disappear as soon as possible.

The term "double indemnity" refers to a clause in certain life insurance policies that doubles the payout in rare cases when the husband's disappearing is accidental. (Wikipedia)

The film received seven Academy Award nominations, and was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". (source: Wikipedia)

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Barbara Stanwyck. Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

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