I’ve always loved old Hollywood movies. Any movie from the Golden Age is a lovely distraction from any exam I’m worried about. These three movies not only feature legendary actors, but also gorgeous sets and costumes that take you away from reality in the best way possible.
High Society (1956)
This movie is beautiful in every way, from the idyllic set designs to every outfit Grace Kelly dons in this movie. A musical remake of the 1940’s The Philadelphia Story, the movie recounts Tracy Lord (Kelly) preparing for her wedding while her ex-husband, Dexter (Bing Crosby), is still vying for her affections and a few reporters (Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm) are sent to cover the wedding. The plot may not be too exciting but the musical talents of Crosby and Sinatra seen together on a Technicolor screen is absolutely magical. And, of course, Grace Kelly is just stunning in what would be her last movie before she retired from acting and married Prince Rainier of Monaco. If you look closely in the movie, she’s actually wearing the 10 carat Cartier engagement ring Rainer gave her!
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
This movie will forever be a classic. From the sets to the magnificent singing and dancing, Singin’ in the Rain will always be my favorite musical. You can see the meticulous work that went into each and every dance routine in this movie. Debbie Reynolds was only 19 years old, with no dancing experience, and she amazingly keeps up with dance legend, Gene Kelly. This movie was truly a labor of love. Gene Kelly performed his famous “Singin’ in the Rain” sequence with a 103 degree fever. Donald O’Connor was in the hospital for a few days after he filmed his “Make ‘Em Laugh” sequence (also attributed to the 4 packs of cigarettes he was smoking everyday!). Then, Reynolds, Kelly, and O’Connor filmed their “Good Morning routine from 8:00 am to 11:00 p.m. with Reynolds recounting that her feet were bleeding by the end of the day. The dedication that went into this movie is astounding and exemplifies why it’s still an enduring classic in 2019.
Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
A lesser-known classic, Meet Me in St. Louis, features the irreplaceable legend of the 20th century, Judy Garland. Another movie that is just visually beautiful with the elaborate early 1900’s costumes and idyllic set designs. The story is also heartwarming and Garland sings some iconic songs like “The Trolley Song” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” that truly transports you to a captivating world of movie magic, which is much needed when you’re stressing about midterms.