Look What’s Under the Tree!

Merry Christmas Girlfriends!  I have a surprise for you!  Look under the tree!  And Come and Get your Happiness.

S  U  R  P  R  I  S  E  ! ! !  It’s  

I wanted to give you something that everyone would like . . . something sort of like a subscription to the flower-of-the-month club, a gift that would keep on giving.

You all know by now how much I love old movies; I’ve been recommending them in my books and calendars forever.  I know you love them too, so I thought I’d give you a list of my very favorite movies — hoping they’ll bring you happiness and give you a very wonderful winter 2012!

I’m not an expert, there’s no rhyme nor reason to this; please forgive me if I’ve left your favorite out.  I didn’t include lots of really good movies, like Sound of Music for example, or An American in Paris, Mildred PierceFunny Face, or even My Fair Lady . . . and I’m sure there are plenty I’ve simply forgotten.  But this is still a really good start.  These are films I never tire of.

Many of the movies I love best were made before I was born, and I saw almost all of them on the TV.  Wonderful, romantic, beautiful, magical, touching, funny and charming movies (like The Bishop’s Wife for example) that, because they’re in black and white, lots of people have just never seen. But that’s why I’m doing this . . . a cozy afternoon on a freezing day, with a cup of hot chocolate and one of these movies is my idea of the perfect Christmas present.  They are soul soothers, inspiration-givers, joy spreaders.

I came by my love for these movies naturally, my mom started me very young.  She’s the same age as Shirley Temple; she fell in love with Shirley when she was a little girl.  By the time I was old enough to be propped in a chair, she made sure the Good Ship Lollypop was tap dancing its way into my heart.  She and I know the words to all of Shirley’s songs; we sang them while we did dishes.  I still love Shirley.  If there was ever anything cuter or more adorable than Shirley Temple in Baby Take a Bow, I don’t know what it is.  All my life, I could be having a bad day, turn on Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, hear Shirley sing “Come and Get Your Happiness,” see the darling curtains at Aunt Sarah’s house and the roses on Tony’s Porch, and cheer right up.

From Shirley Temple, it was natural for me to move up to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies; they were made about the same time.  I think they’re sort of the grownup version of Shirley Temple, sweet, innocent and charming; the fabulous genius-inspired dances they did (like this one in Swing Time); the creative visuals their early movies presented in the height of 1930’s fantasy fashion, elegant clothes, beautiful furniture and architecture, not to mention the music!  It was magic!  A world of inspiration; a feast for the senses!

By the time I was old enough to live out on my own, I was half-formed about what life was going to be like, and all of it, for better or for worse, was based on books like Pollyanna and Little Women and wonderful old films, most of which I saw on the Million Dollar Movie on television.   I had already come to the conclusion that if you wanted a roses-on-a-picket-fence sort of life, it would be easy, just get a picket fence, and then plant some roses next to it!

I moved from my parents into an apartment with my best friend.  Her mom loved old movies too.  I’ll never forget us, lying on the floor, watching TV at two in the morning; A Farewell to Arms had just ended with Jennifer Jones dying, we were both sobbing hysterically, I had to get up and go into the other room.  Oh we loved it!  Janet called me Sue-Sue Applegate after the Ginger Rogers character in The Major and the Minor. (We called her Natasha after Boris’ wife.) We would get in her huge old car and go to the drive-in movies, wearing our jammies with big coats over them so we could go to the snack bar; we saw The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, in French with English subtitles, and sobbed all the way home.  We really loved to cry at movies!  Splendor in the Grass almost killed us. (You can tell by these photos, we’d been looking at too many fashion magazines. 🙂 Legends in our own minds.)

Old movies shaped my dreams:  they showed me what I wanted my houses to look like, how I wanted to dress, what kind of a person I wanted to be; those shipboard romances in An Affair to Remember, The Lady Eve, Sabrina, and Shall We Dance; rose covered cottages in Father of the Bride and Love Letters; houses with darling curtains and wallpaper like in Dear Ruth; the train rides in The Palm Beach Story, Some Like it Hot, North by Northwest, and Brief Encounter.  I dreamed of fields of bluebells as high as my knee, like the ones I saw in Howard’s End and one day, I went to England to see them. 

You could go around the world, even from a one-bedroom apartment, with The Quiet Man, Roman Holiday, Mrs. Miniver, Ninotchka (prettiest dress in the movies is in Ninotchka), Out of Africa, Two for the Road, and A Room with a View.

I planted flowering trees because of the tree-lined road Anne Shirley (of Green Gable fame) drove through, the petals flying, in the buckboard with Matthew just after she arrived on the train.  Remember?

Miracle on 34th Street made me decide to never grow all the way up.  I could see that the fairy-tale life was the life for me.  I knew there was much goodness in the world, I saw it in movies such as It’s a Wonderful Life, The Bishop’s Wife, Margie, and The Secret Garden.

When 9/11 happened I was glued to the TV like everyone else, but after a while, the intensity was too much, the grief, sorrow, anger, pain; it was unbearable; the real world was just too real.  I couldn’t sleep, thinking about man’s inhumanity to man; the TV news was unrelenting; I felt like it wasn’t healthy to hear it anymore. I finally turned it off, and began feeding my soul with childhood favorites . . . at first it was all Shirley Temple movies. When I saw Cary Grant, cutie pie Walter Pigeon, gorgeous Gregory Peck, Jeanne Crain, Barbara Stanwyck, or Myrna Loy — the laughter, beauty, whimsy, and charm, my troubles just floated away.  It took a few weeks for me to find my equilibrium and remember that the overwhelming majority of people in this world are good; those movies really helped.  One big bad apple had upset the balance.  I think if Osama bin Laden’s mom had given him Shirley Temple to watch when he was young, we wouldn’t have had this problem. Judge Hardy wouldn’t have put up with any of his shenanigans either.

If you’re starting from scratch, trying to learn more about old movies, it’s hard to know where to start. So here is my list of favorites, many times tried and always true.  I added links to some of the trailers for these movies — I didn’t do them all, I’m sure you aren’t going to want to go through all of them, just want you to know that the ones without the links are just as good as the ones that have them!  You can get these movies sent to your house from Netflix or buy them at Amazon. You can find them at your public library!  You can look them up on Google to find out more about them; some of them are even free and run in full length on Youtube.  So here we go!  Merry Christmas and Happy 2012 to you all!  Enjoy!  Here’s the list:

This is a list of newer movies that I love as much as the old . . .


Now take an extra minute, go to the top of the next post.  I don’t know if you did this, but something fun is to click where the link says “It’s that time of year” — come right back to the blog, letting the music play.  Now, scroll down a few more lines to the words that say THE MAGIC OF SNOW …. click on that and watch, you can listen to the music and watch the picture at the same time . . . . a little bit of heaven . . . . XOXO

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396 Responses to Look What’s Under the Tree!

  1. Shana says:

    Wow…thank you so much for taking the time to make this post for us! And I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2012!

  2. Lisa G. says:

    That’s a great list – and you did not forget my favorite – “My Man Godfrey”! (Godfrey loves me, he put me in the shower, Godfrey loves me, he put me in the shower!”) Yes, when we were kids the old movies were always on TV – I often wonder if the younger generations can relate to them the way we can – I hope so!

    I’ll refer to this list as a good reliable source of good films. Thanks! And Merry Christmas!

  3. Pamela Jewett says:

    Merry Christmas Susan!

    Thank you for the yummy gift. This list is a treasure that will be savored for years. You are a special friend to have.
    We wish you and yours a very happy and healthy New Year.

  4. Tina in Ky says:

    Thank you for the List!!! Merry CHRISTmas to you and Joe!!

  5. Patricia says:

    Oh how wonderful!!! I love it! Thank you Susan- some I’ve seen most I haven’t but I will have by the end if 2012! Thank you! Merry Christmas!!

  6. joyce price says:

    What a wonderful gift. Its like a lifetime of memories or a visit with old friends. Some I had forgotten. Have a wonderful CHRISTMAS and a big THANK YOU for your gift to us all.

  7. Sandy Richmond says:

    Merry Christmas! Light snow here in SE Massachusetts! Thank you for the great list! I’ve seen many of these, but not all of them. May I add one of my favorites? ” Trip to Bountiful” w/Geraldine Page..

  8. Sandy Perry says:

    I just love old movies. There can never be enough of them for me. Merry Christmas Susan and Joe. Oh I forgot about the two other people in your family, Jack and Kitty? Thank you so much.

  9. Kerry S. says:

    Susan – I’m sitting here wearing a t-shirt from Heartland Trading Company featuring a colorful bird on a holly spring. Say Peace on Earth above the bird. On the back neckline It says “Be an elf” Christmas 1996! Hanging in the kitchen is one of the dishtowels with the same bird design and “Peace on Earth. . . and in this house”! Hmm I wonder who the creative artist might be?? LOL
    Thank you for the list. . .glad that someone else loves movies as much as many of us! Addicted to TCM as well as Netflix! We bought ourselves a new DVD player for Christmas!
    Happiest of Christmases to you, Joe, & the kitties! All best wishes to you for 2012! Hope that you have at least a dusting of snow!

  10. Rita Baker says:

    Thank you, Susan. Lots of my favorite movies are on your list – we have the same taste. Just finished watching “The Help” last evening – it was excellent! May you and yours have a wonderful Christmas. Bless You!

  11. Linda Pintarell says:

    Looking forward to working my way through the list – those I have not seen – and maybe do some repeat viewing. Merry Christmas, Miz Susan – thanks for bringing some much joy to the lives of others.

  12. Evelyn says:

    Merry Christmas Susan…what a great list! So many of my favorites on it. As I read the titles of flood of memories went through my head as I remembered watching them for the first time and how that felt. My mom introduced me to Shirley Temple too and I loved Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm ever since. Remember Captain January? Another favorite. Just ordered for myself for Christmas a set of old Doris Day movies from her early career. Can’t wait to get them. They’ll keep me cozy and happy all through a cold (hopefully snowy) January and February this winter. I picture myself snuggled up on my sofa with my soft, comfy clothes on with my hot chocolate watching happy, cheery people singing and dancing. Have a lovely day today.

  13. jeannine leonard says:

    Thank you so much! What a wonderful list of treasures for us to reconnect with. This holiday season, thanks to you for reminding us, I have been watching and remembering movies of so long ago. I got introdused to A Christmas in Conn. The Thin Man Series (thank goodness for DVR)
    Shirley Temple, and The Man who Comes to Dinner. The Andy Hardy series. I have missed the Bishop’s Wife now three times. I remember watching these movies as a young girl, loved them then and now. It is so exciting seeing my girls enjoy them also. These movies remind us that life is good, not so simple, but just as enjoyable.

  14. Annelies says:

    Oh…we are kindred spirits!!!! I was just telling someone about “Love with the Proper Stanger” last night. Never see it even on late night channels….so the link was a delicious gift. Merry Merry…and thanks for the memories.

  15. Sarah Maldonado says:

    What a great gift! Something to make our hearts smile and please know that we will think of you when we watch these great films. Some are on my list of favorites as well and some will be new favorites, I’m sure! My mom made my wedding dress and fashioned it after some of the styles in Out of Africa, one of my favorites, too. The Unsinkable Molly Brown was playing at an old historic theatre in Estes Park every summer when we went on vacation and our family saw it every year…love that. What fun it will be to watch these just like you suggested, on cold winter days/nights with hot chocolate or tea. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours and thank you for such a marvelous gift that will keep on giving!

  16. Jack says:

    Sue, a perfect gift, to your perfect girlfriend world, from your perfect heart — many happy returns of the day to you and Joe and your purrfect kitties — from usuns, lookin’ at snow up on the mountain……. Dad

  17. debbie says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful gift! I LOVE so many of the movies and have watched them dozens of times, but there are so many new ones to watch! I am putting Christmas cookies in the freezer right now, so come January, I can pull some out, make a chai latte and pop in a movie! Merry Christmas Susan!!

  18. Tricia says:

    Thank you soooo much for the great gift! It’s a wonderful list — I’m half convinced you’re my long lost twin sister, as there are so many movies that are also on my personal list of favorites. Looking forward to lots of fun viewing over the winter. Happy, Happy Christmas to you and yours, with wishes for a New Year filled with much happiness, love and laughter.

  19. Karen P says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan!!! Thank you for that gift. What a great checklist of favs. Will print it off for future reference! Many yet to see for me! I grew up LOVING Shirley Temple, too…every Sunday for weeks on end she would be on tv. I think, too, that your Christmas tree at the beginning is perhaps THE CUTEST illustrated Christmas tree I’ve ever seen! Absolutely adorable! Have a blessed day! xoxo….kp

  20. Karen D says:

    Thank You so much for the beautiful Christmas Tree. Your artwork fills me with you no matter what the season.
    I made your Christmas Coffee Cake this morning and it was absolutely delicious! I said to my husband, “I’ll be making this again” and he replied, ” And I’ll be having another piece right now! ”
    It’s a simple recipe that captures all the flavors of the season! Thank for a new tradition started this year!

  21. Kristen says:

    Susan…I LOVE all of these movies…I started watching when I was young and was hooked on Rear Window and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers…like you I wanted to live in a world like what I saw in those old movies. I own many of those on your list (seriously) and I pay a huge amount for my cable just to be able to watch the classic movie channels. Thank you for reminding me of all these movies I love…and I was up until 2 this morning watching some of my absolute favorites. Enjoy your Christmas! 🙂

  22. mari1017 says:

    Merry, Merry Christmas, Susan ~ and to all your family and friends there and here 🙂 Finally! A wonderful list of old movies that I can print out and keep! No more scraps of paper, pages of notepads, trying to remember… LOL – what a fantastic gift for all of us ~ thank you thank you thank you ! would do hearts, but I can’t discover the secret on this work laptop 🙂
    Wuthering Heights and Random Harvest ~ can I even begin to count the times I watched them???? And so many of the others! What is more Christmas than Shirley Temple (and, of course, The March of the Wooden Soldiers for my brother lol) ?
    Since I’m still in NY, I can’t wait to share this post with my mom ~ she’ll flip!!!
    I’m wishing you the most wonderful of Christmases today ~ I love this place!

  23. Vicki says:

    We are old movie buffs here too–there’s just nothing today that can compare. I also grew up in the 50’s, and one movie I recall that scared the hoot out of me, was called, “The Hand”…do you remember that one? I was barely 5 and had just come home from school, having walked up from the bus stop. My grandma had set up her ironing in front of the old black-and-white set, but had left it to answer the phone in the kitchen. I walked through the door, and saw that horrible severed Hand playing the piano and just screamed hysterically! Which scared her silly! (She came running thinking I’d burned myself on the iron or something.) I cried and fretted over that silly Hand for months afterward, even had nightmares about it. Well that movie was shown on TV a while back and my kids just laughed, they thought it was the campiest thing they’d ever seen! It still gave me the creeps though!

    I think I’ve probably seen everyone of these movies a couple of times at least. Nice to have this list as a reference. Thank you for the sweet gift!

    Merry Christmas to all! xo

    • sbranch says:

      I do remember The Hand! Nightmare movie! You notice my list is really short on scary, violent, or world-shattering! There’s a reason for that! 🙂

  24. chris says:

    wonderful, amazing list!! it’ll keep us watching all winter – nay, all year! thanks – and merry christmas, susan branch!

  25. Karen Saunders says:

    Oh boy….. I finally have to admit I am a ‘Susan Branch’ junkie. Even on Christmas morning there I am checking your blog-site. And what a great and handy one today. ( I also am an old movie buff.) I bookmarked this one today so I can watch any movie any time I want! Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  26. Mary Cunningham says:

    MERRY CHRISTMAS SUSAN !!!!! Thank you for the awesome movies…and I love the music you post too! Enjoy all of the wonderful surprises of this Christmas holiday and hug Joe and the kitties , from me, here in Indiana!!!!!!!

  27. Victoria Miller says:

    What a wonderful Christmas morning surprise and gift! Amazing how many of these films would be on my list also, had I the patience to sit down and formulate such a list — thank you so much for this treat! Ever on the lookout for a film I’ll love, I’ll be seeking out those I haven’t seen yet. Last night, after tossing the old cookie press and hand shaping little round Spritz (I should have heeded last years gasps and sighs and got a new one then) I watched Miracle on 34th Street for at least the 110th time: it gets better every time I watch. And a bit of The Bishop’s wife. Another Christmas Eve great is The Homecoming: A Christmas Story with Patricia Neal and Richard Thomas. This is the film that inspired The Waltons TV series, but it’s just a great Christmas treat. Also, more recently The Holiday is a fun treat. My mother, a huge fan of old films, encouraged my love of movies in a great veering from her usual rather conservative mothering. If I said I didn’t feel good on a school day and there was a particularly good old film featured on the daily afternoon old movie theatre on TV, she would immediately tell me I should stay home. Then I would get to nestle in blankets on the living room couch, be fed milky tea and ginger ale and soup, and watch a great old film. This is how I know about Flo Ziegfeld and Esther Williams (who last I heard is still alive and swims naked in her pool here somewhere in CA every morning). Also, even though my bedtime was 9 pm or so, if there was a good old film on the late show film festival, Mom would come to see if I was awake (which I always was because I was reading with a flashlight) and let me come downstairs and watch with her. My father, a former Coast Guard officer, had strick rules. To this day, I don’t know if he knew of our wayward ways, but I suspect he did. Aren’t movies wonderful? Isn’t Christmas wonderful? A very Merry Christmastide to you and yours and all who visit here! And to all a good life!

  28. Claudia says:

    I think I’ve seen nearly all of them. Like you, I’m a big, big lover of old movies. I went through a period where I read and researched everything there is to know about Fred Astaire (and Ginger Rogers.) I am a walking encyclopedia concerning Fred Astaire. To this day, the “Never Gonna Dance” number slays me with its beauty. And Pick Yourself Up – how can you not be joyful after seeing Fred and Ginger in that dance studio? Movies are wondrous things.

    Merry Christmas, Susan!


    • sbranch says:

      I was thinking if any actor or actress was wondering, “why do I do this” (as all of us do at times) all she would have to do is read this blog today, and know what a difference she makes.

  29. pat addison says:

    good morning Susan, Merry Christmas. can i add a few favorites to your list??? like Father’s Little Dividend with Elizabeth Taylor and Spencer Tracy, By the Light of the Sivery Moon with Doris Day, That Touch of Mink with Doris Day. Please don’t eat the Daisies with Doris Day and David Niven, With 6 You Get Eggroll with Doris Day and Brian Keith, The Singing Nun with Debbie Reynolds, Greer Garson and Agnes Moorehead, and a classic favorite of mine: Sense And Sensability with Emma Thompson. Merry Christmas everyone. holiday hugs…… 🙂

    • sbranch says:

      Thanks Pat, Merry Christmas!

      • pat addison says:

        good morning Susan, have a few other movies to add to the list. Last of the Mohicans with daniel-day lewis, pride and prejudice with greer garson, summer stock with judy garland and gene kelly, goodbye mr chips with greer garson, the harvey girls with judy garland and ray bolger, mr hobbs takes a vacation with jimmy stewart, and the adventure of tow sawyer and huckleberry finn(the old version) . for a piece of movie history my grandpa won the 1939 academy award for best film editor for gone with the wind, Hal. C. Kern Sr, and was nominated for best film editor for duel in the sun. Happy New year everyone!!! hugs…… 🙂

        • sbranch says:

          What a huge thing to have in your family! I think Gone with the Wind was the best casting job, based on a book, I’ve ever seen . . . from Gerald, to Mammy, to Scarlet, to Miss Pitty Pat, and definitely Rhett — they could not have picked more perfect people. Best Film Editor. Amazing. Do you have his Oscar?

  30. Kate says:

    Dont forget the library! You can get a lot of these for free. What a great list some Ive never heard of. Thanks so much for taking so much time to put it together. And Merry Christmas!!

  31. Susan says:

    Merry Christmas! The old movies post is just perfect! Thank you for it. I’m going to be working this week and can play movies in the shop where I work. This list will be printed, taken to the library, pored over with Netflix, and go with me shopping. I may have to load it into my cell for better reference and to keep it near me. Oh, the winter chill will be melted a few degrees while I watch and take my mind off the depths ofwinter. I’ll light some candles and enjoy every minute. This list would be perfect for patients in hospital too! Happy Boxing Day

  32. Susan says:

    Anyone like the movie “After Midnight in Paris”? The opening shots of Paris were so beautiful that I found tears on my cheeks! Gotta go there

  33. Brenda says:

    Oh Susan, my mentor….I love old movies.. Love them. Hubs and I pooled out Christmas money together this year for an updated TV in the living room and a PlayStation 3. We do not really play video games the PS3 is mainly for the grands when they visit and for me to stream Netflex through. In my queue are mostly old movies. I have on hold right now People with Talk, taking a break to make some brownies for hubs and my desert tonight. Also in the queue is ShirleyTemples Heidi to watch with my oldest Grand Daughter she also loves Shirley as did her mother. I wanted to share Pollyanna with her but it was not available, I may have to buy that one. Just this week, I have watched a Thin Man movie, Bells of St Marys and the Canterville Ghost, although I do not think it was a very old one. Also Cheaper by the dozen, I had seen it before and did not remember the father dieing in the end. Also recently watched Little Women, the one you mentioned and Topper. And Out of Africa is one of my all time favorites, I expect I have seen it at least a couple of dozen times. I was so in awe of it that I went to the library to get the book originally written by Denison. So as you can imagine this list is a wonderful Christmas gift to me and I have already written down quite a few to look for. Thank you!

  34. Oh, this is great. I’m going to send this to a friend of mine. She has a blog where she reviews old-time movies. She’ll LOVE this list, absolutely love it. If you are interested in visiting her blog, you can click on the link here http://classicmoviesnippets.blogspot.com/ I LOVE classic movies. They’ve got lots of style and well class 😉 🙂 Happy CHRISTmas to you and your family. Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather 🙂

  35. Mary says:

    What a wonderful compilation of movies! I love that list! I’m going to try to watch as many as I can during the Christmas break! Merry Christmas Susan, thank you for making the world a brighter place!


  36. Susan Havey says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan and thanks for the wonderful list of old movies. When I was recovering from cancer surgery, my husband bought me sets of the old Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies to watch. Your favorites match well with mine.

    I just must say to you how grateful I am that you let us be girls again (even when approaching 70) and remind us how to get joy out of every day, treasure the ones we love the most, and always think of lovely ways to preserve the things we love from the past, use them frequently, and teach our children and grandchildren the importance of a cosy, loving home and family. Your mother must be the “Queen Angel” in heaven for instilling in you so much love and fun and happiness to all.

    Happy New Year and hugs to Joe, the kitties and mostly to you.

  37. JudyCnNC says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan and thank you so much for taking the time to compile this list for us. It is fantastic and I will be referring to it often for the ones I have not seen. I wanted to leave you with a recommendation for another really great movie – “The Other Sister” with Diane Keaton. We love it and have shown it to everyone who would sit down long enough to watch. Warmest wishes and wonderful hugs and dreams for Christmas. Judy C

  38. Treese says:

    Merry Christmas
    Headed to church, but your post makes me think I have another gift to read and savor when I get home. So many movies-I was only able to skim the page (can’t be late to church!) but, I loved the “Sue and Janet” picture! Thank you for a lovely Christmas gift!
    Treese/Colorado Cowgirl.

  39. thea says:

    You and Janet are quite the hotties! Have a blessed Christmas and thank you for all the happiness you share! thea

  40. Cocoa Fornelli says:

    Oh how wonderful! I ohhhhed and ahhhhed over the whole list of movies! I have seen all the movies you listed, but added to the list would be the animal movies, especially the horse movies, Gallent Bess was one of my favorites, but I would have to leave the room in one part, because I would be sobbing so much! This was when I was much younger, but if it comes on tv I still choke up. And forget The Yearling can’t even go there! And Where the Red Fern Grows, we have a “Cry Baby” list in our family, with those types of movies, but they are so good! I am off to see War Horse, I know it will be sad, read the book, but stories like that have to be seen!
    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    • sbranch says:

      I can’t even go see War Horse! Animal movies just kill me! The last one I think I saw was Old Yeller, and ever since then, it’s just too upsetting to see them limping or something!!! I know it’s going to be good too, but there’s just no way. Movies feel so real to me, I have never been able to separate and say, oh it’s just make believe.

  41. Jeanette says:

    Merry, Merry Christmas, Susan!!! Thank you for this awesome list. I’ve got to print it out and stock up on popcorn. Can anyone say, “snow day?” – to hunker down with these wonderful films. There will never be movies like these again which makes them such a treasure. Hope you can feel the gift of love and gratitude coming your way today and the whole year through, from me to you!! May all your days be merry & bright! xoxo, Jeanette

  42. Samantha Brakefield says:

    Thank you, Susan, for such a complete and wonderful list of movies. Many of the “newer” movies are on my favorites list as well. I also LOVE, LOVE, LOVE “Sense and Sensibility” with Emma Thompson (got it as a gift last night from hubby along with “Pride and Prejudice”). Also, don’t think I saw “The English Patient” with Ralph Finnes or “Moonstruck” with Cher on your list. Two of my all-time faves! All the best to you and the “girlfriends!” 🙂

  43. Lynda Mills says:

    Wow…thank you so much for taking the time to make this post for us! I wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and I hope 2012 is full of happiness, success and God’s many blessings for you and those dear to you! Happy New Year 2012!

  44. Melanie E. says:

    Merry Christmas Susan! Thank you for your gift. I grew up with ‘old’ movies – I used to watch them with my mom. She got me hooked on the classics – like Rebecca, (LOVE!), and musicals. I am going to save your list and watch everything I haven’t already. I especially liked your picture of the trees – the Anne of Green Gables series is right up there with the Little House series as my favorite books of all-time and I remember when the Anne series was on PBS – just loved it SOO much.. I could watch it over and over. Have a wonderful rest of your Christmas Day!

  45. Mary S. says:

    Thank you for the wonderful Christmas present of these wonderful movies!! I have seen many, many of them because I LOVE old movies, also. I think what we are is called “idealists”, because we find the real world to UN-ideal to deal with sometimes!
    I was so happy to see “On Borrowed Time” on your stack of movies!! That is really a little-known movie and I love it sooooo much!!
    Two movies I would like to add to your list and ask if you love them, too: “How Green Was My Valley”, and “Bringing Up Baby” ( I don’t THINK they were in your list).
    Merry Christmas, and much love!!!

  46. Julie says:

    Merry Christmas Susan,

    I’ve been enjoying ALL your blogs, never posted until now-
    but seeing that adorable photo of you & your girlfriend
    reminded me so much of my sisters & girlfriends & one of our favorite
    films from our High School Days, “To Sir with Love”.

    We were all crazy over the Beatles, still are
    and Sidney Pointier
    reminded us all, of the silent, teenage crush,
    each girl had on one of the “handsome” teachers in school.

    Mine was Mr. Klenk, 11th grade Economics-
    needless to say I hated Economics but secretly, loved him.
    Now, when I think back, he was really rather nerdy & clumsy-
    perhaps, I empathized with him more than “loved” him…..
    ah……who can explain love ?

    Back to the movie-
    Oh, Boy…when the British school girl got Sidney Pointier to dance-
    the whole movie theater swooned.
    It is still one of our favorite scenes-
    when we all get together,
    we have a “little” silly-dilly wine,
    watch the movie, wait for the dance scene
    and then, get up & imitate each & every move-
    giggling like the impressionable school girls we were.

    In THAT photo,
    you and your girlfriend look like you could have been in the cast-
    with the Jean Shrimpton hair, Pattie Boyd pout and Lulu lipstick.

    Here is the “Dance” clip-

    BTW does anyone else remember “Yardley’s Hair Shiner” ?
    My sister & I would pool together our babysitting money just to buy a
    can to spray our “teased” heads with each morning
    before jumping on the school bus.
    I just remember, how gloriously British it smelled
    and how ridiculously expensive it was
    on our .25 cent an hour babysitting money.
    However, it was worth every penny
    because we believed we would look just like Jeannie Shrimpton-
    after all, she advertised the product to us every night on TV
    and told us how wonderful it was…..obviously, it worked well for her !

    Just as an extra note-
    I had a wonderful New England style gift shop for almost 20 years
    and carried your line of products. The customers that bought your
    items were as warm & gracious as you.
    That is indicative of your talent and personal charm.
    I still have the handwritten notes from you, when I would inquire
    about information
    on purchasing your licensing products for my shop.
    You were always so helpful & bubbly.

    I grew up in a family of eight kids-
    though I was stuck in the middle of 4 sisters & 3 brothers.
    your childhood mirrors mine in so many ways, where imagination was always key.

    Have always loved the vineyard, especially off-season
    since first trip over 30 years ago-
    you are the Vineyard’s
    most wonderful ambassador for you have a heartfelt way
    of capturing her simplistic beauty
    that sometimes gets lost in the pretense of life.

    Wishing you & yours
    the warmest of holidays and a very blessed New Year !

    P.S. Jack’s personality reminds me of the “Artful Dodger”-
    mischievous & sweet…all rolled into one….. absolutely adorable !
    Although I must say-
    when you were tossing the ball to him-
    as he was returning it to you,
    he was walking more like John Wayne than the Artful dodger…TOO funny !

    • sbranch says:

      That was fun, thanks Julie!! Yes, I do see some Jean Shrimpton in our pouts . . . I knew it came from something!

      • Jacquelyn Wirthlin says:

        Yikes! Jean Shrimpton … I was just trying to remember her name the other day … loved her hair and “Seventeen Magazine” photos, covers, etc. lol. I wore that “artichoke” creation for several years … lol

        Loved your wonderful Christmas gift today. So many of my very favorite movies both old and more current. Some of those films are the kind that I stop what I’m doing and watch just because … lol. “Grease”, “Dirty Dancing”, “An Affair to Remember”, etc. My husband took me on a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands for my 50th birthday on the sister ship to the U.S.S. Independence (the “Constitution”) and it just made “An Affair …” that much better. Will try to watch as many of these wonderful films as possible.

        Please know how much we love all your efforts and input. Something wonderful to look forward to. Loved your Christmas tree too!

      • Mary S. says:

        OMGoodness!! I LOVED Jean Shrimpton!! I got the paperback of her autobiography and read it all (back then)!! It was full of great photographs!!!

    • mari1017 says:

      Wow, Julie!!! Did you just bring back memories with Yardley and To Sir With Love! I think that me and my girlfriends went to that movie at the local theatre every day that it played, and stayed for every showing LOL ~ the British accents, Judy Geeson, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, the fashions! Lulu and her song!

      And Yardley!!! The London Look – Hair Shiner – whistle lip slickers in blue and yellow ~ white and pastel metallic eyeliner ~ drawing in the lashes ~ and Oh! de London perfume!!!! I saved up my allowance and part time job money to buy everything Yardley ~ yeah, we all looked like Jean Shrimpton ~ not 🙂 but we were the BOMB!
      Thanks for the memories! Merry Christmas 🙂

      • Julie says:

        Ha !
        Mari, we always joked-
        how ironic it was that the beautiful model
        who stood three stories high
        would have a last name like “Shrimp”ton ?

        I would give anything to get my hands on a vintage can
        of Yardley “Hair Shiner”-empty or full,
        just to set on the vanity.

        Shrimpton, TheBeatles, Carnaby Street, Twiggy.
        To Sir with Love-
        such innocence, such fun.

        Susan’s story on meeting The Beatles
        in her “Girlfriends” book is fabulous-
        no matter how many times one reads it.

        Someday, hopefully she will expound upon it
        within her blog.

        She makes your heart PUMP with excitement,
        along with hers, as she recaptures every lucky second.
        Stories like this make ANYTHING seem possible !

        Although he’ll never know it-
        the gorgeous George Harrison is & always will be
        the “love-of-my-life”-
        no sweeter soul on earth or in heaven…..xoxox !

        • sbranch says:

          That was great Julie!

          • Julie says:


            I recall, quite awhile ago
            running across an internet podcast you did
            with some interviewer and you recanted
            the Beatle story…….or am I dreaming ?
            Don’t think so, as I remember it
            being just as exciting as the written article
            in “Girlfriends” and even better,
            in your own voice.
            Gosh, if the link is STILL available,
            i’m sure all the girls would love to hear it !
            If I am dreaming-
            feel free to WHACK me in the head…

          • sbranch says:

            You weren’t dreaming. . . here’s a link to the podcast interview with the Beatles story

  47. Mia Sophia says:

    That is some list! I have seen and enjoyed many a movie you listed however, now I have some new (old) ones to try. Thank you! I also loved Doris Day, Elvis and Fred Astaire movies growing up. Brings back so many fond memories and dreamy days. A few suggestions for you to try are: How to Make an American Quilt, Ever After, Overboard and Chocolat…sweet movies for a cozy afternoon. Enjoy!

  48. Brenda says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan, and all the best for 2012. When I look at all I am thankful for in 2011, my list certainly contains your blog and all the pleasure it gives me.

    Here is a bit of trivia for you related to the movies you mention. Little Shop Around the Corner originated from a musical called She Loves Me which originated from a Hungarian play called Parfumerie. Then In The Good Old Summertime originated from Little Shop Around the Corner which was remade into Youve Got Mail. How is that for provenance!

  49. Ann says:

    Well, that is quite a Christmas gift to us! Thank you. We are the same age (give or take a few years) and I think I have seen every movie on your list. I would just add one to the last group–“In or Out” with Kevin Kline and Tom Selleck. Very funny! It is so great that you are introducing old movies and so much more to your younger readers. Each post is a treasure. Merry Christmas!

  50. Francine says:

    Merry Christmas Susan! Many of your favorite movies are among my favorites too! And some I have never seen, but will have to check out. But I didn’t see Penny Serenade starring Irene Dunne and Cary Grant mentioned! A REAL tear jerker!!!!!! Weren’t you a darling teenager!! Well, off to my daughter’s and the grandkids…..only 2 blocks away! Have a wonderful day.

  51. Jack says:

    It’s not the look , or the pout , or the casual lounging position –that gets me — it’ s the
    hands —-what is it with those hands , all splayed out like that ? Are you girls trying to audition for the Adams Family?

  52. miriam says:

    What a thoughtful gift and what a great list! Many of my favorites too and some I have never seen but will now. Thank you SO much! How do you do ALL that you do?!! You are AMAZING! 😉 Hugs!

  53. Linda Wattier says:

    Thank you so much for the great gift. Merry Christmas. Enjoying the day with family. Is in the 50’s here in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Neighbors were out eating on the deck. Blessings to you.

  54. Cheryl says:

    Merry Christmas Susan!
    Thanks so much for the fantastic list. I would add the movie Glass bottom boat with Doris Day and Rod Taylor. My Mom saw many of these movies as new movies, and I watched them on TV. We love them! My daughter loves them also and collects them. We are going to print the list and start adding to our collection. What a great Christmas gift. Thanks again, great idea!

  55. Cindy Tuning says:

    How did you remember all those titles??? I’m glad you did.Thank-you! If you get a chance see “Miracle In The Rain”…Talk about crying!!

  56. Debra B. says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan! What a wonderful gift! I really love old movies! We love to watch The Sound of Music every year. When my daughter, Charity, was a senior in HighSchool we would sing “How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria” together. If we were teasing each other instead of saying Maria she would say “my Mother” and I would say “Charity”. It has always been wonderful to share a love of music with all of my children. I know they will pass it on to their children.

  57. Rosemary says:

    What a marvelous list! I am not the movie buff that my daughter is..or even my husband. But, it is nice to have a list to refer to and maybe get started on a movie roll for awhile.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS! Hope you have had a wonderful, warm, lazy day! We have, here in Texas…just right. Cold enough to have a fire in the fireplace all day.
    Thank you for all you do so creatively and so touchingly. Makes MY heart sing. Really, it does.
    Here is to 2012. Yikes! Should be a wonderful year ☃. Oh yes, loved TWO FOR THE ROAD with Audrey Hepburn…saw it early in my marriage and we both still like that movie. Bye.

  58. Connie says:

    Fabulious, Fabulious, list of movies for
    us all!!
    My favorite is Moonstruck…
    Thank you for making the big effort to
    create this wonderful list!
    Merry Christmas!

  59. Absolutely amazing! I’m speechless, I don’t know how you found the time to do this. Thank you very much!

    I love old movies and my husband and I were just talking about adding more old movies to our (very small) home DVD library. This is fabulous.

    There is a line in You’ve Got Mail about the books we read as children go with us all our life. I think the same about old movies. I compare every movie with Casablanca. 🙂

    Merry Christmas! May you be blessed as you have blessed us.

  60. Tamar Weaver says:

    Very cool. Thank you and Merry Christmas!

  61. Connie K says:

    What a fun list to scroll through. It brings back great memories of watching Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in college, watching Shirley Temple movies (and Tarzan movies) on Sunday afternoons as a child. I own most of the Shirley Temple movies. They’re handy to use as punishment for preteen boys, when babysitting.

    72 degrees out in San Diego, with gorgeous views of the mountains today. If I can’t have snow, then I sure love the sunshine.

    Merry Christmas!

  62. Ann Y. says:

    Thank You SO much, Susan ! You are SO right when you say old movies teach you how to live…..”just get the picket fence and plant the roses…” This is a great list, know most of them, but there are some there I am going to have to explore. So glad you mentioned Random Harvest ( oh, when he hears “Oh Perfect Love” at the wedding rehersal) and Enchanted Cottage….just LOVE that one ! This perfect gift will go well with a gift I bought for my darling husband – aka Movie Buddy – a subscription to the TCM Now Playing magazine. We love nothing better than watching old movies, black and white is great, and the new ones you mentioned are many of our favorites, too. Hope you had a wonderful, magical Merry Christmas. We are just home from a 2 hour drive to my family….28 people, lots of kids, lots of noise, lots of Christmas ! Now in our pjs, a pizza in the oven ( mushrooms, spinach, red peppers), and…..WHITE CHRISTMAS ! Corny, almost too vivid technicolor, and just perfect for Christmas night ! Thanks again for the list….Merry Christmas !

  63. Karen S. says:

    Hi Susan! Enjoyed the movie list. We love old movies too. We just have to add one we think you’d enjoy: I Know Where I’m Going. It was directed by Michael Powell & Emerich Pressburger and it’s a great and very unique love story. (Our other all-time fav is Hobson’s Choice – which we were happy to notice was at the top of your list!

    Happy new Year!

  64. Rosanne says:

    Reading your progression from Shirley Temple through Fred and Ginger to Cary Grant is so like my own life experience (born 1947, grew up in CA, so easy to relate to your memories!). Love, love, love your Christmas tree painting, and the one of your house in the snow. Your artwork is so uniquely light and lovely, and your heart shines through. Merry Christmas!

  65. Bess says:

    Dear Susan, how fortuitous your movie recommendations list is for me as we just last night have a subscription to Netflix! Seemed like the first few movies I thought of this afternoon (before I read your post) were only available on DVD, but your list should keep me busy with great movies for a long time, even if not all are available to watch instantly! I was able to view I Capture the Castle this afternoon. I enjoyed it, but having read the book beforehand was helpful. You can bet I’ve bookmarked this post!!! So glad I have the day off tomorrow … now what to watch next? Thanks for your lovely gift!

  66. Mary Ann says:

    Such a wonderful list Susan. I play lots of movies in my sewing room while I quilt and make other crafts (does that make it a craft room?) So now I’ll be adding to my list. I do love old musicals and BBC drama especially. Hope you’re having a wonderful day!

    • sbranch says:

      It’s been a wonderful Christmas, we’re still listening to Christmas music, petting kitties and thinking about bed.

  67. Lori from Maine says:

    I started reading your list, thinking “I haven’t seen many old movies.” Then I realized – yikes! I’d seen a lot of them! What a great list, thank you! Waking Ned Devine never fails to get my husband and I laughing.
    Susan, Susan! Here in Maine (Downeast) it snowed all day! It is sooooo pretty. Our dog has been having so much fun playing outside with her new squeeky toy. (She’s out like a light right now.) All the company has gone home. The few dishes will wait until tomorrow. I’m going to sleep in until whenever, get up, stay in my jammies and eat popcorn balls, fudge and cookies, take a bubble bath with my new “smell goods”, then take a nap. Yahoo! 🙂 Hope you had a sweet and wonderful Christmas. xo from SW Hbr.

    • sbranch says:

      We just got back from a very small gathering of just six friends, across the street, in front of the fire, with a stretched out cat in front of us, telling stories, it was wonderful. Walked home under the stars, so grateful. I think we’re in the same frame of mind as you are.

  68. Priscilla says:

    Merry Christmas and thank you for the lovely music and sleigh ride! I completely “ditto” your favorite movie list plus all Doris Day movies, and all Hitchcock movies, and Cary Grant movies and the list goes on and on. And I, like you, can not handle the animal movies. I cannot watch “Old Yeller” and will not be watching “the Warhorse”. And I cry everytime I see “Splendor in the Grass”. I just like the charming movies and boycott anything that is violent or bloody. I just like to live in a fairy-tale too. Went to see “Hugo” last week and I loved it.
    By the way, I taste tested the hard sauce that had been frozen and the refrigerated hard sauce and both were fine. They both needed a little freshening with vanilla. They were put out to come to room temperature at the same time so the frozen batch had a firmer texture but no difference in taste.
    All the best!!!

  69. jane zamudio says:

    i love this list!!! I thought i was the only one who loved “Waking Ned Devine”. There are so many of my all time favorites on this list! You Susan, are truely a “bossum friend”.

  70. Diane says:

    First of all….that pic of you and your best friend was priceless! lol…I laughed out loud because is was so cute! You two looked like you KNEW you were cool….lol. I love hearing your stories so much! Secondly, I think I am going to put you on my “bff list” after reading this blog! My husband always teases me for loving the old black and white movies, but I cannot help it and they have helped center me and cheer me back up many times over the years. I love the movies in the 40’s the best for some reason and have a hefty collection….it is so embarrassing that I have put them ALL into my closet on a bookshelf so that I can avoid ppl commenting on how many of them I own and telling me to downsize! lol lol. When I read your blog just now, I was so surprised that you love them for the same reason I do….but maybe that makes sense since I have always been drawn to your artwork and books…..! In any case, what a special gift under the tree your list was for me…..thank you very much! I saw some movies on it that I have never even seen before! ( I also loved the idea of “under the tree”)….lol…that was very sweet! I hope you and Joe and your beloved ones had a very happy day today….you totally deserve it! I just want to say again a big thank you for all the personal sharing you do…this is such a nice blog to read and to see how many others are doing too. Merry Christmas!

  71. Lisa R says:

    What a WONDERFUL gift Susan! Thank you so, so much!!! I often scroll through Netflix, trying to find a good movie. I have bookmarked this post, and will not want for a good movie for months! I’m so excited to get started. Many I have seen, but many of them I haven’t. You have given me a great start to the new year. I already bought Diane Keaton’s new book, just waiting until after Christmas to start reading. Now so many wonderful movies to choose from! So very, very thoughtful of you, Susan. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.♥

  72. Angela Fehr says:

    Oh, you’ve listed some of my old favourites, too! I was a child of the 80’s and 90’s but we enjoyed so many old black & white movies. Fred Astaire, yes! But Cary Grant was always my favourite – he is so funny in Father Goose and Bringing Up Baby. And I will always, always list Holiday Affair and Roman Holiday as ones I will never tire of seeing. And Sayonara with Marlon Brando! And so many more…Thanks for sharing this – we don’t have access to a video store so I don’t know when I’ll get to see some of these rarer shows but I’m definitely copying your list for the future!

  73. Angela Fehr says:

    Oh, and Susan, I was going to ask if it was weird that I include Clueless among my favourites, clumped in with so many classics, but I see it’s on your list too! Maybe I’m not so shallow after all.

    • sbranch says:

      No, clearly you are one of the normal ones 🙂 it’s a darling movie! I love the clothes she wears…and the story was based on Jane Austen’s “Emma” making us anything but shallow!

  74. Cheryl Walsh says:

    Wow! You worked so hard on this and on Christmas Day- that is why I love you Susan Branch!
    You love everything I love-we should be old friends! Hoping for snow! I’m making a copy of this list to see the ones I haven’t. Thanks so much for being you! :o)

  75. Laura says:

    You have them all, except “The Age of Innocense.” The clothes!

  76. Julie Cavrich says:

    I love the list! I watch “Laura” just to look at her apartment. A sweet, quiet movie is “The Whales of August” with Bette Davis and Lillian Gish. Love the “fashion” photo. (We all have them!) Happy Holidays!

  77. Kim S. says:

    Thank you for your wonderful list of such great movies!! I watched Roman Holiday after you recommended it a few months back and loooovvvveeeeddd it. Another movie that I love is “I Remember Mama.” I am going to try some more of your list although I already love most of them – Rear Window – Grace Kelly is so beautiful. I adore the Cranford series (mostly the English gardens and Miss Maddie and funny Miss Poe!!!) and have recently discovered Candleford to Larkrise and love them. I hope you and yours had a Merry Christmas and a Happy and wonderful New Year. Thank you for your blog – I love visiting with you everyday!

  78. Vicki M says:

    Great post today! I love old movies…in fact we just watched Margie last night. Great movie…hadn’t seen it in a long time. But I’m wondering: where did you get your copy of the Margie DVD? Amazon doesn’t carry it at all. Did you find it locally? Hope you had a great Christmas day!

    • sbranch says:

      I hunted and hunted. It’s not a great copy, not perfectly clear. I don’t really know where I got it, it just turned up on Google one day and I snapped it up — I really thought it came from one of the Amazon side stores they have. I can’t understand why that one isn’t available! So darling. It’s my mom’s generation of Peggy Sue Got Married!

  79. Jerri Ellen says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan!

    Did I miss seeing “Bridges of Madision County” on your “must see” list? Oh, how I love that movie! Clint and Meryl were just magical.

    Holiday Hugs from San Juan Capistrano…

    • sbranch says:

      Bridges is like this whole thing to me, so conflicted; I really, don’t be shocked, hated the book with a passion. I just didn’t get why everyone loved it. I have best friends, including a girlfriend who was staying here at the time, who read it, and sobbed herself to pieces crying over it; stayed in her bedroom all day! She and I are alike in all things, but this! I thought the guy in the book (and the author) loved himself so much, I couldn’t get past that to anything else really. I know lots of people love it as much as I don’t love it. I do think the movie was better than the book. I hope we can still be friends!? That, as they say, is what makes horse races. 🙂

      • Jerri Ellen says:

        Thanks for sharing your take on the book and movie. I loved the book, too, and cried like your friend did. Of course, “friends forever”…hmmmm wonder where I heard that!!

  80. Nancy Carreiro says:

    Thank you for the lovely gift. I would like to add, Rebecca , 1940. I love Girl Kitty and Jack . Thanks for the blog!. N.

  81. Darlene says:

    Merry Christmas Susan to you, Joe and precious kittycats!! Thank you so much for this special gift!! I can’t wait to start finding these gems ! I see you have a few of my favorites, especially Waking Ned Devine…I love that movie! Hope you had a beautiful Christmas with many special memories.

  82. Cindy says:

    Merry Christmas! Thank you for the wonderful movie list. I love old movies, too. I will be re-watching some and looking forward to watching the ones I have missed.
    I received another special Christmas gift today, the book Country Chronicle by Gladys Taber!!

  83. Pat Mofjeld says:

    Thanks for the list–there is nothing better than making a big bowl of popcorn, pouring a couple of glasses of apple cider, getting on jammies, and spending a winter night watching a good movie! Merry Christmas to you and Joe and the kitties from Norm and I and the schnauzers, Fanny and Betti! 🙂

  84. Elizabeth says:

    Marty with Ernest Borgnine is one of my all-time favorite movies…it was on a few months ago, and I introduced my husband to it, and now he loves it too.

  85. Kirsten Wichert says:

    I didn’t have a moment to spare to read your blog ’til tonight. Wow, you’ve outdone yourself. Thanks for the movies, some I actually have not seen. I used to watch the million dollar movies on T.V. with my grandmother on Saturdays. She had a large farmhouse in Englewood, N.J. We would do our needlework and watch together. Those were some of my most cherished memories. How I loved watching the Shirley Temple movies with her!

    I hope your Christmas was as blessed as mine! Have a Happy New Year, too!

    • Kirsten Wichert says:

      P.S. Tomorrow is my favorite day of the year. Not for SALE shopping……..nooooooooooooo. Tomorrow is jammie day (all day through bedtime!) Favorite movies playing all day……….eating Christmas goodies….hot cups of tea and vanilla cream. Yes, tomorrow is my idea of heaven on earth. This is my favorite tradition of all!

      • Kirsten Wichert says:

        P.S.S. Oh, by the way……..Tomorrow I will be very proud of myself for getting through all the preparations, surviving all the shopping and baking and present making. I made cold care kits for everyone. I made neck warmers from socks (from the autumn book) and included chicken soup and oranges. Everyone loved them! I went through 50 lbs. of rice!!!!!!!!!! It was so worth it. Thanks for the idea!

      • sbranch says:

        Oh that’s funny, that’s me too! That and reading comments!

    • sbranch says:

      It was wonderful, I’m writing it all down in my diary this morning so I don’t forget!

  86. Linda says:

    I have to laugh at your list!! Maybe listing what you don’t like would have been easier for you!! There are more movies on your list than I have watched in my lifetime!! You are definitely an Oscar winning movie watcher!!

  87. Terri says:

    Oh thank you! What a wonderful present to find under the tree! Reading your list was so much fun. I found so many of my own favorites on your list as well as lots of “oh my gosh, I’d forgotten all about that and I remember loving it,” titles – and some “new to me” ones too, that I can hardly wait to watch, now.
    Just watched “Holiday Inn” with my grandgirls last night. It’s so much fun watching the old movies with them, seeing them again through their ‘new eyes’ (I’m so glad to find out “Topper” is on YouTube – so far I’d only found “Topper Returns” on Netflix, which they loved, so I know they would REALLY love the first one).
    There are so many great old movies that I want to share with them: “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid,” “Miranda,” “The Court Jester,” “The Egg and I,” “Auntie Mame,” “Francis,” “Father Goose” – the list could go on and on! I really miss those Saturday afternoon movie times on TV, where thanks to the station, the oldies would just show up…though Youtube, Hulu and Netflix certainly help make up for it – if I can remember all the titles, to look them up. Your list will certainly help me out there. Thanks again!
    Hope you had a merry Christmas!

    • sbranch says:

      You are a very good influence! I don’t know how it would have been to grow up without that “safety net” of sweetness and light to go to in times of trouble!

  88. Shelly says:

    Thanks for posting your favorite movies. Most of mine are on your list. My all time favorite is “Out of Africa”. Come to think of it, I love any movie Meryl Streep is in. I also love anything Nora Ephron has directed. Anyway, thanks again and Mele Kalikimaka!

  89. Holly Saveur says:

    Merry Christmas and all the very best wishes for 2012!
    Thank you so much for this great gift off happiness and escape from the cruel world!
    Thank you also for sharing your life in such a fun and sweet way..love your blog only found it I think 3 months ago…….love the drawings!!!!!
    And antiques and your house and your super sweet cats and …………..so much more!

  90. Kelly J. says:

    Merry Christmas, Susan! Thanks for the awesome list of movies! It’s movie time around here this week too. Last night we came home exhausted, but happy, and we got cozy and popped in Crazy, Stupid Love! Today we’ll be watching The Help. Both were under the tree and have already become new favorites. I actually saw The Help TWICE while it was in the theater…what a treat! Now to tackle that laundry pile that morphed to 3 times its usually size while we’ve been Christmasing for the passed few days!

  91. Susan Mixon says:

    Thank you, Susan, for taking care of us girlfriends out here with this wonderful list ! You are the best!! Most of my favorites are on it and even some I had forgotten about! I want to add “The Old Maid” with Betty Davis and Miriam Hopkins and also “Goodbye Mr. Chips” with Greer Garson. Oh, and “Dark Victory” with Betty Davis and George Brent. And always the Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies…my bestest friend would spend Friday nights with me and we’d watch Tarzan save the day and we learned foreign languages at the same time…ooomgowha, pacy pacy, not to mention the “yell”. And the Shirley movies…for my birthday one year (before DVDs) my dad recorded many of her movies on VCR tapes for me to watch…such a sweetheart my dad…and Shirley too! All of these old movies provide such a wonderful respite from a sometimes cold and harsh world. Now, where are my slippers and Kleenex and that bowl of popcorn and oh, here are the M&M’s and glass of milk 🙂 and my Lily cat on the arm of my chair… I’m ready! Have a wonderfully happy and magical New Year!

  92. Treese says:

    Hi Susan:
    I just finished the list. I was a little disappointed that you didn’t mention The Parent Trap with Hayley Mills! I love Hayley Mills and have seen all her movies and on stage. I saw her on stage in London in The King and I. Unfortunately; she isn’t doing much acting these days. My grandfather took me to see The Parent Trap when I was a little girl and it remained my favorite movie until Bonnie and Clyde came out (what a contrast!). But, Bonnie and Clyde was a love story just a little twisted. I see I have a lot of movie watching a head of me, but today I am headed to see The War Horse. I have read the book a hundred times and I am sure Steven Spielberg has done it justice. I was one of those little girl’s who grew up, but remained mad about horses.
    Happy New Year!
    Treese/Colorado Cowboy

    • sbranch says:

      I’m so afraid that movie would break my heart. I know Steven Spielberg will make it come out all right and fill it with hope, but it’s the getting there that worries me. Will love to hear how much you love it! 🙂

  93. Joan Lesmeister says:

    Thank you for the beautiful tree and the wonderful “Surprise” under the tree! I love old movies, & a lot of the new ones too. The English cottages in “Holiday” & the scene in the tent with the little girls, sigh! Santa brought me “Gladys Taber’s Stillmeadow Cookbook” & drumrollllllllll “Christmas From The Heart Of The Home ♥ Susan Branch”, First Edition, beautiful cover with you running through the snow! Be still my heart, I’m so excited to get those two books! That Santa, what a great guy! Girlfriend, I’ll be so busy reading & watching old movies! One year, for Christmas, one of my bridge friends bought me “Singing In The Rain”, after I mentioned it was one of my alltime favorite movies (now we’re the 3B’s – Bridgeless Bridge Babes who do field trips and go to lunch, no more bridge!)! Happy Monday, hope you and all your girlfriends have a restful day, except we do need to get that laundry done! Bushels of xoxoxos!

  94. Nancy Brown says:

    Hi Susan, yesterday flew by and just caught up with you today. Love the list. My family has accused me of really being a person of the late 30’s and 40’s as far as films are concerned. Loved your list. Thought I’d add a few… Now Voyager (Bette Davis), Portrait of Jennie (Joseph Cotten and Jennifer Jones), Since you Went Away with Claudette Colbert, etc. If I ever win the lottery I would like to build Mrs. Miniver’s house (before the bombing of course). I’ve introduced my oldest granddaughter to your art and your blog (she’s 12). She’s fallen in love too. You are a bright spot in my day.
    Nancy Brown

  95. Diana says:

    I will definitely refer to your great list! My mother also introduced me to the classic movies, especially musicals. I remember her telling me she always thought when she met “the one” that music would begin playing in the background.

  96. jennifer says:

    You not only create magic….you ARE magic. 🙂
    Thank you for the movie list. I too love them all and have seen most of them.
    But I did see on the list a few that I must find and watch.
    Thank you.

  97. Oh, thank you soooooo much for taking the time to to share your favorites (and with all those links too – I know how long that takes!)….Most I’ve seen and loved, many I’d forgotten and must see again, and I added a few new ones to the Netflix queue as well.

    There’s something so relaxing about curling up on the sofa in the dead of winter, with a cup of tea or cocoa, a cat or two to cuddle, and an old movie in the player. Ditto the aforementioned and a good book!

    I’m loving reading the Girlfriends recommendations here too, and am thinking I need to save all of these to my computer for future reference. At the risk of sounding old and uptight, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve browsed “New Releases” online and seen absolutely nothing of interest…I mean, there’s quite enough violence in the world without inviting it into my living room in the guise of entertainment. Much better to keep the energy positive. 🙂

    Wishing you and yours, and all the Girlfriends/readers here a joyous Christmas (well, second day of Christmas now) and a New Year filled with love and light!

    ♥ Carolee

  98. Paula B. says:

    Merry Christmas Susan, loving this post. And you were quite the mod girl back in the day – liking the look. Some of my all-time faves are on this list: Working Girl, National Velvet, Little Women, and the list goes on. Who could resist Cary Grant or a Harrison Ford, and Diane Keaton and Mery Streep in anything, yes! I, too, grew up on little Shirley, our local t.v. station always ran her movies on Sunday afternoons, sometimes there was even a double feature! Woke up to a lazy day after Christmas today and promptly stayed in bed and watched Serendipity for the next two hours, now I’m baking cookies. Does it get any better than this????

  99. Sharon says:

    It worked Susan, clicking on the music, watching the carriage in the snow, Frank Sinatra singing in the background – I got goosebumps it was so beautiful! We are kindred spirits, so many of the movies you listed are my favorites, too, especially the black and white ones. There’s something magical watching them, you almost feel transported to that time, at least that’s how they make me feel. And with the black and white and no color, everything and everyone seems to be so perfect. I’m glad you put Miss Potter on the list. I watched it for the first time last night and I just loved it. For Christmas my husband surprised me with the movie and some figurines, too! I think you have started something! I set them up on a little shelf here in my work room (I work at home on a computer) and I can look at them while I work. They all look so cute and content there on their little shelf. I hope you and Joe had a wonderful Christmas Susan and thank you so much for the movie list, I’m going to have so much enjoyment from it!

  100. Deb Surman says:

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Susan. I can honestly say I’ve seen just about all the movies on your favorites list and while I beg to differ with you ( in all good fun ) on which Little Women’s movie is best ( June Allyson with Elizabeth Taylor looking beautiful in blonde curls ) or A Christmas Carol ( we are of the Gene Lockhart, Reginald Owen version, my Dad loves the 1952 version and we have passionate family debates about this every year ). Please do not forget Drums Along the Mohawk or David Copperfield with one of the greatest actresses of all times – Edna May Oliver. Back to Reginald Owen – I remember your little story about ending up at his California home, that and your Beatles story are my favorites! Have a wonderful holiday week ( still snowless here in the Chicago area ) and please know that the time and efforts your put into this blog are greatly appreciated!

    • sbranch says:

      So funny, because I ended up telling the whole Beatles story in front of the fire after dinner last night! Reginald Owens and all! 🙂

    • Deb Surman says:

      Oh, I almost forget to ask – have you seen Mastpiece Theater’s Downton Abbey? The are currently repeating the first season with the new season to start in January. A most beautiful series I highly recommend to every romantic here!

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