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So on Friday, I responded to a request from an MNB user with a list of “classic” movies that I thought might be good to show 10-year-olds. I mostly was trying to come up with movies that would be accessible to a 10-year-old and expand their frames of references a bit. (Acknowledging that video games have ruined their minds and ability to appreciate pacing.)

Not surprisingly - and this is one of the things I love most about the MNB community - this prompted a ton of emails from people with their own ideas...

MNB user Jeff Gartner wrote:

With three daughters, I'm relying on my own childhood decades ago for recommendations to your reader with the 10-year old boys. The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Sea Hawk, both starring Errol Flynn, are both fun action movies and in color.

I recall our daughters were immediately turned off by any older movie if it were in b&w.  By the way, they loved the Marilyn Monroe musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

MNB user Janis Raye wrote:

I spent many a Saturday and Sunday afternoon in my childhood watching old movies. Was it Channel 11 in NY that ran them -- Metromedia? Rings a faint bell to me.

Now, I know I'm a sucker for the old melodramas (I have to admit that A Stolen Life -- the Lana Turner version -- was one of my favorites at about age 10), and maybe young boys wouldn't be quite so interested in those, but Gone With the Wind might appeal to them. And it's in color (I know my son Ben has nerve enjoyed black-and-white movies, and we started him on the classics when he was pretty young. He really noticed the lack of color.) And how about Treasure of the Sierra Madre -- that's my dad's all-time favorite, and I think a really fabulous movie. Another idea -- it's not a classic, but it might be interesting to the kids -- Seabiscuit.

That's enough for now. This is fun game to play!

Maybe Treasure of Sierra Madre. But I’m not sure about Gone With The Wind - while I acknowledge its greatness and placement in film history, I find it pretty dated. I think a 10 year old might find it unwatchable.

From another MNB user:

Okay - maybe this is too recent to call a "classic." But my son adored The Secret of Roan Inish, at an early age - maybe first grade.

A few minutes in to the movie he whispered "when does the exciting part start?" But shortly thereafter he became enthralled enough to offer to see it again with his Grandma, when she expressed interest in it. I picked them up from the movie and he came out dancing to the music and we had to get the soundtrack.

That was a turning point for him. He learned that a film did not have to include chases and villains to be of interest.

MNB user Jim Veregge wrote:

Hi Kevin, thought I'd throw in another good movie for kids, only a couple of years old, but has a great ending.  A co-worker of mine recommended August Rush, with Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Myers, Freddie Highmore and Robin Williams.  I bought the movie on eBay and highly recommend it as a "feel-good family movie" that even kids can enjoy.  If this movie doesn't make you cry at the end, you probably aren't alive.

MNB user Jackie Lembke wrote:

I agree with the definition being open to interpretation. The Goonies is great. Musicals are harder for boys that age. Damn Yankees might be good or if they have a sense of the absurd Lil’ Abner. For westerns, The Cowboys is one of the few that actually has 10 year old boys as the stars although would be dependent on the child. I agree with most of the ones you mentioned. I found that B horror films are great for kids, just not sure they qualify as classics. The original The Fly, War of the Worlds, The Thing or Creature from the Black Lagoon are some of my favorites.

MNB user Steven Ritchey wrote:

Some movies to add to your list.

For Westerns I would look at The Magnificent Seven. It’s full of good stories from the opening story dealing with bigotry, to dealing with one’s demons and overcoming long odds through planning, work and skill.

For musicals, for 10 year old boys, I don’t know if they would like them or not but how about The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, both are about family, doing the right thing and in Mary  Poppins about bringing a somewhat aloof family back together.  Both have catchy songs that I still remember at my age.  A great holiday musical is White Christmas but I don’t know if a 10 year old will sit still for that.
For my money, the list you gave is a good one, The Sting is still one of my all time favorite movies.

Not sure how 10 year old boys will like Mary Poppins, but I think they’ll hate The Sound of Music. I hate The Sound of Music. Mrs. Content Guy, BTW, love sit...and always gets annoyed when I call it The Sound of Mucous. (Which is what Christopher Plummer once called it.)

From yet another reader:

You can't go wrong with Sunset Boulevard!

And you're right, my kid at two-and-a-half LOVES Singin' In The Rain. For about 4 months every night before bed, we had to watch Moses Supposes (and the scene Mommy!) up through when the policeman comes in after the title song. Singin' in the rain is the first song we heard her sing clearly. Huge hit.

(I also support you in your recommendation of His Girl Friday.)

A few people asked me, BTW, why I recommended Tootsie and not Some Like it Hot. The reason is simple - while I love Hot, my kids found it really dated.

Should have raised them better, I guess.

Also about the movies, I got a bunch of emails regarding my recommendation of the old Walter Matthau movie, Hopscotch.

MNB user Christine A. Myres wrote:

Hopscotch I not only watch this movie regularly, I first rented & then owned a Betamax copy of it years ago, so don’t feel bad about feeling old … no matter how old you get, I’ll always be older.

I replaced the Beta with a VHS tape, then with a subscription to Netflix, and I am looking at the DVD on Amazon so I don’t have to keep renting/streaming it.  I keep worrying that it will lose its charm, but so far, despite being hopelessly dated (pay phones, etc.) it hasn’t.  I still get such pleasure from Miles getting the best of the spooks, I can’t tell you!

Have you read anything by Brian Garfield? They are difficult to find, many out of print, but all VERY good.

I always appreciate your movie recommendations, and generally like the movies; thanks for keeping me informed & entertained, as always.

My pleasure.

From another reader:

Hopscotch.  Just one of my most fave movies ever, Walter Matthau at his best.  I tend toward comedy in movies.  When I want to be challenged/moved, I read a book.  When I want to be entertained and simply relax, I usually watch a funny movie.  While this will never make anyone’s top 100 list of “great” movies, have you ever watch Mouse Hunt?  If you can sit through that w/o laughing out loud, well, then, I don’t know what to say.  They remind me so much of Laurel & Hardy, whom I absolutely adore, it’s just eerie.  I could watch Stan and Ollie try to push that piano up the steps over and over and over---which leads me to the 10 year olds and their list in that Laurel & Hardy, while “movies” in the technical sense, are, to us, just shorts.  But I would think they would play well to 10 year olds, and they are considered “classics”---as would The Little Rascals and Our Gang Comedies.  When I was a kid, The Little Rascals and Our Gang Comedies were on TV a lot.  I can still remember simply being entranced w/anything they did, although my favorite ones always centered around their “stage productions” in some barn.

And, from MNB user Terry Pyles:

Loved your comments about great spy thrillers, old and new.  I too am a huge fan of the genre and Hopscotch, with the incomparable Walter Matthau, is one of my all time favorites.  I'm reading your comments and feeling a real bond.

And then you hit me with "Of course, such movies are better if you are sipping a good glass of wine..."

To which I can only reply - baloney!

These great flicks were made to be accompanied by a sack of Taco Bell and a cold 6-pack.
To each his own, huh?

Always. can read my original list here.
KC's View: