The 20 Classic Films Children Should See

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For children reared on a diet of CGI blockbusters and 3D cartoon characters, the titles may be unfamiliar.

But these are the 20 classic films that experts believe schoolchildren should watch in order to understand the power of cinema.

Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock and Ealing comedies feature on the list compiled by FilmClub, an education charity.

The organisation is urging parents and grandparents to introduce children to films from bygone eras.

Ellen E Jones, the charity’s chief programmer, said: “Young people should watch classic films for all the same reasons they should watch great films in general – because a great film can change the whole way you see the world.

“Yet the majority of these are films which young people today might never hear about, let alone have the chance to see.”

10 Classics for Primary School Children

1 The Red Balloon (1956)

Alfred Lamorisse’s charming short film about a young boy and his balloon won a best screenplay Oscar despite being dialogue-free

2 Duck Soup (1933)

Marx Brothers comedy starring Groucho Marx as incompetent president Rufus T Firefly

3 The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The evergreen classic that proves there’s no place like home

4 Oliver Twist (1948)

David Lean’s film, with Sir Alec Guinness as Fagin, remains the Dickens adaptation by which all others are measured

5 The Lavender Hill Mob (1951)

Alec Guinness again, this time as a mild-mannered bank clerk who turns to crime

6 The Kid (1921)

Charlie Chaplin wrote, directed and starred in this silent feature in which the Little Tramp finds an abandoned child

7 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Heart-warming festive fare about a department store Santa who might just be the real thing

8 Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds star in one of the most famous musicals of all time

9 The Thief of Bagdad (1940)

Alexander Korda’s Arabian Nights adventure was a big wartime hit

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