They always-brilliant Aurora of one of my favorite classic movie blogs, Once Upon a Screen, has come up with a stellar idea for us to spread holiday cheer and classic Hollywood love by combining the “twelve days of Christmas” concept with film-related themes. In her own words:

“Let’s give the gift of movies.
Here’s the challenge… pick movie recommendations to the ’12 Days of Christmas’ theme as I’ve done below. Keep in mind that movie choices should be those you think would appeal to non classics fans. Let’s grow our community and #PayClassicsForward.”

The “twelve days” themes are as follows: ONE directorial debut, TWO duos, THREE foreign films, FOUR soundtracks, FIVE westerns, SIX dance routines, SEVEN comedies, EIGHT films noir, NINE inspiring movies (non holiday fare), TEN performances, ELEVEN movies for children (not animated and assuming everyone has seen The Wizard of Oz),  and TWELVE heroes. You can view the original post at Once Upon a Screen, and read my selections below!

ONE directorial debut

(Image via Movie Poster Shop)
(Image via Movie Poster Shop)

The Maltese Falcon (1941) – Directorial debut of John Huston

TWO duos


Left: Myrna Loy and William Powell
Right: Joan Blondell and James Cagney

THREE foreign films

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

Prapancha Pash (1929)

(Image via Toutlecine)
(Image via Toutlecine)

Orphée (1949)

(Image via The Nitrate Diva)
(Image via The Nitrate Diva)

Cronaca di un amore (1950)

FOUR soundtracks


I’m going all Garland, all day for this one:
Meet Me in St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz, The Pirate, The Harvey Girls

FIVE westerns


From left: The Gunfighter (1950), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Brass Legend (1956), Forty Guns (1957), Belle of the Yukon (1944)

SIX dance routines

(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)
(Screen capture by Lindsey for TMP)

An obvious choice is The Nicholas Brothers’ famous routine from Stormy Weather — just plain brilliant. I also adore Astaire and Rogers in Swing Time, “Prehistoric Man” from On the Town, the Gene Kelly/Rita Hayworth/Phil Silvers hoofin’ trio of Cover Girl, Jessie Matthews’ glittery finale dance from It’s Love Again, and the brilliant rooftop dance scene performed by Marge and Gower Champion in Give a Girl a Break!

SEVEN comedies


Clockwise from Cary: Arsenic and Old Lace, How to Marry a Millionaire, Wife Versus Secretary, Midnight, My Favorite Wife, Topper, Auntie Mame

EIGHT films noir


From the top: Scarlet Street, Angel Face, Double Indemnity, Detour, Dark Passage, Out of the Past, The Window and Raw Deal

NINE inspiring movies


Top row: The Best Years of Our Lives, City Lights, The Keys of the Kingdom
Center row: The Southerner, Now, Voyager, The Miracle Woman
Bottom row: To Kill a Mockingbird, The Pride of the Yankees, Meet John Doe

TEN performances


Above: Barbara Stanwyck – The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Natalie Wood – This Property is Condemned, Vivien Leigh – Waterloo Bridge, Bette Davis – The Letter, Olivia de Havilland – The Heiress

Below: Cary Grant – Charade, Agnes Moorehead – Dark Passage, Rosalind Russell – The Women, Vincent Price – The Tingler, Henry Fonda – The Grapes of Wrath


ELEVEN movies for children


Once Upon a Time (1944), The Canterville Ghost (1944), The Shaggy Dog (1959), The Sound of Music (1965), National Velvet (1944), Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938),  Little Women (1933), Nancy Drew… Detective (1938), Nancy Drew… Reporter (1939), Nancy Drew… Trouble Shooter (1939), Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase (1939)

TWELVE heroes

Jane Darwell and Henry Fonda in 'The Grapes of Wrath' (Image via Pinterest)
Jane Darwell and Henry Fonda in ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ (Image via Pinterest)

Since I’m not one for superheroes or swashbuckling lads, I’ve chosen as “heroes” twelve characters that I think embody some sort of strength or bravery. They’re not flawless characters (I’m looking at you, Ms. O’Hara!), but they’re fascinating to me, and I think they’d capture the interest/imagination of just about any viewer. Alphabetically by the character’s first name –

Alan Thorndike – Man Hunt
Belinda – Johnny Belinda
Dorothy Gale – The Wizard of Oz
John Kennedy – The Tall Target
Lou Gehrig – The Pride of the Yankees
Ma Joad – The Grapes of Wrath
Melsa Manton – The Mad Miss Manton
Oliver Bradford – The Enchanted Cottage
Scarlett O’Hara – Gone With the Wind
Victor Laszlo – Casablanca
Violette – Carve Her Name with Pride
Wilse Dilling – The Shock

There you have it — twelve whole days of my #PayClassicsForward picks, all in one post! Join Aurora (and now, TMP) in this celebration of classic film by sharing your choices on your own blog or on social media!