Looking for a good movie tonight? One of the nice things about being retired is that we have more time for movies. Picking one is sometimes a challenge. Agreeing with your favorite movie watcher is even more of a challenge. You might even want to invite a few friends tonight – socially distanced, of course.
A movie is a great night at home while you are staying home quarantined.
- 1 Here are our 25 great senior citizen movies you can watch tonight.
- 2 Our Favorites Movies from the 1930s
- 3 Our favorite movies from the 1940s
- 4 Our favorite movies from the 1950s
- 5 Our favorite movies from the 1960’s
- 6 Our favorite movies from the 1970’s
- 7 Our favorite movies from the 1980’s
- 8 Our favorite movies from the 1990’s
- 9 Our favorite movies from the 2000’s
- 10 Our favorite movies from the 2010’s
- 11 Conclusion
Here are our 25 great senior citizen movies you can watch tonight.
- On Golden Pond
- Singing in the Rain
- The Bucket List
- Grumpy Old Men
- Driving Miss Daisy
- Gone With The Wind
- The Wizard of Oz
- To Kill a Mockingbird
- Lawrence of Arabia
- One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest
- Ben Hur
- The Bridge On The River Kwai
- High Noon
- Roman Holiday
- Some Like It Hot
- The Quiet Man
- Murphy’s Romance
- An Unfinished Life
- A Field of Dreams
- In Harms Way
To jog your memory, following is a synopsis of each of our favorites sorted by decade if you have a preference.
Our Favorites Movies from the 1930s
Gone With The Wind
(1939) If you have the DVD set for Gone With The Wind, you might want to hang on to it. This movie is currently being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness because of its portrayal of the Old South during the Civil War. An interesting bit of trivia: Hattie McDaniel became the first African American to be nominated for and win an Oscar. She won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role Oscar. Vivian Leigh won the Best Actress Oscar as well but Clark Gable stole the show.
The Wizard of Oz
(1939) No matter how many times you have watched The Wizard of Oz, it is always good for an evening’s entertainment. It only won two Oscars, but, after all, it was up against Gone With The Wind. Its popularity is declining somewhat. Somehow, the special effects just don’t measure up against today’s special effects masterpieces. It was very advanced for its time, though. A big-screen TV with a good soundbar makes this movie amazing.
Our favorite movies from the 1940s
(1942) Here’s a bit of trivia. Humphrey Bogart as Sam Malone never said, “Play it again, Sam.” Bogart portrays a cynical American expatriate who struggles to decide whether or not he should help his former lover and her fugitive husband escape French Morocco. Humphry Bogart and Ingrid Bergman sizzle. A great way to spend an evening no matter how many times you have seen it before.
Our favorite movies from the 1950s
Singing in the Rain
(1952) A lot of seniors love musicals. It is not unusual to find them knitting or doing other senior citizen jobs or chores while humming a tune. Singing in the Rain is one of those special movies that fall in the crack of the movie evolution from silent pictures to sound. The musicals are entertaining too, and senior citizens will have a lovely time singing along. Click here to order the 60th Anniversary Special Edition DVD of Singing in the Rain.
(1952) High Noon always leaves me a dark feeling. Nonetheless, it is a classic and makes a great night of home cinema. Gary Cooper stars as a town Marshal, who, despite the disagreements of his newlywed bride and the townspeople around him, must face a gang of deadly killers alone at high noon when the gang leader, an outlaw he sent up the river years ago, arrives on the noon train.
The Quiet Man
(1952) The sparks fly between John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Victor McLaglen and Barry Fitzgerald add character and fun. This is my wife’s favorite movie. I always win brownie points when I watch it with her. The big question with The Quiet Man is what did Maureen O’Hara whisper to John Wayne at the end of the movie to get that reaction from him? No one knows. Wayne and O’Hara took it to their graves. Watch the expression on Wayne’s face and let the speculation begin.
1953) Audrey Hepburn, as a bored and sheltered princess, escapes her guardians and falls in love with an American newsman played by Gregory Peck in Rome. If you are not familiar with Roman Holiday, you can watch the trailer on YouTube. Here’s the link: Roman Holiday.
The Bridge On The River Kwai
(1957) This one is a bit obscure today but it was a classic in its day. It won a total of seven Oscars. William Holden and Alec Guinness star. In the movie British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the River Kwai for their Japanese captors, not knowing that the allied forces are planning to destroy it.
(1958) Alfred Hitchcock at his best. A former police detective–played by Jimmy Stewart–juggles wrestling with his personal demons and becoming obsessed with a hauntingly beautiful woman play by Kim Novak. Stewart billed as James Stewart, goes against type in this one. Hitchcock had a television series in the late 50s and early 60s. As a kid, I was always creeped out by it. Now, I enjoy his movies.
Some Like It Hot
(1959) Talk about an all-star cast. Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemon star in this romp. This is the storyline: after two male musicians witness a mob hit, they flee the state disguised as women in an all-female band, but further complications set in. You can take it from there.
(1959) Charlton Heston had a penchant for playing bigger than life characters. This is the storyline if you have not seen the movie. After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge. This one is really long – two bowls of popcorn long at just over three and a half hours. At least, when you watch it at home, you can stop for bathroom breaks.
Our favorite movies from the 1960’s
To Kill a Mockingbird
(1962) Another classic, but almost every movie on this list can be called a classic. Gregory Peck plays Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South. He defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.
Lawrence of Arabia
(1962) Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness and Anthony Quinn star in this story of T.E. Lawrence, the English officer who successfully united and led the diverse, often warring, Arab tribes during World War I in order to fight the Turks. It won seven Oscars.
In Harm’s Way
(1965) John Way, Henry Fonda, Patricia Neal, and Kirk Douglas headline this World War II classic. They knew how to make war movies without a lot of blood in 1965. Just a lot of noise and smoke. This war picture features multiple storylines that somehow manage to wind and weave their ways back together by the end of the movie.
Our favorite movies from the 1970’s
One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest
(1975) I am one of probably four people in America who have not seen One Flew Over A Cuckoo’s Nest. However, it has been recommended to me by enough people that it makes the list. A criminal pleads insanity and is admitted to a mental institution, where he rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients. Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher star. Fletcher’s portrayal of Nurse Ratchett is the stuff that nightmares are made of.
Our favorite movies from the 1980’s
On Golden Pond
(1981) First, the cast of this movie is excellent. Every senior, regardless of their age or other factors, will have a nice time watching the movie. The sheer fact that the movie is about relationships, family, and aging will catch the attention of any senior citizen. If you intend to make it even more memorable, have the movie played in an exclusively senior citizen housing apartment. It would be a superb opportunity to reflect. Henry Fonda and Katherine Hepburn both won Oscars for this classic from 1981. It never grows old. Here’s a link to the trailer on YouTube to jog your memory. Click here.
(1985) James Garner always plays James Garner. In Murphy’s Romance, he plays the role well. Sally Field also stars in this charming comedy about a young divorcee, with a 12-year old son, who moves to a small Arizona town and falls in love with an older, widowed pharmacist. An unwanted visit from the ex-husband doesn’t prevent her from pursuing a relationship with the charismatic James Garner. Field does well portraying an uncertain single mom and the young Corey Haim displays his early acting chops.
(1985) I love Wilford Brimley. Cocoon was one of Ron Howard’s earlier directing efforts. When a group of trespassing seniors swims in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigor. It’s a fun movie for seniors.
(1986) Hoosiers is a Gene Hackman classic. The beautiful thing about it is that you don’t even have to be a basketball fan to love it. Yes, there is plenty of basketball action but the Hoosiers is more about life and redemption than basketball. Favorite quote, “Let’s win this one for all the little schools who never made it this far.”
Driving Miss Daisy
(1989) Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy make this classic sing. Senior citizen jobs sometimes include driving, and this is a movie based on the relationship between a senior citizen’s job and another senior citizen. Based around a stubborn Jewish senior citizen and her African American chauffeur. The movie is heartwarming, funny and would even hit a few nerves in a senior citizen’s housing system of people of color.
Field of Dreams
(1989) Field of Dreams is one of Kevin Costner’s last decent movies. James Earl Jones in his role as a famous author gone sour on baseball and life makes the movie fascinating. Burt Lancaster in his final role is awesome. Even if you have seen Field of Dreams before, it is always worth re-watching.
Our favorite movies from the 1990’s
Grumpy Old Men
(1993) Grumpy Old Men is one of my favorites. Who doesn’t like a good laugh? Not senior citizens, though. The fact is many things might be lacking in a senior citizen housing system; laughter shouldn’t be one of it. One of a two-part series, the movie will make you laugh and leave you in stitches. Ensure you have your senior watch Grumpier Old Men. Click here to order the double feature set from Amazon.
Our favorite movies from the 2000’s
An Unfinished Life
(2005) An Unfinished Life was much better than I expected when I watched it the first time. Now it is one of the few movies that I’ve ever watch more than once or twice. It’s one of my wife’s favorites. Desperate to provide care for her daughter, down-on-her-luck Jean (played by Jennifer Lopez) moves in with her father-in-law (Redford) from whom she is estranged. Through time, they learn to forgive each other and heal old wounds. Morgan Freeman is awesome in this movie, but then I think Morgan Freeman is great in just about anything he does.
The Bucket List
(2007) While it is not a timeless classic, the Bucket List is another fantastic movie for seniors. It is a motivation to get more out of life even with a senior citizen’s age. Revolving around cancer patients who head off on a road trip to cross items off their bucket list, this movie provides some great comedic moments and some two-hanky moments, as well. Seniors will find out that they can have fulfillment beyond their senior citizen’s jobs and head out to do even more for themselves. Want the DVD?
Our favorite movies from the 2010’s
(2012) Especially memorable for those who held senior citizen jobs in government, the movie is set around one of America’s most famous presidents. With their senior citizen age, the movie will transport seniors back to the good old days when they were young and full of life. You can order the DVD from Amazon and have it by tomorrow. Click here.
If you can’t find a movie to watch tonight on this list, you are not really trying! Get the popcorn ready! Any one of these 25 movies would be a good choice for an older American date night. Why don’t you watch a good movie tonight? It will be good for your health.
What’s your favorite? We’d like to know. Leave a comment below.
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