Top Hat (1935)
> Audience approval: 91% (9,853 user ratings)
> Starring: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers starred in 10 movies together, and some critics call “Top Hat” one of their best. The musicomedy is about mistaken identity and the subsequent fallout. A dancer (Rogers) thinks an entertainer (Astaire) is her friend’s husband. But the husband is actually the entertainer’s business manager. The movie was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture.
Modern Times (1936)
> Audience approval: 95% (40,262 user ratings)
> Starring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard
Charlie Chaplin acted, directed, and wrote “Modern Times.” In the movies, Chaplin reprises his iconic Little Tramp role who struggles to adapt to life in an industrial town. A girl orphan tries to help him — when he is not in jail. “Chaplin finally relates his character to the actual world, and rises from funny-man to supreme satirist,” writes Meyer Levin of Esquire Magazine.
> Audience approval: 73% (279,440 user ratings)
> Starring: Dick Jones, Dickie Jones
One of three animated movies on this list, “Pinnochio” is “the pinnacle of Disney’s collected works,” according to Rotten Tomatoes Critics Consensus. The film, which tells the story of a naive and trusting puppet-turned-human, is described by Kate Cameron of New York Daily News as “the most enchanting film ever brought to the screen.”
The Grapes Of Wrath (1940)
> Audience approval: 88% (24,316 user ratings)
> Starring: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell
The movie based on John Steinbeck’s classic novel tells the story of a poor family who lost everything during the Great Depression and is looking for a better life in California. Rotten Tomatoes’ Critics Consensus calls the movie “a potent drama that is as socially important today as when it was made.” Otis Ferguson of The New Republic describes the Oscar-winning film as “the most mature picture story that has ever been made.”
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
> Audience approval: 93% (47,206 user ratings)
> Starring: Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant
“The Philadelphia Story” is a fun adventure of self-discovery. The romantic comedy is about a socialite (Katherine Hepburn), her soon-to-be husband (John Howard), her ex-husband (Cary Grant), and a tabloid reporter (James Stewart). The socialie has feelings for all three men and can’t pick her true love.
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