Absolute Inspiration: A User’s Guide

These are some of my favorite movies from childhood:

The Lady Eve (1941) – starring the greatest actress I know, Barbara Stanwyck. Born and raised in Brooklyn!


Meet Me in St. Louis (1944) – “The Trolley Song” – it’s like a moving painting. Amazing. Judy Garland is the queen of classic musicals.

Easter Parade (1948) – “Steppin’ Out with My Baby” – Easter Parade was the one movie I watched more than any other when I was little. The combination of Fred Astaire and Judy Garland was too excellent for words.

The Shop Around the Corner (1940) – Ernst Lubitsch is the true dream director for anyone with a love for witty romantic comedy.

You can’t embed the videos, but do check out On the Town (1949), another musical I loved as a kid. Gene Kelly + Frank Sinatra = movie magic!

Oh, and some music: Maria Callas’s 1955 recording of “Un bel dì, vedremo,” Liszt’s “Un sospiro” (the recurring theme in Letter from an Unknown Woman) and Chopin’s “Grande polonaise brillante” (used at the end of The Pianist) are more examples of exquisite beauty. Listen to the part from 3:30 to 7:00 in this clip from Mahler’s 1st symphony and try not to be moved.

P.S. I just heard the Callas recording being used in a new commercial with John Malkovich. Definitely awesome.

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2 thoughts on “Absolute Inspiration: A User’s Guide

  1. I enjoy your blog with all the classic videos that help inspire movies of today. Sometimes movies being made today need to look a little closer to the oldies and study them a little closer because I’m sure they may come out a little more better then they have been lately. The old movies are called classics for a reason. Thank you!

    • I’m glad you liked what you saw! True, they’re classics for a reason. It’s wonderful to revisit (or first visit) the movies that continue to inspire filmmakers and moviegoers alike.

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