The Best Old Movies for Families by Ty Burr
A Guide to Watching Together

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If a child can watch Barney, can’t that same child also enjoy watching Charlie Chaplin or the Marx Brothers? And as they get older, wouldn’t they grow to like screwball comedies (His Girl Friday), women’s weepies (Imitation of Life), and westerns (The Searchers)? The answer is that they’ll follow because they’ll have learned that “old” does not necessarily mean “next channel, please.”

Here is an impassioned and eminently readable guide that introduces the delights of the golden age of movies. Ty Burr has come up with a winning prescription for children brought up on Hollywood junk food.

FOR THE LITTLE ONES (Ages 3—6): Fast-paced movies that are simple without being unsophisticated, plainspoken without being dumbed down. Singin’ in the Rain and Bringing Up Baby are perfect.

FOR THE ONES IN BETWEEN (Ages 7—12): “Killer stories,” placing easily grasped characters in situations that start simply and then throw curveballs. The African Queen and Some Like It Hot do the job well.

FOR THE OLDER ONES (Ages 13+): Burr recommends relating old movies to teens’ contemporary favorites: without Hitchcock, there could be no The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, without Brando, no Johnny Depp.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Ty Burr

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Ty Burr has been a film critic at The Boston Globe since 2002. Prior to that, he wrote about movies for Entertainment Weekly and began his career as an in-house movie analyst for HBO. His previous books include The Best Old Movies for Families: A Guide to Watching Together (2007). He lives, writes, and teaches in the greater Boston area.
Published December 10, 2008 by Anchor. 386 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Children's Books, Education & Reference. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Best Old Movies for Families


Classic movie fans are always looking for ways to introduce their friends and families to their favorite films, and Ty Burr's The Best Old Movies for Families is an invaluable resource for the adult cineaste who longs to educate the next generation about the delights of the silver screen.

Jul 31 2009 | Read Full Review of The Best Old Movies for Famil...

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