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New book! 50 movies to start your discovery of Old Hollywood

If you liked these 2023 best picture nominees, then try these classic movies

Tinseltown celebrates movies at the 2023 Academy Awards on March 12, and if you can't get enough movie magic, consider a few more from the Golden Age of Hollywood. 

Whether you want to pair up past and present for a double feature at home or are just looking for recommendations similar to your favorites, here are a few movie classic suggestions based on this year's Best Picture nominees. 

What else would you suggest? Share with @ReelOldMovies on Instagram

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Top Gun: Maverick"

Classic movie you might like: 1927's "Wings"

The first Academy Award winner for best picture, “Wings” is the extravagant World War I production that is part drama, part comedy, part romance. This silent film from almost 100 years ago also features aerial dogfights, male bonding and a sassy and sexy leading lady. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "The Banshees of Inisherin" 

Classic movie you might like: 1941's "How Green Was My Valley"

Friendship, community, repressed anger and isolated small-town life vs "mainland" way of life all come into play in this John Ford-directed drama, starring Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara and Roddy McDowall. Instead of the Irish landscape of "Inisherin," Wales is the setting for "How Green Was My Valley."

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Everything Everywhere All At Once"

Classic movie you might like: 1946's "It's A Wonderful Life"

Like the genre-defying "Everything Everywhere All At Once," "It's a Wonderful Life" doesn't fall into neat Hollywood buckets and uses a parallel reality as part of its storytelling device. While it's stereotypically a "Christmas movie," the James Stewart starring vehicle has a plot that, like the Michelle Yeoh movie, is almost indescribable and a structure that defies most movie-making conventions. And for a movie that is perennially described as “heartwarming,” it is incredibly dark. 

More: Why the 1946 classic continues to inspire

2023 Best Picture nominee: "The Fabelmans"

Classic movie you might like: 1946's "Great Expectations"

David Lean directs this coming-of-age drama about a boy navigating his dysfunctional circumstances and those around him through the narrative voice of a now adult Pip.

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Women Talking" 

Classic movie you might like: 1961's "Judgment at Nuremberg"

Like "Women Talking," "Judgment at Nuremberg" is a contemplative and complex movie that centers around moral choice and freedom of thought. Instead of women in an isolated community reconciling their faith with reality, the Spencer Tracy-led all-star cast are players in a fictionalized version of the real post-World War II Nuremberg Trials, examining civilians' involvement in atrocities under Nazi rule, and the weight of what "justice" means post-war. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Classic movie you might like: 1930's "All Quiet on the Western Front"

Although both the modern version and the older version are based on the 1929 novel, the 1930 version is worth a watch considering it was made by people just a decade after the time it was set (World War I) and the depictions -- even at the time considered very realistic -- of the futility of war. Several veterans of World War I from both sides were used as technical advisers and extras. Highly acclaimed by critics and audiences at the time of its release, the 1930 version featured epic cinematography directed by Lewis Milestone. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Triangle of Sadness"

Classic movie you might like: 1936's "My Man Godfrey"

"Triangle of Sadness" satirizes social hierarchy and extreme wealth, and Carole Lombard and William Powell do the same in the screwball comedy classic "My Man Godfrey." Carole Lombard's rich family "adopts" homeless William Powell in the plot that hides the social commentary under fast-paced comedy. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Tár"

Classic movie you might like: 1950's "All About Eve"

Powerful artists' machinations and manipulative behavior are explored in both "Tár" and the Bette Davis-Anne Baxter classic, "All About Eve." In the 1950 Best Picture Oscar winner, Baxter is a scheming ingenue while Davis plays the older actress who unravels as Baxter usurps her spot on and off the stage. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Elvis"

Classic movie you might like: 1956's "Somebody Up There Likes Me"

While there are a ton of biopics of famous musicians, "Somebody Up There Likes Me" tackles many of the themes in "Elvis" (plus it has Paul Newman, always a bonus) but through the lens of a boxer. Newman is Rocky Graziano, a fighter whose talent is discovered as  he overcomes obstacles to rise to the top, and once there, faces other even greater dilemmas and personal demons. 

2023 Best Picture nominee: "Avatar: The Way of Water"

Classic movie(s) you might like: 1972's "The Godfather" and 1962's "How the West Was Won"

Like the "Avatar" sequel, "The Godfather" is all about the family -- both the blood relatives and the people you make your family -- and keeping that family together and surviving amid fighting enemies. "How the West Was Won" tackles settler colonialism and how man shapes the environment through the epic multi-generational personal stories of a family of pioneers moving West across the United States throughout the 1800s.

What else would you suggest? Share with @ReelOldMovies on Instagram

More Old Hollywood and the Oscars:
- Best, first, most: Oscar trivia from the Golden Age of Hollywood
- Timeless Oscar fashion (and dresses inspired by stars' dresses)

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