Classic Films Sensitive Subjects Edition

by ClassicFilmListress | created - 16 Apr 2016 | updated - 5 months ago | Public

discrimination

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1. The Children's Hour (1961)

Not Rated | 108 min | Drama, Romance

49 Metascore

A troublemaking student at a girls' school accuses two teachers of being lesbians.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, James Garner, Miriam Hopkins

Votes: 13,533

homosexuality

2. These Three (1936)

Passed | 93 min | Drama, Romance

Two school teachers and the man they both love face ruin when a malicious student cooks up a lie.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea, Catherine Doucet

Votes: 2,156

pre martial sex

3. Victim (1961)

Not Rated | 90 min | Drama

85 Metascore

The death of a young man leads to the discovery of a blackmail plot against several gay men in 1960s London.

Director: Basil Dearden | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Sylvia Syms, Dennis Price, Anthony Nicholls

Votes: 4,631

homosexuality

4. Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Approved | 114 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

54 Metascore

The only son of wealthy widow Violet Venable dies while on vacation with his cousin Catherine. What the girl saw was so horrible that she went insane; now Mrs. Venable wants Catherine lobotomized to cover up the truth.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Katharine Hepburn, Montgomery Clift, Albert Dekker

Votes: 12,999 | Gross: $13.90M

mental illness

5. The Killing of Sister George (1968)

X | 138 min | Drama

The life of a soap opera actress begins to unravel as she fears her character will be written out of the series.

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Beryl Reid, Susannah York, Coral Browne, Ronald Fraser

Votes: 2,028

homosexuality

6. The Fox (1967)

PG | 110 min | Drama

Based on D.H. Lawrence's novella about two young women - sickly, chattering Jill Banford and quiet, strong Ellen March - who are trying, hopelessly, to run a chicken farm in Canada. A ... See full summary »

Director: Mark Rydell | Stars: Keir Dullea, Sandy Dennis, Anne Heywood, Glynne Morris

Votes: 959 | Gross: $18.75M

homosexuality

7. A Summer Place (1959)

Approved | 130 min | Drama, Romance

A self-made businessman rekindles a romance with a former flame while their two teenage children begin a romance of their own with drastic consequences for both couples.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Richard Egan, Dorothy McGuire, Sandra Dee, Arthur Kennedy

Votes: 2,737

teen pregnancy

8. Susan Slade (1961)

Not Rated | 116 min | Drama

Premarital sex, secrets, and society. At 17, shy Susan Slade is on her way to California after a ten-year stay at a remote Chilean mine where her father was chief engineer. Onboard ship, ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Troy Donahue, Dorothy McGuire, Connie Stevens, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 666

teen pregnancy

9. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 9,056

drug addiction

10. Black Legion (1937)

Passed | 83 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

When a hard-working machinist loses a promotion to a Polish-born worker, he is seduced into joining the secretive Black Legion, which intimidates foreigners through violence.

Directors: Archie Mayo, Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ann Sheridan, Dick Foran, Erin O'Brien-Moore

Votes: 2,409

discrimination

11. Gentleman's Agreement (1947)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Romance

A reporter pretends to be Jewish in order to cover a story on anti-Semitism, and personally discovers the true depths of bigotry and hatred.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm

Votes: 13,942

discrimination

12. Crossfire (1947)

Approved | 86 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A man is murdered, apparently by one of a group of demobilized soldiers he met in a bar. But which one? And why?

Director: Edward Dmytryk | Stars: Robert Young, Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, Gloria Grahame

Votes: 6,868 | Gross: $1.30M

discrimination

13. A Patch of Blue (1965)

Unrated | 105 min | Drama, Romance

A blind, uneducated white girl is befriended by a black man, who becomes determined to help her escape her impoverished and abusive home life by introducing her to the outside world.

Director: Guy Green | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Shelley Winters, Elizabeth Hartman, Wallace Ford

Votes: 6,877

discrimination/child abuse/disability

14. Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Comedy, Drama

63 Metascore

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn, Katharine Houghton

Votes: 36,446 | Gross: $56.70M

interracial relationship

15. The Defiant Ones (1958)

Approved | 96 min | Crime, Drama

69 Metascore

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer | Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel, Charles McGraw

Votes: 12,568

discrimination

16. In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | 110 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

75 Metascore

An African-American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant

Votes: 63,026 | Gross: $24.38M

discrimination

17. Imitation of Life (1959)

Not Rated | 125 min | Drama

An aspiring actress befriends a black widow, but trouble arises when the latter is rejected by her daughter, who tries to pass for white.

Director: Douglas Sirk | Stars: Lana Turner, John Gavin, Sandra Dee, Susan Kohner

Votes: 13,938 | Gross: $13.99M

discrimination

18. Imitation of Life (1934)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Romance

A struggling widow and her daughter take in a black housekeeper and her fair-skinned daughter; the two women start a successful business, but face familial, identity, and racial issues along the way.

Director: John M. Stahl | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Warren William, Rochelle Hudson, Ned Sparks

Votes: 3,877

discrimination

19. Trial (1955)

Passed | 105 min | Drama

Courtroom drama set in 1947 and underlying post-WW2 acute problems facing the USA such as stormy race relations and the growing threat of local communism.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Glenn Ford, Dorothy McGuire, Arthur Kennedy, John Hodiak

Votes: 876

discrimination

20. Pinky (1949)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

A light-skinned black woman falls in love with a white doctor, though he is unaware of her true race.

Directors: Elia Kazan, John Ford | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Ethel Barrymore, Ethel Waters, William Lundigan

Votes: 2,509 | Gross: $4.20M

discrimination

21. The Crimson Kimono (1959)

Approved | 82 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Two detectives seek a stripper's killer in the Japanese quarter of Los Angeles, but a love triangle threatens their friendship.

Director: Samuel Fuller | Stars: Victoria Shaw, Glenn Corbett, James Shigeta, Anna Lee

Votes: 1,826

discrimination

22. Home of the Brave (1949)

Not Rated | 88 min | Drama, War

During WW2, a reconnaissance platoon is sent to map out a Japanese-held island but racial tensions arise between the white soldiers and the only black member of the group.

Director: Mark Robson | Stars: Jeff Corey, James Edwards, Lloyd Bridges, Douglas Dick

Votes: 515

Discrimination

23. No Way Out (1950)

Passed | 106 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A black doctor is assigned to treat two white racist suspects who are brothers, and when one dies, it causes tension that could start a race riot.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Richard Widmark, Linda Darnell, Stephen McNally, Sidney Poitier

Votes: 4,045

discrimination

24. To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

Not Rated | 129 min | Crime, Drama

88 Metascore

Atticus Finch, a lawyer in the Depression-era South, defends a black man against an undeserved rape charge, and his children against prejudice.

Director: Robert Mulligan | Stars: Gregory Peck, John Megna, Frank Overton, Rosemary Murphy

Votes: 281,334

discrimination

25. A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Approved | 128 min | Drama

87 Metascore

A substantial insurance payment could mean either financial salvation or personal ruin for a poor black family.

Director: Daniel Petrie | Stars: Sidney Poitier, Claudia McNeil, Ruby Dee, Diana Sands

Votes: 6,633

poverty/discrimination

26. Sergeant Rutledge (1960)

Approved | 111 min | Crime, Western

Respected black cavalry Sergeant Brax Rutledge stands court-martial for raping and killing a white woman and murdering her father, his superior officer.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Jeffrey Hunter, Woody Strode, Constance Towers, Billie Burke

Votes: 3,664

discrimination

27. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 91,244 | Gross: $43.66M

discrimination

28. Lost Boundaries (1949)

Not Rated | 99 min | Drama

This story is a true account of the lives of Scott and Marsha Carter. Having graduated from medical school, Scott Carter, a fair-skinned African American, marries Marsha Mitchell and moves ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred L. Werker | Stars: Beatrice Pearson, Mel Ferrer, Susan Douglas Rubes, Robert A. Dunn

Votes: 355

discrimination

29. The Lost Weekend (1945)

Not Rated | 101 min | Drama, Film-Noir

The desperate life of a chronic alcoholic is followed through a four-day drinking bout.

Director: Billy Wilder | Stars: Ray Milland, Jane Wyman, Phillip Terry, Howard Da Silva

Votes: 31,653 | Gross: $9.46M

alcohol addiction

30. Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947)

Approved | 103 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Music

A successful nightclub singer weds a struggling songwriter, but when his fame eclipses hers, she delves into alcoholism.

Director: Stuart Heisler | Stars: Susan Hayward, Lee Bowman, Marsha Hunt, Eddie Albert

Votes: 1,133

alcohol addiction

31. Come Fill the Cup (1951)

113 min | Drama

Alcoholic newspaperman Lew Marsh hits bottom, loses his job and is rehabilitated by Charley Dolan. After six years on the wagon he gets his job back and devotes himself to other recovering ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: James Cagney, Phyllis Thaxter, Raymond Massey, James Gleason

Votes: 388

alcohol addiction

32. Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Approved | 117 min | Drama

74 Metascore

An alcoholic marries a young woman, who he systematically addicts to booze, so they can share his "passion" together.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Charles Bickford, Jack Klugman

Votes: 10,795

alcohol addiction

33. Bigger Than Life (1956)

Not Rated | 95 min | Drama

A seriously ill schoolteacher becomes dependent on a "miracle" drug that begins to affect his sanity.

Director: Nicholas Ray | Stars: James Mason, Barbara Rush, Walter Matthau, Robert F. Simon

Votes: 6,332

steroid addiction

34. Three on a Match (1932)

Passed | 63 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Although Vivian Revere is seemingly the most successful of a trio of reunited schoolmates, she throws it away by descending into a life of debauchery and drugs.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Joan Blondell, Warren William, Ann Dvorak, Bette Davis

Votes: 3,124

drug addiction

35. Heroes for Sale (1933)

Passed | 76 min | Drama, War

A veteran fights drug addiction to make his way in the business world.

Director: William A. Wellman | Stars: Loretta Young, Richard Barthelmess, Aline MacMahon, Gordon Westcott

Votes: 1,964

drug addiction

36. Long Day's Journey Into Night (1962)

Not Rated | 174 min | Drama

At the end of a long and hot summer day, members of one family gather in a large house. Everyone has something painful and offensive to say, and their silence is even worse.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Ralph Richardson, Jason Robards, Dean Stockwell

Votes: 4,295

addiction

37. Pride of the Marines (1945)

Approved | 120 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Marine hero Al Schmid is blinded in battle and returns home to be rehabilitated. He readjusts to his civilian life with the help of his soon to be wife.

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: John Garfield, Eleanor Parker, Dane Clark, John Ridgely

Votes: 1,179

disability

38. The Men (1950)

Passed | 85 min | Drama

A paralyzed war vet tries to adjust to the world without the use of his limbs.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright, Everett Sloane, Jack Webb

Votes: 3,983 | Gross: $7.10M

disability

39. The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

Approved | 170 min | Drama, Romance, War

92 Metascore

Three World War II veterans return home to small-town America to discover that they and their families have been irreparably changed.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, Fredric March, Teresa Wright

Votes: 54,844 | Gross: $23.65M

disability/PTSD

40. Johnny Belinda (1948)

Unrated | 102 min | Drama

In post-war Cape Breton, a doctor's efforts to tutor a deaf/mute woman are undermined when she is raped, and the resulting pregnancy causes scandal to swirl.

Director: Jean Negulesco | Stars: Jane Wyman, Lew Ayres, Charles Bickford, Agnes Moorehead

Votes: 4,015

disability/rape

41. The Miracle Worker (1962)

Not Rated | 106 min | Biography, Drama

83 Metascore

The story of Anne Sullivan's struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

Director: Arthur Penn | Stars: Anne Bancroft, Patty Duke, Victor Jory, Inga Swenson

Votes: 15,041

disbility

42. Wait Until Dark (1967)

Not Rated | 108 min | Horror, Thriller

81 Metascore

A recently blinded woman is terrorized by a trio of thugs while they search for a heroin-stuffed doll they believe is in her apartment.

Director: Terence Young | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, Richard Crenna, Efrem Zimbalist Jr.

Votes: 26,144 | Gross: $17.55M

disability

43. A Child Is Waiting (1963)

Approved | 102 min | Drama

Psychologist Dr. Matthew Clark is the head of the Crawthorne State Training Institute, one of the first boarding schools for developmentally challenged children. Dr. Clark is sympathetic ... See full summary »

Director: John Cassavetes | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Judy Garland, Gena Rowlands, Steven Hill

Votes: 2,361

mental illness

44. Crash of Silence (1952)

Approved | 93 min | Drama

Mandy Garland was born deaf and has been mute for all of her life. Her parents believe she is able to speak if she can only be taught and enroll her with a special teacher.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Phyllis Calvert, Jack Hawkins, Terence Morgan, Godfrey Tearle

Votes: 644

disability

45. Freaks (1932)

Not Rated | 64 min | Drama

80 Metascore

A circus' beautiful trapeze artist agrees to marry the leader of side-show performers, but his deformed friends discover she is only marrying him for his inheritance.

Director: Tod Browning | Stars: Wallace Ford, Leila Hyams, Olga Baclanova, Roscoe Ates

Votes: 39,907

disability