Family-Themed Films Over 40 Years Old-Good Then,Good Now

by horn-5 | created - 15 Mar 2014 | updated - 16 Mar 2014 | Public

Films about families.

Theatrical-release movie only. No televison series.

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1. Spencer's Mountain (1963)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Family

Clay Spencer is a hard-working man who loves his wife and large family. He is respected by his neighbors and always ready to give them a helping hand. Although not a churchgoer, he even ... See full summary »

Director: Delmer Daves | Stars: Henry Fonda, Maureen O'Hara, James MacArthur, Donald Crisp

Votes: 2,240

2. Since You Went Away (1944)

Approved | 177 min | Drama, Romance, War

With her husband away to fight in World War II, a housewife struggles to care for their two daughters - and a pair of lodgers who have moved in - alone.

Directors: John Cromwell, Edward F. Cline, Tay Garnett, David O. Selznick | Stars: Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Shirley Temple

Votes: 4,014

3. The Yearling (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Drama, Family, Western

89 Metascore

A boy persuades his parents to allow him to adopt a young deer, but what will happen if the deer misbehaves?

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman, Claude Jarman Jr., Chill Wills

Votes: 4,997 | Gross: $5.20M

4. There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)

Approved | 117 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Molly and Terry Donahue, plus their three children, are The Five Donahues. Son Tim meets hat-check girl Vicky and the family act begins to fall apart.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Donald O'Connor, Dan Dailey

Votes: 5,077

5. 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: 54,033 | Gross: $23.65M

6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)

PG | 129 min | Drama, Romance

Encouraged by her idealistic if luckless father, a bright and imaginative young woman comes of age in a Brooklyn tenement during the early 1900s.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Dorothy McGuire, Joan Blondell, James Dunn, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 6,610

7. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Votes: 13,110 | Gross: $11.80M

8. Our Vines Have Tender Grapes (1945)

Passed | 105 min | Drama, Family

A Norwegian farmer lovingly raises his daughter in rural World War II-era Benson Junction, Wisconsin.

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Edward G. Robinson, Margaret O'Brien, James Craig, Frances Gifford

Votes: 1,540

9. State Fair (1945)

Approved | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

The Frake family attends the annual Iowa State Fair; each member of the clan has their own reason for doing so.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes, Vivian Blaine

Votes: 3,352

10. Penny Serenade (1941)

Not Rated | 119 min | Drama, Romance

A couple's big dreams give way to a life full of unexpected sadness and unexpected joy.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Beulah Bondi, Edgar Buchanan

Votes: 5,756

11. How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Not Rated | 118 min | Drama, Family

At the turn of the century in a Welsh mining village, the Morgans, he stern, she gentle, raise coal-mining sons and hope their youngest will find a better life.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Maureen O'Hara, Anna Lee, Donald Crisp

Votes: 19,526

12. Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Romance, War

A British family struggles to survive the first months of World War II.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon, Teresa Wright, May Whitty

Votes: 14,536 | Gross: $13.50M

13. Journey for Margaret (1942)

Passed | 81 min | Drama, War

1940. For the better part of the war thus far, New York news correspondent John Davis and his wife Nora Davis have been in the hot spots of western Europe, including Rotterdam and much of ... See full summary »

Directors: W.S. Van Dyke, Herbert Kline | Stars: Robert Young, Laraine Day, Fay Bainter, Nigel Bruce

Votes: 689

14. You Can't Take It with You (1938)

Passed | 126 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A man from a family of rich snobs becomes engaged to a woman from a good-natured but decidedly eccentric family.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore, Edward Arnold

Votes: 21,528 | Gross: $4.66M

15. It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

PG | 130 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

89 Metascore

An angel is sent from Heaven to help a desperately frustrated businessman by showing him what life would have been like if he had never existed.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore, Thomas Mitchell

Votes: 364,843

16. Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Not Rated | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton | Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Gene Lockhart

Votes: 37,203 | Gross: $2.65M

17. Shenandoah (1965)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War, Western

During the Civil War, a Virginia farmer and his family vow to remain neutral, but one of the sons is captured by Union soldiers, sending the farmer to his rescue.

Director: Andrew V. McLaglen | Stars: James Stewart, Doug McClure, Glenn Corbett, Patrick Wayne

Votes: 7,374

18. Friendly Persuasion (1956)

Passed | 137 min | Drama, Romance, War

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler | Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins, Richard Eyer

Votes: 5,909

19. Little Women (1933)

Not Rated | 115 min | Drama, Family, Romance

A chronicle of the lives of a group of sisters growing up in nineteenth-century America.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Joan Bennett, Paul Lukas, Edna May Oliver

Votes: 5,670

20. Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Not Rated | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

In the year leading up to the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer

Votes: 18,559 | Gross: $7.57M

21. The Grapes of Wrath (1940)

Passed | 129 min | Drama, History

96 Metascore

A poor Midwest family is forced off their land. They travel to California, suffering the misfortunes of the homeless in the Great Depression.

Director: John Ford | Stars: Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, Charley Grapewin

Votes: 82,045 | Gross: $0.06M

22. The Farmer's Daughter (1947)

Unrated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

After leaving her family's farm to study nursing in the city, a young woman finds herself on an unexpected path towards politics.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, Charles Bickford

Votes: 2,147

23. I Remember Mama (1948)

Approved | 134 min | Drama, Family

The ups and downs of a Norwegian immigrant family, circa 1910.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Irene Dunne, Barbara Bel Geddes, Oskar Homolka, Philip Dorn

Votes: 4,710

24. The Seven Little Foys (1955)

Approved | 93 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

After the young wife of vaudevillian Eddie Foy passes away, he incorporates their seven children into the act and takes it on the road.

Director: Melville Shavelson | Stars: Bob Hope, Milly Vitale, George Tobias, Angela Clarke

Votes: 1,294

25. Pride and Prejudice (1940)

Approved | 118 min | Drama, Romance

Mr. and Mrs. Bennet have five unmarried daughters, and Mrs. Bennet is especially eager to find suitable husbands for them. When the rich single gentlemen Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy come to ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Mary Boland, Edna May Oliver

Votes: 6,946

26. A Christmas Carol (1951)

Not Rated | 86 min | Drama, Fantasy

Old bitter miser Ebenezer Scrooge (Alastair Sim) is given a chance for redemption when he is haunted by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.

Director: Brian Desmond Hurst | Stars: Alastair Sim, Jack Warner, Kathleen Harrison, Mervyn Johns

Votes: 18,218

27. On Borrowed Time (1939)

Passed | 99 min | Drama, Fantasy

A cantankerous old man takes in his beloved, orphaned grandson, whom he must protect at all costs, including from an agent of Death with the help of a magical apple tree.

Director: Harold S. Bucquet | Stars: Lionel Barrymore, Cedric Hardwicke, Beulah Bondi, Una Merkel

Votes: 1,697

28. You're Only Young Once (1937)

Approved | 78 min | Comedy, Romance

On vacation with his family on California's Catalina Island, Andy Hardy falls head over swim fins for a sophisticated young beauty. Judge Hardy warns his son that she is too fast for him.

Director: George B. Seitz | Stars: Lewis Stone, Cecilia Parker, Mickey Rooney, Fay Holden

Votes: 355

29. The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)

Passed | 109 min | Biography, Drama, Romance

Elizabeth Barrett's tyrannical father has forbidden any of his family to marry. Nevertheless, Elizabeth falls in love with the poet Robert Browning.

Director: Sidney Franklin | Stars: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton, Maureen O'Sullivan

Votes: 1,472

30. Devotion (1946)

Approved | 107 min | Biography, Drama

Genius authors Emily and Charlotte Bronte fall in love with their curate as they seek to get their work published.

Director: Curtis Bernhardt | Stars: Olivia de Havilland, Ida Lupino, Paul Henreid, Sydney Greenstreet

Votes: 698

31. Alice Adams (1935)

Passed | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

The misadventures of two social-climbing women in small town America.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Fred MacMurray, Fred Stone, Evelyn Venable

Votes: 3,486

32. My Man Godfrey (1936)

Not Rated | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

A scatterbrained socialite hires a vagrant as a family butler - but there's more to Godfrey than meets the eye.

Director: Gregory La Cava | Stars: William Powell, Carole Lombard, Alice Brady, Gail Patrick

Votes: 19,110

33. Life with Father (1947)

Passed | 118 min | Comedy

A financier from New York rules his numerous family, consisting of his wife and his four sons, with the meticulousness of a bookkeeper.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: William Powell, Irene Dunne, Elizabeth Taylor, Edmund Gwenn

Votes: 4,254

34. The Parent Trap (1961)

Passed | 129 min | Comedy, Family, Romance

73 Metascore

Teenage twin sisters swap places and scheme to reunite their divorced parents.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Hayley Mills, Maureen O'Hara, Brian Keith, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 17,290

35. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

G | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

75 Metascore

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 19,796



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