Looking for some nostalgic, magical movie inspiration? Then look no further! With a pandemic happening, staying at home is more important than ever. However, it can be a bit drab when you run out of ideas to entertain yourself! To save your time from endless browsing on Netflix we wanted to share our MUST WATCH Vintage Hollywood inspired movie recommendations. Pop that corn, cosy up with a fluffy blanket, draw the curtains and travel back in time with these vintage classics, you're welcome.
The Roaring Twenties
This Warner Brothers melodrama grabs everyone’s attention as it depicts realistically (as much as a melodrama can) the dazzling period of Prohibition-era filled with mystery and drama. Critics say that this kind of movie has a great combination of both hard-hitting gangster genre action and romantic sentiment. A perfect way to reminisce the dangerous and somewhat fabulous gangster lifestyle.
The screenplay was inspired by an original screen story written by Mark Hellinger following his experiences as a New York news-reporter during the 20s, and his familiarity with the illegal clubs of the day like the Hotsy-Totsy, Dizzy, and Blackbottom. Starring the amazing James Cagney as a leader of gangland, Humphrey Bogart as a ruthless lieutenant and Pricila Lane as a dazzling nightclub singer controlled by gangland leader. From well-developed characters to immersive music numbers you will get the full atmosphere of the roaring twenties. So, don’t forget to grab your glass of Gin before you start!
Bullets Over Broadway
Of course, where there is Broadway there is drama and we wouldn’t want it any other way! Bullets Over Broadway was created by Woody Allen as an ode to the theatre and the amazing New York. Set in 1928, a young playwright David is forced to cast a talentless girlfriend of a mobster if he wishes to produce his play. Naturally, as most artists tend to be during that time, he has somewhat unrealistic expectations and too proud to make compromises. Considering he has no other choice he gives a big role to the mentioned mobster girlfriend Olive who can’t remember a single line unless it involves saying “Charmed, Charmed Charmed” to others.
You might think that is where his troubles begin and you are not wrong, however, the plot twist lies when he bodyguard is named Cheech who has no knowledge of plays start making remarks about rehearsals and the worst part, he is right! Woody Allen managed to turn a funny but routine backstage comedy into something more and unexpected. A kind of sharp-edged farce he has always done best.
If you are in a mood for some theatrical shows and laughs with a lot of plot twists then you will love this! Perfect for Friday movie night relaxing.
Remember the old silent movies that were funny without hearing a word? Unfortunately in our modern age, these type of movies wouldn’t keep the attention of the watchers for very long. Except for ‘The Artist’. What is interesting is that this movie is relatively new but inspired to be like silent movies. Created in a way to dazzle, swoon and suffer so magnificently that the words would be sufficient.
The theme is very familiar - An older, experienced, star helps a talented young dancer on the path to fame, only to see his career decline as she gets more and more famous. However, what makes it unique is that atmosphere it spreads perfect combination of early French cinema and old Hollywood where the action takes place.
It’s one of those movies that sweeps you away without even realising it. The music and sounds are perfectly incorporated in every scene following the actions of the character and their emotions. You will definitely be inspired to watch more black and white movies!
Midnight in Paris
Imagine if you could travel back in time and talk to one of the most influential people of Prohibition-era?
You could have a drink with Hemingway, show off your charleston dance moves and party with Scott and Zelda FitzgeraldFitsgerald. Well, the protagonist of this movie Gil will take you with him on this incredible time-travelling journey. Woody Allen has done it once again.
A clash between modern-day and romanticism, Midnight in Paris will awake feelings of nostalgia for old times you’ve never known. What is even better, you will have a chance to experience the sparkling city of lights in a totally new way. The cheapest and fastest way to travel without leaving the comfort of your home!
The Great Gatsby
Saving best for last, needless to say, that The Great Gatsby is a timeless classic. With the newer movie adaptation of the book, you will be able to fully immersed in the mysterious and glamorous parties of Mr Gatsby. Rumour has it no one at the party has actually seen or met Gatsby, but perks of being a watcher are that you have!
The film's main figure is not Gatsby but in fact Nick Carraway, a classic unreliable narrator, a midwesterner educated at Yale alongside Tom Buchanan and Daisy's second cousin. In the summerIn summer of 1922, Nick has taken a cottage next door to Gatsby's mansion and that is when everything began.
This movie shapes our increasingly fuzzy image of the jazz age and fuels endless term papers on the American dream. When you see those glamorous parties filled with champagne, dazzling lights, sass and all that jazz, you will wish to host it yourself! Prepare some bubbly and indulge yourself with a night of glam!
These movies are just scratching the surface of the mysterious yet alluring roaring twenties where the high-end parties and gangster lifestyle collides. However, the story is not over yet, we have one BONUS movie recommendation because no list would be complete without a grand ending and this time Edit Piaf steals the spotlight!
La Vie En Rose
The amazing biography of the iconic French singer Édith Piaf.
No one else could possibly be like our beloved singer, but it is interesting to see how the actress Marion Cotillard tried to portray Piaf’s personality and way of thinking.
Like Sinatra, Edit had loved and lost, and like Garland, she was wounded by childhood memories: the wound that was also the source of her strength. But unlike Garland, she had street-fighting toughness and a masculine attitude. The movie constantly is switching from Edit’s memories as a child to her late-career, giving us a sense of throwbacks as if we are taking the trip down the memory lane with her. Tragic yet intriguing story of a woman who’s life was everything but pink. If you haven’t had a chance to listen to her music before, after this movie you will!
We hope these vintage, nostalgic movie recommendations have brought you closer to the time where razzle-dazzle meets ragtime, charleston dance and a whole lot of drama and glam! What is your favourite? Let us know in the comments!
And don’t forget when lockdown has ended, you can book any of our fabulous vintage inspired Hollywood-esque show bands for your corporate or private party! Book a Jazz, Swing or Hollywood showband for your vintage themed wedding, or heck, just throw a glamorous and decadent houseparty and we’ll come! No excuses needed, post Lockdown world is going to be a decadent hedonistic environment, we have no doubt about it...
Dixiebird Records are a London based, live and recorded entertainment agency. Producing and supplying vintage theatrical bands for the private and corporate events industry.