By now, you know autumn is my favorite season of the year, so it's no surprise that many of my favorite films happen to be leaf strewn or just exude that delicious autumnal mood. So, I've comprised a little list of fifteen of my personal fall faves, so get out those woolly socks, my friends.
A few school flicks, all heavy on the foliage:
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, 1969
Maggie Smith is fabulous as a headstrong school teacher in 1930's Edinburgh, who ignores the curriculum, preferring her over romantic view. She won an Oscar for this role.
Dead Poet's Society, 1989
Robin Williams is an English teacher who inspires his students to love poetry and seize the day. He's the kind of teacher everyone should have, at least once.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, 1962
Tom Courtenay plays a rebellious youth sentenced to a reform school for robbing a bakery and rises through the ranks through his love of running.
That magical Autumn-in-New-York thing:
Hannah and Her Sisters, 1986
Between two Thanksgivings, Hannah's husband falls in love with her sister Lee, while her hypochondriac ex-husband (you guessed it, Woody Allen) rekindles his relationship with her sister Holly. Did you know much of this movie was filmed in Mia Farrow's New York apartment?
You've Got Mail, 1998
Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, business rivals, fall in love over the internet. Actually, this is a modern version of The Shop Around the Corner, 1940, starring Jimmy Steward and Margaret Sullavan. Nora Ephron's screenplay pops.
The World of Henry Orient, 1964
Two adventurous 14 year old girls chase a mediocre concert pianist, hilariously played by Peter Sellers, around Manhattan. This is an under-rated gem.
Breathtaking autumn epics:
Days of Heaven, 1978
Richard Gere is a farm laborer who convinces his girlfriend to marry the rich, but dying farm owner, to claim his fortune. Lush, dreamy photography. I need to buy myself a copy this fall.
Legends of the Fall, 1994
An Epic story of how nature, war, history and love effect a father and his three sons in the remote west of the early 1900s. Anthony Hopkins, Brad Pitt, Aidan Quinn, and Julia Ormond. Gorgeous movie.
Dark, rich and romantic:
(woolly socks are mandatory here)
Brief Encounter, 1945
David Lean's dark love story. Quite possibly the most romantic movie of all time, starring Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson. By the way, these two delightfully pair up again 35 years later in Staying On, 1980.
Un homme et une femme, 1966
A Man and a Woman. Sexy and hip. I adore this movie, lots of fun 60s cars and clothes. You know the song. Dabadabada-dabadabada...
I Know Where I'm Going, 1945
Wendy Hiller plays an ambitious English woman, who while traveling to marry a wealthy industrialist on the Island of Kiloan, Scotland, is trapped on the Island of Mull in bad weather, and falls in love with a young naval officer. I watch this one in EVERY season, woolly socks, or not.
Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights, 1992
Although I love the 1939 Laurence Olivier/Merle Oberon version, this one starring Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche is my favorite. Binoche's soliloquy, at the open window, looking out across the moors, is brilliant.
The End of the Affair, 1999
Ralph Fiennes and Julianne Moore play doomed lovers in a war torn London. This is the second steamy film adaptation of Graham Greene's great novel. It was made into a movie earlier, starring Deborah Kerr and Van Johnson in 1955.
Lots of leafy fun:
(put on the popcorn)
(put on the popcorn)
The Trouble With Harry, 1955
Hitchock's kooky macabre comedy, set in an autumnal village in Vermont. This is Shirley MacLaine's film debut. I also adore Edmund Gwenn and the wonderful Mildred Natwick.
Sleepy Hollow, 1999
Johnny Depp as Icabod Crane, ala Tim Burton. Lots of great prosthetic heads rolling here and a whole Burtonesque forest with truck loads of crunchy leaves.