(Last Updated On: May 12, 2023)


Today is May 16 and we are celebrating National Classic Movie Day by reminiscing about the movies we have seen on the big screen. Grab some popcorn, a drink, and find a cozy chair to relax in as we celebrate National Classic Movie Day.


National Classic Movie Day presents an opportunity to celebrate the film industry and put spotlight on iconic movies that remain favorites through the years. We are using today’s National Day on May 16 to remember stories on the big screen that became a legacy by shaping culture.

What do we consider a classic movie? Many critics define a classic movie as any movie that is memorable or makes an impact on society. A true classic movie impacts pop culture, influences society, and remains a part of our lives. In fact, a classic movie is one that has or will withstand the test of time and remain memorable through generations.


Every classic movie contains pieces to a large puzzle. Joining these pieces together takes time, dedication, vision, and creativity beginning with the screen writer to final productions. Classic movies can be of any genre, including comedy, suspense, action, thriller, drama, time piece, or romance. Classic movies:

  1. Tell a story through iconic characters that inspire us.
  2. Contain ideas we can relate to and that seem relevant to our current lives.
  3. Provide iconic scenes from exotic locations people wish to visit.
  4. Contain exceptional graphics, acting, music, and storylines.
  5. Address humanism by including experiences, emotion, and even conflict that carry over through time.
  6. Incorporate social, political, or historical information that captures the time period of the film.
  7. Maintain a popular fan base and gain new fans as time goes on.
  8. Present opportunity to re-watch the movie on a variety of platforms, such as the big screen, television, and streaming services.
  9. Pioneer historical topics that push boundaries in society.
  10. Recognize praise by critics in the industry before receiving positive reviews and awards.

Every great movie contains an ending that leaves us feeling some sort of emotion. Whether the ending is sad, triumphant, or empowering, the movie ending is what makes us walk away feeling content. Sometimes we feel an internal feeling of sadness after the ending of a movie. However, we also feel happiness because our perception of the ending was fitting. Is this what sends us back to watch a movie again and again?

The Golden Age

The Golden Age in film began in 1927 and ended around 1959. It was during this time Hollywood began producing iconic films containing advancements in picture quality and sound. In fact, film historians often say 1939 was the most memorable year in movie history.

6 Classic Movies Released in 1939

  1. The Wizard of Oz
  2. Gone With The Wind
  3. Of Mice and Men
  4. The Little Princess
  5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
  6. Wuthering Heights

Can a contemporary movie be considered a classic? Yes! When we think of a classic movie, we often think of a movie in black and white. However, many movies of modern time have become classics. Movies like Jaws, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, the Star Wars Saga, and Star Trek Saga have become iconic classics from the 1970s and 1980s. In fact, movies like Avatar and John Wick are current box office hits that have already claimed the classic title because their creators keep us at the edge of our seats wanting more.


  1. Learn about the history behind the movie industry.
  2. Host a watch party for your classic movie.
  3. Introduce a friend to your favorite black and white movie.
  4. Share your favorite classic movie using #NationalClassicMovieDay on social media.


Each year on May 16, we celebrate National Classic Movie Day to bring spotlight to iconic movies that remain favorites through the years. Today, we want to remember stories on the big screen that became a legacy by shaping culture.

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