List of Good Movies to Watch this Winter

A handy list of classic movies and books to comfort you during a cold spell.

Book and Bookend on Desk

A few good winter reads.

Photo by Karen K. Will

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If the Farmer’s Almanac is correct, and this winter is especially harsh, you might need something to occupy your time if you get snowed in. Here’s a list of classic movies and books to keep you company while you snuggle up by the fire.

Lots of folks have a favorite movie era, so we’ve organized our selections by decade. While there are countless classics — about as many as there are opinions on the subject — we had to limit our selections to 10 per decade. How many of these have you seen?

Pop some popcorn, grab a dog for your lap, relax under a blanket — and let it snow, let it snow, let it snow! 

1940s

The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Citizen Kane (1941)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Holiday Inn (1942)
Casablanca (1942)
National Velvet (1944)
Double Indemnity (1944)
Miracle on 34th Street (1947)
Red River (1948)

1950s

Father of the Bride (1950)
High Noon (1952)
Sabrina (1954)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
Giant (1956)
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Around the World in 80 Days (1956)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Old Yeller (1957)
Ben-Hur (1959)

1960s

Spartacus (1960)
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
The Birds (1963)
My Fair Lady (1964)
Goldfinger (1964)
The Sound of Music (1965)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

1970s

M*A*S*H (1970)
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)
The Godfather trilogy (1972, 1974 and 1990)
Jaws (1975)
Rocky (1976)
King Kong (1976)
Star Wars trilogy (1977, 1980 and 1983)
Superman (1978)
Grease (1978)
Moonraker (1979)

1980s

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The Outsiders (1983)
A Christmas Story (1983)
Back to the Future (1985)
Stand By Me (1986)
Die Hard (1988)
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Big (1988)
Dead Poets Society (1989)

1990s

The Last of the Mohicans (1992)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Fargo (1996)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
Titanic (1997)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Rushmore (1998)
The Sixth Sense (1999)


If You’re Into Mystery Novels ...

Editor-in-Chief Hank Will has been known to read all night when a book — or several — captivates him. Lately, he’s been engrossed in Craig Johnson’s “Longmire Mystery” novels, after watching the television series Longmire, which is based on the novels. Following Sheriff Walt Longmire in fictional Absaroka County, Wyoming, Hank says the novels are a “beautifully authentic narrative of people and place.”

After finishing all 10 Longmire mysteries in a matter of three weeks, Hank started on author C.J. Box’s “Joe Pickett” novels. Featuring fictional Fish and Game Warden Joe Pickett, Hank says the novels are “creative suspense” and that he’d love to see a novel featuring both Longmire and Pickett. “They’d butt heads ever so slightly, but would eventually work together and come to the same conclusion,” he says.


Karen K. Will is editor of Heirloom Gardener magazine, and co-author, along with Editor-in-Chief Oscar H. Will III, of Plowing With Pigs and Other Creative, Low-Budget Homesteading Solutions (New Society Publishers, 2013).