2023 Fall

Classes are free  with your  UMASC Membership


Classic Films for Senior College

Instructor: UMASC Classic Films Committee

Fridays • 9 classes • 9/15-11/17 • 8:30-11:30 AM

Class size 5-50 students
7 seats remaining
Location: Klahr Center Rotunda

This course, coordinated by the UMASC Classic Films Committee, consists of an analytical and fun discussion group exploring the merits of classic films selected by recent class members. They critique the films, considering information provided by the American Film Institute (AFI), British Film Institute (BFI), the Academy, and top internet sites. Each class member is encouraged to lead a discussion of a favorite movie the following semester. There are 9 movies featured this semester.

All films are closed captioned for the hearing impaired.


9 Featured Films:

M*A*S*H (stylized on-screen as MASH), 1970, is an American black comedy war film directed by Robert Altman and written by Ring Lardner Jr., based on Richard Hooker’s 1968 novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors. The picture is the only theatrically released feature film in the M*A*S*H franchise, and it became one of the biggest films of the early 1970s for 20th Century Fox.

The film depicts a unit of medical personnel stationed at a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital (MASH) during the Korean War. It stars Donald Sutherland, Tom Skerritt, and Elliott Gould, with Sally Kellerman, Robert Duvall, René Auberjonois, Gary Burghoff, Roger Bowen, Michael Murphy, and in his film debut, professional football player Fred Williamson. Although the Korean War is the film’s storyline setting, the subtext is the Vietnam War – a current event at the time the film was made. Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, who saw the film in college, said M*A*S*H was “perfect for the times, the cacophony of American culture was brilliantly reproduced onscreen”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Night at the Opera, 1935, is an American comedy film starring the Marx Brothers (Groucho Marx, Harpo Marx and Chico Marx), and featuring Kitty Carlisle, Allan Jones, Margaret Dumont, Sig Ruman, and Walter Woolf King. It was the first of five films the Marx Brothers made under contract for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer after their departure from Paramount Pictures, and the first after Zeppo left the act. The film was written by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind from a story by James Kevin McGuinness, with additional uncredited dialogue by Al Boasberg. The film was directed by Sam Wood.

One of MGM’s biggest hits at the 1935 box office, A Night at the Opera was selected in 1993 for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. It is also included in the 2007 update of AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Movies, at number 85; and previously in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Laughs 2000 showing, at number 12.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

My Life as a Dog (Swedish: Mitt liv som hund) is a Swedish drama film which was released to cinemas in Sweden on 12 December 1985, directed by Lasse Hallström. It is based on the second novel of a semi-autobiographical trilogy by Reidar Jönsson. It tells the coming-of-age story of Ingemar, a young boy sent to live with relatives. The cast includes Anton Glanzelius, Melinda Kinnaman, and Tomas von Brömssen.

In 1987, the film was released in the United States where it became a surprise hit. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards that year in the categories of Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay, and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sense and Sensibility, 1995, is a period drama film directed by Ang Lee and based on Jane Austen’s 1811 novel of the same name. Emma Thompson wrote the screenplay and stars as Elinor Dashwood, while Kate Winslet plays Elinor’s younger sister Marianne. The story follows the Dashwood sisters, members of a wealthy English family of landed gentry, as they must deal with circumstances of sudden destitution. They are forced to seek financial security through marriage. Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman play their respective suitors.

Producer Lindsay Doran, a longtime admirer of Austen’s novel, hired Thompson to write the screenplay. She spent five years drafting numerous revisions, continually working on the script between other films as well as into production of the film itself. Studios were nervous that Thompson—a first-time screenwriter—was the credited writer, but Columbia Pictures agreed to distribute the film.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Boyhood, 2014, is an American epic coming-of-age drama film written and directed by Richard Linklater, and starring Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, and Ethan Hawke. Filmed from 2002 to 2013, Boyhood depicts the childhood and adolescence of Mason Evans Jr. (Coltrane) from ages six to eighteen as he grows up in Texas with divorced parents (Arquette and Hawke). Richard Linklater’s daughter Lorelei plays Mason’s sister, Samantha.

Production began in 2002 and finished in 2013, with Linklater’s goal to make a film about growing up. The project began without a completed script, with only basic plot points and the ending written initially. Linklater developed the script throughout production, writing the next year’s portion of the film after rewatching the previous year’s footage. He incorporated changes he saw in each actor into the script, while also allowing all major actors to participate in the writing process by incorporating their life experiences into their characters’ stories.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, 1969, is an American Western buddy film directed by George Roy Hill and written by William Goldman. Based loosely on fact, the film tells the story of Wild West outlaws Robert LeRoy Parker, known as Butch Cassidy (Paul Newman), and his partner Harry Longabaugh, the “Sundance Kid” (Robert Redford), who are on the run from a crack US posse after a string of train robberies. The pair and Sundance’s lover, Etta Place (Katharine Ross), flee to Bolivia to escape the posse.

In 2003, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The American Film Institute ranked Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as the 73rd-greatest American film on its “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition)” list, and number 50 on the original list. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid were ranked 20th-greatest heroes on “AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes & Villains”. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was selected by the American Film Institute as the 7th-greatest Western of all time in the AFI’s 10 Top 10 list in 2008.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 

The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen), 2006, is a German drama film written and directed by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck marking his feature film directorial debut. The plot is about the monitoring of East Berlin residents by agents of the Stasi, East Germany’s secret police. It stars Ulrich Mühe as Stasi Captain Gerd Wiesler, Ulrich Tukur as his superior Anton Grubitz, Sebastian Koch as the playwright Georg Dreyman, and Martina Gedeck as Dreyman’s lover, a prominent actress named Christa-Maria Sieland.

The film was released in Germany on 23 March 2006. At the same time, the screenplay was published by Suhrkamp Verlag. The Lives of Others won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The film had earlier won seven Deutscher Filmpreis awards—including those for best film, best director, best screenplay, best actor, and best supporting actor—after setting a new record with 11 nominations. It also won the BAFTA Award for Best Film Not in the English Language and European Film Award for Best Film, while it was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film. The Lives of Others cost $2 million and grossed more than $77 million worldwide.

Released 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, marking the end of the German Democratic Republic, it was the first notable drama film about the subject after a series of comedies such as Good Bye, Lenin! and Sonnenallee. This approach was widely applauded in Germany even as some criticized the humanization of Wiesler’s character. The film’s authenticity was considered praiseworthy given that the director grew up outside of East Germany and was 16 when the Berlin Wall fell.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

McCabe & Mrs. Miller, 1971, is an American revisionist Western film directed by Robert Altman and starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie. The screenplay by Altman and Brian McKay is based on the 1959 novel McCabe by Edmund Naughton. Altman referred to it as an “anti-Western” film because it ignores or subverts a number of Western conventions. It was filmed in British Columbia, Canada in the fall and winter of 1970, and premiered on June 24, 1971.

The film has received critical acclaim in the years since its release and earned an Oscar nomination for Christie in the Best Actress category. The film was deemed the 8th greatest Western of all time by the American Film Institute in its AFI’s 10 Top 10 list in 2008 and, in 2010, was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Annie Get Your Gun, 1950, is an American musical Technicolor comedy film loosely based on the life of sharpshooter Annie Oakley. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer release, with music and lyrics by Irving Berlin and a screenplay by Sidney Sheldon based on the 1946 stage musical of the same name, was directed by George Sidney. Despite several production and casting problems (Judy Garland was fired from the lead role after a month of filming in which she clashed with the director and repeatedly showed up late or not at all), the film won the Academy Award for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and received three other nominations. Star Betty Hutton was recognized with a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinated by the
UMASC Classic Films Committee

Committee Chairs