8 Autumn-Themed Classic Movies

It's time to fold away your sun-scorched skin and fall into a pile of leaves. Autumn is upon us. Let's catch up on classic movies featuring the fall season.

[Click the titles for movie trailers or movie excerpts]

The Affairs of Dobie Gillis (1952)
The Affairs of Dobie Gillis
Before he attended high school on television, Dobie Gillis attended college in this movie starring Bobby Van and Debbie Reynolds. He starts the fall semester joining certain classes just to be near a certain girl. That's what higher education was all about in many early to mid- 20th century musicals.

Autumn Leaves
Contemplating the autumn of her life, Joan Crawford has a May-December romance [actually, more of an August-October affair] with Clift "Kahuna" Robertson. But his father, Lorne "The Progenitor of All Rough-Hewn Dudes" Greene, has something to say about the matter.

Come September
This comedy of international romance between Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobridgida might not be the first movie you think of for autumn since it is mostly set in a sun-lit Italian villa. However, the time frame is the dog days of summer and the first of fall. (It's hilarious, by the way.)

Father Was a Fullback
Fred MacMurray can't catch a break. The college football team he coaches is losing, his younger daughter just came home with a black eye, and his teenaged daughter has decided to "mature" into a minimalist. Thelma Ritter is on hand to crack jokes.

Good News(1947)
In this musical, Tait College's quarterback (Peter Lawford) must pass a foreign language exam to play in the big game this fall. Lawford sings like he's passing a gallstone, but his French is music to my ears.

Too Many Girls (1940)
It's the first film in which both Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz appear. It's all about the goings-on at a southwestern school. The plot doesn't matter - boy gets girl and that's really it. Watch for co-ed Ann Miller's dancing.

The Trouble With Harry (1955)
Shirley McLaine must deal with an anonymous dead guy found among maple leaves that match her hair.  This is a dark comedy by Alfred Hitchcock.
Young Ideas (1943)
Two kids (Susan Peters and my crush from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes - Elloitt Reid) enroll into college to please their new stepfather (Herbert Marshall) who is a professor. This gives the man a false sense of security as the boy and girl plot to break up his marriage and have their mother all to themselves again. Mary Astor -yet again playing someone's mother-  is the coveted prize.



  1. My first movie thought in autumn always turns to "The Trouble With Harry". Next up is any movie which features the World Series. Followed by "Desk Set". I must have lunch on the roof with Tracy and Hepburn.

    "Young Ideas" looks like a cutie. I'm always amazed by the number of movies I haven't seen.

  2. I'm back. My son just reminded me of our shared favourite for this time of year - Disney's "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". It's clever, funny, tuneful and genuinely frightening.

  3. DESK SET is a great addition. It has a number of holidays in it, or at least two.

    I totally forgot about the Sleepy Hollow movie. Creepy!

    - Java


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"Java's Journey: A really fun, informative well-written blog that explores all of the things - and I mean all - I love about classic films."-- Flick Chick of A Person In The Dark Email: java-rush@hotmail.com


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