Happy Mother's Day: Our Moms' Favorite Movies

Happy Mother's Day: Our Moms' Favorite Movies

In celebration of Mother's Day, the TFS staff asked their moms what their favorite movies are. Some choices were sweet and expected, but some were surprising. Enjoy these picks and happy Mother's Day! 


 A still from Star Wars (1977)

Star Wars (1977)

Seeing Star Wars for the first time is a life-changing event for anyone, whether it be at home on a TV or in a theater. It’s something our generation fell in love with as kids when our parents passed it down to us. But, according to my mom, nothing could possibly compare to seeing it back in 1977 when it first came out. For my mom, that theater experience was unlike any she’s ever had. It was a film that left her with all kinds of first-time feelings, from the wonder at the special effects to the nonstop adrenaline of a truly exciting adventure film. For the first time in her memory, she felt driven to tell as many friends and family members about it as she could so that they could share her excitement and the hope of realizing there was more of this epic story to come in sequels. Star Wars also awoke an interest in sci-fi that she’d never had before, which is a passion of hers she passed down to me when I first experienced the film. Star Wars, and my mom’s love for it, has always been a cherished part of my family, and it’s something I’ll always be grateful she shared with us. (Callie Smith)


 A still from Mary Poppins (1964)

The Sound of Music (1965) or Mary Poppins (1964)

My mom’s really big on musicals, much to my dismay because she’s prone to singing songs from them. (This is a price I have to pay for still living with her.) When I asked her what her favorite movie is, she said it’s either The Sound of Music or Mary Poppins, depending on the day. But – despite the same leading lady – she likes them for different reasons. She likes Mary Poppins because she got a better grasp of the subplot on re-watches. She also likes Dick Van Dyke in it because “he’s tall and skinny and funny like [her older brother] Rob.” With The Sound of Music, she has a more personal connection because she has fond memories of her grandmother taking her and her older siblings – she’s the middle of seven – to see it. She also likes Christopher Plummer in it – I don’t blame her – as well as the sweeping scenery. (Anna Long)


 A still from Gone with the Wind (1939)

Gone with the Wind (1939)

I wish my mother had a different favorite movie for several reasons, but the heart wants what it wants. Growing up in the ‘50s, my mother’s family didn’t have a lot of money, so the idea of seeing a movie was a huge treat and Gone with the Wind provided her with a big dose of escapism and romanticism, which is what she talks about when the movie comes up in conversation. As my mother explains it, the dresses, the beautiful sets, and the iconic lines were drilled into the culture and hard to resist. I even remember when the sequel to the book, Scarlett, came out in the early ‘90s, she was pumped and read it immediately just because she wanted more of that feeling. I watched Gone with the Wind with my mother a couple of Thanksgivings ago and even though she fell asleep halfway through, it was clear that she loved it – especially Rhett Butler, whom she referred to as a dreamboat several times. (Joey Aucoin)


 A still from The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music (1965) 

My mom’s favorite movie is The Sound of Music. The classic songs, Julie Andrews' heartening performance and, the themes of family harmony are really important for her. We watched this movie quite a bit when I was a kid, and my family still enjoys it now. What makes this movie such a classic for moms and families in general is the von Trapps themselves. As a family unit, they are broken but slowly start to come together again with the guidance of someone who cares enough to help them. Julie Andrews’ warmth and conviction, her stubbornness and resilience, is what draws my family to this movie. The comforting but striking visuals are coupled with some of the most hummable, lovable showtunes and such inviting, compelling characters. And in these ugly times, what could be better than a family-oriented, uplifting, and gloriously anti-Nazi movie musical? (Manish Mathur)


 A still from The Wizard of Oz (1939)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

When I asked my mom what her favorite movie is, she gave me two: Three Amigos and Wizard of Oz. I told her to pick one and tell me why she loves it so much. This is what she gave me:

“When I was little, we never had a TV. But the neighbors had one and I was asked to come over for movie night! We all sat on the floor around the TV waiting for the show to begin. I was so excited. Wizard of Oz started...it was fast and full of action right off the bat. It made me nervous and scared as the tornado ripped in to the little farm in Kansas. The black and white parts had everything to grab your attention: little Toto, the mean neighbor on the bike, and Dorothy. But then the dream began and the colors, and the witches, and all the imagination that went into the film and characters exploded. It encompassed everything that would capture a young child’s mind. Me being that young child, I fell for the genius of fantasy cinema. It was a creative film with wonderful music that I still enjoy and listen to almost 60 years later.” (Rachael Hauschild)


 A still from Dancer in the Dark (2000)

Dancer in the Dark (2000)

I was a bit taken aback when I asked my mother what her favorite movie was, and she responded with Lars Von Trier’s 2000 film Dancer in the Dark. It’s a movie I wasn’t able to stomach when I attempted to watch it just a couple of years ago (to date, I’ve successfully finished just one Von Trier movie, Antichrist, after multiple attempts). But when speaking to her, it was clear that she was able to find the beauty in the bleakness. “They took such a dark movie with deep characters and brought innocence and life to them.” Among many things, she praised the movie’s duets and star Bjork’s “boisterous voice.” And she related to the character’s personal struggle and felt connected to her. “It was a movie that took my breath away. And those movies stick with me the most. It took me to a different place.” She also likes Peter Stormare. A lot. (Marcus Irving)

A Fantasy Worth Following: Ron Howard's Splash (1984)

A Fantasy Worth Following: Ron Howard's Splash (1984)

10 Essential Films from Hindi Cinema, Part 2

10 Essential Films from Hindi Cinema, Part 2