Lessons / School of Happiness

School Of Happiness Lesson 20: When It Rains – Embrace The Weather Or Each Other And Watch The Top 10 Happiest Movies Of All Time

I met Todd McCarthy* in sunny Los Angeles and asked him to tell me about his top ten favorite “happy” movies. “That’s not easy! Funny, the way it turned out – I realize that I can’t think of any genuinely ‘happy’ films made after the 1950s, except for animated films, hence the inclusion of one of them. Otherwise, all the happiness films came from “the good old days” – the Depression, World War, Cold War, etc. That could be an essay of its own.”

*Todd McCarthy has been the chief film critic for The Hollywood Reporter since 2010. For many years prior to that, he held the same position at Variety. McCarthy won an Emmy Award for writing the documentary “Preston Sturges: The Rise and Fall of an American Dreamer” and won the New York Film Critics and National Society of Film Critics awards for best documentary in 1993 for “Visions of Light: The Art of Cinematography,” which he wrote and co-directed. Among his other documentaries are “Hollywood Mavericks” and “Forever Hollywood,” the latter of which has been playing continuously at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood since 1999. His books include “Kings of the Bs: Working Within the Hollywood System”, the biography “Howard Hawks: The Grey Fox of Hollywood”, and “Fast Women: The Legendary Ladies of Racing.”

1. The Kid, Charles Chaplin, 1920

Charles Chaplin

2. Ruggles of Red Gap, Leo McCarey, 1935

Annex - Ruggles, Charles (Ruggles of Red Gap)_03

3. Sullivan’s Travels , Preston Sturges, 1941

Sullivan's Travels , Preston Sturges

4. Heaven Can Wait , Ernst Lubitsch, 1943

Heaven Can Wait , Ernst Lubitsch

5. To Have and Have Not, Howard Hawks, 1944


6. It’s a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra, 1946
It's a Wonderful Life, Frank Capra,

7. Singin’ in the Rain, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen, 1952


8. French Can Can, Jean Renoir, 1956


9. Some Like It Hot, Billy Wilder, 1959


10. Toy Story 2, John Lasseter, 1999


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