Don’t you just love to snuggle up with the family under a warm quilt and watch a good movie? Next to reading aloud, classic movies can be a great bonding time and the discussions afterwards are pretty neat, too.
As a mother of young children, my goal in finding a great movie was that it impart valuable knowledge and set before us some ideal of beauty, strength, or nobility of character. If it lead to discussions from a Christian worldview, so much the better.
3 Classic Movies
1.) Miracle of the White Stallions (1963)
Vienna’s famed Spanish Riding School – and its prized Lipizzan stallions – is threatened by devastating bombing raids and indifferent Nazi commanders. Despite the dangers involved in evacuating the magnificent animals, the school’s director and a handful of heroic citizens attempt a daring, life-threatening plan to move the stallions away from the ravages of war and keep the historic breed alive.
Rated G. Suspenseful, educational film, based on the true persons and history of WWII (General Patton) and the saving of the Lipizzan horses (Col. Podhajsky).
You can watch this on YouTube ( in 12 parts- Part 1). Check to see if you can view all 12 parts before you start to avoid disappointment. It is available from Amazon as low as $2.55 (used) or request it from your local library.
escape on the train (source)
If you have read even one book from the Little House on the Prairie book series, you will likely love these episodes. This series paints a memorable picture of the difficulties of American pioneer life and the courage, faith, and resilience of pioneer men, women, and children. It’s also a powerful portrait of a close-knit, giving family and the life-affirming lessons they learn and share each day. Synopsis of the 7 episodes:
These episodes work well as an engaging family movie-night reward and can reinforcing good character values and Christian principles when discussed. With 7 features, there are enough to spread over many months of family nights. I cannot speak for the rest of the later seasons, but we loved season 1.
Reviewed by Tami Horiuchi (source)
“A hugely popular 1974 weekly TV series that’s been completely restored for this collector’s edition, Little House on the Prairie is based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s bestselling books and follows the Ingalls family through the trials and tribulations of pioneer life in the 1870s. The series opens with the extremely poor family settling in Plum Creek, near the town of Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and follows them as they struggle to build a house, plow and plant their land, and become part of their small town’s community. Ma (Karen Grassle) and Pa (Michael Landon) are good, honest folk with a healthy compassion for others. But it seems like every day brings a new trial for them and their children. A freak hailstorm ruins an entire crop of wheat, their newly born son dies, a bout of the plague threatens the entire town of Walnut Grove, the family’s barn catches fire, a devastating blizzard looms, but the family perseveres and they never lose their faith in God or their belief in the goodness of others. (Ages 7 and older). “
3.) Night Crossing (not-the-usual Disney, 1982)
I found a good trailer on Night Crossing here.
One reviewer writes:
“Tired of superheroes and special effects? Weary of ear-damaging noise levels and gore-fests? Had it with bumbling parents and their smart mouth kids? Rent “Night Crossing,” the 1982 Disney release based on the true story of two families who escaped from East Germany in 1979 in a homemade hot air balloon.
“The film opens with news footage of the conditions in East Germany (GDR) at the time of the escape, but be ready to stop the action and answer some questions. For our TCC test audience (one eight-year old girl and two nine-year old boys) the sixties and seventies are ancient history and require some explaining.
“The story opens with three families — the Kellers, the Strelzyks and the Wetzels — all of whom are close friends. When the Keller’s oldest son, Lukas, is killed trying to escape to the west, his family is destroyed by his death and the cruel treatment of the survivors by the secret police, or Stasi. (The violence here is brief, but disturbing. We see and hear as Lukas is torn apart by automatic machine gun fire from weapons imbedded in the border fence. Be prepared. This is the only such scene.) The other two families realize that they can no longer live as prisoners in their own land. They resolve to escape.
‘The movie is a hymn to friendship and the enduring human quest to be free. It’s also the rare film in which parents are seen as adults who are strong and faithful guardians of the children in their care. The children respect their parents and the parents are worthy of that respect.”
Reviewed by Holly Gray of Inspire: Rediscovering Classic Family Films.
INSPIRING THEMES: Holding out hope for freedom for your family, going against the odds to secure liberty for your posterity. This true story is incredibly inspiring and one that should be watched and discussed with older children. Truly remarkable.
Read the reviews to discern for your own family, mature themes and much suspense make this a 12+ recommendation.
PARENTAL WARNINGS: May frighten some children as communist themes and persecution and other mature issues are dealt with throughout the film. Recommended for 12+. If I am remembering correctly, there may be 2 or 3 words that would be helpful to have a Clear Play to skip over. WORTH WATCHING AND DISCUSSING in light of many of the things that are currently happening in America.
I found it available on Amazon for as low as $4.39 (used) or ask your local library to put it on their shelf.
No need to go all out for a movie night – all a family really needs is love, snuggled close side-by-side, and quality time. If you have tickets, pizza, popcorn, and hot chocolate to make it memorable, great, but enjoy these years, for they fly by way too fast!
Find more classic movies:
Thanks for reading!