30 Top Films For Middle School to Adult

30 top films30 Top Films

Family Films For Older Kids

Do you have a list of your top 30 top films for families with older kids? In this podcast, I interview Lisa Winton, who along with her husband started a popular Facebook group to discuss their favorite movies and chat about them with friends. Lisa and Randy Winton have homeschooled for 16-years. Join us for more movies to add to your growing lists!

Thanks to our sponsors! FamilyLife(R) and Kendrick Brothers bring us the family film, Like Arrows! Check it out for your family.

Lisa Winton is my guest and will share her top 30 family friend film for older children. Here are the questions I asked, listen to the podcast for more!

  1. Tell me about yourself and your family:

I am a lover of classic literature, classical art, classic films and the outdoors, I enjoy history and art museums, orchestral concerts, classical ballet concerts, running, and decorating my home in a shabby chic/vintage style. I just recently decided to indulge in some new interests, and besides taking ballet classes for adults and joining my daughters in their art lessons, starting studying homeopathy in a group setting.

I have been married to my husband Randy for 29 years and we have four children, two adult sons (one married with two grand babies one in college) and two adopted daughters, one with special health challenges and one with health issues/developmental delays and autism. I am in my sixteenth year of homeschooling and love reading about and implementing various educational approaches, and have spent the last decade researching autism along with related therapies and implementing approaches to help see my daughter with autism to become the best-functioning adult she is capable of becoming.

I began a Facebook page, “Inspire:  Rediscovering Classic Family Films” (will come up by searching Classic Family Films on Facebook) several years ago, simply to highlight some of our family’s favorite films over the years because I had met so many people who had never heard of the ones that we loved, and after borrowing them from us couldn’t believe they’d never heard of them before. I thought that might be the case with others and wanted more people to enjoy the films we had found for our family.

  1. What ages will we focus on in this podcast?

We decided to focus on titles for families with middle and high-school aged children.

We briefly discussed the Hay’s code that went into a self-imposed standard that the Hollywood industry of old began when it started to police itself for decency mainly to keep the government from doing it when faced with legislative censorship.

  1. Lisa share that her family criteria for movies is:

Strong and moving story, high production values (good acting, beautiful scenery, inspiring and moving story and score, satisfying ending)

Inspiring themes–triumph, courage and honor, perseverance in the face of difficulty, redemption of a character (like Scrooge in A Christmas Carol or the Beast in Beauty and the Beast)

Historical or story narrative to gain insight and understanding–what it was like to live in different time periods (through World Wars, the Depression, the War for Independence)

Stories that when we are finished viewing, we are better for it. Inspired to stand stronger, be kinder, love others more, not repeat the mistakes of others or the past.

Last but not least, that the films we choose line-up with our family’s biblical values, and though very few films are flawless, promote that which we want to instill in our children and be inspired by personally. I.E.–it’s OK to have a Nellie Olson in a story. We need to have antagonists and protagonists to have a good story, but the antagonist should be seen clearly in the story as the one on the side of wrong, and the protagonist on the side of good and right. Not everyone will agree with us. Some people don’t want their kids to view anyone who has bad behavior–but I’d rather my kids meet Nellie Olesons in the pages of a book or on film where we can discuss these issues in imaginary circumstances before they face them in real life. And they will

4. What do you think about movie ratings?

Yes–we find it extremely entertaining that many older Shirley Temple films are rated PG, and so many more modern animated or even live-action “kids” films these days rated G are not ones we would choose to watch. We also have seen many PG-13 films that are rated because of the themes and not for content but meet our criteria as a worthy film for our family to view.  For example, two movies released more recently, The Book Thief (PG-13) and Hidden Figures (PG) I would choose to show my older children hands down over MANY rated G films released these days.

5. I also want to discuss underlying themes … many times movie producers even in animations place subtle hints (homosexuality, gender issues, etc. in movies that parents catch).

This is something coming in more and more these days–I may have a position not everyone is comfortable with. Each family needs to discern for themselves. We watched Disney’s live-action version of The Beauty and the Beast, over which there was some controversy. It was not hard to see that they subtly included some propaganda I could discern as an adult. But in the end we felt the overall value of truth, beauty, good overcoming evil and prejudice, strong family affection and loyalty (Belle and her father) and redemption of the beast in the film far outweighed the objectionable elements they included which went right over my younger children’s heads. And as they get older, we will use those elements as jumping off points to talk about values that differ from ours and how to have judgment and discernment when approaching film and other viewpoints.

30 top films30 Top Films For Families Middle School to Adult  – those starred below are their family favorites.

  1. Little Women (June Allyson and Wiona Ryder)
  2. The Prisoner of Zenda (Stuart Granger)
  3. Night Crossing (Disney) *
  4. Miniver
  5. The Great Escape
  6. The Fighting Sullivan’s *
  7. The Long Gray Line *
  8. Little Lord Fauntleroy
  9. Anne of Green Gables & The Sequel
  10. A Man Called Peter *
  11. Sergeant York *
  12. The Agony & The Ecstasy * (Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel)
  13. Ben Hur
  14. Boy’s Town *
  15. Chariots of Fire *
  16. The Bishop’s Wife (Cary Grant)
  17. Smith Goes To Washington
  18. Edison: The Man *
  19. Madame Curie *
  20. Jackie Robinson (42 is also well done) *
  21. Pride of the Yankees *
  22. I Remember Mama
  23. Captains Courageous (Spencer Tracy)
  24. Goodbye, Mr. Chips (Robert Donat)
  25. Miracle of the White Stallions (Disney) *
  26. Remember the Titans
  27. The Bode Thief
  28. Gifted Hands *
  29. Hidden Figures *
  30. Guns of Navaronne

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, Like Arrows!

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