A great film not only impresses you with its dialogue, cinematography, narrative, and acting – it should also impress you in the message it is trying to convey and how it changes the way you see the world. The website lifed.com has constructed a list of the 100 best movies of all time, and here are four of the best movies that have become classics, in part, due to the life lessons they share.
“Life Is Beautiful” (1997)
The film centers around Guido, played by the film’s director Roberto Benini, who is in the midst of enjoying life with his family just before the beginning of the Second World War. Being an Italian Jew, Guido and his family are taken to a concentration camp, where Guido’s tireless optimism is put to the test. Until his dying breath, and in the face of the worst war crimes ever committed, Guido works at saving his son’s innocence and bolstering his wife’s hope for a family reunion. “Life Is Beautiful” shows you how optimism can spread and lighten the darkest moments of your life.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” (1962)
Atticus Finch, the lead character in this film, is the attorney responsible for defending a young black man in a rape case in a racially segregated town in Alabama. Despite the town’s objections, threats and acts of violence toward Atticus and his family, Atticus maintains his integrity, defending his client with respect and effort, while teaching his daughter Scout to be tolerant and to uphold the social justice he is trying to defend. The integrity shown by Atticus is as an example to its audience, demonstrating that making the right decision can sometimes be difficult, but integrity is its own reward.
“Stand By Me” (1986)
The film follows four boys who one day decide to investigate the rumor of a dead body of a child found in the woods in their home town. During their adventure to find the corpse the boys are confronted by many obstacles, and overcoming these obstacles together deepens their friendships as a group and with one another. “Stand By Me” reminds us that loyalty to friends will not only improve your friendships, but in some situations, it can also save your life.
“Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
“Saving Private Ryan” is a war film, and it may seem too easy to pick out life lessons from this film. However, there is a lesson that comes from the title of the film itself: Tom Hanks’ character, Captain John Miller, refuses to steer his company out of danger because he is determined to make sure that Private Ryan’s mother doesn’t receive her third death notice from the war. Determination in a war zone is a necessary trait, but the lesson this film conveys is that being determined to do the right thing is possibly the most admirable trait you can have, prompting the audience to think about what they would have done in Captain John Miller’s shoes. If you’re looking to discover some very important life lessons, you don’t need to stray much further than your television or your local movie theatre. If you haven’t seen any of these films, do yourself a favor and watch one of these classics today!