"From Here To Eternity" - This was the movie that put Ernest Borgnine on the radar (he won best actor 2 years later) and saved Frank Sinatra's career according to an HBO biography about him (he won Best Supporting Actor). The movie itself won Best Picture in 1954. It was a typical Hollywood spectacle movie complete with a re-enactment of the attack on Pearl Harbor. There was good acting all around and includes one of the most famous screen kisses in movie history with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on a beach in Hawaii (parodied in "Airplane!").
"West Side Story" - It won Best Picture in 1962. I remember albear wrote a review about it a few years ago. He laughed at all of the "tough" street gang members. Ah! The simpler times. If you have never seen it, it's a modern-day retelling of "Romeo and Juliet" in musical form. The songs are great. The dancing is great. It's just an iconic movie of the musical era.
"An American in Paris" - It won Best Picture in 1952. Kitty was amazed that I had never seen this classic. Overall the plot is no great shakes. Two men fall for the same girl. Who will triumph? I was completely blown away, however, by the production values. This was Hollywood in its golden era. Gene Kelly dances like no one else can. The music is by Gershwin. Put those 2 together and you have a jaw-dropping spectacle that is out of this world. Like I said, this is Hollywood at its finest; huge sets, hundreds of talented extras, and just overall great film directing, choreography, cinematography, and set and costume design. The one thing that also caught my eye was how ripped Gene Kelly was. I suppose you had to be as fit as any great athlete to dance the way he did.