My favorite retiree movie is Something’s Gotta Give (2003). OK, so Diane Keaton is still working as a writer, but Jack Nickolson is definitely retired; it’s just never discussed. They’re too busy dealing with his recuperation in her terrific beach house, funny romantic complications and lots of female audience wish fulfillment. But here’s the Wall Street Journal’s top 10 retiree movies. ( My comments, synopsis, not theirs) Let your voice be heard in the comments below.
- About Schmidt (2002) Jack Nicholson at his most unlovable – and then his most loveable. A widower in a Winnebago searches to give meaning to his life. Nicholson and Kathy Bates were nominated for an Oscar. We love the hot tub scene.
- Cocoon (1985) A group of retirees meet aliens – and rejuvenation in the swimming pool. Funny and tender. Cast includes Hume Cronyn, Wilford Brimley plus Don Ameche who won an Oscar supporting actor.
- Going in Style (1979) George Burns, Art Carney and Lee Strasberg live a boring retired life in Queens, NY… until they decide to rob a bank. Really funny – and poignant too.
- Harry and Tonto (1974) Art Carney again, this time in a cross country trip of discovery with his cat, Tonto. Art Carney won a Best Actor Oscarfor his performance.
- High Noon (1952) Retire? Gary Cooper is trying. He has a new wife, played by Grace Kelly, to help. Then on his last day on the job, the bad guys come back to town. Isn’t that always the way. Cooper won his second Oscar for his performance.
- The Lion in Winter (1968) Peter O’Toole at top of his game in this historical drama. It’s Christmas in 1183, and Henry II is dealing with issues of succession with his calculating Queen and three sons. The film’s brilliant dialogue won it a best adapted screenplay. Katharine Hepburn tied for the Best Actress Oscar.
- Lost in America (1985) Early retirement goes very bad – and very funny – during a stop in a Las Vegas casino. Albert Brooks and Julie Hagerty star.
- On Golden Pond (1981) Henry Fond and Katharine Hepburn deal with age and their estranged daughter. Jane Fonda, Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn all won Oscars. The film also took home the award for Best Adapted Screenplay.
- The Straight Story (1999) A retiree and his daughter take a cross-country trip on a lawn mower since they can’t drive or afford a bus ticket. They have adventures and realizations along the way. Sissy Spacek stars along side Richard Farnsworth, who received a Best Actor Nominee. Based on a true story.
- Unforgiven (1992) A gunman just can’t retire when there is a wrong to be righted. Clint Eastwood renews his vitality when he mounts up for frontier justice. The film walked away with four Oscars – Clint Eastwood,Best director; Gene Hackman, Best Supporting Actor; Best Picture and Best Editing.
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