Prompt Images

There are a lot of great movies across history. Some were meaningful to us as kids or at a certain time in our lives, and maybe the jokes or the effects have lost their luster. We want to take a moment to celebrate the movies that still hold up. The movies from 20+ years ago that still have the same resonance. The movies that, if released today, would still capture your attention, imagination, and laughter. 

So, we asked our staff writers to recap some of their favorites that still hold up.

Sarah Razner

Since high school, one of my favorite movies has been That Thing You Do! Written and directed by Tom Hanks, the film is set in the year 1964 and follows a band called The Wonders (originally The Oneders) from Erie, Pennsylvania, as they rise to fame with their hit single, “That Thing You Do!” When it comes to what is culturally acceptable, a lot has changed since the film came out in 1996, and yet, time has not shown its wear on That Thing You Do! It is genuinely funny in a way that doesn’t make you feel bad for laughing, staying away from using people’s sex, race, sexual orientation, or appearance as a punchline, like many did in the 1990s. Its soundtrack remains catchy, and the story itself, telling a tale about following your dreams, will always be timeless.

Devin Householder

I’ll offer up these as a few of my favorite oldies that, for me, never get old….

The Sound Of Music (1965) – Every teeny-weeny little thing about this campy movie still holds up. Great songs, lush scenery, nuns with guitars (Julie Andrews was a serious babe), an unconventional love story… the ultimate feel-good movie on a rainy day. Love how in the end (spoiler alert), the nuns pull the carburetor out of the Nazis’ car and the Von Trapps get away.

This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – This was the first of its kind— a mockumentarywhere every absurd thing is presented seriously. Many of the bits don’t hold up as well as some other comedy classics, but if you watch this carefully, you’ll see where a lot of very clever cinematic comedy of today originated. My friends would watch this and just be confused… They’d say, “I don’t really know how I’m supposed to feel about this.”

Arthur (1980) – I used to do Dudley Moore’s perpetually drunken voice perfectly. I’d find another lover of this movie and we’d take turns throwing out every obscure line. If you do his voice just right, every line in this movie is still hilarious.


Jay Heltzer

Toy Story (1995) – Animation that leapt off the screen far more than anything that Team Walt came up with for the previous 900 years. The all-star cast was completely forgotten as I believed Woody, Buzz, and the rest of cast were talking to me.

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) – A main character you believed could do anything, a strong female love interest and world traveler, religion and mythology, chills and thrills, snakes (“Why’d it have to be snakes?!”), and Nazis. Ain’t nothing better than battling Nazis.

The Truman Show (1998) – In the modern age of reality TV, this pokes fun at our insatiable need to see how humans react in giant terrarium, maintaining its unfortunate realism to this day.

Almost Famous (2000) – The best rock fantasy showing the challenges, the high points, the golden gods, and the reality of die-hard fans that see life beyond the stage.


Kevin Shea

The Sting (1973) – Redford and Newman together again but surely they cannot make a movie as good as Butch Cassidy. If you thought that you would be wrong.  This time they are con men and not bank robbers. Great characters and a fun story. And that ending!


Heather Shaff

Blade Runner (1982) – A dystopian epic of good vs. evil that hasn’t been overhyped, oversold, or overplayed with the commercial greed of the Star Wars films. Set in a futuristic Los Angeles of 2019, this film could take place anytime, anywhere. Who is a Replicant? We all are, on some level. Be careful who you believe, who you trust—a timeless theme, currently playing out universally, globally, as I write this. Plus, the hypnotic Vangelis soundtrack? So 1982, yet somehow exactly right, and still utterly, unfailingly, immersive and sublime. Every time I watch, I pick up some new and expressive detail that blows my mind. How did I miss that? So much good stuff, it seems, your intellect can only process it in small pieces. Truly a work of art.

Runner Up: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). Because, Blondie. Gunfights in the Wild West. Suffering. Standoffs. Conscience. Morality. Integrity. But mostly Blondie.


Eric Mochnacz

The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – A story of neverending hope contrasted with the dire hopelessness of a life spent incarcerated. The performances of Clancy Jones and Bob Guntons leave no question that the prison system, and the society in which its corruption flourishes, is the true evil. The final scene where Andy and Red reunite is 👌🏼.

Friday the 13th (1980) – The film that gave birth to the slasher genre. The killer reveal was the precursor for the “Whodunnit” undertones of new classics like Scream. Alice Hardy was the first ever “Final Girl,” and we love her for it. This is the film I use to introduce neophytes to classic horror.

Scream (1996) – It turned the horror genre on its head, and every other meta take on film tropes has not landed nearly as well as this one did and continues to do. And applause to the franchise for making it to a sixth film and not totally sucking.


Michael Maiello

Love & Death (1975) – The bridge between Woody Allen’s screwball comedy era and his more mature art, this send-up of and Russian literature reminds us of a time when the average moviegoer was expected to know what was in a book or two.

Bob Roberts (1992) – A Tim Robbins film about a far-right stock trader and folk singer running for Senate, featuring a young Jack Black as the first Proud Boy. Everything you hate about politics now is in this movie from then.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) – Adaptation of David Mamet’s play and the home to “Always Be Closing…” Go to lunch. Will you go to lunch? Go to lunch.


Jillian Conochan

Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead (1991)Epic 90s babe Christina Applegate fakes it til she makes it at an admin job in fashion to run a household with five kids under 18, without ever having to use the term “girlboss.” Instead, the writers expelled their creativity on classic lines like “dishes are done, man… dishes are done,” personal favorite “talks like she’s chewing her face,” and the indomitable—say it with me—”I’m right on top of that, Rose.”

Christina Applegate Film GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

With a twist to make post-Unbreakable M. Night Shyamalan quake, DTMBD is a legendary movie that even this anti-nostalgia hater loves.


Natalie Brandt

The Big Chill (1983) – It’s perfection. The words. The soundtrack. The cast. The montage of everyone unpacking their suitcases—and their true motives—for the big funeral weekend. At first, it was the Rosetta Stone to understanding my parents. Then it became the gauntlet through which future romantic partners had to pass. If they didn’t “get it,” they were toast. Now, it’s an anthem. And I don’t care if anyone else gets it. I do.


Mr. Joe Walker

The Transformers: The Movie (1986) – I grew up wildly, borderline obsessively, fond of the original The Transformers cartoon series. Its exciting and traumatic feature length theatrical debut The Transformers: The Movie immediately became my favorite film. And it remains my all-time favorite to this day!

I’ve seen it so many times—hundreds of times, in fact—I can recite its lines from beginning to end better than I can my social security number. I, randomly, recite complete scenes without the movie playing at all.

Seemingly remastered every 10 years, its visual quality has improved with age while its story and action hasn’t diminished over time. It’s exciting throughout, however, its first 26 minutes…? WHEW! A breathtaking barrage of shocking violence, tear-jerking emotion (every child in the theater cried the first time I saw it, including my cousin Neka and me), fantastic music, and relentless action. Stakes are high in The Movie.


Josh Bard

Some Like It Hot (1959) –  Okay, I think we can agree that in general, old movies are more boring than newer ones. Even the premise of this thought exercise is: “Tell us an old movie that is still entertaining in this age.” All the examples above are great (I assume, I definitely haven’t seen all of them), but for me, my favorite old movie that absolutely would crush today is Some Like It Hot starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis, and Marilyn Monroe. Basically Curtis and Lemmon are musicians who need to hide out, so decide to crossdress and join a women’s jazz band. They each meet Monroe, fall in lust, and begin pursuing her, even though she knows them only as women. Hilarity very much ensues. Some Like It Hot is still as funny as any modern day comedy, most of which have stolen their tropes and gags from movies like SLIH. Highest of high recommendations.

(Streaming on Max and definitely available at your local library DVD collection)

Sam Hedenberg

I think we can all agree that in a century of film there are hundreds of movies that hold up. You know what movie doesn’t though?

Weekend At Bernie’s (1989) 

I mean, this whole movie is a plot hole. You can’t be okay with treating a dead guy like he’s alive and also be mentally stable. Norman Bates talked to his dead mom, but he also had the leading role in a movie called PSYCHO.

From the jump, it’s not believable Larry and Richard are friends, nor that Richard is so bad talking to girls. Dude, weren’t you the heartthrob in Pretty in Pink? Get it together.

And like, I get rich people are self-absorbed, and they might not notice one of their friends is dead. But that mob chick BANGED Bernie and didn’t notice he was dead? Tough to suspend my disbelief on that one. At least Kevin Smith explained the science of necrophilia being possible in Clerks.

How the HELL did they make a sequel out of this movie? No thanks.

The Prompt Staff

learn more
Share this story
About The Prompt
A sweet, sweet collective of writers, artists, podcasters, and other creatives. Sound like fun?
Learn more