What things do Gildshire Magazines love? We love puppies, sunsets, strawberry shortcake, and baseball. We aren’t as crazy about full-grown pit bulls, sunrises (too early), cooked peas, or bullfighting. Perhaps, though, we love movies as much as we love anything. There is just something about the big screen, the trailers, the , and the anticipation when the screen turns into light and the lion roars.
Today we want to examine the most popular movies of all time. These may not be the greatest movies ever. That’s a discussion we would love to have with you another day. These are the movies that touched the taproot of the American movie-goer when “What shall we see?” was the burning question of the evening.
These are the movies that were seen by so many. These are the top domestic grossing films of all time, adjusted for inflation. As a value-added touch, we looked up where you can see these movies again. Enjoy this walk back in time, sometimes many decades, and sometimes not long ago at all.
10. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” Released by Disney in 1937, this was Walt’s first cel-animated feature. It is also the studio’s highest grossing movie in inflation-adjusted dollars. The girl whose beauty and goodness was a threat to power has always resonated with moviegoers, and it resonates still. It is available on Blu-Ray and DVD from Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment. Gross at release: $185 million. Gross in 2017 dollars: $910 million.
9. “The Exorcist.” Released by Warner Brothers in 1973, this movie was about as far from Snow White as one could travel. Normally unaffected movie-goers reported sleepless nights after viewing Linda Blair’s head spin around The frank horror in the movie was only exacerbated by the sacrilegiousness that shouted its name throughout. Available on Cinemax April 23 and 26. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross at release $233 million. Gross in 2017 dollars: $933 million.
8. “Dr. Zhivago.” Released by MGM in 1965, this is an epic tale of love and romance backdropped by World War I. It was a showcase for iconic British artists Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, and Alec Guinness, and was accompanied by an award-winning soundtrack. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross at release $112 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.03 billion.
7. “Jaws.” Released in 1975 by Universal, this film from a youthful Steven Spielberg tapped into our visceral fear of the underwater unknown and toothy menacing. It may have given a bad rap to great white sharks. It certainly diminished the number of people in the water at the beach. Available on Starz April 22 and 23, and streaming on Amazon. Gross at release $260 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.07 billion.
6. “The Ten Commandments.” Released in 1956 by Paramount, this Cecil B. DeMille epic will disorient hundreds of millions of people when they die. If the real Moses doesn’t look like Charlton Heston those folks will believe they are in the wrong place. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross when released $65 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.09 billion.
5. “Titanic.” Released in 1995 by Paramount the running time of this movie actually exceeded the amount of time it took the ship to sink. Leo DiCaprio was an accomplished actor already. This movie made him a star. Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” theme song became a smash hit, as well. Available April 21, 22, and 28 on VH1. Gross when released $659 million. Gross in 2017 dollars. $1.13 billion.
4. “E.T: The Extra-Terrestrial.” Released in 1982 by Universal, this is Spielberg’s second entry on the list. The story of a little boy who made a new friend wasn’t new. That the new friend was an alien made this a trailblazer. This was the movie public’s first look at the adorable Drew Barrymore, as well. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross when released $435 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.18 billion.
3. “The Sound of Music.” Released in 1965 by 20th Century Fox this tale of a family’s triumph in the face of impending war is one that has been told before and since. It has never been told as well or with Julie Andrews. The movie may have played a little loosely with historical fact, but its victorious message has thrilled moviegoers ever since. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross when released $159 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.19 million.
2. “Star Wars.” Released in 1977 by 20th Century Fox, this was escapism writ large for a country tired of conflict abroad and Watergate at home. It works as an old-fashioned good v. evil story as well as a science fiction harbinger of every space action-adventure since. Available on 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment on Blu-Ray. Gross when released $460 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.5 billion.
1. “Gone With the Wind.” Released in 1939 by Loew’s (the parent company of MGM), this is the gold standard for wartime romances, even 78 years after its theatrical release. Vivian Leigh and Clark Gable smoldered on-screen. Audiences caught the vapors in the theaters. It’s closing line, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn,” is still one of the most-remembered movie lines of all time. GWTW was a sprawling epic about the antebellum South, the futility and cost of war and tuxedoed boy meets gowned girl. Though, the radiant Leigh couldn’t quite convince audiences she was all that hungry, they forgave her because she was Scarlett. Available streaming on Amazon. Gross when released $199 million. Gross in 2017 dollars $1.7 billion.