Salon has a great gallery of the all-time best autumn movies, including “Rushmore” and one of Hitchcock’s most underrated films, “The Trouble With Harry,” Shirley MacLaine’s feature film debut. Here are some of my favorites:
1. “The Four Seasons” Alan Alda’s story of three middle-aged couples over the course of a year includes an autumn parents’ weekend at a New England college. The title composition by Vivaldi perfectly compliments the burnished colors as the characters struggle to hold onto their marriages and their friendships.
2. “Rudy” Fall means football and this true story of the inspirational dedication of a young man who had the heart, if not the talent, to play football at Notre Dame. The brilliant score mingles longing and triumph and Sean Astin shines in the title role. Watch for director Jon Favreau (“Iron Man”) as Rudy’s friend.
3. “Meet Me in St. Louis” Writer Sally Benson’s own childhood inspired this classic story of a year in the life of a turn-of-the-century family. In one evocative scene the youngest members celebrate Halloween in the custom of the day — by throwing flour at the neighbors for the honor of being the “most horrible.” The eerie thrill of their adventure is unforgettable.
4. “Picnic” It’s the end of summer and fall is in the air as the small town selects their Queen of Neewollah (that’s Halloween backwards). Kim Novak and William Holden play two people who are in the late summer of their own lives and who must decide whether they can take the risk of finding true happiness.
5. “The World of Henry Orient” Many movies use the autumn season to convey a sober, reflective mood. But in this, one of the best movies ever in conveying that moment when young girls are on the brink of womanhood, it is a time of opening up to the larger world as one of them develops a crush on a womanizing pianist. There is transformation and danger, but joy and growth and still time for some childish games.