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My favorite will always be Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
It's underwater scenes were revolutionary, and I do love the fact that the Creature was designed by a lady (Millicent Patrick), although she was deliberately pushed from the limelight in favor of Bud Westmore, the film's makeup artist. I am always a sucker for grotesque but misunderstood monsters pining after love, haha.
As a few have already said, Psycho (1960)! I loved Anthony Perkins's performance; the ending is absolutely chilling!
I also adore Bride of Frankenstein (1935). The bit with the blind man gets me choked up every time. :<
Speaking of Frankenstein, I really enjoyed Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). Corny humor and monsters--my kind of thing!
The Wolfman (1941) is dear to me, as well. Again with the misunderstood beasts, haha.
And even though it was VERY slow paced and a bit of a bore at times, for Lon Chaney's performance and makeup, I did enjoy The Phantom of the Opera (1925).
I know I've seen plenty good non-horror classic movies, but I can't recall any of them at the moment!
I really should rewatch Doctor Zhivago (original), I remember it being super boring but I watched it when I was pretty young. My mum loves that movie.
Thank you for your suggestions!
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - 1969 - Great acting and cinematography, excellent humor without being a comedy, one of the all time great buddy movies.
Godzilla - 1954 - Admittedly a guilty pleasure. Campy but awesome. One of the first of it's kind with a monster coming out of the sea to destroy the world.
The Great Escape - 1964 - After Patton, which was made in 1970 so doesn't qualify under your requirements, the Great Escape is the best movie about WWII. I love the history and the individual stories, even when you know how it's going to turn out, it still keeps you on edge. People going against impossible odds, most failed but a few succeeded.
Psycho - 1960 - Without question the best horror movie of all time, and the closest you get to seeing someone getting killed is a shadow. Hitchcock was brilliant because he just steers the audience in the direction he wants and allows you imagination to take over.
Wizard of Oz - 1939 - This movie belongs on any classic movie list. Great magical story and awesome visuals for it's time.
Citizen Kane - 1941 - Awesome story and ground breaking. I love the feeling this movies gives, it feels lonely, which is exactly who the main character was a very wealthy yet very lonely man.
The Grapes of Wrath - 1940 - Great historical movie, and the story of human dignity is very powerful.