Catch up on some family favourites...

There’s something very indulgent about being able to hunker down in front of a good film. It is unusual to be able to find the time, but if there’s one thing that the current situation is giving us; it’s time to spend at home. And what better way to indulge yourself than catch up on a movie or two?


Almost as good as watching a good film is debating what a good film is! In Butler Sherborn we have been conducting a straw poll among ourselves to find out what have been the films that have really stood out as favourites. Could be for any reason - a new discovery or an old favourite - but they have to have been thoroughly enjoyed by the audience.


I can confirm the results are now in - and perhaps predictably we now have TWO lists. As you would expect family movies have been hugely popular so this is the first list. The second is perhaps a bit more grown up - maybe these might be a bit more suitable for when the kids have finally eaten their last Easter egg (are there any left?), run themselves into the ground and fallen asleep.


Either way; plenty of gems in here for you to enjoy so sit back, dim the lights and escape for a while into this list of Family Favourites…


Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid. The ultimate in buddy movies, this was a career highlight for two of Hollywood’s most bankable movie stars. Robert Redford and Paul Newman play a pair of happy go lucky bandits in the old Wild West who find that they cannot escape their past forever. Packed with classic scenes and backed by a superb soundtrack, their journey takes them further and further away from what they know...


Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Initially published in three novels written by none other than Ian Fleming (of James Bond fame), the film adaptation features the adventures of the exotically-monikered Caractacus Potts and his children along with Truly Scrumptious, his ‘friend’. They find themselves in all sorts of scrapes as the car develops a life of its own (unlike many of Potts other inventions which prove less successful). With so many scene stealing characters (who can ever forget the Child Catcher, or Baron Bomberst) this is a timeless classic in every sense. 


Dirty Dancing.”Nobody puts baby in the corner” Jennifer Grey spends the summer at summer camp in the Catskills and falls in love, of course, the camp’s dancing instructor played by Patrick Swayze. Although there are one or two adult themes in here the main story is about the redemptive power of dance, while the final scene features everyone coming together, overcoming their differences and, of course, “that” lift.


Mary Poppins. There was a time in the 1960s when it seemed that Dick Van Dyke was in every kindly, twinkly role in the cinema; his turn here as a kindly chimney sweep is another gem (despite arguably the worst British accent ever committed to celluloid). The story itself is a classic - Mr Banks is looking for a nanny for his two mischievous children and comes across Mary Poppins, an angelic nanny. She not only brings a change in their lives but also spreads happiness. As with so many films, the storyline takes something of a backseat to the musical numbers and the general joie de vivre emanating from the screen.


Grease. Experience the friendships, romances and adventures of a group of high school kids in the 1950s. Welcome to the singing and dancing world of "Grease," the most successful movie musical of all time. A wholesome exchange student (Olivia Newton-John) and a leather-clad Danny (John Travolta) have a summer romance, but will it cross clique lines? No surprises in the resolution, but the journey to get there is so entertaining it doesn’t matter anyway!


Mrs Doubtfire. Daniel, a divorced actor, disguises himself as Mrs Doubtfire, an ageing female Scottish housekeeper, in order to work in his ex-wife's house and spend more time with his children. Robin Williams was a comedy genius, and this film gives him full opportunity to showcase his full range of skills. Laugh out loud funny and shamelessly sentimental; what more does a family movie need?!


Blinded By The Light. How old does a film have to be before it becomes a classic? Released last year and based on a true story, Javed is a Pakistani teenager who experiences racial and economic turmoil while living in Luton, England, in 1987. He writes poetry as a way to escape the intolerance of his hometown and the stubborn views of his traditional father. When a classmate introduces him to the music of Bruce Springsteeen, Javed sees parallels between the singer's powerful lyrics and his own working-class environment. Springsteen's melodies soon inspire Javed to find his own voice and follow his dreams. You don’t have to love The Boss’s music to love this movie...


Billy Elliott. The life of 11-year-old Billy Elliot, a coal miner's son in Northern England, is forever changed one day when he stumbles upon a ballet class during his weekly boxing lesson. Before long, he finds himself in dance, demonstrating the kind of raw talent seldom seen by the class' exacting instructor, Mrs. Wilkinson. Set against the backdrop of the miner’s strikes in Thatcher’s Britain of the 1980s, this is a film that manages to be sentimental, inspiring and educational simultaneously.


Pirates of the Caribbean. Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead. So far so standard but this movie is mainly a vehicle for an absolutely barnstorming display by Johnny Depp in the role of Captain Jack Sparrow - pirate, philosopher, drunkard and all round mischief-maker. One of the great movie actors playing one of the great movie characters; what more could you ask?


The Horse Whisperer. To help heal her troubled and injured daughter, and horse, the mother, Annie MacLean takes them to Montana to recuperate at the ranch of Tom Booker, a "horse whisperer", a horse healer of mystical talents. Annie proceeds to fall in love with him, as well. Perhaps slower and more measured than many movies on this list, it is still a lovely family film with excellent acting and beautiful cinematography.


Still seeking inspiration for something a little more challenging? Keep an eye out for part 2...

Cotswold Land

Pip Menzel - November 2019

At all points I have found Butler Sherborn to of gone above and beyond to help with the process of selling our house. They offer a service that is modern in its approach yet old-fashioned and uniquely personable. We have found they're thoughtful and their knowledge of the market is second to none.
— Pip Menzel, November 2019