It’s that time of year, the leaves are falling, the pumpkin spice is flowing, and the temperatures will soon be dropping. Time to head indoors and curl up with Geek Girl Authority’s Favorite Fall Movies: Non-Halloween Edition! These are the classic films that give you that autumnal feeling, sans Halloween thrills and chills. So grab a blanket, some cider, and get ready to watch some celluloid leaves fall.

When Harry Met Sally

There are many iconic scenes, moments, and lines from When Harry Met Sally, but what makes it a true fall film are those lovely shots of Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan strolling through Central Park, getting to know each other better and better as the leaves fall. Sure, it culminates in a New Year’s Eve declaration of love, but the image most people think of (and hey, it’s on the DVD cover) is the warm, orange tones of fall. Well, that and the fake orgasm scene.

October Sky

Fall is back to school time, and this is a movie that really celebrates education. Starring a very young Jake Gyllenhaal in a breakout role, October Sky tells the real life story of Homer Hickam Jr., who eventually became a NASA engineer after experimenting with rockets as a teen. The movie doesn’t have the typical warm tones of a fall movie, focusing on cooler colors to emphasize the dreariness of the coal mining community, but the time of year and flannels in the early scenes put it squarely in the first semester of the school year. Who wouldn’t want to go back to school and learn about rockets with these guys?

Dead Poets Society

Another educational classic, Dead Poets Society is all things fall. The New England setting, the private school, and the warm words of Robin Williams‘ Mr. Keating beg to be watched every time the leaves change color. Though many scenes take place indoors, you need only look to the DVD cover to see why it screams fall to so many people: Williams is hoisted up by his students against a yellow-orange background of trees. And when it comes to school, this is another good one to watch to remember the power of education and thinking. Carpe diem, be extraordinary.

Silver Linings Playbook

Not your traditional football or fall film, but both play a large role in Silver Linings Playbook. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence star in this rom-com-dram (that’s romantic comedy drama) about two people  struggling with their mental illnesses and finding ways to connect with family and each other. Robert De Niro plays Cooper’s dad, a compulsive gambler who bets everything on the Philadelphia Eagles winning, and is convinced there are superstitious reasons for their wins that are threatened by his son’s relationship. Check out this post-football game scene, where Lawrence schools him to the contrary (warning: NSFW language).

Pride and Prejudice

The 2005 take on Pride and Prejudice may have lacked a shirtless Colin Firth, but it more than made up for that with luscious landscapes. Who among us hasn’t wished we were standing on the moors, on a misty morning, as our own Mr. Darcy strides toward us? We all have, and the chilly setting, where the sun just heats things up enough to create a dreamy autumn mood make this one a fall classic. Swoon.

Fantastic Mr. Fox

The entire color pallette for Wes Anderson‘s stop motion charmer Fantastic Mr. Fox is pulled right out of leaf pile in the yard. Oranges, yellows, reds, and browns inform every frame of this Roald Dahl classic, modernized with Anderon’s symmetrical style. As adorable as it is hilarious, this is a perfect one for kids to watch with a nice, hot apple cider.

Far From Heaven

Hello, technicolor perfection! Far From Heaven is a stylistic throwback full of beautiful autumn leaves and quiet desperation.  Julianne Moore stars as a lonely 1950s housewife who falls for her African American gardener, played by Dennis Haysbert, in a taboo for the era relationship. It’s sad and romantic, and filled falling leaves that contrast with Moore’s stylish housewife blues. It’s a modern must watch for the performances and of course, the small town autumn feel. 

What’s your favorite fall movie that doesn’t have a Halloween or scary vibe? Let us know in the comments! And stay tuned for GGA’s Favorite Fall Movies: Halloween and Horror Edition!

Elizabeth Stanton
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