• Over 55s most likely to watch The Sound of Music with grandchildren this half term
  • Feel-good musical Mamma Mia favourite choice for women
  • ….whilst men prefer weepy classic, The Railway Children 

New research, from housing and care provider Anchor, has revealed that The Sound of Music is the favourite family film of today’s over 55s, with 27 per cent of those asked to choose their preferred film to watch with grandchildren nominating the 1965 musical classic. Eighty per cent of the top ten family films selected were released pre-1975, proving that when it comes to family classics, the old ones really are the best ones.  

Whilst the story of the Von Trapp Family singers, proved overall top choice, there was a split in terms of favourite family films for men and women. Contradicting macho stereotypes, men overlooked fighting films such as The Sign of Zorro, to choose The Railway Children as their joint top choice with The Sound of Music. Filmed in 1970, The Railway Children tells the story of a family separated from their father who has been incarcerated due to a false accusation seems to hold an appeal for today’s grandfathers. In contrast, the women surveyed chose 2008 release Mamma Mia as their favourite film to watch with grandchildren. 

The silver screen in general holds the hearts of today’s silver generation, with two thirds of those surveyed sitting down to watch a film once a week. Twenty-seven per cent of respondents chose to watch films with younger generations, be that grandchildren or other younger relatives. 

The survey was commissioned by Anchor, England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care, providing services to almost 40,000 older people in over 1,000 locations. To mark the announcement of the findings, Anchor will be holding The Sound of Music themed events at some of its care homes and housing locations. Select locations will be putting on a screening of the film, in addition to a movie quiz and refreshments, which will be open to the friends and family of residents and members of the public. 

Anchor’s Chief Executive, Jane Ashcroft CBE, said: “Watching a film as a family is a wonderful way to bring together several generations. The message at the heart of The Sound of Music is the strength of family bonds and I think that is something that UK families still very much relate to today. We are looking forward to welcoming our residents’ families and members of the wider community to our care homes and housing locations in England this half term to enjoy some movie themed entertainment.” vie quiz and refreshments, which will be open to the friends and family of residents and members of the public.” 

Top five films for today’s over 55s:

  1. The Sound of Music (1965)
  2. The Railway Children (1970)
  3. Mamma Mia (2008)
  4. Singing in the Rain (1956)
  5. Oliver! (1968)

To find out more about the screenings, which will be accompanied by cinema refreshments and a movie quiz, please visit our Community Events pages here to find your nearest screening location.    

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