While I was growing up I didn't regularly watch films that were older than me (i.e., from before 1979). However, after several years of watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, I began to realize that I enjoyed many older movies, especially those from the 1950s. This was partially due to a sense of nostalgia created by an interest in history and the fact that most of my favorite cartoons and TV shows already dated from the '40s, '50s, and '60s. With the invention of DVDs (which are cheaper to manufacture and more durable than video tapes) and the formation of companies that cater to more arcane interests (e.g., Criterion), it has become a lot easier to watch older films. While in college, I started to rent sci-fi films from the '50s that didn't have MST3k's Joel/Mike and the 'bots.
Thanks to Netflix, which caters to just about every taste, I've been able to watch movies from almost every decade since the dawn of feature-length films. The oldest I've watched thus far was released in Germany in 1920. While most of the older films I watch are still the stereotypical radioactive monster or alien invasion movies that became popular at the dawn of the atomic age, I've also started to watch movies that have historical or cultural significance. Inspired by something a friend of mine posted on Facebook, I would like to make a list of favorite movies released between 1910 and 2009; ten from each decade (I'll probably have to merge the '10s and '20s). To do that I'm going to have to watch a few more movies from certain decades, especially the '40s and the '70s.