Thankfully, “Casablanca” isn’t the kind of movie that relies on its special effects. This love story, a war story, and an emotional tale is one-of-a-kind, and despite it being eighty years old it’s still fondly remembered and re-watched. On the other hand, Hollywood hadn’t exactly figured out how to have their actors drive around in cars safely, while being well-lit and reading their lines.
That’s how you get Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman sitting in a car as a clearly-fake backdrop unrolls behind them. Luckily, it’s easy enough to pass it off as a technical limitation of the time – the movie as a whole certainly stands up.
The Werewolf from “An American Werewolf in Paris”
As the werewolf stomps through a Paris subway, viewers are left puzzled at the monster on the screen. This movie came out in 1997, which means CGI hadn't yet reached a respectable point (thanks to movies like “The Matrix” or “Fellowship of the Ring”) but it was starting to get more use, including full-motion capture for monsters or non-human creatures.
This is a good example of the growing pains that the technology had to go through before it would start to blow us away. It might have been scary at the time, but no longer.
Camera Angles from “The Matrix”
While “The Matrix” is often seen as one of the better movies that have come out in recent decades, and the graphical advances it made were mind-blowing at the time, it's a little sad to say that some of the effects have aged. In addition, the next two movies, Reloaded and Revolution, weren't as entertaining, which meant they got a little more scrutiny.
In particular the sweeping camera angles for a single, slowed-down shot – a hallmark of the series – can come off as kitschy and dated now. Still, at the time, they shocked people with how good they looked.
The Shark from “Jaws”
The beauty of this fact is that the movie's director, Steven Spielberg, was fully aware that the shark didn't look great – that's why actual shots of it are so rare in the movie. They hit it behind swells of water, murky depths, and frantic camera angles to make sure nobody in the audience could get a good glimpse of it.
A still like this one makes it clear that it isn't a real shark, but if you're watching this movie for the first time, the chance of developing a fear of water and of sharks is all too real.
The Doll from “The Witches of Eastwick”
There are tons of effects in “The Witches of Eastwick,” and while some of them look okay (the movie did come out in 1987, after all) some of them haven't stood the test of time. In particular, the little wax voodoo doll that the three main characters use to try and get rid of Daryl looks a little too cartoony to be taken seriously.
Any of the effects that have to do with the doll, and with Daryl after the fact, don't hold up to snuff.