I don’t know how often most people go to the movies but it has to be much more than Ra El and I.
We love the movies but we aren’t big fans of the loud and obnoxious coming attractions hyping the sensational films. It always feels like a steady diet of fast food.,,unsatisfying, unfulfilled and unappetizing.
Plus being thrifty (AKA cheapskate) I think the price is out of line with the value. For the cost of going to the movies once, I can get virtually all the movies I want each month through Netflix or view films through streaming on my laptop at any time.
We do love movies. I mean we really love the movies.
We like to enter our little living room time machine and go back via TCM or Netflix to the 1930’s, 1940’s and 1950’s. Robert Osborne is often our Sherpa who provide history and insight as he guides us to these 75 year old movies.
Stars like Jimmy Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, Ronald Coleman, Myrna Loy, William Powell, Jean Arthur. Gregory Peck, Gary Cooper, Audrey Hepburn and of course Cary Grant are some of our regulars most nights.
We love great directors like Frank Capra, Billy Wilder, Howard Hawkes and William Wyler. When you look at Capra’s films it’s amazing that one man could have made so many remarkable films like Mr Deeds Goes to Town, It Happened One Night, Lost Horizon, You Can’t Take it With You, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and of course It’s a Wonderful Life.
We love to watch dancing from Gene Kelly to the great Ginger Rodgers and Fred Astaire…even the occasional Esther Williams swimming extravaganza.
What is it about these black and white movies?
|A special scene from To Kill a Mockingbird|
I know these are classics for a reason. They have timeless stories that 100 years from now people will continue to watch. The great films from this era had great writing that grabs you and pulls you in to the story. And when great writing is combined with well-paced cinematography, lighting, music and acting- you want the movie to last forever.
There is a scene in To Kill a Mockingbird that it one of my favorites. Scout, Jem and Dill go to the jail house at night where Atticus is sitting guard to protect Tom Robinson. The children shouldn't be there since there was a threat of trouble. When an angry mob approaches and the kids come running to the steps, Scout see the father of one of her friends from school in the hateful mob. She looks up at him and says, Scout comes out and says "Hey" to Mr. Cunningham. She repeats herself and says, "I said hey, Mr. Cunningham, I'm Scout and I go to school with your boy Walter Jr.". She defuses the situation by making a human connection and turns an angry mob away. It such a powerful scene and it is burned into my memory.
When studios attempt to make a new version of any of these movies, it only under scores why we use words like original. I didn't realize that one studio actually made a remake of Mr. Deeds Goes to Town with Adam Sandler. No disrepect to Adam Sandler but when you are asked to make a remake of a role that Gary Cooper played the correct answer is no thank you. (And in case my daughter Sarah is reading this blog pot, the word original is from the Latin originalis
for beginning, source or birth.).
So what makes these movies so special?
|Claudette Colbert shows how to hitch a ride while Clark Gable looks on|
PLOTS- Most of these movies have a storyline and with a beginning, middle and end. What a novel idea.
CHARACTERS: The movies are filled with wonderfully quirky individuals who can be spectacularly authentic or laugh out loud silly. Someone really fleshed out these roles and you really care about these people.
TONE: The movies are filled with just the right emotion and temperament without ripping out your gut. You can actually watch these movies without having to cover your eyes due to the excessive violence or gratuitous sexual themes. Just the right amount is left to the imagination.
|Admit One to Bradley Beach, NJ Cinema |
I thought I’d publish a list of ten of my favorites for you to enjoy when you get tired of a steady diet of meaningless dribble from Hollywood
. Although Ra El’s list would be different, these are some of our favorites that we both love in no particular order.
TEN MOVIES YOU MUST SEE
Wonder Man (Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo) 1945 Directed by H. Bruce Humberstone
Please take your seat. The feature is about to begin.
Labels: AMC, Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant, Classics, Films, Frank Capra, Gary Cooper, Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn, Movies, Ra El, Robert Osburne, Zen Moments