Friday, June 03, 2005

Old Movie Marathon

I just bought two movies on ebay today (yes, it's a very slow day at work and it's a Friday). One is a Cary Grant flick called The Grass is Greener that I absolutely adore. The other is Frenchman's Creek with Joan Fontaine based on Daphne du Maurier's book (yes, I also read the book!). I found The Ghost and Mrs. Muhr and Laura at the store last weekend.

I watched a bit of Von Ryan's Express last night and I hope to finish it up tonight. I'm one of those people that can watch a movie over and over again. Some I'll only view once, but there are many that I will pop in for a lazy Sunday afternoon or Friday night.

I've always loved old movies. Back when we had cable - which I absolutely do not miss - I used to watch Turner Classic Movies and American Movie Classics. I remember one day I watched old movies all day long and absolutely loved it. There's something very poignant about them. I often think the acting is better in some cases than those we have today.

But there's also an innocence to them. It's very rare to find movies of the 1930's, '40's, and '50's with graphic sex and violence - even the WWII thriller movies aren't that bad. And the language? Well, the F-word and others weren't even a consideration. And y'know what? Those movies are not any less because of their absence.

Of course, movies were pretty racy in the 1920's before the Production Code came into being - one that stipulated the moral aspects studios should follow. But I don't think it changed the concept of movies as art, either. Some of our best loved films come from the Golden Age of Hollywood - Casablanca, Gone With the Wind, Rebecca, and The Wizard of Oz, to name a few.

I wonder why we moved away from this period of innocence. I don't believe that Hollywood itself was innocent - they had just as much scandal, drug abuse, and addictions as actors do today. But our culture has escalated into a much more violent period. Why?

Something to ponder...

6 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. I screwed up my last post, so I deleted it.

    Okay, here is my take on it. The government had a tighter rein on content at the time. Society was under a tighter level of scrutiny. We were paranoid. We feared communism. We imprisoned people in internment camps because of their heritage in the 1940's. The American south was a miserable place for African-Americans. Segregation was the order of the day.

    Hollywood provided a glossy view of Americana, a world that certainly didn't exist. And while those films were lovely to look at, they did not reflect what was really going on in the U.S.

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  3. Weird, I was just talking about Frenchman's Creek today and I had never heard of it before this morning. Now in the span of one day I've heard it twice.

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  4. What Rene said. Movies used to be polite, instead of like real life. TV shows were toom, like Leave it to Beaver. I love them, but they weren't real.

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  5. I suspect the catalyst for this change began in the 1950's. This site has an interesting commentary on the history of film. http://www.filmsite.org/filmh.html

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