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Thursday, May 24, 2012


Thanks to being raised by an older woman whose husband had been a projectionist (in the good old days, there was a person who actually ran the projectors in movie theaters), I grew up loving movies. The local television stations and PBS channel would put old movies on weekend nights. I spent many an evening watching Creature Features and old musicals. Gram was super cool in this respect. If I didn't have school the next day, I could stay up a bit later to watch these movies. On one memorable occasion, I was allowed to stay up on a school night. Seven Brides For Seven Brothers was being broadcast, I think at about ten p.m., and I begged to see it, since I never had before. A deal was reached. No matter how tired I might be in the morning, I would still put in my day at school. When I told my friends she let me stay up they were pretty impressed, let me tell you.

Because of these movie nights, I developed a love of good entertainment. I like movies from all time frames and genres, but I will always have a special place in my heart for the oldies. And by oldies, I don't mean the 1980's, although there are a lot of 80's movies to love. I'm talking about movies that date back as far as the 1930's. Some people will never watch them because they refuse to watch anything that isn't in full color. They want everything colorized, not realizing that a work of art can be beautiful, despite its color. Kind of like people!

In many ways, old movies reflect a more innocent world than we know today. Would Fred Astaire be a star nowadays? Maybe he would have expanded his talents to include hip-hop. Fred Astaire, B-boy! Perhaps Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy would have starred in Phantom of the Opera. Although, as I recall, Nelson Eddy was in a 1940's or 50's version of the story. When I see movies like Top Hat and see Fred and Ginger glide across the floor, I am swept away by the sheer beauty. I don't want to live in that era, but I like to visit there. Rose Marie with Jeannette and Nelson, and the Frank Capra movies like Meet John Doe or It's a Wonderful Life, or Spencer Tracy and Mickey Rooney in Boys' Town. Cary Grant and Irene Dunne in Penny Serenade. Stage Door, with Katharine Hepburn and Lucille Ball, among others, is now also one of Trent's favorites.

Many of you may think I am a kook for loving oldies. Don't forget I love them from all eras. Except maybe Bright Lights, Big City, which was so terribly depressing I have blocked it out of my memory. Movies, new or old, may not change the world, but they can help you feel good inside. Sometimes they may be just what you need to relieve some stress, or let your tears flow. The same kinds of emotions are in every generation of films, because all of those emotions are a part of the human condition. Whatever kind of movies you like, you can get some enjoyment or fulfillment from them. So remember to enjoy them. And, in the words of Bill and Ted, "Be excellent to each other. And, party on, dudes!"