A couple of weeks ago, I watched a pair of classic movies with some dear friends: Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Vertigo. Our movie night was pretty awe-inspiring because I presented two of my favorite movies. Vertigo is considered my absolute essential while Breakfast at Tiffany’s had my favorite actress, Audrey Hepburn. I’ve watched these movies more than 10 times.
And after that one night, it re-occurred to me that I prefer watching classic movies, as in movies before 1970. Don’t misconstrue my statement, because I’m cinephilic and I love all genres of cinema. But again, there’s something special about classic movies. Many old movies carry an undeniable charm, whimsical feeling that many modern contemporary films simply can’t compete with. It’s kinda like a warm “Christmas” feeling that transports the viewer to a nostalgic, simpler time period. And with all classic films, the legendary actors carried themselves well. The acting was superb as many of the big studios trained the actors to look a certain way and present themselves in a refined manner. For many viewers, actors and their roles were indistinguishable. You wanted to be them. Think of Vivien Leigh as Scarlet O’ Hara, Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly, Humprey Bogart as Rick Blaine, Peter O’ Toole as T.E. Lawrence, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, and Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. Some of the best movies were made in the 1930s through the 1950s. And, there’s a reason why they call the era “the Golden Age of Hollywood.”
And I’ve heard the excuses before: too slow, looks old, no color. Well, they have more character exposition while oldness can be perceived as timeless. Aesthetically, the actors looked great in black and white. Lauren Bacall, Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Cary Grant, and Elizabeth Taylor looked otherworldly because strong jaw lines and smoldering eyes flattered the screen. Their mannerisms and fashions were immortalized in time. These movies help the viewers see the progress of our society and how we treat people.
God, I recently had a friend tell they were watching old movies and he mentioned Mean Girls. 2004, really? A bit depressing. So to them, I say give old movies a chance. They’re missing out. I can’t wait to have another movie whomever is willing.