Friday Flix: Old-Timers
Like most kids growing up, I never really cared much about black-and-white movies. Basically anything made before the ’70s–or really anything before Star Wars–and I didn’t give a shit about it.
It wasn’t until after college when my palate became more sophisticated. I was working on a story and on a whim decided my own character should like Ingrid Bergman movies, specifically “Casablanca.” So then I thought I should actually watch said movie. I bought it on VHS, which was cheaper than trying to rent the DVD back in those days–this is why you’re bankrupt, Blockbuster!–and as I watched it I thought, “This isn’t bad at all!” Bogey is tough yet sensitive, Ingrid Bergman is smoking hot, and Claude Rains is funny as hell. I barely noticed the lack of color.
Later I watched “Notorious,” which features Bergman, Rains, and Cary Grant and is directed by Hitchcock. I liked that one even better, especially the scene near the end where Bergman’s character is ill and she goes to meet with her handler Cary Grant. She’s too proud to admit she loves him, so she lets him think it’s a hangover. Just some great romantic tension.
And that’s the point. I thought old movies because they were old would be quaint and that they’d all have Disney-like morality. But watching these and noir films like “Maltese Falcon” or “The Third Man,” I realized that maybe they didn’t have the cussing, nude scenes, and computer effects, but the stories were still there. All of our “antihero” heroes like Batman and Wolverine just harken back to those old hardboiled detectives and cowboys.
So, just like your grandparents probably tell you (or as mine would if they weren’t dead except the one who’s just really senile) because something’s old doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Have you noticed something different about this week’s entries? If not, I’ll clue you in on Monday.