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Sepiatone

Sepiatone

15 posts in this topic

 

I joined this forum about two weeks ago because it offered an outlet for me to join in discussions about "classic" movies. And anything else remotely connected. Let me bore you good folks by telling a little about myself.

 

I was born in 1951, which sort of makes me a "classic" as well. I developed a penchant for grainy old B&W movies as a kid, when rainy days (and here in Mich., they can get plentiful) or too cold wintry days offered little solace but old movies on the Rita Bell show or Bill Kennedy Showcase( I mentioned Kennedy, an old bit player who hosted an afternoon movie show from Windsor Ont., in another thread). Other crap on TV was soaked up, like the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy and of course, the "Our Gang" comedies which for some reason for TV they were called "The Little Rascals". Then at night time, the Windsor station on some nights would show Tarzan movies, usually the Johnny Weismuller ones. There were the old "serials" of course. Many of them westerns, but there was one serial that dealt with guys flying around in old WWI bi-planes. (If that sounds familiar to anyone, please come forward).

 

With a Mother who had a gargantuan crush on Victor Mature, it wasn't too hard to get into the habit of sitting quietly(or ELSE!) while some old movie was playing. Plus being raised by a single mother in the '50's meant going to the movies often wasn't an option. In later years, after my Mom remarried, there were more opportunities to go to Saturday matinees, or accompanying them when THEY went to the show. As I was under 12 years old, it cost less than a babysitter. Unlike most "boomers" who carry the stereotype of having been overindulged, my parents were kind of on the strict side. I had to be home and inside a couple of hours sooner than most of my friends, even on weekends. But, on weekends, I could stay up as late as I could stand. So I'd spend many late hours down the basement watching old movies on the old B&W set( standard type, foil on the rabbit ears, pair of pliers for channel changing...). But the old flicks were B&W anyway, so it didn't matter.

 

Another boost to my interest was becoming friends with a co-worker who was also a lomg-time member of the Blackhawk Film Club. He had a FANTASTIC collection of 16mm reprints of Laurel and Hardy, Our Gang and Buster Keaton. At that time ( the mid to late '70's), we'd pass the time with him setting his screen and projector up at either his place, my place or another friend's place, getting high and watching these old comedies. Plus he also had a thing for '30's and '40's movies as well, and we'd often talk about which ones we liked and why. Haven't seen him for 20 years now...wonder what he's up to. For all I know, he's a member of THESE forums! I know he'd get a kick out of it.

 

When cable came along, it only made the availability of recent movies easier. That is until AMC (which I brought up in another thread) and then TCM came along. Now I drive my wife crazy by constantly tuning in to see what's on. And now that I'm retired, I've more time to waste looking at "those f***king old movies". Too bad, sweetheart. There's just SO MUCH Food Network one can take.

 

Well, the above was a very simplified "semi-bio" of a classic film lover. If you're still awake, I thank you for enduring it all, and hope it gives you some insight to a forum member who likes old movies for no particular intellectual reason. Just a pure enjoyment. I don't really know why...sometimes I'll be watching some old flick and start wondering what WAS life like back then? Or I'll see some actor in a movie made in, say 1932, and said actor is obviously in his 60's, which means he was born about 1870 or so. How about the changes HE'S seen in his lifetime! If someone when he was 10 years old tried telling him what he'd be doing when he was 60, he'd call them CRAZY! And then sometimes I find myself wishing I had some old car that's being driven (like the one in *Topper*), or some of the furniture that was usedd on the sets.

 

 

But, I've been rambling long enough. Thank you for your time

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I clicked on this thread thinking it was about Sepiatone(!) but I'm glad it wasn't after reading your post. What an interesting story you have, sepiatone! I was born in 1994, so I don't have the stories or thrills that most people on these boards can elaborate on, like growing up watching Johnny Weismuller Tarzan movies on an old television! But I was very pleased to have read your story and so happy your hear to tell us more about your life and love of movies,

 

audreyforever

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Glad to hear from you, Audrey. 1994? Jeez...I'd be interested in hearing how it was YOU came to be interested in TCM fare! MY OWN KIDS are more than 20 years your senior, and the only B&W movies they like are *Paper Moon* and *The Last Picture Show*. In fact, any film made before the time YOU were born is TOO OLD for them!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I have a few influences that got me going on the classics:

 

1) My grandfather, who's 87 and young as can be began showing me old westerns as early as 2003 (like Shane, The War Wagon) and he also has a massive VHS collection dating back 1991 with about 2,500 movies from the early days of AMC and TCM.

 

2) On June 20th, 2007 I officially fell in love with the classics when the AFI Top 100 was aired on CBS. I was amazed at how many old films were on the list and began to watch them.

 

3) In November 2008 I convinced my parents to add TCM to our cable package, and have since become a member here, signed up for Now Playing Magazine, and have began recording movies to blank discs (I have a collection of about 600).

 

4) I have applied to college hopes of becoming a film director :)

 

5) As of today I have seen 965 movies made before 1960

 

That oddly turned into a timeline, but there ya go!

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Sepiatone, thanks so much for posting your story. I love to hear peoples' experience with classic film, both the passive viewers and the "insiders". Hopefully more will be encouraged to share as well.

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Due to financial reasons I had to move back with my mom and she was living with her new boyfriend. He was into Bogie and some other classic movie stars. I didn't have money to go out so I was stuck watching TV with them. After I saw The Big Sleep, The Maltese Falcon and other classic movies I was hooked.

 

So once I moved out I really got into the Warner's 30 and 40 catalog, and from there to Film Noir and classic comedies. The funny thing was that this guy didn't talk much at all. (we didn't really like each other much), so we never really discussed the movies. Years later he was shocked that I was such a fan (nut case really), about the movies he had grown up with. So at last we had some connection other than my mom.

 

 

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*OK, so what's YOUR story, Eugenia?*

 

Hi Sepiatone,

 

It's nothing impressive. I grew up on classic film because my whole family enjoyed them. My parents were born in the late 1920s and they loved talking about the stars/movies they watched in the 1940s. Also, in New York in the 1970s, they broadcast a lot of old movies on tv (anyone here remember Million Dollar Movie?), so we kids watched a lot of those. As time went on, with modern movies becoming less and less enjoyable to me, I turned to the classics more and more. I started becoming really impressed by Barbara Stanwyck's acting and I sort of started looking at movies in terms of the craft of acting, and other factors that (to me) qualify a "good movie". Then I joined this board, blah blah blah. :)

 

(Apologies to those who have had to read "my story" again, in one iteration or another...)

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I grew up with movies. My uncle ran a theater and they were the true babysitter when I was left with him while my mother worked because he put my high chair next to the projector. He played movies from all countries and of all genres and all eras because people wanted any they could see. I never acquired the bias against old movies because it was often many years before a movie could reach him. This was also so long ago that even new movies then are now classics.

 

Later my father became concierge at the hotel for foreign visitors. They had a small theater for guests. I went there after school each day and I watched movies until he ended work. They showed older movies because newer movies might be controversial or not not gone through review process.

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I did NOT grow up with movies. I was born in 1946, right at the start of the baby boomers, but my parents didn't care about movies, so we never watched them, in theaters or on TV (occasionally as a teenager I went with friends).

 

 

By the time I left for college in 1963 I had probably seen less than ten movies in my life. In college I was blessed with a great roommate, who knew and loved old movies, and who also had a TV for our room. She introduced me to old movies, especially Fred and Ginger. We only had access to a couple of TV channels, though, so our movie choice was limited. (We saw THE LONG, HOT SUMMER so many times that we memorized long chunks of dialogue and would quote them as the movie was playing.)

 

 

Our college also provided a free movie once a week for the students, and had a great programmer, also a student. His name was Jim Schertzer, and I have often wondered what happened to him. He was so knowledgeable about movies, and because of him I saw great movies from the 50s and early 60s for the first time (on a big screen, too), including NORTH BY NORTHWEST and WAR OF THE WORLDS, and I was also introduced to classic foreign cinema, such as LA STRADA and BLACK ORPHEUS. I hope he was able to use his knowledge of film later in life. At the time, being so new to movies, I didn't realize what a treasure trove he was giving to the students every week.

 

 

After college I married a man who cared nothing for movies, so my interest was dormant for over a decade, until I was on my own again.

 

 

In the early 80s in Norfolk, VA, was a great old movie theater called the NARO. It rescued itself from bowling-alley-theater conversion by showing interesting double features of classic and second-run features, such as CASABLANCA teamed with PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM. I saw many a great double feature at that theater, and discovered many more classic movies.

 

 

Best of all, though, was when old AMC and later TCM came along. With my trusty VCR, I could revel in old movies while still livin' my life. I am really grateful for the classics of the 30s through the 50s, and I'm glad they're still available on TCM. May that always be the case!

 

 

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Does anyone remember "Million Dollar Movie"?

 

Why, yes. I think EVERY city had their own version of that showcase. CKLW in Windsor, Ont. had theirs. They were the folks who showed those Tarzan movies I mentioned.

 

And NBC's "Saturday Night At The Movies" helped prime my interest, too. It was THAT show that introduced me to *The Day The Earth Sttod Still, Monkey Business,* and *It Happens Every Spring*. Along with a virtual cornicopia of others.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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For a while, the Windsor station's movie was called "THE FLICK." But, the L and the I seemed to run together, with unintended consequences.

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For me it was a combination of things:

 

* Watching old films remind me of my god mother from long ago

* I really began to enjoy films set in that period like Victor/Victoria, Henry and June etc..

* I love history, The "That's Entertainment" films, TCM

* The cool suits and beautiful dresses. The whole concept of star and celebrity.

* And when being "stupid,stoned and stumbling" became the new comedic style , I was done with the new stuff. The explosions, gore, lack of character development or any plot just lost me.

 

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How brave of you to share, Sepiatone.

 

Substitute NY in the 1950s and 1960s, Soupy Sales, White Fang, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Wonderama, Ding Dong School, Rodin, King Kong, Million Dollar Movie (Lara's Theme), the Late Late Show (Syncopated Alarm Clock), Alan Burke, Joe Pyne, Johnny Carson, a gigantic crush on Robert Fuller in Laramie, Captain Jack McCarthy, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Officer Joe, the same Little Rascals, American Pickers and the morons on Pawn Stars in place of the Food Network, Joseph Cotten in place of Victor Mature, the horror of forced Lawrence Welk watching, having to get up to change the channel until my brother became the family remote, 1982 cable which was wonderful, the loathing of everything other than black and white movies from the 1930s and 1940s, FIOS and most of modern electronics, the love of venetian blinds and Orry Kelly gowns, the NY skyline in old movies, and Constance Bennett's dress in Topper in addition to that drop-dead gorgeous Cord, I wanted one until I found out how much they cost, and there you have my biographic love affair with only black and white movies and AMC before they sold out and TCM story.

 

Good topic, Sepiatone.

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