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Why we love the classics-----


kimpunkrock
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I am interested in everyone's reasons for loving the classics the way you do.

In the fanatic piece I talk about why I love them, but most of it was cut for time.

The classics and me go so deep I think it would take hours and hours of talking about it and I still would not get to all the reasons I love them.

 

When I was in LA last week (my first time) I went nuts over all the hand prints and stars on the sidewalks. At one point there was an Asian tour group behind me at the Chinese theater with the hand prints. The guide was talking about some new actor, Jack Nicholson, for example, and the group was taking pictures. Well I had to ask them to please move so I could take a picture of James Dean's hand prints. I could not believe that here they were standing on James Dean and they did not even care. I tried to chime in and tell them that they are standing on a legend and whatever, but no one really spoke English. It was a funny moment for me and my friend.

 

I think one of the biggest reasons I love the classics is that they take me into another lifetime. One of a simpler time. For me they are like a time machine and the healthiest escape I know of to get away from these times of confusion.

 

What are your reasons?

 

Also the fanatic piece is online here on this website if you have not seen it and want to.

http://www.tcm.com/mediaroom/index.jsp?cid=186977

 

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one love

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kpr

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>I think one of the biggest reasons I love the classics is that they take me into another lifetime. One of a simpler time. For me they are like a time machine and the healthiest escape I know of to get away from these times of confusion.

 

 

I initially fell for them when I was in high school. They were escapist for me from the drudgery of a boring teen life. At the time (1974 and later) a good many of the stars were still alive albeit older. There was still the chance to see them and hear them and learn about them. These movies made up a huge part of the programming on independent local stations so we could watch a wide variety almost anytime. It was great. It was a chance to get your mind off of things. A chance to be entertained. Sometimes it was nothing more than something to do. A lot of the time it was a chance to experience a time, place or even a life you would never see. Westerns were my favortes. Escape is a word that fits them well. I'm not sure many of the current movies allow for that.

 

Movies were more straight-forward. The love was sensual but modest. The violence deliberate but not shocking (maybe too clean.) The dialogue smarter without the vulgarity. The stars were certainly more glamorous. Now it's the nostalgia of the movies and a chance to introduce them to my kids that brings me back to them.

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Great and a little sad Ms. Punkrock, (I always wanted to go to LA just for that reason, the Stars and their Walk of Fame and Memorabilia ) Most younger folk will never know some of the great stars we talk about here. I was watching "Red Dust" and my neice had no idea who Clark Gable was, Let alone Jean Harlow. I got into classic's through my Mother.(thank you MOM) I had a tumor when I was 10 (43 yrs. later and I'm still good) so I had to stay home alot. Thank God! for Channel 9 ( in New York, Million Dollar Movie and The Late Show on 2) that played classics. I think the first one I watched was "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" with Charles Laughton. well I was hooked. I think I love classics, besides taking me to a different time, they had unforgetable stories that made you get involved, the characters really made you care about them and they had "Stars" not Celebrities, like they are called now. Better writers, supporting Actors and Actresses. Simple: They JUST DON"T make 'em like they used too. Some of my friends my age just will not understand why I go crazy for certain films. But "Hey" it's their loss. i learned alot more about certain films and stars here that I may have overlooked in the past .That is another reason I love TCM and this forum. So if they keep showing classics, I'll keep watching them.

 

 

vallo

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I can't remember exactly when I fell in love with classic movies but I can remember watching old musicals with my dad pretty much all my life! My siblings didn't enjoy those movies nearly as much as I did so it is a special bond that I have with him. In jr high and high school (before cable) some tv stations would play old movies late at night so I got exposed to other classics besides musicals and now i love them all. Like the other people said here - it takes me away to another time and place. The actors and actresses are so glamourous and I love that fact that every other word is not a swear word!! These movies just make me feel good.

 

I am so grateful that TCM exists and shows all these wonderful classics. I have been seeing so many movies that I have never seen before and probably wouldn't have ever seen if it wasn't for TCM! My dad now lives 2 1/2 hours away from me but whenever we can we watch a classic movie "together" over the phone. It brings back good memories.

 

This is a great idea for a discussion! Thank you for letting me voice my opinion. :)

 

Message was edited by: Shasta66

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I'm so thankful there were good movies on TV when I was young. That's what shaped my tastes in film. The Late Show. The Early Show. The Sunday Night Movie. Everything from John Ford to Jerry Lewis. Nowadays, we hate commercials. Back then, we didn't mind. We'd never known anything else. Not to say that was better than today's technology. Video and cable have exposed me to countless things I otherwise might not have seen. But the formative years are just that. The mold for the person you become. And it was all so much simpler!

 

RR

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I remember watching the late show movies as a kid. I could never sleep and I would sneak out of my room and go downstairs and watch the late movie on CBS. I can still her the announcer's voice "We now return to the King and I starring Deborah Kerr". We also had "Shock Theater" on weekends showing the old Universal horror films.

 

The introduction of television meant that a whole new generation collectively was introduced to the stars and films their parents had known. Since we were limited to basically a few channels, and old movies were the bread and butter of independent stations as well as the late night and daytime on the networks we all knew who Boris Karloff, Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart were. This lasted at least into the seventies. That national collective consciousness was lost with the arrival of cable and hundreds of channels.

 

Today I watch the classic old films partly out of nostalga but also because they were so wonderful. The stars were really unique personalities. I can even watch a bad Crawford, Davis or Gable film and still enjoy just watching the star do their thing. Those stars as well as Wayne, Harlow, Powell, Loy, Grant, Stanwyck and so many others are bigger than life. The great character actors such as Demarest, Arden, Moorehead, Blore, Horton, Bondi and so many others seem like old friends when they show up in a film I'm watching.

 

I watch an old film every night as a bedtime ritual. They are a wonderful way to relax and escape. Thanks to TCM I am also constantly discovering a new old gem or a new performer. Classic film is a world unto itself and often I will be chided for being old fashioned or stuck in the past but those people don't know what their missing.

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I have my mom to thank for my love of classic films. She watched them, and part of the watching experience was hearing about her trips to the neighborhood theater to see the very same movie we were watching. Mom would share bits of the stars' lives as she knew them, and in the course of the conversation I also learned a bit about my mom's life as well. I lost my mother nearly fifteen years ago, but there are still certain movies that can bring back memories of her that are sharper and clearer than any HD picture.

 

Di

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Less complicated stories, fewer dumb teenage movies..characters that you can root for, shorter movies, instead of epic YAAWWWN 3+ hour movies that you need to create your own intermission..not saying that is bad, but just long :)

OK Gone with the Wind and Ben Hur are exceptions to that, BUT not every movie back then was over 2 hours, in fact most clocked in at 90-106 minutes (just a rough estimate)

Maybe the movies back then were 'movies' and not celluloid trash that often pops in a theater near you for a studio to make a quick buck.. (??)

I thought the acting was better back then & you didn't need to be a sexy heartthrob to be in a movie, all you had to do was act & know your role..

Lets face it guys like Karloff, Bogart, Cagney,etc were not playgirl centerfolds, but they were great actors, I think they worried less about their looks & more about their characters

Now the women on the other hand...well they were beautiful back then, but they didn't have to be in a skin flick to become a household name..

Garbo,Darnell,Loy, Hayworth, Lana Turner, a good mix of beauty & great actresses

As much as I love the films of that era, I certainly wouldn't want to live in that era..too much smoking going on, & old fashioned values that would irk me

What the heck are you talking about DS ???!?

Well, DS - I have no idea...random thoughts ZZZZZZzzzzzzzz

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When we got our first TV set in the mid '50s, I was a kid, close to entering my teens. There really wasn't a lot of programming on TV back in those days, so for me, the old movies they showed late night after the 11 PM news were the best things on TV

 

My tastes basically ran from the series movies: Adventures, horrors, westerns, mysteries and comedies. But on the late show they ran great old movies from the '30s and early '40s. These movies were better than those that were then current in the theaters.

 

That's always been one of favorite pastimes, stretching out on the sofa late at night and watching a classic movie. My tastes began to widen and as I grew older I found myself enjoying a wider variety of movies. But to this day, I still like the oldies from the 30's & '40s best. Generally speaking that is.

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I became a fan of classics movies mainly because I'm a big history buff, I'm really into the first half of the 20th century, especially the 1920s-1940s, I just love stuff that comes out of this era,not sure why , but I do. And watching classics is like a history lesson to me, and its kind of like living a little slice of the past to me and I enjoy it. I grew up watching old TV shows and movies with my parents, especially my mom.

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Two things:

1. I think Bogart would be a playgirl centerfold, but thats because I always found him to very attractive.

and

2. there are quite a few silents & the majority of pre-codes throw that prudish concept of the "Good Old Days" out the window for the most part.

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I also don't see it as an either/or proposition. I love the old classics, but when you get right down to it, I love movies. Period. There is no magic year when movies stopped being great. There were great movies made in the 30's and there was junk being made in the 30's. Some of my absolute favorite movies of all time were made in the last 15 years or so. It does seem that I get a different, deeper satisfaction from watching many of the old movies. There is something "other-worldly" about them. They do feed my imagination in ways modern movies often don't. When I watch glorious images of New York City in black and white, it really does seem like a magical place. And the stars----- of course they were extraordinary- the make-up, the lighting, the staging were ALL created for the sole purpose of making them LOOK like stars- ethereal, almost not quite human- modern actors just can't pull that off- maybe it's because modern movies just seen so real to me- only in the old classics can I truly suspend disbelief and go to wherever the movie is going to take me.

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For me it started as a nagging curiosity. I had heard about Rita Hayworth and a few of these other ladies and how astonishingly beautiful and special they were while i was a teenager in the 1980's. Finally, i couldn't take it anymore. In 1988, the current crop of movie mediocrity forced me to look backward to the forties and fifties to see what all the fuss was about. The sets, the costumes, the impeccable voices, the studio system, the scripts, the scandals, the gossip, the feuds, the moguls, the cool actors. And finally, i had never seen so many extremely beautiful women in one place ever. Turner, Darnell, Hayworth, Lamarr, Russell, Hayward, Crawford, Tierney, Garbo, Jones, DeCarlo, Lake, Davis, Taylor... I was hooked and had to learn more about this exciting period in film history. In may, 1988, i drove from Victorville, Ca. to Hollywood and spent the day glancing at every single star on the walk of fame and buying 8 x 10's of Hedy, Rita, Lana, etc. I started taping movies off of TNT and AMC to get my fix and reading all kinds of books on Classic Hollywood. And it has continued to this day. There are always other stars and movies to discover. For instance, i am just being bit by the Irene Dunne bug for the first time as she's SOTM. I'm interested in a lot of B stars and some character actors as well as the front rank tried and trues. TCM is like finding buried treasure in my own apartment.

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Randy:

 

You mention character actors and for me that is one of the biggest holes we have today. Granted I'm not a big fan of current movies but anyone who fits this group aren't that noticeable. Unless I'm missing something, which is quite likely, the people like Walter Brennan, James Gleason, William Demarest, Thelma Ritter and others contributed so much that it is hard to imagine movies without them.

 

Granted, there must be some today but they certainly don't seem to get recognized as they used to be.

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