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For All You Young People Out There


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A couple of days ago I joined this board and was surprised to see how many young people enjoy classic movies. It got me to thinking. . .What is it about these films that you all enjoy. Do you enjoy films of the 30s, 40s, 50s, or 60s? I myself do not get the appeal of silent films, but if you do I'd like to know why. It might not even be something you can put your finger on. Maybe these films bring back memories, maybe they capture an era that for the most part you would not know if it were not for TCM. This is an opportunity for you to express what brings you periodically to this spot. Look forward to hearing from you ;)

 

 

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Good question! ;)

 

And welcome to the board BTW. Silent films. There was a time I couldn't stand them. Now I love them.

 

They transport me, personally, to a different place. A time when entertainment was simpler and it took only realness and simplicity to entertain an audience. Slapstick.. or other kinds of comedy, combined with a happy musical score is a lot of fun to watch. And I don't want to disclude the dramas, either, there were some great dramas. Horror movies, too.

 

I think silent actors are some of the best actors. They couldn't rely on their voices to elevate the emotion. They had to do it ALL with body language and facial expression.

 

That's not to say dialogue is overrated or anything. Dialogue is very hard and I admire anyone who can do it well. But sometimes, a person can read lines really well, but nothing is going on in their faces or their bodies. Silents demanded that.

 

As you can tell from my name, my favorite silent star is Buster Keaton a.k.a. The Master. (hee hee) Although that has been widely disputed more than once! But that's the fun of it. Everyone's got different tastes.

 

...But they don't know what they're missin. ;)

 

http://www.geocities.com/~oldbrit/bkdress.JPG

 

Ohh yeeeah, baby. :D:P

 

 

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I guess I would be in the 30's and 40's era. The majority of films from this time I like the best are romance, romantic comedies, comedies, musicals, and dramadies. It's an escape for me to veiw films like Enchanted Cottage, Bachalor Mother, Arsenic and Old Lace,

The Wizard of Oz, and Remember the Night. For 90 minutes I'm back in time - it's great.

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phillygl24,

 

I love films from every era. I have the same appreciation for a good modern Independent or Foreign film, as I do for the great films I see on TCM. I do have an almost unhealthy obsession for movies from the Silent era, and when I saw that you "do not get the appeal of Silent films," I thought I'd explain why I enjoy them so much.

 

At age 40, I was not even old enough to appreciate THE GODFATHER, or TAXI DRIVER when they were first released, so the Silent era was considered ancient history to me. But as I stated in an earlier post, I saw the 1925 version of THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA when I was 7 or 8 and was completely enthralled with it. PBS used to show silent films when I was a kid and I became fascinated with them and to this day, I try and view every silent film I can find. I own many silents on video and DVD. I love the passion and the ethereal glow they emit.

 

I realize Silent films are not for everyone, but to understand how cinema has evolved, everyone owes it to themselves to at least check a few silents out to see where filmmaking took root. They are not only tremendous films, they are a crucial part of cinema history. I think NOSFERATU is as scary as any recent horror film. Chaplin's, THE KID, is as poignant as any Oscar-nominated drama in current memory. If you've seen Buster Keaton's, THE GENERAL, you know that it's as funny now, as it was in 1927....and I will put Lon Chaney up against any current actor, as far as technique and acting chops go.

 

Sorry for being so long-winded, but I have to come to the defense of my beloved Silent films. To appreciate them, you have to use some imagination and even work a little harder than you would viewing a sound film, but it is well worth the bother. The actors, directors, and producers of the era were innovators and paved the way for all that came after, and for that, they at least deserve our respect. I will always have a place in my heart for Silent film..........

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I am in complete agreement with Keith on every single thing he said and could not have said it better myself. I'm five years older than he is, 45, so am no longer considered "young," but I developed an interest in classic films after seeing my first James Cagney film when I was 14. They were running a Cagney week locally in Chicago, with a different film every night for seven days, and I tuned into the first one because I had never heard of him. It was EACH DAWN I DIE and I loved it. From there to more Cagney's and from there to Bogart, then to Robinson, then to Warner Brothers films and on and on.

 

For me, my love of old films has remained consistent over the years, but my approach and appreciation of them has changed and continues to evolve. At first curiosity, then entertainment, then study, then love, then obsession! LOL. I've worked as a film historian, a film critic and a film teacher. I've never given any of it up since I was that 14 year old in the summer of '72 looking for something new to watch on tv one night.

 

I'm glad so many people younger than I am are here on these boards and I encourage them to read Keith's post and open yourself up to every kind of film there is. There's nothing wrong with specializing, but give every type of movie as much of a chance as you can before you narrow your tastes down. You have over a hundred years to choose from!

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phillygl silents are great and you should check out as many as you can, but i'm 23 and what got me onto the classics was watching westerns with my dad growing up.

Then in high school I really got into John Wayne Movies and from there i was hooked. THrough the Duke i found other actors like Jimmy Stewart(The Man who shot Liberty Valance) and through his movies others and so on. Since I've found many great actors that i love to watch. The classic movies just have this great feel to them that can be so much fun to just let yourself get reeled in.

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For me, the classics have always been a part of my life. I never "discovered" them, since I've always been exposed to them. From the time I was a baby my father had me watching Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, and the Marx Brothers, and as I got older I started watching the M.G.M. musicals (especially "On the Town" which I must've watched every week as a kid) and from there I got into more and more actors, directors, and genres of classic film. I also enjoy newer films (some) and have a broad taste, but my heart lies with the Golden Age of Hollywood. The 30's, 40's and 50's - these films just have something about them that I love - the look of them, the good stories, great acting - maybe it has something to do with the studio system, I don't know, all I know is I love 'em - especially the 30's - the rich black and whites and lavish productions from M.G.M., the stark realism with that 'in your face' quality of Warners' films, the bare bones yet brilliant productions from Columbia, and so on. The whole style of that era just captures me.

 

I understand where you're coming from with the silents. It's taken me awhile to get into them, but they are worth watching - you just have to open yourself up to the kind of experience that a silent film is - Silents are an art form all their own, and therefore require a different kind of approach when viewing them. The first one I saw was Lon Chaney's "Phantom of the Opera" (which someone else mentioned) and it totally transfixed me. I also loved John Barrymore's "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde." Yet some silents, like "Birth of a Nation" and "The Lost World" I find hard to sit through. It all depends on the storyline, direction, and even the soundtrack. Some of the silents have really bad synthesizer music that ruins an otherwise good movie. But definitely give silents a try, especially "Phantom of the Opera" - it will blow you away.

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Dear phillygl24,

 

Please be sure to scan previous forums for other enlightening conversations regarding silent movies. A wonderfully engaging exchange between professorecho (age 40's) and harlowkeatongirl (age 20's) resides in the Who's Really Watching thread. There are many informed voices on this board -- here's hoping you hear their call and that an appreciation for silent films developes as a result. Clearly your attention may be wisely directed to several top stars of the period -- Chaplin, Keaton, Lloyd, Chaney, Fairbanks, Pickford, Gish, Garbo, Bow -- but in any case the key to a better understanding of the silents comes from alleviating preconceived opinions and allowing the art to speak for itself. With an open mind you will likely find a most memorable experience awaits you. This then becomes the seed that blossoms into the beginning of a remarkably rewarding relationship.....

 

 

Here's a film selection that, if the viewing opportunity presents itself, may start you well on your way:

 

Show People

1928

MGM Home Video

 

The story of this comedy from the end of the silent era provides a period look inside the early stages of the movie industry. This movie about the making of movies integrates classic cliche elements of what the modern viewer may come to expect from silents with outstanding production and acting performances that the first-time-silent-viewer does not. It is a solid introduction to silent films which not only entertains but also enlightens and endears.

 

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I agree w/that Busterchaney.... that the art speaks to different people in different ways. It's great to take advice from others on what's good, it's more important to not be influenced by the opinions of other people and decide for yourself who/what you prefer and what speaks to you personally. That's what's important. Not numbers, not majority.

 

And don't let others make you feel weird or bad about who you like, either! ;)

 

If I listened to everyone else, I'd be following form and saying I prefer Johnny Depp and Halle Berry over Buster Keaton and Marie Dressler.

 

Not a chance. :D

 

 

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I'm 20 and I've always had some appreciation of old movies. I was exposed to a healthy little dose of the stuff when I was very young, stuff my mom watched, Laurel and Hardy and other things. I also had a compulsive obsession w/the Titanic beginning when I was in kindergarten and that eventually led me to watch a couple 50's flix, Titanic ('53) and A Night to Remember, starting when I was about 10. I watched 'em over and over and loved 'em. It wasn't 'til I was in my mid-teens that I started getting a little more into older movies. I think it was my "discovery" of Hedy Lamarr that finally did it. I guess now I primarily like 30's and 40's movies as well as silents. I got into silents a few years ago, too. I happened to catch a couple on TCM that really enjoyed and that got me interested. I really don't know why they appeal to me, they just do, I guess. I wish I had a better response to offer, but I'm afraid this is all I've got.

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So I guess you all like silents. That's an understatement! I hope you won't hold it against me if I don't. I can't remember when I started liking classic movies. It's more like I always did. I probably got my start on musicals--SOUND OF MUSIC, WEST SIDE STORY, SINGIN' IN THE RAIN. Then I discovered HEPBURN, STANWYCK, BOGART, STEWART, DE HAVILLAND, DAVIS, NEWMAN, LEMMON, SINATRA. The list goes on and on. Some favorite movies are THE PHILADELPHIA STORY :) THE HUSTLER, NO MAN FOR HER OWN, GOODBYE MR. CHIPS, TWELVE ANGRY MEN, LITTLE WOMEN, SOME LIKE IT HOT, MARNIE, NORTH BY NORTHWEST. The only sad thing about the classics is that there are only so many. I'm always looking for movies I haven't seen.

 

P.S. I LOVE Hitchcock.

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I feel your pain, Phillygl24 - it's not exactly a cheap hobby, is it? A lot of times I have to settle for renting a movie out five days (over and over). I have deadlines set up across the whole rest of the year for saving up to buy this DVD, that biography... it's torture!! :P

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Dear Philly...if anyone here "holds it against you" because the Silents are not your cup of tea, shame on them! Everyone here is entitled to express what their interests and personal tastes are without being put down if not everyone else shares them. It took me years to develop enough of an interest in movie History to even consider that the Silents had anything to offer me...and it's only recently that I have even been able to start watching some of them here on TCM. Maybe you will also get "hooked" on some of them someday, or maybe not...and that's OK! ;)

 

The list that you have given us is filled with wonderful movies and it's great to see that you love them and are always looking for more. Many are the Classics you will find right here on TCM....or perhaps on other TV channels that have the rights to air them. For sure, feel perfectly welcome here to talk about those movies/actors that you do love...and never think that you need to apologize for not particularly loving others. :)ML

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I'm in my late 30's, and I literally grew up on silent films! Back in the Mid 70's, Silent's were plentiful in 8 millimeter and Super 8mm film format. My original interest was in the Western stars of the period. People such as William S. Hart, Tom Mix and Harry Carey, but one day in 1977 I saw the latter half of the Robert Youngson compilation FOUR CLOWS it featured some 40 minutes of footage from Keaton's 1925 classic SEVEN CHANCES. Suddenly I became enthralled over the great silent comedians. I read everything I could find on the subject.

 

Blackhawk films used to run monthly specials on silent shorts, and they had several Chaplin films in their collection. I ordered a few and became an immediate fan of The Little Tramp. I picked up the Harold Lloyd shorts ALL ABOARD(1917)and HAUNTED SPOOKS(1920) on sale and he quickly became my personal favorite!

 

After reading the book Harold Lloyd The King Of Daredevil Comedy, I longed to see some of his great feature films. In the spring of 1979, I got my wish! Blackhawk attained the exclusive 8mm and Super 8 rights to the 16mm Time-Life series. These were caustically cut-down versions of his classics but they were all we had back than. Yipes! I have just 15 minutes to get to church, so I'll have to continue this post later on! Happy Easter Everyone!

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classicsfan1119,

 

Just to set the record straight, mi amigo, I responded to phillygl24's earlier post and explained why I like silent films after she said she didn't see the appeal in them. I stated nothing degrading or condescending towards her in my post, I merely stated my opinion. I know you are not singling anyone in particular out, but just wanted to say that I will never begrudge ANYONE who doesn't agree with me. You just can't argue with personal taste. Either you like something or you don't and the world continues to spin.

 

I wanted to say that for myself, because there are unusual films I like, even love, that make my friends cringe! For example, I mention on the genre thread for cult films, that I love E. Elias Merhige's (Shadow of the Vampire) 1991 film, BEGOTTEN. Now if you have ever seen this film, then you know that it, well, DIVIDES people. I suggested that my girlfriend watch this last year and she HATED it! Maybe repulsed is a better word. Thankfully, we are still together, but it was shaky

there for a while.......I still think BEGOTTEN is a work of genius and respect my girlfriend's right to be nauseated by it!

 

So again, I concur that if someone loathes something I think is good, all I can do is defend it in the most respectful way I can. Hey, I'm just happy to be amongst so many thoughtful movie fans. Very cool.........

 

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Well, I'm 18 and I love classic movies because they are so much more fun to watch than the movies of today because they weren't as "realistic." For instance, I love the fact that in movies (especially the mgm musicals!)people would couple up and marry within a week! Like someone said before they transport you to another place because the characters in these movies, to me, are kinda all living fairy tale lives.

 

I personally enjoy movies from the 30's and 40's and just recently have gotten into silents. I first started watching Mary Pickford silents, so those are my favorites. I was first introduced to classic movies by reading older books, like Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, Wuthering Heights, etc... I read Jane Eyre and loved it so i saw it on FMC one day and decided to watch it and i loved it. So then i watched, on TCM, Pride and Prejudice, Rebecca, and Wuthering Heights, and loved the movies as well as the actors so i watched everything with Joan Fontaine, Greer Garson, Laurence Olivier, Orson Welles, etc... and those movies led me to other actors and other movies and so on...

 

I don't know if I can explain why i like silents because my friends and family ask why the heck i like them all the time, and i never can give them a good answer. I guess i love the way they're sooo melodramatic because well, they have to be in order to convey a message, a thought, or feeling without saying a word. Plus, I'm kinda obsessed with the past because i love old movies, old music, and old literature. I may be 18, but my friends and family always call me an "Old Soul." So i guess that's the best way i can explain it!

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I am 23, I love classic movies!!! My college roomates every year make fun of me, tcm is always on in my room. I love movies from the 30's, 40's, 50's, 60's... okay, so it's more genre that I lean towards than an era.

 

I can't miss the musicals, if Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers is on, forget it, I'm busy with the television that night. I guess I lean more towards musicals and comedies, but I love some of every genre.

 

My parents are in their 40's and my dad always loved Tora!Tora!Tora! and Midway, and my mom wouldn't miss a good musical or a holiday classic, so I guess it is in my blood. When I was in high school I had a friend who loved old movies as much as I did, we bonded over popcorn and Doris Day.

 

There is something about the happily ever after that just does it for me. I am going to be a elementary school teacher (soon hopefully), that might have something to do with the yearn for a picturesque ending. I think that the tasteful way movies were presented is something that I can respect and appreciate.

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Linsary,

 

I think you've given the most perfect description I've ever heard about why classic movies are so endearing. That's right -- they're very magical in that everything works out for everybody and no matter how big the problem is, it gets worked out in the end. :) Having to live in this crazy world everyday it's nice to escape for a couple of hours to someplace where the grass is always green and everyone knows how to dance. LOL ;)

 

 

> I am 23, I love classic movies!!! My college roomates

> every year make fun of me, tcm is always on in my

> room. I love movies from the 30's, 40's, 50's,

> 60's... okay, so it's more genre that I lean towards

> than an era.

>

> I can't miss the musicals, if Bing Crosby, Fred

> Astaire or Ginger Rogers is on, forget it, I'm busy

> with the television that night. I guess I lean more

> towards musicals and comedies, but I love some of

> every genre.

>

> My parents are in their 40's and my dad always loved

> Tora!Tora!Tora! and Midway, and my mom wouldn't miss

> a good musical or a holiday classic, so I guess it is

> in my blood. When I was in high school I had a friend

> who loved old movies as much as I did, we bonded over

> popcorn and Doris Day.

>

> There is something about the happily ever after that

> just does it for me. I am going to be a elementary

> school teacher (soon hopefully), that might have

> something to do with the yearn for a picturesque

> ending. I think that the tasteful way movies were

> presented is something that I can respect and

> appreciate.

 

 

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It's so great to find so many kindred spirits here on these boards. In these last few posts, you guys pretty much summed up why I love the classics as well. It's great that a guy and girl can get together and find true love in the span of an hour and a half (sometimes I wish this could happen in real life!) And I love the "happily ever after" endings as well. They might be cheesy sometimes, but they still put a smile on my face, and make me feel good for awhile. Sometimes when I'm having a bad day (especially at work) or I feel that the world is against me, I just sit down and get lost in an old movie, and it relaxes me.

 

And as others have mentioned, sometimes you get flack from people since we're "young" and yet have such an obsession with old movies. I've had a lot of people look at me funny and say it's "weird" for me to have such an interest in old movies and music. They say I'm an old man lost in a 24 year old's body. But I say screw it - I like what I like, and as long as it makes me happy, I don't care what anybody thinks. At least I'm not a drug addict, or wannabe gangsta, like so many other people my age.

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That's all that matters is what you think. ;) I'm all for a good healthy debate, but when too many politics are involved, too much analyzing... I'm not interested. I don't feel like delving into the coils of my own brain to figure out why I like what I like. If I want those answers I'll go on Dr. Phil or something. LOL

 

I'm definitely the odd girl out on a lot of my tastes, as well. And I wouldn't have it any other way. I don't think my tastes are better or more valid than anyone else's, but I have to admit, I feel as if so many people my age are missing out by not checking out all the great classic movies and music out there.

 

 

 

> They say

> I'm an old man lost in a 24 year old's body. But I

> say screw it - I like what I like, and as long as it

> makes me happy, I don't care what anybody thinks. At

> least I'm not a drug addict, or wannabe gangsta, like

> so many other people my age.

 

 

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I'm definitely the odd girl out on a lot of my tastes, as well. And I wouldn't have it any other way. >>>>>>

 

Hey, HKG, I'm old enough to be your Mom and none of my friends or family like old movies either. Even my mom who's 78 doesn't like old movies (or many movies of any type.) I'm always talking to her about new (to me) actors I've discovered or movies I've never seen before & she doesn't remember them--and she's always bragging about going to the movies when she was a kid. I don't believe her!!!!! My dad was a big movie fan but didn't live to see the advent of TCM. I'm sure he would have loved it. He would probably be driving my mom crazy like my uncle does to my aunt with the Westerns channel.

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