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What movies to introduce teens to classic films?


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3 hours ago, EricJ said:

I jokingly said "You", meaning everybody, when I recommended movies to LK, so the Mods thought I was being nasty to her.  Otto scans and flags for the Y-word.

What I said was that because they are busy "punishing" the 20th century, most teens will not be curious about old classic movies unless they can retroactively make them "relevant" to their own Woke issues--Search the YouTube reactor-verse, and you'll see a HS/college fan preoccupation with "12 Angry Men" (in which a mean old white older guy is shunned and cancelled by his more tolerant peers for trying to falsely convict an ethnic teen over his own issues about young people), "Gaslight" ("That's the movie that invented the word about what your boyfriend is probably doing to you!"), "Imitation of Life" (for its "examination of biracial identity"), and Blazing Saddles, but ONLY the scene where the new sheriff arrives in town!  

That's because Millennials are so busy being persecuted, they don't have time to understand "Entertainment".  They do have an inexplicably unhealthy preoccupation with Arsenic & Old Lace, but that's probably caused by high-school drama clubs.

Then, they will DISAPPEAR.  Like culture disappears.

 Like most of silent cinema disappeared, after 30's Hollywood decided nobody wanted to "bother" with preserving it.

And, unlike the current studio system, where studios believe that "nobody bothers" with Blu-ray, there will be no underground third-party movement to save it from its own owners' neglect, in case someone a few generations later wants to dig it up again.

It's pretty much the same for all kinds of entertainment and culture I think: books, music (popular and "serious" music both), plays, musicals, radio & TV:  all of them have forgotten and/or lost  properties that at one time were very popular but have fallen out of public consciousness.   There are tons of obscure operas, symphonies and other "serious" works that never get performed.   Except for the biggest hits, old pop songs rarely get played today, and recordings or sheet music of them can be hard to find.  

I'm not sure kids today are all that different from kids of yesterday.  Most kids, in general, are not interested in "old stuff" and never have been.  I know that was the case when I was a kid.  We watched old movies on TV in general because we only had a handful of options at any given time, and it was likely the best thing on at the time.  Given the choice between 3 or 4 Sunday public affairs programs (or worse, Watergate hearings) and an old movie, I generally opted for the movie, at age 10.  The main difference today is that kids have 10,000 more entertainment options.  A lot aren't even going to opt for watching filmed/recorded/scripted entertainment at all- they'd rather play video games.

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Love this thread!  Is there a particular type of movie they tend to gravitate toward?  I remember watching classic TV as a little kid in the very early '90s - this was before we got cable (and even more classic stuff😀) and before truly realizing how old they were.  Then I became a fan of Judy Garland movies which led to a love for the classics - seeing a bag from Tower Records usually meant that another good movie was inside.

Here are a few favorites that I was introduced to before I was a teen:

  • Who's Minding the Mint? 
  • The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!
  • The That's Entertainment! series

All of these movies can introduce your nephews to all-star casts.  The That's Entertainment! series is great for learning bits about so many stars and at least getting an idea of who everyone is.

Here's a few more that could be fun:

  • The Philadelphia Story
  • The Sound of Music (a must...no way around that one no matter how high a mountain you climb!)
  • Singin' in the Rain
  • The Band Wagon
  • The Quiet Man
  • The Parent Trap (the 1961 version)
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On 8/7/2021 at 9:55 AM, NipkowDisc said:

I can't think of a better movie to introduce younger people to Hollywood's golden age than angels with dirty faces.

Silver Screen Streak List #14: 01. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)

 

Angels with Dirty Faces | The Soul of the Plot

I love the street scene that you posted from the film "Angels With Dirty Faces".  It shows how classic films can be a window to another time.  This scene of a an ethnic slum in NYC is really interesting with so many details of that era.  Not to mention, this is a really great film.  Thanks NipkowDisc!

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I can't imagine anyone not enjoying Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace, a comedy crime thriller so entertaining they won't miss the color.  But, yeah, maybe just happen to have it on and see their reaction.  I'd wager they'll love it, especially when Frankenstein and his henchman show up.

Arsenic and Old Lace at Imdb

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I know some kids - I say kids even though they are now well into their 40's - who have never seen, nor have any interest in ever seeing a b & w movie.

They are obviously not the target audience of this thread but I fear they may be the majority of today's moviegoers.

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You might think everyone would enjoy Bringing up Baby, but both my brother and sister didn't crack a smile when they watched it with me.

For Marx brothers movies:  Monkey Business, Horsefeathers, Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera.

I'm going to suggest we're talking about pre-1967 movies, even though some of the examples are decades later.

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2 hours ago, skimpole said:

You might think everyone would enjoy Bringing up Baby, but both my brother and sister didn't crack a smile when they watched it with me.

For Marx brothers movies:  Monkey Business, Horsefeathers, Duck Soup and A Night at the Opera.

I'm going to suggest we're talking about pre-1967 movies, even though some of the examples are decades later

Bringing Up Baby is strictly a nostalgia piece. It never really made me laugh either.  What's Up, Doc might still work in spots, but it's newer of course.  

For Marx Brothers I like the "Getta you tootsy fruitsy ice-a creeeam!" bit from A Day at the Races. Any gag really where Chico puts one over on Groucho. 

 

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I can think of three movies in three different areas. First, Shane for a western. I just saw it, maybe for the first time, and how can anyone not enjoy it. Next, The Dirty Dozen as a war movie. They will certainly see a lot of top stars of that era and get a glimpse of what had to be done in WW2. Last, a film noir like Out of the Past. Devious double crossing  plus a few different, interesting locations.

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On 8/8/2021 at 11:06 PM, Katie_G said:

I can't imagine anyone not enjoying Cary Grant in Arsenic and Old Lace . . .

Imagine it.

I enjoy Arsenic and Old Lace (the only Frank Capra movie that I can stand). But, Cary Grant's mugging and over-the-top antics are the weakest, most irritating element in it . . . for me.

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23 hours ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

I enjoy Arsenic and Old Lace (the only Frank Capra movie that I can stand). But, Cary Grant's mugging and over-the-top antics are the weakest, most irritating element in it . . . for me.

Possibly my lest favorite Grant performance, and pretty low on my personal ranking of Capra movies, which stand in marked contrast to your assessment. I find some of his movies to be very strong.

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On 8/11/2021 at 2:52 AM, skimpole said:

I'm going to suggest we're talking about pre-1967 movies

So, not classic movies - ancient movies. This tends to happen when a subjective term like "classic" is used.

Even "old" would be inexact to many people - 1985 would be considered quite an old movie for many.

And movies of the silent era could be thought of as prehistoric.

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On 8/11/2021 at 5:16 PM, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

Imagine it.

I enjoy Arsenic and Old Lace (the only Frank Capra movie that I can stand). But, Cary Grant's mugging and over-the-top antics are the weakest, most irritating element in it . . . for me.

Fair point.  Without knowing the teens in question it's very hard to make any suggestion.    They could actually hate these movies and are just being polite.   My thought was Arsenic being fast moving with lots of physical comedy would likely have some appeal to teens.

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A problem with questions like this one is people tend to only list films they themselves like. Not factoring in the young people involved. Some of the suggestions that have been posted are for films that are very long and slow. And would probably bore them to tears.

We would have to know more about the teens to give better suggestions.

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22 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Possibly my lest favorite Grant performance, and pretty low on my personal ranking of Capra movies, which stand in marked contrast to your assessment. I find some of his movies to be very strong.

I wouldn't describe myself as a Cary Grant fan. I don't dislike him. But, I wouldn't "walk across the street" to see a "Cary Grant movie" -- there would have to be some other attraction to appeal to me. My attitude is based more on most of the movies that Grant was in rather than on Grant himself.

I like Grant in his more dramatic or less comedic roles, e.g., in  Suspicion, Mr. Lucky, Notorious, People Will Talk*, North by Northwest, and Charade.

Would have been interesting to see the former Archibald Leach in the Hammer Films version of The Phantom of the Opera. Grant had expressed interest in appearing in a Hammer chiller, and the character "Harry Hunter" was expressly tailored for him. Grant changed his mind, and Edward de Souza was subsequently cast in the role.

* Ten points to anyone who knows the name of the actor who portrayed a similarly named doctor. Ten more points if you can name the movie in which the actor and character appeared.

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33 minutes ago, Katie_G said:

Fair point.  Without knowing the teens in question it's very hard to make any suggestion.    They could actually hate these movies and are just being polite.   My thought was Arsenic being fast moving with lots of physical comedy would likely have some appeal to teens.

I love Arsenic and Old Lace, and have seen several renditions of it. Most recently, I watched the 1962 Hallmark Hall of Fame presentation, which featured Boris Karloff performing the role specifically written for him by playwright Joseph Kesselring. The 74-year-old Karloff, by then, was (IMO) miscast, being older than his "aunts" in the Hallmark production. More satisfying, to me, was the 1987 stage revival starring Jonathan Frid as Jonathan Brewster and Marion Ross and Jean Stapleton as the Brewster sisters.

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3 hours ago, GGGGerald said:

A problem with questions like this one is people tend to only list films they themselves like. Not factoring in the young people involved. Some of the suggestions that have been posted are for films that are very long and slow. And would probably bore them to tears.

We would have to know more about the teens to give better suggestions.

Not this people.

My 2 suggestions were heavily influenced by what I feel today's teens might enjoy. And both were pre-1960.

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On 8/12/2021 at 6:04 PM, 37kitties said:

So, not classic movies - ancient movies. This tends to happen when a subjective term like "classic" is used.

Even "old" would be inexact to many people - 1985 would be considered quite an old movie for many.

And movies of the silent era could be thought of as prehistoric.

If we're arguing that 1967-1990 movies are "classic," then it's reasonable to ask what it is about the most popular and admired films of that period (The Godfather, Jaws, Chinatown, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Taxi Driver for a start) that they fail to appreciate.

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I was wearing a TCM tee shirt to the grocery store and it caught the eye of a young man working at the store (maybe 17 or 18).  He told me that he was exposed to TCM at his mom's house and now loves classic movies.  His favorite is "Seven Samurai (1954)" a film by Akira Kurosawa.  It tells the story of a 16th century village that's fallen on hard times and hires samurai to protect them.  Bandits have threatened to steal all the rice from the village farmers.  This epic film is full of action and emotion.

Seven Samurai (1954) | BFI

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On 8/12/2021 at 8:06 PM, GGGGerald said:

A problem with questions like this one is people tend to only list films they themselves like. Not factoring in the young people involved. Some of the suggestions that have been posted are for films that are very long and slow. And would probably bore them to tears.

We would have to know more about the teens to give better suggestions.

I referenced my nieces - no longer teens but in the early to mid '20s - in aother thread and that I have thought sometimes of trying to introduce them to classic movies, but if I started with the most discussed movie of all time Gone with the Wind and showed it to them TCM rodshow style complete with overture and e'ntracte and intermission, there is a 100 per cent chance they would both be asleep before the overture was complete. Or if not they would be whining and moaning, "When is the movie going to START? Does anyone TALK in this stupid movie? Oh my God this sooooo BORING!!!" etc. I can hear their voices in my head. They would be one hundred per cent out before the opening credits even started rolling. 

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@37kitties:  I reckon there are 2 meanings for the word 'classic' that I would endeavour to differentiate like this:

One of the meanings is simply that something is old and no more.  → A couple of days ago I watched an online review via YouTube from 'Regular Cars'.  The car being driven by the reviewer was a 1976 Chevrolet Chevette.  It is now a 'classic' car and is an 'antique historical vehicle' (says so on the PA antique license plate).  It is not, however, considered a 'classically good' car by anyone.  The only thing 'classic' about it is that it merely still exists in the present day (or at least the day it was reviewed!) in drive-able condition.  1970s-era sub-compacts were low-quality junk across the board but extant '70s subcompacts are now 'classic vehicles'.   Got a 1971 Pinto?  Great!  How 'bout a '75 Pacer from AMC?  It's a classic, too.  (And rare). 

Then there's the 'classic' meaning that it's something old which is 'Good'.  Like FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) is a famously good movie as opposed to something like ROBOT MONSTER (1953).  That's a classic, too, but "Robot Monster" isn't held in quite the same high regard as "From Here To Eternity".  

👽 ← Have an alien. 

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