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What movies to introduce teens to classic films?


Lindakay1
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On 8/14/2021 at 2:51 AM, 37kitties said:

I don't really know what "classic" means. 

Uh oh, here we go again. Sorry Mr G. your explanation was more your "personal" take.

The actual definition of "classic" can easily refer to film: "An art form that transcends time & culture".  Meaning it is enjoyed yesterday/today/tomorrow and by all people no matter their culture or where they live. 

A "cult" classic is one where one large portion of people like it, while those from other groups may not. Star Wars was a cult classic at first because US teens made it popular and will become a classic if it endures the test of time & reaches people of all languages/nations/cultures. (easier to do these days in a "global" economy/culture)

7 hours ago, Toto said:

This epic film is full of action and emotion.

While I love The Seven Samurai, it's not a great choice as an "introductory" film for having three hurdles: adult theme, b&w and subtitles. When you introduce a subject to anyone, you start with the easiest first. Kids are going to be most interested in stories that involve other kids, or at least adults that act like kids.

Marx Brothers can be great because each brother takes a different comedy type, I've noticed adults laugh at Chico & Groucho's wordplay while kids laugh at Harpo's antics. But I don't know one person who doesn't laugh at this 4 minute buildup:

 

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On 8/14/2021 at 1:51 AM, 37kitties said:

I don't really know what "classic" means.

Arguments over the definition of "classic" have been a big part of the history of these boards, and I have participated in some of them. There used to be many threads, almost always begun by smoeone making their first post ever or someone whose total posts were in the single digits, that would start off with "TCM showed a movie that came out after 1960 last night. They make me so mad, I'm never going to watch TCM again! I mean, what's wrong with these stupid people, don't they know their name is Turner CLASSIC movies? Why, oh why, can't they just show old classic movies like they did when Robert Osborne was the host?" For those of you unfamiliar with threads that started like this, there were dozens of them, maybe more than a hundred. If the post-1960 film that made them so angry was The Graduate or Klute or All the Presiden'ts Men or Norma Rae, I would argue, well gee, some people think these are clasic movies too! Also, I was fond of pointing out that in the very first speech their much-beloved Robert Osborne delivered on the network, he said they would sometmes be showing "great films of today" or something similar. You can probably find this speech on YouTube. 

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On 8/11/2021 at 5:52 AM, LuckyDan said:

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. 

 

Speaking for myself, I love BRINGING UP BABY, it never fails to crack me up. On the other hand, I absolutely loathe WHAT'S UP, DOC, maybe because I can't stand Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.

Anything with the Marx brothers is a gas.

 

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On 8/11/2021 at 8:16 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.

I enjoy Grant's over-the-top performance myself, I think the role calls for it being so 'outta there' so to speak and that's what made him perfect for the role. 

Once he learns what his aunts are up to is really when the fun gets going for me.

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3 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Uh oh, here we go again. Sorry Mr G. your explanation was more your "personal" take.

The actual definition of "classic" can easily refer to film: "An art form that transcends time & culture".  Meaning it is enjoyed yesterday/today/tomorrow and by all people no matter their culture or where they live. 

A "cult" classic is one where one large portion of people like it, while those from other groups may not. Star Wars was a cult classic at first because US teens made it popular and will become a classic if it endures the test of time & reaches people of all languages/nations/cultures. (easier to do these days in a "global" economy/culture)

While I love The Seven Samurai, it's not a great choice as an "introductory" film for having three hurdles: adult theme, b&w and subtitles. When you introduce a subject to anyone, you start with the easiest first. Kids are going to be most interested in stories that involve other kids, or at least adults that act like kids.

Marx Brothers can be great because each brother takes a different comedy type, I've noticed adults laugh at Chico & Groucho's wordplay while kids laugh at Harpo's antics. But I don't know one person who doesn't laugh at this 4 minute buildup:

 

I greatly appreciate your comments and totally agree with your comments in regards to "kids".  Yes - the subtitles, subject matter and length of Seven Samurai are too much for children and the Marx Brothers is an excellent choice for them.  However, the topic of this post is "teens" rather than "kids".  I have been a teacher to different ages and have learned to not underestimate teens.  They're intellectual abilities and curiosity is often underestimated.  Sometimes a teen likes to be challenged by a book or a movie.

That said, the Marx Brothers are fantastic and funny whatever your age!

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9 hours ago, Toto said:

I greatly appreciate your comments and totally agree with your comments in regards to "kids".  Yes - the subtitles, subject matter and length of Seven Samurai are too much for children and the Marx Brothers is an excellent choice for them . . .

. . . That said, the Marx Brothers are fantastic and funny whatever your age!

As GGGGerald accurately succintly wwwwrote:

     "A problem with questions like this one is people tend to only list films they themselves like."

The Marx Brothers movies are an excellent choice for YOU. Even if you are a teacher, you cannot presume to know what appeals to all teens . . . or any teen, for that matter.

Speak for yourself.

Furthermore, in today's hypersensitive, hypervolatile times when people are quick to become "triggered," take offense, and sanctimoniously pounce on anything that violates modern standards of "decency" and punitively "cancel" anyone who offends current "woke" attitudes and mores, I can imagine The Marx Brothers being branded as"offensive": Groucho "indicted" for being a leering "perv." Chico "convicted" for cultural appropriation. And Harpo hung out to dry for this clip:
 

 

Black Stereotypes in A Day at the Races

 

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5 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

I enjoy Grant's over-the-top performance myself, I think the role calls for it being so 'outta there' so to speak and that's what made him perfect for the role. 

Once he learns what his aunts are up to is really when the fun gets going for me.

"[Cary Grant] blamed himself and Capra for the over-the-top nature of the film."

"Cary Grant considered his acting in this film to be horribly over the top and often called it his least favorite of all his movies. "

"Julius Epstein thought Cary Grant mugged too much. He later said Frank Capra intended to go back and rein in the broadest scenes, but near the end of principal photography, the Japanese attacked the U.S. at Pearl Harbor and Capra was eager to move on to his military assignment, so retakes were never done."

. . . all of which doesn't matter -- and shouldn't matter -- if you like Grant's performance. De gustibus non est disputandum.

I'm inclined to think that Allyn Joslyn, who appeared in the Broadway production, was better suited in the role of skittish, jittery Mortimer Brewster. Whether Joslyn's performance was better than Grant's would be a matter of opinion and a matter of taste.

. . . and entirely academic because, I suspect, no TCM Message Boards members were around in 1941 to be able to provide a review and express an opinion.

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The actual definition of "classic" can easily refer to film: "An art form that transcends time & culture".  Meaning it is enjoyed yesterday/today/tomorrow and by all people no matter their culture or where they live. 

So there's really no such thing as "classic"?

There's nothing I'm aware of that meets that definition. All people is a lot of people.

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7 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

 When you introduce a subject to anyone, you start with the easiest first. Kids are going to be most interested in stories that involve other kids, or at least adults that act like kids.

Marx Brothers can be great because each brother takes a different comedy type, I've noticed adults laugh at Chico & Groucho's wordplay while kids laugh at Harpo's antics. But I don't know one person who doesn't laugh at this 4 minute buildup . . . .

I suggest you broaden your circle of friends and acquaintances.

I've shown "classic" movies to "Philistines" who either sit stone-faced or who seem afflicted with St. Vitus' Dance because they begin twitching and fidgeting while watching them . . . which usually is not for long.

Doesn't matter if it's The Marx Brothers goofing for laughs, Karloff and Lugosi spooking for screams, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford suffering to jerk tears, Clark Gable disrobing for swoons, Jimmy Stewart speechifying to inspire, or Shirley Temple sparkling to warm hearts . . .

It's an OLD MOVIE, and they'll have none of it.

As for kids being "most interested in stories that involve other kids . . ."

I can only speak for myself. Even when I was a kid, I didn't like movies with kids in them -- especially movies starring kids and about kids. No Our Gang and Little Rascals fan I!

Almost all of the movies that grabbed me and engendered my love for movies did not have kids in them. They certainly were not about kids.

And if a movie that I liked had kids in it (e.g., Son of Frankenstein)? Well, it lost points.

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8 minutes ago, Eucalpytus P. Millstone said:

Classic, IMO, is a wholly relative, entirely subjective, purely personal P.O.V.

One man's treasure etc.

Yep. That's why it's really just a cool-sounding word that can mean anything or nothing.

In the case of TCM viewers who complain, it seems to mostly mean "old". As in ancient, not "not-new".

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10 hours ago, Mr. Gorman said:

I would recommend FROGS (1972).  🐸

One reason is because there were real critters used in the movie + it also has an environmental message to go along with it:  GIVE A HOOT -- DON'T POLLUTE!  🐸

 

 

 

I heartily second your recommendation!

As, I suspect, would Jeva Lange.

The Distinguished Eucalyptus P. Millstone Rating: Five ribbits. And A Golden Croak Award!

Important Trivia

Ray Milland disliked his costars, telling producer George Edwards: "I'm not touching one damned frog." (To which President Georges Pompidou retorted, "Alors qui t'a demandé?")

Milland walked off the movie three days before its completion (and subsequently went on to appear in The Thing with Two Heads for which he did not receive an Academy Award nomination).

Required Reading

Unleash the Savage Instincts: The Melting Toupee of Ray Milland

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6 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Speaking for myself, I love BRINGING UP BABY, it never fails to crack me up. On the other hand, I absolutely loathe WHAT'S UP, DOC, maybe because I can't stand Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal.

Anything with the Marx brothers is a gas.

 

BUB has it's fans. Bogdanovich included, which is how we got WUD.

I could take Barbra in those days. I actually remember thinking she was kinda cute. And her character was. Ryan? I could have done as well. 

The jokes mostly worked. Austin Pendleton and Kenny Mars were fun. The Keatonesque visual gags (let's see if that gets by the censor) were excellent in the runaway dragon sequence.

But comedy isn't meant to age, so I don't blame either for not holding up entirely. 

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1 minute ago, LuckyDan said:

BUB has it's fans. Bogdanovich included, which is how we got WUD.

I could take Barbra in those days. I actually remember thinking she was kinda cute. And her character was. Ryan? I could have done as well. 

The jokes mostly worked. Austin Pendleton and Kenny Mars were fun. The Keatonesque visual gags (let's see if that gets by the censor) were excellent in the runaway dragon sequence.

But comedy isn't meant to age, so I don't blame either for not holding up entirely. 

BRINGING UP BABY holds up just well and fine for me. Still won't be able to sell me on WHAT'S UP, DOC though. As I've said, not keen on Streisand or O'Neal at all.

 

 

 

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Just now, Bethluvsfilms said:

BRINGING UP BABY holds up just well and fine for me. Still won't be able to sell me on WHAT'S UP, DOC though. As I've said, not keen on Streisand or O'Neal at all.

 

 

 

Not selling anything. Or buying. Glad you enjoy it. 

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7 hours ago, Toto said:

I have been a teacher to different ages and have learned to not underestimate teens. 

Agreed. I was flabbergasted when our daughter got into Sunset Blvd when she was only 15! She didn't quite get the nuances of the story but she definitely understood the manipulation & murder intrigue.

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37 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Well, that's an interesting theory, and the first time in my long life I've heard anyone declare such a theory ever. I will have to do some contemplation on this concept.

I first heard one of the Pythons talking about it years ago. I've read it from a drama critic . Ask yourself. Do you laugh at familiar jokes? There's a line in Let's Make Love where Tony Randall's character talks about how people in show business know all the old jokes. "That's why they buy new ones." 

Sometimes the execution is funny and holds up. Who's on first. Airplane. Spinal Tap.

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2 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

Agreed. I was flabbergasted when our daughter got into Sunset Blvd when she was only 15! She didn't quite get the nuances of the story but she definitely understood the manipulation & murder intrigue.

I think the way it starts helps, with the music and the ride down Sunset Blvd, and then opening with the murder.  If it had been done linearly, starting with Joe in his apartment worrying about money, I think it wouldn't grab you the way it does.

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