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Just because it's old doesn't mean it's a classic


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I really don't consider THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (1940) a classic. It's an old film with some charming, silly elements that can probably still entertain a modern audience. But classic, calling it classic, is a stretch in my opinion.

 

Meanwhile, just because something is 'new' doesn't mean it's not a classic.

 

I consider ORDINARY PEOPLE (1980) a classic. I also consider A ROOM WITH A VIEW (1985) a classic. And HOWARDS END (1992).

 

howards_end_poster.jpg

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I consider THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (1940) to be a classic, and a lot of fun too. Just like the first couple of Topper movies. Similar to the classic ABBOTT AND COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN.

 

I haven't seen those modern movies you've mentioned, so I don't know about them.

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Thank you for stating the obvious. However, the more recent movies you mentioned are not necessarily new . . . they range from 20 years to over 30 years in age. I DO think they are "new', but many even here won't.

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I try to avoid using the term classic since it means different things to different people.

 

I have no idea what 'classic' means. I also feel classic is a self serving term. Hey, what I like is classic and when others disagree,,, well they don't know what is classic!

 

All I know if that generally I enjoy studio era movies (1930 - 1968) more so than movies made after that. But since the studio era did crank out a lot of movies there are indeed many low quality films made in that era.

 

 

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Sorry, Fred. I don't consider it a classic. To me, classic implies quality and a certain level of artistry. I don't find that in INVISIBLE WOMAN.

 

Some people would not find the films I mentioned from the 80s and 90s to be new or modern at all. You do. But some of our much younger viewers would consider them ancient.

 

I cite the Redford film and the Merchant Ivory titles as classics because again, they connote a level of fine craftsmanship that I think makes them truly classic. I would also put Huston's THE DEAD in this category, a film made in 1987.

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>All I know if that generally I enjoy studio era movies (1930 - 1968) more so than movies made after that. But since the studio era did crank out a lot of movies there are indeed many low quality films made in that era.

 

I was that way. But I have changed. The more I look at Peckinpah and Aldrich and Altman from the 70s, the more I am finding real classics that are post-68. In fact, I consider Robert Aldrich my favorite director. I used to reserve that honor for Hitchcock. And speaking of Hitchcock, films like TOPAZ and FRENZY appear after '68, and they are definitely classics.

 

Recently, TCM aired Coppola's THE RAIN PEOPLE. Granted, it is no GODFATHER...but I think Shirley Knight's work in it is excellent, and I would call it a classic, if a bit unpolished and amateurish in spots.

 

As for the volume of films that were made in the studio era, there is such a thing as a classic B-film and even classic short films.

 

On the other hand, we have silent films from the 1920s that are definitely clunkers.

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But this month, you don't need to be a classic to air, you just need to have gotten an Oscar nomination or win to air.

 

Thus, a routine film such as the Robert Wagner BANNING could be on the schedule because it was nominated for Best Song - a song that even when it was new, just about nobody had ever heard since the film was there and gone in a week.

 

Personally, I didn't even consider THE INVISIBLE WOMAN to have great effects. They weren't even up to what the same John P. Fulton did seven years earlier in THE INVISIBLE MAN.

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>I was that way. But I have changed. The more I look at Peckinpah and Aldrich and Altman from the 70s, the more I am finding real classics that are post-68.

 

Oh No!!!! The POD people got to you!! Somebody put a giant seed pod in the basement of your house!!

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*I cite the Redford film and the Merchant Ivory titles as classics because again, they connote a level of fine craftsmanship that I think makes them truly classic.*

 

Recently, TCM aired Coppola's THE RAIN PEOPLE. Granted, it is no GODFATHER...but I think Shirley Knight's work in it is excellent, and *I would call it a classic, if a bit unpolished and amateurish in spots*.

 

There seems to be a contradiction here, as to what you feel is classic: "a level of fine craftmanship" and "a bit unpolished and amateurish".

 

 

Classic movies can be new or old, during the studio era and after. Of course everyone's definition of what is classic and what isn't will vary from person to person, so it's a no-win argument. What I most admire about the studio era films is that, at least for A productions, is that every department was working at the top of their game, with a level of fine craftmanship by all concerned. Whether a given movie is raised to the level of 'classic' has to do with other, often intangible odds or circumstances. Certainly, many (most?) movies today have competent craftspeople and artisans covering the bases, but since each production is an entity unto itself, that quality control exercised during the studio era is not there.

 

I do feel that the studio era had a higher ratio of 'classic' movies to non-classic than in the period since. Although production values and level of craftmanship have much to do with my moviegoing enjoyment, they have next to nothing to do with whether I view a given film as classic or not.

 

 

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I have to admit I have no idea what you are trying to get at. i.e. what 'way' you think I am.

 

I enjoy many post 1968 movies. Many. When I use the term 'more so' it means,, well 'more so'.

 

I like Thai food more so than Chinese. Next you will be assuming I don't like Chinese food. !

 

But everyone knows only Italian food is classic! :)

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>There seems to be a contradiction here, as to what you feel is classic: "a level of fine craftmanship" and "a bit unpolished and amateurish".

 

There is no contradiction.

 

Knight's work in it is very much a sort of fine craftsmanship, and I think that Coppola has some moments where he shines as director even if some scenes are not entirely smooth. This is because he is experimenting and including a few documentary-type aspects in a film that is otherwise a fictional narrative.

 

Overall, THE RAIN PEOPLE a film that has many classic aspects to it and should be considered a classic. So, to say a film is not perfect (or more accurately, not perfectly realized or understood), but yet call it a classic, that is not a contradiction.

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>Personally, I didn't even consider THE INVISIBLE WOMAN to have great effects. They weren't even up to what the same John P. Fulton did seven years earlier in THE INVISIBLE MAN.

 

Right. There was a huge decline in quality.

 

INVISIBLE WOMAN borrows so heavily from: a) the original idea of THE INVISIBLE MAN; B) TOPPER; and c) from classic horror formula that is hardly novel or original.

 

What it means to me is that the writers slapped a script together with minimal preparation time. And when we combine this with the seriously lacking production values, we can see it was churned out with minimal rehearsal and recording time. Ultimate verdict: inferior product that limps by on its star-power and occasional moments of charm and humor.

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Sorry missw. I think we're not getting the point.

 

There are other implications.

 

Namely that sometimes it is Turner Old Movies, instead of Turner Classic Movies. We also have people that get upset when they see too many films from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s on the schedule. But if this is Turner Classic Movies, then it should not matter what the copyright date is on the package, as long as the product is classic film.

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>But this month, you don't need to be a classic to air, you just need to have gotten an Oscar nomination or win to air.

 

clore,

 

I am going to address this. In some ways, I do not care if TCM uses its Oscar gimmick to air certain films. Especially if it means the chance to see some neglected classic films.

 

But since I am not a fan of the Oscars and the politics of Oscar, I am not into TCM's marketing in February. I am just interested in finding films I haven't seen or films I have seen that I think are worth watching again.

 

One thing I have noticed with the Oscar-related scheduling is that we get something like SCROOGE airing during a month other than December. That's a good thing. In fact, I think holiday films should air all year if they are of good quality craftsmanship and truly classic.

 

I hope we can get beyond the sentimentality of old film and the politics of acting awards and remember to keep classic film front and center where it belongs.

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>INVISIBLE WOMAN borrows so heavily from: a) the original idea of THE INVISIBLE MAN; B) TOPPER; and c) from classic horror formula that is hardly novel or original.

 

People who like these movies don't care.

 

I'd like to see another dozen "invisible" movies, as long as they are either scary or funny or both.

 

I like Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, Son of Frankenstine, Young Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello meet Frankenstein, Frankenstein in New York, Ma and Pa Kettle meet Frankenstein, etc.

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Are all films that are x-number of years old automatically classic...?

 

By extension, does that mean that everything made in 2012 will be classic in 2112, just because it's a hundred years old, because it was made with today's limited technology and by artists that are probably long-since dead.

 

If we can empirically define classic, and if we can pinpoint the historical and cultural aspects of film using theatre and camera as voyeurist's tool into the personality and behavior of society during a given age, then we can not only find entertainment and amusement in such offerings, but we can put all this celluloid and its recorded images into proper context.

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