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Are you a true classic film fan or are you just a groupie?


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I have a good friend, bless her, who drives me crazy sometimes. I don't think she watches classic Hollywood movies because of a deep appreciation of anything filmic. It's more because she's obsessed with a particular star.

 

This leads me to ask: do you appreciate a classic star's talent or are you more interested in other, perhaps more physical attributes...?

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> {quote:title=TopBilled wrote:}{quote}I have a good friend, bless her, who drives me crazy sometimes. I don't think she watches classic Hollywood movies because of a deep appreciation of anything filmic. It's more because she's obsessed with a particular star.

>

> This leads me to ask: do you appreciate a classic star's talent or are you more interested in other, perhaps more physical attributes...?

>

Who knows why people watch classic films???? Oldtimers like Dobbs, for example, grew up with them, I like all films generally and watching a classic film is no different to me to watching a modern film.

Others, as you write, like certain film actors or actresses, directors, cinematographers, costume designers, etc.... Whatever...

 

I don't know, do people like Marilyn Monroe for her looks, or for her talent, or both???

Is it bad that you only like her for her looks rather than her talent?? Or vice versa?

Who's the judge of that??

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Hey, I'll admit that there are a couple of men I watch because of their looks rather than talent. But since I've been watching movies since I was a little girl (born 1953 & about to celebrate 59 years on this earth) it's mostly the films I appreciate.

 

Another admission--I do like to add to my tally of total films watched, so sometimes I'll sit through more than a few stinkers, some of them made BEFORE 1960 since that's the magic cut off point some like to throw around here.

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Well I'm only a groupie of those actors with great talent!

 

I rarely ever watch a classic (studio era), movie because it has an actress I feel is 'hot' but not that talented. For example, in my view Rita wasn't a very good actress in her early days, but I still enjoy most of the movies she was in because her co-stars were very good actors and Rita was a very good dancer. So her 'so, so' acting didn't impact the enjoyment of the movie for me.

 

 

 

 

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Interesting question. I guess my answer is both.

 

I can watch a troll (think Buscemi) if he is an excellent actor, but I can't watch a pretty boy (Robert Taylor) if he isn't a very good actor, and I certainly can't watch a troll who is a stinkeroo of an actor (Wayne).

 

But if a very good actor is good looking (Grant or Warren) then it's even more enjoyable.

 

So, I guess I'm both.

 

 

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I have to admit, when it comes to Kim Novak, I don't care how bad the film is, I just love seeing her in anything (I can't wait to see the interview she did with Robert Osborne this past April). So I guess that would make me a Kim Novak 'groupie'. But I should add, I also enjoy the classic films featuring other personalties. Another thing I'd like to add, I was never able to understand the attraction to Ava Gardner. I never thought her to be beautiful in any way, and put her next to Kim Novak and it's a "no contest". Kim has Ava beat in every department.

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Obviously, based on the name I chose, I play the role of groupie on this board. I'm serious about the research I've done and am doing, but I take a more flamboyant approach to my posting on my subject in order to be entertaining and maybe get her a little attention. I will admit that approach has been more effective at CFU and Facebook than here.

 

OTOH, I do consider myself a classic film fan, just not an expert like so many others here. I know what I like and watch accordingly without any real thought about how great the sets or lighting or costuming is. I like story and actors.

 

I love a lot of different types of films, my favorite being noir (surprised?), but I can pass on virtually any type of swashbuckling.

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We all have different likes/dislikes and they can all be at play at the same time, or not. One of my favorite films is "A Man for All Seasons". I am a fan of Redgrave, York, Robert Shaw and John Hurt but I really love it b/c it's a damned great film. I also love films set in that time. "Magnificent Seven" is another. I am not a particular fan of most of the actors but the movie is mesmerizing.

 

I'l watch just about any pre Code film mostly b/c I love the feel of the films. Same goes for RKO films. With RKO I love the Art Deco look in the Fred/Ginger movies. But I also happen to love F/G films and adore the supporting actors like Blore, Pangborne and Horton. Universal Horror movies also reel me in without fail.

 

I also am a sucker for certain actors...Eddie G., Cagney, Bogart, Bette, Ida Lupino and Claude Raines. I love John Wayne westerns. They are like comfort food to me. Westerns in general make me feel good. I love watching Bonanza reruns.

 

Oh, and I sometimes like to watch bad films with bad or barely adequate actors. I'm thinking Ronald Reagan. I love "Kings Row" ( I know it's his best role and best film) and I love him in it. I like him when he's playing the good natured best pal which is often what he portrayed.. He's just likable to me on screen. Hated his politics like nobody's biz, but that's irrelevant.

 

I can't really discuss intricate details of a movie as I just don't analyze , I merely watch and enjoy or not. I know what I like.

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Such thoughtful and well-constructed responses...!

 

If I am going to be a 'groupie' for a star it has to be someone with undeniable talent. Like how come Martha Raye, who does almost all her own stunts in those Paramount musical comedies she made---why isn't she the subject of renewed interest. She could mug, she could dance, she could sing, she could do stunts-- yeah, I will gladly be a cheerleader for her.

 

Also, I tend to root for the underdog, so I usually dig for obscure artists whose original audience has probably left this world and who I think should be mentioned to new classic film fans. I love finding out about someone like Armida or the Weavers or a gal like Jane Frazee.

 

When it comes to Ruth Roman, however, I probably am a little more devoted. I am fascinated by how she sells herself on screen.

 

And I am always intrigued by a Barbara Stanwyck performance, because I feel like she has rehearsed everything at least ten times and it looks easy for her and she's waiting for everyone else to rehearse it nine more times to catch up to her.

 

Then, there's Gary Cooper, who is Mr. Zen and who pours a spiritual peace into me with every performance.

 

Because of all these people, I am a true classic film fan.

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TopBilled, I like your comment about Martha Raye. I haven't thought about her in ages. I think TCM should do a day on her birthday. Not sure how many films she made in which she was a standout but I'm sure there's 5 or so films that could be shown during the day.

 

I mean if they can do a whole 24 hours on Jimmy Caan.... no offense, Jimmy.

 

 

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>TopBilled, I like your comment about Martha Raye. I haven't thought about her in ages. I think TCM should do a day on her birthday. Not sure how many films she made in which she was a standout but I'm sure there's 5 or so films that could be shown during the day.

 

Thanks. She was under contract at Paramount and had lead roles in several big budget films for them...her best ones are with Bob Hope, like GIVE ME A SAILOR and BIG BROADCAST OF 1938. Then, she had multi-picture deals at Universal (HELLZAPOPPIN) and Fox (FOUR JILLS IN A JEEP) in the early 40s where she was again prominently featured. Chaplin hired her for MONSIEUR VERDOUX, which is probably her greatest performance (and his). And she also appears in JUMBO with Jimmy Durante and the divine Doris Day, which she made in the early 1960s.

 

Fox's FOR THE BOYS, starring Bette Midler (and recent SUTS honoree James Caan) is a pseudo-biographical tale of Miss Raye's years entertaining the troops.

 

All of these titles would be good for honoring her.

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I'll always watch certain actors or genres at least once, especially when those categories overlap. You can't go wrong with Stanwyck or Warren William in a pre-code, or Ryan or Lupino in a noir.

 

And I'll always avoid other actors or genres no matter what. I don't think I could make it out alive from Mickey Rooney in a juvenile or Esther Williams in a musical.

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I think the line is kinda blurred for me. I dig old movies, period! Silents through the 50's mostly. Just love watching them! Of that, I have favorite genre's or periods of time, such as pre-code flix, detective/mystery, horror, crime/gangster, film noir, and so on. But I love old movies and can always sit down to watch one! But I also have faves, like Eddie G, The Duke, Cagney, Bogie, Warren William, William Powell, Bela Lugosi...and so forth, too many to mention!

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Yes I am back to answer this age old question. I consider myself a classic movie fan but doesn't it sort of go with the territory that we should have our favorites when it comes to these terrific actors. You can't help but love most of the greats and I will watch anything that Barbara S. is in except The Big Valley, and that goes for many others that are my "favorites". I think It's just a natural crossover!

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  • 3 weeks later...

My reply is rather late, jamesjazzguitar, but yes WB is by far my favorite studio. Flynn and Olivia are mos def worthy of my love. I just didn't want to rattle off names b/c that would just take too much time.

 

So many actors to admire if not for their acting prowess then perhaps their look, attitude, etc.

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  • 1 month later...

>How can you be a groupie for someone who is no longer alive?

>Well, I thought the word 'groupie' sounded better than 'junkie.' :)

 

I thought it was time to bump this thread and bring it back to page one. I had lunch yesterday with a friend who said that when she gets out of bed in the morning, the first thing she does is look at pictures of her favorite Hollywood star on her cellphone. Some of our mutual friends think she needs counseling.

 

I find it interesting that there are women who do not work on their relationships with men in their real lives, and project some unrequited fantasy on a star that doesn't know they exist. I wonder if there have been psychological studies about it.

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Even OCD has developed a different perspective in the years. For instance, people working toward an advanced Educational degree are also obsessive, but in a way we determine is acceptable for it becomes a positive result, so it is not a disorder to our judgement. Yet the quest, however noble, may cause the obsessed goal-seeker to abandon relationships and create change in their personality.

 

An obsession or compulsion, if it doesn't create a debilitation in the person, is possibly a challenge to the person and not necessarily as serious as is suggested- particularly if there is still a network of friends for support. It maybe a case of just seeking a comfort moment, like a child comforting themselves by sucking their thumb or clinging to the blanket, or wearing a favorite tie. We all have our comfort ceremonies and practices.

 

At some point, there is growth, The one constant for anyone is change. The friend with the cell phone photo is in transition, moving from one place of comfort to another. She will grow tired of the photo looking, because nothing is changing. Stop the talking about her and keep caring TopBilled, and maybe you and your friends can be introducing her to nice guys, Especially nice ones that look like her favorite actor..

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>She will grow tired of the photo looking, because nothing is changing.

 

I think you are completely right about that. However, some of these obsessions-- fixations, actually-- run so deep that a line between reality and fantasy is blurred.

 

Yesterday, I asked her if she felt her fixation on Alex was a bit silly. She told me, in all seriousness, that he was her reason for getting out of bed in the morning.

 

Recently, I had given her some films I recorded. Of course, it was to be expected that she asked for movies with Errol Flynn and George Brent, men that she finds very attractive (though not as attractive as Alex).

 

I have been humoring her on this, but as I said in a previous post, some friends are rather concerned about her.

 

There are other women like her that I have met. They are trapped in dull marriages, with men who are good providers but not sexy or passionate. Or, they are between relationships, and the dating world is so tough, that it is easier to objectify an actor on a TV crime show or an actor in a classic film. There has to be a label for this type of condition.

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I missed the part on Alex in all of this. Alex who? Guinness or Baldwin?

 

I'm a little worried about her, since she likes Brent and Flynn but that's just me. :)

 

But are you serious? Concerned about her? I talk of wanting to have as my future husband Warren William(s for someone here who is a nutjob, can't recall at the moment), and no one bats an eye at me. They just chalk it up to my eccentricity and smile and walk away.

 

TopBilled, Shirley you don't JUDGE your friend IRRL as so many here anoymous heroes judge others, do you? Your friend should be allowed to do whatever the h*** she wants, if it doesn't hurt others, and that includes fixating on an actor or a star, dead or alive.

 

I'm guessing you are posting this to get everyone going, am I right?

 

There are other women like her that I have met.

 

And the men who, polite word chosen, *fixate* on Marilyn Monroe are okay, while the women are not?

 

Come on, you are not serious, are you?

 

There has to be a label for this type of condition.

 

Yeah, sexism, misogynism, intolerance, and take your pick of any other type of word that describes you as the right one and them as the wrong one.

 

I am hoping you did this to rile up this already intolerant board and stir the pot, am I right?

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