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EugeniaH

How Do You Choose Your Movies?

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I love musicals. I'm tempted to say this is because I love music, but that would be unfair to those who are not musical fans, it implies that they do not like music. I know this is not so, because my husband is the biggest, most dedicated music fan I know, his knowledge and interest in music spans many eras and many genres. He is always playing music in our home (Cd's).

Yet he has no interest in musicals, and in fact generally dislikes them. (Maybe, like you Tom, he makes an exception with *Singing in the Rain*.)

 

But the main reason I like musicals is because I like the music in them. Music and dancing. There's nothing more enjoyable to me than seeing great dancing to equally great music in a film.

Now, obviously the music has to be good. There are a lot of musicals with completely forgettable music and unimpressive dancing. These I have no interest in.

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Yep Tom, as you probably noticed down there when I got all mushy ;) , I listed "comedy" FIRST as to the "attributes" of how I feel about this superior piece of cinema.

 

(...though that probably wasn't a surprise to ya EITHER, was it!) ;)

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote} I have to admit that there are about 10 musicals I absolutely love, including Singing In The Rain, but mainly those 3 classic Berkeleys from 1933. I pray to Buddha in the Joss House that those films will always be with us, and I could probably watch Cagney and Keeler performing "Shanghai Lil" in an endless loop for 24 hours and still never get sick of it. To me that song is *the* cinematic highlight of the 1930's.

 

OMG, I SO agree with you about those Busby 1933 musical gemstones!!! They SO rock!!

 

I tend to dig pre-code and early talkie musicals the most, for the most part!

 

 

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I agree with Eugenia, Geminigirl, that is a really cool way of determining what to watch!!! I usually have so many films from TCM backlogged on the trusty DVR that I usually stick with that, and even then, I'm sometimes all in a tizzy as to what to watch next!!! Just so many groovy flix to be diggin'!!

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Throw a dart at a board :^0 . Nah, depends on mood. I can go from watching something like A Tree Grows in Brooklyn to Scarface to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I'm about as random as random can be. :)

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You bring up an interesting point, lanceroten... I don't think I could easily go from one extreme to the other in watching films, one after the next. If I'm watching a movie that moves me very deeply, like some involving woman's "weepie", I couldn't switch gears straight away and see something like "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" that would make me dive under my couch in fright. :)

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If I absolutely can't make up my mind what to watch, I'll just watch the oldest recording on the DVR. Right now, I think that's *Arrowsmith*.

 

I'm not a musical fan either, but with lots of exceptions - Busby B., The Marx Bros., Danny Kaye, *The Ruling Class*, 50s rock and roll films...

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Glad you like my system! I do have an exception to my rule: musicals. I am not a huge fan of this genre, but there are four that I do own, one being "West Side Story", my favorite. I have to be in the mood and have the time (like Eugenia stated) to sit through a musical, so when I chose Natalie Wood as my first link last night, WSS was not an option. And to be honest, TCM shows my four favs so much, I really could have saved that money!

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On the other side of the coin, I have a friend who doesn't watch classic movies - except musicals. All she likes of "old movies" are the musicals! :)

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Why Eugenia! You've never told us before that you were friends with Chita Rivera!!!

 

;)

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LOL... (Hey, did anyone watch "Carousel" and "My Gal Sal" today? ;) )

 

The friend I'm referring to I rarely ever see anymore, but I remembered her now. I remember that her mother used to buy her musical DVDs as gifts.

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Yep, I did read that. No surprise to me, you music maven, you. :) If I happen to catch Astaire and Rogers on screen I love to watch them dance, but I don't go out of my way to see a musical from start to finish. I guess I shouldn't be so picky.

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Interesting thread. I am often wondering about this when I am craving to watch a new movie. The methods are constantly changing and evolving as I get older and my schedule and tastes are constantly changing.

 

As a little girl, I was obsessed with classic movies as a girl, I used to watch almost anything old or classic.

 

Sometimes, I would pick based on who is starring or directing. Sometimes, I might even watch a movie if the pairing sounds interesting, even if the actors, themselves might not always pop out to me, (ex: Tyrone Power/Loretta Young, Joan Crawford/Clark Gable,

 

Sometimes, I accidentally stumble upon something or someone new and I would look up their movies, (ex: Jane Greer, Una Merkel, Giulietta Masina, etc)

 

Sometimes, I'll watch by genre: Pre-code, Screwball Comedies, Noir, etc.

 

Sometimes, I'll just turn on the tv and let myself be surprised without even reading what the movie is about. Unfortunately, I don't get to do this as much either because I am busy or I come in the middle of a movie. -_-"

 

Most of the time, I'll just tune in to see what Robert Osbourne has to say about a movie because a lot of times a plot won't sound interesting to me, but I'll end up loving the movie because the presentation is so magnificent. So, I let Osbourne coax me into watching something and I'll find it worth my time. =)

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Great post, forlorn_rage. Welcome to the boards! Touching on your thoughts below, when I was first really getting into classic movies "seriously" (I watched them when I was a kid, but only recently has it turned into a hobby), I would start by genre first, but then if there was an actor or actress who really grabbed me, I would "change course" and watch all the movies with that person in it. But that can get kind of tiresome, in a way...

 

I subscribe to Classicflix DVD rental, and I didn't mix up the queue enough, so lately all I'm getting in the mail are Crawford and Gable movies. Now, I love Gable and they are "smoking" together, but at this point I open the envelope and think, "Another one?" :^0

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There are certain genres I really like: precode, noir, crime and mystery, late silent period, horror - usually something from these categories is a safe bet for me. Buster Keaton can always make me smile.

 

There are certain genres that (overall) I don't like - westerns and period pieces made right after the production code came in. Musicals are on a case by case basis. I love the Busby Berkeley musicals and Singin in the Rain and Astaire & Rogers. I just can't take American in Paris or Gigi or Kismet. All are tiresome to me.

 

Anything with Barbra Streisand in the credits is like yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre. I'll risk being trampled to death to get to the exits.

 

I like to be surprised, but we're living in an age where discovery in the realm of film is almost impossible since old movies are only broadcast on three stations (for us Directv subscribers that is) - the Fox Movie Channel 3AM - 3PM, Cinemoi plays the old Columbias, and TCM, of course, is the only station that plays classic film 24/7/365. So in this digital age I can find almost any film as long as I know in advance what film I'm looking for.

 

In many ways, youtube is becoming what cable TV was originally 30 - 35 years ago. In the past few weeks I've seen "The Night has A Thousand Eyes" starring Edward G. Robinson, "The Tattered Dress" with Jeff Chandler, a British noir - "The Man in the Back Seat", and "Slaughter on 10th Avenue". None of these are available on DVD and they were pleasant surprises. There's a yoututbe user named MrFlimSchatten who uploads tons of public domain films. Rather than pay Amazon Prime or buy Alpha discs ( who has gone MOD rather than pressed by the way), it's an excellent free way to discover some pretty good old stuff to which nobody controls the rights anymore.

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*Anything with Barbara Streisand in the credits is like yelling "Fire" in a crowded theatre. I'll risk being trampled to death to get to the exits.*

 

LOL! ]:)

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I have several different methods. There are specific genres that I am so fond of, that I try to watch every movie I can find in that genre (for example, World War II films, Film Noir, Espionage, Screwball Comedies, etc.) Also, the era the film was made in sometimes makes one film more attractive to me than others - the late 1940's and the early 60's are favorite time periods for me. The star will make a big impact on my choice, my most favorite actors and actresses I will try to watch their entire body of work if I can. Finally, if I have heard great things about a fiolm I have not seen, or if it is known to be an "essential" film, I will be more liekly to watch it.

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By season of the year (sometimes).

 

When my wife and I are trying to decide on a movie to watch, if we don't have something particular in mind (like wanting to see, for example, a Cary Grant movie or a Hitchcock movie), we'll often look for a movie that's set at about the same time of year that we're in at the time.

 

For example, if it's autumn, we might want to watch THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY or THE MALE ANIMAL. If it's summer, we might take a look at THE TALK OF THE TOWN, REAR WINDOW, GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE, THE MORE THE MERRIER, or THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH. You get the idea.

 

We might also choose a movie that features a holiday or other significant day that's coming up. For example, we'd watch AH, WILDERNESS!, JUDGE HARDY AND SON, or HOUSEBOAT for the 4th of July. For Halloween, we might go for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. For Labor Day, we might pick PICNIC or a movie with a labor theme, like THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES. If Election Day is coming up, we might watch STATE OF THE UNION or THE GREAT MAN VOTES. For Thanksgiving, we might choose PLANES, TRAINS, AND AUTOMOBILES or BY THE LIGHT OF THE SILVERY MOON.

 

Of course, if it's Christmastime, there's a long, long list of possibilities, in many genres: for example, film noir (LADY IN THE LAKE), musical (WHITE CHRISTMAS, HOLIDAY INN), comedy (CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT, LOVE FINDS ANDY HARDY).

 

(These are just a few examples. We keep a running written list, organized by season, to give us reminders.)

 

 

 

 

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I have only now realized that there is a factor which can affect my choice to a great degree: the movie has been discussed on this forum.

 

There are many movies which I have watched at one time and they did not stand out so very much that the title will catch my eye but if there has been a recent discussion of it then it will at times cause me to watch it again.

 

My thinking on this is that perhaps there were external causes which affected my impression of the movie or there may have been a subplot which I did not see or it may be that I did not recognize a cultural reference which is important to understanding the movie.

 

I believe this works also in the reverse. A movie which did not make a great impression on me is not likely to be watched again if the posters whom I respect on this forum condemn it.

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I am watching every movie on the AFI's 100 Years ... series. Since last year, I have watched 216 movies on the lists.

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Welcome to the boards, JTBenson! Goodness, that's quite a heady project you're taking on. Have you chosen your favorite yet? ;)

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> {quote:title=JTBenson wrote:}{quote}I am watching every movie on the AFI's 100 Years ... series. Since last year, I have watched 216 movies on the lists.

That's not a bad plan, Benson. I received a book a while back listing 500 "must-see" movies and I started working my way through those. It was a good experience--I found myself watching movies I never would have watched because of their genre (war and western movies--yuck). But I actually enjoyed some of them--MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, FORT APACHE and BATTLEGROUND are three new favorites, all because of that book.

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