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This makes me a little sad


misswonderly3
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What does?

Well, tonight, right after the news ended at 10, I idly switched the remote to TCM, just to see what was going on.

The lovely Astaire/Rogers musical "Swingtime" was just beginning. At first I meant to just watch the first few minutes, maybe til after the "Pick Myself Up" number. But I couldn't stop. The film is so delightful, such a sweet and innocent escape from my stressed-filled world to the enchanting art deco world filled with beautiful melodies and perfect dancing, that I had to stay there right to the end.

 

It's got such great songs, like all the F and G movies. And the final number, "Never Gonna Dance", so moving, as Fred and Ginger dance wordlessly and wistfully together, for what they think is the last time.

 

Anyway, blahblah, I could (and have, on previous threads here) go on and on about how much I love these wonderful old musicals.

But in fact, what I wanted to say was this. My husband and my 20-year-old son were in the same room with me. Neither of them gave "Swingtime" a glance,not once through the whole 90 minutes. My son was glued to his laptop, and my husband was reading some book about the Allman brothers. Although, probably because they could see how much I was enjoying it, neither complained, it was obvious to me that they were both glad when it was over.

 

So, what makes me sad is, this little piece of perfection that gives me so much pleasure is not valued by many people now. Not even by my own family.

And I realized that a movie like "Swingtime" is going to become more and more archaic, more and more of a museum piece, and that most people - and certainly most young people - will simply regard it as a kind of antique, with nothing to hold their interest. I didn't even try to get my son to appreciate it; he was annoyed that I hadn't switched to the sports report, complaining that he "hardly ever watches television anymore" (he's a university student in residence, and anyway, most young people don't watch tv as such unless they live with their parents) and that therefore he should get to  choose what to watch when he's at home.

 

So, it felt kind of lonely, like I was one of a tiny handful of people who enjoys a film like "Swingtime", and that  even my own family has no interest in such pieces of sublime cinematic fluff.

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Some  things (fashions, music, etc)  go out of style and then , for whatever reason, they come back in style.  I live in a college town and lots of "kids" get into buying old style clothes and dressing up for some nostalgic event.  So Fred and Ginger may make a comeback yet , and no one will give a thought about the Allman brothers.

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I think that's why I come to these movie forums..like-minded people who love & appreciate films. I have to watch all my tcm movies by dvr because nobody in my family likes the same. But I should say it's kinda a miracle that dh does love a Doris Day movie & a Debbie Reynolds movie because they happened to be on during a holiday & now they've become part of our holiday tradition. People can change and discover a new found love later on...lots of people still discover the classic movies by chance.

But, honestly it is hard for me to understand the appeal of the action movies (and tv shows) dh loves to watch..all I hear are guns shooting, cars squealing, crashing, f this, f that, sound effects of people getting punched, grunts, etc. Everything LOUD - there's barely any dialogue at all! It really gives me anxiety...yes, give me a sweet musical or lighthearted, non-cynical comedy to make me happier from my stressful days any day.

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I realized that a movie like "Swingtime" is going to become more and more archaic, more and more of a museum piece, and that most people - and certainly most young people - will simply regard it as a kind of antique, with nothing to hold their interest.

 

Swing Time? Hell, most people under 40 probably feel that way about The Allman Bros.

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Maybe I'm just feeling especially emotional lately, but your post made me cry.  I know what you mean, and it's just so damn sad.  Mr. Gay D would watch a Fred and Ginger musical only at gunpoint, and probably not even then.  It's good to find kindred souls here, but I fear we're a vanishing breed.  I hope I'm wrong.

 

 

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95% of people will not listen to (or watch) anything from before their own memory. Only a fraction are willing to go outside their zone of familiarity and actively seek out work that is unfamiliar to them.

That seems an alarming statistic.  Do you think that's true with literature, and all the arts?

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What does?

Well, tonight, right after the news ended at 10, I idly switched the remote to TCM, just to see what was going on.

The lovely Astaire/Rogers musical "Swingtime" was just beginning. At first I meant to just watch the first few minutes, maybe til after the "Pick Myself Up" number. But I couldn't stop. The film is so delightful, such a sweet and innocent escape from my stressed-filled world to the enchanting art deco world filled with beautiful melodies and perfect dancing, that I had to stay there right to the end.

 

It's got such great songs, like all the F and G movies. And the final number, "Never Gonna Dance", so moving, as Fred and Ginger dance wordlessly and wistfully together, for what they think is the last time.

 

So, it felt kind of lonely, like I was one of a tiny handful of people who enjoys a film like "Swingtime", and that  even my own family has no interest in such pieces of sublime cinematic fluff.

Things we appreciate (I guess for a long time).are the Classic Movies.  While I don't mind others having their own interests, I do get discouraged that my interests seem orphaned by the general public.  The public's taste has become less refined in entertainment of all forms, considering how many CIS crime shows there are,  I fear a time will come when, in spite of all the channels out there, we find less and less actual variety of choice. 

 

Maybe we are going through a sea change again.   

 

I am glad you're here, mw, and you can vent with like-minded folks.  I love Swingtime too.  

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Probably, had it not been for the kind of '30s-'40s film fare on TV throughout my childhood years in the Fifties when Hollywood was still holding tight and white-knuckled to anything more contemporary in the catalog, I would never have gained an appreciation for those movies. Guess I'd have been turning my nose up to anything on screen previous to Mamie Van Doren and James Dean--well, that would be allowing for Kim Novak, Mitchum, Hayward and Janet Leigh, of course.

 

But nowadays, given the choice, I do go more for movies from the '50s and early-mid '60s, opting for something like James Mason, Rod Steiger, and Inger Stevens in Cry Terror, Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, Arthur Penn's Mickey One, or Robert Rossen's Lilith with Jean Seberg and Warren Beatty. I'm looking for something to carry me back to that world I knew--as I never knew the '30s and '40s. Want to go back to those streets I then walked, hear the music, see the women and girls I would have cared to love, in the way they did their hair and dressed in that world I love, more and more looking back upon. What a treasure movies are to us, for that.

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I grew up in the Fifties also, and quite a few NYC broadcast channels would show movies as Sat-Sunday afternoon and also as evening and late night content. But I had also heard the stories of our families growing up in the depression and developed a curiosity that made me enjoy the films of the 30s & 40s not for their stories exactly, which were a lot of times feel good fluff, but more for their images of the locations, landmarks, and the details of everyday life, slang, clothing styles, vehicles. I felt more connected to the past when I saw the old 3rd Avenue el (The Dark Corner, The Killer That Stalked New York), or saw new Astoria Park 80% lawn planted with small trees (Kiss Of Death), I remember sitting as a small child on that lawn between the Triboro & Hellgate bridges looking across at Wards Island (The Unsuspected) watching all the East River ship & tug traffic. Those small trees are now towering in a forest and you now have no clear view of the river but the bustling river traffic of the 50's is just a memory  it's comparatively just a trickle now. I also see the giant gas holders that used to garnish the cityscapes of America, in the old films, that were still there in the fifties but now vanished.

 

 

I get nostalgic when I see bare incandescent light bulbs. For me its more a connection to my past and the past of the family gathering & dinner table stories that I can visualize. 

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Dear Misswonderly:

 

Perhaps you'll find this a bit heartening. My 21-year-old son is away at school majoring in communications. In one of his classes he must come up with improvisation characters and develop background stories for them in only a matter of a few minutes. He does this astonishingly well (according to his instructor), and the reason for this is because his mother and I have always watched "those old black and white movies" on TCM. He draws things from film noir, the Warners gangster movies, and the WWII films. All the while, he would tell us that he didn't like all those antiques! Well, they infused his imagination in spite of his lack of enthusiasm for them.

 

Now, he really draws the line at musicals though. Can't stand them! But you know, I'm glad for the appreciation he does have for things of the past.

 

Oh, by the way, in high school he came up with an analysis of a short story in which he told the teacher that the reason for the main character's actions was that the character went to the movies frequently. Because my son knew the gangster movies of the era, he could explain why the character would act the way he did. Blew the teacher away.

 

Ok. So just little rays of hope here and there. Keep your chin up, MissWonderly. All is not lost -- yet.

 

Brian

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Some  things (fashions, music, etc)  go out of style and then , for whatever reason, they come back in style.  I live in a college town and lots of "kids" get into buying old style clothes and dressing up for some nostalgic event.  So Fred and Ginger may make a comeback yet , and no one will give a thought about the Allman brothers.

"College town"/ Is that Albright College?

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I grew up in the Fifties also, and quite a few NYC broadcast channels would show movies as Sat-Sunday afternoon and also as evening and late night content. But I had also heard the stories of our families growing up in the depression and developed a curiosity that made me enjoy the films of the 30s & 40s not for their stories exactly, which were a lot of times feel good fluff, but more for their images of the locations, landmarks, and the details of everyday life, slang, clothing styles, vehicles. I felt more connected to the past when I saw the old 3rd Avenue el (The Dark Corner, The Killer That Stalked New York), or saw new Astoria Park 80% lawn planted with small trees (Kiss Of Death), I remember sitting as a small child on that lawn between the Triboro & Hellgate bridges looking across at Wards Island (The Unsuspected) watching all the East River ship & tug traffic. Those small trees are now towering in a forest and you now have no clear view of the river but the bustling river traffic of the 50's is just a memory  it's comparatively just a trickle now. I also see the giant gas holders that used to garnish the cityscapes of America, in the old films, that were still there in the fifties but now vanished.

 

 

I get nostalgic when I see bare incandescent light bulbs. For me its more a connection to my past and the past of the family gathering & dinner table stories that I can visualize. 

 

Do you have a DVD of The Dark Corner?   I ask because MOVIES was showing this film as part of their Saturday Night Noir series.  At the end there is a scene in an art gallary and a Greek or Italian work of art is shown.   It appears MOVIES blocked out the breast on this.     As you know the movie was released in 1946 so I don't know why anyone would have to censor this movie but if you have the DVD maybe you can review this scene.  (note the work is featured a few times  once when Mark Stevens says he wants to buy it and later on when the cops show up and they are making jokes about the work of art).

 

Thanks

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What does?

Well, tonight, right after the news ended at 10, I idly switched the remote to TCM, just to see what was going on.

The lovely Astaire/Rogers musical "Swingtime" was just beginning. At first I meant to just watch the first few minutes, maybe til after the "Pick Myself Up" number. But I couldn't stop. The film is so delightful, such a sweet and innocent escape from my stressed-filled world to the enchanting art deco world filled with beautiful melodies and perfect dancing, that I had to stay there right to the end.

 

It's got such great songs, like all the F and G movies. And the final number, "Never Gonna Dance", so moving, as Fred and Ginger dance wordlessly and wistfully together, for what they think is the last time.

 

Anyway, blahblah, I could (and have, on previous threads here) go on and on about how much I love these wonderful old musicals.

But in fact, what I wanted to say was this. My husband and my 20-year-old son were in the same room with me. Neither of them gave "Swingtime" a glance,not once through the whole 90 minutes. My son was glued to his laptop, and my husband was reading some book about the Allman brothers. Although, probably because they could see how much I was enjoying it, neither complained, it was obvious to me that they were both glad when it was over.

 

So, what makes me sad is, this little piece of perfection that gives me so much pleasure is not valued by many people now. Not even by my own family.

And I realized that a movie like "Swingtime" is going to become more and more archaic, more and more of a museum piece, and that most people - and certainly most young people - will simply regard it as a kind of antique, with nothing to hold their interest. I didn't even try to get my son to appreciate it; he was annoyed that I hadn't switched to the sports report, complaining that he "hardly ever watches television anymore" (he's a university student in residence, and anyway, most young people don't watch tv as such unless they live with their parents) and that therefore he should get to  choose what to watch when he's at home.

 

So, it felt kind of lonely, like I was one of a tiny handful of people who enjoys a film like "Swingtime", and that  even my own family has no interest in such pieces of sublime cinematic fluff.

Sounds exactly like my family.  I can't get my two sons to pay a lick about the old Classics when they visit us.  They just laughingly sneer at anything old.  Neither watches much TV as they either play big screen video games or wander the internet continually  on their giant screen phones.  My wife however did wander into the room and started watching SWINGTIME from the beginning which amazed me because she normally would have been watching the last of MNF on our other TV.  She got very interested in watching F and G and their amazing graceful dancing.  In not too many years I'm afraid the Classics Movies will be just like an archaic book gathering inches of dust in the back corner of a library.  As they say:  All Glory is Fleeting.

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Do you have a DVD of The Dark Corner?   I ask because MOVIES was showing this film as part of their Saturday Night Noir series.  At the end there is a scene in an art gallary and a Greek or Italian work of art is shown.   It appears MOVIES blocked out the breast on this.     As you know the movie was released in 1946 so I don't know why anyone would have to censor this movie but if you have the DVD maybe you can review this scene.  (note the work is featured a few times  once when Mark Stevens says he wants to buy it and later on when the cops show up and they are making jokes about the work of art).

 

Thanks

I'll check, I know the scene you mean.

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Well, I gotta say here that while I suppose I can see the reason for all these "laments", I've recently gotten a whole NEW perspective on all this.

 

Uh huh, whenever I hear some person express those thoughts about not caring for "old movies", I just think of myself as one o' THESE...

 

co·gno·scen·te 

n. pl. co·gno·scen·ti
A person with superior, usually specialized knowledge or highly refined taste; a connoisseur.
 

 

...and begin to feel SO much better about the situation by thinking how "superior" I am in comparison to the Hoi polloi !!!

 

(...I mean it DOES say "superior" up there in that definition, now doesn't IT???!!!) LOL

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Probably, had it not been for the kind of '30s-'40s film fare on TV throughout my childhood years in the Fifties when Hollywood was still holding tight and white-knuckled to anything more contemporary in the catalog, I would never have gained an appreciation for those movies. Guess I'd have been turning my nose up to anything on screen previous to Mamie Van Doren and James Dean--well, that would be allowing for Kim Novak, Mitchum, Hayward and Janet Leigh, of course.

 

But nowadays, given the choice, I do go more for movies from the '50s and early-mid '60s, opting for something like James Mason, Rod Steiger, and Inger Stevens in Cry Terror, Hitchcock's The Trouble with Harry, Arthur Penn's Mickey One, or Robert Rossen's Lilith with Jean Seberg and Warren Beatty. I'm looking for something to carry me back to that world I knew--as I never knew the '30s and '40s. Want to go back to those streets I then walked, hear the music, see the women and girls I would have cared to love, in the way they did their hair and dressed in that world I love, more and more looking back upon. What a treasure movies are to us, for that.

One of the pleasures of old movies for me is watching the LA of old, of which I remember snatches.  Last week, it was a pleasure to see ILLEGAL (and another movie with EGR, and with George Raft and Audrey Totter-can't remember the name), as there are scenes of Los Angeles long gone.  In ILLEGAL especially, I paused whenever the shot was of downtown LA, such as the block bounded by Temple/First/Broadway and Spring; there is nothing left of those buildings, although I have vague recollections of them all (the Criminal Courts Bldg. where some of the action took place, was the last to be torn down).  Or the LA Times Bldg across the street, before it took up the whole block.  Other shots of downtown streets reveal how much was razed in the late 50s and 60s, for parking lots.  What a shame!

 

Btw, misswonderly, I think there is a new generation of kids predisposed to appreciate these old musicals.  Those shows like Dancing With The Stars or Glee have conditioned young viewers to great singing, dancing and staging of musical numbers.  With some exposure to Fred and Ginger on TCM or wherever, a fan of classic films might be born.

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One of the pleasures of old movies for me is watching the LA of old, of which I remember snatches.  Last week, it was a pleasure to see ILLEGAL (and another movie with EGR, and with George Raft and Audrey Totter-can't remember the name), as there are scenes of Los Angeles long gone.  In ILLEGAL especially, I paused whenever the shot was of downtown LA, such as the block bounded by Temple/First/Broadway and Spring; there is nothing left of those buildings, although I have vague recollections of them all (the Criminal Courts Bldg. where some of the action took place, was the last to be torn down).  Or the LA Times Bldg across the street, before it took up the whole block.  Other shots of downtown streets reveal how much was razed in the late 50s and 60s, for parking lots.  What a shame!

 

 

Great point here about the L.A. of old for us native Angelenos, Arturo. In fact, just as everybody was about to be "suspended" from the boards the other day, I tried to post a similar thought in the THE RECKLESS MOMENT thread, a movie filmed in part of downtown and in Balboa/Newport Beach.

 

Another movie which was shown on TCM about a year ago or so and which featured terrific location shots of Los Angeles of this same early '50s era was the very well done Noir film CRIME WAVE, which starred dancer Gene Nelson before he would go on to become more of a film and TV director.

 

Gotta question for ya here: In many of those movie shots of downtown during that era there's often shown an enormous cylindrical water tower in the background which I distinctly remember seeing as a kid whenever our family would venture downtown for some reason such as going to one of those grand old movie palaces there. I don't think it still stands, but do you know where exactly it was located?

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A unique way of looking at it, Dargo. ;)

 

And don't you love the term hoi polloi?  Alas, the spell checker (aka Miss W's Otto Senor or was it Senor Otto?!) isn't so keen on it.

 

Misswonderly's locution is "Ottosenselessor" I do believe. Love it.

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Great point here about the L.A. of old for us native Angelenos, Arturo. In fact, just as everybody was about to be "suspended" from the boards the other day, I tried to post a similar thought in the THE RECKLESS MOMENT thread, a movie filmed in part of downtown and in Balboa/Newport Beach.

 

Another movie which was shown on TCM about a year ago or so and which featured terrific location shots of Los Angeles of this same early '50s era was the very well done Noir film CRIME WAVE, which starred dancer Gene Nelson before he would go on to become more of a film and TV director.

 

Gotta question for ya here: In many of those movie shots of downtown during that era there's often shown an enormous cylindrical water tower in the background which I distinctly remember seeing as a kid whenever our family would venture downtown for some reason such as going to one of those grand old movie palaces there. I don't think it still stands, but do you know where exactly it was located?

 

The Breaking Point is another movie filmed in Balboa/Newport Beach.   Going there tonight for dinner to the place owned by Molto Batali. 

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The Breaking Point is another movie filmed in Balboa/Newport Beach.   Going there tonight for dinner to the place owned by Molto Batali. 

 

Yeah, that's right! That Garfield movie was filmed there too, James. Good mention!

 

(...btw, heres'a hopin' you have'a molto bene dinner there'a tonight'a) ;)

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This thread really tugged at me. When my family first got cable in the mid to later 1980's there was American Movie Classics (the real thing, commercial free old movies not shown on TV in decades if at all). Then came TNT and even though they had commercials they started showing all these old MGM and Warner Bros films. Finally TCM in 1994. My cable provider didn't offer it till a year later and I got it as soon as it was available.

 

Ever since I was a child I had a love for older movies. Once we got cable I would watch all these great old movies with my parents. They were from the depression era so as they watched they'd relay all kinds of nice stories about those times. It seemed like those movies took them back and they would relive their memories of days gone by. It was great quality time.

Then they both passed away. I had a good friend that also loved old movies so we'd get together, buy

some goodies and snacks and sit and watch TCM. He also passed away. So for all these years I sit

and watch these movies alone. None of my family members or friends have the slightest interest in these movies. They would rather watch something recent with lots of action such as bombings, explosions and violence. For me, there's too much of this in the real world. I want to watch these older movies to escape to a different time and era. It's a wonderful escape to watch the fantastic dancing of Astaire and Rogers on those gorgeous sets. It's a dream world. It's just sad that I don't know anyone who has the same interest and enthusiasm. Many of my family and friends don't even know who I'm talking about if I mention Jimmy Cagney or Betty Grable. Nor do they care. They might know the name Joan Crawford from "Mommie Dearest" or they might have heard the name Harlow but they don't know anything about them.

 

I am thankful for this forum as it shows that there are many other people interested in these films and stars. I know I'm not alone even if they don't live near me.

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