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Hollywood's Golden Age: A Cause for Celebration


lzcutter
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I know there are lots of folks on this board who rightly love the Golden Age of Hollywood and mourn its passing (count me in as I have been a fan of the movies since a teenager in the 1960s).

 

There are numerous threads lamenting the passing of that era and just as many threads about how today's movies and stars can't hold a candle to the old days.

 

I got to thinking about this while away on business and hope this posts.

 

Instead of being sad that the Golden Age of Hollywood has passed, perhaps the way to look at it is that it lasted so very long. From 1930 to the late 1970s, the stars of Hollywood were still considered royalty. You could watch them on talk shows, variety shows, they were always at the Oscars, you could read about them in the papers and in the gossip columns. They were writing books about their lifes and we we were able to follow it all.

 

In the last 15 years or so, movies have undergone a profound change moving from concentrating on the entire audience to more and more concentrating on the demographic audience of teenagers. Technology has changed not only our own lives but the movies as well. CGI makes anything possible it seems and that has brought a host of problems. Another poster to this board talked about the death of the fictional story in magazine writing and why good stories are so hard to find.

 

Given today's youth and with so many things vying for our attention (Ipods, Itunes, video games, dvds, movies, reality shows, pay for view, etc), nothing seems to built to last. Things are much more disposable than they were even 25 years ago.

 

The Golden Age of Hollywood (with ups and downs) lasted almost 50 years. We should celebrate that longevity. We will never see it again in our lifetimes. We should talk about with our children and grandchildren.

 

Yes it's sad that it is gone but the society and culture that made it possible is gone. Life evolves and things are always changing. In many ways, the old moguls who ruled the town with their iron fists were not always very adept at changing. Television and the break-up of the studios owning theatres were the first signs that big changes were coming. And yet, those stars held on and held our attention.

 

That era was something special but it had a very dark side to it as well and you can not wish for that era to come back without getting that dark side as part of the bargain (that old adage about be careful what you wish for). The changes that began in Post War America (both technological and societal) were inevitable and could not be stopped and we are all better people (and a better society) for many of those changes.

 

So, I say we celebrate and appreciate that era for its good things: its longevivty, for its seemingly endless talent, for its beauty and its ability to inspire. Like Whitman Samplers, the 5 and Dime, Currier and Ives and the variety show, it is an era that we will never see again in our lifetimes and comparing today's culture and movies to that era's is like comparing apples to kumquats.

 

So celebrate!

 

Lynn in Sherman Oaks

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Hear, hear, Lynn! I love the classic films of the golden age of Hollywood, AND I am grateful to be living in a time when many of them can still be seen on dvd and TCM! I remember growing up in the 1970's when I could only hope that my local PBS station or late night movie show would show a classic film. I remember seeing a photo of Judy Garland from MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS in a book and waiting several YEARS before I actually saw the film, because it was never shown on tv. Now I own the dvd with all the great extras and the restored picture and sound.

 

Sandy K

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Funny Lynn you should mention celebration of "an era gone by"....

 

I was fortunate enough to visit the Sunset-Gower Studios, which is the former Columbia Pictures lot and at one point I stood outside of a sound stage, the first thing came to mind was "So this is where Harry Cohn ruled.....where the Stooges filmed their shorts....where the 'Blondie' pictures were filmed, as well as 'It Happened one Night' 'His Girl Friday' and many, many others. Now there are sitcoms taped on the lot.

 

Yes, it did bring back many memories....but as you said, at least we have those memories to cherish. We are living in a "disposable" age, in which anything--from TV shows to cars--are 'here today, gone tomorrow"

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