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When Your Friends Haven't Seen A Classic You Think Everyone Has Saw


hepclassic
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It's the holiday season (the holiday season), so woop-di-do!

 

But, I know people who know people who haven't seen essential holiday classics like White Christmas(1954), for example.

 

A friend and my classic film soulmate told me she showed it to her stepmother, and she hated it. Mind you, she is entitled to her own opinion, but it hurt my friend deeply. Anyone in the Midwest who doesn't watch White Christmas (1954) this time of year is weird to me.

 

The same for It's A Wonderful Life (1946). Another classic movie friend of mine has never seen it, and it's like "how?" 

 

But, it goes beyond just the holidays here. 

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I have many friends and aquaintences who haven't saw a "classic" I thought EVERYONE has saw.  :wacko: 

 

They haven't even SEEN them yet, either. ;)

 

But all ribbing and good natured jabbing aside, the only guy I ever knew who I could  discuss old-time ( or, "classic" if you will) movies with is someone whom I haven't been able to contact since the GM plant we both worked at closed in '88.  LONG before the advent of either TCM or even the internet and these boards.

 

But, there are a few I know who haven't seen what we here consider either holiday "classics" or just classic movies.  Not all of them mind you, but several that surprised even me.

 

A nephew who's only seen the Richard Attenborough and Mara Wilson version of "Miracle on 34th Street"(1995).  AND only the colorized version of "It's A Wonderful Life". 

 

And sadly, at his age, his only contact with "A Christmas Carol" was The MUPPETS version!  But that too, is a product of poor upbringing  ;)

 

My daughter's the same age as he, and  she's seen several versions of this story, from REGINALD OWEN, to ALISTAIR SIM, ALBERT FINNEY and beyond, but does prefer Sim's version over all of them.  SHE however, in relation to your story Hepclassic, had made special effort to see WHITE CHRISTMAS only because I informed her that IT was what Chevy Chase was referring to in CHRISTMAS VACATION when he, as Clark, angrily announced "This is gonna be the HAP-HAP HAPPIEST Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with DANNY [...] KAYE!"   :D

She liked it OK, but it's not that much of a favorite, since it's appeal is largely generational, but she's long been able to take factors like that into consideration when watching certain movies.

 

Hope yours, and all others on the boards have a smooth and uneventful(negative event, anyway) New Year's celebration.

 

Sepiatone

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While I have friends that are familiar with some of the Golden Era films and stars, they don't watch as avidly as I do, so I'm sure there are a lot of films that I've seen that they haven't.  

 

I do have a friend that has never seen The Wizard of Oz, which I find unfathomable.  He's 36 years old, I don't know how he's avoided 'Oz' for that many years.  

 

There are a ton of classic films that I haven't seen.  I'll admit that I haven't seen It's a Wonderful Life in its entirety, though I do know most of what happens and the famous quotes.  I also haven't seen Gone With the Wind in it's entirety either, but again, I'm aware of all the famous lines and events that unfold in the film.

 

There are many classic films that are discussed on these boards and elsewhere where it's taken for granted that everyone has seen such and such film.  As many times as people like to lament that such and such film is being shown again, there is always going to be somebody who has never seen it.  Many times, that person is probably me.  

 

I love White Christmas and my friend who hasn't seen 'Oz' and isn't a fan of musicals, watched White Christmas and enjoyed it.  

 

For the record, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a great film and telling of the classic 'Christmas Carol' story.  

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While I have friends that are familiar with some of the Golden Era films and stars, they don't watch as avidly as I do, so I'm sure there are a lot of films that I've seen that they haven't.  

 

I do have a friend that has never seen The Wizard of Oz, which I find unfathomable.  He's 36 years old, I don't know how he's avoided 'Oz' for that many years.  

 

There are a ton of classic films that I haven't seen.  I'll admit that I haven't seen It's a Wonderful Life in its entirety, though I do know most of what happens and the famous quotes.  I also haven't seen Gone With the Wind in it's entirety either, but again, I'm aware of all the famous lines and events that unfold in the film.

 

There are many classic films that are discussed on these boards and elsewhere where it's taken for granted that everyone has seen such and such film.  As many times as people like to lament that such and such film is being shown again, there is always going to be somebody who has never seen it.  Many times, that person is probably me.  

 

I love White Christmas and my friend who hasn't seen 'Oz' and isn't a fan of musicals, watched White Christmas and enjoyed it.  

 

For the record, The Muppet Christmas Carol is a great film and telling of the classic 'Christmas Carol' story.  

 

Funny but this thread made me think of you.  Why?  Well because you're really into studio-era films (duh) but I have often been surprised when a film comes up and you say you haven't seen it.   Of course the reason is that your younger then most of us at this forum and \ or haven't been into studio-era films as long (e.g. I've been checking off 'I've seen' studio-era films off my bucket list for over 30 years).

 

As for the topic here;  there isn't one film I ever assume everyone has seen (even everyone in the USA),  because there are so many people I know that have only seen a handful of studio-era films.    I believe the most seen American studio-era film in the USA is the Wizard of Oz but I would never assume everyone has seen it.  My wild guess is that 20% of so of folks living in the USA have never seen OZ.

 

In addition with most of my friends and family I get the opposite reaction;  e.g. "what you haven't seen 'this film released in 2013??'  you're kidding right,  everyone has seen this!".    NO I haven't.   Out of the post studio-era films released, even the major ones (e.g. Oscar winners) I have seen less than 1% of them since I still have so many unseen movies on my studio-era bucket list.    Most I have seen while flying when the choices are limited.

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Funny but this thread made me think of you.  Why?  Well because you're really into studio-era films (duh) but I have often been surprised when a film comes up and you say you haven't seen it.   Of course the reason is that your younger then most of us at this forum and \ or haven't been into studio-era films as long (e.g. I've been checking off 'I've seen' studio-era films off my bucket list for over 30 years).

 

As for the topic here;  there isn't one film I ever assume everyone has seen (even everyone in the USA),  because there are so many people I know that have only seen a handful of studio-era films.    I believe the most seen American studio-era film in the USA is the Wizard of Oz but I would never assume everyone has seen it.  My wild guess is that 20% of so of folks living in the USA have never seen OZ.

 

In addition with most of my friends and family I get the opposite reaction;  e.g. "what you haven't seen 'this film released in 2013??'  you're kidding right,  everyone has seen this!".    NO I haven't.   Out of the post studio-era films released, even the major ones (e.g. Oscar winners) I have seen less than 1% of them since I still have so many unseen movies on my studio-era bucket list.    Most I have seen while flying when the choices are limited.

 

Lol.  This thread made me think of myself as well.  While I'd seen the classics here and there when I was younger (mostly through video rental and even then, I was usually renting Hayley Mills movies.  I eventually moved into renting Lucille Ball, Hitchcock, Gene Kelly and Audrey Hepburn films), I didn't watch them actively and since DVR wasn't a "thing" yet and a kid could only afford to acquire so many VHS tapes for recording, I didn't have many opportunities to record.  I mostly recorded I Love Lucy and episodes of Biography off of A&E.  It isn't until I got TCM in about '07 or so, that I've really been able to watch studio era films more consistently and actively.

 

I also might approach my film watching differently than others here.  I tend to seek out films based on the cast or director.  Like I said before, my initial entrance into classic film was Lucille Ball.  I was and still am a huge fan of I Love Lucy.  I found out that Ball had appeared in a bunch of films prior to I Love Lucy, so I started seeking out those films.  From watching Lucy's films, I discovered other actors and started seeking their films out, from those films, I'd discover even more actors I enjoy.  This is how I discover new favorite performers all the time courtesy of TCM.  If the film doesn't have a clear "draw," then I'll usually pass it by when it airs on TCM.  Perhaps by the next time it airs, there will be something to make me want to see the film. 

 

As for the new films, I mostly see the superhero and animated films, as those are the ones my husband is most interested in and these are the films that make the best use of the theater environment.  I will usually wait until the film is in the second run theaters if it isn't CGI/Special Effects driven or isn't animated.  I will go see the TCM releases if they are interesting and I'm able to get there on time and don't forget to go.  I want to see Trumbo, Spotlight and The Good Dinosaur.  My husband wants to see the new Star Wars movie, I couldn't care less about Star Wars, but we'll probably end up seeing that and 'Dinosaur' in the theater.  I'll probably get Trumbo and Spotlight on RedBox.  There are those people who pretty much rent/watch any new film that is released.  That's not me.  Like with studio era films (and any film really), there has to be some type of draw to make me want to watch the film.

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I lived in Georgia for a few years and worked with a pretty young woman who identified strongly with being a typical southern belle.  One day I made reference to something from Gone With the Wind, and she said she had never seen it. Seriously, she grew up a few miles from Atlanta and had never seen Gone With the Wind!  I still can't get over that.

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I live in a part of town where styles of the fifties will never die. Many women who dress like either Betty Page or Marilyn Monroe yet, couldn't name on film either one was in. They just like the hair and makeup and stuff like that. I have educated quite a few of them, especially when a film is coming on soon. 

 

Most my friends have no clue about classic film so they wouldn't know where to begin. So I have to wait till something comes on the schedule that will hold their interest. I got one friend to sit through all five hours of GWTW and of course he loved it. Even NBNW too. And he's now a favorite of Audrey Hepburn. Now he is married so he can pretend to be an expert lol. 

 

I use guides and charts like AFI's list to give me ideas. And once I watch a film with a certain actor or actress, then I search for more with that person. And go from there. That "History of Film" series was very helpful also. But, when I saw that list of 100 greatest films and I had only seen like 35, I knew I had work to do.

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A friend of mine in his 60s had not only not seen The Wizard of Oz but had no desire to do so because it was an old film.

 

As for myself, I haven't seen some film called The Sound of Music. I understand that a few others have.

Anyone in his sixties who has a burning desire to see THE WIZARD OF OZ needs a life re-evaluation.

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Anyone in his sixties who has a burning desire to see THE WIZARD OF OZ needs a life re-evaluation.

 

I think it's safe to say my friend didn't have that burning desire. I couldn't even get him to be vaguely curious about it. The only thing only his mind was that it was "old."

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I think it's safe to say my friend didn't have that burning desire. I couldn't even get him to be vaguely curious about it. The only thing only his mind was that it was "old."

 

I believe DGF point was that OZ is a children's story and if one hasn't seen it by the time they are 18 or so,  I wouldn't recommend it.

 

Instead a movie like The Adventure of Robin Hood, which you mentioned,   would be my first choice to introduce someone to studio-era films.

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I believe DGF point was that OZ is a children's story and if one hasn't seen it by the time they are 18 or so,  I wouldn't recommend it.

 

Instead a movie like The Adventure of Robin Hood, which you mentioned,   would be my first choice to introduce someone to studio-era films.

 

Yes, but, but James! That Errol Flynn movie is even a whole year OLDER than the OZ flick!!!

 

(...and so, if Tom's friend ALREADY thinks some movie made in 1939 is "old", then doncha think Tom would be fightin' against even GREATER resistance from his friend in order for him to have his friend sit his butt down and watch the Flynn flick???!!!)

 

LOL

 

;)

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Yes, but, but James! That Errol Flynn movie is even a whole year OLDER than the OZ flick!!!

 

(...and so, if Tom's friend ALREADY thinks some movie made in 1939 is "old", then doncha think Tom would be fightin' against even GREATER resistance from his friend in order for him to have his friend sit his butt down and watch the Flynn flick???!!!)

 

LOL

 

;)

 

You're likely correct but TAORH does have a lot going for it as it relates to an 'old' film since it has many of the same features of a film made today;

 

Color,  action,  adventure,   light romance,   killings,   a sound hero,  a historical setting (versus a modern 30s setting which would be 'dated') 

 

So in this way the film is similar to a modern action film set in a historical period.    Yea,  it still might lay an egg but I really feel it would have the best chance over other films from the studio-era.

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You're likely correct but TAORH does have a lot going for it as it relates to an 'old' film since it has many of the same features of a film made today;

 

Color,  action,  adventure,   light romance,   killings,   a sound hero,  a historical setting (versus a modern 30s setting which would be 'dated') 

 

So in this way the film is similar to a modern action film set in a historical period.    Yea,  it still might lay an egg but I really feel it would have the best chance over other films from the studio-era.

 

Yeah, I know. ;)

 

I was just making fun of the absolutely LAME idea that ANYONE would use the "excuse" of some film being "old" in order to discount it as being "not worthy of seeing", THAT'S all.

 

(...this sort of thing always kind'a reminds me of all the people out there who have little knowledge in the subject of History, and then will excuse THIS by saying something as equally stupid as "That happened before I was even born, and so why do I need to know about that?")

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Yeah, I know. ;)

 

I was just making fun of the absolutely LAME idea that ANYONE would use the "excuse" of some film being "old" in order to discount it as being "not worthy of seeing", THAT'S all.

 

(...this sort of thing always kind'a reminds me of all the people out there who have little knowledge in the subject of History, and then will excuse THIS by saying something as equally stupid as "That happened before I was even born, and so why do I need to know about that?")

 

Well what lead to these fools being born happened before they were born but I assume they aren't aware of that either!

 

Lame ideas by lame folks.

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I believe DGF point was that OZ is a children's story and if one hasn't seen it by the time they are 18 or so,  I wouldn't recommend it.

 

Instead a movie like The Adventure of Robin Hood, which you mentioned,   would be my first choice to introduce someone to studio-era films.

 

Actually, James, that same friend did stick out Robin Hood once. But "stick it out" was the way he felt about it, too. He said the film was okay (okay, Flynn's Robin Hood, I kid you not) but that he wouldn't have stuck it out if A) it hadn't been in colour and B. it hadn't been such a lousy TV night with nothing else on - he did flick away from the movie several times, apparently, for something "better."

 

He also tried to watch two other old adventure movies, both, unfortunately for him, being black and white. Flynn's Sea Hawk he found boring and turned off after the first 15 minutes, while he couldn't get into Gunga Din at all. Now my friend was raised in Malaysia where, I guess, there wasn't much in the way of black and white films. He was raised on Elvis Presley films there and those he would watch any day.

 

It goes to show that in many instances we are often nostalgic to watch many of the kinds of films with which we grew up. He quickly turned his back on both Sea Hawk and Gunga Din (both hailed by many as classics) but give him a chance to watch an Elvis flick and he's in heaven.

 

Interestingly, the only black and white features he ever watched as a kid were the Three Stooges. He readily acknowledged that he'd still be willing to watch them again, black and white or not, for old time's sake.

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Actually, James, that same friend did stick out Robin Hood once. But "stick it out" was the way he felt about it, too. He said the film was okay (okay, Flynn's Robin Hood, I kid you not) but that he wouldn't have stuck it out if A) it hadn't been in colour and B. it hadn't been such a lousy TV night with nothing else on - he did flick away from the movie several times, apparently, for something "better."

 

He also tried to watch two other old adventure movies, both, unfortunately for him, being black and white. Flynn's Sea Hawk he found boring and turned off after the first 15 minutes, while he couldn't get into Gunga Din at all. Now my friend was raised in Malaysia where, I guess, there wasn't much in the way of black and white films. He was raised on Elvis Presley films there and those he would watch any day.

 

It goes to show that in many instances we are often nostalgic to watch many of the kinds of films with which we grew up. He quickly turned his back on both Sea Hawk and Gunga Din (both hailed by many as classics) but give him a chance to watch an Elvis flick and he's in heaven.

 

Interestingly, the only black and white features he ever watched as a kid were the Three Stooges. He readily acknowledged that he'd still be willing to watch them again, black and white or not, for old time's sake.

 

I wonder if one could fool someone with attitudes like that friend of yours.   e.g. tell him the film was made in 1990 and it is an underground British film and that is why he doesn't recognize any of the actors.   

 

My point being that there isn't much in Robin Hood that places the film in the 30s.  e.g. unlike a sci-fi film where the special effects are a give away.

 

Maybe this trick would work on a teen and be a sly way to introduce them to a studio-era movie.  

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I was just making fun of the absolutely LAME idea that ANYONE would use the "excuse" of some film being "old" in order to discount it as being "not worthy of seeing", THAT'S all.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, that arrogant attitude is quite prevalent among many people who sneer at anything made before, say, Star Wars. I recall once being in a conversation with some people and we were asked to select our favourite film comedy of all time.

 

While the others were selecting more current comedy fare, from at least the period of Animal House onward, I chose Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. "You would pick something with cobwebs all over it" one of them sneered at me. I can't recall whether he had actually seen the film or not but his attitude was clearly of the "modern is better" mentality.

 

Lord knows what the reaction would have been if i had dared to name a film with Bob Hope, W. C. Fields or the Marx Brothers.

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Unfortunately, that arrogant attitude is quite prevalent among many people who sneer at anything made before, say, Star Wars. I recall once being in a conversation with some people and we were asked to select our favourite film comedy of all time.

 

While the others were selecting more current comedy fare, from at least the period of Animal House onward, I chose Billy Wilder's Some Like It Hot. "You would pick something with cobwebs all over it" one of them sneered at me. I can't recall whether he had actually seen the film or not but his attitude was clearly of the "modern is better" mentality.

 

Lord knows what the reaction would have been if i had dared to name a film with Bob Hope, W. C. Fields or the Marx Brothers.

 

When I asked my nephew in law whether he had ever watched the BEN-HUR of Niblo, he admitted that he has never watched silent movies.

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I used to forget sometimes that not all people think of films in the same terms I do. My grandfather ran theaters in the Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina markets for several decades. Consequently, my mother was practically raised in movie theaters. My father also enjoyed movies, so in my family we watched them all the time. My father schooled me on classic war and western films, while my mother specialized in noir, horror and SF. When I got older, I worked in video stores for many years, and watched even more, learning to appreciate silents and foreign titles. So movies were, and are, a fundamental part of my life.

 

My point is this: I am a weirdo. The vast majority of people don't care about films the way I do. To most people, movies are just one of many options to provide mindless entertainment, maybe once a week. Most people want the easiest, most accessible, least challenging type of film. That's why the biggest films each year are popcorn flicks or animation. People don't want to think too hard, or face tough truths, or examine their own morality; they want to laugh at the fat guy falling down, or drool over the flashing lasers and fast cars. This kind of mindset neither wants to, or perhaps even can, appreciate a film from a different era that lacks these bells and whistles. It has to have easily relatable characters, that look and sound like they or their friends do, or else they disconnect and become bored.

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When I asked my nephew in law whether he had ever watched the BEN-HUR of Niblo, he admitted that he has never watched silent movies.

 

Sometimes it's not even an age thing. I heartily recommended The Artist, the Best Picture Oscar winner of 2011, to a friend. Not a chance she'll watch it, she told me, because it's a silent.

 

Silents require more work, more concentration than many modern viewers, used to loud sound effects, fast edits, bells and whistles, will ever be willing to give them. Even if it is a modern silent, and an Oscar winner, at that - like The Artist.

 

Actually, I shouldn't just say "modern viewers." My friend is in her 60s.

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I used to forget sometimes that not all people think of films in the same terms I do. My grandfather ran theaters in the Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina markets for several decades. Consequently, my mother was practically raised in movie theaters. My father also enjoyed movies, so in my family we watched them all the time. My father schooled me on classic war and western films, while my mother specialized in noir, horror and SF. When I got older, I worked in video stores for many years, and watched even more, learning to appreciate silents and foreign titles. So movies were, and are, a fundamental part of my life.

 

My point is this: I am a weirdo. The vast majority of people don't care about films the way I do. To most people, movies are just one of many options to provide mindless entertainment, maybe once a week. Most people want the easiest, most accessible, least challenging type of film. That's why the biggest films each year are popcorn flicks or animation. People don't want to think too hard, or face tough truths, or examine their own morality; they want to laugh at the fat guy falling down, or drool over the flashing lasers and fast cars. This kind of mindset neither wants to, or perhaps even can, appreciate a film from a different era that lacks these bells and whistles. It has to have easily relatable characters, that look and sound like they or their friends do, or else they disconnect and become bored.

 

Well Lawrence, your post here had me nodding my head in agreement UP until that last sentence of yours which I took the liberty to place in those bold letters.

 

You see, for your "relatable theory" here to have any credence at all, I have to wonder how many of these people you're talkin' about(who probably wouldn't know Groucho Marx from Karl Marx, OR would probably think CASABLANCA is "too talky") ARE or have FRIENDS who are superheros?!!!

 

(...or who are space travelers...or who are members of Her Majesty's secret service...or who are, well, I think you catch my drift here by now, right?!) ;)

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Dargo, you know what I mean. Even the superhero and other SF/action fantasies have characters that they can recognize as being of their time. Each generation has their own Bond, after all.

 

:D

 

Yeah, I guess I did kind'a/sort'a know what you meant there, Lawrence. ;)

 

(...however, ain't it a shame that the people in question here will probably never know that Sean Connery WAS the best freakin' James Bond EVER, and because of their resistance to watch movies that were made before they popped into this world?!)

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Sometimes it's not even an age thing. I heartily recommended The Artist, the Best Picture Oscar winner of 2011, to a friend. Not a chance she'll watch it, she told me, because it's a silent.

 

Silents require more work, more concentration than many modern viewers, used to loud sound effects, fast edits, bells and whistles, will ever be willing to give them. Even if it is a modern silent, and an Oscar winner, at that - like The Artist.

 

Actually, I shouldn't just say "modern viewers." My friend is in her 60s.

 

Well it is very difficult to watch a silent film when one is looking at their IPOD!   :wacko:

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