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In praise of old movies

  • The thing is, Hollywood made just as many bad films "back then" as they did good ones. The so-called "Golden Age of Hollywood" has more than a few embarrassments, including star vehicles.

    The only time I really go to the movies these days is to take my kid to see something geared for her age group.
    You can get anything you want at Alice's restaurant.
      February 19, 2008 7:04 PM GMT

  • very interesting a lot of spooky coincidences - colour sergeant bourne (my favourite "character" in the film - with the best line "because we're here lad no-one else") must have lived to a grand old age to get to 1945

    vikki xx

    in danger of exhibiting zulu nerd charactertistics !
      February 19, 2008 6:40 PM GMT
  • They did remake Casablanca as a tv movie ( no not that sort of tv movie, though that would have been interesting ) with, you've guessed it, David Soul in the lead role. They also remade The Stepford Wives as a comedy. An absolute travesty for one the most sinister films ever made in which a relative appears. I watched the remake of The Thing recently which made me wonder exactly what happened to John Carpenter, who made some of the best movies of the 80's. Many since remade and all awful. Some interesting facts about Zulu: Stanley Baker purchased John Chard's Victoria Cross and kept it on his person at all times; Stanley Baker died aged 49 of throat cancer, John Chard died aged 49 of cancer of the tongue. Gonville Bromhead was almost completely deaf and also died aged 49. Aardendorf who ran away from Ishandlwana also was also notable for his absence from the fighting at Rorkes Drift, was tried for cowardice and only saved from being shot by the testimony of Chard who insisted he was there. And the real hero of Rorkes Drift was Commissary Dalton who actually organised the defence. One of the defenders whose name escapes me collapsed and died after running around his yard screaming the Zulu's are coming, the Zulu's are coming. The last defender of Rorke's Drift to die was Colour Sergeant Bourne, who after running a pub for many years died in 1945. After the battle the defenders bayoneted and killed all the wounded and surviving Zulu's they could find, they left that bit out of the film.My great-grandfather who was a professional soldier fought in the Zulu Wars and said he had never been so scared in his entire life.
      February 19, 2008 10:46 AM GMT
  • I love the movies and to me it doesn't matter when they were made, just that they are entertaining. Some of my favourite comedies are black and white since I love Bob Hope, Laurel and Hardy and so on.
    I am not much of a fan of all the remakes that seem to be happening now. To be fair, sometimes they are better because of increased knowledge of special effects (e.g. The Thing - I prefer the 80's remake), but some films cannot be improved upon. Can you imagine a remake of Casablanca, or Gone with the wind, (which would probably become an Adam Sandler comedy).

    Well, that's my two cents for what it's worth. (Which is probably about two cents).

    Every woman is beautiful, some show it with their faces, others show it with their hearts.
      February 19, 2008 9:55 AM GMT
  • 1195
    Porscha - may I add "The Lavender Hill Mob"? Fantastic movie....loved the little old lady.
    <p>If it isn't fun - don't do it.</p>
      February 18, 2008 7:10 PM GMT

  • the apartment
    cruel sea
    the blue lamp
    a wonderful life
    mr deeds goes to town - a young gary cooper not adam sandler!
    i was a fugative from the chain gang

    apart from zulu great films and all black and white

    in my humble opinion

    vikki xx
      February 18, 2008 5:59 PM GMT
  • Jungle Book is brilliant, I wanted to buy it for my nephew but little Sis beat me to it. I'm not sure about King Kong, it's horrible the way they tormented that gorilla but still possibly the strangest love story ever put to celluloid. Still Fay Wray certainly knew how to scream but then I may be thinking of The Hounds of Zaroff ( Jamie Lee Curtis eat your heart out ). What constitutes a classic film? I'm afraid the critics decide that, at least they think they do. Movies are primarily entertainment, that is what they were designed to be. They are not art but a great film can become art. It is what it means to the individual, just as music means different things to different people. It annoys me when someone is asked the question - what is their favourite movie? And they give the answer that they think people expect to hear. Just what would they think if you answered Independence Day, so they say One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. I once heard a panel of critics refer to the former as a movie for the shopping mall crowd. I think they meant morons. Such arrogance. God forbid that after a hard days work people might just want to go out and be royally entertained. So here are some more of my favourite films good and bad:

    1/ The Duellists
    2/ A Man For All Seasons
    3/ A Matter Of Life And Death
    4/ Gettysburg
    5/ The Third Man
    6/ Tombstone
    7/ Alexander
    8/ Cleopatra
    9/ Way Out West
    10/ North By Northwest
    11/ Father Goose
    12/ Bad Day At Black Rock
    13/ Dracula ( Hammer and the original )
    14/ Casablanca
    15/ Modern Times

    and on and on and on . . .
      February 15, 2008 9:28 PM GMT
  • A few months back I bought a DVD of an old Cary Grant movie. On the cover was a picture of Cary Grant and the lead actress ( whose name rather embarrassingly escapes me ) a work colleague looked at it and remarked that Cary Grant was a good looking woman. I replied that Cary Grant was in fact the actor to which he replied he'd never heard of him and anyway he wouldn't watch it because it was in black and white. I was both startled and appalled at such ignorance. He was, after all, twenty five so hardly a kid. But I did think what the younger generation has missed out on. I was raised watching old movies, from saturday morning pictures and the saturday night classic movie, the late night Hammer Horrors and the sunday afternoon westerns. Movies that had to tell a story in the round, that didn't have the technology to waste forty minutes on special effects, that were tightly scripted with sparkling dialogue, that were reliant upon great acting from people who'd had often tough lives before ever entering the profession. And it showed in the lines on their face and in the cynicism of their manner. When with little equality between the sexes the women were strong and as tough and hard-bitten as any man. What a wonderful rich cultural heritage that is, and in praise of it and with thanks, here are just a few scenes and images that will live long in my memory:

    1/ Jezebel - the scene where Henry Fonda spurns Bette Davis, the look on her face is priceless.
    2/ The Big Heat - when Lee Marvin throws scalding water into the face of Gloria Grahame. You don't
    actually see it but you don't have to understand the full horror of it.
    3/ High Noon - when Gary Cooper enters the Saloon seeking help and they all turn their back or
    make their excuses. There's a lesson to be learned there.
    4/ On the Waterfront - Karl Malden in the hold of the ship standing up for the workers. If only the
    Priesthood was really like that I might renew my faith.
    5/ Now Voyager - the oh so famous final scene, but equally oh so romantic. We'll have the stars.
    6/ Harvey - James Stewart drunkenly explaining how he met his friend. All life is there in that one
    7/ White Heat - James Cagney totally losing the plot upon learning of the death of his mother, only
    to find himself on top of the world. You'll never take me alive, copper.
    8/ The Searchers - John Wayne standing tall and alone.
    9/ Fred and Ginger dancing - elegance personified.
    10/ Gene Kelly - just amazing.
    11/ Cape Fear - Robert Mitchum oozing sweaty palmed menace whilst actually not doing anything.
    12/ Shane - Jack Palance on his horse as Alan Ladd takes a drink, checking each other out, so much

    Just a few memories and there many many more. Add to them if you wish.

    The DVD was His Girl Friday and the actress Rosalind Russell, as the fantastic Hildy Johnson, how could I forget, Rosalind.
      February 13, 2008 4:14 PM GMT