This was previously posted on my other blog “Thoughts of a Cheerful Grump” but I thought it was an appropos place to start with this one. Enjoy!
Ever since I can remember, I have always loved movies. I can’t get enough of them. I love good bad movies and even the occasional bad good movie. I don’t know when it started because I can remember being very young and loving to watch ANY kind. It didn’t even have to be an animated joint. I remember watching old classics as a kid; not The Wizard of Oz and ones that are still geared toward kids or family but movies whose target demographic was adults.
One that sticks out in my mind is 1953’s Titanic starring Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck. This was and is a move that I still find superior to the bloated 1997 James Cameron film. Other ones that stick out in my mind are “The Nutty Professor”, “Family Jewels”, “The Delicate Delinquent” and “Don’t Give Up the Ship” all starring the one and only Jerry Lewis. I thought nobody was funnier than Mr. Lewis but than I was introduced to the humor of Bob Hope. It was a humor that was more sophisticated and required listening to what he said, as well as what he was doing. One of the first I remember watching starring Mr. Hope was “Casanova’s Big Night”. This movie is hilarious at every turn as you watch Bob Hope attempt to impersonate the “world’s greatest lover”.
I couldn’t and still can’t get enough Bob Hope. Whether it’s him going on the road somewhere with Bing Crosby in their successful series of films or a scout leader on a ship that gets involved in some murder intrigue or wooing Jane Russel in the Wild West. He is great and he broke the fourth wall all the time in his movies was before Deadpool was doing it. I give credit to seeing these Lewis and Hope gems, along with other great old comedies for being the reason it takes a special person in a clever comedy to make me laugh. There are many comedies with people in them I find funny but that actor or actress just isn’t consistent enough for me to be their “fan”.
A few examples of this would be I love Will Ferrell in “Elf” but find most of his other work not good. He is either trying too hard or he goes raunchy for the cheap laugh. He is more of a “moments” guy”, in my opinion. Another would be Jim Carrey. I think he is hilarious in a few films but mostly, for the same reasons as Ferrell, he falls flat in the funny and I actually like some of his dramatic roles better.
Does this make me better than you because I like these old films better than a lot of new ones? Probably…..just kidding! No. I am thankful that I got to see these older films when I did. I am also glad I got to see some of the classics that aren’t comedies and have an appreciation for movies that aren’t in color and also showcase great filmmaking and acting. This isn’t to say that every Bob Hope and Jerry Lewis was a winner or even good but I would contend they were more consistent than most these days.
I would encourage you to have the patience to sit and watch a classic Drama, Thriller or Comedy. It’s where most new movies are stealing from anyway. See it when it was done first and many times better; or usually better acting, at least. I will definitely talk more about movies in the future but for now: Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, Barbara Stanwyck, Ingrid Bergman, Claudette Colbert. These are a FEW of the names you can look for to see some good movies.
Have the patience for black and white and for possibly dated musical scores. It is worth it a lot of time.