Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Watching Old Movies

Watching movies is one of my favorite pastimes--not that I have much time to pass.

I love going into a movie theater with anticipation, hoping that I'll be entertained, charmed, seduced, scared, or surprised. It doesn't always happen, but I'm pretty choosy about which movies I pay good money to see. I'm not quite so choosy when I'm picking out a Netflix movie to watch. If I don't like it, I'll pop it out and stick it back in the envelope for its return trip.

Because I've spent my hard-earned money, I seldom walk out of a movie in a theater. I have done it once or twice though, when the movie was so gross I couldn't stand another minute. The theater managers have always kindly let us go see another movie. Of course there are movies that I watch clear to the end and am disappointed, but that doesn't happen too often.

This never happened when I was a kid growing up. My dad worked in the movie business and we went to the show nearly every Friday night. In those days there were always two movies--the first run and a B picture. (Also a news reel, coming attractions, a comic, and often entertainment of some kind during intermission.) We could have easily left before the B picture started, and we wouldn't have missed much if we had, but neither Mom nor Dad could bear not to get their full money's worth. (I'm sure this came from not having much of anything during the depression.)

Back to my subject of watching old movies, thanks to Netflix I've revisited some movies that I loved when I saw them the first time. Frankly, I've been disappointed by some. "Giant" was one. In fact, several movies Elizabeth Taylor was in have disappointed me. Sometimes the acting seemed what my husband calls "too over the top."

I remembered "North by Northwest" fondly, but was disappointed when I watched it recently. Not the acting, Cary Grant was great and the story good, but the special effects left a lot to be desired. I'm afraid I'm spoiled by today's wonderful special effects.

One of my favorite movies of all time, "Gone with the Wind" is still as good as the first time I watched it. Clark Gable was a wonderful Rhett Butler. And "The Wizard of Oz" is another I've watched many, many times and still holds up.

The other night, hubby and I watched, "The Mirror with Two Faces," a Barbra Streisand movie and we loved it. Perhaps the story was a bit on the corny side, but the acting was great and so fun to see Lauren Bacall. If you haven't seen that one for awhile, try it again.

Have you ever re-watched an older movie and been disappointed?



  1. Agreed. I remember The Birds, for example, being a lot scarier the first time I saw it. Though it is still disconcerting. ;)

    The Mirror with Two Faces is one of my favorites. Love that Barbra's character is such an engaging professor and he can learn from her. But also, as you note: Lauren Bacall!!!

  2. I love GWTW, too, Marilyn. And, you're right, it never disappoints!

  3. I love GWTW, and always catch at least a piece of The Wizard of Oz. And I respect you for you being brave enough to say that Elizabeth Taylor was sometimes over the top. I think her valiant life and great beauty influenced people into thinking she was a great actress, but I never found it to be so. I love old movies so I don't remember any disappointments right now.


This is a comment awaiting moderation on the blog.