Monday, June 27, 2011

Black and White Weekend

I watch the blockbusters, the indie films and the comedies of today and I like them, even love and rave about them. Then I have an evening where there is nothing on TV and find myself on the TCM channel and loving the movies of yore. Always the standby is the Hitchcock and while I am not a raving Hitchcock fan, Rear Window is an amazing movie and Jimmy Stewart is phenomenal (and I could die happy if I could have Grace Kelly's wardrobe from the film). Then there is the disturbing What Ever Happened to Baby Jane, with Bette Davis and Joan Crawford at their best. Seriously commanding performances and pretty crazy content considering this was made in the early 60's. I also caught the romantic and funny Pretty Baby the other day. Had a bit of a Mad Men vibe mixed with the crazy caper of fooling the boss. Good, fun, clean times.

One of my favorite films from the Golden Age of Hollywood though is Imitation of Life. It stars Lana Turner being the star she is as a struggling actress with a daughter (who eventually turns in to Sandra Dee) and has a friendship with her nanny/housekeeper that lean on each other through single motherhood in good and bad. Don't know exactly why this movie still strikes a chord with me, but it does. I love it! I swear I have so many movies of this period that I love that this post could turn into a novel.

Then there is the movie I plan my holiday around. Nothing screams the holiday's like It's a Wonderful Life. I can't make it through the season without seeing this twice. I think I get this from my dad. Actually I know I do, because I call him every year when it comes on TV and he is usually also watching it as well, even though we both own it on DVD.

I could never talk about these old movies without talking about the movie that started my obsession, The Wizard of OZ. I remember waiting for this to come on TV (CBS if I recall). For those of you who don't remember or know we didn't always have DVD's or VCR's, we used to have to wait for movies on the screen or TV. It was a big deal because my mom and step dad weren't super into TV so we still owned a black and white, but they always made sure I had a color TV to view the movie on. Nothing shows the power of 30's Hollywood like the moment when Dorothy stepped out of the black and white house into the color of OZ. It is still is something special to watch.

As I am writing this I know there are so many films that are not mentioned and should be, but like I mentioned this would be a novel if I did. Please leave a comment and let me know what your favorite film from the bygone years of Hollywood, I know we all would love to know!

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