Saturday, December 31, 2011

Robert Osborne on Classic Films




This is a real treat for me to post, especially one paragraph in particular. To read the whole interview with Robert Osborne of Turner Classic Movies fame, you can click here.

To what paragraph am I referring though? This one . . . 

We hope that someone who never saw our channel will watch Lord of the Rings and come back and discover John Garfield. I was at an event the other night and Lauren Bacall was talking and she said, "If you've never seen Topaze starring John Barrymore from 1933, then to you that's not an old film - it's a new film." She's right. If you've never seen Casablanca, made in 1943*, then that's a new film. She was talking about Turner and what an adventure it is to have these new experiences if you've never seen these movies before.

As noted many times on The Seventh Sola, my movie tastes are firmly stuck in Hollywood's Golden Age. However, from time to time I have had the chance to have younger relatives (or adopted relatives) overnight from time to time, and I have showed some selected films to them. Black and white, and usually film noir, although now and then I'll show them an old comedy such as "The Man Who Came to Dinner" or "The Philadelphia Story" or "Bringing Up Baby." 

Almost without fail, they are engrossed in a short amount of time. They find the film noirs very gripping and well acted. The comedies they find uproarious, with (in their words) such witty dialogue. And best of all, I don't have to be worried about language, blatant sex or gratuitous violence. In discovering my beloved old films, they have discovered a whole new world. 

Lauren Bacall was right. It doesn't matter how "old" a film is. If you haven't seen it, it's a new film to you. And worth the watching!

*Sola's note: Actually, I am surprised Robert made the date error on "Casablanca." The film was actually filmed in 1942, but it was released to general audiences in 1943. Then again, I shouldn't charge the master with an error. The release date is probably from where he dates all films.

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