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Old films are the best films

Posted March. 20, 2009

Since I cannot be queen for the day and fix all of the world’s problems, and instead of writing about something that is bothering me, I thought that this week I would share a bit more about one thing that I thoroughly enjoy, and that is watching old movies. By old I do not mean late 1980s or early 1990s, I mean the very early 20th century to the early 1960s or so.

I love old movies and black and white movies especially. For the most part, they transport me to times that I find fascinating, fun, and that make me a bit envious that I could not have been there to experience them.

They are also so much more thought out and for the most part, they are not filled with unnecessary vulgarity and they do not have F-bombs thrown in for effect. And most of them are pretty classy and they are great movies, even without all of the sex scenes that are thrown in today to make movies sell.

And those actors and actresses. No one in Hollywood today can even come close to the greatness of people like Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Gary Cooper, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Katherine Hepburn, Irene Dunn and Olivia de Havilland. I am especially partial to Olivia de Havilland because my middle name is the same as her last name, but that is a story for another column.

No, there is nothing quite like watching Cary Grant and Irene Dunn drive each other mad in “The Awful Truth.” The duo decide to get a divorce, but soon realize that they cannot live without each other and what follows is a hilarious and romantic movie, which includes a dog who can actually play hide and seek. And the pair is just as hilarious in “My Favorite Wife.” It sounds bad, but it is about a man, Grant, who thinks his wife was lost at sea and he is about to remarry when his wife, Irene Dunn, makes it back to civilization and, well things get a bit complicated, but fun.

And if you are really looking for a laugh, the “Thin Man” series is a must. I think I have seen every movie in the series about a detective, Nick Charles, and his wife, Nora Charles, who are always in the most peculiar situations when former detective, Nick, played by Powell, and his wife, played by Loy solve murders for fun. The chemistry between Powell and Loy is fantastic.

If you are looking for something a bit more serious or thrilling, an Alfred Hitchcock movie should do the trick. There is “Rope,” a creepy story about the murder of a man who is hidden in a trunk in an apartment just before a party is held in the apartment.

But my favorite Hitchcock psychological thriller is “Rear Window” with Jimmy Stewart. Though he was the big draw when I first heard about the film, I found the story was really, really good. L.B. Jeffries, Stewart, watches what really goes on in his city through his rear window. You should watch it to find out what he sees. Hitchcock had a way of keeping suspense going and getting people to sit on the edge of their seats not knowing what to anticipate from his movies.

While I am on the topic of movies, I have to mention silent movies. I know, they sound boring right? Wrong. I guarantee that if you watch Harold Lloyd you will laugh so hard it will hurt. If you do not, well, you do not have a good sense of humor.

Old movies are just better and if you are interested, you might also want to check out “Woman of the Year,” “North by Northwest,” “It Had to be You,” “It Happened One Night,” “The Shop Around the Corner,” “Roman Holiday,” “Gone with the Wind” and “Enchantment.”

Susan Acker, a senior journalism major, is editor in chief of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at susan.acker@laverne.edu.