As I write this, the Keith Household is settling down to watch one of the most rock-awesome movies of all time, the original Dracula, featuring none other than Bela Lugosi in the lead role. I am a huge fan of some old movies. I know, acting and special effects have come a long way since the 1930's, but there are still some stories that remain timeless in their form as pure masterpieces of the art of cinema.
It's been years since I've seen Dracula. Like, when I was a kid. I finally took the liberty of reading Stoker's novel last year (it came free on my reader), and I can tell you, as bone-chilling as the movie was, the book is even more so. I just wish Stoker could have written an action scene worth a darn.
But anyway, what I was trying to say is that there are some old movies that are head and shoulders above their younger versions. I think Hollywood has become so dependent on special effects, they have compromised an essential element of movies, and that is the use of our own imagination in interpreting the story. I don't need to see the Count ripping someone's lungs out through their ear, thank you. I can get a stronger impact from the suggestion that he's ripping someone's lungs out through their ears, and I don't need to get grossed out by watching him do it. Horror is so much more than a cheap slasher flick (cheap is cheap, even though the budget may have been a hundred times as much on extra blood, pig guts and various gross effects).
Okay, call me old-fashioned. Go ahead. Say it. There, I know ya could. I am a little old-fashioned. There are actually few oldie movies that feel this way about. Many of them are primitive, poorly written, and flat out boring. My soft spots are reserved for those brilliant gems who stand out as ground-breaking and timeless.
Among them, I count the Count (muahahaha!) and a few others like All Quiet on the Western Front, The Wizard of Oz, Modern Times, and The General.
I do have some modern favorites as well. The Fifth Element and Aliens, and some little-known movies like Walking Across Egypt and The Last Legion (one of my new faves).
I like a movie that actually encourages me to use my brain once in a while. Okay, I slip in some Three Stooges once in a while. Ya can't take yourself too seriously, ya know.
I'd be interested in knowing what your favorite classic movies are. Post a comment, let me know.