Since it is Thanksgiving, and it is a time to reflect on all of the things we are thankful for, I figured I'd compartmentalize my thankfulness categories and stick to all things movie here. I'll leave other things (like the start of Daylight Savings Time now being pushed back a few weeks) to my diary. And, since 10 is such a nice number, I'll limit my movie-wise thanks to that nice round number. In no particular order, the 10 Movie-wise things I give thanks for are:
1. Film PreservationIt's true - nitrate won't wait. And I am thankful to those wonderful pioneers and film-lovers who stepped in and saved our treasures - or have worked to restore them to their original glory - before it is to late. Imagine in not being able to see Chaplin, Keaton, Garbo, Pickford, Valentino and so many more.
And here's hoping that somewhere out there even more "thought to be lost" treasures will be found and rehabilitated.
2. Turner Classic Movies
Ah, who does not LOVE TCM? For those of us who depended on late-night showings on local TV stations and bad VCR copies of obscure and no-so-obscure films, TCM has been a blessing. Sometimes, I find myself getting a little miffed at them because their programming sometimes dictates the conversation among film fans, but that is really my problem and not theirs. Their library is amazing, their programming rich and evolving and their outreach to the classic film community is important and exciting. And still no commercials.
Best of all: Robert Osborne will be back on December 1st!
3. Blogging and Facebook connections
As one who did not easily embrace blogging or Facebook, I must say that both venues offer a tremendous way for classic film fans to connect. I mean, if you like baseball, there are probably tons of people with whom to share that passion. However, if you like Buster Keaton, most of us don't know too many people that care.
So, how wonderful to connect on both the blog level with writers who not only enlighten but encourage, and on the Facebook level with folks who are longing to share their love of cinema. Truly, it is like finding an oasis after almost dying of thirst. Thank you to all of my blogging and Facebook friends who allow me to share this journey though the wonderful world of classic film.
4. Billy Wilder
Just going on the record to say that I am so grateful for the man behind (among others) "Sunset Boulevard," "The Major and the Minor," "The Apartment," "Double Indemnity," "The Lost Weekend," "Stalag 17," "Sabrina," "Love in the Afternoon," "The Fortune Cookie," "Witness for the Prosecution," "The Seven Year Itch" and "Some Like it Hot."
|That's the way the movie crumbles - Wilder-wise|
5. Alfred Hitchcock
Another big thank-you owed to Sir Alfred. Without him there would be no "Rear Window," no "Vertigo," no "Notorious." Not to mention no "Spellbound," no "Suspicion," no "North By Northwest," no "Rebecca," no "Rope," no "Shadow of a Doubt," no "Strangers on a Train," and no "The Birds," or "Psycho."
No endless hours of beautiful entertainment and mystery, no fun looking for those fabulous cameos and no endless references to eating a leg of lamb as part of the perfect murder. Can you feel the love?
6. Kenneth Brownlow
Does this man look like a hero to you? Well, if a hero is considered to be one who bravely goes where none other has dared and who has made life better for doing so, then Kevin Brownlow certainly qualifies in my book. There is so much to say about this great man!
My first encounter with the great Mr. Brownlow was when, at about age 16, I found a book entitled "The Parade's Gone By" in a reduced bin at a local book store. I scooped it up and became hooked on all thinks silent (film-wise, that is!). However, it was Brownlow's collaboration with the late David Gill on the landmark 13-part series "Hollywood," was well as "Unknown Chaplin," "Buster Keaton: A Hard Act to Follow," and "Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius," that makes me follow his every move. His recent Academy Award was much deserved. All I can say is "thank you, Kevin Brownlow, thank you, from the bottom of my movie-loving heart." Oh, and when will "Hollywood" be available on DVD? Please, please, please resolve all of those nasty copyright issues or whatever holds this up. We need it!
7. Million Dollar Movie
Without WOR Channel 9 TV's "Million Dollar Movie," I would have missed such classics as "King Kong," "Godzilla," "Mighty Joe Young" and "Mothra." Before TCM, this was all we had, folks! But, if the caliber of film was not always the highest, it provided me with something that the classic film nut needs - repetition! "Million Dollar Movie" played the same film every night. So, if you loved it, you could watch it all week. And you know, if you love a movie, you can watch it countless times. Don't ask me how many times I sat on the living room floor and watched Abbott and Costello's "The Time of Their Lives."
|Every night after dinner several times a year|
The marketplace to the world! Before eBay, I only dreamed of being able to get my hands on either memorabilia or just artifacts from my past that had special movie-meaning. A pre-eBay trip to California necessitated a stop at several shops to pay outrageous prices for some vintage photos and books.
eBay has allowed me to indulge my need for Hayley Mills paper dolls, various vintage movie magazines featuring my favorite stars, all things Edna Purviance, a few treasured Louise Brooks, Valentino and Pola Negri photos and a score of other photos and postcards from around the world featuring my Hollywood favorites. All at prices I am willing to pay.
9. The DVR
It is simply the best invention for movie lovers! DVR plus TCM = Contentment.
10. Cary Grant
I am always grateful to Cary Grant every day of the year - just because he's Cary Grant. You know I always find a way to worm Mr. G into my favorite things whenever possible! And what's not to be grateful for? That face, that voice, those films, that charm!
Cary and I wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings! How lucky are we that he likes the dark meat and I like the light?