Sunday, January 8, 2017

Don’t Let the Love of Classic B&W Films Die! – Part One


In 2017 we are looking to the future, and the horizon is bright! One of the wonders of our world is the ability to enjoy the old with the new and share it with future generations. 

This holiday break I was able to share several B&W films with my 22 year old son. This is a yearly tradition in our household.  Not just B&W films, but the classics. I have three children, their ages are spread out (11 to 22) so I only subject them to a few at a time so it isn’t torturous. Surprisingly, while they object at first, they usually get into the movie after the first 30 minutes or so. Some of you may have noticed from my tweets (@AmyJRomine), this year I shared Abbott and Costello with the two younger kids and the Thin Man series with the eldest. 

Liking the idea of revisiting the classics? Here are the first five in a list of 10 B&W films I highly suggest for 2017. Most can be found on Amazon or TCM (Turner Classic Movies). These are in no particular order as I love them all. 

The Philadelphia Story (1940) – (Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart) When a rich woman's ex-husband and a tabloid-type reporter turn up just before her planned remarriage, she begins to learn the truth about herself.  One of the first dramedys out there this light-hearted romantic film is witty and full of spunk!

The Thin Man Series – (William Powell and Myrna Loy) - Former detective Nick Charles and his wealthy wife Nora investigate a murder case, mostly for the fun of it. This is the first of six films (Thin Man, After the Thin Man, Another Thin Man, Shadow of the Thin Man, The Thin Man Goes Home, and Song of the Thin Man), centering around Nick and Nora Charles. Snappy, fun and intelligent they were blockbusters back in the day and still hold up! 

Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein  – (Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney, Bela Lugosi, and Glenn Strange) - Two hapless freight handlers find themselves encountering Dracula, the Frankenstein Monster and the Wolf Man. Just one of the many Abbott and Costello movies this is a family favorite. Having the original ‘monster’ actors interacting with the comedians was considered a huge risk at the time by Universal Studios, but ended up being such a hot they followed up with other mash-ups like Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, and Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – (Jimmy Stewart, Jean Arthur and Claude Rains) - A naive man is appointed to fill a vacancy in the United States Senate. His plans promptly collide with political corruption, but he doesn't back down. A look at the inner working of politics from an optimistic point of view. I love how the arguments and dialog still ring true in today’s world.

These are the first five, and part one of my classic movie series. Almost can be found on Amazon and shown regularly on Turner Classic Movies (TCM). Also IMDB (the links are used in this blog) usually has a list of places you can purchase and or rent movies. I would love to hear your feedback, suggestions you have for the list!


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