But Don’t I Have to Like Classic Movies???

As we have discussed previously; I love movies.  I love writing and I love movies.  I have fought the urge for years to write a screenplay, thinking that it would be too difficult to learn.  However, thinking that I could make one of my books into a movie, I spent several months learning everything I could about writing a screenplay, and then in January of this year, I began writing my first one.  Now, with almost two screenplays completed, I have realized that there is only one person who can make my work say what I want it to say, and that’s me. (Or maybe Steven Spielberg or James Cameron, they’ve just been so busy lately!)  So now, I’ve got it into my head that I could make my own movie, and I’m already focused on making my second screenplay into a movie a few years down the line.  I’m sure my wife is so excited to hear about this (sarcasm, don’t fail me now).

So now that I am seriously considering making my own independent movie over the course of the next few years, I’ve decided to devour all the movies I can; learning, memorizing, cataloging.  One of the things that keeps sticking in my head is the idea that I really need to watch the classics, I need to love the classic movies.  So I’ve queued up all the great, old, classics in my Netflix queue and the first movie that came in was Casablanca; and I was stoked!

So, two Saturday nights ago, when Alison was out with some friends, I popped Casablanca the remastered Blu-Ray edition into my DVD player and sat down to enjoy a classic.  I don’t know what I expected, except to be blown away.  There is so much hype behind this movie, and EVERYONE in the movie industry refers to it ALL the time.  After sitting through the 102 minutes of the movie I realized something very disheartening; maybe I would never be a person who understood the love of classic movies.  Inside I was very upset, though I first tried to pretend to myself that I loved the movie.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, Humphrey Bogart was THE MAN!  He was so cool in Casablanca that I think I started falling in love with him!  But all the Humphrey Bogart in the world could not make me like this movie.  Maybe I just didn’t get it, maybe I’m stupid.  It’s certainly possible, but I really could not get into the characters, especially Ingrid Bergman’s.  I really just couldn’t get into the movie at all and ended up just wishing that Bogart would give Bergman the tickets to get to America and be done with the whole thing.  It kind of made the movie seem longer than it was, this back and forth, this romance that was and should be and would not be again even though they both wanted it to be.  My eye is twitching just thinking about it.  So there it is, I’m a want-to-be movie director and I don’t like Casablanca.  For a moment, I thought this had pretty much destroyed my future career as a director.

Then I remembered something; I don’t hate old movies, I just didn’t enjoy Casablanca.  I love Gone with the Wind, and when I say I love it, I really mean that I LOVE IT.  I don’t care that it is 238 minutes long (4 HOURS!!!) I love every minute of it.  And it’s not just Gone With The Wind, there are a lot of older movies that I really like.  I loved Arsenic And Old Lace.  I think it is still one of the best movies of it’s kind.  I love Some Like It Hot, though more recent than the others I’ve referenced here, it is still a great movie.  Then there are the holiday classics like White Christmas and It’s A Wonderful Life.  I love the old actors, the old writing, and old sets and the way the movies were made.  It was perfect!  I don’t have to LOVE Casablanca to be a director, I just have to understand what I like and what I don’t like.  I DON’T like Casablanca.

There are so many old movies out there that are classics, but I don’t know them enough to know where to start looking for them.  I want to learn about these movies and learn from them.  History is history no matter what the subject matter is.  We all learn from history, our personal history, our family history, our national history, and even from the history of our hobbies.  So this is where I need your help.  To those of you who love movies and have particular favorites, I need you to tell me what you like and what you love, especially when it comes to old movies.  I’m excited to see more and to learn, and I love your feedback most of all so let me have it!!


About timothylassiter
I am a mystery/detective novel writer who has published two novels and I'm currently working on the third novel.

3 Responses to But Don’t I Have to Like Classic Movies???

  1. Well, this is your dear (hippie?) wife (the one who enjoyed The Big Lebowski and VIcky Christina Barcelona), so take this with a grain of salt, but I think ‘classics’ can be defined in so many ways. Do we mean classic, as in “old”? Or do we mean “great”? I always like to think it’s a little bit of both.

    My favorite ‘classics’ are:
    – Breakfast at Tiffany’s: Audrey Hepburn is sad and lovely all at the same time. The story, loosely based on Capote’s novella, is sweet and romantic. Probably my favorite of all time.
    – Some Like It Hot: Another great romance, and FUNNY. Man, it doesn’t get any better than when Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis are dressed up as women on the train and get everyone drunk. Come on.
    – Annie Hall: It’s the hippie liberal in me. I love, love, love the social awareness this story bring about two neurotic individuals. It’s romantic and quirky. And Diane Keaton is always amazing. Women’s fashion is still very influenced by her wardrobe in this movie.
    – The Graduate: Hilarious and socially poignant for its time. Anne Bancroft was so beautiful and sexy in this one; Dustin Hoffman, always a genius.
    – The Godfather: Come on. I don’t have to tell you why.

    I can go on, but some of my other ‘classics’ are more contemporary and I think that’s okay — The Silence of the Lambs, City of God, The Shawshank Redemption, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and The Matrix.

    Just my 2 cents. XO.

  2. Oh, and I love Amelie. Because it’s cute and French. And it’s a cult classic in my eyes. Perfection.

  3. nicole says:

    You aren’t stupid Tim, I completely agree with you!! I felt that way about Metropolis, I saw it in a film class I took at Scranton (yes, it was the best and easiest class ever), people always talk about how it revolutionized film and I thought it was strange and uninteresting! At least you like Some Like It Hot!

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