Thanks For The Memories MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   A video slides into the VCR. A fast-paced music iscore begins and the picture comes on , in black and iwhite! No, don't adjust your television, you're just watching an incredible phenomenon , an old movie.

When wanting to see a movie in this age of electronics and plastic, you don't usually think about anything made before 1975. However, if you take the time to look away from those flashy, explosive films of today, you might find something worth watching.

Imagine a time when $100 million budgets weren't available, there were no special effects technicians, and automatic weapons were unheard of. Sound far-fetched? Not really.

Back in the childhood of cinematography, none of today's technological conveniences was available. The star of a horror film had to rely on his or her acting ability, not the makeup artist or the music coordinator. Directors with small budgets had to invent creative camera angles to create different moods. Actors like James Stewart, Katherine Hepburn, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart used their superb acting abilities to accomplish things that today are done by computer.

Who else but James Stewart could really make an audience believe in an invisible six-foot rabbit? Who besides Bette Davis could utter such unearthly screams of terror that make the viewer shudder? No one. Movies like "Harvey," "All About Eve," "Dial M for Murder," "The Birds," "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte," "Casablanca," "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?" all exhibit such style and brilliance that can't compare to today's drab films.

The real class of old movies lies in the way they treated violence. Today, film murders are hardly uncommon; they aren't in old movies either. However, it is the handling of the murder where age excels over youth. Take Hitchcock's "Psycho" for instance. A woman is stabbed to death in a shower. But all the viewer sees is a flashing knife and some blood gurgling down the drain. This treatment creates much more horror and repulsion than if it were shown in graphic detail.

Another superb aspect of old movies is the casting. Not only are the stars good, even the supporting actors with one-liners excel. It seems as though everyone worked harder in the past, even if you didn't get paid millions. Actors weren't in it for the pay; they did it because they loved to act. They lived and breathed acting, and therefore made better, more entertaining movies.

So instead of going to see that new slash-'em-up "Nightmare on Friday the 13th" gore-fest, try staying home and renting an old classic. Who knows? You might get hooked. n

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