Sunday, November 28, 2010

Two Classic Films

I tend to think older movies are almost always better movies. To my mind, the '30s were the golden age of film, the '40s weren't bad either, and it's been all downhill from there. In fact, most of my favorite films were made between 1936 and 1944.

Last night I watched The Shop Around the Corner, made in 1940 and starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. I love Stewart's early romantic comedies, and "Shop" is one of the finest. This is really a touching film about love and loneliness and the search for love, with fine ensemble actors.

Also, this weekend I watched Make Way for Tomorrow, which is rather stunningly sad. I had expected something more comedic, but it turned out to be a commentary on the heartlessness of children toward their aging parents. The film has a kind of fatalism about it, without the usual "coming around" of the selfish characters which results in a righting of the wrong (see You Can't Take it with You for probably the best example of this). Here, love does not conquer selfishness after all. Orson Welles called it the saddest movie ever made.

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