Monday, September 26, 2011

guilty pleasure - old movies

One of my quirks is that I like to have some sort of noise on around me - a radio, the TV, something.  I'm a person who walks into a room and immediately turns on the TV, whether I actually want to watch something or not.  It's a bad habit, one I try to moderate, especially now with kids.  Before we got satellite TV I could listen, as background, to the weather channel for hours (before satellite because the satellite doesn't pick up the local weather on the 8s, which is really annoying).  Before Headline News changed I could listen to that 30 minutes cycle over and over.  In the car I often veg out to WTOP, though not NPR (surprisingly as a member of the liberal (pseudo-)intellectual environmentalist elite NPR really kind of annoys me).  It's really just the background noise that I like, and I strongly prefer it be live rather than a DVD or a music CD or an Ipod.  Even now, at work with my yawning, snorting, chewing office mate I listen to a live radio stream rather than my large Itunes collection.

One of the things I most like is TCM - Turner Classic Movies.  My love of old movies comes from my mom.  I so remember the first time I saw Gaslight, an Ingrid Berman classic, with her.  She always has loved sharing old movies with me (my brother was never much interested in old black and whites).  Back in the day when Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz were once a year specials on broadcast TV they were must watch nights in our house.  And I distinctly recall watching, as a family, The Sting, and how my parents watched my brother and me, not the movie, as the ending was revealed - and how open-mouthed with surprise both Michael and I were. 

Elizabeth has discovered me a couple of times this summer - after she's come in from a playdate or when I'm cooking dinner - with an old movie on from TCM, and it's tickled me to no end to watch her get engrossed in some light, frothy 50s or 60s movie, often a musical.  She likes Judy Garland and has seen parts of an Elvis movie or two (or three or four) and a couple of other summer time beach blanket fare.  Generally color movies, generally musicals, and she's been captivated.  I think they make her feel grown up to watch, and like my mom before me I get a kick out of her enjoying something that I really enjoy. 

TCM in the summer time (in August?) does a special they call something like the summer of stars or a month of stars - in a 24 hour period, showing 12+ classic movies featuring a particular actor.  When I think of it (which is not often), I'll check it out and see who is featured and if there are any movies I want to catch, or any that might be suitable for Elizabeth to watch part.  When Elizabeth Taylor died, I had to check out TCM because I knew they had to do a movie marathon, and I've not seen as many of her movies as I'd like (Suddenly, Last Summer -?  Go watch that movie Right NOW - one of the best movie entrances of all time, by one of my favs, Katharine Hepburn).  Of course there was no time to watch, and no space on our DVR, but I did manage to catch part of Cleopatra, which I'd never seen before.

Holy smokes!  Is that movie crazy!  I actually only saw the Queen's entrance into Rome, but it was so over the top I had to record just that bit and show it to Rich and Elizabeth (and Andrew, who didn't care).  Definitely one to put on my must watch list - a couple of years in the future. 

All I can say is, I cannot wait for Elizabeth to be old enough to watch My Fair Lady together! 

In Cleopatra: A Life, Stacy Schiff digs into the history books to share with us who the true Cleopatra was. As a member of From Left to Write book club, I received a copy of this book for review. You can read other members posts inspired by Cleopatra: A Life on book club day, September 27th at From Left to Write.  Given the past couple of weeks, I sadly have not even cracked the spine of the book, but I am soooo looking forward to it (I haven't even touched on my Egyptology fascination thanks to Elizabeth Peters). So this is not quite the post I wanted to write, but sometimes ya gotta do what ya gotta do, right?   


Thien-Kim aka Kim said...

That's so great that you are sharing the classic movies with your family. I've never quite gotten into them.

Bren said...

I am now sharing those special movies with grandchildren. It's delightful!

Lisa Hanneman said...

We watched Cleopatra in high school.... I can't remember what class it was, but it was lost on a bunch of teenagers falling asleep.

Thrift Store Mama said...

Oklahoma is going to be the first classic movie my girls watch. It was the first one I ever saw. Then an Esther Williams movie.

My hope for Esther's birthday next year is to have it themed around a classic movie and my sister and I will teach the girls the dances.

AwwwTrouble said...

OMG, please please please let it be Viva Las Vegas! We could all wear slim, colorful ankle pants with solid turtlenecks and dance on tables. Oh, um, I mean the girls could. And Ann Margaret hair! What a freaking FUN idea! There's another Elvis movie with this great pool scene that I so love (not the Florida Keys one or a Hawaii one, but I can't think of it now). Oooh, I know, the Judy Garland one where they put on the show in the know. One of those.

Magic Mommy Reviews said...

I love old movies too! Judy Garland and I really love I love Lucy sitcoms. I'm just a big sucker for black and white TV.

Carrie said...

I must admit I've never seen an Elizabeth Taylor movie. For real. Perhaps Cleopatra will be the one? I've only barely cracked the spine of this novel, and am looking forward to really getting into it!

Joy said...

That scene where Cleopatra enters Rome is jaw-dropping! We just kept saying, "wow!" and then "wow!" again.

I love old movies and I'm glad you're sharing them with your daughter.