Courtesy of Warner Bros Pictures
Old movies have a magic to them that can't be replicated today. When a black and white film comes on your television, computer, phone, or whatever you're watching a movie on, that film is going to be a different experience from others you have seen. These old films are the backbone of the American film industry and pop culture.
What makes old movies so good? The story. The story is what a film needs to be good. The acting, directing, cinematography, music, etc. could all be amazing, but if the story isn't good, the film falls flat. Old films have to rely on storytelling. Nowadays storytelling is an afterthought in some movies. Movies today rely on special effects and CGI to tell their story. I am not complaining about this all. I love watching explosions and buildings falling down and all of that good stuff. Movies that rely on storytelling and good acting and directing are the type of movies I love to watch and old films do this really well.
Cinema during the 1940s and 1950s was going through a renaissance. Gone were the days of silent films and gangster films. The stories started to evolve into something the audience has never seen before. Movie stars drove the box office and the studio system was running Hollywood. It was time that will never be replicated again. Movie stars were seen as legendary figures in American society. Of course, that still happens in today's society, but during that time movie stars accessibility was less than it is today. There was no social media for movie stars to connect with their fans. Movie stars connected with their fans through their movies. Connecting this type of way make movie stars mysterious figures in society. This mystery made going to the movies more desirable to see what your favorite movie star was doing.
The best part of old movies is the dialogue. The dialogue in old films is some of the best in movie history. Watch any Humphrey Bogart or Cary Grant and listen to their dialogue. It is masterful writing on the big screen. That type of dialogue makes you want to root for the protagonist because their making you laugh and you see the character as a cool person that can hold their own. This type of dialogue can save a movie as well. Let's look at The Big Sleep for example. The Big Sleep is directed by Howard Hawks and stars Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. This film is known as a classic movie you can't understand. You would think if you can't understand a movie, the movie wouldn't be good. The Big Sleep's dialogue is some of the best dialogue in a movie. It's fun and engaging and leaves the viewer wanting more. Scene after scene watching Bogart work the case and hearing his dialogue, the dialogue excites you. When I watched the film for the first time, I was blown away. I have never watched a movie like that before and have never heard dialogue like that before. I didn't fully understand the movie but that wasn't the point. The point is I found the movie entertaining and was invested. Today's dialogue is not the same as in old movies. Old movies had this charm to them that you can't describe.
Another reason old movies have this magical feeling is because it connects us to our loved ones. I remember every time I would go to my Papa's house, we would watch old TV shows and movies. He would tell me how much he loved these types of movies. He has passed now but I credit him with introducing me to old movies and I thank him for that. I feel like I learned what he liked and learned how society was during his time. It has brought me closer to him years after he passed and I'm grateful for that.
Old movies are magical. If you have never seen a black and white movie because you think it will be boring, I promise you will enjoy them.
Here's a list of old movies everyone should watch:
It's A Wonderful Life (1946)
Rear Window (1954)
The Big Sleep (1946)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
In A Lonely Place (1950)
Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939)
Roman Holiday (1953)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
12 Angry Men (1957)
North by Northwest (1959)
What is your opinion of old movies? Leave it in the comments below.
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