Bena Mae’s Kitchen: Why don’t they make good movies anymore?
During my teenage years, I saw as many movies as I could afford at the Hippodrome Theater on Main Street in Corbin. I was a real movie fan. In the last ten years I can count on one hand the times I have seen a movie at a movie theater, but my passion for good movies is still there. Thanks to Turner Classic Movies, I can now watch them in the comfort of my own home.
The other night, I called my daughter-in-law and asked her what she was doing. “I’m watching ‘Random Harvest’ on TCM” she said. Well, that did it for me. Aside from the romantic chemistry between Maureen Ohara and John Wayne in “The Quiet Man,” this was the most romantic movie I had ever seen and the stars, the oh so beautiful Greer Garson and the dreamily handsome Ronald Coleman (whom I dreamed about as a teen) were perfectly cast in the leading roles. So I tuned it in. It was 3:30 a.m. before I closed my eyes and lay awake thinking about Ronald Coleman. Tom Cruise doesn’t get that reaction from me.
It’s funny, I can remember movies as far back as the 1940s, the stars and the story lines, but the movies I see today do not register as well or not at all. It may be because the older movies had a beginning, a middle, and an ending and actors and actresses who had real star quality who depended on good writing and good acting, rather than special effects and nude scenes and car chases and people getting blown to smithereens.
And another thing, the personal lives of the actors. They leave nothing to the imagination. They are too much in our face. Imagine if the studios had known about Clark Gable and Loretta Young’s love child way back when. Horrors! In those days we were only allowed to see the pristine, squeaky-clean side of their lives. Unlike today, when the more sordid their carryings-on, the better. Garbage in, garbage out.
I can understand the studios kow-towing to the bubble gum brigade and putting out movies that require no thinking, but there are lots of us who are hungry for movies with substance. Like “How Green was my Valley,” or “To Kill a Mockingbird.” That is not to say there aren’t good movies out there, but they come few and far between.
The first movie I ever saw was “Rhythm on the Range,” in 1936 at the old Kentucky Theater on Main Street. As I recall, it cost a nickel to get in and starred Bing Crosby, Bob “Bazooka” Burns and Martha Raye, her first movie. I remember the big hit song that played throughout the movie, “I’m an old Cowhand.” I hummed it for days.
Now ask me the name of the movie I saw last night on the movie channel.
Slips my mind.
For movie trivia fans: Among 100 most quotable movie quotes are these from Casablanca: “Here’s looking at you kid this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship round up the usual suspects we’ll always have Paris” and from Gone With The Wind: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn”. Who could ever forget that one.