Oregon writer, Rain Trueax, and Oregon painter, Diane Widler Wenzel co-author Rainy Day Thought. Diane generally posts on Wednesdays and Rain on Saturdays. There may be extra days or changes as situations warrant. Comments are always welcome and appreciated as it turns an article into a discussion.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Late Night Movies


When I was growing up, movies were a big influence on my imagination. Back then, instead of late night talk, there were late night movies on at least one and sometimes several of the network channels. With school, it was not possible to see all the movies during the week but come the week-end, I stayed up, often with my father as he was a night owl due to working graveyard during the week.

Through those late nights, I was introduced (distantly) to Fred Astaire, Clark Gable, Rita Hayworth, Ava Gardner, Humphrey Bogart and a slew of other stars and types of films. There were good guys, bad guys, and generally you never had to wonder who each was. Even if Alan Ladd looked suspicious for awhile, eventually he would redeem himself. There was some security in that.

Today, the three main networks offer very few old movies, but there are cable stations dedicated to them. Many I have already seen at least once and sometimes more. I watch very little daytime television, but when the evening comes, because I am not into network programming, movies are an important part of the night-- although these days that night ends a little before 10. Thanks to DVDs, I can make it so.

Since I got started with Netflix, with their one at a time deal, I have a movie from them about every three days although I mix my choices liberally with documentaries as Netflix is a treasure chest of documentaries, the kind you'd never find elsewhere. Well you would if you were regularly keeping track of what was on History Channel, Discovery, Science, PBS, etc., but I am not; so these are generally new to me.

To be honest, my favorite movies are not heavy ones. I like to be entertained, and I do enough heavy lifting with what I think without using movies for more fodder. Generally I like my movies to be uplifting and make me feel good by the time it says The End. This month though I have tried a few different ones.

One was Zombieland. Now that's a film I'd normally never watch as it's horror... but kind of horror, like that which isn't real and is full of humor and action. If I hadn't received a recommendation from my daughter, and if it hadn't starred Woody Harrelson, I'd still likely have never seen it. I admit. I liked it. It's not a movie to improve your mind, not one to make you think deep thoughts. It's pure escapist fare of the type where no way would you want to go there.

Would I recommend it? Not unless you can handle make believe gore. If you can or if you, like me, look away at certain times, even when you know it's make-up, it's surprisingly a fun movie. It's not like a film I will be buying. I think it'd bother me sitting in my shelves.

Actually this whole blog is intended as an introduction more than a post of its own. It's about a movie from the 1980s that I had not seen then and put off seeing through the years until again someone recommended it and I got to thinking it's the kind of film I should see. Last week-end I did and the next three blogs will be about it. It was heavy with a lot of thinking to be stirred up even by its title. So coming next-- a three-part movie review.

13 comments:

wally said...

Well, hurry. You've got me curious.

Elaine said...

Have you tried Turner Classic Movies? I love this channel, lots of old movies 24 hours a day and no commercials
Elaine in Canada

Kay Dennison said...

I can't wait!!!!! And you know I love old movies!!!!!

Annotated Margins said...

Zombieland was awesome. My wife and I rolled on the floor,and I bought the movie... but then, we're fans of Woody Harrelson (once shared some tips about avocados with him at the Co-op in Arcata).

We're big Film Noir fans, old black and whites with stark contrasts and weird camera angles. Unfortunately, neither of the video stores here even knows the term Film Noir. In Arcata, La Dulce Video carried just about every Film Noir Movie ever made.

mandt said...

Rita Hayworth---Ah, what a beauty----the absolute perfection of Hollywood make-over magic---especially in GILDA!

20th Century Woman said...

I keep thinking I should watch more movies. I'll be interested to read your coming movie reviews.

Paul said...

I love old movies too Rain. Last night I watched Akira Kurosawa's "The Seven Samurai" which came out in 1955. It is a classic. He was a huge fan of American weternse.g. of the John Ford variety.

wally said...

Netflix is a great source for old movies. We recently discovered the Miss Marple series of movies made in the 60's starring Margaret Rutherford. They are hilarious.

robin andrea said...

You remind me of the days in the early 60s when I would babysit some of the neighbors' kids on a Saturday night. There were always a ton of movies to choose from. Many years later, I was married to a film-maker for several years in the late 70s and early 80s, and movie watching was a huge part of our lives. Nowadays, I can't even remember the last time I stepped into a movie theater. We do watch a movie occasionally, but we haven't seen anything lately that seems remarkable. So, I'm really looking forward to your next three posts.

Fran aka Redondowriter said...

I'm curious, too. As for Netflix, I love it. I also get DVDs and videos from the library, but I'm up for The Men Who Stare at Goats tomorrow night from NF.

It's so funny how a film will stick in your mind. When I was a kid, a movie I never forgot was "The Boy With Green Hair." I bought it for a buck at the book sale and it made me wonder what in the heck fascinated me so. Another old foreign film I rewatch on video periodically is "My Life as a Dog." Did you see either?

I'll check back tomorrow.

TaraDharma said...

I thoroughly enjoyed Zombieland for the the gore & horror romp that it was!

Looking forward to your next posts....what a teaser!

Ingineer66 said...

Not an old movie, but brand new. I watched The Blind Side on the flight down to Peurto Vallarta. It is one of the best movies that I have seen in years. Now I have to read the book and then watch it again.

Mary Lou said...

I really miss having a channel that shows the old movies at midnight! all we have now are the stand up comedians and they are all the same. (I favor Leno though) I do have TCM which is nice, but I liked the midnight shows, and they just arent there anymore.