Hello, Movie Lovers!
One of my favorite pastimes is watching movies from and studying the history and bios of The Golden Age of Hollywood. As you might guess, I have a book collection to nurture my hobby.
There is something timeless and enchanting for me about Hollywood movies from the 1930s, ’40s, and ’50s. Many have earned the designation “classics” because the age of the films and the viewers doesn’t seem to matter. My five-year-old granddaughter is currently enamored with Abbott and Costello and The Three Stooges movies. I have been watching “old movies” since I was a kid, enjoying Universal Studios’ 1950s and ’60s revival of its ’30s and ’40s monster classics, namely, Frankenstein, Dracula, The Wolfman, etc. I still watch them repeatedly–and not just at Halloween. That began what developed into a lifelong passion. Yay for TCM–Turner Classic Movies.
Some dismiss the “old” black-and-white movies as dated. But I think there is much to be learned from them. For example, many special effects, camera angles, and lighting techniques we marvel at in movies and video games today came from those intrepid directors and cinematographers back in the day who were willing to experiment. Animator Willis O’Brien (1886 – 1962) produced the special effects for King Kong (1933). Think, King Kong battling aircraft as he clung to the Empire State Building. Then came O’Brien’s student, Ray Harryhausen (1920 – 2013), who refined the art of stop-motion animation and other visual effects to bring us the fighting skeletons in Jason and the Argonauts (1963), the enraged Cyclops in The Seventh Voyage of Sinbad (1958), and the freaky Medusa in his last film The Clash of the Titans (1981).
Want to see those battling skeletons while admiring Harryhausen’s genius? Click HERE. (From YouTube, MadmanFX68 Collection, 2010. Photo of Ray Harryhausen and some of his creatures from the-artifice.com)
Another time, I will tell you about one of my favorite movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Stay tuned.
So, get a clue, Movie Buffs. Butter up that popcorn, cozy down with your best bud, and let the magic roll.