Saturday matinees were a must when I was a kid. There was plenty to do but Saturday afternoon was reserved for the movies, when there was a good one playing at the local theater. Those were the days you could let children not only walk to the theater alone but go and watch a movie alone. Imagine!
Add to Saturday matinees, The Million Dollar Movie series on Channel 11 and Chiller Theater. Quite a randomly gathered group of movies to watch and I loved every one of them.
Million Dollar movie was on every night at 7:30 pm and then again at 11:00 pm. I think on weekends it was on once or twice during the day. The best part was the same movie played for a whole week. You could watch the movie up to sixteen times in one week. Don’t laugh, I saw “Yankee Doodle Dandy” that way. I was just so fascinated with James Cagney as a song and dance man and a great one at that! There was a great variety of films offered.
Chiller Theater hosted by the always ghouly Zacherly was on every Saturday night. Oh the glorious monster movies back then. None of this blood and gore. Most things were implied. You never really saw the end result of Dracula’s capture of his prey. Your imagination was allowed to fill in the blanks.
But I digress. There were other classics like film noir and westerns and war movies. Such a variety you could never get bored. Blockbusters and historical films rounded out your choices. You couldn’t wait to see Audie Murphy re-enact his life story in the war or Jimmy Stewart talking to his invisible rabbit!
What about the stars? Oh the movie stars were all handsome and glamorous. Who doesn’t love a movie with Clark Gable? So, he had big ears but he was still sexy and women loved to watch him. Betty Davis could make you love her and hate her all in the same movie!
I’ve written a series on the Academy Awards. I’m only up to the sixties but I’ve reviewed some of the all time greats. I’m not saying I saw them all as first run movies but they were on TV. Remember Million Dollar Movie? Movies like “Going My Way” with the inimitable Bing Crosby and the ever lovable Barry Fitzgerald. What about “Gaslight” with Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer? I was on the edge of my seat trying to figure out if Ingrid Bergman’s character was crazy or Charles Boyer was a rat!
The costumes, the music, the scenery, all classic just like the movies they appeared in. Everyone remembers Scarlet O’Hara’s dress made out of green draperies!
I’m not saying movies today aren’t good, I’m just saying they will never be classics like the movies of old. They don’t have the timbre the old movies had and there’s a little bit of class missing.
“The Grapes of Wrath”
You can never miss watching a classic movie. One of the best places to catch one is on Turner Classic Movies. If you haven’t watched one yet, treat yourself.
If you’d like to learn more you can check out my Academy Awards series on Hub Pages where my tagline reads ““Bringing you movies that are part of your memories.” My Profile lists all my hubs and can be found at http://tillsontitan.hubpages.com/