Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Down Memory Lane

            I was watching a good movie last night and, no, it wasn’t on TV.   When was the last time you’ve seen anything really good on TV?   I pay a small fortune every month for the dish, but somehow there is very little that I enjoy watching. 
            So, as I said in the beginning, I was watching a good movie last night.   It was “STAR!”, with Julie Andrews as Gertrude Lawrence and Daniel Massey as Noël Coward.   It came on circuit for the first time in 1967-68 and was nominated for 7 Academy Awards, but, if I remember correctly, it wasn’t a wonderful box office success.   Perhaps people found the story-line boring as it was based, more or less, on Gertrude Lawrence’s rise to fame, but for a music lover, like myself, it was a dream of a movie.   There was lots of singing and dancing with numbers by Noël Coward, Cole Porter, the Gershwins and plenty more, and it took me right back to the 1940s and 1950s when musicals were very much the rage.
            When I think of all the old musicals I think of actors like Doris Day, Gordon McRae, Shirley Jones, Howard Keel, Kathryn Grayson, Jane Powell, Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy, Marge and Gower Champion, Ann Miller, Red Skelton, Fernando Lamas, Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, to name but a few.
            I think of movies (many of which were originally stage plays) such as Oklahoma, South Pacific, Carousel, The King and I, Show Boat, Annie Get Your Gun, Tea for Two, An American In Paris, Royal Wedding, The Great Caruso (with my all-time favourite singer Mario Lanza), Singin’ In The Rain, Kiss Me Kate, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Desert Song and … oh, I could just go on and on.   The list of musicals is endless and each one is an absolute gem.
            When I think of these movies I find myself smiling.   In the 40s and 50s when you came out of a bioscope (movie house or cinema for those of you who don’t know) you would be smiling.   There were lots of “feel good” movies during and after WW2.   And every now and then there was a real good drama that would have you in tears.   I can think of one in particular – “Madame X” with Lana Turner – they handed out tissues at the door as you went in to watch the movie.
            I find that I can’t always stomach the movies we’re shown today.   It’s heart-stopping action all the way through with all manner of violence spiced with plenty of blood and gore.   Yuck!   Who wants to remember movies like that?   It’s no wonder the world is in such a state today.   These kind of movies are fed to the children from small, and then some of them go and act it out in their schools.
            Oh, well … I’m glad I grew up in those good old times.   I have lots and lots of wonderful memories that fill me with great joy, and sometimes a little nostalgia for what is past.

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