Old Movies, Young Folk

I’m thrilled that “Feud: Bette and Joan” is finally here.
I’ve been a fan of  classic movies since I was a child and the love will continue until the screen goes fuzzy for a final time.

I hope it intrigues members of  younger generations to unearth thousands of black and white goodies left for them to watch.

Some younger folk are under the assumption that great grand parents lived in some unrealistic bubble of innocence. How relieved some would feel knowing that subjects from drug abuse to  adulterous entanglements have always  plagued one confused generation after another.
What a gift,  to realize you’re not part of a “worst of” generation of people after all. To realize you’re not alone in the various struggles, that the older generations  struggled just as hard when they were young.
Between the disrespectful talk of older generations being seen as “out of touch” as the   younger ones are being called “lazy” or “unfeeling”, there’s barely mercy left for any proper intergenerational bonding.
Imagine if we did find out we had more in common with one another….
in order to care enough to take better care of one another..

Within “Feud”, there is reference to a classic film that I like suggesting to young movie fans considering the watching of old movies.

For the spoiler alert purist, the following sentences contain direct reference to scenes from “Feud: Bette and Joan” from episode one.


Bette is shown to be working onstage when Joan enters the theatre. She’s there to approach Bette with a film proposal.
The play that Bette is performing in is called “Night of the Iguana.” It’s one of my all time favs.


In “Feud”, there’s a scene which  presents  Bette as acting in what appears to be  an “inconsequential role”-the point being underscored , I believe,  illustrating the ‘need’ for Bette to consider Joan’s proposal.
However, with less of us being familiar with specific Tennessee Williams’ characters and/or black and white films, there exists a bit of  room for pesky misinterpretations on how “far this star might have fallen.” as it seems she now has a “non speaking” role of what appears to be a server.

There were may have been many “Feud” audience members that were not aware that the role Bette was playing was actually a coveted lead role. As a matter of fact, the movie production of this play starred another legendary actress, Ava Gardner, who was nominated for both a Golden Globe and BAFTA for the role that we see Bette’s character performing in “Feud.”

I truly have no issue with a bit of innocent ‘tweaking’ of visual fact for the sake of efficiency. Mr. Murphy’s applied his hand to yet another finely crafted gift. However he sees fit to bring us the story of women I’ve admired lifelong is more than AOK with me.
This has more to do with my trying to be ‘clever.’ I’m using any open window I can find for an opportunity to help introduce the lost art of old movies to our children and grandchildren..not as a serious nitpicking of a directorial choice.

I consider it as gifting them with
.. an alternative space to explore complex and universal topics without certain infections of modern entertainment.
..a place they can catch reflections of their lives without embarrassing pornographic undertones or insulting dumbed down dialogue.
.. an enrichment and expansion of their imagination, if only for purposes of reference and expression.
In the very least, old movies can offer sane escape from overly sensationalized piles of mediocrity. All accomplished without a pointless and rude vomit scene in sight.
In them, the young can experience examples of strong actresses who conducted business without flaunting their love lives like window display whores . They can see grown actors who walked tall without pretending to be, or trying to live the life of, pathetic perpetual teenagers.

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