Old Movies

I revisited another old classic movie. This time it was Woman of the Year with Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy. I believe it was their first collaboration and the beginning of a lifelong romance between the two in real life.

I can’t entirely explain it, but there’s something special about these old movies set in a bygone era. In some ways, I prefer the old to the new. I think what we’ve gained in terms of technology and communications we’ve lost in terms of interpersonal relationships, ethics, morality, and general quality of life.

I’ve said it before (more than once), but if I could only have one channel for the rest of my life, I think I’d go with Turner Classic Movies. It’s the next best thing to having an actual time machine like the one Rod Taylor used in that H. G. Wells adaptation. I do think I’d like to step into one of those movie sets from the 40’s or 50’s and live there.

I’m definitely not one to say that everything new is crap and everything old is perfect, but I do think movies were much better when the emphasis was more on character and story and less on CGI and blowing stuff up. I like new movies when they are character-driven, usually smaller budget films that qualify more as art films than blockbusters.

I understand that those old movies often created an illusion of the ideal rather than represent the reality, but it’s an illusion I’d escape to any day. I don’t need reality TV because I get enough reality from Nashville traffic and the occasional headlines from the internet.

Everyone needs some black and white cinema in their lives. Everyone needs to experience the classics like Casablanca and To Kill a Mockingbird. Check out TCM from time to time. You won’t regret it.

To Kill A Mockingbird (Again)


I’m reading To Kill a Mockingbird again in anticipation of reading Go Set a Watchman. I think TKAM is the perfect American novel, encapsulating a period of time that has passed away.

I still don’t understand how so many white people could hate black people merely for being black. I suppose it’s probably one of the best examples of the fallen nature of humanity that I can think of.

Still, I love the character of Atticus Finch. He’s not perfect, but he’s willing to stand up for what he believes in, even at the expense of his reputation and career. He’s also courteous and kind to those who hold opposing viewpoints (which is an extremely rare commodity these days).

I also love how the book is narrated from the viewpoint of 6-year old Scout. She can be naive at times and quite frank at others. In other words, she’s a very typical 6-year old. Yet she can also be very insightful, too.

I love both the book and the movie. For once, I’m thankful the movie didn’t try to incorporate every single plot device, leaving out a good bit of the book. It focused on the heart of what Harper Lee wrote about and got that part spot-on perfect.

I can’t imagine there ever being a remake of TKAM. Who’d play Atticus Finch? No one, and I mean no one, could ever top the pitch-perfect performance of Gregory Peck.

I don’t expect GSAW to be equally as brilliant. I’m just thankful that we get a second book from Harper Lee, 55 years after the first. I get that it was written before TKAM and how the characters are all much older. It makes my head hurt, but I get it.

We need more people like Atticus Finch who love their families and take unpopular stands for what they believe in. We need those who will fight for those who have no voice. We need those who will love unconditionally without compromise.

Now back to the book.