Posted by Richard Harland Smith on March 1, 2013
I saw a headline the other day that read “2013 Oscar Contenders!” Not even three months into the year and already that madness is starting. I failed to see any of this year’s Academy Award nominees or winners, so I didn’t have a dog in that fight. Truth be told, I don’t go in much for new movies. Oh, I see them from time to time and even like some, from time to time, but it’s just not as important to me, as it is with my friends, to keep up with the latest from P. T. Anderson or Kathryn Bigelow or I don’t even know who’s hot these days. The older I get, the more I enjoy the company of older movies. I killed Oscar night watching a film from 1975 and it seemed weird to be watching a movie in color, made less than fifty years ago. Because I write about movies, people are always asking me what’s good that’s new or did I see this new movie? And when they tell me I should see this or that new movie, I feel myself want to ask them…
Is there a scene set in a hobo jungle?
Do characters wear tuxedos to a prize fight?
Do they go to the movies and specifically purchase loge seats?
Do all calls go through the switchboard?
Does Clark Gable waste a dude in the men’s room of Madison Square Garden?
Is exposition disseminated via a series of newspaper headlines?
Is Ben Welden’s happiness in inverse proportion to the well-being of the principals?
Is there a line-up? Is there?
Is there any significant action inside a poor man’s club?
Does Thomas E. Jackson play a police detective or city desk editor?
Is there something for Edward Van Sloan?
Does Aline MacMahon steal anybody’s milk?
Is there a prison riot?
Does anybody yell “This is a raid!”?
Do characters wear bowties to do manual labor?
Does Joan Blondell crack wise?
Is there an Ann Dvorak freakout?
Is the passage of time telegraphed via a swirling of a page-a-day wall calendar?
Is there something for Frank Faylen?
Does more than one character wear a newsboy cap?
Does Joe Sawyer have a good laugh at the misfortune of others?
Does Bette Davis play somebody’s girlfriend?
Does James Cagney play somebody’s best friend?
Does Humphrey Bogart wear one of those barber pole neckties that used to upset Hal Wallis?
Is there something for Charles Lane?
Does George Stone have all the angles covered?
Does Loretta Young die in the gutter?
If the answer to more than half of these questions is no, then you can keep your new movies… and you’ll find me in my loge seat.
MovieMorlocks.com is the official blog for TCM. No topic is too obscure or niche to be excluded from our film discussions. And we welcome your comments on our blogs and bloggers.
See more: facebook.com/tcmtv
See more: twitter.com/tcm
3-D Action Films Actors Actors' Endorsements Actresses animal stars Animation Anime Anthology Films Art in Movies Autobiography Avant-Garde Aviation Awards B-movies Beer in Film Behind the Scenes Best of the Year lists Biography Biopics Blu-Ray Books on Film Boxing films British Cinema Canadian Cinema Character Actors Chicago Film History Cinematography Classic Films College Life on Film Comedy Comic Book Movies Crime Czech Film Dance on Film Digital Cinema Directors Disaster Films Documentary Drama DVD Early Talkies Editing Educational Films European Influence on American Cinema Experimental Exploitation Fairy Tales on Film Faith or Christian-based Films Family Films Film Composers Film Criticism film festivals Film History in Florida Film Noir Film Scholars Film titles Filmmaking Techniques Films of the 1980s Food in Film Foreign Film French Film Gangster films Genre Genre spoofs HD & Blu-Ray Holiday Movies Hollywood history Hollywood lifestyles Horror Horror Movies Icons independent film Italian Film Japanese Film Korean Film Literary Adaptations Martial Arts Melodramas Method Acting Mexican Cinema Moguls Monster Movies Movie Books Movie Costumes movie flops Movie locations Movie lovers Movie Reviewers Movie settings Movie Stars Movies about movies Music in Film Musicals Outdoor Cinema Paranoid Thrillers Parenting on film Pirate movies Polish film industry political thrillers Politics in Film Pornography Pre-Code Producers Race in American Film Remakes Revenge Road Movies Romance Romantic Comedies Satire Scandals Science Fiction Screenwriters Semi-documentaries Serials Short Films Silent Film silent films Social Problem Film Sports Sports on Film Stereotypes Straight-to-DVD Studio Politics Stunts and stuntmen Suspense thriller TCM Classic Film Festival TCM Underground Television The British in Hollywood The Germans in Hollywood The Hungarians in Hollywood The Irish in Hollywood Theaters Thriller Trains in movies Underground Cinema VOD War film Westerns Women in the Film Industry Women's Weepies