gregferrara
gregferrara

It was in grade school that I starting going out of my way to see whatever movies I could from the Golden Era of Hollywood, movies I had read about in the "Motion Pictures" entry in the encyclopedia. I'd stay up late or convince my mom to take me to whatever revival in whatever town I could find. It was with my mom that I saw the double feature of "Creature from the Black Lagoon/It Came from Outer Space," both in their original 3-D, complete with the red and blue glasses, and even though she wanted to leave after the first feature, I convinced her to stay for the whole thing.

It was around this time that my middle school library got a brand new book, just published! And it was about film! That didn't happen often, I can tell you. The book, published in 1976, was "Silents to Sound: A History of the Movies" by Juliet P. Schoen, an author I'd not heard of before and have not heard of since but it was she who introduced me to the movies in a real way. Oh sure, the book was general knowledge, just like the encyclopedia, but it had so much more detail, so many wonderful stories. I read it every week in the library until, one day, quite absent-mindedly, I put it in my backpack and walked out. I didn't mean to and promised myself I'd return it just as soon as I read it a couple more times. Then a little more. Then just a little more. Okay, just one more time!

I've still got it today.

Though it no longer holds anything for me in the way of film knowledge or analysis, I can't get rid of it and the school doesn't even exist anymore anyway. When I started writing online in 2007 I named my blog "Cinema Styles: From Silents to Sound." By 2009 I had dropped the "From Silents to Sound" part but the love remained, the film studies continued and the reception of so much joy, of spiritual fulfillment, taken from the cinema daily is something that remains powerful to this day.

Posts by gregferrara

Years ago – many, many years ago – as I began my odyssey into the world of film, the main thing I did was read.  Back in those days, pre-cable, pre-vcrs, way pre-dvd and streaming, most movies simply weren’t available for viewing.  The best thing you could do if you were a fledgling cinema obsessive […]

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The Lost Weekend, playing tonight on TCM, is a classic of the “social commentary” genre of movie making in which a troublesome topic that affects society is treated to a sobering (no pun intended) reflection on the silver screen.  This can cover anything from juvenile delinquency to systemic racism but when the subject turns to […]

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Later tonight on TCM, the 1978 Oscar winner The Deer Hunter runs, starring Robert de Niro, John Cazale, Meryl Streep, John Savage, and Christopher Walken.  That last guy took home a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance even though I think John Savage, who wasn’t even nominated, was better.  And John Cazale, too.  Oh, […]

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Tonight on TCM, No Way Out, Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s controversial 1950 film dealing with racism and violence that marked Sidney Poitier’s screen debut.  As debuts go, it’s one of the better ones out there.  In fact, it’s what you would call a “star turn.”  It may have been Poitier’s first movie but he was clearly destined […]

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Tonight on TCM, the prime time lineup features four movies with Emma Thompson.  Since Emma didn’t arrive on the movie making scene until well after the Golden Age of Hollywood, the movies being shown are slightly newer.  In fact, each of the movies was made in the nineties.  To be specific, Much Ado about Nothing […]

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Tonight on TCM, Design for Living airs, the 1933 adaptation of Noel Coward’s play, starring Gary Cooper, Frederic March, and Miriam Hopkins.  I bring it up because Gary Cooper, the man who spent a career playing the down-home, salt of the earth type in movies like Meet John Doe and Sergeant York, also had quite […]

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We, each of us, have plenty of favorite movies and of those favorites, many will often come from the same year or, better put, each year contains many favorite films.  Some years, however, stand out more than others.  Today, one of the movies featured here on TCM is one of my personal favorites and also […]

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A few weeks ago, I put up a post on different actors playing the same role and which was better.  The post asked “who played that part better” and one of the movies on TCM today that I could have included, but didn’t, was Cape Fear.  It didn’t come up in the comments either, surprisingly, […]

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If you ask someone to name a great movie about television news, one that satirizes and examines the line between news and entertainment, they will most assuredly name Network first.   If asked for a second choice, they may mention A Face in the Crowd, if they know their classic cinema and, indeed, A Face […]

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Today on TCM, it’s time to celebrate the New Year and what better way to celebrate than with movies that celebrate time, future, past, and present.  There’s Things to Come, Soylent Green, and Time after Time, three movies that either take us into the future or travel back and forth between a distant past and […]

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