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

This morning on TCM, Suddenly, the 1954 thriller starring Sterling Hayden and Frank Sinatra, aired and if you didn’t see it, you missed a good one.  The story is of an assassination attempt on the president of the United States who happens to be passing through the town of Suddenly, California.  The secret service show […]

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Last week I did a post on directors and which movies were their most famous, my favorite, and best.  In this installment, the second “Readers’ Choice” post I’ve done (here’s the first), I’m taking the suggestion of the commenter “oystercrakker” and going with actors instead of directors.  One of my favorite actors of all time […]

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Tonight on TCM, Metropolis airs, the 1926 science fiction classic from world-renowned director Fritz Lang.  It’s probably his single most famous film.  It’s been released so many times, with so many different soundtracks, it’s practically an industry unto itself.  As such, it’s also the favorite movie by Fritz Lang of a great many people and […]

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This Sunday, if you haven’t already seen it on the big screen, TCM and Fathom Events will be partnering yet again to show Double Indemnity on the big screen around the country (check this page from Fathom to find out where).  I highly recommend it.  Having seen it on the big screen, as well as multitudes […]

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With few exceptions, movies have one ending.  Most of the time, the ending you see on the screen is not only the ending intended, it’s the only ending anyone ever had in mind.  Sometimes the ending is changed, though, either to make a movie play better to specific audiences or because some studio head didn’t […]

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The movies have a long history of telling true stories by making them completely untrue.  I’m not talking about taking a movie about a famous person, like Night and Day‘s telling of Cole Porter’s life, and highly fictionalizing it to the extent that it’s almost completely created from scratch.  And I’m not talking about alternate […]

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Last week I did a post on how the remake Against All Odds paled next to its original inspiration, Out of the Past.  I enjoyed writing it and reading the comments and discussion that followed, as always, and decided to keep doing it.  Now, making the argument that Against All Odds is a faint shadow […]

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Today on TCM, one of my favorite movies of all time comes on, Out of the Past.  It was released in 1947 and 36 years later was remade as Against All Odds.  Jeff Bridges stepped into the shoes of Robert Mitchum, James Woods into the shoes of Kirk Douglas, and Rachel Ward into the shoes […]

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Today is Father’s Day and, as such, TCM is showing lots of movies with dads, from The Courtship of Eddie’s Father to Life with Father to, well, lots of other movies with the word “Father” in the title but there’s one movie that they’re not showing and it’s too bad, really.  It’s one of the […]

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Late tonight, TCM plays the early seventies gangster classic, Get Carter, with Michael Caine in an absolutely brilliant performance as the cold, deadly Carter of the title.  One of the reasons Michael Caine has long been a favorite of mine is his natural ability to play comedy and drama, light and heavy, with equal aptitude. […]

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