Greg Ferrara
Greg Ferrara

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. No matter, 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 Greg Ferrara

There’s a movie on tonight that represents the first real starring role of an actor that became a mentor to me as a young actor without ever having met me, or I him.  He was one of the first actors I saw whose performances existed on the same elevated level of greatness, and pure naturalness, […]

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Executive Suite, the 1954 classic about an inter-business struggle among a company’s board of directors over who should take over the company, airs on TCM today.  It’s a fine piece of filmmaking though not really a personal favorite.   I like it just fine but, frankly, the profession doesn’t do much for me.  No, not […]

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It’s Father’s Day again and TCM has a wide selection of movies with the general theme of fatherhood.  Enjoy them all.  As for me, when I think of great, or bad, fathers in movies, I tend to go with the movies that don’t market themselves as being movies about fatherhood.  For instance, last year for […]

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One thing most movie lovers tout is seeing a movie on the big screen.  Now, I understand plenty of people don’t want to go to a theater, spend a fortune on tickets, popcorn, and a drink just to see the glow of cell phones and hear people rudely talking while someone kicks your seat from […]

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Today on TCM, The Spirit of St. Louis airs, one of the all-times stretches in performing a character far younger than the actor portraying him.  James Stewart, at the age of 49, plays Charles “Lucky Lindy” Lindbergh, at the age of 25 and younger.  Lindbergh was 25 when he made history crossing the Atlantic solo […]

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Today on TCM, the 1982 comedy My Favorite Year airs and it marked Peter O’Toole’s twentieth year as a star.  His stardom began with his breakout role in Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 and continued, with some ups and downs, for the next 50 plus years.  He even has a movie out in 2016, three […]

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Coming on TCM tomorrow is one of those sequels that was never necessary but also turned out to be not bad.  The sequel is 2010: The Year We Make Contact, the original is 2001: A Space Odyssey, and, of course, both movies now take place in the past, a past somehow completely missing smart phones […]

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Genre is a term that means the same thing to many people while many nothing at all to most.  It’s meant as a way to organize and compartmentalize different types of movies so that, at the very least, we can scroll through our choices on Netflix more easily.  But, of course, if you know anything […]

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As I looked at the schedule for today I noticed William Wellman’s name in there.  The movie he directed that’s on the schedule today is Stingaree from 1934, starring Irene Dunne, Richard Dix, and Mary Boland.   I’ve never seen Stingaree but that notwithstanding, I’ve always listed William Wellman as a favorite director, along with […]

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Today on TCM, two of my favorite sci-fI movies air, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Forbidden Planet.  They approach their aliens from distinctly different angles but share characteristics that have always kept them at or near the top of my favorite sci-fi movies list.  The fact that I saw both of them for […]

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