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

Today on TCM, a celebration of Ingrid Bergman will bring us many of the cinematic legend’s greatest films as well as some lesser known ones.  Early in the day, her first film after exiting Hollywood, Stromboli, airs and it contains one of my favorite scenes in any movie of the decade.  That scene comes when […]

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In the recent Best Picture winner, Birdman, Michael Keaton plays an movie actor searching for legitimacy by mounting a Broadway adaptation of the works of Raymond Carver.  During a confrontation with another actor in the play, played by Edward Norton, Keaton’s character pretends to have had a much more troubled past than he really did. […]

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Tonight TCM airs the classic sci-fi social commentary, The Day the Earth Stood Still, in which an alien named Klaatu comes down to visit us earthlings with his robot Gort and lets us know we’re becoming a problem.  That is, the earth and its development of nuclear weapons is a problem because, I don’t know, […]

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It’s said you can learn just as much from a failure, or more, than you can from a success.  Today on TCM, The Marx Brothers run all day long and while many of their movies are celebrated, like Duck Soup, A Night at the Opera, and A Day at the Races, others don’t come off […]

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Today is Katharine Hepburn’s day on TCM and I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss something I’ve always found to be one of her greatest strengths: Finding chemistry with just about anyone. It’s not an easy thing to do in and of itself but she took it one step further: She had chemistry with Spencer […]

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Tonight TCM airs one of my favorite films of all time, The Adventures of Robin Hood, directed by Michael Curtiz and William Keighly, and starring Errol Flynn in the role that truly cemented his status as a swashbuckling icon after earlier star-making successes like Captain Blood set the stage. Also starring cinematic greats Olivia de […]

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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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