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

TCM celebrates Mother’s Day by offering up a selection of cinematic mothers who reinforce the ideals upheld by most of us when thinking of great mothers.  Barbara Stanwyck’s Stella Dallas is a classless, gaudy, hoot of a mama who, once she discovers the embarrassment and distinct lack of social climbing she offers her daughter, voluntarily […]

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Anyone who knows classic Hollywood knows that there have been many occasions where the name under the “directed by” credit isn’t the actual person who directed the picture.  One of those happens to be on tonight, Journey Into Fear, nominally directed by Norman Foster, but mapped out in its entirety by Orson Welles.  Other famous […]

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May 6th, 2015 is the one hundredth birthday of the great Orson Welles, and tonight, even though it’s not quite his birthday yet, TCM is airing Citizen Kane and Magnificent Ambersons back to back.  After that it’s Orson in Jane Eyre and then Too Much Johnson, his short from 1938.  Fellow Morlock Kimberly Lindbergs gave us a […]

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Today on TCM, the 1942 classic Pride of the Yankees runs, the fictionalized account of Lou Gehrig and his all too young departure from this world due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a disease that eventually took his name, so associated with him it became.   Like many sports dramas, the real drama comes not from […]

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Today TCM airs Being There, the 1979 movie starring Peter Sellers, Melvin Douglas, and Shirley MacLaine that satirizes the culture of political celebrity in America.   In it, Sellers plays Chance, the gardener, who is put out of work, and home, when the wealthy owner of the Washington, DC townhouse where he resides dies.  He […]

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It was fifty years ago that the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, debuted on the silver screen.  Adapted from the successful stage production, which debuted six years earlier, in 1959, on Broadway, and went on to win five Tony Awards, it quickly became one of the all-time box office giants and one […]

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Later tonight, French Cancan airs on TCM and I have to say, I’ve got a bone to pick with Leonard Maltin (or whichever one of his staff wrote the entry for it – that’s not a knock, that’s simply how his guides work, with a full staff writing the reviews but Maltin getting the byline). […]

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A Summer Place airs (or “aired” depending on when you read this) this morning on TCM and I have two confessions: First, as famous as it is, I didn’t actually see it until a couple of years ago.  Yes, it took me that long to get around to it but the theme song has played in my […]

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Late tonight, TCM airs the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty, the classic true life tale of the infamous mutiny led by Fletcher Christian against William Bligh aboard the HMS Bounty in 1789.  The story has been told enough times on film that the characters have become iconic and each successive portrayal is inevitably […]

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I was looking through TCM’s schedule, as I often do, and noticed that Broadcast News was airing on Monday.  I won’t be posting here on Monday and since I wrote the article for it I felt like I had a few things to say about it and so I may as well take the opportunity to […]

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