They don’t make ’em like they used to…

Nov 3, 2018 | 0 comments

A 1945 Classic

It was a small group of Friday Nighters who gathered last evening – just the right number to have an in-depth discussion or two.  Mainly we talked about movies – old ones.  But, we began our stroll down memory lane with last year’s Academy Award winning Best Picture – “The Shape of Water.”  Those of us who saw it were pretty much underwhelmed.

To me it seemed like a poorer version of “The Enchanted Cottage” – 1945 with Dorothy McGuire and Robert Young.  That was another “modern day” fairy tale with an impossible happily-ever-after ending.  It was so much better than “The Shape of Water.”  But we all conceded that sometimes you can’t go back again – some of those oldies are better left in our memory banks.

Then we talked about the movies we’ve seen over and over – the ones that do hold up.  “Rear Window” and “The Birds” – actually most of the Alfred Hitchcock movies.  And “Casablanca” and “Gaslight” and “The African Queen” –  anything with Ingrid Bergman or, for that matter, Humphrey Bogart or Katherine Hepburn or Gregory Peck or…

Scene from 1952 “I Love Lucy” episode, “Job Switching”

And there were the musicals – “Oklahoma” and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” and “Cabaret” and “Meet Me in Saint Louis” and how about all the Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly movies and which partners did we like them best with.  And, in that genre we agreed that some of the more modern films like the first “Mama Mia” were holding up pretty well, too

From there we segued into early television.  We all felt that most of our once-upon-a-time favorites seem dated now.  Nyel had recently seen an episode of “Wagon Train” that he found pretty lame.  On the other hand, we thought that some of the classic TV comedies – “I Love Lucy” or “The Carol Burnett Show” – anything with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman – still can make us laugh until we cry.  “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” we said.  Over and over.

“Dick Tracy” character, B.O. Plenty introduced in 1957

This morning Nyel and I repeated that same mantra when I mentioned, “I don’t seem to feel my usual sparkle today,” which led us to Sparkle Plenty, Dick Tracy’s daughter-in-law, and her father Bob Oliver “B.O.” Plenty which led us to Pigpen and the other “Peanuts” characters…  and isn’t Prince Valiant still going strong more’s the pity?  And so, our day began.  With, I might add, the full realization that we aren’t quite what we used to be either.  It makes me wonder how our past selves would hold up if we could rewind the film…


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