As a kid I grew up on westerns, star wars, and car chase movies. It wasn’t until college that I started to delve a little into movie history. It was also about the time that VCR’s became affordable and movies were plentiful . We had content coming out of our ears (Ha, little did we know) . Cable had taken hold and we were swimming in channel choices, around 50 or 60 (I currently have 178 , basic package). Pay cable like HBO and Cinemax filled our days with movies galore.(who saw Clash of Titans more than 24 times?) It was the death of the movie theaters (or was it).
It was also about the time my interest in theater was begining. Ok, my girlfriend (now my lovely wife) was into theater. I started to broaden my interests into broadway, which lead to musicals, which eventually lead back to old time Hollywood musical. I’ll admit they were great fun to watch. Along the way I started to watch other Hollywood classics. I discovered those classic Hollywood stars. Liz Taylor,Audrey Hepburn, Gene Kelley, Paul Newman, Robert Mitchum, Tony Curtis, etc.
I recall discovering Liz Taylor. I used to burn up my Sunday mornings in my dorm room watching Turner Classic Movies before I went on to my Captain of Industry position as a Sandwich Artist (pronounced R-teeest) at Subway. It was Cleopatra. Wow ! She was stunning. Wait wait wait. This isn’t that same lady who was friends with Michael Jackson?! It’s funny moment, sorta like when you realize that Paul McCartny was in the same band as John Lennon. There’s confusion and anger, you’re afraid. I’m mean how is it possible that that Band on the Run drivel was once partnered with the genius and beauty of Imagine. I digress….
Yes, that Liz Taylor. I wouldn’t say she was one of the greatest actress’, but she was in some great classics. Giant, Cleopatra, A Cat on A Hot Tin Roof. The thing about these movies was that they had big sweeping romance stories. The romance stories were big intoxicating affairs that rolled over any obstacle that presented itself. Good or bad, right or wrong, healthy or unhealthy the romance survived. Now a days we don’t get that. We get romance crushed under pop culture, independent women who are determined to pay half the bill and prove they can survive without their soul mates, and hooker gets billionaire fairytales. Not making any judgments on all that, just pointing out the differences. Maybe in todays culture and society we just can’t get sort of movie. And that’s OK. It’s just different.
What does this mean for my kids? Will my son be commenting on Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johanson, and Angelina Jolie 30 years from now as classic actress’? Will my daughter think Robert Patterson and Jake Gyllenhaal are classic leading men? Funny enough because of the 200 plus cable channels and streaming everything from the Roku* my kids are already watching some of this stuff. They’ve already seen more classic Scooby Do than I ever did. They do watch some of the older movies, mostly musicals. Oklahoma, My Fair Lady, etc. Am I shortchanging them on a journey of discovery in their latter years? I doubt it….
There will always be two Liz Taylors to me. Liz Taylor, the perfume hawking , 7 husband old lady I knew growing up and the Elizabeth Taylor, the stunningly beautiful, romantic starlet from a time before mine.
* Roku – is a little black box that is connected to the Ethernet and allows you to get vast amounts of streaming content from Amazon, Netflicks, and a bunch of other places. It’s like the ultimate pay per view, but way better.