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View Diary: Are old movies doomed to obscurity? (288 comments)

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  •  Not so sure old movies are doomed to obscurity (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, Munchkn, nchristine

    ...at least any more than popular fiction is as time passes.

    People still read Dickens and Austen and Poe over a hundred years later.  They still read Steinbeck and Faulkner and Hammett over half a century later.  A hundred and fifty years from now large numbers of people will still watch "Casablanca", "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II", "Citizen Kane", and "Dr. Strangelove", among many others.  Other films, like old novels by authors who have lost their currency, will be mostly forgotten.

    That being said, thank God for the avenues that are available to find mostly forgotten films, like TCM, Netflix and video outlets like Kino.  I recently saw an obscure Roger Corman film from 1961, "The Intruder" starring a young, pre-Star Trek William Shatner and written by frequent "Twilight Zone" writer Charles Beaumont.  It's a social drama about integration and racism - Shatner is a racist rabble-rouser for an outfit called "The Patrick Henry Society" that sounds suspiciously like "The John Birch Society" - and while it's low budget, it's nothing like most of Corman's B-movie filmography.  Some of the characters are more nuanced than you'd expect: the "good guy" white Southerners aren't civil rights advocates but people who realize that integration is now the law and should therefore be followed.  Also, Shatner gives one of his very best film performances here; he shows some of his signature flamboyance when he has to (like when he's speaking to angry racist mobs), but most of the time he's much more low-key.  It's not perfect (still good, though), but as a movie buff, I'm glad I saw it, and I probably never would've seen it if I hadn't been browsing Netflix.  

    "We have nothing to fear but fear itself."

    by Theodoric of York Medieval Liberal on Sun Jul 15, 2012 at 08:28:38 PM PDT

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