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Thursday, April 7, 2011



I love old movies—you know, the ones that are mostly black and white. If you would have asked me a long while back if I did, I would have said, “No!” Of course I had seen a lot of them as a teenager and onward but it wasn’t till several years ago that I developed a great interest in them and my reasons are tenfold.

Love looking at the set designs in these movies: They are actually “time capsules” for each period. One of my most favorite set designs is the big room in the movie, “The Picture of Dorian Gray:” It is simply breathtaking, in black and white and has perfect symmetry. And it’s art deco as well which is a period I love to see in sets, clothing or objects.

The clothing that the actors and actresses wear in these old movies fascinate me: Always perfect and of the specific period. And nothing like today at all as these performers were impeccably dressed and their hair was perfect for that time. Men wore handkerchiefs in their coat pockets and were suave. Women were dressed to the nines and always perfectly coiffed. You don’t see that today in movies unless you watched “The King’s Speech:” It was a period movie and yes, the actors and actresses of course were dressed for that time.

It’s fun to look at the type of cars in these movies and wonder how they made it in chase scenes or the like. But if you’ve ever watched “Topper,” you saw that jazzed-up sports car and it did make it even after a colossal wreck. After watching this movie many times as well as the sequels, I had to go online to see what type of car that was: It was specially altered to look as it did. And definitely not on the market.

Harold Lloyd movies are some of my favorites as he was a master of comedy as well as his own stuntman. From his silent movies to the “talkies” he was more than an actor: He was a genius.

I could go on and on about black and white movies—I love “The Thin Man” and the series that followed. In reality, watching these old movies is an escape into a past that I didn’t know but have come to recognize. Isn’t that what movies are supposed to do in the first place? Transport us to another place? Old movies definitely do that. If you haven’t watched any, give it a try. You might get hooked just like I did and you will watch far more than the movie.

Sherry Hill

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