In the past few weeks we’ve been discussing films which have been celebrating their 50th and 60th birthdays. (Jeez, how time flies.) But what about those classics which are 70 this year?
70! Imagine it. Can you think of a film released this year which even has a chance to be remembered 70 years from now? Just asking.
Your classic movie guys, Joe Morella and Frank Segers saying Hello, Everybody, and please dazzle us with your predictions of which film in this year’s crop you think has a shot of being a classic which people will still be watching and talking about 70 years from now.
We can’t think of one.
Seventy years is a very long time. Cultures change, fashions change. But universal human conditions and emotions are for better or worse lasting.
We’ve thought of four films which were released in 1943, are celebrating their 70th birthday this year, and can still hold an audience in thrall. One is about love. One is about faith. One is about war. The last is about man’s inhumanity to man.
Casablanca is on almost every list of the best films ever made. Books can (and have) be written about this movie. It was magic in the making, and remains a favorite of millions. It showed everyone that even the toughest of tough guys could be romantic.
For much more on Casablanca check out our quiz on the film (Casablanca Quiz, April 11, 2012 for questions; April 17, 2012 for answers) and our discussion of a humorous incident that occurred on the production set (Peter Lorre: The Prankster of ‘Casablanca’, April 17, 2012).
The Song of Bernadette is a brilliantly crafted story of a innocent girl whose devotion thrusts her into the limelight. Jennifer Jones (pictured at the top of today’s blog) won the Oscar but its the band of character actors led by Gladys George, Anne Bevere, Vincent Price, Lee J. Cobb and Charles Dingle who steal the show.
Five Graves to Cairo is a taut tale of men during wartime. It is not about battles and blood but about personalities. Erich Von Strohiem is perfect as Field Marshall Rommel.
And The Ox Bow Incident, is a powerful story of mob psychology and violence, set in the American west of the 1880s. Henry Fonda and Dana Andrews star.
All four films are brilliantly written, acted and directed.
Oh, since we mentioned the hit songs from the movies of the day 50 and 60 years ago, let’s not forget the songs generated by films 70 years ago. Remember “That Old Black Magic?” How about “You’d Be So Nice to Come Home To?”
Can it be? That they don’t make ’em like they used to?