While I am hardly Siskel or Ebert, I do love movies. Primarily classic oldies. Not oldies as in “The Breakfast Club” (1985) or “Halloween” (1978), but Classic, Black and White, pre-1950's Oldies. I have been watching classic movies since I was a kid. My friends are always teasing me, calling me the “walking encyclopedia of old movies”. Yet, they are also the ones calling me up at all hours asking, “Who was in that movie.... you know, the one about..?” Anyway, those are my favorites. I think they tell us so much about who we are, as well as where we are now. The new Millenium. And more importantly, where we came from.

Louis B. Mayer, the one time great and powerful head of MGM Studios, once said that he had “more stars than there are in the heavens”. And boy, was that an understatement:

Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Vivien Leigh, Myrna Loy, Olivia de Havilland, Cary Grant, Lionel Barrymore, Wallace Berry, Greta Garbo, Rosalind Russell, William Powell, Jimmy Stewart, Margaret Sullivan, Lucille Ball, Hedy Lamarr, Van Johnson, Donna Reed, Robert Taylor, Walter Pidgeon, Greer Garson, Fay Bainter, Lana Turner, Robert Montgomery, Spring Byington, Bert Lahr, June Allyson, Ann Sothern, Gene Kelly, Irene Dunne...

The list could go on and on. What a time it was to be involved with the studio system. Unfortunately today, the 'Studio System' is not what it was. Back then, the studios worked you, groomed you, trained you, paid you and in most cases, protected you. Granted, sometimes they did a lot of cover up. But, I guarantee you, you wouldn’t have heard half the stuff you do now if the studio moguls, like Louis B. Mayer or Jack Warner had anything to do with it. And, they were your family. Every one of them. Directors and crewmen, alike. Actors were working, star and characters’. Even day players. I really wish I could have been around for the ‘Studio System’. They made you. It was an exciting time.

As moviebufs and actors, we need to learn who the people were who pioneered the film industry for us; we owe them that much respect. Actors like Merle Oberon or Tyrone Power. And Directors like George Cukor or William Wyler. I know that a lot of people out there love “Twilight” or “Transformers”, but do yourself a favor: once a month, watch a great old black and white classic like “Wuthering Heights” (1939) with Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier or “Mrs. Miniver” (1942) with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon. Learn from these actors and directors. They worked hard, and it pains me to hear people nowadays say “Merle who?” or “Oh, sorry. I never saw that movie”. Hopefully, I can help spread the word of how wonderful classic movies can be. There was so much more before color and CGI !

Although the term ‘classics’ usually refers to old black and white, there is nothing to say that a classic movie can’t be color; such as “Jaws” (1975) or “The Exorcist” (1973), “Halloween” (1978) and “The Breakfast Club” (1985). I firmly believe, if it hadn’t been for Alfred Hitchcock or James Whale paving the way, would we have the likes of John Carpenter or George Romero today? The same with Preston Sturges, would we have Peter Bogdanovich or John Hughes? A lot can be said for television, too. Again, if it hadn’t been for the likes of “Dragnet” and “Perry Mason”, would we have “Law & Order” or “CSI”?

Remember, these are MY opinions. They are not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings. If we don’t have the same opinion on a movie ... oh,well...! And we all know what opinions are like, right? Everyone has one. This just happens to be mine.

So sit back, peruse the archive, watch the clips, listen to the music and read the reviews. You're in for a treat.