Bring it on, Bond Girls!

Friday, 23 August 2013 | Tags: , , , , ,

I was deprived as a child. Growing up, we were the last house on the block to get cable and our TV viewing was strictly monitored by my parents. The only shows I remember being allowed to watch were M*A*S*H and Happy Days, and only those because they were my mother's favourites. Joanie and Chachi got me through my formative years. We were told to "make up games" while other kids feasted on The Flintstones.

The sense of freedom (and rebellion) I felt when I got my first apartment with my own unlimited television is palpable to this day. I couldn’t get enough. Is it any wonder I make my living in TV?

And as I’ve written recently in this space, the invention of Apple TV and Netflix has further fuelled my addiction. My latest discovery? Old movies. Have you seen any of the early Bond flicks? I watched Dr. No last night and it’s remarkable how much faster pace the movies became by the time Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig arrived. More evidence of how we always seem to need more, faster, louder and bigger.

I also watched the first Terminator, which is just as good today as it was when it first came out in 1984. And Planet of the Apes? Now that was a seriously groundbreaking movie for its time. You must put it on your list.

I saw the recently re-released 3D version of Jurassic Park. Yes, that movie is 20 years old. Watching it now, it’s clear this flick set the stage for a whole new level of computer generated imagery. And the movie holds up amazingly well even today.

The differences in the way movies were produced back in the day is amazing to observe. Scenes were longer. Pace was slower. Lighting was moodier and a lot of the acting was so dramatic and overdone it’s almost funny. How Ursula Andress won a Golden Globe for her role as the first Bond girl is beyond me. Standards were different back then. But I did like that her bikini came with hunting knife and she had exceptionally good beach hair.

On my list for this weekend is Paper Moon and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. As a lover of all things country, I can’t believe I haven’t seen that one yet.

Please send me your recommendations for old flicks and don’t forget sometimes it’s important to appreciate what’s old to really understand the value of what’s new.




Top photo: Pineapple101/flickr

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  • Heather Fowlie

    I love old movies and always have,so it’s hard to choose what to recommended. I think I’ll choose The Thin Man series with William Powell and Myrna Loy. They are cheeky and sophisticated with a bit of romance and action and a very cute dog.

  • GTA_John

    We each have our own pet genres — for me it’s the old Sherlock Holmes movies starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce — that are simply too good to miss.

    And no cinephile’s life is complete without viewing “Citizen Kane”, “Casablanca”, and “Gone with the Wind” (though that’s not a personal favourite). For musicals you really should watch “Cabaret” and, my all-time favourite, “My Fair Lady.”

    You’ve noted (and I’ve mentioned) several blockbuster movies but I often think that it’s the non-blockbusters which are the ‘must see’ films so I’ll leave you with a recommendation to watch “Klute” (with a young Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland) and you can toss a coin and choose one of “Strictly Ballroom”, “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” or the much tougher “Breaker Morant”.

  • glenstromquist

    Two on my all time favorite list: One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest & Easy Rider. If you’re a Jack fan these are two of his finest.

    Cuckoo’s Nest is probably THE best movie I have ever watched, period.

    Easy Rider is a timeless classic & also shows some of Jack before he hit the big time.

    Both are must see’s in my book!

  • Pat O’Rielley

    Seabiscuit is a must see, much more than a story of a racehorse and a jockey its a story of fate! Ring of fire also a must see even if your not a Johnny Cash fan, another story of fate.

  • Non Compos Mentis

    Any Hitchcock movie is great – Psycho, Rear View Window, Vertigo. I love watching How to Marry a Millionaire just to see the costumes, so much work went into the costumes in those days!

  • William Maddox

    A rather old, but extremely witty movie is The Man Who Came To Dinner, with a stellar cast, including a very young Bette Davis. An adaptation of the Moss Hart play, the main character is based on the eccentric columnist and raconteur, Alexander Woollcott. One caveat, however; the dialogue goes by so quickly, you may wish to turn on the subtitles in order to capture everything.

  • Kevin Furniss

    Summertime (1955). Venice and Katherine Hepburn never looked more beautiful.

  • Lee-Anna Tero

    Fried Green Tomatoes & Steel Magnolias! Two favorites!

  • John Arthur Specht

    Charade is a movie I really like. Audrey Hepburn and Carey Grant star.