I’ve been watching a number of classic movies lately.
Due to a … ahem … slight clerical oversight, a few years ago, I get an absurd number of cable channels for the ultra-sub-basic price. Attempts to correct this oversight have been met with “What? Are you crazy?!” kinds of responses, do I eventually gave up.
Anyways, two of the channels I get, and just about the only ones I watch, are AMC, where they show classic movies, and USA (or is it TNT? I never can remember), where they show classic-but-newer movies.
So over the last few weeks I’ve watched “Rebel Without a Cause”, and “Cool Hand Luke”, both of them for the first time.
Rebel was fascinating – a rebel movie set in a time when rebellion meant rather different things than it does now. I feel like I need to see it again, as I didn’t really grasp what it was about. I think that in a time when we’re used to much higher body count, and the rebel/hero is almost a cliché, it’s hard to recognize the profound bits, even when you’re aware that you’re missing them.
Cool Hand Luke was a lot of fun. Luke was entertaining in a strange sort of way. Another rebel/hero, bored with life, being destructive because there just wasn’t anything interesting going on.
And, of course, I finally heard the original of that phrase that is part of our language and culture – “What we have here is a failure to communicate”. There are a lot of these phrases that folks say that are from movies that I’ve never seen – one of the side effects of growing up an expatriate. That, and all of Saturday Night Live, I suppose.
The big difference with these two movies was just that they were interesting and enjoyable and just good stories, whereas so many of the “you’ve got to see this” movies that I’ve put in my Blockbuster movie queue have ended up being a waste of time and postage. Well, you win some, you lose some.