More questions from my faithful readers are the subject of Tuesday Questions. Here we go!
Do you have any favorite drive in movie memories?
Not too many. I’ve been to the drive in less than a handful of times in my life. I mostly remember them for being hot and sticky affairs (get your minds out of the gutter, people!!!!). It was usually summertime, the car’s A/C was off, and it quickly became hot and humid inside. I should also say that I never went on a date to a drive in movie. My opinion might be different in that case.
Probably my favorite drive in experience was my first. In 1972, my family went to a drive in triple feature: SNOOPY, COME HOME (1972), LE MANS (1971) with Steve McQueen, and BIG JAKE (1971) with John Wayne. BIG JAKE was the first PG movie I ever saw. I also remember that the only people who stayed awake for the whole thing were my dad and myself. I don’t know what time we got home but it was LATE.
Do you think the demise of the classic old studio system (think the 30's, 40's and 50's) resulted in better films, worse films or neither?
Thanks, John! Like all things, I think there were good and bad results when the studio system went under. In general, I think it resulted in better films, especially in the 1950’s, 1960’s, and 1970’s. Filmmakers were freed to explore subjects they would not have been able to under the old studio system. They pushed the boundaries and broke away from the old Production Code which meant movies seemed more like real life. Also, actors and directors started getting paid what they were truly worth. So overall I would say they were better films.
The downside was that it made it more expensive to make movies. Rather than having all your resources in house at the studio, producers had to go out and assemble their crews and casts on a film-by-film basis.
Once corporations started reinserting themselves into the creative process in the early 1980s, the variety and types of films began decreasing. Today, I think the range of subject matter is worse than in the studio days. Back then, a studio consciously tried to make films in all genres aimed at all segments of the audience. Now, the studios aim everything at the most reliable audience demographic going the movies: young males aged 15-25. I miss the days when CHINATOWN and THE LAST PICTURE SHOW were summer releases.
It may not be the film with his best acting, but my all-time favorite John Wayne movie is "McLintock". I have lost track of how many times I have seen it but it never fails to make me laugh out loud each & every time. And what a cast it had... too many to mention. It's a film still watching.
Thanks, Pat! I agree. I watched MCLINTOCK (1963) a lot when I was a boy but have not watched it in probably 40 years. Barely remember it now except that Wayne falling down the stairs was a running gag. I’ll have to check it out again soon.
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