I distinctly remember the first time that I watched Gone with the Wind. My family was living in Nashville at the time, and I was in elementary school. My grandma decided while watching my sister and I one day that it was time for us to meet Rhett and Scarlett. Maybe it was one of her many tactics to keep us occupied. After all, the film is long enough to include an intermission – certainly a film so long and so grand would keep us from acting like squirrely children!
I like to think that she knew that she was introducing us to something that we could both come to love. The film is still a favorite of both my sister and myself.
My love of film didn’t begin there. It had been budding for as long as I can remember. A number of my childhood memories have classic film connections. I learned to tie my shoes while watching The Wizard of Oz. Some of the first songs that I sang along to were from The Sound of Music. I watched 1963’s It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World so many times that I probably could have recited the entire script, even during a bout of amnesia.
My family isn’t made up of film fanatics. They all like movies well enough, but consider them a form of entertainment equal to (or, for some, less great than) television and stage productions. Regardless, I (and you, if you enjoy this blog at all) have them to thank for introducing me to the wonderful world of classic film. The few films that they did introduced me to laid the foundation for what later became a full-blown obsession.
I continued watching these favorites throughout my elementary and middle school years, but in a desperate attempt to fit in spent more time watching such early millennium masterpieces as Crossroads and From Justin to Kelly. It wasn’t until, having finally discovered the world of cable television in high school that I stumbled upon Turner Classic Movies and began spending many of my after-school hours watching black and white films. That was when I truly fell in love.
I guess I must also thank Ted Turner and Robert Osborne, then. But I can’t thank those involved in TCM without also thanking the actors that the channel introduced me to. When I began watching TCM, I wasn’t interested in certain actors or directors. I just wanted to absorb and discover whatever I could – whatever the TCM programmers and the folks who offer free movies on demand selected for me. But that quickly changed as I watched more and more films and became struck by the magnetism that certain performers have on screen.
So I became not only classic film obsessed, but classic actor obsessed. Years passed, with me dreaming of stepping into a Cary Grant film (as his love interest, of course) or becoming best friends with Barbara Stanwyck.
It wasn’t until after watching Arsenic and Old Lace (for what may have been the 10th time in a week) one day that I decided to start my first classic film-based blog on tumblr. Discovering that there was an entire community of people online that shared my interest in what most of my friends referred to as “your old lady movies” was a very delightful surprise, and also an enabler to my happy illness of classics obsession. I stuck with that blog (here we are, two years and a name change later), started this blog and have remained completely stuck on classic film ever since.
That reminds me of how I fell in love with classic movies. I like how you said you dream of stepping into a Cary Grant movie as his love interest…so true!
I feel like every classic film fan I’ve met has one actor or actress that sets the bar for them, and as much as I love me some Bogie/Gene Kelly/Paul Newman/etc, Cary will always be the ultimate for me! Glad you enjoyed the post!
I agree completely.