Classic Movie Tag: 10 Prompts


This should be fun, and even though I'm not specifically tagging anyone, I hope you'll consider writing, podcasting, or filming your own answers to these prompts, created by Raquel Stecher for her blog Out of the Past: A Classic Film Blog. Here we go:



1. What's one classic movie that you recommend to people over and over and over again?



It all depends on who I'm talking to and their movie experience, but I frequently recommend The Narrow Margin (1952), a great film noir B movie directed by Richard Fleischer. Even among people who've seen several film noir titles, The Narrow Margin is usually a film they've never encountered. The film serves many purposes, particularly for those new to film noir: it's an easy entry point, a great example of a classic Hollywood B picture, and a good introduction to two major noir actors, Charles McGraw and Marie Windsor (both of whom are two of my favorites). It's available on DVD-R from Warner Archive.


2. What was the last classic film you saw and what were your thoughts about it?



I recently watched A Stolen Life (1946), a good twin/bad twin melodrama starring Bette Davis in the twin roles. The film is really a melodrama with touches of film noir rather than a full-on noir, and although the film suffers from a terrible ending, I enjoyed it. (I viewed it on the TCM app.)


3. Name a classic movie genre you love and one you dislike.


It's no surprise to regular readers of this blog: I absolutely love film noir. A few years ago, I would've told you that I strongly dislike musicals, but I'm starting to come around. I've even programmed a few at my Great Movies events at the library where I work, so I'm making progress.


4. Name a classic movie star with whom you share a birthday or a hometown.



I share a birthday with Cary Grant (January 18). People mistake me for him all the time. (I'm joking...)


5. Give a shout out to a friend or family member who shares your love of classic movies.




I've got to send this out to Jenna, a good friend whose passion for classic movies knows no end. She even made this incredible book for my movie notes!


6. Name a classic movie star who makes your heart skip a beat or whom you admire greatly.



Dorothy Malone simply takes my breath away... I also greatly admire Barbara Stanwyck, Ida Lupino, Marie Windsor, Cathy O'Donnell, and many others.



For the guys? Humphrey Bogart, Robert Mitchum, Edward G. Robinson are all stellar. Also deserving more credit than they usually get are Charles McGraw, John Payne, and Arthur Kennedy.


7. Describe one memorable experience watching a classic movie.



I've told this story before, but when I was a surly youngster, I always gave my mom grief for watching a Sunday afternoon show on one of our local TV stations called Golden Classics, which I considered embarrassingly primitive. I guess she'd had enough of my snark, so one Sunday she said, "Look, there's a movie coming on called The Maltese Falcon. Sit and watch it with me for 15 minutes. If you hate it, you can go do whatever you want." I watched it all the way to the end and was hooked. Forever.


8. Describe the craziest thing you've done because of your passion for classic movies.



I don't think it's that crazy, but my West Coast friends simply can't believe I travel to San Francisco every year to attend the Noir City film noir festival. Hey, they've got these things called flights, and if I have to eat bread and water for a few months to pay for the trip, what's the big deal?


9. What's something classic movie related that you love to collect?


I'd love to collect posters, but I have nowhere to showcase or store them, so I'll stick to DVDs, Blu-rays and books about movies.


10. What's your favorite way to share your passion for classic movies?


I'm so, so fortunate to be able to show classic movies each month (and sometimes more often) at the Severna Park Library where I am a librarian. There's nothing I love more than introducing a film to audiences who've never seen it and hear their thoughts afterward in the group discussion.


That's it for me. Thanks, Raquel, for the prompts. I'm eager to read those of others, so I hope you'll play along.

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