You’re Welcome, Michael.

I’m deviating a little from our usual, and hopefully Nikki and Brandie will just let me get away with it. I’m getting ready to go to Dragon Con (anyone else going? Anyone? Anyone? … Okay, then), so if it isn’t an Anne McCaffrey book or Joss Whedon, I haven’t been participating in anything recently. I’ve got to be prepared, you know.

(Anchors Aweigh, 1945) Frank Sinatra learning about women from Gene Kelly ... priceless!

However, on my drive to my big-girl job that helps to keep me from posting regularly (read: hardly ever), I decided that Frank Sinatra was in order. I just love him (see other posts on musicals such as High Society for further Sinatra worship). It got me to thinking: some of that is making a comeback. While it was once a little old-fashioned for someone my age to like Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee (need I go on?) as much as I do, their musing is returning in the “current” market. Yes, the crooners are back. Am I pleased? Fairly. No, we haven’t gotten Old Blue Eyes back, and I doubt we ever will, but it’s increasing in vogue. Women again swoon, but this time it’s over the voices of men like John Mayer, who play a lot of acoustic melody and original pieces. However, the tones of these new pieces are true descendants of the jazz standards. Today’s crooners are also remaking the original pieces made famous in the lounges and films of a long-lost era (Michael Buble, the resident champion). Who can blame them? Perhaps we can begin to thank American Idol for this, as they are fans of recreating existing songs. The move is becoming popular (Glee, the multiple new renditions of “Over the Rainbow,” etc.). We like bringing the past back. Looks like classic film fans are not the only ones who miss it.

This is too awesome.

In film, however, we are not reverting back so much. Instead, we move ever forward into graphics, action, and of course, the 3D revolution. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy these as well, but in a completely different way from the classics. More importantly, though, we continue to comment that “they just don’t make actors/actresses like that anymore.” We said it during the Lucy Blogathon. We’ve said it about Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, Katharine Hepburn, etc. It’s the truth–they just don’t. In today’s film industry, would they have a place?

(1940) The Philadelphia Story, or Too Much Awesome for One Film.

I’d like to think they would, that that much talent just can’t be shut out. That’s what I tell myself. There is some evidence: Hugh Laurie, Alan Rickman, Kathy Bates–all brilliant. It’s a different kind of brilliance, but brilliant nonetheless. Johnny Depp is quite the current heartthrob, and, let’s face it–he can act. Is he William Holden? Not so much.

(Sense and Sensibility, 1995) Alan Rickman and Hugh Laurie in one room--in a film with Emma Thompson. Jane Austen really CAN put a lot of awesome in one room.

Music is moving back to the swing era a little. Fashion is going all over the place. Will the film industry follow? What I do know is that if Cary Grant or Gregory Peck are ever reincarnated, I will be an obsessive movie-goer.

But I'm pretty sure we'll never see this again ... Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird, 1962).

3 thoughts on “You’re Welcome, Michael.

  1. I’ve tried to conjecture whether Carole Lombard could make it in today’s movies. Perhaps so, but she wouldn’t be the same Carole we know and love — she would have been shaped by a different environment. More than likely, a Lombard today would probably be spending most of her time in television. (Carole had a good sense of humor and enjoyed a ribald joke as much as anyone, but I honestly couldn’t see her engaging in the sophomoric frat-boy raunch that passes itself off as movie comedy today.)

    Conversely, place the top stars of recent years, say Michelle Pfeiffer, in the ’30s, and the studio system would have turned them into ethereal gods and goddesses, bigger stars in their time than they ever were in ours.

    • You make an interesting point, Vincent. I think it would difficult for quite a few classic film stars to make it today. There is such a strong emphasis on “perfection” that Bette Davis’ unusual eyes or Joan Crawford’s broad shoulders or Katharine Hepburn’s affected manner would likely have been cast aside in favor of the next vapid Victoria’s Secret model jonesing for a film career. Sigh. A sad truth.

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