Whew, it feels so good to finally take a moment to myself and write on my blog. I know its only been a few days since I’ve written a post, but my soul can’t go too long before it begins craving a desire to express itself. Normally if I don’t write, then I would paint or draw, but everything is packed up since I’m moving next week.
So, in the midst of school work, writing resumes (my paid freelance gig), and mentally preparing myself to move yet again, I’ve been passing my time sipping on freshly brewed coffee, watching classic films, and reading some good cozy books(thank you Amazon.) Oh, and aside from romantic films, I found myself watching all three Lord of the Rings films in consecutive order; felt like having my own LOTR marathon.
LOTR is of course far from being romantic, but it was a nice break from my recent TCM obsession. Perhaps because I’m a single girl in my twenties, or maybe it’s because every now and then I’m a sucker for romance, but I just really love a girly moment drinking coffee, cuddling up on my bed, and watching Clark Gable fall in love with a random stranger.
If you haven’t watched a film starring Clark Gable, then boy I must say you are missing out! I’m a huge Gable fan and I stayed up till 2am last night watching the classic film Test Pilot starring Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Lionel Barrymore. The leading lady in that film isn’t one of my favorites (I love Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, and Lauren Bacall) but she did a pretty good job falling in love with Gable in one day and marrying him. Gable has that effect on women.He’s sort of a classic heart throb that I throw into my categorization of all the 1940s romantic movie leading men; the list includes Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, and Errol Flynn.
Now that is just a small list of the leading men I personally like, but there are of course many more. And when it comes to instilling fear, I have to totally say the award goes to Robert Mitchum in the film Cape Fear. If you haven’t seen the classic film Cape Fear, then you need to watch it. The film is a superb thriller driven by suspense and the reality of how crazy stalking can be. Excellent film.
Speaking of thriller, I should devote a post to classic thrillers since this is Halloween month, so stay tuned for that post coming soon.
So let’s get back to the topic, romance! There is just something so refreshing about watching a classic film where a stranger meets someone that catches their eye and they find themselves falling in love. Most films nowadays have to rush straight to showing the sex, but the films of the 30s and 40s focused on the conversation, the flirtatious banter, and the passionate throws of kisses. Even an occasional slap was followed by an aggressive kiss of passion, as if to say “I love you so much, I don’t want to ever hurt you again. Forgive me!”
I could make an argument for the amount of slapping in classic films, but then again you can form essays on how booze and cigarette smoking as a lifestyle prominent. It’s rare you watch a film from the 40s and see an absence of liquor or some beautiful leading lady smoking a cigarette in a stunning evening gown; I’m surprised they never portrayed the reality of how harsh your voice can become. But then again, classic films are supposed to romanticize relationships, show us the intrigue of mystery in film noir, and enlighten us with stunning simplicity driven by complex lighting and shadows.
The romanticism infused with intrigue is why I truly love classic films and have an ongoing obsession with TCM. I hope that channel never goes away, it is essential in showcasing the history of film! And my favorite thing about TCM is the days they devote to film noir. The allure of murder, gangsters, and romance is such a phenomenal combination that I’m going to say most women love. Their is something devilishly sexy about the bad boy appeal, the daring stranger who can charm our pants off. And a film that perfectly captures that entire vibe is my favorite noir film, The Big Sleep.
The Big Sleep is a complex crime thriller with steamy romance that was based off Raymond Chandler’s 1939 novel, but was officially brought to life on the big screen in 1946 by Howard Hawks. The film stars one of Hollywood’s most iconic couples, Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall. The two had a romance on-screen, but they were also married in real-life and had children together. Sadly, their romance ended when Bogart died, but the memories of their undeniable love & attraction will always be on-screen.
There are so many reasons why I love The Big Sleep. It’s the type of film that mimics the type of day dreams I find myself having about a steamy romance set in a film noir atmosphere. In the midst of all the chaos, Bogart is that cold-hearted detective Phillip Marlowe who finds himself in the midst of a “hazy” private investigation, and he finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Mrs. Vivian Rutledge, portrayed by Bacall. I could sit here and describe the plot to you, but it’s such a complex classic visualization of film noir that you must-watch for yourself. If you like Double Indemnity then you’ll find this film a treat; a complex dosage of character motives.
Wow, I’ve actually talked about these films so much that now I must go watch them yet again! I’ve seen so many films from the 1940s over and over again, and the romantic inside of me never gets tired of them. The intrigue of boy meets girl infused with complex plots are timeless pieces of cinema that shouldn’t be ignored. So, if you have some time to relax, I highly advise you grab a cup of coffee (tea is good too) and turn your television to the TCM. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.