Some people don’t like “old movies.” In fact, there are those who will dismiss a movie out of hand if it’s in black and white. I don’t get this. If you don’t like that look, that I can get, but I don’t understand not watching a movie simply because it wasn’t made in the last decade or so. I watch new movies. I watch old movies. I watch them all. Which leads to the question of the week: What is the oldest movie you consider to be really good?
For you, it might be a movie from 1985. That could be as far back as you go. As somebody who studied film in college, I’ve seen some old films. I’ve seen A Trip to the Moon. Some of them are pretty good. The first movie in the Thin Man series came out in 1934 and it’s a solid flick. After the Thin Man, which came out in 1936, is even better. I wouldn’t call either of them “really good,” though. Decent? Sure, but that’s somewhat faint praise. If we go back further, there’s Metropolis, one of the most-famous silent movies. It’s impressive! Maybe this is where I set my own boundaries, but silent films usually don’t work for me. To be fair, something is missing there. Namely, sound.
The earliest film I can simply call a really good movie is 1940’s His Girl Friday. In fact, I would call it a great movie. It’s such a sharp comedy. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell are outstanding. The dialogue is so fast paced and the movie goes at a breakneck speed. Does it all hold up? Not necessarily, but I laugh and have a lot of fun. It’s one of the quintessential screwball comedies. And it came out 80 years ago! I hope you don’t dismiss old films, but even if you do I’m hoping to find out what is the oldest movie that you really dig.