DVD Sales are Down? Serves ‘Em Right

I see that Hollywood is worried because DVD sales are down. I’m sure the increased popularity of Netflix and other methods of watching movies (including downloading them illegally) account for some of the decrease. But the quality of the movies we’re seeing these days has to take some blame, especially from those of us who have children.

You just never know what objectionable thing will appear in a modern movie. The plot may be interesting, but the f-word keeps popping up for no good reason at all. Or perhaps a movie has a ridiculous amount of nudity that does nothing to further the plot. It’s enough to make a parent very irritable.

This has been going on for quite a while; it’s one of the many reasons why my husband and I have been watching mostly old movies (pre-1980) for years. Even if our kids weren’t actually watching the movie, we never had to worry about what they saw as they passed through the family room. And though our youngest is now 18, he’s a young man with developmental delays and completely normal male hormones, so it’s a good thing we don’t watch more recent movies with all the female nudity, or we’d never get back the tv remote.

Twenty years ago, when our oldest kids were young, I had hopes that watching old movies would help them develop an appreciation for good stories with strong plots. I held that dream until they hit their early teens, when one of them announced that they thought Adam Sandler movies were the best movies ever. I consoled myself with the fact that my taste in movies was pretty unsophisticated at that age too.

That said, today the jury’s still out on whether the influence of old movies had much effect on my kids. I’ve noticed a definite generational difference of opinion, particularly about what’s funny and what’s not, but also about what constitutes good acting, good plot and especially good endings. Not surprisingly, I prefer an ending that makes clear what happened to the main characters. That’s how most old movies were written. When I watch a modern movie and am left hanging, I’m disappointed. But my kids don’t seem to mind that at all.

Now that our kids are grown, and some are out of the nest, my husband and I continue to enjoy old movies. Below are some we’ve watched recently. Got any favorites to add to the list? Please share in the comments; I’m always up for watching a “new” old movie.

11 thoughts on “DVD Sales are Down? Serves ‘Em Right

  1. It Happened One Night is one of our favorites! I often introduce old movies by taking note of references made in their favorite cartoons and newer movies. We love Marx Brothers and Chaplin movies, and my older two have watched several Hitchcock thrillers. Comedies are preferred here. I recently fell in love with Kiss me Kate, The Lady Eve and Christmas in Connecticut.

    Peace and Laughter!

  2. “very irritable” is putting it mildly. 🙂 My kids love old movies! In fact, they like them more than I do. They especially like Audrey Hepburn. I had never seen one of her movies until they made me sit through Roman Holiday. I don’t think you could pay them to watch Adam Sandler. I’m not exactly sure how this came about but I’m giving credit to Charlotte Mason.

  3. We just watched 2 Thin Man movies the last two nights! I have overdue fines on them regularly… We like Charade with A. Hepburn & C. Grant, Sons of Katie Elder w/John Wayne, McClintock w/J.Wayne, The Scarlett & the Black w/G. Peck and C. Plummer (true WWII movie with unbelievable ending-HIGHLY recommend), C. Grant: Amazing Adventure, His Girl Friday, Penny Serenade. My kids are always quoting old movie lines 🙂 I don’t hear any “newer” movie lines even when they watch those movies. There just isn’t any good dialogue anymore in the new movies b/c people can’t seem to focus on a conversation long enough to comprehend meaning to any action other than sex and deceit. WE LOVE old movies!!!

  4. All awesome movies, Cristina! We are also big Hitchcock fans. I think our favorite would be a tie between “Rear Window” and “North by Northwest”….now I want to watch them again.

    Oh, Sandy, my daughter and I are big Audrey Hepburn fans. Have you seen “Sabrina”? Her clothes are so pretty.

    Judie, you mentioned a couple I haven’t seen. Thanks! I’m off to check the library website for them 🙂

  5. Barbara, I am so glad to see this post—thanks! Just today I was in conversation with a friend about old movies, asking if she enjoyed them like my husband and I do. Even the history and culture is so interesting to me, let alone how much it matters to be able to relax while watching rather than having to be on the alert for something offensive. One of my favorites is “Friendly Persuasion” with Gary Cooper.

  6. I will add to the list: “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington”, “Sergeant York”, “Friendly Persuasion”, and “Fiddler on the Roof”.

  7. Jeri and Lisa, you’ve both recommended “Friendly Persuasion” so I’m taking that as a sign and will go looking for it 🙂

    Thanks for your input. I’m glad to see there are other old movie fans like us out there!

  8. My kids are younger (under 13) but they like Lassie and The Lone Ranger. Friday nights are movie nights with their Daddy so they watch lots of WWII movies and space films as well as some more recent ones like Lord of the Rings. I don’t care for many movies as either they are too violent or too much sex since I can’t watch anything without children present so I’m limited to Jane Austen novels on film (Colin Firth, mmmmm!) or classics like Sabrina.

  9. What a great Friday night activity for your kids, Kat. And I’m with you on Jane Austen and the classics. Besides the sex and/or violence, I find that most modern movies aren’t as enjoyable as the classics. And the Colin Firth thing goes without saying 🙂

  10. Hi Barbara,
    I have long been an old movie buff. All the movies mentioned are jewels. I have tons of favorites, but here are a few: “Rebecca” with Lawrence Olivier & Joan Fontaine; “The Ghost & Mrs. Muir,” with Rex Harrison, “The Quiet Man,” with John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara;”The Spirit of St. Louis,” and “Harvey,” with Jimmy Stewart; “The Detective,” with Alec Guiness, and “Little Women” with June Allyson (sp?) as Jo. Regarding new movies, there are some good ones, but they are so rare. We won’t touch any R rated movie and we’re very cautious even if it’s PG-13. It’s unbelievable what Hollywood considers “suitable” for children to view, let alone adults!

  11. I’ve seen all the movies you mention except “The Quiet Man” and “The Detective,” and they’re going on my list right now 🙂 Re: newer movies, we all enjoyed “Wall-E” and “The Incredibles,” but you’re right, it’s slim pickings out there! Thanks for stopping by and for the recommendations, Laura.

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