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.