“Thoughts on Older Films and other Valuable Things of the Past”
Written by Rick Trottier – RJT Images/Light Works Studio
As a boy, I was exposed to and had access to many things that would be considered quite antiquated today. Between uncles and aunts, grandparents and great-grandparents, I was transported back to past times in so many fashions, be they tools I used to complete chores, gadgets that were used in household tasks, ancient sporting or outdoor equipment or other arcane ways to entertain myself. A LOT of old comics and books were handed down to me from my older relatives, some that would be pretty hard to find today if I had not read them to death by the time I was a teenager. I often think about all of those opportunities to learn through actions and experiences that connected me to time long gone. People from my generation are some of the very last of this nation’s populace to see older things with a positive connotation. In today’s society, the oft-used phrase “out with the old, in with the new” has been taken to extremes. I saw a girl on Instagram whine about that app being “old and that it was time for something new”. To me, the past for years of having IG on my phone is a blink of the eye when it comes to the span of time that is my life.
One of the most treasured “old” joys from my youth was the classic films that could be found on television. Back in those days, TVs were analog in nature and everything came over the airwaves via VHF and UHF broadcast. Since television was still so new and so few production companies were generating content of a diverse nature, local independent UHF stations and local network-affiliates showed old movies either later in the evening on weeknights, early and mid-afternoons on weekends and as broadcast days lengthened, often times late at night for those who couldn’t or didn’t want to sleep. In this way, movies from the 1930s and 1940s, then later films from the 1950s and 1960s became fodder for my ever growing passion for cinema from every genre imaginable. My penchant tended towards sci-fi, horror, suspense and westerns, but I’d watch just about anything from War films, to Beach Party flicks and even wacky comedies like THE ART OF LOVE (1965) with Dick Van Dyke, James Garner and Elke Sommer that I remember viewing one Saturday afternoon when the usual sci-fi/horror flicks on Creature Double Feature were ones I had already seen.