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Friday, December 18, 2015

Are You an Old Movie "Purist"?

by C.J. Chase

My family kicked off the holidays this year by watching Miracle on 34th Street. To be honest, I don't like this 1947 classic about a man who might--or might not--really be Santa Claus as much as most people, but I spied it while browsing the library DVD section. Our eight-year-old (adopted from another country two years ago) had never seen it, so I checked it out.

I didn't expect to find two DVDs in the case, but there they were--one for the original black-and-white version and one for a colorized version. And that got me to reminiscing how scandalized some of my older friends and colleagues were "back in the day" when Ted Turner first started broadcasting colorized versions of old movies.

So, here's the question: colorized or black-and-white? Are you a purist who will only watch old movies in their original black-and-white format? Are you a product of modernity who prefers watching in color? Or are you the flexible sort who will try them both?

To get you started, here are two clips of the same scene from my favorite Christmas classic:

 

13 comments:

  1. I'm definitely a purist. The (often magnificent) art direction for black and white movies isn't the same in color. I think there is great beauty in the black and whites, and it's a shame to compromise them.

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    1. By the way, this is probably my favorite Christmas movie of all. I have to watch this, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the original version, not the live-action abomination) and a good version of A Christmas Carol. Hmmmm, I haven't seen any of them yet this year. Maybe that's why it doesn't really feel like Christmas. O.o

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    2. You? An old movie purist?

      Now where is my not-shocked face?

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    3. Do you have a favorite version of A Christmas Carol? I have yet to see one that captures the story the way I think it should be done. And thus, I end up reading the book. (Or finding the cassette tapes of Patrick Stewart reading it.)

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    4. I really don't have one particular one that does it for me either. There are good things about several of them, but then those same ones have parts that I don't like or cut out bits I think should be in.

      I think I like the Scrooge musical with Albert Finney all around best. Alec Guiness as Marley's Ghost is a hoot. But almost any of them that at least stay true to the period will get the main point across. The actual story is, of course, the best.

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    5. I would LOVE to hear Patrick Stewart reading it. He does a great job on The Last Battle. :D

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    6. My husband and oldest were in a local production of Scrooge many years ago. Son was about 8 and wanted to audition for Tiny Tim. Husband had gone along and was reading Bob Cratchit lines during the audition. Director asked if he would be willing to be Bob to son's Tim. Still have a newspaper clipping of the two of them.

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    7. Amazon has the Stewart audiobook on CD for $12. :)

      My copy is so old it's on cassettes.

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    8. I'm pretty certain Drew must has a voice like PS, so just think how motivational it would be to get a copy and listen to it. Multiple times, if need be. Doesn't that make the purchase a business expense?

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    9. Actually, anything with story (books, movies, audobooks, etc.) is a legit business expense for authors. So woot! :)

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  2. I never saw any of the classic Christmas movies until I was an adult. My Christmas classic is The Sound of Music. I know, I know... it's the most un-Christmassy movie ever.
    My kids' Christmas classic is Home Alone, which makes me completely crazy. ;)
    As for BW vs. colorized, I like the old BW movies, but I must confess, sometimes seeing old pictures or old movies colorized makes them seem more real.

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    1. Niki, I think it was difficult for those of us, er, beyond a certain age (older than VCRs and cable television) to see those movies during our childhood. They might be on one network once.

      When I was in high school, we lived in a very rural area. (Even more rural than my childhood in corn-and-soybean country that was only an hour or two from a major city and could get the three networks.) We got one channel--as long as the weather was clear. It's no wonder I became a reader.

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