Bowled Over by a Movie Classic

It’s embarrassing to compare our current popular culture with what we used to have. Our movies today seem to be based on the presumption that people stop growing, mentally, once they reach the age of 11 or 12: so every other movie has to be based on a comic book, or some really stupid gimmick like a foul-mouthed, dirty-minded teddy bear. For those who insist that they are adults, we have movies about boring, silly people in which nothing much happens.

Yesterday, at home, we watched The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962), with its ho-hum cast of John Wayne, Jimmy Stewart, Lee Marvin, Ed O’Brien, et al. It’d cost a billion dollars to assemble such a cast today. They save money by using bad actors, animatronic thingamabobs, and cartoons.

In case you have not seen this jewel, this treasure, this marvel of a movie, I won’t spoil it for you by giving away the plot. Suffice it to say that it’s not what you expect! And to carry along the dazzlingly innovative storyline, you have superb performances from every member of the cast. They have to be good performances because the actors are actually playing complex, interesting characters and making you believe in them. I mean, I got so cheesed off at John Carradine, I could hardly contain myself.

Here is a movie that will jangle your emotions, make you think, and stay in your memory for as long as you live–and it didn’t even get an Oscar (except for best costuming: Edith Head, as usual).  Somehow I doubt a Kardashian-based civilization can produce anything like this. Bloody comic books…

2 comments on “Bowled Over by a Movie Classic

  1. Thank you for the comments of this movie. I have not seen it, but heard of it, of course. I am not a great movie buff, but my husband is and I am always looking for something decent we may watch together. That is almost an impossibility these days. You are so right in your assessment of current flicks. They are worse than garbage that is offered only to otherworldly animals. I want no part of them. I will see if I can buy a copy of this one.

    1. I hope I don’t get in trouble if it turns out you don’t like it! But I did mean what I said about it (and I’m still mad at John Carradine–he ought to be ashamed of himself…)

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