Monday, January 11, 2010

The Thin Man and the Southern Rogue

I love old movies, and get an especially big kick out of the Thin Man Series. There is something about Myrna Loy that is charming and funny all at once while William Powell pulls off that nonchalant genius better than anyone else. And the two of them together are just magic.

I had totally forgotten I've had the Manhattan Melodrama in my Netflix queue for a few years now and never got around to actually watching it. Until I watched Public Enemies last week and saw both Loy and Powell headlining in the movie along with another old favorite, Clark Gable. So up the "to-watch" list the Manhattan Melodrama went, and last night I sat down with my buddies Ben and Jerry to enjoy an old black and white.

This movie was so much better than I was expecting it to be! I laughed: "I was born at home, because I wanted to be near Mother at the time." I was intrigued by unexpected ethical and philosophical questions: "And I'm not sure, maybe ideals have ceased to exist. Maybe they're outmoded like oil lamps and horse cars. But they're mine, and I'm stuck with them." And I found myself fighting back tears: "If I can't live the way I want, then at least let me die the way I want."

I always forget how old movies have the ability to suck me in and sweep me away. I get distract by big names and mind-blowing effects. And while I'm sure the Manhattan Melodrama was a pretty big box-office draw when it first hit the silver screen, there is a simplicity about it that reminds me that sometimes less is more.

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