I’ll take my movies old, thank you very much

A while ago, Mark and I and our younger son, Hank, decided it would be fun to have an occasional family movie night where we took turns picking out movies to watch together. One week it’s our turn to choose a movie and the next it’s Hank. It’s always interesting to hear Hank’s take on the social mores of the good old days—AKA the 1970’s—which is the decade most of Mark’s and my choices come from.  

For example, when we showed him one of my personal favorites, “Three Days of the Condor,” he expressed shock when Faye Dunaway and Robert Redford’s characters became romantically involved.  

“What’s the matter with that?” I asked, truly puzzled.  

“He kidnapped her and then tied her up with her pantyhose and left her in the bathroom while he went looking for the people who killed his coworkers,” Hank said.

“He untied her when he got back,” I said.

“Yeah, and then he pinned her in the bed so he could get some sleep and she wouldn’t be able to call the police. And after all that she fell in love with him? I don’t think so.”  

I still didn’t get his point. “But it was Robert Redford.”  

Mark put in his two cents. “Don’t try reasoning with her. You know your mother is a complete lunatic when it comes to Robert Redford.”  

When I thought about Hank’s comments later, I had to admit he was right. If the Robert Redford part had been played by, say, Buddy Ebsen, there was no way Faye Dunaway would have tolerated being tied up with her pantyhose and she definitely wouldn’t have fallen in love with him. Score one for the younger generation.  

Since starting our movie nights we’ve shown Hank a lot of gems and he’s shown us a lot of Star Wars and Avengers movies.

In my humble opinion, the only good Star Wars movie was the 1977 original which was fresh, entertaining and a blessed 121 minutes long, in other words nothing like the movies of today that don’t seem to be able to tell a story in under three hours. I feel like all Star Wars movies are the same—an underdog hero battling evil, a bunch of fight scenes with those guys in the white plastic suits, exploding spaceships—all wrapped up with an award ceremony where the hero and his or her sidekicks get kudos once again for saving the universe.  

Then there are the Avengers movies. And more Avengers movies. And even more Avengers movies, although it’s possible he’s been showing us the same Avengers movie over and over because I honestly can’t tell them apart.  

I really do try to stay focused for the first hour or so, but they always lose me. I know I annoy Hank because I keep asking the same questions, mainly, “Who is that? Have we seen them before?” He usually responds with a vaguely exasperated comment about the Avengers needing a pop-up Brady version for the fans with limited attention spans and even more limited memories. I agree completely.  

Hank was quite delighted the day he showed us an Avengers movie with Robert Redford in it, but even RR’s presence didn’t help since I am a very shallow person and unfortunately Robert doesn’t look nearly as good now as he did back in his heyday which just proves time and tide wait for no one, not even Robert Redford.  

My problem with the majority of most new movies, other than their length, lack of a cohesive storyline and general overblown too-muchness, is that there are so many of them. How can Disney and Marvel Studios keep churning them out? Simple. Because they are gigantic money makers and they’d be fools not to.  

I get that, but I don’t like it. And I have to say that if I must choose between being tied up with my pantyhose by Robert Redford, even the old wrinkly version, or sit through the next dozen or so Avengers and Star Wars movies, well, the choice is clear. Bob, the pantyhose are in the top right hand dresser drawer.  


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