Where Have They Gone?

In Logan Utah there’s a theater that shows old movies. You know the classics: The Wizard of Oz, Gone With the Wind, and Citizen Kane. Around easter they’d have Ben Hur up. At Christmas they’d have White Christmas, It’s a Wonderful Life, & Miracle on 34th Street. It provided another generation the opportunity to see some of what previous generations have passed down. I got to take the kids to go see “Singing in the Rain” while we were in Logan. WOW! What a terrific movie. Eliza liked it so much she was dancing in the aisles and the manager had to come and tell us to keep her in her seat.

Do they make movies like this any more? There’s a lot of remakes floating around these days. “Flight Plan” with Jodi Foster was a Hitchcock movie from back in 30’s and was later re-done in the first season of “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” Both the older versions were quite commendable. I think we’d all agree that Cecil B. DeMille’s “The Ten Commandments” was better the second time, that it was the first. How many of you know that the one with Charlton Heston was a remake?

Back in the day actors and actresses seemed to have to be multi-talented. Debbie Reynolds had to sing, dance, and act to star opposite Fred Astaire. Who could certainly, dance, sing, and act. Maybe I enjoy older movies too much. After all I consider Pygmalion (1938) with Leslie Howard to be a superior movie to “My Fair Lady” with Audrey Hepburn.

When it comes to music I bounce back and forth as well. Glen Miller is still an active part of my daily music list. What terrific music! It’s a shame it’s not played on the radio anymore. If they’d play “Be Happy” on Monday mornings there’d be less need for coffee.

On the great list of “Where Have they Gone”s, there’s a few people I miss.

  • Judy Garland- What a terrific voice and screen presence. She’ll always be remembered for “The Wizard of Oz” and at 17 she did a terrific job playing a prominent role in the hearts of generations of Americans.
  • Bob Hope- The only man to work everywhere. This is the only American Actor to be successful in vaudeville, work their way to success on Broadway, in radio, in movies, and television. No other actor or actress will ever have the chance to do this again, and it shouldn’t have been possible even for him. I once told someone that the only reason I joined the Army was so I could see Bob Hope. Sadly, he wasn’t up for entertaining my generation of troops.
  • Paul Scofield- What a terrific actor. With great ability he took one of Robert Bolt’s most compelling plays and commands the screen version with perfection. The 1966 “A Man for All Seasons” should not be remade. It is already a masterpiece.
  • Jack Kerouac- Those of you who don’t know who this man is I feel sorry that I can’t offer a proper introduction. Jack Keroac morphed poetry into a medium for a new generation. My favorite part about his work isn’t his writing, but his reading! I learned from listening to him in high school that words are meant to be ‘heard.’ Reading makes them more available and convenient, but they are inherently audible. When I run across chapters in Isaiah I can’t understand I find the .mp3 files online and listen.

My list isn’t all inclusive, but it is what I have time for at the moment. I hope there are more greats in our future than in our past. We’ve got some rather large shoes to fill.