Black and White Therapy

Dear Liza,

Since we are staying in so much and we can’t get out for concerts or shows, movies and games have become more important in our evening plans.

Fred and Ginger In Top Hat

Our household doesn’t like some very popular types of movies. The string of DC and Marvel comics-based super heroes do not thrill us. We don’t care for violence or explosions. I guess we are kind of old fashioned.

So, we like old fashioned movies!

Alfred Hitchcock’s classics are very well written and suspenseful while much less violent than modern movies of their genre. We enjoy them very much.

Old musicals from the 30s, 40s, and 50s are wonderful to watch when we need a break from reality, when going out for a hot dog can be a health threat and politics as usual has ceased to work for anyone but the politicians.

Last night we watched 1933s Flying Down to Rio, and it was delightful. Besides the incredible clothes and manic facial expressions, it was Fred Astaire’s and Ginger Rogers’ first movie together. They didn’t play the lead characters, but were supporting bigger stars, Dolores del Rio and Gene Raymond as star-crossed lovers. They only had one full-on dance number, “The Carioca”, but their humor and chemistry were obvious, and they went on to make nine more movies together.


So, in case you are old fashioned too, here are my (mostly) black and white movie recommendations:

Nick and Norah Charles on the case…

The Thin Man series, starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as society detectives. The original is the best, but they are all good, with actors like Jimmy Stewart in unexpected roles.

Dial M for Murder

Hitchcock’s movies are all good, but my favorites are Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, and To Catch a Thief.

Musicals : Anything with Fred Astaire and/ or Ginger Rogers, and movies with Gene Kelly and his casually athletic dance moves, like On the Town or Brigadoon.

On the Town

I also like the old Katharine Hepburn/ Spencer Tracy pair-ups like Adam’s Rib and Pat and Mike. I am a sucker for smart ale my dialogue mixed with romance.

ADAM’S RIB, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, 1949

I hope you enjoy some of these, and maybe discover some of your own favorites.

Love,

Grandma Judy